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Angola project demonstrates GCC’s growing Africa interest

Angola uae Creative Commons/Rawpixel
Workers at General Electric Oil Services in Luanda. Angola produces more than one million barrels of oil per day
  • GCC investments in Africa on rise
  • Dubai Investments appoints constructors
  • Bilateral trade with UAE $4.3 billion

Dubai Investments has appointed a Chinese construction company as the main contractor on its flagship project in Angola as GCC investments in Africa rise.

China Harbour Engineering Company will undertake the first phase of Dubai Investments Park Angola, covering 2,000 hectares of residential, commercial and industrial property in the West African country.

The award of the 10-month contract marks a “significant leap forward” for the project, said Omar Al Mesmar, general manager of Dubai Investments Park (DIP).

“Infrastructure works represent a crucial foundation for the overall success and sustainability of DIP Angola and lays down the framework for attracting further investment, businesses, and industries to the region,” he said. 

The project is part of a growing number of foreign direct investment (FDI) projects led by GCC-based investors in Africa.

Last year, companies from the Gulf announced 73 FDI projects in Africa worth more than $53 billion, according to the latest data from fDi Markets. 

People, Person, AdultDubai Investments Park Angola
Xiaoying Hao and Omar Al Mesmar signed the deal for China Harbour Engineering Company to undertake the first phase of Dubai Investments Park Angola

This was the second-highest level since 2010. Only 2022 saw more FDI capital expenditure into the continent at $60 billion across 83 projects. 

The DIP Angola project, based 50km from the capital Luanda, includes an 18-hole golf course and housing near retail and industrial sites, as well as communal parks and leisure facilities.

Bilateral trade between the UAE and Angola totalled more than $4.3 billion in 2022, with the African nation the dominant player thanks to its exports of diamonds, according to data from the Observatory of Economic Complexity.

Angola produces more than one million barrels of oil per day. Hydrocarbons make up about 90 percent of its total exports.

According to the International Monetary Fund, economic growth is estimated at 0.5 percent for 2023. Headline inflation increased significantly to 20 percent in December, driven by the depreciation of the kwanza and cuts in fuel subsidies.

Angola-UAE investment highlights
  • Dubai Investments and E20 Investment, an Abu Dhabi agribusiness investment company, last July signed a deal to develop 3,750 hectares to produce 28,000 tonnes of rice and 5,500 tonnes of avocados over an 18-month period
  • Masdar signed a concession agreement last December with Angola’s ministry of energy and water to build and operate a 150 megawatt solar power project to deliver energy to 90,000 homes
  • Abu Dhabi Ship Building last year won its largest export order to date to supply small warships and patrol boats to the Angolan Navy
  • UAE-based big data and analytics company Presight signed its first international deal in 2021 with Angola’s Digital Angola 2024 transformation programme 

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