United Arab Emirates Water Report

Published 06 November 2014

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United Arab Emirates Water Report

BMI View:  

We have substantially expanded our forecasts this quarter to include a number of new indicators. This data has, in turn, impacted our existing forecasts. Our extraction forecast has been upgraded following the addition of desalinated water production forecasts, a sector where we anticipate strong growth over the coming years. In addition, we have expanded our wastewater forecasts, and have good growth projections for treated wastewater, which will in turn augment the water resources available for consumption, as we anticipate treated wastewater can cater to much of the industrial and agricultural requirements, freeing up freshwater and desalinated water supplies for domestic consumers.

We expect that desalination will continue to provide the lion's share of the country's water supplies. There are concerns that ground water resources will disappear entirely within the next 50 years. This means that the development of additional desalination facilities is vital for the country.

The reuse of wastewater is also seeing substantial upticks in popularity. Abu Dhabi aims to reuse 100% of its wastewater by 2018. In some areas, this level of efficiency is already in place. Al Ain city, for example, already reuses 100% of recycled water generated within the city. In addition, the increased use of recycled water for irrigation forms part of the country's wider water management plan, which is focused on developing more sustainable irrigation practises.

Asian and European firms are particularly prevalent within the energy and utilities sector, accounting for around 73% of the total market share. Independent Water and Power Projects (IWPPs) have become a major area of opportunity in the GCC, with the UAE offering some of the largest projects.

We believe that the potential abolishment of government water subsidies will have a substantial long term impact on water services charges, which will increase significantly over the longer term if the proposal goes...

BMI Industry View
Business Environment
Industry Forecast
Water Extraction
Table: UAE Water Extraction, 2011-2018
Water Consumption
Table: UAE Water Consumption, 2011-2018
Water Treatment & Sanitation
Table: UAE Wastewater Treatment, 2011-2018
Industry Risk/Reward Ratings
UAE Water Risk/Reward Index
Table: Middle East & Africa Water Risk/Reward Index
Market Overview
Water Supply & Consumption
Industrial & Agricultural Water Consumption
Treatment & Sanitation
Table: Number of Wastewater Treatment Plants in Each Emirate
Regulations & Tariffs
Industry Trends And Developments
Table: Major Projects - Water
Competitive Landscape
Ministry Of Water And Environment
Federal Electricity & Water Authority
Private Sector
Suez Environnement
Global Industry Overview
Demographic Forecast
Table: United Arab Emirates' Population By Age Group, 1990-2020 ('000)
Table: United Arab Emirates' Population By Age Group, 1990-2020 (% of total)
Table: United Arab Emirates' Key Population Ratios, 1990-2020
Table: United Arab Emirates' Rural And Urban Population, 1990-2020
Industry Forecast Methodology
Risk/Reward Index Methodology
Table: Water Risk/Reward Index Indicators
Table: Weighting Of Indicators

The United Arab Emirates Water Report has been researched at source and features latest-available data covering public and private sector investment in all major water projects including water extraction, water distribution and water treatment and sanitation projects and also includes competitive intelligence. The report features BMI Research's independent industry forecasts and analysis of latest industry news, trends and regulatory developments in United Arab Emirates.

BMI's United Arab Emirates Water Report provides industry professionals and strategists, sector analysts, business investors, trade associations and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the water industry in United Arab Emirates.

Key Benefits

  • Benchmark BMI's independent water industry forecasts for United Arab Emirates to test other views - a key input for successful budgeting and strategic business planning in the Emirati water industry.
  • Target business opportunities and risks in United Arab Emirates through our reviews of latest industry trends, regulatory changes and major deals, projects and investments.


BMI Industry View

Summary of BMI’s key industry forecasts, views and trend analysis covering regulatory changes, major investments and projects and signifi cant national and multinational company developments. These are broken down into Water Extraction, Water Consumption and Water Treatment & Sanitation.

Industry SWOT Analysis

Analysis of the major Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats within the water and wastewater sectors and the potential affects for industrial consumers, within the broader political, economic and business environment.

BMI Industry & Economic Forecasts

Historic data series (2011-2012) and forecasts to end-2019 for all key industry and economic indicators, supported by explicit assumptions, plus analysis of key risks to the main forecasts. Indicators include:

  • Extraction: Total water extraction (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y); underground water extraction (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y) (% of total water extraction); surface water extraction (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y) (% of total water extraction).
  • Consumption: Total water consumption (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y) (% of total water extraction); total mains water consumption (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y) (% of total water extraction); household water consumption (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y) (litres per household per day); total non-mains water consumption (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y) (% of total water extraction); water losses total mains water consumption (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y) (% of total water extraction).
  • Treatment: Total waste water discharged (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y); treated discharged water (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y); untreated discharged water (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y); mechanically treated wastewater (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y); biologically treated wastewater (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y); combined treated wastewater (mn cubic metres) (% growth y-o-y).
  • economy: Economic growth (%); nominal GDP (USDbn); unemployment (%); interest rates (%); exchange rate (against USD).

BMI’s Water Risk Reward Index

BMI’s Risk Reward Indices provide investors (water management, water utility and water infrastructure companies) looking for opportunities in the region with a clear country-comparative assessment of a market’s risks and potential rewards. Each of the country markets are scored using a sophisticated model that includes more than 40 industry, economic and demographic data points to provide indices of highest to lowest appeal to investors, with each position explained.

Market Overview

This is broken down into the following sectors:

  • Water supply & Consumption: Where the water comes from, (rivers, springs, lakes, surface water, ground water and so on), key trends with regards to extraction, key trends with regards to overall water consumption, municipal or domestic consumption, and key industrial and agricultural consumption trends.
  • Water distribution: This examines how the water is distributed – whether by municipalities, regional organisations or national companies, whether the water networks are nationalised or privatised, and key trends and developments.
  • Water Treatment & sanitation: This section evaluates the country’s water pollution levels, the connectivity to water mains and sewage networks, the volumes and methods of water treatment, government initiatives with regards to treatment and sanitation processes and key projects, trends and developments.
  • Regulations & Tariffs: Key national and regional legislations with regards to water pollution, extraction and distribution as well as an overview of water rates for domestic and industrial users.

Industry Trends & Developments

Analysis of latest projects across the water infrastructure sector including water and wastewater treatment plants, desalination facilities, mains water and sewage network expansions, dams, and hydropower plants.

Competitive Landscape

Provides an overview of key government ministries overseeing the water sector together with regulatory organisations, alongside the central companies involved in water and wastewater distribution and treatment services in the country.


The Water Market Reports are based on an extensive network of primary sources, such as multilateral organisations (UN, WB, IMF), national chambers of commerce and industry, national statistical offices, government ministries and central banks, and multinational companies.

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