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Umm Al Quwain Coop offers 2.5m stock for public trade

Umm Al Quwain Coop has announced that 2.5 million stocks will be available for public trade, to increase investment in its retail sector.

An integral part of Union Coop – UAE’s largest consumer cooperative, Umm Al Quwain Coop will start Initial Public Offering from January 21 onwards until February 8. The public will be able to purchase these stocks through selective Emirates Islamic branches across the United Arab Emirates.

Chairman of the board of Umm Al Quwain Coop, Nasser Al Talay, said: “The main objective of offering stocks for public trade is to increase capital to invest, implement future plans and expand current services offered by UAQ Coop. Ultimately, this is will allow us to serve the consumers better by offering them the best service at competitive prices. Umm Al Quwain Coop’s primary objective is to benefit the citizens and residents by offering world-class products and services under the same roof. We wish to take care of society’s needs and offer our support to social sector in a manner that honors the vision of the leadership.”

He further said that citizens from all the emirates will be able to purchase the stocks. This will create an opportunity for sustainable and guaranteed investment opportunities with considerable positive aspects, as the value of the stocks which is Dh50 million will contribute to the development and expansion of the Coop and support its future plans.

The chairman of the board of directors at Union Coop, Majid Hamad Rahmah Al Shamsi, said: “Union Coop has always had the expertise and world-class resources when it comes to retail and managing Coops. Our experience with managing Ajman Markets Cooperative Society was a success, in which all the goals and objectives were achieved in record time. Our success in the form of market expansions and marketing achievements is the true testament to our strength in the Emirati market.”

He further added: “We will deploy all of our resources to cooperate and move ahead with the management of Umm Al Quwain Coop, in implementing best-in-class practices and technologies in retail. Initially, we will be focusing on offering the best services at competitive prices to the people of Umm Al Quwain emirate and neighboring areas”

Citizens can purchase stocks via the following Emirates Islamic branches: Umm Al Quwain King Faisal Street branch. In Dubai at Festival City, Nad Al Hammar, Etihad Mall, and Al Barsha Mall branches. In Sharjah at the Muwaileh branch. In Ras Al Khaimah at the Montaser Road branch. In Fujairah at the Hamad bin Abdulla Road branch. The minimum limit for purchase is 500 stocks, in addition to a premium of Dh1 per share provided by an approved bank check or opening an account at the Islamic Emirates Bank.

Earlier this year, Umm Al Quwain Coop, managed by Union Coop, revealed a future project that will see multiple series of Umm Al Quwain Coop Markets. The signed MoU reads managing and operating Umm Al Quwain Coop for seven years with the prospect of renewal, with an estimated overall budget of Dh50 million. This project will cover an area of 80,000 square meters in Salma area consisting of a ground floor, first floor, and second floor.

How you can make your ad stand out

In an age when consumers are surrounded by advertisements on every possible channel and platform, having one which stands out and has the intended effect is rare.

However, marketers that create well-integrated and customised ad campaigns can boost their effectiveness by as much as 57 per cent, a new study by AdReaction has found. The study also found marketers and consumers as having different views on whether campaigns successfully fit together. At 89 per cent, most marketers surveyed believe their campaign strategies are integrated, but only 58 per cent of global consumers agree.

“Consumers feel overwhelmed by advertising from all angles while marketers struggle to make the most of ad formats and channels to best reach consumers,” said Duncan Southgate, global brand director of media and digital at Kantar Millward Brown.

The study found that marketers struggle to find a balance between integration and customisation; 29 per cent of the ads tested were integrated but not customised. Even without any customisation, integrated campaigns are 31 per cent more effective at building brands. The study shows that consistent characters or personalities are the individual cues which most help brand impact, often differentiating the best campaigns.

Some channels work particularly well with each other; and the strongest overall synergy combinations are seen between TV and Facebook, and TV and outdoor. In Saudi Arabia and the UAE; outdoor and point of sale (PoS) presents a big opportunity to bring synergy with TV advertising, while digital surely does a good job in bringing incremental targeted reach.

The research also found that great campaigns need a strong central idea to act as connective tissue across all content. Campaigns with a strong central idea perform better across all brand KPIs, especially brand image associations, as well as across all channels. In addition, unless media spend will be skewed towards one execution, every piece of content matters and contributes to overall success and brand building. Consumers feel marketers are making the most progress at storytelling and integrating across formats in Nigeria, India, Saudi Arabia, China and Brazil, but fewer are convinced progress is being made in the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, France, and the Czech Republic.

“Media channels will continue to fragment and evolve, but smart marketers will see the opportunities to connect with consumers in new, meaningful ways. Importantly, we know using more media channels can improve campaign effectiveness, but only if the channels work synergistically,” Southgate noted.Globally, consumers feel they are seeing more ads in more places. At 69 per cent, most consumers around the world also agree that ads are more intrusive now. In Saudi Arabia, agreement to feeling of intrusiveness is at 77 per cent. Marketers need to choose channels wisely – need to consider the channels’ role in the campaign and what the channel can deliver in terms of impact and cost. For example, online ads are cost effective in extending TV reach; however, consumers’ attitudes are more positive to traditional media than online advertising. People are more likely to recall negative online targeting experiences than positive ones.

Lastly, the report pointed out that there is a sweet spot between integration and customisation. A strong integrated campaign must be flexible enough to enable novel, complementary content, but familiar enough to link the key campaign elements tightly together.

Half of new cars sold by 2040 will be electric

There will be three million electric passenger vehicles on the road globally by the end of 2018, and by 2040, over half of new car sales will be electric, according to a Masdar report on transport solutions for future cities.

The report titled ‘Technologies for Future Smart City Transit’ was brought out by Masdar in collaboration with Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) on Wednesday at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

The report predicts that new technologies such as electric and autonomous vehicles, the Internet of Things, data analytics, blockchain and ‘smart roads’ will provide the building blocks to revolutionise urban transport over the next two decades. And countries with a relatively new urban transport network, such as the UAE and other Gulf states, may have an advantage over other countries because their transport infrastructure is newer and less sprawling – meaning it is easier to update and integrate with emerging digital technologies.

Yousef Baselaib, executive director of sustainable real estate at Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), said: “Urban transport is reaching a crossroads as emerging technologies come together, placing us on the cusp of a step-change which could revolutionise the sector, making it safer, more efficient and environmentally sustainable. The Middle East is well placed to benefit from these developments but achieving these ambitions will require major investment over the next few decades. It will also be essential for the public and private sectors to work together to agree technology standards which govern the market and prioritise innovation and technology leadership.”

According to the report, global electric passenger vehicle sales grew 57 per cent between 2015 and 2016, spurred by the fall in lithium battery prices that dropped by 79 per cent between 2010 and 2017. The global cumulative number of public EV charging points increased from under 100,000 in 2012 to over 360,000 in 2016, signifying the leap in smart transportation solutions adopted by cities across the world.


The report cites some of the examples of the smart city transit initiatives by Dubai. For example, the UAE signed a contract for 200 Tesla Model S sedans and Model X SUVs, equipped with autopilot software. The first 50 vehicles will be used to kick-start Dubai’s autonomous vehicle taxi service. Dubai is also testing Volocopter’s autonomous drone-helicopter, which can carry up to two people. The city plans to make the Autonomous Air Taxi (AAT) available to the public through a mobile application, and authorities are drawing up regulations for AAT.

While the size of the electrified fleet across the world is still small, EV annual sales have grown from under 40,000 vehicles in 2011 to over one million in 2017. The top five electric vehicle manufacturers – Nissan, Tesla, BYD, General Motors and Volkswagen – have collectively sold over 1 million electric vehicles since 2011 and captured nearly 50 per cent of the EV market, cited the report.

The falling cost of batteries is set to encourage adoption of electric buses in cities, as well as electric car sharing.

By 2025, Bloomberg New Energy Finance expects EV lithium-ion battery pack prices to fall to below 100 $/kWh. This means electric vehicles will reach upfront price parity with equivalent internal combustion engine vehicles, sometime between 2025 and 2030 depending on vehicle segment and country.

Dr Ali Izadi-Najafabadi, head of intelligent mobility at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, believes that cities, given their high density and increasing requirements for effective public transit, can be innovation test beds for the most cutting-edge smart transit projects.

He said: “Cities can implement electric buses and promote regulations and infrastructure that support autonomous vehicles, public ride hailing, car sharing, vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, smart traffic control and city-wide digital payment systems. These would improve the quality of life for individuals, ease congestion, raise social mobility and foster innovation.”

But deploying these technologies have its challenges like risks of sensor attack, data theft, crash of vehicles and harm to passengers, loss of communication or hacked communication between connected vehicles etc.

Mega discounts on flights from Dubai to Europe, US

French carrier Air France is offering discounted tariffs for the residents of the UAE to various destinations worldwide.

Under its ‘Oh Lala’ bonanza, the airline has slashed airfare to destinations in Europe and United States from Dubai, offering return trips under Dh2,000.

Under economy class, return flights to Rome cost Dh1,450 while a trip to Zurich amounts to not more than Dh1,750.

For those wishing to fly to North America, round trip to Toronto and Miami costs not more than Dh3,000

The airline is offering discounts to other South American cities too.

As per the website of the airline, return fare from Dubai includes taxes and surcharges per ticket. The offer is available from January 9 until January 30, 2018. Customers can travel from January 9 until June 10, 2018.

Why businesses must start loving data

It has long been said that ‘knowledge is power’ but never has that been more pertinent than it is for businesses. What businesses know is a key differentiator as they seek to get closer to their customers and improve their own business processes through the smarter analysis of data.

Data is an increaasingly valuable asset and those businesses best set up to extract maximum value from the data they collect and create are in a very strong position to succeed. But there are still significant hurdles to overcome, not least related to compliance and security.

As the value of data has increased, so has the scrutiny on how it is collected, stored and used, as well as who has access to it, where and when.

While headline-grabbing data breaches across the globe in all industries have put everybody on notice about the negative impact data breaches can have on enterprises and their customers, there are now additional incentives for organisations to keep their data secure. They should keep it secure because it is valuable and represents the future of their business. They should love their data and should not see keeping it secure as a chore.

Every organisation should ensure its processes, its training and its culture are focused on recognising and respecting the value of its data. It should also have clear ownership within the organisation, in the shape of a data protection officer, working alongside a chief information security officer.

However, the onus is not just on responsible, forward-looking organisations to determine what constitutes the right level of data protection. Governments and lawmakers are increasingly setting and enforcing the standards.

In May 2018, the introduction of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be the latest high profile example of new regulation imposed on the way organisations handle and use data, specifically consumer data. And while it is an EU regulation, its impact will be felt by any organisation doing business in the EU.

With companies who do not comply with GDPR facing tough financial penalties of up to four per cent of their global turnover, it would be easy to assume all have rallied to ensure compliance. However, Gartner has predicted that 50 per cent of companies will miss the GDPR deadline significantly.

Of course, while complying with the letter of specific laws can be a painstaking process, the wider need to continually review, refine and improve on existing compliance and security measures should be hard-wired into the ways of working of every business that handles valuable data. It shouldn’t take new regulations to make a company assess whether it is doing enough to protect its data.

So, how do businesses approach the task? At the heart of GDPR is a clear focus on assessment, prevention and detection and those are useful, albeit high-level starting points for every business seeking to protect its data and treat it with respect and responsibility.

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