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Monday 18 February 2019 (UAE)   

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 Residential Complex (RRC) is operated by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). Population expected to be about 20,000 by the year 2015 (18 Jun 2013 press release). Aldar website says population of Al Ruwais expected to reach 40,000 in 2010 ... but Aldar and ADNOC might be talking about different versions of the Ruwais area or town.
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)
  • Aldar Properties, a large Abu Dhabi based property developer started construction of a 30,000 sq meter shopping mall in Ruwais with hypermarket and cinema, along with a few shops.
  • Website for mall not found or supplied. Domain is www.alruwaismall.com according to Aldar website but is spam when last checked (18 Jun 2013).
  • 18 Jun 2013 update (press release) - Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Line Investment and Property LLC (a Lulu Group subsidiary) signed an agreement for Line Investment to operate and manage the Ruwais Shopping Mall. Area is 31,254 square meters (37,243 sq m according to Aldar information) with 32 shops on two floors. Facilities include 416 car parking spaces, 4 restaurants, 7 fast food outlets, 5 cafes, ice rink, bowling alley, cinema complex. Opening date not supplied, not found on Aldar website.
  • According to a 22 April 2008 report in The National (an Abu Dhabi newspaper), completion of the mall is scheduled for 2010, which is a bit later than the date seen in a July 2007 report which said 2008 was the expected completion date, with size of 21,000 sq meters. Senior project manager of the Ruwais shopping center project is Wafa Ali Al Hammadi.
  • Geddes Architects (UK) have a couple of pictures of an Al Ruwais Shopping Centre on their website and say it's 40,000 sq meters, with construction starting December 2007.
Last update Monday 28-Apr-2014
Related pages
Related websites (new window)
  • www.borouge.com - polyethylene production.
  • dhafrabeach.danathotels.com - Dhafra Beach Hotel website. Previously information at www.ncth.com/hotel-detail.php?nHotId=6 on website for Abu Dhabi National Corporation for Tourism & Hotels (NCTH).
  • www.fertil.com - Ruwais Fertilizer Industries (FERTIL).
  • www.gasco.ae - Abu Dhabi Gas Industries Ltd (GASCO), information about the Ruwais Fractionation Plant.
  • www.alruwaismall.com - Al Ruwais Shopping Mall website.
  • www.takreer.com/english/Refineries/ruwais_index.aspx - ADNOC oil refining division, Ruwais refinery information (TAKREER). Not available Apr 2014.
  • www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Avis=AD&Dato=20080530&Kategori=ART&Lopenr=61220778&Ref=PH - photo collection from Ruwais. Not available Apr 2014.
  • www.thenational.ae/article/20080529/REVIEW/358525058/1008&profile=1008 - living in Ruwais (29 May 2008 report). Not available Apr 2014.


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