UAE to build $900m desalination plant with Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power

A desalination plant in Dubai. The new plant planned for Umm Al-Quwain will be the largest in the UAE's northern Emirates. (Shutterstock)
Updated 11 July 2019

UAE to build $900m desalination plant with Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power

  • Plant in Umm Al-Quwain will produce 150 million gallons of water per day
  • The UAE's Federal Electricity and Water Authority and MDC Power Holding Company

DUBAI: The UAE has struck a deal with a consortium of companies including Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power to build a $900 million desalination plant.

The facility will be located in the northern emirate of Umm Al-Quwain to meet the growing demand for water in the region.

The UAE's Federal Electricity and Water Authority (FEWA) agreed the deal with ACWA Power and MDC Power Holding Company, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment Company, a joint statement said Tuesday.

FEWA will hold a 20 percent stake while ACWA Power and Mubadala will each own 40 percent

The government of Umm Al-Quwain will join as a partner in the project and will own a stake at a later date.

Construction on the 150 million gallons per day plant will start later this year, with initial water production scheduled in 2021.

The project is FEWA's first asset in partnership with the private sector and will reinforce the UAE's water security strategy, Suhail Al-Mazrouei, UAE minister of Energy and  Industry and chairman of FEWA said.

Once commissioned, the plant will be the largest desalination project in the northern Emirates.

* with Reuters


Saudi female student pilot aims high with flying ambitions

Updated 19 November 2019

Saudi female student pilot aims high with flying ambitions

  • Amirah Al-Saif is among the first batch of 49 female students

DUBAI: Saudi women aiming to emulate Yasmeen Al-Maimani’s feat, the Kingdom’s first female commercial pilot, now have that opportunity as Oxford Aviation Academy has opened its doors for them to take flying lessons and earn their licenses.

One those women raring to earn her pilot wings is 19-year-old Amirah Al-Saif, who enrolled in the aviation academy to fulfill her dream of flying for the Kingdom’s national carrier Saudi Airlines (Saudia).

“They have been very supportive of us females,” Al-Saif, who hails from Riyadh, told Arab News at the sidelines of the Dubai Airshow, when asked about her experience at the academy.

Al-Saif is among the first batch of 49 female students, with six of them already in ground school, expected to receive their licenses by the start of 2021 after a grueling course that requires them to first learn English, Mathematics, Physics and other basic knowledge subjects.

She is also the first in the family to have an interest in the aviation industry.

Student pilot Amirah Al-Saif, right, who hails from Riyadh, is the first in the family to have an interest in the aviation industry. (Supplied)

Those who pass the foundation program can then move on to ground school for practical lessons and ideally graduate in two years with three licenses: the Private Pilot License, Instrument Rating and Commercial Pilot License.

Al-Saif considers herself lucky since she was not constrained take courses abroad for her pilot training, unlike Al-Maimani who had to leave the Kingdom to receive her license, as well as wait for a long time before being eventually hired by Nesma Airlines.

The flying school is located at the King Fahd International Airport in Dammam and is an authorized branch of Oxford Aviation Academy based in the UK.

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