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Living in a smart home is no more a high aspiration, but a new normal for UAE residents – more so for the digital-savvy millennial population who either own a house or looking to buy one.

As the world hails 2017 as “The Year of the Smart Home,” the UAE is already leading the revolution in the region, aided by its increased adoption of smart technologies.

Gitex Shopper – the Middle East’s largest annual consumer electronics exhibition – is a key enabler of such smart technologies along with UAE telecoms, a multitude of smartphone brands and a breathtaking array of smart technology devices.

“This year we are seeing more exciting devices for the home that can control all manner of things simply with a click of a button, via an app, or even speaking directly to the smart device. As the largest consumer and IT electronics show in the Middle East, Gitex Shopper enables visitors to find everything from smart fridges to smart speakers, all revolutionising the everyday routine and make laborious tasks more manageable,” said Avinash Shanbhogue, portfolio director – Exhibitions, Dubai World Trade Centre.

The previous edition of the show in 2016 saw the introduction of many Smart Home Ecosystems, including Amazon Echo, Apple HomeKit, Google Home, SamsungSmartThings, among many others, said Shanbhogue.

Gitex Shopper, running till September 29, has on display a whole range of intelligent systems that allow the user to control a variety of household items to easily manage the home – such as locking the front door, controlling the lights, thermostats, alarm clocks and even window blinds.

Such a line-up of digital marvels will not only help transform the lifestyle of residents, young and old alike, but also triggers a revolution propelling the UAE smart home market at a compound annual growth rate of 14.8 per cent during 2016-22, latest data shows.

Across the globe, smart home households are predicted to grow more than fivefold from 90 million in 2016 to 463 million by 2021. Globally, the smart home market, classified on the basis of products in lighting, security and access, HVAC, entertainment, healthcare, and kitchenware, is expected to reach $121.73 billion by 2022, at a compound annual growth rate of 14.07 per cent per cent between 2016 and 2022, according to research firm MarketsandMarkets.

The drastic migration from offline to online home management, which is picking up momentum in a digitally disrupted ecosystem, is an important step in integrating homes across the UAE into the country’s Smart City future, according to experts.

Thanks to the highest per capita smartphone penetration rate in the region, a typical UAE home is witnessing this momentous transformation enabled by the increased adoption of smart technologies, they said.

The UAE’s per capita smartphone penetration rate is at an estimated 73.8 per cent, according to Google, as well as a wide 4G LTE network that covers 85 per cent of the country’s populated areas.

Fahad Al Bannai, CEO of Axiom Telecom, believes the GCC, the UAE and Saudi Arabia in particular, play an important role in this rapid global growth.


Damac Properties collected five awards at the Arabian Property Awards held recently in Dubai, where it was recognised as a leader in the five categories for distinctive architecture and exceptional interior design. Damac also received two nominations for the International Property Awards that will be held next year in May 2018.

The award-winning developer received accolades for its master community Damac Hills, as well as its luxury developments under construction including Aykon City, Paramount Tower Hotel & Residences and Damac Towers by Paramount Hotels & Resorts.

During the ceremony, a 70-strong panel of judges spanning a spectrum of fields from the industry awarded Damac for best ‘Residential High-rise Development’ for Aykon City, ‘Mixed-use Development’ for Damac Hills, ‘Hotel Interior’ for Damac Towers by Paramount Hotels & Resorts, as well as ‘Best Developer Website’ and ‘Best Hotel Architecture’ for Paramount Tower Hotel & Residences. Damac also received two nominations at the International Property Awards 2018 for ‘Best Developer Website’ and ‘Best Hotel Architecture’.

The winning project and website will represent the region and contend with other international winners from around the world at the acclaimed International Property Awards which will be hosted in London later this year.


The UAE, UK and US are the most preferred countries for migration by Indian billionaires, says a latest report.

There are 40 immigrants in Hurun India Rich list 2017 and 64 per cent of them are self made. With 14 individuals, UAE is the most preferred destination for immigration, followed by 10 in UK and 8 in the US.

With Rs88,200 crore, LN Mittal of ArecelorMittal is the wealthiest immigrant into UK, while Yusuffali M.A. is the wealthiest immigrant into the UAE with Rs31,900 crore. Sunny Varkey (Rs17,900 crore) and B.R. Shetty (Rs17,300 crore) are the other two billionaires in top 10 list of Hurun India Rich list who migrated into the UAE because of the country’s excellent infrastructure, ease of doing business, peaceful environment and good quality of lifestyle.

In order to get these results, the Hurun India Rich’s methodology involved taking a snapshot of wealth as on 31 July 2017. The exchange rate used for US$ was INR 64.1. The list relates to those with Indian origin on their passports.

The valuing of the wealth of India’s richest is as much an art as it is a science. It is believed that the Hurun India Rich List is one of the most serious attempts to identify India’s top entrepreneurs and to measure their holdings.


The UAE, a sought after destination for the world’s high net worth individuals, is now ranked as the most favourite migration hub for the super rich non-resident Indians.

A leading authority on India’s private wealth, Hurun Report, said two other countries preferred as a migration destination by India’s 40 super rich non-residents are the UK and the USA.

“With 14 wealthy non-resident Indians, the UAE is the most preferred destination for immigration, followed by 10 in the UK and eight in USA,” Hurun Report said.

Among the 40, with Rs882 billion, L.N. Mittal of ArcelorMittal is the wealthiest Indian immigrant in the UK. Micky Jagtiani of the Landmark Group, and M.A. Yusuf Ali of the Emke Group are ranked respectively second and third wealthiest Indian immigrants globally. Both, residents of the UAE, own Rs347 billion and Rs319 billion, respectively in fortune.

According to the Hurun India Rich List – a list of the richest people in India with a cut-off at Rs10 billion – other wealthy non-resident Indians in the UAE include Sunny Varkey (Gems Education); BR Shetty (NMC), Adani Vinodbhai Shantilal (Adani Enterprises), Ravi Pillai (RP Group), Feroz Allana (IFFCO), Divyank Turakhia (Media.Net), Shamsheer Vayalil (VPS Healthcare), Tony Jashanmal (Jashanmal), Saket Burman (Dabur), Azad Moopen (Aster DM Healthcare) Rizwan Sajan (Danube) and Ramesh S. Ramakrishnan (Transworld).

“The total number of rich list entrants increased 6 times since we launched the list six years ago; a good indication that Indian entrepreneurs are coming of age with global ambitions,” said Rupert Hoogewerf, Hurun Report Global, Chairman and Chief Researcher.

With a networth of Rs2.579 trillion, Mukesh Ambani (60) of Reliance, ranked first in the list of super rich Indians for the sixth consecutive year. With a networth of Rs890 billion, Dilip Shanghvi (61) of Sun Pharma retains the second place despite shares of his flagship company going down by 36 per cent. The steel baron, Lakshmi Niwas Mittal (67) secures third position for the first time with a networth of Rs882 billion due to an uptick in steel prices and demand. Others among the top 10 include Shiv Nadar (HCL), Azim Premji (Wipro), Cyrus S Poonawalla (Serum Institute of India), Gautam Adani (Adani Enterprises), Acharya Balkrishna (Patanjali Ayurved), Uday Kotak (Kotak Mahind), and Sunil Mittal & Family (Bharti Airtel).

Hurun Report finds 617 individuals with Rs10 billion or more, up 278 from last year, quadrupled from three years ago. On average, the wealth of Hurun India Rich Listers have increased by 17 per cent compared to that of last year. Number of dollar billionaires has increased to 136 from 126 last year. The inaugural Hurun India Rich List in 2012 had 59 billionaires. “For every one entrepreneur in Hurun India Rich List 2017, we estimate that we missed 3”, said Anas Rahman Junaid, MD and Chief Researcher, Hurun Report India


A consultative body formed by GCC official entities has finalised a study on exempting all kinds of gold from customs tariff in GCC states.

The study has been forwarded to member countries to get their views on the matter in a primary step to include their proposal to the Trade Cooperation Committee of the Secretariat General of GCC countries in Riyadh.

The Saudi Economist news site, quoting a senior GCC official, said the study was prepared based on an assignment from the ministers of trade and industry in GCC countries.

The official added that there is a proposal to calculate the customs tariff on gold, if it is not revoked, based on the labour charge per gram. This will generate more revenue to GCC governments, which will help double the quantity of gold imported.


The Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (Dafza) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai to allow Dafza’s hosted companies to obtain dual licences to operate across Dubai.

The agreement aims to strengthen cooperation on initiatives targeting all aspects related to providing economic support for Dafza’s main services. It will also facilitate collaboration on areas of common interest. Mohammed Al Zarooni, director-general of Dafza, and Sami Al Qamzi, director-general of DED, were the official signatories.

The MoU aims to enhance coordination through the licensing and activities of companies operating in Dafza. Applicants must obtain the approval of the freezone first.

Under the terms of the agreement, the DED may modify or add any activity related to the licences of companies subject to the approval of Dafza. Both parties will work closely to improve the levels of governance, compliance and transparency for businesses working within Dafza. They will also monitor and inspect licensed companies to ensure their compliance with the applicable laws on various commercial activities, particularly the Law on the Suppression of Fraud and Deception in Commercial Transactions, the Consumer Protection Law, the Commercial Transactions Law and Commercial Agencies Law.

Al Zarooni said: “The MoU complements Dafza’s role in increasing the flow of FDI and is in line with our Strategic Plan for 2017 to 2021 which sets goals that support the national and economic objectives as well as the targets of the Dubai government. We are confident that this new licensing agreement will add significant value to the economy of Dubai and the UAE in general, as it will help attract international investors and offer a unique business experience serving the best interests of companies operating within the freezone.”

Al Qamzi said: “We are committed to improving our services to achieve sustainable economic development and enhance competitiveness as well as convenience so that businesses in Dubai can cope with continuous changes and concentrate their time and efforts on growth. The agreement with Dafza aims to streamline procedures by diversifying the service channels of our department and enhancing transparency in licensing free zone entities.”

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