x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Four notable projects funded by the UAE

The UAE has funded numerous projects around the world. We take a look at four prominent projects.

Egypt Sheikh Zayed Canal

Completed in 2010. the Sheikh Zayed Canal is a key part of the ambitious New Valley Project. It transports water from the Nile to the desert in Toshka and the north coast of Alexandria and is part of a scheme to convert the arid valleys in the region into agricultural lands and boost animal production, adding 540,000 acres to Egypt's agricultural area.

The canal is funded by a generous grant authorised by Sheikh Zayed, with follow-up orders from Sheikh Khalifa, the President. Around Dhs 368 million, was set aside for the construction of the Sheikh Zayed Canal. The grant was implemented under the direct supervision of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and was mainly used for the construction of canal section 3, the construction of three major lift irrigation stations, development of experimental farmlands in Toshka, and the provision of advisory services.

The Sheikh Zayed Canal can irrigate around 100,000 acres within the integrated irrigation system envisaged for the development of the southern valley.

The section covers an area of more than 24 kilometres, and is between six and eight metres wide. It has four gates and seven bridges, discharging about 50 cubic metres per second. The canal is lined with concrete to prevent water leakage. It includes a service road along the canal.

Eventually the canals are intended to create a new delta in the region running parallel to the Nile with the Sheikh Zayed Canal providing about 5.5 billion cubic metres of water for farmland irrigation each year. The cost of the project is estimated at about Dh2.15 billion.

Morocco Port of Tangiers

Three years ago, on February 18, 2010, King Mohammed VI laid the foundation stone for the Port of Tangier project in the presence of Sheikh Saeed bin Zayed and Sheikh Diab bin Zayed, and watched by ambassadors from Arab and foreign countries and diplomatic figures.

The presence of the two sheikhs reflected the USD$300 million contributed by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development to the project, which includes the construction of a deepwater port about 35 kilometres east of the city of Tangier.

With an entry point of 300 metres and a depth of 16 metres, the new port will have 1,100 metres of container berths. It will include a 500-metre grain berth and goods berth of 450 metres. In addition there will be passenger berths of 200 metres and a dedicated station for oil as well as a special shipyard for fishing vessels and marine services.

The new Port of Tangier will boost the economy of Morocco's northern regions and the country in general by using its strategic location between Europe and Africa on one hand and the Arab world and Europe on the other.

A major maritime crossroad, the port also benefits the economy through commercial and industrial free zones. The port, which will help Moroccan products more easily enter foreign markets, will be able to receive between 20 and 22 million tonnes per year.

Morocco Sheikh Zayed Hospital

The Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Rabat has 300 beds and operates 24 hours a day, using advanced techniques to ensure swift completion of surgical treatment and treating a large number of patients. The hospital is led by a team of 18 professors and 217 doctors and nurses. Although it not yet working at full capacity, it can already accommodate more than 48 surgeries per day, using 12 operating rooms equipped with the latest surgical equipment, in addition to an intensive-care unit with 25 beds.

The hospital has already established a reputation for medical excellence, with visiting professors coming from Switzerland, Canada, USA and France. Its operating rooms are directly connected via TV networks to leading hospitals in 24 countries.

A university medical centre, the hospital has classrooms and a main hall with 150 seats to accommodate medical students from Rabat and other cities.

Yemen Marib Dam

Destroyed around 1,500 years ago in an event referenced in the Quran, the Marib dam was rebuilt in 1986, Flooding in April 1982 saw the UAE allocate US$3 million to help victims, but it was realised a long-term solution was needed. Thanks to donations from the UAE. Sheikh Zayed personally donated the necessary funds to rebuild Marib Dam later on that month.

In 1984, the UAE gave additional funds to continue work. On October 2 of that year, Sheikh Zayed laid the foundation stone for the new dam, which aimed to end the devastation caused by floods in Yemen and revive thousands of hectares of arable lands.

Two years later, Sheikh Zayed inaugurated the dam which was completed ahead of schedule and has since positively affected many parts of Yemen.

Sheikh Zayed's support for Marib Dam did not stop there, as he also funded the construction of 63 kilometres of major channels, in addition to other sub-channels across the farms in Marib, contributing to the irrigation of 10,000 hectares of crop-rich land.