What is the cultural and historical significance of the region within the UAE?
DR. MATAR MOHAMMED AL NUAIMI Al Ain city represents a historical and significance heritage where you can find evidence that indicates the authenticity of the townsfolk and the depth of their history. Al Ain city contains several archaeological sites within the historic oasis area, which extends over an area of 3,000 acres that reflect the life of the inhabitants of the region who had wandered around the desert for 4,000 years. The site of Al Ain oasis was included on the UNESCO World list in 2011, as well as the archaeological sites in Hili, the largest archaeological complex of the Bronze Age in the UAE, dating back to the beginning of the third millennium BC. Besides, the city includes many distinguished castles and forts, such as Al Murayjib Fort, Jahili Fort, and Eastern Fort. By communicating our progressive culture and values, we give our people something hopeful to aspire to, which is what the youth needs. In Al Ain, creative arts provide a powerful vehicle to engage people in a two-way conversation, tapping into their emotions. Culture helps to cement ties with our citizens and we are exploring new way to make people more engaged with our culture and values while exposing them to cultures from other countries and their people.
How do you seek to ensure the region remains an attractive location for residents?
ATEEQ AL MAZROUIE The main direction beings pursued by DRM revolve around four main drivers: infrastructural improvements; developing complete sustainable communities; becoming a non fossil-based energy hub; and promoting culture, sport, and tourism. In the last few years, Al Dhafra Region has embarked on a major overhaul of its road, rail, and sea networks to drastically improve inter-region, Emirates-, and GCC-level nodal connections. Second, with strategic urban planning, Al Dhafra Region is a regional example of cutting-edge sustainability growth that filters through environmental, social, economic, and cultural criteria. To mobilize this commitment, DPM created the Complete Sustainable Communities (CSC) initiative in its drive toward sustainable urban development. Third, the establishment of the first nuclear power electricity generating facility in the region and other energy-related projects taking shape are all a clear testimony of the key role that Al Dhafra Region plays and will continue playing in shaping the energy horizon of the Emirate and beyond. Finally, we seek to emphasize the distinctiveness of the region and boost the preservation of the local culture through the promotion, organization, and participation to local culturally driven annual events. On the tourism industry aspect, DRM has partnered with private partners on numerous, privately financed tourist projects in the region.
What role will the private sector play in the sustainable growth of the Al Ain region?
MMAN To enable business to thrive in Al Ain and to develop commercially sustainable partnerships with the private sector, we aim to increase the transparency of private partnership frameworks, processes and regulations. In close collaboration with Department of Economic Development and Department of Planning and Municipalities, we are currently developing tailored tools designed to simplify the investment process while putting forth our comparative and competitive advantages. The new tools will contribute to the strengthening of Al Ain's transparent business environment to the benefit of the private investors. The development of partnerships with the private sector remains one of my strategic priorities as we are looking to originate and develop sustainable investments in the Al Ain region.
What will be the major pillars of Al Dhafra Region's socio-economic growth in the coming years?
AAM Sectors such as culture, tourism, transport, and energy will remain the main pillars of Al Dhafra Region's development in the coming five to 10 years. Tourism and culture will remain high in the agenda of Abu Dhabi government priorities due to the distinctiveness of the Al Dhafra Region and the growing private sector investment in hotels and beach resorts in the region. Publicly financed transport schemes also remain a major pillar of growth, driven by both Department of Transport and DRM. The region will also continue to pursue its long-term goal to become a hub of non-fossil and renewable energy. Al Dhafra Region is an instrumental economic hub that contributes to our overall Emirate's growth and wealth.