RACING DOWN THE STREAM
Sharjah's commitment to improving its oil-derivative production capacity has proven a successful step in the Emirate's industrial policy, as petrochemical and refined products have grown their share of exports.
In recent years, the UAE has established a leading position as a lubricants producer, exporter, and re-exporter, meeting the rapidly growing demand from emerging countries in the CIS and on the African continent. In 2015, the UAE's output of refined petroleum products was 842,100bpd, of a total refinery capacity of 1,124,000bpd, which has grown substantially since 2011 when it stood at 657,000 bpd.
Sharjah has been a key player behind the success of the UAE's lubricants exports; over the years the Emirate has been efficiently improving its oil-derivative production base and has affirmed itself as a downstream business hub, becoming home to a large number of blending facilities, refineries, and many other petrochemical companies.
Sharjah, although endowed with a considerably smaller quantity of hydrocarbons than its Emirati neighbors, has long maintained a policy of supporting a diversified energy sector. It has the well-known Sajaa plant and the recently developed (although discovered in 1979) Zora gas field, which are still providing energy to meet rapidly growing energy demand in the Northern Emirates. In total, the oil and gas sector still accounts for 14% of the economy; however, the government and private sector have been focused on not only fortifying the energy sector but also developing others. A huge opportunity to achieve both goals lies in the downstream sector, whose potential to be a key driver of Sharjah's economy has been demonstrated by lubricants rocketing up the export list to be one of the Emirate's strongest export products.
Sharjah-based companies Crescent Petroleum, Unique Group, and Dana Gas are internationally recognized pioneers of the oil and gas industry. They are also integrated companies with operations that span from upstream through midstream and the downstream sector. Likewise, the Sharjah National Lube Oil Company, better known as SHARLU, and Gulf Petrochem have long established themselves as leaders in Sharjah's lubricants and petrochemical sector and have both earned international reputations. Over a hundred Sharjah-based companies have contributed to the Emirate's industry. Eagle Oil Refining Company, Sharjah Oil Refining Company, and Sharafco Oil Refinery are just some of the refining companies based in the northern Emirate, while Al Mehdar Water Factory, Arabian Gulf Oil & Grease Factory, and Universal Lubricant are just a few of the lubricants producers that export to dozens of countries around the world.
In this new era of uncertain oil prices, a shift toward activities such as refining and the petrochemical industry presents NOCs and private companies the opportunity for higher profitability, adding value in country. In the midst of weak oil prices, the price of crude fell much faster than the price of refined and petrochemical products, which helped downstream businesses maintain profits. Integrated businesses are the ones benefiting the most in this difficult environment, with their downstream operations able to offset the significantly lower profits in the upstream side of the business.
Another advantage of having a strong oil-derivative industry is that, whereas the upstream sector is capital-intensive and requires a highly-skilled but more limited workforce, the downstream sector is typically labor intensive, involving a much broader supply chain and production processes. Therefore, if Sharjah is to continue diversifying its economy, improving its energy sector by focusing on its downstream sector, it offers greater potential to bolster employment and the development of the SME sector.
RACING DOWN THE STREAM
TABLE OF CONTENTS
HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler, Sharjah
HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, has been an inspiring leader of the Emirate since 1972, carefully watching over its development into the cultural capital of the Islamic world.read article
Sheikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Executive Chairman, Department of Government Relations
TBY talks to Sheikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Executive Chairman of the Department of Government Relations, on his department's role in coordinating the delivery of information to key stakeholders and the important part it plays in cultivating sustainable development.read article
HE Sultan Abdullah Bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, Chairman , Sharjah Economic Development Department
TBY talks to HE Sultan Abdullah Bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, Chairman of Sharjah Economic Development Department, on the resilience of Sharjah's economy and building on its well-diversified foundations.read article
HE Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman, Sharjah Media Corporation
TBY talks to HE Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Corporation & Chairman of Sharjah Media Centre, on competitiveness in the sector, its influence on the other Emirates, and expectations for the future.read article
HE Waleed Al Sayegh, Director General , Sharjah's Finance Departmen
TBY talks to HE Waleed Al Sayegh, Director General of Sharjah's Finance Department & CEO of Sharjah Asset Management, on fiscal policy direction and initiatives being introduced to increase efficiency and transparency from the top down.read article
Dr. Rashid Al Leem, Chairman , Sharjah Energy and Water Authority (SEWA)
TBY talks to Dr. Rashid Al Leem, Chairman of Sharjah Energy and Water Authority (SEWA), on the challenges facing the Emirate's plan to reach 30% water re-use by 2020, and changing the attitudes through education.read article
Mohammed N. Al Hazzaa, Director General , Emirates Company for Industrial Cities (ECIC),
TBY talks to Mohammed N. Al Hazzaa, Director General of Emirates Company for Industrial Cities (ECIC), on the company's performance, government support of the private sector, and forecasting occupancy trends.read article
Focus: Reducing water and power consumption
Under Dr. Rashid Al Leem's stewardship, Sharjah is aiming to become the first City of Conservation. This principally encompasses supplying electricity and water through sustainable avenues with technological efficiency while raising awareness of sustainability practices.read article
Ted Young, Project Head, Al Zahia Communities Business Unit at Majid Al Futtaim Properties
TBY talks to Ted Young, Project Head of the Al Zahia Communities Business Unit at Majid Al Futtaim Properties, on the reasons behind the market's resilience and the future of housing demands in the Emirate.read article
Focus: Mixed-use Developments
Cities within Cities
Sharjah's real estate sector is undergoing important transformations, with the government and developers focusing on megaprojects to attract investors. For this purpose, mixed-use developments are increasingly preferred to purely residential or commercial developments.read article
Focus: Fighting Cardiac Disease
The UAE Ministry of Health has stated that over half of all deaths in the UAE are the result of four oft-occurring issues: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, road traffic accidents, and congenital abnormalities. A survey from the Emirates Cardiac Society showed that almost 9 in 10 Emiratis are at risk of heart disease, with one in three unaware of that fact.read article
HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman , Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA)
TBY talks to HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), on the growing tourism sector in the Emirate, its strategies to boost cruise tourism, and the incredible progress in Sharjah.read article
Manal Ataya, Director General , Sharjah Museums Department (SMD)
TBY talks to Manal Ataya, Director General of the Sharjah Museums Department (SMD), on cooperating on international exhibits, its educational festivals, and the challenge to ensure that museums are accessible to all.read article
Hanan Al Mahmoud, Director, Al Jawaher Reception & Convention Centre (JRCC)
TBY talks to Hanan Al Mahmoud, Director of Al Jawaher Reception & Convention Centre (JRCC), on the appeal of Sharjah as a MICE destination, plans for expansion, and the projected benefits of Expo 2020.read article