Dubai's diverse economy with strong energy ties looks to future

 

The economy of Dubai may be considered an outlier for the region, for although its growth and prosperity has been fuelled by its proximity to oil, its own modest hydrocarbons endowment accounted for just 1.3% of GDP in 2016. While its oil-rich Gulf neighbours have long recognised the need to diversify their economies – but have largely been slow to do so – Dubai’s leaders understood decades ago that the emirate could only prosper by innovating and tapping a range of revenue streams.

Dubai operates as a centre for oil and gas trade and is home to many companies servicing the energy industry. Its government-owned oil and gas companies have an international footprint with upstream developments at home and overseas, as well as dozens of downstream ventures. Outside of hydrocarbons, Dubai has set ambitious targets to boost the share of renewables in its energy ecosystem, while striving to set an example for curbing consumption.

Sector Regulation

The Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE) is tasked with regulating and coordinating the activities of the oil industry, and ensuring the security and sustainability of energy supplies to the emirate. Representatives from the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), the Dubai Nuclear Energy Committee, the Dubai Petroleum Establishment (DPE), the Dubai Supply Authority (DUSUP) and the Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) are among those on the council. Although Dubai’s oil and gas reserves were first discovered and controlled by international companies, the sector has been brought back under government ownership.

Oil Output

The DPE was created in 1963 when the Continental National Oil Company was granted a concession by Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum to prospect offshore. Three years later its engineers struck oil in the Fateh Field. Four years after that, in 1970, the South-West Fateh Field was discovered, followed by the fields at Falah and Rashid in 1972 and 1973, respectively. Dubai’s first exports of the commodity were shipped in September 1969, beginning the inflow of additional funds to invest in the emirate’s infrastructure.

According to the DPE, Dubai exported 2bn barrels of oil between 1969 and 1988. In 1991 output peaked at 410,000 barrels per day (bpd). By 2007 production had declined to approximately 100,000 bpd, and it was announced that the government would take control of offshore assets from Dubai Petroleum Company, a subsidiary of ConocoPhillips, returning them to the DPE as of April that year.

In 2017 the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimated that Dubai’s remaining oil reserves amounted to 2bn barrels. This stands in stark contrast to neighbouring Abu Dhabi, which has proven reserves of 93.8bn barrels, or 96% of the UAE’s total hydrocarbons endowment of 97.8bn barrels. The UAE as a whole has 5.7% of the world’s proven reserves of crude oil, according to BP’s 2017 “Statistical Review of World Energy”. Enhanced oil recovery techniques have helped ensure that the UAE’s reserves remained at 97.8bn barrels since 1996 despite any major new discoveries.

Natural Gas

Margham is Dubai’s largest onshore gas field, with three gas-bearing geological formations 10,000 feet below the desert and 55 km from the city of Dubai. In 1980 a concession was granted to a US company called ARCO that hoped to produce light condensate oil, and production was successful four years later. In 1999 BP acquired ARCO and took over the concession. A year later, when BP agreed to sell the field to the Dubai government, Margham Dubai Establishment was created.

In 2008 the Margham Field also became a storage facility, injecting imported dry gas for re-export during the summer. In 2009 responsibility for Margham transferred to DUSUP, which was formed in 1992 to store, refine, trade and transport natural gas between suppliers and industrial users in Dubai.

Production & Consumption

Data on the emirate’s annual production and consumption of crude oil and natural gas is recorded as part of the national activity of the UAE as a whole. Although Dubai’s contribution to supply may be limited, annual statistics for the country give insights into the role energy plays in each emirate.

According to data from BP, the UAE’s production of crude oil grew by 3.7% between 2015 and 2016, when the country produced 4.07m bpd. The increase in oil production from 2005 to 2015 was 3% for the decade. The rise in oil consumption between 2015 and 2016 was more pronounced, at 6.7%, with the country consuming 987,000 bpd in 2016. Production of natural gas in the UAE was up by 2.5% from 2015 to 2016, when 61.9bn cu metres was produced. Consumption of natural gas grew by 3.6% over 2015, which was below the 10-year expansion rate of 5.8% between 2005 and 2015.

Although it is not a coal producer, the UAE saw a comparably large rise in the consumption of coal, up 24.1% for the 10 years to 2015. Total coal consumption in 2016 was 1.3m tonnes of oil equivalent. Meanwhile, consumption of energy from renewables grew 2.6% from 2015 to 2016, and amounted to 100,000 tonnes of oil equivalent in 2016.

According to the US EIA, the UAE has a relatively high rate of per capita petroleum consumption when compared to other countries worldwide. Data from 2016 shows overall primary energy use increasing by 4.5% to 114m tonnes of oil equivalent. This is also reflected in BP data on carbon dioxide emissions, which in 2016 rose by 4.4%. Iran and Saudi Arabia showed the next-largest increases in the region, of 2.1% and 1.9%, respectively. The UAE emitted 288m tonnes of carbon dioxide over the course of the year, compared to 621.8m tonnes in Saudi Arabia.

The UAE signed the COP21 Paris climate change agreement in 2016 to reduce global emissions, and both Dubai and Abu Dhabi have set targets for the increased adoption of renewables in the immediate and medium-term future (see analysis).

Economic Impact

The IMF estimated that Dubai’s diversified economy accounts for nearly one-third (30.6%) of the UAE’s GDP, with Abu Dhabi contributing 56.9% to national production. Based on Abu Dhabi data for 2014, the latest available, the oil sector contributed Dh488.7bn ($133bn), or 50.9%, to that emirate’s total GDP of Dh960.1bn ($261.1bn). In contrast, Dubai-based mining and quarrying, including oil and gas, contributed just 1.8% to emirate GDP at current prices in 2014, and amounted to Dh6.7bn ($1.8bn). The value of the sector to the Dubai economy had fallen from Dh7.8bn ($2.1bn) in 2012 to Dh7.1bn ($1.9bn) in 2013.

The sector’s share of the economy decreased further after the global fall in oil prices from mid-2014. By 2015 the industry’s contribution was just Dh3.8bn ($1bn). There followed a notable increase in performance of 37.7% with the partial recovery in crude oil prices in 2016, which saw total contribution reach Dh5.3bn ($1.4bn) to represent 1.3% of Dubai’s GDP that year. The diversification of the emirate’s economy is such that through all the dramatic fluctuations in world crude oil prices, Dubai’s overall GDP grew year-on-year (y-o-y) between 2012 and 2016, recording expansion rates of 7.5%, 3.6%, 4.1%, 2.8% and 2.5%, respectively.

Strategy & Price

When the UAE declared independence in 1971, the country became part of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which Abu Dhabi had joined in 1967. In 2016 the country agreed – along with 10 non-OPEC nations – to reduce crude oil output in an effort to draw down global inventories and help buoy prices.

In BP’s 2017 “Statistical Review of World Energy”, Spencer Dale, the company’s group chief economist, noted OPEC had surprised observers twice: first, by failing to constrain production in 2014 and so triggering the collapse in prices to less than $28 per barrel by January 2015, and second, by agreeing to a combined cut in production of 1.8m bpd two years later in November 2016.

Dale suggested OPEC’s reasoning – and that of Saudi Arabia’s influential oil minister, Khalid Al Falih – was based on the assumption that an OPEC intervention could succeed in addressing a short-term aberration, such as high inventory levels from one period to another, but would be ineffective in addressing a more structural shift in the dynamics of global oil supply, such as that posed by increased shale oil production in the US.

Output Reduction

As part of the OPEC deal, the UAE agreed to an output reduction of 139,000 bpd based on its average October 2016 production of 3m bpd, leaving it with a production target of 2.9m bpd from January 1, 2017 onwards. It is not yet clear whether the reduced output if affecting Dubai’s fields directly, or if the responsibility is being borne solely by operations in Abu Dhabi.

In July 2017 the IMF estimated the net result of the decrease in output and modest price rally on the UAE’s national accounts. The fund reported the average export price for UAE crude had declined from $98.90 per barrel in 2014 to $52.40 in 2015. It estimated the price had been $44 per barrel in 2016 and that it would increase to an average of $52.90 in 2017, with a projection of $53.10 per barrel for 2018.

The impact on the UAE’s real oil GDP was 3.8% growth in 2016, followed by a contraction of 2.9% in 2017 and an expected rally to 3.2% growth in 2018. The IMF expected to see a rise in non-oil GDP of 2.7% for 2016, 3.3% in 2017 and 3.4% in 2018.

In Dubai’s case, the boost in non-oil GDP is likely to have greater significance for the economy than the anticipated contraction in real oil GDP. “I think if any economy in the region is going to weather lower oil prices well, it will be Dubai,” Hootan Yazhari, managing director of equity research at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch, told OBG.

Although Dubai’s national accounts, as reported by Dubai Statistics Centre, do not give exact figures for the emirate’s crude oil production or exports, a broader measure of the value of fuel and lubricant imports and exports is given. This shows that in 2015 Dubai imported Dh18.3bn ($4.9bn) in fuels and lubricants, while exporting Dh3.7bn ($1bn). Meanwhile, Dh9.7bn ($2.6bn) of fuels and lubricants was re-exported during the year.

In 2016 the emirate paid Dh26.9bn ($7.3bn) to import fuels, 47% more than in 2015. At the same time, exports declined to Dh3.5bn ($952m) and re-exports were slightly higher at Dh10bn ($2.7bn). This suggests Dubai was paying almost 50% more for fuel imports in 2016 than the previous year, when crude oil prices had slipped by 16%.

Value Chain

While the DPE is responsible for offshore production in Dubai, ENOC plays a key role across the hydrocarbons value chain in the emirate, and also overseas. ENOC, which was formed in 1993, has evolved over 25 years from a small local company dealing in calor gas into an international conglomerate. The chairman of the state-owned diversified energy group is Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the deputy ruler of Dubai. The company’s chief executive is Said Al Falasi, a 37-year veteran of the energy industry.

The company’s energy operations arm includes exploration and production, supply trading and processing, terminals for bulk oil storage, fuel retail, aviation fuel services, and products such as grease and lubricants. Beyond its oil and gas business, ENOC has developed another arm with diverse interests including convenience store franchises, and automotive and fabrication services. The group includes 30 subsidiaries and has tens of thousands of customers in 60 markets. It employs more than 10,000 people and is wholly government owned through the Investment Corporation of Dubai.

According to ENOC’s 2016 annual report, the company sold 247m barrels of petroleum products that year, or 670,000 bpd. This represented an 11% increase in overall sales volume on 222m barrels in 2015, and a fourth consecutive annual increase. However, the company’s revenues fluctuated from 2012 to 2016, reaching a peak of $20.9bn in 2014 before falling to $14.7bn in 2015, and sliding further still to $13.2bn in 2016. This was the lowest annual revenue figure in over five years.

Of those 2016 revenues, 64%, came from supply, trading and processing, with marketing accounting for 16%, retail 13%, exploration and production 6%, and terminals 1%. Net profits for 2016 were $1bn.

Refining & Processing

Since 1999 ENOC has operated a refinery at the Jebel Ali Free Zone, which has the capacity to process 140,000 barrels per stream day of condensate. The refinery produces naphtha, jet fuel, reformate, diesel oil, fuel oil and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The naphtha is exported for petrochemicals use and the remaining products are sold in the domestic market.

In 2010 a $850m upgrade was performed at the refinery, enabling it to produce low-sulphur naphtha and reformate, which is a high-octane blending component for gasoline. In 2016 a major expansion programme began at the refinery that is due to be completed in 2019 at a cost of over $1bn. This will add a new condensate processing train to boost daily capacity by 50% to 210,000 barrels.

Other units being built include a naphtha hydrotreater and an isomerisation unit, as well as kerosene and diesel hydrotreaters. The plant’s refined products will comply with stringent Euro 5 emissions standards as part of Dubai’s drive towards clean energy and to meet the needs of export markets.

ENOC has been processing natural gas since 1977, with commercial production of LPG beginning in 1980. Output of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), an additive used in unleaded petrol, followed in 1995. Dubai Natural Gas Company runs the MTBE plant, exporting the majority of its products. The company is also responsible for the engineering, construction, management and operation of the emirate’s natural gas infrastructure.

Trade & Supply

The role of ENOC’s supply and trading department is to procure feedstock for the refinery and MTBE plant, and to meet the supply needs of ENOC’s own retail petrol stations, either through the refinery’s output or imports. In 2016 the volume of crude traded by the company surged by 61% to 60.6m barrels, three times the volume of crude that was traded in 2012.

However, 2016 saw an annual decline in production and trade of other products, with MTBE output down from 772,000 bpd to 585,000 bpd, while refinery throughput fell from 51.4m bpd to 43.5m bpd. Trade in naphtha decreased from 25.7m bpd to 23.6m bpd, while jet fuel slipped from 17.75m bpd to 14.1m bpd. Diesel also showed a decline from 25.2m bpd to 21.5m bpd.

Product Marketing

ENOC’s marketing of gas and petroleum products accounts for more than 15% of group revenues through a number of subsidiaries, as well as two joint ventures. ENOC holds a 51% share in Emirates Petroleum Products Company (EPPCO), a joint venture with Chevron focusing on aviation refuelling and lubricant marketing. It offers jet fuelling services at Dubai, Sharjah and Fujairah international airports, as well as military bases, while it sells ENOC and Caltex products for both industrial and retail clients in the UAE.

ENOC also holds a 49% share in United Gulf Aircraft Fuelling Company, a joint venture with Saudi Arabia’s Arabian Aircraft Services Company that operates in the international airports serving Riyadh and Jeddah. Its wholly owned company, ENOC Aviation, provides aircraft refuelling at 117 airports in 17 countries for both the civilian and military sectors.

ENOC Lubricants further sells its own brands of automotive, industrial and maritime lubricants across the Middle East, South-east Asia, the Commonwealth of Independent States and Africa. The business operates two grease and lubricant manufacturing plants in Jebel Ali and Fujairah, which have a combined capacity of 250,000 tonnes.

Government and commercial clients are provided industrial fuels by ENOC Industrial Products, while ENOC subsidiary Emirates Gas (EMGAS) supplies LPG and propane cylinders, and also operates a distribution, repair and maintenance facility. EMGAS also produces butane, gas aerosol propellant, cutting edge gas and compressed natural gas, which is used as an alternative fuel for transportation in Dubai.

In 2016 ENOC’s marketing division sold more than 1bn gallons of aircraft refuelling – up from 925m gallons in 2015 – and 3.6m barrels of diesel, slightly less than 3.9m barrels in 2015. Sales of bulk LPG cylinders grew from 211,230 tonnes in 2015 to 243,434 tonnes in 2016, and sales of smaller gas cylinders declined from 58,456 tonnes in 2015 to 54,132 tonnes in 2016.

Retail

ENOC’s retail division spans fuel, convenience stores, food and beverage outlets, automotive services and vehicle testing centres. ENOC and sister company EPPCO enjoyed a 68% share of the domestic fuel market in 2016, selling almost 3bn litres of petrol and diesel at 116 service stations to around 90m customers. ENOC is planning to raise the number of filling stations across the country by 45% by 2020, with plans to build 54 new outlets.

Non-fuel services – car washes, convenience stores and vehicle testing stations – saw their contribution to revenue grow by one-third between 2012 and 2016. The firm operates 221 Zoom convenience stores across the UAE and Saudi Arabia, with shops serving residential and hotel communities at petrol stations and in Dubai Metro stations.

Upstream Expansion

In September 2015 ENOC became the sole owner of the upstream business Dragon Oil, which has a production asset in Turkmenistan and exploration assets in Iraq, Algeria, Tunisia, Afghanistan and Egypt. ENOC first acquired a share of the business in 1998 and subsequently became the majority shareholder before acquiring the remaining 46%. The acquisition provided vertical integration to Dubai’s oil and gas arms.

In Turkmenistan Dragon Oil is the sole operator of a 950-sq-km production block on the eastern side of the Caspian Sea, comprising two offshore oil and gas fields called Dzheitune (Lam) and Dzhygalybeg (Zhdanov). The company completed 17 wells in 2016 with one platform and three jack-up rigs. A project for submarine pipelines was also completed during the year. At the end of 2016 oil and condensate reserves in Turkmenistan were assessed at 617m barrels after the year’s production of 33m barrels.

Dragon Oil’s exploration division has 100% ownership of operations in Tunisia and Egypt, where 2D and 3D seismic data is being analysed. It also has 70% ownership of a block in Algeria where it will soon become the sole operator, as well as another bloc in Algeria that it plans to exit. The company additionally has a 40% share in two blocks in Afghanistan, but progress is stalled pending the outcome of negotiations with the government. In Iraq, Dragon Oil has a 30% stake in the Faihaa-1 and Faihaa-2 wells, a site that produced 6795 bpd in 2016. Based on the results of an independent assessment, the reserves attributable to Dragon Oil from this block at the end of 2016 were 310m barrels. In 2016 Dragon Oil’s gross production was 90,301 bpd, slightly down from 92,650 bpd in 2015, while marketing of crude oil increased from 21.4m barrels to 23.3m barrels, twice the amount marketed in 2012 and 2013.

Horizon Terminals

ENOC’s Horizon Terminals unit was created in 2003 to meet increased demand for bulk liquid storage as Dubai has grown as a centre for trade. From its base in the UAE, the Horizon Terminals business expanded internationally, creating facilities in Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Djibouti and Morocco, while also making additional investments in the Dubai and Fujairah emirates.

In 2016 the company had 379 storage tanks in six countries with a combined capacity of 6.8m cu metres. Horizon Terminals is the largest independent terminal service provider in the Middle East and plans to expand in Africa and the Mediterranean. Its independent chemicals terminal in Jebel Ali has 56 tanks and a capacity of 54,401 cu metres used for local consumption and re-exports. Horizon has a separate storage facility in Fujairah with 23 tanks and a petroleum capacity of 482,619 cu metres.

ENOC’s joint venture with Chevron, EPPCO International in Jebel Ali, caters to gasoline, diesel, fuel oil, asphalt and aviation fuel needs in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. It provides bunkering, re-export and defence storage, with a total capacity of 933,970 cu metres. Horizon also owns one-third of Vopak Horizon Fujairah, a facility served by deepwater berths with 73 tanks and a combined capacity of 2.6m cu metres. In mid-2016 an $84m expansion was completed there, providing an additional crude oil capacity of 480,000 cu metres. In 2014 construction was completed on a 141,000-cu-metre Jet A1 storage tank facility with a 60-km pipeline, capable of carrying 900 cu metres per hour from the Horizon facility to Dubai International Airport.

Horizon’s significant global ventures include owning 52% of Horizon Singapore at the Jurong Island petrochemicals hub; 50% of Horizon Toeyoung Korea Terminals; 40% of Horizon Djibouti Terminals; 36.5% of Arabtank Terminals in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia; and 34% of Horizon Tangier Terminals in Morocco. Capacity utilisation across Horizon joint ventures and associates rose from 4.2m cu metres in 2015 to 4.46m cu metres in 2016, while capacity utilisation at subsidiaries dipped slightly from 1.876m cu metres to 1.84m cu metres in 2016.

A Trading Post

Dubai plays a key role in the region’s hydrocarbons industry as a centre of business. With its sophisticated infrastructure and premium office space, Dubai has become a favoured location for the regional head offices of international oil and gas companies.

The Dubai price has been the primary physical market pricing reference for crude oil delivered to Asian refineries from the Gulf states since the 1980s. The Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME), established in June 2007, lists the Oman Crude Oil Futures Contract as its leading contract, as well as the Brent Crude Oil Financial Contract and Oman Crude Oil Financial Contract. The DME has become home to the world’s third crude benchmark after Brent Crude and West Texas Intermediate. All trades on the DME are cleared through the New York Mercantile Exchange, which is in turn regulated by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre also offers liquefied natural gas (LNG) futures contracts.

Gas Imports

Although the UAE holds the seventh-largest proven reserves of natural gas in the world, the country has been a net importer since 2008. Its main source of gas comes through the Dolphin pipeline, which runs from Qatar to Oman via the UAE. The 364-km subsea pipeline from Qatar’s North Field is capable of carrying 3.2bn standard cu feet per day (scfd). The pipeline meets 26% of natural gas demand across the UAE. In 2010 Dubai began importing LNG using the Explorer Floating Regasification and Storage Unit, which is moored at the Jebel Ali terminal.

Water & Power

Dubai’s economic growth has helped to fuel natural gas consumption, with the UAE reaching a record high of 6.7bn scfd per day in 2015. The government body responsible for ensuring there is enough electricity and desalinated water to cope with the demands of the growing city’s residents and businesses is DEWA.

In 2016 DEWA owned and operated all conventional power and desalination plants in the emirate, but it has allowed private sector participation through the independent water and power producer model, in which producers sell their output to a single buyer, DEWA. At the end of 2016 DEWA’s annual directors’ report noted there was 10,000 MW of installed capacity in its power stations and 470m imperial gallons per day of desalination capacity. In 2016 demand for electricity and water grew by 2.68% and 2.64%, respectively. The electricity transmission system dealt with a peak requirement of 7982 MW in 2016, 3.7% higher than in 2015.

During 2016 an additional 400-KV substation and 16 other 132/11-KV substations were built, with 69 more 132/11-KV substations under construction at the end of the year. The water network was expanded during the year with an additional 2242 metres of pipe 58 cm and above, and 9432 metres of narrow-diameter pipes. More than 30,000 new consumers were connected to the water supply, and the number of water and electricity customer accounts grew by 6.23% as Dubai expanded.

Dewa Companies

In its 2016 financial statements reported on the NASDAQ exchange, DEWA noted it owned 100% of two companies, Mai Dubai and Etihad Energy Services Company. Mai Dubai, a bottled water producer, showed a turnover of Dh126.7m ($34.5m) and operating profits of Dh1.15m ($313,000) that year. Etihad Energy Services Company, a retrofitting business, posted a turnover of Dh102.75m ($28m) and profits of Dh470,000 ($130,000). DEWA also owns a 70% stake in Emirates Central Cooling System Corporation, which had a turnover of Dh1.86bn ($506m) and profits of Dh632.25m ($172m), and a 70% share each of district cooling businesses Palm Utilities and Palm District Cooling. Furthermore, it owns a 67.9% share of Empower Logstor, which makes pipes mainly for district cooling systems. In 2016 DEWA earned revenues of Dh13.6bn ($3.7bn) for electricity, Dh4.2bn ($1.1bn) for water and Dh1.85bn ($504m) from district cooling. With a small amount of income from other activities, total revenue was Dh19.9bn ($5.4bn) – up from Dh19.1bn ($5.1bn) in 2015. Its generation and desalination costs were Dh9.1bn ($2.5bn) while transmission and distribution cost Dh3bn ($816m). Total costs – including the purchase of water – was Dh12.1bn ($3.3bn), up from Dh11.3bn ($3.1bn) in 2015.

Clean & Renewable

As the authority works to provide for the day-to-day demands of its customers, DEWA is also striving to harness the potential of renewable energy, which it describes as the key component of its long-term strategy. The Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is set to become the world’s single-largest solar photovoltaic plant, with a generation capacity of 5000 MW – half of Dubai’s entire installed capacity at the end of 2016. In an ambitious statement of intent, the emirate has declared it aims to derive 75% of its energy needs from clean sources by 2050.

In 2013 the first 13-MW pilot project at the solar park became operational. A consortium led by ACWA Power of Saudi Arabia and Spain’s TSK built the second phase, a 200-MW plant costing Dh1.2bn ($326m) on an independent power producer (IPP) basis, which commenced operations in March 2017. In 2016 DEWA announced the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) had led the successful bid for the 800-MW third phase, also founded on the IPP model. This bid set a new world record for the lowest levelised cost of electricity – $2.99 per KW. Phase three is due to be completed in 2020. In 2017 bids were also submitted for a concentrated solar power project, based on the IPP model as well, which will be part of the solar park’s fourth phase. The 200-MW facility is due to be completed by 2021.

Two other significant additions to Dubai’s power generation capacity are to come from clean coal and nuclear energy. In 2016 DEWA signed a power purchase agreement with ACWA Power/Harbin Electric for the construction of the 2400-MW Hassyan Clean Coal power plant to be built on an IPP basis close to the border with Abu Dhabi. In Abu Dhabi itself, the construction of the 5600-MW Barakah Nuclear Power plant – set for initial operation in 2018 with the Unit 1 reactor – will also be another source of power for Dubai after 2020.

Outlook

With its trademark willingness to regard a challenge as an opportunity, Dubai’s energy sector and wider economy have developed despite the lack of the level of hydrocarbons endowment that promised generations of wealth for its neighbours in Abu Dhabi, or further afield in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait. Dubai is relying on its resilient, innovative and entrepreneurial skills to capture and pioneer the potential of solar energy in the near future.

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The Report: Dubai 2018

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