Golden opportunities for SMEs in Al Gharbia
The Abu Dhabi Government’s huge investment plans in the Al Gharbia region will provide major opportunities for small and medium enterprises, a bank official said yesterday.
“We are committed to helping any Emirati who wants to help develop this region,” Mohammed Al Fahim, the regional head for global wholesale banking at Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, said at the Al Gharbia Development Forum in the capital yesterday. “Today we have opened nine branches in the Western Region with a specific department that provides consultancy to first-time entrepreneurs and SMEs to help with financing and business strategy.”
The main sectors under focus for investment are property, tourism, health care and ancillary services to the oil and gas industry such as catering and housing.
According to figures from the Western Region Development Council, investments worth Dh240 billion have been announced in key areas such as oil and gas, power generation, infrastructure and tourism.
The oil and gas projects that are being developed need a host of supporting services and complementary industries to facilitate the development efforts. From road infrastructure to labour accommodation, the spread of opportunity has given existing businesses a fillip.
“We are doubling the size of our manpower, adding another 1,000 personnel,” said Mohammad Asheer Al Mazrouie, the chairman of Bin Asheer Group, a transport and general contracting company.
“The huge investments that Adnoc have made has given us the business to expand and we have created a new business supplying the asphalt needed and boost our traditional business of building infrastructure. We have invested in the personnel but also bought another 100 pieces of heavy machinery such as bulldozers and trucks to facilitate the work.”
While the hardware of roads and buildings is crucial, the food resources for the growing population is in need of investment and entrepreneurship.
The Abu Dhabi Food Authority said the Western Region has a dearth of poultry farms.
The UAE poultry market is hugely dependent on imported product underlining the case for investment.
The Western Region is also home to 8,000 of Abu Dhabi’s 24,000 farms which now fall under the auspices of Abu Dhabi Farmers Services Centre with its remit to create sustainable agriculture in the region.
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Published: May 19, 2015 04:00 AM