(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Oil-exporting nations heavily rely on crude not just as a backbone of their economies, but also as a major source of energy.
Which is why the UAE''s decision to operate a nuclear power plant - and be the first at it in the Arab world - demonstrates that the government is looking at the bigger picture for long-term progress.
With operations commencing at the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant in Abu Dhabi, the UAE became only the 33rd nation globally to harness the benefits of nuclear energy.
It was a bold move indeed, considering the resources the country already has. But that''s exactly what makes the UAE a cut above the rest.
"The development of a nuclear power plant by an oil-exporting country was unthinkable a few years ago. However, the UAE government''s decision reflects a far wider vision - to promote sustainable and clean energy," Danube Group chairman Rizwan Sajan told Khaleej Times on Saturday.
The benefits of the peaceful programme will, consequently, trickle down to key sectors, including real estate and construction, providing an environment-friendly source of energy to meet their growing needs.
"Nuclear power plants provide a stablesource of energy and it can work synergistic with renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. The reliable and cheap electricity production from the nuclear plants will power the UAE econony in foreseeable future," Sajan added.
"It is also reflected in the fact that the world''s largest solar power plants are being developed in the UAE, a major crude exporter. It reflects the country''s strong focus on the environment and sustainable development."
Dream come true
"Nuclear power generation for an oil-exporting country was a dream a few years back and now it is a reality to sustain economic growth in today''s competitive world," Shailesh Dash, board member of Gulf Pinnacle Logistics, told Khaleej Times on Saturday.
He added that it was the beginning of a "new era to promote research and development in the region", while vaulting the UAE to an elite group of nuclear-powered nations.
"It is reliable, cost-effective and essential to our response to climate change and greenhouse gasemissions," he added.
Nimish Makvana, senior partner at Crowe UAE, added that the historic operation is a progressive and futuristic approach.
It also sends out a strong message to the world on the UAE leadership''s abilities, dedication and delivery of initiatives in which leaders take up.
"To be first in the Arab region to develop a nuclear energy plant to generate clean and safe electricity, which will last for 60 years, will further enhance and strengthen the trust and vision in the Rulers of the UAE," he told Khaleej Times on Saturday.
"That will create an opportunity for skillful human resources, and across the globe, this initiative will draw people to come to the UAE to be part of the success story. From an economic point of view, great effort to diversify its energy economy and reduce dependency on fossil fuels."
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