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6 easy tips to help you get a job next year in UAE

Sometimes we run into opportunities in the most unusual of ways. Whether it’s a hunt for a new work opportunity or you are prowling better job prospects, explore creative ways to land that dream job.

And to brighten up the workplace news even more, a recent Indeed.com survey shows 61 per cent of employers plan to hire more people in 2018 than in 2017 and 40 per cent are worried about finding enough good people to fill those openings.

The survey reveals that not just tech and healthcare firms but a diverse group of industries plan to be on the hunt, with architecture, engineering, IT, telecom and professional service firms at the top of the list.

In UAE, the recent trends reveal that several firms in Dubai are looking to hire professionals in the fields of marketing, engineering and medical. And they are offering attractive salaries!

No additional salary increase for 2018 in UAE despite VAT’

The government should look into increasing salaries if VAT, which takes effect in less than two weeks, heavily impacts the consumers’ pockets, the Federal National Council (FNC) was told on Tuesday.

During the FNC session held in its headquarters, FNC member from Sharjah, Dr Saeed Al Mutawa raised concerns over the impact VAT will have on consumers, the readiness of businesses, and VAT’s impact on the overall national economy, with Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs.

“Although VAT might appear minimal to consumers, it will be a burden once it is accumulated with water, electricity and gas bills,” said the member. However, the minister said there will be no salary increase, as it is not included in the 2018 federal budget.

“The draft law for 2018 federal budget, which the FNC will look into today, does not include any salary increases,” announced the minister.

He said the government already introduced increases to the basic salary in a regular manner.

“This increase could be higher than the impact percentage of VAT,” Al Tayer added.

UAE banking on AI, and the results are showing

Every once in while, an event becomes a defining moment for an emerging technology.

On October 19 this year, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced the appointment of Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence (AI). Omar bin Sultan Al Olama made history as the first minister to hold such a portfolio. The UAE Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031 means business when it states that the goal of using AI is to cut government costs by 50 per cent and boost the country’s GDP by 35 per cent.

Executing on this vision means embedding AI into every aspect of governance to scale UAE’s resources, and thus fulfil the country’s growing aspirations. Intelligence will be the new fuel for driving good governance.

Implicit in this initiative is an expectation of public-private partnership. The UAE government cannot do this alone. The private sector has to be equally invested in AI. Let’s look at the business sectors that tend to be early adopters of a new technology. Are banks in the UAE up for the new AI challenge?

Evidently, they are at different points on the AI adoption curve. Some leading banks have gone into quasi-execution mode. The key area wherein UAE banks have started to apply AI is customer service. Emirates NBD has been very proactive, with its bilingual humanoid robot called Pepper that is trained to converse in English and Arabic, and its voice-enabled ‘EVA’ that speaks to you, understands your need and guides you. Other banks have invested in a virtual personal assistant that engages with a customer through a chat interface. These services are part of their effort to attract the digitally inclined millennials.

Etisalat to charge 5% VAT on postpaid bills, prepaid usage

Telecom company Etisalat on Thursday announced that all postpaid customers will be charged 5 per cent VAT on their monthly bill, while prepaid customers will pay VAT on the actual usage of credit instead of overall recharge card value.

Etisalat had earlier announced that it will charge customers value-added tax of 5 per cent once the regime is implemented in the UAE starting January 1, 2018.

“Etisalat is taking all efforts to be ready and compliant for the new law coming into effect and provide complete information to all customers and its effect in the future. Etisalat has already started contacting all customers to increase awareness and provide clarity on the introduction of VAT,” the company said.

“The UAE leadership’s vision is to build a diversified and sustainable economy and the new tax system aims to support the economic development in the country enabling it to compete with world’s most advanced economies. With Etisalat taking a major step towards a great future, it is making sure that transparency is maintained by taking all necessary measures in educating customers on the new government directives regarding VAT and its impact on their telecom services.”

Gold prices hit 2-week high, 22k priced at dh144 in Dubai

Gold prices edged up to touch a two-week high on Thursday amid firm underlying support and expectations of year-end purchases, with the dollar and stocks little changed in Asian trade.

Spot gold was up 0.15 percent at $1,267.50 an ounce at 0407 GMT, after hitting its best since Dec. 6 at $1,268.26 earlier

Dubai gold prices are Dh153.50 for 24-karat and 22-karat can be bought for Dh144.25.

US gold futures were up 0.1 percent at $1,271 an ounce.

“December is normally a good time to pick up gold. People are positioning for early January,” a Hong Kong-based trader said. “It’s the seasonality of gold showing opportunity and having held $1,250 very well as we head into the year-end.”

Gold has also been steady technically, he said, with support for the yellow metal at $1,260 an ounce and resistance at its 200-day moving average around $1,269.

Asian stocks and the dollar were little changed on Thursday, despite better-than-expected US housing data on Wednesday and even as lawmakers in the United States gave final approval to the biggest overhaul of the country’s tax code in 30 years.

Saudi Arabia unveils record budget to boost economy

Saudi Arabia will increase government spending next year and slow an austerity drive as it struggles to lift the economy in the face of low oil prices, according to a state budget released on Tuesday.

Riyadh plans to boost spending to a record SR978 billion ($261 billion) in 2018, the finance ministry said. That is up from SR890 billion in the original 2017 budget plan.

As a result, the pace of decline in the government’s budget deficit will slow next year. The 2018 deficit is projected at SR195 billion against an actual SR230 billion in 2017.

In a speech, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz formally announced that the target date for eliminating the deficit would be pushed back to 2023, from the original target of 2020. Finance ministry officials had already informed local economists of the change last month.

By imposing new taxes and slashing spending in some areas, Riyadh has been battling to bring down its deficit since 2015, when lower oil export revenues produced a record budget gap of SR367 billion or about 15 per cent of GDP.

Dubai seeks to attract FDI at investment meet

The Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) will take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from April 9 to 11, 2018, with the participation of leaders, decision-makers and high-level local, regional and international government officials.

The annual forum is one of the leading regional events on foreign direct investment (FDI) and is organised by the UAE Ministry of Economy. It is expected to attract more than 20,000 investors and visitors from developed and emerging markets this year and will adopt the theme ‘Partnerships for inclusive growth and sustainable development.’

The AIM is a leading platform for strengthening the UAE’s role as a distinctive investment destination. In the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business for 2018’ report, the UAE ranked 21 out of 190 countries in ease of doing business, up by five levels from 26th position in 2017.

4-point plan unveiled to boost Dubai businesses

The Dubai Economy announced on Tuesday the launch of four initiatives aimed to strengthen ties with the private sector and empower the business community.

The new initiatives include EngageDXB, an app to connect the leadership of all business group entities; the Dubai Quality Appreciation Award for Business Groups & Councils; Legal Status for Business Groups and Councils, and a Future Industry and Foresight initiative to serve as a resource for business groups.

Sami Al Qamzi, director-general of Dubai Economy, speaking at the second Business Community Engagement (BCE) Forum urged the business community to be part of the new initiatives so they can take advantage of the opportunities to improve performance, provide better services to members and attract new members.

Al Qamzi reminded of the need to strengthen the collective voice and efforts aimed to develop business in Dubai. “We are working tirelessly to raise the concept of a business-supporting government to a new level of understanding, partnership and mutual respect, and we will continue to co-operate with business groups and regulatory bodies to address the various issues and challenges, and help businesses to be future-ready.”

To be future-ready means to be prepared for new opportunities, growth, development and investments. The outcome is a better economy, an efficient business environment, an effective organisation and an advanced quality of life for all, said Al Qamzi.

The annual BCE Forum, under the theme ‘Enabling a Future-Ready Business Environment, is a strategic event for Dubai Economy to position itself as a prime facilitator and enabler for businesses in all sectors to grow sustainably.

The Forum was aimed to strengthen the partnership between Dubai Economy and the business community in Dubai, and particularly support businesses to be future-ready, said Al Qamzi.

The BCE Forum brought together representatives of business councils and groups in Dubai and diplomatic delegations along with chief executives of major companies operating in the UAE.

The BCE initiative was launched in April 2016 to deepen the strategic engagement between the Department of Economic Development and the business groups, councils, associations and corporate sector.

Al Qamzi added that Dubai has come a long way in achieving sustainable development based on innovation and high productivity, by building a diverse base of high value-added economic activities, which has also enabled the national economy to grow and adjust to internal and external shocks.

“GDP growth in Dubai is expected to reach 3.2 per cent this year, 3.5 per cent in 2018 and 3.7 per cent in 2019, supported by a stimulating business environment that is the best in the Arab world and 21st among 190 global economies, according to the latest Doing Business report of the World Bank,” said Al Qamzi.

Withdraw cash from ATM using Bitcoin account in UAE

Despite the massive fears of a bubble around cryptocurrency — especially Bitcoin — the world is increasingly moving towards the adoption of digital currency.

The fever to cash in on the growing popularity of digital currency is gripping UAE residents and entities — thanks to the consistently skyrocketing value of Bitcoin over the past couple of years. In UAE, the residents will soon be able to make cash withdrawals from their cryptocurrency accounts at ATMs.

On Tuesday, a US-based omni-channel solutions firm NCR Corp signed a deal with the UAE-based CoinHub to allow Bitcoin users to withdraw cash from their linked CoinHub cryptocurrency account at the ATM.

The process will be similar to the conventional transactions. Customers will have the choice to use either an ATM card for a regular withdrawal or initiate a cardless session to make withdrawal from their CoinHub cryptocurrency account.

Once the customer is authenticated, he can then see his CoinHub account details and all linked cryptocurrency accounts. They can then choose any of their wallets and enter the amount they want to withdraw.

Gaby Abi Aad, Software Sales Leader Gulf & Saudi Arabia, NCR, told that the “solution is not yet live with any bank yet, but we are positive that we will soon be engaging with banks to run proof-of-concept/controlled deployment across the GCC.”

He said banks would also need to make changes in their system. “We will wait for banks to work with regulators and officially engage us to implement the solution.”

He noted that the dispensing of cash would be in fiat money, so the user can select the amount they wish to get in UAE dirhams.

Fiat money is currency that a government has declared to be legal tender, but it is not backed by a physical commodity.

“We have seen interest from banks in the GCC and look forward to partnering with them to introduce this service,” Abi Aad said.

The strong interest in cryptocurrency is emerging from both the public and private sectors.

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