The Managing Director of the Fujairah National Group, Muhamed Natafji, likened the high investment activity in Fujairah to ‘a gold rush’.
Speaking to The Prospect Group about past and future projects, the MD with 30 years of experience in the UAE’s North-Eastern emirate, gave a fascinating and positive assessment.
Growth Due to War Risk
Natafji said that the Iran-Iraq war meant that Fujairah grew as a port that could oversee the transfer of ship-to-ship oil transfer. In the Persian Gulf the insurance premiums became too expensive and there was the risk of ships being hit by a missile. The commercial advantage and the reduced risk of harm meant that Fujairah became a preferred port and harbor.
Abu Dhabi to Fujairah Pipeline
The importance of Fujairah’s strategic location is being accentuated with the new pipeline and the flow of oil from the Abu Dhabi fields to the oil transfer port of Fujairah.
Natafji said that currently 5-6 companies have established oil tank farms using the storage for their own needs as well as leasing them out to a third party.
Muhamed Natafji said there was a rush into the market in Fujairah with many companies getting established.
He said that while the Chinese do not currently have a strong presence in Fujairah’s petro-chemical activities they are looking at establishing an oil tank farm costing between $150m to $200m.
The growth of the petro-chemical operation in Fujairah is challenging the emirate’s infrastructure so the government is making a huge investment in increasing the capacity at different levels.
Natafji spoke of the new roads being built and Fujairah’s Qidfa power and (desalinated) water plant that will increasingly serve the whole of the UAE.
Oil Industry Flourishing
The Fujairah National Group MD said that in addition to oil services, bunkering, and the export of crude oil, Fujairah is expecting more petro-chemical industries to be established, such as the production of fertilizers.
“Fujairah is becoming like a gold rush and we are expecting a lot more of this sort of investment to flourish,” he said.
Muhamed Natafji said that the Fujairah has chosen to do things differently. The government policy has been to live within its own means and not try and borrow huge amounts in order to speed up economic expansion.
He gave examples to illustrate the wisdom of the proverb: “Sure and steady…”
The full video statement by Muhamed Natafji can be seen and heard at this link on Zawya (26 September 2011) where a short written summary is also supplied.
More Fujairah news, information and resources about the rapidly expanding UAE emirate of Fujairah can be found on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.
Image: The Managing Director of the Fujairah National Group, Muhamed Natafji.