Economy

Alpha Dhabi’s Great Leap Forward

With an investment strategy that pays close attention to ESG initiatives, Alpha Dhabi stands out as one of the Emirate's key players in driving its sustainable development toward a net-zero carbon future.

The Abu Dhabi-based conglomerate, which is one of the fastest-growing investment holding companies in the UAE and is listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), has a clear growth strategy that is underpinned by integrating ESG initiatives and driving value across its business.

Since its listing on ADX in June 2021, Alpha Dhabi has demonstrated its resilience and ability to grow at pace with assets totaling AED101.3 billion (USD27.6 billion), revenues of AED17.1 billion (USD4.7 billion) and net profit of AED7.9 billion (USD2.2 billion) as at the end of 1H2022, up significantly from the prior year period.

This rapidly growing investment holding company aspires to be a driving force in supporting the UAE’s Net Zero 2050 strategic initiative, which is aligned with the Paris Agreement, by leveraging its keen focus on innovation and disruptive technologies to drive value and support the creation of a diversified and inclusive economy in the UAE through the investments it makes.

The UAE intends to invest AED598 billion (USD163 billion) in clean energy projects, as part of the country’s sustainable development agenda. Running parallel to this goal, Alpha Dhabi—which benefits from a strong balance sheet and cash position of AED16.6 billion (USD4.5 billion)—is pursuing opportunities that can add value to its business and demonstrate its ongoing ESG commitment and credentials.

A concrete example of this is Alpha Dhabi’s (alongside ADQ) acquisition of a 15% stake and strategic alliance with OCI Methanol Group (OCI), a pioneer in developing clean methanol. The strategic agreement will see OCI incorporated as an ADGM company in Abu Dhabi and focus on clean methanol as a fuel for the future.

Further bolstering Alpha Dhabi’s credentials is its 75% acquisition of W Solar, which will become an increasingly active player in the ESG and renewable energy space, supported by a strong pipeline of ESG-related investments.

This commitment is also firmly evidenced by Alpha Dhabi’s subsidiaries. National Marine Dredging Company and its agreement with Masdar—Abu Dhabi’s leading renewable energy company—which will explore renewable energy opportunities in offshore wind, green hydrogen, and other clean energy technologies.

Moreover, National Petroleum Construction Company, another Alpha Dhabi subsidiary, has signed an agreement with Technip Energies to form a new company, NT Energies, to drive the energy transition sector in several countries across the MENA region, including the UAE. Furthermore, this strategy of investing in disruptive and innovative technologies complements Abu Dhabi’s broader diversification objectives.

The Emirate seeks to be one of the most technologically advanced cities in the world, and Alpha Dhabi expresses this ambition through its targeted investment mandate approach.

A prime example of this is the stake in Alpha Wave Ventures II, a AED9.2-billion (USD2.5 billion) commitment to invest in the fund that seeks to invest in growth-stage companies in high-tech sectors with a focus on consumer internet, fintech, and biotech, among others.

The goal here is to leverage the disruptive tech and bring that into Alpha Dhabi’s ecosystem, thereby driving growth and value regionally. Similarly, Alpha Dhabi’s investment in WIO Bank, a digital banking platform jointly owned by Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company (ADQ), Etisalat, and First Abu Dhabi Bank, showcases the company’s ambitious vision and a clear sector and geographic focus to drive sustainable growth.

Even in carbon-heavy sectors such as construction, Trojan Construction Group advances its green agenda through the use of materials that reduce CO2 emissions and water consumption for construction and the waste subsequently created. These are just some examples; however, Alpha Dhabi sees a growing opportunity set within the circular economy that continues to underpin its ESG ambitions across numerous sectors.

The diversity of this holding company’s portfolio spreads across a number of key sectors in the UAE, such as healthcare, construction, real estate, renewable energy, industrial, petrochemicals, and hospitality—reinforcing the UAE’s diversification strategy and consolidation efforts.

This is best demonstrated by Alpha Dhabi’s recent acquisitions to strengthen their healthcare vertical, by acquiring more than 70% of Yas Clinic Group and Tamouh Healthcare as it looks to build the region’s largest integrated healthcare platform, Pure Health.

These sustainability objectives, the development of the Emirate and the search for companies with high growth potential continues to inform Alpha Dhabi’s investment strategy.

Coupled by its strong financial position to readily deploy capital in new opportunities provides the company a pathway towards growth and scalability beyond its geographical borders.

Looking outside the UAE, Alpha Dhabi has expressed interest to expand its reach in the region and is keeping a watchful eye on markets in Saudi Arabia and Egypt with both markets backed by robust market fundamentals and continued growth potential.

Through its subsidiary Aldar, one of the largest real estate developers and managers in the region, Alpha Dhabi has made its first step toward its regional ambitions given Aldar’s recent foray into the Egypt market with its acquisition of SODIC, one of Egypt’s leading real estate companies.

The UAE’s commitment to reaching net zero carbon emission by 2050 has brought about a sea change in the business community’s approach on sustainability. The momentous nature of this transition brings with it as many risks as well as opportunities.

As a powerhouse in the UAE, Alpha Dhabi will play a leading role in shaping the operating environment to drive sustainability across the Emirate. With its fast-growing portfolio in construction, healthcare, hospitality, industries, and investments in promising sectors, Alpha Dhabi is uniquely positioned to leverage its experience and strength and scale to leap forward in parallel with the progression and development of the UAE.

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