Australian firms cash in on Abu Dhabi's growth

More than 235 Australian businesses registered in the UAE during 2010

235 Australian businesses were registered in the UAE during 2010.
235 Australian businesses were registered in the UAE during 2010.

Abu Dhabi’s drive to reinvent itself as a hub of tourism and culture is luring in a fresh wave of Australian firms keen to cash in on the emirate’s lucrative construction deals.

More than 235 new Australian businesses registered in the UAE during 2010, Raymi van der Spek, chairman of the Australian Business Council, Dubai, said.

This adds to round 300 Australian companies already based in the country, many of which have shifted their focus from Dubai to the capital in the wake of the emirate’s real estate crash.

“It would be clear that almost all Australian business that are in the UAE, who probably started their lives in Dubai, have started to move their focus towards Abu Dhabi,” van der Spek said.

 “There is a clear signal in Abu Dhabi of an overt desire to significantly develop the emirate, whereas in the past, that role has been played only by Dubai. Obviously development leads to all sorts of growth and business opportunities.”

Abu Dhabi has unveiled a string of tourism projects aimed at enhancing its status as a cultural destination. Its $32.6bn pipeline includes the first overseas branch of The Louvre and an outpost of the Guggenheim Art Museum.

The emirate’s tourism arm, the TDIC, has more than 55 projects planned, ranging from golf clubs to hotels, to offshore islands.

On infrastructure, Abu Dhabi is investing some $82bn in roads and an emirate-wide rail network.

Of the 300 Australian companies registered in the UAE, 100 are in the construction and engineering sector, van der Spek said.

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