GULF STATES- ECONOMICS & FINANCE
Dubai DED issues 2,805 new licenses in April 2019
The Business Registration and Licensing (BRL) sector in the Department of Economic Development (DED) Dubai issued 2,805 new licenses during April 2019, a growth of 60 percent compared to April 2018.
The new licenses created 8,375 jobs in the labor market. Among the new licenses issued, 49 percent were professional, 48.1 percent commercial, 2.3 percent related to tourism and 0.6 percent industry. The ‘Business Map’ digital platform of DED, which seeks to reflect the economic realities in Dubai by providing vital data on each license category including their numbers and distribution on a monthly basis, saw 29,813 business registration and licensing transactions being completed during the month of April 2019, a growth of 13 percent compared to April 2018.
The report showed that License Renewal accounted for 13,140 transactions during April 2019, a growth of 3.8 percent compared to April 2018, while 6,259 transactions were related to Auto Renewal via text messages, a growth of 85.2 percent compared to the same period in 2018.
During the month of April 2019, the number of Trade Name Reservation was 4,513, a growth of 36.6 percent compared to April 2018, while the number of Initial Approvals reached 3,664. BRL also issued 185 instant licenses, a growth of 112.6 percent compared to the same period in 2018. The outsourced service centres of DED issued 20,724 transactions in April 2019, thus demonstrating their vital role in delivering value-added services to the public in Dubai. The number of DED Trader licenses during April 2019 reached 166 license, a growth of 19.4 percent compared to the same period in 2018.
Reduced fees at RAK Properties
RAK Properties announced the reduction of service charges on villas for the foreseeable future, as part of its move to create a more sustainable business model.
The move benefits both the environment and the pocket books of villa residents in Mina Al Arab. The restructure comes as part of a universal move the UAE has put in to action to effectively utilise renewable energy sources, with increased focus on recycling and sustainability.
By increasing usage of renewable energy and finding ways to reduce water wastage, the company has reduced service charges from Dh8 per sqft to Dh6 on its villa projects.
“RAK Properties have gone to great lengths to use water more carefully and to implement renewable solar energy on the parking shades of Lagoon Walk. This is good for the environment and it creates savings for our villa owners,” said Samuel Dean Sidiqi, chief executive officer of RAK Properties.
Dubai welcomes spectrum of the seas into Port Rashid
Dubai recently welcomed the innovative cruise ship ‘Spectrum of the Seas’ into Port Rashid, marking its debut into the Arabian Gulf.
A traditional ‘Plaques and Keys Exchange’ ceremony was hosted on board in the presence of the ship’s captain and key industry stakeholders from Dubai Cruise Committee. Reaffirming Dubai’s position as the ‘cruise hub of the region’, Spectrum of the Seas arrived in port bringing almost 4,000 tourists to the emirate in a single day.
Weighing 168,666 gross tonnes, Royal Caribbean’s new Spectrum of the Seas will be the largest and most advanced cruise ship to port in Dubai. The cruise brand revealed several new innovations and features on board the ship, displaying ‘first-at-sea’ activities such as the Sky Pad, a virtual reality bungee trampoline, RipCord by iFly sky diving simulator and North Star observation pod that offers guests astonishing panoramic views more than 300 feet above sea level. In addition, the ship’s interiors offer a music hall and SeaPlex; the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex with bumper cars, roller skating and basketball.
Mohamed Abdul Aziz Al Mannai, CEO of P&O Marina and CEO of Port Rashid at DP World, said: “The cruise ship terminal at Port Rashid has recorded significant achievements over the past few years, including the development of marine, commercial and tourism infrastructure. This strengthens the emirate’s global position as a hub for trade and cruise tourism and supports the tourism sector in Dubai and its efforts to establish the emirate among the best cities in the world.”
Al Mannai also outlined that the shipyard at Port Rashid welcomes close to half a million visitors annually and expects 725,000 visitors during the 2018-2019 cruise season, as a result of Dubai’s ongoing efforts to attract tourists and investors to the emirate.
Dubai to host one of the world’s biggest waterparks
Dubai will soon be home to one of the world’s biggest waterparks as Atlantis Aquaventure announces plans for an expansion that will see the addition of a third, 34-metre tall tower at the park that will include 12 thrilling new rides in summer of 2020.
Aquaventure currently boasts more than 20 rides and rivers spread across 17 hectares at Palm Island. The addition of the Trident Tower will bring in signature world-class ProSlide rides including the world’s longest all-new ProSlide MammothBlast, a 449-metre family adventure water coaster that delivers uncompromising force at unprecedented speeds. Rafts rocket through winding channels, experiencing a breathtaking series of back-to-back curves, drops and uphill climbs powered by patented Blast water propulsion technology.
Guests can also test their nerve on the Middle East’s first-ever ProSlide Duelling Pipeline Blast/Flying Saucer 20 hybrid ride. Driven by patented sequential jets, this high-speed ride rockets duelling guests through gravity-defying turns and around wide-open saucer features at maximum velocity.
A new kids’ area will also complement the existing Splasher’s Island family zone, with highlights including four mini versions of classic ProSlide adult rides, including a mega fun competitive mat racer featuring two lanes of head-first downhill fun.
Tim Kelly, managing director, Atlantis the Palm, said: “At Atlantis we endeavour to deliver amazing experiences and everlasting memories to all of our guests and so enhancing the Atlantis Aquaventure offering is the natural next step in providing the best experience possible. We have carefully curated each attraction to ensure that we deliver first-of-its-kind ride technology for children, families and thrill-seekers alike. Trident Tower and its record-breaking slides will be a thrilling addition to the Atlantis experience, and we look forward to the unveiling in summer 2020.”
Aquaventure’s ambitious expansion project in 2020 comes as Atlantis plans the launch of the Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences set to open in quarter three of 2020.
Dubai records growth in q1 2019 tourist traffic
Dubai welcomed 4.75 million international overnight visitors in the first quarter of 2019, a two percent increase in tourism volumes compared to the same period last year, according to the latest data released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism).
Dubai’s tourism sector saw optimistic indicators from its top volume generators and its emerging growth drivers, setting the pace for 2019 both in terms of visitation numbers and GDP contribution. In key highlights, India drew the highest visitation with 564,836 visitors, followed by a strong 411,586 tourists from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), remaining the highest traffic volume generator for the GCC. The UK, meanwhile, retained its third position with 326,586 British travellers in just the first three months this year.
Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of Dubai Tourism, said: “Tourism as a sector continues to be one of the most interconnected, and consequently highly diversified pillars of Dubai’s GDP, making our economic contribution imperative for collective growth. Our Vision 2022-25, as set out by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is backed by several targeted strategic programmes for delivery by 2020-22, of which over 70 percent are well under-way already.”
“Our first quarter is an encouraging reflection of the success of our various ongoing initiatives and the efforts of all our industry partners – not just in our attraction of visitation through successful implementation of Dubai Tourism’s planned calendar of regional and global campaigns, but also through customised itinerary programming and most importantly, in-city ‘guest promise’ delivery,” he said.
Thierry Antinori, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, Emirates Airline, noted that Dubai today offers world class entertainment options and that its attraction as a global city remains very strong.
UAE residents are failing to insure their homes
Only one in 10 residents in the UAE has opted for home insurance, leaving the majority of the population susceptible to major losses or damages, experts at InsuranceMarket.ae have said.
Insights from InsuranceMarket.ae show that 58 percent of home insurance claims came from damage or loss of personal belongings, with 70 percent of them made on damages, and 30 percent on loss of personal belongings. In addition, 83 percent of claims made against personal belongings, were for loss or damage to portal electronic devices, primarily mobile phones, with jewelry accounting for the remaining 17 percent of claims.
Claims on damages to building and damage to contents made up 21 percent respectively, with 90 percent of building damage claims due to water leakage. Accidental damage makes up 57 percent of all contents claims. One home owner even claimed Dh900 for spoiled frozen food.
Avinash Babur, chief executive officer at Insurancemarket.ae, said: “A common misunderstanding of home insurance is that only individuals who own their apartment or villa can purchase this type of insurance. Tenants often wrongly assume their home contents are covered under the landlord’s or building’s policies. However, tenants who rent an apartment or villa can – and should – purchase home insurance to protect their contents, such as your furniture or home electronics, and personal belongings like watches, jewelry and mobile phones.”
“Another common misunderstanding about home insurance is that it is expensive, which is not the case. Home insurance premiums, across building, contents and personal belongings, make up only a small percentage of the total value of each item. For example, building insurance premiums range from 0.02 percent to 0.07 percent of the value of the property. So, when compared to the value of your assets and possessions, buying home insurance makes sense, offers peace of mind and undoubtedly outweighs the amount you would otherwise spend replacing items or undertaking repairs paid for out of your own pocket,” he said.
UAE’S first Ai voice agent in logistics launched
Fero has formally launched their intelligent freight interface at the Ai Everything Exhibition- an event that brought together 300+ exhibitors, speakers and startups to showcase revolutionary technology that will encompass the UAE’s Ai Strategy for 2031.
For the very first time in the Mena, Fero has introduced an AI-enabled voice agent for the logistics industry – a technology that will replace repetitive human interaction and eradicate any room for human error.
Logistics and Supply-Chain Industry Leader, Carolin Neubauer, joined Fero’s panel discussion where she shared brief introductions on the minds behind the strategic engineering, development and creation of Fero- Arjun Bhasin, technical expert, Abdulla Al Shaibani, creative expert, and Abhinav Chaudhary, CEO of Fero.
“All stakeholders in the freight environment including airlines, shipping lines, vehicle fleet owners, freight forwarders, shippers have different IT software setups. I’m not saying that current technologies are incorrect, but rather that they are incomplete when it comes to lateral scalability” said Abhinav Chaudhary in his keynote address.
The audience was introduced to Fero’s flagship NLP Agent & Chief Guest of the conference – TiA (Transport Interactive Agent), a highly intelligent and perpetual employee for the logistics industry.
“At Fero, we truly believe that TiA is the Logistician of Industry 4.0 and will revolutionise the future of freight,” said Arjun Bhasin, CTO, Fero.
Naseer Ahmed, Chief Strategy Officer, Fero, said: “We are proud of our products, there is no doubt that the freight industry is ripe for the second generation of digital transformation, but we also equally pride ourselves for being born in the UAE and placing the region on the global Ai Innovation Map.”