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GOLD HITS BIGGEST FALL SINCE MARCH

Dubai: More bargains await jewellery fans who will hit the shops in Dubai this week, as the bullion remains weak and looks set to tumble further. Gold jewellery prices in Dubai continued to fall on Monday, with some pieces offering up to Dh10 per gram in savings when compared to peak prices in June. The price of 24K gold further tumbled to Dh146.50 per gram as of 2:17pm in Dubai, down by Dh2 per gram from last week and Dh10 per gram from one of its highest levels last month. Last June 7, 24K was retailing at Dh156.50 per gram. Spot gold fell to $1,204.45 an ounce, its lowest since March 15 before touching $1,207.27 an ounce by 0938 GMT on Monday. Gold’s decline has been triggered by stronger-than-expected labour data. The American economy generated an additional 222,000 jobs in June, according to the Labour Department. The news prompted many in the markets to speculate that the US Federal Reserve will again increase the interest rates. “Gold prices fell due to stronger-than-expected US employment data indicating that the US economy may be in a better shape than expected by most,” explained Karim Merchant, group CEO and managing director of Pure Gold Jewellers. “This may act as an indicator to Fed to further increase and stabilize interest rate which will create more pressure on gold prices.”

Merchant said he expects the bullion to trade in the range of $1,200 to $1,225 an ounce this week.

72-HOUR SALE ONLY FROM THESE BRANDS IN DUBAI

Dubai: Bigger discounts await fashion shopping fans in the UAE, as the 72-hour sale, one of the highlights of this year’s Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS), kicks off on Monday. The organisers of the annual retail event have just revealed a full list of brands, including big labels in the apparel industry, such as Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Victoria’s Secret, that will be participating in the limited-time sale, to help bargain hunters plan their shopping more effectively. The 72-hour sale, which runs from Monday to Wednesday each week during DSS, promises to offer bigger exclusive savings on already-discounted retail items. More than 70 brands will be participating in the exclusive sale at 19 malls across Dubai, including Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Festival City, Oasis Centre, Mercato and Dubai Mall. Participating brands will mainly be from the women’s and men’s fashion category, so those who are looking to get their summer wardrobe sorted can expect to score some great savings.

DUBAI LANDLORDS OFFER ‘FREE’ RENT, MULTI CHEQUES

Dubai: Landlords in Dubai aren’t just open to accepting multiple cheques and reducing lease rates, they are also offering rent-free periods just to attract tenants. Despite claims that the property sector is bottoming out or showing signs of recovery, overall rents across the emirate are still on decline. A slowdown in hiring and a sustained rise in the number of new apartments and villas continue to impact demand, prompting landlords to sweeten the deal. With fewer jobs, there are fewer people with money to pay for rent. Compounding the decline in demand is the increase in supply of new properties. Just this year alone, some 30,000 units are expected to be turned over to investors. So far, about a tenth of the number has already been delivered. As a result, according to Propertyfinder Group’s UAE Real Estate Trends 2017 report, Dubai residents have gained more negotiating power when it comes to dealing with landlords. “New tenants and their brokers have been able to negotiate concessions that were previously dismissed or largely unheard of in the Dubai market, such as rent-free periods.” A quick look at various property listings in Dubai shows owners enticing potential tenants with “free” rents, especially for flats that have recently been delivered. “Brand new, one-month free [rent], with appliances,” reads one listing. Landlords are also resorting to other concessions, such as reducing rents for existing tenants, accepting multiple cheques and paying broker commissions. Owners have no other recourse, considering that they stand to lose money if their property stays empty even for just one month. “Considering a one-month vacancy period equates to a loss of 8.3 per cent, which typically is close to, if not more than, the yield that most properties produce annually, concessions like these are not only smart business for the investor, but a win-win for all parties regardless of the market,” wrote Zhann Jochinke, chief executive officer, Keller Williams Real Estate. Propertyfinder’s research among the nearly 24,500 Dubai apartments and villas advertised for rent showed that just about one in six specify the number of cheques required. Out of those that do, 1,842 listings state that tenants can pay in four cheques. “The current market has seen some power returning to tenants – they can start to dictate more favourable terms and the amount of cheques is often one of those negotiation points,” said Lukman Hajje, chief commercial officer of Propertyfinder Group. According to the latest report from Reidin, Dubai’s rental market fell 4.57 per cent year-on-year in May due to a sharp decline in values in both apartments and villas compared to a year earlier. Rents have declined in various locations, including in areas close to the Metro. Apartment rents dipped by 0.30 per cent in May compared to a month earlier and by 4.22 per cent compared to the same period last year. Rents for villas showed a slight uptick, rising by 0.32 per cent month-on-month, but still down by 6.5 per cent year-on-year. Propertyfinder’s review of the property sales prices and rental values of apartments in 23 neighbourhoods across Dubai covering the six-month period from September 2016 to March 2017 also showed that rates did continue to weaken.

TOP UAE SMES REPORT TRIPLE DIGIT GROWTH — REPORT

DUBAI: Finalists in the Gulf Capital SME awards reported average annual growth just above 150 per cent, the firm said. The 104 shortlisted finalists in the 2017 awards have a combined turnover of Dh2.1 billion, Gulf Capital Co-founder and CEO Dr Karim El Solh said. The shortlist is more than twice as long last year’s 47 finalists. This year’s finalists will go through a further round of judging before winners are announced on October 11. “What these figures show us is the continued resilience of the SME sector in the UAE, and offers confidence that this inspiring performance of small businesses will have a ripple effect on the economy of the Emirates as a whole,” Dr El Solh said. The awards, launched 5 years ago by MEED and supported by Dubai SME and the Khalifa Fund for Economic Development, are intended to celebrate the growth and innovation of SMEs as well as UAE entrepreneurs and business leaders. Twelve companies are in the running for the top award, the Gulf Captial Business of the Year, five more than 2016. Four women are among the 10 entrepreneurs up for the Business Leader of the Year Award,”With the government’s unrelenting drive to encourage entrepreneurship among its citizens, the Emirati Business of the Year category received a higher number of entrants this year. A total of nine finalists are competing for the award, up from five in 2016,” said Becky Crayman, Programme Director, Awards and Managed Events, at MEED. There are two new categories in the 2017 awards: Micro Business of the Year, for firms with a turnover of Dh40 million or less, and Dusruption of the Year, for SMEs that have creates a product of service that has dramatically changed its industry.

FACEBOOK USERS SHOULD DELETE THIS MESSAGE

Dubai: A new chain message on Facebook has recently gone viral and users are being advised to delete and ignore it because it is a hoax. The message claims that someone named Jayden K Smith, a dead ringer for Hollywood actor Will Smith’s son, is trying to hack Facebook accounts. Smith is said to be a hacker and once Facebook users accept a friend request from him, they will lose control of their accounts. “Please tell all the contacts in your messenger list not to accept Jayden K. Smith friendship request. He is a hacker and has the system connected to your Facebook account,” the message reads. “If one of your contacts accepts it, you will also be hacked, so make sure that all your friends know it.”

Cyber security experts have dismissed the message as nothing but a prank. According to Snopes, the recent viral message is part of a long-running hoax that tells readers not to allow contact from a particular person or group, otherwise they will face dire consequences. A hoax warning usually follows a template that goes like this: “Do not (read / open / respond to / join) an email / text message / friend request / ) sent by (real name / e-mail address / screen name).” “Variants of these messages are circulated endlessly, with different names swapped in and out as various pranksters decide to play jokes on people they know by inserting their acquaintances’ names and address into the warning in place of the existing information.” While they should not just add strangers to their contact list, Facebook users have been advised that there is no truth to the claim that anyone can just hack into an account by simply becoming a friend. A hacker needs to have the user’s password in order to take control of an account, or trick a user to click on a link or infected attachment. This doesn’t mean that all links posted on social media or forwarded to your inbox don’t contain a virus that can compromise your computer or personal data.

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