|— Industrial city —|
|Country||United Arab Emirates|
|• Type||Constitutional monarchy|
|• Sheikh||Khalifa bin Zayed|
|• Crown Prince||Mohammed bin Zayed|
|Time zone||UAE standard time (UTC+4)|
Mussafah is an industrial town to the southwest of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Also known as Mussafah Sanaiya, it is one of the most important economic areas of the United Arab Emirates and has been designated a special economic zone, with numerous factories and port.
Mussafah grew as a small industrial area in the 1970s. A 1980 MEED report stated, "Still in its early stages, Mussafah is a maze of roads and half-completed buildings, and operations are mainly workshops, service and maintenance" and reported that a pipe plant proposal in the area had a strong local backing. Growth was facilitated by the building of the 480 metres (1,570 ft) Mussafah Bridge, a six-lane bridge which was built between 1976 and 1978, connecting the island of Abu Dhabi to the main land, following investment by the Korean company Dongah. An engineering assessment of the bridge in 1994 revealed that the concrete in the bridge was not sustainable and was beyond repair. As a result the bridge underwent much restoration work in the 1990s, and generating new interest in developing Mussafah as an industrial centre. In 1996, the Abu Dhabi Seaports Authority announced a Dh2.4 billion development plan of the area, including the building of a new port in Mussafah. In 1998, many medium-rise buildings, mostly for offices, were proposed, and a local police station was built.
The government began offering incentives to businesses to operate in Mussafah, offering them zone services including exemption from customs on imported good, land, and industrial licenses. Mussafah is now the site for the "Abu Dhabi Industrial City", a special economic zone. As a result, the economic development of the area boomed in the 2000s, facilitated by its own port on the northern side. Hydrocarbons-intensive industries have been one of the major areas of growth. By January 2009, about 30% of the land in the Polymer Park vicinity had been let out. Estimates were that by 2012, the area would be about 60% vacated, exceeding $27 million in investment. A Bonar Emirates Technical Yarns factory, run by both ADBIC and Low & Bonar in conjunction, was established in April 2008 and manufactures industrial grass yarn.
Abu Dhabi Drilling Chemicals and Products Ltd. (ADDCAP), a fully owned subsidiary of ADNOC, began operating in Mussafah in 2007. Ducab began operating in Mussafah in 2008, in which by building a new plant they have sought to increase their production capacity of low- and medium-voltage cables from 65,000 cubic tons to 110,000 cubic tons per year. They're other plant is in Jebel Ali.
In 2011, Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) on officially handed over the landmark 53-kilometre long Mussafah Channel project to Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) for operational use. The development of the $411 million (AED1.5 billion) deepwater Musaffah Port and Musaffah Channel included a new general cargo terminal at the northwest corner of the Musaffah Industrial Area, as well as an extensive waterfront occupied by numerous private berths and terminals. Mussafah Shabiya is a fast growing residential area with apartments and villas.
Mussafah is situated some 30 kilometres (19 mi) southwest of the centre of Abu Dhabi and is a satellite town. On the eastern side is Mohammed Bin Zayed City and to the south is ICAD II and Al Maqatrah. The E30 road passes on its eastern side, between Mussafah and Mohammed Bin Zayed City. A road and rail system exists between Mussafah and Taweelah. 88 towers are stated to exist on either side of the 3.5 kilometres (2.2 mi) section of highway between the Mussafah Bridge and the highway interchange for the industrial estate. The bridge is described as having two bridge components, identical is features, which contain, in addition to a carriageway, a footway 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) in width. The aesthetic quality of Mussafah has been criticised by many. One author said that the "semi-industrial areas like Mussafah have morphed into grimy shanty-towns for thousands. The cramped, dirty quarters are hot, pungent and a long way from the smart, iridescent blocks of the city."
The port facility provides for cargo operations and warehousing for a wide range of clients. A new tunnel of 280 m length links the airport with Mussafah. The Mussafah Channel is a man-made canal, with gypsum crystals described as large and bladed. The banks at the eastern end of the Mussafah Channel reportedly have "Pleistocene reworked dune deposits, unconformably overlain by Holocene carbonates and sabkha evaporates." The channel's inner reaches are situated approximately 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) inland from the location of the present-day lagoon. The port has a 342 metres (1,122 ft) long main quay and two 40 metres (130 ft) long side quays and covers an area of 37,500 square metres (404,000 sq ft). The depth of draft is 11 metres (36 ft) at the port and is linked with the new Musaffah Channel (a channel dredged 9 metres (30 ft) below the datum) which is about 53 kilometres (33 mi) in length.
The municipal administration area of Mussafah has a population of about 151,000 and its jurisdiction includes Mussafah Industrial Area, northern coastal zone, labour camps, commercial center of Khalifa, new industrial center, residential and commercial areas of Mohammed Bin Zayed, also residential areas of Khalifa City.
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