x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Thousands of new jobs expected as stalled Dubai developments resume

Dubai's Dh4bn development plan is expected to spark a hiring boom as new and relaunched projects get underway.

Resumption of stalled developments is expected to add thousands of jobs in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National
Resumption of stalled developments is expected to add thousands of jobs in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National

A package of new and relaunched developments in Dubai is expected to contribute tens of thousands of jobs to a hiring boom across the country.

Developments approved since last month are estimated to be worth a total of Dh4 billion (US$1.08bn), following several new announcements on Saturday by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the UAE's Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

They include a Dh2.5bn expansion of the Madinat Jumeirah resort, a pedestrian bridge across Dubai Creek, a Dh390 million barracks for Dubai's Police, and the Dh1.5bn dredging of a larger Business Bay canal connected to the Arabian Gulf.

The news comes as the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development prepares to announce today progress on developments in the capital, including the Tourism Development and Investment Company's plans for Saadiyat Island.

"This is a sign of increasing confidence in the market," said Craig Plumb, the regional head of research at Jones Lang LaSalle.

"For the construction industry it's a huge boost. All of these projects will generate jobs for tens of thousands of labourers and hundreds of engineers. We hope that the funding is secured now to progress with these schemes."

The 420-room expansion for the Madinat Jumeirah hotel complex will be accompanied by 45 residential villas as well as new shops and restaurants.

The new projects were very labour intensive, said Giyas Gokkent, the chief economist at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi."These will create quite a few jobs. It will also have a spillover in terms of [small and medium enterprise] activities, and all the supporting activity thatis required for these clusters to function."

The first footbridge over the Dubai Creek from Bur Dubai to Shindaga was previously proposed as a way to increase tourism and trade in the area. The Business Bay canal project will link the existing canal to Dubai Creek.

The renewal of construction projects in Dubai comes less than a year after the Abu Dhabi Government completed a spending review of current projects, boosting local hiring and creating tens of thousands of jobs in the emirate.

Earlier this year, it was estimated that 43,500 jobs would be created in the Western Region alone as a result of new government spending, according to ZonesCorp, the government body overseeing the development of Abu Dhabi's industrial zones.