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MALABAR GOLD OPENS 3 STORES IN A DAY IN UAE AND KUWAIT

Malabar Gold and Diamonds, one among the Big 5 jewellery retailers globally with a strong retail network of over 190 retail outlets spread across nine countries, has launched three new stores recently.

Bollywood star Kareena Kapoor Khan launched two stores in Dubai on October 5. The store located at Cosmos Lane, Meena Bazar, near Dubai Museum, which is the largest jewellery store in Bur Dubai, was inaugurated by Kareena Kapoor in the presence of MP Ahammed, chairman – Malabar Group;, KP Abdul Salam, group executive director – Malabar Group, Shamlal Ahamed, Managing Director – International Operations, Malabar Gold & Diamonds; Asher O, managing director – India Operations, Malabar Gold & Diamonds; management team members and well-wishers.

Kareena Kapoor has also launched Malabar Gold & Diamonds’ 191st store globally on the same day in Lulu Hypermarket, Al Barsha in the presence of MP Ahammed, KP Abdul Salam, Shamlal Ahamed, Asher O, and management team members. Both the events were witnessed by a huge audience. Both the stores features the rarest and finest collection from India, Malaysia, Turkey, Singapore, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Thailand, Italy, Spain and Bahrain in gold and diamonds to suit the tastes of both resident and international customers. The showroom displays skillfully crafted jewellery in 24, 22 and 18K, ranging from lightweight daily wear to bridal jewellery in traditional as well as contemporary designs.

The stores will participate in the biggest offer in the market which was recently announced by Malabar Gold & Diamonds which is giving an opportunity to win 100kg of gold. With every purchase of gold and diamond jewellery worth Dh500, customers get a chance to enter raffle draws to win 1/2kg gold each in 25 raffle draws. Adding to the above, customers also get two grammes gold coin on diamond jewellery purchase of Dh5,000 and a one gramme gold coin on purchase of diamond jewellery worth Dh3,000. Not only that, customers can protect the gold rate at Malabar Gold & Diamonds by paying 10 per cent of the entire amount on the selected gold jewellery until October 17. A true shopper’s delight, Malabar Gold & Diamonds has also unveiled a huge collection of jewellery in gold, diamonds and precious gems from different parts of the world to enthrall the jewellery lovers.

6,303 FACTORIES RUNNING INVESTMENTS OF DH103B IN UAE

Up to 6,303 factories have been running investments worth more than Dh103.1 billion in the UAE until the end of 2016, a top Ministry of Economy official told Emirates News Agency, Wam.

“The food and beverage industry accounts for 30 per cent of the total volume of the country’s industrial sector followed by the primary mineral industries with 24 per cent, the non-metallic raw products industry with 14.9 per cent, refined oil products with 6.6 per cent, the chemical industries with 6.5 per cent and the metallic product industries with 5.5 per cent,” Abdulla Al Saleh, the Under-Secretary for Foreign Trade and Industry at Ministry of Economy, told Wam on the sidelines of the UAE-Saudi Business Forum, held on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia come in the16th position globally in terms of GDP, with both countries accounting for 48 per cent of the total Arab GDP, he said, adding that Saudi Arabia is the UAE’s fourth major world trade partner, comprising 4.6 per cent of UAE’s non-oil trade in 2016 and the country’s top Arab partner, making up 43 per cent of UAE’s non-oil trade with GCC states and 27 per cent of UAE’s non-oil trade with all Arab nations.

Under the slogan ‘Together Forever’, the UAE-Saudi Business Forum was held under the patronage of Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, and Dr Majid Al Qasabi, Minister of Commerce and Investment in KSA. The event saw the participation of more than 1,000 officials, investors and entrepreneurs coming from the two countries.

The forum included three sessions that covered key discussions on the national transformation plans under UAE Vision 2021 and KSA Vision 2030; industrial integration and the role of women in the economy. The forum also discussed key ways on how to enhance cooperation across eight main sectors, including industry, tourism, oil, aviation, construction, financial services, food stuff, gold, jewellery, medicines and medical equipment.

The forum is part of the joint retreat called ‘Khalwat Al Azm’. The outcomes of the event are aimed at enhancing trade, economic and investment cooperation, strengthening ties and opening new investment channels to promote diversification of sources of income, attracting value added investments and increasing the volume of non-oil exports.

The forum was organized by the Ministry of Economy, Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry in cooperation with the Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones (ZonesCorp).

Al Mansouri delivered the opening speech wherein he expressed his pride in the sincere brotherhood between the UAE and KSA, which represents a unique example of cooperation at the Gulf and Arab levels, openly demonstrated by the continuing efforts to enhance stability and growth of the region.

Al Mansouri pointed out that the bilateral relations between the UAE and KSA are still witnessing continuous development and growth, driven by the firm will and sincere determination of the leaderships of the two countries – led by the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud – to advance cooperation and synergy between the two countries across various fields of development.

“The UAE-Saudi Business Forum is a vital platform for further achieving greater economic, trade and investment cooperation, based on a joint strategy that focuses on investing in the development prospects and capabilities of the UAE and KSA, which are the two largest Arab economies, as well as benefiting from their huge commercial and investment potentials,” he noted.

ABU DHABI GDP WILL HIT DH850 BILLION IN 2017: S&P

Standard & Poor’s has forecast that Abu Dhabi’s gross domestic product (GDP) will rise to Dh850 billion and Dh890 billion at current prices in 2017 and 2018 respectively, attributing the growth to the momentum witnessed by the oil and non-oil sectors since the beginning of this year.

The credit ratings agency expected the emirate’s per capita GDP to amount to Dh277,000 during 2017 at current prices, which is the highest across the GCC states. Inflation is anticipated to stand at 2.5 per cent during 2017 and projected to reduce to two per cent in 2018.

The forecasts are aligned with the Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi (SCAD), which expected the emirate’s economy to grow by 17.7 per cent during Q1 2017 against the corresponding period last year.

Economic analysts surveyed by Wam attributed the emirate’s positive economic performance to growth in non-oil activities which now account for more than two-thirds of the emirate’s GDP, in addition to the improvement in global oil prices.

The oil and gas sector’s contribution to the emirate’s GDP declined to 27.5 per cent in 2016 while the non-oil sector contributed a 50-year high of 72.5 per cent.

According to SCAD figures, the information and telecommunication sectors contributed 6.9 per cent to the emirate’s GDP, followed by the transportation and storage sectors with 5.8 per cent and the process industries with 3.6 per cent. – Wam

5% VAT TO CREATE 5,000 JOBS UPON INTRODUCTION ON JAN 1

Paul Drum, head of policy at CPA Australia and an expert in tax law, has said that it is anticipated that around 5,000 finance and accounting jobs will be created within the GCC region with the introduction of value-added tax (VAT). In a workshop at the University of Wollongong in Dubai, UOWD, on the new tax law, Drum said that VAT has been implemented by more than 150 countries worldwide.

Referring to local job openings, Drum said VAT brings good news to current finance and accounting students and graduates as this form of taxation will create ample employment opportunities.

Government revenues from taxation are generally used to pay for public services including public health services, publicly owned or funded schools, parks and transport infrastructure.

“The UAE will apply a VAT rate of 5 per cent on taxable supplies which is very low in comparison to the average tax rate of 19 per cent globally. However, not everything will be charged VAT as the law makes provision for zero-rated and tax exempted goods and services to ensure that the impact of VAT on consumers is kept to a minimum,” Drum explained.

The consumer will be taxed on goods such as electronics, smartphones, cars, jewellery, certain beverages, financial and accounting services, legal services, dining out and entertainment. However, certain services and goods, such as nearly 100 food items, basic health services, transport and public education, will be exempted from VAT.

Drum explained that the difference between zero-rated and exempt tax is that suppliers of zero-rated goods and services are eligible to reclaim their input VAT, whereas suppliers of exempt goods are unable to do so. Zero-rated and exempted goods and services have no direct impact on the consumer.

Businesses with a minimum turnover of Dh375,000 are required to register for VAT, while companies with a turnover of below the mandatory threshold but exceeding the voluntary registration threshold of Dh187,500 have a choice to register. Voluntary registration will be especially beneficial to start-up businesses with no turnover at present. It is essential for VAT registered businesses to keep their business records as proof of tax charged and VAT they have paid to the government.

UAE TO OUTPACE REGIONAL GROWTH, SAYS IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that the UAE economy will grow 3.4 per cent in 2018, at the second fastest growth rate in the GCC, while an upswing in the world economy would likely gather pace into next year.

The improved outlook for the UAE follows a predicted 1.3 per cent growth in 2017 as low oil prices continued to impact all regional economies. Kuwait will record the fastest growth within the GCC at 4.1 per cent in 2018 following negative growth of 2.1 per cent in 2017.

“Fuel exporters are particularly hard hit by the protracted adjustment to lower commodity revenues,” the IMF said in its World Economic Outlook report on Tuesday.

The fund said that the risk of low oil prices is affecting the economic outlook of the regional economies. As a result, Saudi Arabia will grow at 0.1 per cent 1.1 per cent respectively in 2017 and 2018, Bahrain at 1.5 per cent and 0.8 per cent, Kuwait -2.1 per cent and 4.1per cent, Oman 0.0 per cent and 3.7 per cent, and Qatar at 2.5 per cent 3.1 per cent.

“We expect to see a further pick-up in non-oil growth in 2018 and beyond as investment momentum builds ahead of Expo 2020,” said Monica Malik, chief economist at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.

Maurice Obstfeld, IMF Economic Counsellor and Director of Research, said while the global recovery is continuing at a faster pace, the picture is very different from early last year, when the world economy faced faltering growth and financial market turbulence.

He insisted that ambitious reforms were necessary for continued poverty reduction as the current moment presented a fleeting opportunity to act.

In all, the growth of Mena oil exporters Iran, Iraq, Algeria and the six GCC states is forecast to end this year at 1.7 per cent from 5.6 per cent in 2016.

Mena growth as a whole is projected to more than halve in 2017, from 5.1 per cent to 2.2 per cent, “on the back of a slowdown in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s economy after very fast growth in 2016 and cuts in oil production in oil exporters”, the IMF said.

The Washington-based fund projected the price of oil to average $50.3 a barrel in 2017, higher than the previous year, but will remain in the 50s until 2022.

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