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Ruwais, western Abu Dhabi

Ruwais Housing Complex

Ruwais (occasionally referred to as Al Ruwais, Al Rowais, Al Roweis, Al Ruweis, etc) is a small town of several thousand residents otherwise known as the Ruwais Housing Complex (population about 16,000 in 2008, forecast to rise to 20,000 by 2010). The Ruwais township is managed by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), and services the Ruwais Industrial Complex which is a collection of petrochemical related installations. The town of Ruwais was planned and purpose-built in the late 1970s/early 1980s with the official opening in 1982. It is located about 250 km west of Abu Dhabi along the coast on the way to Doha (Qatar). Driving time from Abu Dhabi is 2-3 hours on the Sila highway (also called the Mafraq-Ghweifat road) depending on how strictly you stick to the speed limits. There are plans to expand the 4-lane highway to 4 lanes in each direction by 2011.

There is a large community center (the Ruwais Recreation Centre) in the Ruwais Housing Complex (RHC). The recreation center has a bowling alley, cinema, gym, library, and tennis courts. Amenities in the town include a couple of supermarkets and the usual plethora of shops selling plastic buckets or material for making curtains. You'll also find a bank or two, hair salon, travel agent, medical clinic and so on. You won't find any shopping centres in Ruwais like Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi or Mall of the Emirates in Dubai (at least, not until 2010), and even Ras Al Khaimah might be regarded as a thriving metropolis in comparison to Ruwais.

A short drive from Ruwais city centre takes you to the city limits and beyond that are vast expanses of sand. Tucked in amongst the sand dunes is the the Al Dhafra Golf Links (ADGL), and there is also the Al Dhafra Beach Hotel for rest and relaxation on the beach.

Living and working in Ruwais may not suit everyone. It's a small community, and the distance from the large city of Abu Dhabi serves to give a feeling of isolation although there is a good road connection. Some people thrive on the lifestyle there, some people adapt reasonably happily, but those who are restless in a small community will usually find it difficult to settle in.

Ruwais Industrial Complex

Some of the industries around Ruwais include the Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company (TAKREER, established June 1999) - the ADNOC Ruwais Refinery (the largest oil refinery in the UAE processing 420,000 bpd in 2005 - up from 120,000 bpd in 1981), a 1500MW power station and desalination plant, the Borouge polyethylene plant (a joint venture established in 1998 by ADNOC and Borealis), the Abu Dhabi Gas Industries Ltd (GASCO) gas fractionation plant, the Ruwais Fertilizer Industries (FERTIL) fertilizer plant, a marine terminal and a sulphur handling terminal.

A second Borouge plant is being built (a $5 billion project) with completion expected by 2010. Borouge-1 has a capacity of 600,000 tonnes per year, Borouge-2 will boost that to an annual production level of 2 million tonnes. Borouge-3 is under consideration, with plans to expand production to 4.5 million tonnes.

Takreer has plans to build a second oil refinery with a processing capacity of 420,000 barrels per day. Construction is expected to start in 2009 with completion in 2013.

Ruwais shopping mall in Gharbia (Al Ruwais Mall)
Last update Monday 28-Apr-2014
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