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UAE economy set for 3.8pc annual surge until 2023

Driven by an uptick in investment flows and private consumption, the UAE economy is forecast to record an average annual real GDP growth of 3.8 percent between 2019 and 2023, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry said. Real GDP for the UAE’s non-oil sector is projected to grow by an average of 4.1 percent between 2019 and 2023, compared to the 2.8 percent accounted for in the 2014-18 period, a study revealed. The Dubai Chamber’s growth projection for the UAE is in line with forecasts made by the International Monetary Fund, which expects the Arab world’s second-biggest economy to 3.7 percent next in 2019, following 2.9 percent expansion in 2018. UAE Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri predicted that the country’s GDP would grow more than 3 percent in 2019 after recording between 2.5 percent and 3 percent growth in 2018. The outlook for the UAE economy is brighter than for the rest of the GCC, according to an IMF report that estimates that the six-nation bloc’s GDP is expected to increase by 1.9 percent in 2018 and 2.6 percent in 2019, overcoming a dip of 0.2 percent in 2017. According to analysts, the UAE and Kuwait are set to post fiscal surpluses in 2018 due to the recovery in oil prices, while Saudi Arabia is expected to register a modest deficit as Bahrain and Oman are likely to continue to report mid- to single-digit deficits, keeping their balance sheets under pressure.

3 from UAE among world’s most valuable brands

Three brands from the UAE – Etisalat, Adnoc and Emirates airline – figure among the world’s 500 most valuable brands, according to the latest Brand Finance Global 500 report. Growing on average 13 percent in brand value since 2018, a total of five Middle Eastern brands, including the three star performers from the UAE, have cemented their place on the global branding scene across a variety of sectors: oil and gas, telecoms, airlines and banks, the report said. David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, said the outstanding performance of the UAE brands is a real testament to the leadership of the country. “Emirati brands are leading the charge for the Middle East, among the world’s most valuable brands. As celebrations for the ‘Year of Zayed’ wrap up, we recognise the achievements, will and determination of the UAE’s Founding Father, His Highness the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.” Etisalat, which boasts of a portfolio of brands such as Etisalat Misr, Mobily, Ufone, Maroc Telecom, PTCL and Etisalat Afghanistan, was recognised for its impressive portfolio of brands becoming the first Middle East group to break the $10 billion barrier in terms of wider portfolio value. The company has also seen an eight percent growth since last year, resulting in becoming the first Middle Eastern brand to hold such a wide portfolio. For the second consecutive year, Etisalat also retained its position as the most valuable consumer brand in the Middle East and Africa.

WEF: Dubai shows the way to growth in Middle East

The only way for the Middle East to address economic challenges is to open up an economy like Dubai, which has set an example and showed the world how to achieve sustainable growth despite geopolitical and financial headwinds that the region faced over the past decades, minsters and private sector executives said at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. At Davos, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, met Apple CEO Tim Cook and Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, where the Crown Prince affirmed that the UAE and Dubai’s experiments present a model for development and offer an incubator for innovation and technology. He said Dubai became a global magnet for international companies and entrepreneurs as the emirate offers good opportunities to help business leaders to transform their plans and ideas to reality. Sheikh Hamdan also attended the signing of an agreement to establish the Emirates Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the UAE. The agreement was signed by Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, vice-chairman of the board of trustees and managing director of Dubai Future; and Professor Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF. Mohammad Al Tuwaijri, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Economy and Planning, said Dubai has set an example for the Arab world on how to achieve growth despite political, economic and financial headwinds.

UAE initiative to accelerate FDI inflows launched in Davos

Hamdan Centre for the Future of Investment (HCFI) and the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) announced a new joint capacity building programme for Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs), with a vision to deliver the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) capital, technology and talent needed for a sustainable future. Titled ‘IPAs Capacity 2030’ and aligned with the transformative vision of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the programme aims to build the capacity, skills and partnerships needed to realise a $15 trillion Impact FDI opportunity by 2030. Fahad Al Gergawi, Secretary General of HCFI and Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Investment Development Agency (DUBAI FDI) said: “Upon the launch of HCFI, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, has clearly stated that transforming the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into economic, social and environmental realities will create exceptional opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs worldwide.” “The benefits of FDI projects for a host country have been reduced to a transaction level. Impact FDI, on the other hand is a relationship, where IPAs need to take active steps to partner with investors who align their business strategies with the SDGs and together bring global value beyond a location or a country. We are glad to join forces with WAIPA in a global effort to support the growth, expansion and success of private business investments into SDGs, which provide the FDI capital, technology and talent needed for a sustainable future,” Al Gergawi added.

$3B from UAE will help meet fiscal challenges: Pakistan

The reciprocated nurturing of friendly ties between the UAE and Pakistan was at the forefront on Tuesday, when Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, and State Bank of Pakistan, SBP, signed an agreement to help Islamabad overcome its current account challenges. Tariq Bajwa, Governor of the SBP, who signed the agreement in Abu Dhabi, to formalise an $3 billion (Dh11 billion) deposit into the central bank of Pakistan, said, “It will help us in meeting current account challenges.” In 2018, the UAE announced to deposit $3 billion with the State Bank of Pakistan, under the directives of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to bolster Pakistan’s economy. Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has made two trips to UAE since assuming power in August 2018. These visits were aimed at strengthening ties between the two countries and discussing mutual interests. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan also visited Islamabad earlier in January, his first trip to Pakistan since 2007. “The UAE has always supported Pakistan economically, and Pakistan has also reciprocated in the same spirit,” Bajwa said, adding, that this also reflects the strong bonds that the two countries have.


Dubai may source 8 pc of power from renewables

Dubai will source eight percent or at least 1000 megawatts of its over-all power requirements from renewable energy sources by next year, according to Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, CEO and managing director of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa). Speaking on the sidelines of the State of the Green Economy report launch on Wednesday, Al Tayer said Dubai will beat its original target of providing seven percent of Dubai’s total power output from clean energy sources by 2020. Al Tayer added that Dewa will invest Dh8 billion on energy projects this year, including the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, in line with the goal of increasing renewable energy production to 25 percent by 2030, and 75 percent by 2050. Dewa will also promote efficiency and conservation programmes and reduce power and water network losses. “The UAE views sustainability as a global priority and is committed to combatting the impacts of climate change through relevant strategies and policies as per the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 2030. In Dubai, we are working to achieve the goals of the 8 principles of governance and the 50 Year Charter launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, which include improving the quality of life, developing Dubai’s society, and ensuring a bright future for the next generations,” said Al Tayer.

Emirates NBD hits record dh10 bn profits in 2018

Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest bank, on Wednesday said its net profit jumped 20 percent in 2018 to reach record Dh10-billion mark on the back of higher interest income and reduced provisions. The bank also achieved a milestone of assets reaching half a trillion dirham mark for the first time in its history. “2018 marked another successful year for Emirates NBD with strong income growth leading to a record high net profit. As the official banking partner for Expo 2020 Dubai, we are focused on ensuring that banking services at the exhibition are at the forefront of innovation… In light of the solid performance by the Bank, we are proposing a cash dividend at 40 fils per share,” said Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman, Emirates NBD. “We continued to expand the Bank’s international presence in 2018 by growing our branch network in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. We are confident that our prudent business model shall continue to deliver a solid performance and deal with the opportunities and challenges that will present themselves,” said Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim, vice-chairman and managing director, Emirates NBD. Strong annual profits boosted bank’s shares on Dubai Financial Market by 2.8 percent to Dh9.25 by noon time. Shayne Nelson, group CEO, Emirates NBD, said net profit increase was underpinned by higher income and a lower cost of risk.

These UAE bank accounts will get dh175. here’s why

First Abu Dhabi Bank, the largest bank in the United Arab Emirates, said on Facebook it is working to repay customers wrongly charged Dh175 ($47.7) on their accounts. The bank’s customers had complained on social media in the past few days after they were charged the fee but given little explanation.

Service fees reduced by 50 percent in UAE

Service fees for the registration of properties, rental contracts and other transactions at the Abu Dhabi Municipality have been reduced by up to 50 percent, according to a new government resolution. Abu Dhabi has also exempted all businesses issued with new licences from local fees for two years as the Capital looks to attract investors.

Tenants, buyers have more bargaining power in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi real estate sales prices and rents continued to undergo downward adjustments throughout 2018, albeit at a lesser rate towards the end of the year, indicating that in some locations pricing levels are starting to become more realistic, according to Chestertons. Average apartment and villa sales prices fell by 2 percent in Q4 compared to the previous quarter. The year-on-year performance showed that apartment prices declined, overall, by 9 percent and villas by 11 percent, informed Chestertons. Around 5,000 new residential units were completed in Abu Dhabi in 2018, estimated JLL. Q4 saw the delivery of approximately 1,600 units, bringing the total residential stock to approximately 257,000 units. Approximately 10,000 units are currently scheduled to enter the Abu Dhabi market by the end of 2019. The majority of expected supply is focused on Al Reem and Saadiyat Island, offering mid-high quality apartments. Over the past 3 years, an average of 35 percent of all expected supply was delivered as opposed to 2018, where 65 percent of the supply pipeline materialised, said a JLL report. If this rate carries over the next few years, the market will remain oversupplied which could dampen any potential improvement in prices and rental levels.

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