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Mandatory insurance law fuels growth in UAE healthcare Mandatory insurance law fuels growth in UAE healthcare(0)

Dubai government’s approval of the mandatory insurance law last year is starting to trigger a new wave of growth in the emirate’s healthcare sector, according to Shuaa Capital. CONTINUE READING

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New firm positions UAE in aluminum output New firm positions UAE in aluminum output(0)

Dubai Aluminium ‘s ( DUBAL ) formal merger with its Abu Dhabi counterpart Emirates Aluminium (EMAL) is a reflection of the UAE’s rise as a low-cost smelter destination at a time when high-cost players are slashing their output. CONTINUE READING

Dubai Expo sentiment spurs UAE banking sector Dubai Expo sentiment spurs UAE banking sector(0)

The UAE banking sector’s outlook has improved considerably over the past few quarters as a spate of new infrastructure and construction projects come on track and strong economic activity helped improve business sentiment in the country. CONTINUE READING

Åndrey / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Riyadh has highest disposable income in GCC Riyadh has highest disposable income in GCC(0)

Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Riyadh are the Middle East’s three richest cities, according to a new survey. CONTINUE READING

Bakar_88 / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

 

Middle East’s ultra-rich population to swell 35% Middle East’s ultra-rich population to swell 35%(0)

Abu Dhabi, Beirut and Dubai will see the fastest growth in the population of ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWI) over the next decade, according to real estate consultancy Knight Frank’s The World Wealth Report. CONTINUE READING

www.thameralhassan.com Thamer Al-Hassan / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Access to education a challenge in Arab world Access to education a challenge in Arab world(0)

More than 8.5 million children in the Arab world remain out of school, presenting a huge socio-economic challenge for regional authorities. CONTINUE READING

D’Arcy Vallance / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
UAE eyes 65% rise in GDP per capita by 2021 UAE eyes 65% rise in GDP per capita by 2021(0)

If further proof was ever needed that the UAE’s confidence was well and truly back, it came with the UAE prime minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum ‘s new goal that the country’s GDP per capita would rise by 65% over the next seven years, just in time for the UAE’s 50th birthday. CONTINUE READING

World Economic Forum / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
UAE gas reserves offer fresh fiscal hopes UAE gas reserves offer fresh fiscal hopes(0)

Natural gas importer UAE is working on a number of projects that could boost the country’s natural gas production… CONTINUE READING

Minerals draw UAE, other investors to Guinea Minerals draw UAE, other investors to Guinea(0)

Guinea’s impoverished economy received a major boost in late November when Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Company signed a deal with the government to build an alumina refinery, which is expected to attract an estimated USD 5 billion in foreign investment. CONTINUE READING

UAE banks get kudos for improved balance sheet UAE banks get kudos for improved balance sheet(0)

The UAE’s banking sector’s solid performance over the past few quarters has earned the praise of ratings agency. CONTINUE READING

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World Bank names MENA’s best places to do business World Bank names MENA’s best places to do business(0)

United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia emerged as the best countries in the Middle East and North Africa region to do business in. CONTINUE READING

 

Dubai’s Expo win: A reward for infrastructure spending Dubai’s Expo win: A reward for infrastructure spending(0)

Dubai’s bid for the Expo 2020 will lift GDP growth leading up to the period and beyond, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. CONTINUE READING

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Fraser names ‘most free’ economies in Mideast Fraser names ‘most free’ economies in Mideast(0)

Five Middle East countries have been ranked among the world’s most free economies, according to Fraser Institute’s annual Economic Freedom of the World Survey. CONTINUE READING

Beauty Eye / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
Gulf banks fill gap as foreign lenders exit Gulf banks fill gap as foreign lenders exit(0)

Major international banks are in retreat. Cutting costs and packing up shop from non-core areas in the Middle East…. CONTINUE READING

Duncan Rawlinson. Duncan.co / Foter / CC BY-NC
Bank of America Merrill Lynch bullish on Gulf bonds Bank of America Merrill Lynch bullish on Gulf bonds(0)

As the Middle East gears up for yet another potential war, Bank of America Merrill Lynch is telling clients to buy Gulf bonds on regional weakness. CONTINUE READING

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UAE’s Aldar explores Kazakhstan real estate potential UAE’s Aldar explores Kazakhstan real estate potential(0)

Fresh from completing its merger with Sorouh Properties, Aldar Properties has made a major international move by kicking-off its Kazakhstan project. CONTINUE READING

BASF – The Chemical Company / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
Abu Dhabi gains on lower break-even oil prices Abu Dhabi gains on lower break-even oil prices(0)

Oil breakeven prices in Abu Dhabi are set to fall below USD 100 per barrel, as debt obligations and fiscal pressures on the government start to ease, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML). CONTINUE READING

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GCC retail industry to reach USD221bn by 2015 GCC retail industry to reach USD221bn by 2015(0)

The Gulf’s retail market is set to become a USD 221 billion industry by 2015, growing remarkable at 7.9% each year for the next three years, according to Markaz, Kuwait Finance Centre. CONTINUE READING

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Messaging apps kill off Gulf telecom firms’ income Messaging apps kill off Gulf telecom firms’ income(0)

Data and smart phones were supposed to be the great saviors of the regional telecom industry. CONTINUE READING

caribb / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
Abu Dhabi, Dubai give birth to aluminum titan Abu Dhabi, Dubai give birth to aluminum titan(0)

The Dubai Aluminium -Emirates Aluminium ( Dubal -Emal) merger comes at an opportune time for the aluminum industry… CONTINUE READING

African farmland may hold key to food security African farmland may hold key to food security(0)

The UAE’s recent suggestion that Africa should develop agriculture free zones highlights how food-importing states view the continent’s great natural bounties. CONTINUE READING

United Nations Photo / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
Investors keep watchful eye on Ivory Coast Investors keep watchful eye on Ivory Coast(0)

Abraaj Capital is close to making major investments in the Ivory Coast (or Côte d’Ivoire), as the nation emerges from a decade-long civil conflict and participate in the wider growth taking root in the continent. CONTINUE READING

DFID – UK Department for International Development / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
Game-changing tech trends to hit energy sector Game-changing tech trends to hit energy sector(0)

In its latest report on new technologies that could dramatically alter the way businesses are run, Citibank identifies three technologies that could transform the global energy markets. CONTINUE READING

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center / Foter / CC BY-NC
Weakening demand keeps oil below USD100 Weakening demand keeps oil below USD100(0)

An oil price collapse to USD 90 per barrel could see a 0.4% drop in Saudi GDP, according to estimates by HSBC. CONTINUE READING

GCC finds wealth of opportunity in Djibouti GCC finds wealth of opportunity in Djibouti(0)

The Gulf region’s fingerprints are all over the economic fortunes of a small African country. CONTINUE READING

Ian XYZ / Foter / CC BY
Renewable energy to solve Africa’s power crisis Renewable energy to solve Africa’s power crisis(0)

UAE’s Masdar Energy went against the grain by inaugurating a 15-megawatt solar photovoltaic facility in the West African state of Mauritania – the largest project of its kind in Africa. CONTINUE READING

JU5T1N / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
Marine industry shifts focus to Mideast, Asia Marine industry shifts focus to Mideast, Asia(0)

The greatest growth in container trade will take place between the Far East and the Middle East for the next two decades. CONTINUE READING

joeldinda / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Gulf banks’ M&A hunger pangs seen growing Gulf banks’ M&A hunger pangs seen growing(0)

Gulf banks are showing renewed confidence and are hungry for acquisitions, especially as Western banks retreat. CONTINUE READING

Gulf stocks end Q1 with USD751bn market cap Gulf stocks end Q1 with USD751bn market cap(0)

A 5.2% correction in the Dubai Financial Market in the month of March took the shine off an otherwise stellar quarter for the emirate and the wider Gulf markets. CONTINUE READING

*Crazy Diamond* / Foter / CC BY-ND

 

UAE Lead’s Middle East Alternative Energy Push With Major Solar Project UAE Lead’s Middle East Alternative Energy Push With Major Solar Project(0)

Days after announcing a new energy minister, Abu Dhabi also launched the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant, in what marks a significant turn in the way the UAE views its energy sector. CONTINE READING

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6 ME family business insights 6 ME family business insights(0)

 

Brandon Christopher Warren / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

More than 80% of the Middle East businesses polled in a survey expect steady or aggressive growth in the next five years, according to a global PriceWaterHouseCoopers (PWC) survey. READ MORE

100 Million Tourists For MENA Countries 100 Million Tourists For MENA Countries(0)
betta design / Foter / CC BY-NC

The Middle East tourism industry’s progress was cut short by the Arab Spring crisis and it’s still reeling from the after shocks that reverberate in countries across the region. CONTINUE READING

Legatum Institute Survey: Prosperous UAE Legatum Institute Survey: Prosperous UAE(0)

The UAE is the most prosperous Middle East state and among the 30 most prosperous countries in the world, according to the latest edition of the annual Legatum Institute Survey. CONTINUE READING

Luxury villas: Dubai Rebounds Luxury villas: Dubai Rebounds(0)
Dubai Holiday Villas – Luxury on The Palm / Foter / CC BY-NC

Dubai’s luxury real estate prices recorded the second biggest jump after Jakarta, according to UK-based real estate consultant Knight Frank. CONTINUE READING

Project Slow Down In Gulf Project Slow Down In Gulf(0)
mugley / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

More than USD65-billion worth of projects have been awarded in the Middle East North Africa region, according to Citibank Group research. CONTINUE READING

Doing business in the Middle East Doing business in the Middle East(0)

 

JakeBrewer / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Middle East states fared poorly in a new edition of a survey that measures their business friendliness. The World Bank’s annual Doing Business 2013 report saw most countries in the region fall in global rankings. CONTINUE READING

Buy Dubai Debt: Barclays Buy Dubai Debt: Barclays(0)

Barclays Capital has cherry-picked Dubai corporate credit as the most promising in the region. CONTINUE READING

Beauty Eye / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
UAE’s Credit Crunch UAE’s Credit Crunch(0)
san189 / Foter / CC BY-NC

The UAE Central Bank’s decision to extend its deadline for commercial banks’ to comply with its regulations for another six months comes as a relief to the financial institutions. CONTINUE READING

The investments of Zabeel The investments of Zabeel(0)

Zabeel Investments was launched during the hey days of Dubai when the emirate was the darling of the financial world and the emirate was keen to cultivate its reputation as a discerning global investor. CONTINUE READING

Abu Dhabi: Growing Concerns Abu Dhabi: Growing Concerns(0)
ia7mad / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

For all its fiscal might and financial muscle, the Abu Dhabi economy hasn’t picked up spectacularly despite high oil prices. The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development estimates the emirate’s economy to post a 3.9% growth this year, which is subdued, compared to its Saudi and Qatari counterparts. CONTINUE READING

UAE Banks’ Real Estate Hangover UAE Banks’ Real Estate Hangover(0)

Muted lending and deleveraging continues to haunt UAE banks. While most regional banks have shrugged off the after effects of the global financial crisis, the UAE banks remain hamstrung by the real estate crash and exposure to Dubai Inc’s debt woes. CONTINUE READING

USD76Bn Of Gulf Debt Set To Mature By 2014 USD76Bn Of Gulf Debt Set To Mature By 2014(0)

More than USD76-billion of bond and sukuk debt is expected to mature by 2014, according to Kuwait Financial Centre ( Markaz ) research. CONTINUE READING

DIFC’s Opportunity DIFC’s Opportunity(0)

With major financial centres reeling from global turmoil, Dubai once again has a chance to attract the emerging economies’ burgeoning financial services sector. CONTINUE READING

Rise of Arab Social Media Rise of Arab Social Media(0)
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ansik / Foter

The UAE has more than a million LinkedIn users, Egypt has a quarter of the region’s Facebook users and the most popular for Twitter was Bahrain, according to latest data. And guess which brand was the most popular among UAE Facebook users? CONTINUE READING

UAE’s Twin Masterstrokes UAE’s Twin Masterstrokes(0)

The UAE has once again demonstrated impressive strategic thinking with the launch of a new oil pipeline that bypasses the Strait of Hormuz and the construction of the Gulf’s first nuclear plant. CONTINUE READING

MENA ICT Indicators MENA ICT Indicators(0)

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Stuck in Customs / Foter

Gulf states stand out in regional ICT subscriptions, but data shows there is still tremendous scope for greater broadband and Internet penetration across the region. READ MORE HERE

UAE Banking Worries Overdone? UAE Banking Worries Overdone?(0)

Public sector lending limits may not be good news for Emirates NBD and National Bank of Abu Dhabi, says SICO, but worries over the UAE banking sector’s health are overdone…. CONTINUE READING

Gulf States’ Budget Breakeven Oil Price Declines Gulf States’ Budget Breakeven Oil Price Declines(0)

Breakeven oil prices for Saudi Arabia and the UAE decline for the first time in years, according to Deutsche Bank, which is great news for the

 

 

 

 

 

 

GCC, especially at a time of falling crude prices and global and regional economic uncertainty.  CONTINUE READING

EU Crisis Is Souring Dubai’s Bouyant Mood EU Crisis Is Souring Dubai’s Bouyant Mood(0)

From a vertigo-inducing high earlier in the year, the Dubai Financial Market index has come crashing down. At its height this year, the market was up 31% but now stands at 9%. CONTINUE READING

 

ME’s Great Gas Slowdown: IEA ME’s Great Gas Slowdown: IEA(0)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Middle East’s natural gas production will be a victim of low prices and lack of focus over the next five years, leading to a slowdown in output, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency. CONTINUE READING

Stunning Pictures of Egyptian Pyramids & Dubai Jumeirah By AirPano Stunning Pictures of Egyptian Pyramids & Dubai Jumeirah By AirPano(0)
Qatar, Kuwait & UAE’s Ecological Footprint Biggest in World: WWF Qatar, Kuwait & UAE’s Ecological Footprint Biggest in World: WWF(0)

 

Stuck in Customs / Foter

Here’s a list Qatar would not want to top: The World Wild Life Fund (WWF) has ranked Qatar as the country with the largest ecological footprint per capita in its latest report. The tiny country is joined by neighbours Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates as the three nations with the largest ecological footprint – far exceeding other countries.  READ MORE HERE

9 key points from the GCC Summit 9 key points from the GCC Summit(0)

The timing could not have been more inconvenient.

In the week Gulf leaders met to discuss ways to create a more unified group, similar to an ‘EU model’, European Union leaders were struggling to keep their group united amid an unravelling economic and political crisis. READ MORE HERE

WEF: How Trade-Friendly Is The Middle East? WEF: How Trade-Friendly Is The Middle East?(0)

Gulf economies, led by the UAE, have fared quite well in a World Economic Forum focused on world’s trade-friendliness and access to global markets.

The UAE was ranked 19th among 132 countries in an in-depth survey conducted by the World Economic Forum. Oman, with a global ranking of 25, surprisingly emerged second among Arab countries, with Saudi Arabia close at its heel, at 27. READ MORE HERE

Projects: Dubai beats Abu Dhabi Projects: Dubai beats Abu Dhabi(0)

Dubai awarded more projects than Abu Dhabi for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2008. Dubai entities awarded USD1.8-billion of new projects compared to the UAE capital’s subdued USD596-million, respectively, according to EFG-Hermes. READ MORE HERE

Can Gulf stock markets maintain momentum? Can Gulf stock markets maintain momentum?(0)

With Gulf economies poised for growth on the back of strong macroeconomic policies, regional stock markets are also set for growth. READ MORE HERE

Where To Invest In The Middle East: Bank of America Merrill Lynch Where To Invest In The Middle East: Bank of America Merrill Lynch(0)

With Gulf economies poised for growth on the back of strong macroeconomic policies, regional stock markets are also set for growth.

The two most liquid GCC markets – Dubai and Saudi Arabia – are both up well over 20% since the start of the year, with the Egyptian market also rising an astonishing 33%.  READ MORE HERE

Gulf Emerges As Global Sweet Spot Gulf Emerges As Global Sweet Spot(0)

Nobody even considered looking at MENA states last year, as news of Arab Spring-related crisis, instability and the Iran conflict dominated the headlines.
But buried amid the negative headlines was the regional governments’ resolve to continue pumping funds into their respective economies. READ MORE HERE

Gulf’s USD29 Billion Electricity Bill Gulf’s USD29 Billion Electricity Bill(0)

Gulf states are expected to spend USD29-billion over the next two years on their electricity infrastructure, according to ratings agency Moody’s Investors Services. READ MORE HERE

UAE Economy Top Regional Pick For Barclays Capital UAE Economy Top Regional Pick For Barclays Capital(0)

Barclays Capital picks Dubai as the best risk/reward play in the region. But while the outlook is optimistic, corporates will continue to feel the pain. READ MORE HERE

Dubai Tops Region In Citibank’s Global Hot Spots Dubai Tops Region In Citibank’s Global Hot Spots(0)

Dubai emerges as the region’s hot spot in an EIU survey on the world’s most competitive cities. But, overall, the region’s metropolises’ fared poorly in the list. READ MORE HERE

UAE Moves Closer To Energy-Hungry Asia UAE Moves Closer To Energy-Hungry Asia(0)

UAE-South Korea trade is expected to rise 21% this year, as hydrocarbons-rich Gulf states move closer to energy-hungry Asian markets. READ MORE HERE

Middle East’s USD15-Billion SME Opportunity Middle East’s USD15-Billion SME Opportunity(0)

Around 11 million SMEs remain unserved or underserved in the Middle East, presenting a massive USD15-billion opportunity for the banking industry. READ MORE HERE

Top Ten Middle East Stocks In February Top Ten Middle East Stocks In February(0)

Middle East markets had a phenomenal February. Find out which stocks performed outstandingly well, and which failed to get investors enthused. READ MORE HERE

 

What If Oil Prices Drop Suddenly?: The GCC Dilemma, As Imagined By Citibank What If Oil Prices Drop Suddenly?: The GCC Dilemma, As Imagined By Citibank(0)

Barclays Capital expects GCC economies to rise 5.4% this year, but Citibank worries that a sudden drop in oil prices could leave the states with a dilemma: whether to curtail spending or keep pumping funds into the economy. READ MORE HERE

Middle East’s Best Performing Stocks Middle East’s Best Performing Stocks(0)

Middle East markets had a phenomenal February. Find out which stocks performed outstandingly well, and which failed to get investors enthused.

February was the month when Middle East markets roared back to life.  READ MORE HERE

Why So Low?: Capital Inflows In Middle East Why So Low?: Capital Inflows In Middle East(0)

Why have regional capital inflows remained well below their 2007 levels, even though emerging markets have since investments surged since then? The IIF says there are four good reasons for the low inflows.

The Middle East North Africa’s capital inflows continue to languish after they peaked at a high of nearly USD150-billion in 2007. READ MORE HERE

Which Country Will Suffer Most If Strait Of Hormuz Is Blocked? Which Country Will Suffer Most If Strait Of Hormuz Is Blocked?(0)

Which regional companies and countries stand to lose in the event that Iran closes the Strait of Hormuz? Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s takes a look. READ MORE HERE

 

Guess The Best Performing Gulf Market? Guess The Best Performing Gulf Market?(0)

While investors were looking elsewhere, Dubai and other Gulf markets have been staging an impressive rally. What’s this: a Gulf stock market racking up double-digit growth in the first six weeks of the year? READ MORE HERE

Dubai’s Property Pain: 15-20% Drop In Prices Again This Year, Says Rasmala Dubai’s Property Pain: 15-20% Drop In Prices Again This Year, Says Rasmala(1)

While Dubai’s economic environment is improving rapidly, the real estate sector is likely to go through more pain and fall by a further 15-20% before bottoming out, says Rasmala.

While Dubai’s economic environment is improving rapidly, the real estate sector is likely to go through more pain and fall by a further 15-20% before bottoming out, says Dubai-based Rasmala. READ MORE HERE

S&P: Which Middle East Companies & Countries Will Suffer If Strait of Hormuz Is Blocked? S&P: Which Middle East Companies & Countries Will Suffer If Strait of Hormuz Is Blocked?(0)

It’s a crisis that won’t go away. While the region is no stranger to Israelis and Iranians trading insults and threats, Tel Aviv’s latest hue and cry over Iran’s nuclear ambition refuses to die down.

Recent bombing attacks on Israeli embassies in New Dehli, Tbilisi (Georgia) and Bangkok was blamed on Iran – claims denied by Tehran – have frayed nerves and the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did nothing to soothe them by attending an event that highlighted Iran’s “nuclear achievements” on Wednesday.

READ MORE HERE

Most Trusted Middle East Banks Most Trusted Middle East Banks(0)

Thirty-three Middle East banks are among 500 of the world’s most trusted banks, according to a new study. READ MORE HERE

500 New Hotels Under Construction In The Middle East 500 New Hotels Under Construction In The Middle East(0)

Love My Tours /Foter

Close to 500 new hotels – or 496 to be exact – are being built in the Middle East Africa region, according to STR Global, the hospitality consultancy.

These hotels will feature 133,438 rooms, according to the consultancy, with Dubai leading the way with 13,349 rooms under construction. READ MORE HERE

Riyadh And Jeddah Are Second And Third Fastest Growing Cities In World Riyadh And Jeddah Are Second And Third Fastest Growing Cities In World(0)

Riyadh and Jeddah had a stellar 2010-2011, clocking the second and third highest growth rates in the world according to The Brookings Institution’s 2011 Global MetroMonitor.

Their performance was only bettered by the Chinese economic engine Shanghai, which saw its income rise nearly 10% during the 2010-11 period. READ MORE HERE

Abu Dhabi, Why So Austere? Abu Dhabi, Why So Austere?(0)

In the context of the region, the UAE and especially Abu Dhabi, was the proverbial safe haven along with Qatar.

While it was not a great year by any stretch of the imagination, the UAE looked good simply because others such as Egypt, Bahrain, Libya and Syria were imploding. READ MORE HERE

Dubai Had A Good 2011, But Can It Have A Great 2012? Dubai Had A Good 2011, But Can It Have A Great 2012?(0)

Although Dubai has seen a pick up in its economy with tourists and hotel occupancy on the up and external trade much improved, it has not yet reflected on credit growth or trickled down to other parts of the economy. READ MORE HERE

100 Largest Economies By 2050: HSBC 100 Largest Economies By 2050: HSBC(1)

January 15, 2012

A year after HSBC released its 2050 report which estimated that Egypt would surpass Saudi Arabia as the largest economy in the Middle East, the bank has dug deeper in its crystal ball-gazing research.

The first report limited its forecast to the world’s 30 largest economies by 2050 – but has now expanded it to 100 nations and includes more Middle East nations.
And like the first edition of the report, there are a few surprises. READ MORE HERE

Where Are The World’s Best Skylines? Where Are The World’s Best Skylines?(0)

Dubai has the seventh best skyline in the world, according to Emporis, the respected consultancy that specialises in skyscrapers across the world.

The emirate was the only Middle Eastern city in the 50 best skylines in the world, with Doha placed second in the region at 64. READ MORE HERE

MENA 2012 Outlook: Oil Exporting Countries MENA 2012 Outlook: Oil Exporting Countries(0)

In the first part of the 2012 regional economic prospects, a look at oil-rich countries’ efforts to manage their citizens’ expectations, economic slowdown and regional and domestic political upheavals in the New Year.

The year 2011 was probably the most unexpected for the Middle East in decades with  not just the magnitude of changes unravelling in the region, but also the sheer number of those cataclysmic changes. READ MORE HERE

MENA Projects: Saudi Arabia Still the Driving Force; UAE Slowdown Continues MENA Projects: Saudi Arabia Still the Driving Force; UAE Slowdown Continues(0)

Excerpt from Citibank report:

In October this year, $16.9bn of projects were awarded across MENA. On a cumulative basis, just over $82bn of projects have been awarded across the region in the year to end October. This compares favourably with FY10 when almost $80bn of projects were awarded. Saudi Arabia is the main driving force accounting for a third of the 2011 total. Iraq accounts for 20%.The UAE has awarded almost $14bn in the year to end October, almost $20bn below FY10.
Read More

MSCI Dec 14 Decision On UAE & Qatar On Knife-Edge MSCI Dec 14 Decision On UAE & Qatar On Knife-Edge(0)

EFG-Hermes believes an MSCI upgrade of UAE and Qatar exchanges to emerging market status is unlikely but not impossible. If the upgrade does happen, both markets could tap into an estimated $280Bn of emerging market funds.
The markets have been buoyant recently in anticipation  that MSCI will upgrade both UAE and Qatar to emerging market status on December 14. READ MORE HERE

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE are among the world’s 25 Rapid Growth Markets: Ernst & Young Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE are among the world’s 25 Rapid Growth Markets: Ernst & Young(0)

• 25 Rapid Growth Markets (RGMs) to grow by an average of 6.2% this year and by 5.9% in 2012, compared with 1.6% growth for the Eurozone this year falling to 0.6% next year.

• Qatar had the highest nominal GDP (US$) per capita at PPP in 2010 among the 25 RGMs and has also been the fastest growing economy over the last decade, with an average growth of 13%.

The dynamics of the global economy have changed with a new set of fast-growing markets challenging the position of the established advanced economies. The rapid growth markets (RGMs) are expected to grow collectively by 6.2% this year, almost four times more than the anemic growth expected in the Eurozone according to Ernst & Young’s new quarterly Rapid Growth Markets Forecast (RGMF).
Read More

Gulf Should Prepare For EU Meltdown Gulf Should Prepare For EU Meltdown(0)
Davide “Dodo” Oliva /Foter

The UAE bank governor says it’s not planning for a crisis in the European Union. But with the EU economy heading for a recession, and rumours of its imminent break-up rife, perhaps it should.

The UAE’s Central bank chief says the government has not taken any steps to prepare for a possible break up – and one wouldn’t expect him to say anything but that. READ MORE HERE

An Economic Model For Arab Spring Countries: UAE, Turkey, Malaysia Or Indonesia? An Economic Model For Arab Spring Countries: UAE, Turkey, Malaysia Or Indonesia?(0)

Arab countries that have recently been liberated from the clutches of their dictators are searching for a path to prosperity. For many, the political and social and economic achievements of Turkey is worthy of emulation. Indeed, the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is somewhat seen as a rock star among the youth of the Arab world.

But a new study by Legatum Institute, focused on the prosperity of nations, wonders whether Arab countries could consider alternative growth models. READ MORE HERE

Will 2011 Be The Best Year For Gulf Banks? Will 2011 Be The Best Year For Gulf Banks?(0)

While their global counterparts slash and burn, Gulf banks are collectively set for their best year – ever — according to KAMCO.

While major blue-chip banks across the world are cutting back, shedding staff, deleveraging and recoiling at the thought of major sovereign defaults in Euroland, Gulf banks have quietly bulked up. Their prudence has allowed them to escape much of the crisis facing the global financial services industry, and they have benefited from great government support that has ensured they lived through the soul-crushing global financial crisis of 2008. READ MORE HERE
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Unlocking Abu Dhabi’s Pent-Up Demand Unlocking Abu Dhabi’s Pent-Up Demand(0)

From a position of chronic under-supply, the Abu Dhabi real estate market is suddenly oversupplied, which is hurting developers, banks and the end investors.

While the country and the emirate has taken certain regulatory steps to stem the slide, it seems an uphill battle, with analysts expecting a turn around only after another two years. READ MORE HERE

$25Bn Gulf Debt Maturities In 2012 Pose Risk: S&P $25Bn Gulf Debt Maturities In 2012 Pose Risk: S&P(0)

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said today that issuers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries face rising refinancing risks over the next three years because the amount of debt maturing in the region will increase significantly between 2012-2014.

Industry experts estimate bonds and sukuk of about $25 billion will mature in 2012, rising to about $35 billion in 2014. Standard & Poor’s believes the region is therefore entering a challenging loan and bond refinancing cycle, especially given the ongoing volatility in capital markets and fears that slowing global economic growth is already curbing corporate debt issuance and heightening refinancing risk in the region.
Read More

Ten OPEC Forecasts Ten OPEC Forecasts(0)
rickz /Foter

Read the ten major forecasts from Opec’s latest World Oil Outlook, ranging from the challenges and prospects for oil developers to the intense competition they will face over the next 25 years.  READ MORE HERE

Read More

How Safe Is Your Sovereign Debt? How Safe Is Your Sovereign Debt?(0)
el7bara /Foter

Dubai and Abu Dhabi find themselves at the opposite end of the sovereign debt spectrum.

While Dubai continues to remain in the list of the ten riskiest ‘sovereigns’ in CMA Datavision’s quarterly update, Abu Dhabi is now seen as among the ten safest  sovereign debt. READ MORE HERE

Why Buying Dubai Debt Is A Good Idea: Analysts Why Buying Dubai Debt Is A Good Idea: Analysts(0)

Dubai has come a long way in a short period of time. From being shunned by investors after it infamously requested a debt standstill from creditors in November 2009, the emirate has made a number of painful cuts and significant restructuring of key companies.

The emirate has matured considerably, swallowed its pride, shunned projects that did not add value and brought down debt during the period. READ MORE HERE

Consumer Confidence Dips In UAE Consumer Confidence Dips In UAE(0)

The latest results from the recent Consumer Confidence Index survey carried out by Bayt.com, the Middle East’s number one job site, and research and consulting organisation, YouGov, shows that UAE residents still have a positive outlook of the country’s economy, as well as their financial future despite moving down the consumer confidence index by 1.3 points. The survey revealed that 62% feel that the current salary is not in line with the cost of living, with 33% stating buying consumer durables is not practical in the present situation.
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China’s Hard Landing Will Hurt Middle East Economic Prospects China’s Hard Landing Will Hurt Middle East Economic Prospects(0)

The EU and the US economies are not the only headaches for Middle East economies. China’s faltering economy could also hurt the region’s growth prospects.

As the advanced economies were contracting and falling behind earlier in the year, the Gulf and the wider MENA states were hoping Chinese and wider Asian demand to ensure their oil production finding eager buyers. READ MORE HERE
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EFG Positive On Q3 Earnings; Expects Q4 Market Rally; No UAE-Qatar MSCI Upgrade Though EFG Positive On Q3 Earnings; Expects Q4 Market Rally; No UAE-Qatar MSCI Upgrade Though(0)

The regional stock markets may be sending negative signals, but the Middle East listed companies are expected to see a 38% rise in earnings in the third compared to the same period last year, according to EFG-Hermes estimates.

“Materials sector earnings are driven by higher oil prices, lower provisioning and loan growth will likely drive earnings growth for the Saudi banks, and the UAE’s real estate sector will likely see a Y-o-Y turnaround after heavy losses from UP and Aldar in 2010, in our view. (Excluding UP and Aldar reduces earnings growth expectations to 16.8% Y-o-Y and 2.6% Q-o-Q). We believe Q-o-Q growth will be driven by Emaar and UP showing strong earnings growth, seasonally high earnings from SEC and Air Arabia due to the summer period, and OCI, which should benefit from strong fertiliser prices,” notes EFG.

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$525-Billion Energy Capital Investments In MENA By 2016: Apicorp $525-Billion Energy Capital Investments In MENA By 2016: Apicorp(0)

The Arab Petroleum Investment Corporation (Apicorp) expects MENA energy capital investment to reach $525-billion over the next five years.

But the Dammam-based lender estimates that the figure is at least $90-billion short of the ‘investment potential’. The company examined nearly 200 energy projects planned and announced in the public and private sectors. READ MORE HERE

The Middle East’s 10 Most Expensive Retail Locations The Middle East’s 10 Most Expensive Retail Locations(0)

Middle East retail rents staganted in the 2010/11 period which ended in June, according to research consultants Cushman & Wakefield (C&W).

This downward trend was in sharp contrast to the growth seen in other emerging markets. Not surprisngly, some of the countries most affected by the Arab revolt saw the most severe declines. Bahrain’s retail rents fell 26.7% during the period, while Syria saw a 16.7% decline.
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Outlook For UAE Darkens; Gulf Not Immune Either: Deutsche Bank Outlook For UAE Darkens; Gulf Not Immune Either: Deutsche Bank(0)

The UAE which is more aligned than other regional states to global economic  cycles, saw its PMI fall from 57.5 in April to 51.0 in July, suggesting that that any further deterioration in global economies will be felt more in the UAE compared to other Gulf states, says Deutsche Bank. READ MORE HERE

What Do Young People in the Gulf Think?: BAH Study What Do Young People in the Gulf Think?: BAH Study(0)

A Booz Allen Hamilton report surveys 415 young nationals aged 15 to 24 in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar to get a sample of what the youth of these countries think of their future and their countries’ key challenges:

Here are the results in a snapshot.

Surprisngly, more young people think high cost of living is a bigger concern than finding a job. Nationals,, especially in Qatar and UAE enjoy subsidies and benefits from governments but they still appear to think that the cost of living is their biggest concern.
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SPECIAL COMMENT: Turkey, SIBOS and  Islamic Finance SPECIAL COMMENT: Turkey, SIBOS and Islamic Finance(0)

By Rushdi Siddiqui, Global Head of Islamic Finance, Thomson Reuters

EXCLUSIVE TO ALIFARABIA.COM

I was at two recent conferences, OIC Member States’ Stock Exchange Forum 5th Meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, and SWIFT’s SIBOS massive event in Toronto, and, folks, we have a lot of work ahead of us in Islamic finance/Muslim countries on build out of the capital markets, linkages, etc.

Furthermore, I was speaking to a panellist colleague at the SIBOS event, and we were discussing some of the personalities who have come and gone in Islamic finance in last 15 years, yet provided nothing more than motivational speaking and financial dawah/Khutbaah to fellow Muslims and got compensated handsomely while collecting ‘Best This’ award.
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MENA Needs 3.5 Million New ‘Affordable’ Homes, says Jones Lang LaSalle MENA Needs 3.5 Million New ‘Affordable’ Homes, says Jones Lang LaSalle(0)

The MENA region has a shortage of 3.5 million affordable dwellings, with Egypt, Iraq, Morocco and Saudi Arabia suffering from the biggest shortfalls.

For all the boom (and subsequent busts) in the regional real estate markets, there remains a shortage of a little more than 3.5 million units of affordable housing in the MENA region, according to Jones Lang LaSalle, the real estate consultants.

The largest shortfalls are in the markets of Egypt (1,500,000), Iraq (1,000,000), Morocco (600,000) and Saudi Arabia (400,000), but other Gulf markets also face shortages, brought upon by a host of factors. READ MORE HERE

Emirates To Become Largest Wide-Bodied Carrier By 2015: Boston Consulting Emirates To Become Largest Wide-Bodied Carrier By 2015: Boston Consulting(0)

Emirates airline will surpass the likes of Air France/KLM, Lufthansa/Swiss, British Airways and other major airlines. Boston Consulting Group (BCG) projects that passenger flow in the Middle East will hit 140 million by 2015 and Emirates will become the world’s largest wide-body carrier.

“We further expect that its regional peers, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways won’t be far behind in the ranks of the top 20. Some of the drivers of this growth are what we expected, and what has been widely reported, such as Middle Eastern megacrriers’ cost advantages, close alignment with the national policies of their home countries and the dynamics of demand aggregation for midpoints hub carriers.”

But BCG is surprised that the regional carriers have maintained their pricing. “Often overlooked, priceing can provide a paricularly insightful understanding of the megacarriers’ current success and future moves.”
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