Dubai plans to offer a new long-term “Cultural Visa” …

UAE PMI slowed to a 9-year low but Dubai recorded a 135% yoy increase in FDI to AED 46.6bn in H1 this year.

Dubai plans to offer a new long-term “Cultural Visa” …

UAE News:
UAE PMI slowed to a 9-year low of 51.1 in September (August: 51.6); output remained at a near 6-year low while new orders were the softest since the survey began more than 10 years ago.
Inflation in UAE fell 2.04% yoy in August; last year’s inflation was higher given the implementation of VAT.
Dubai recorded a 135% yoy increase in FDI to AED 46.6bn in H1 this year, surpassing last year’s total FDI of AED 38.5bn. About 47% of FDI went into the high and medium technology component. US continued to lead FDI capital flows to Dubai (34%), followed by China (28%), UK (11%), France (5%) and Singapore (5%).
Dubai’s current debt stands at USD 124bn; the emirate continues to service its debt and is ready to take on more if needed, according to Dubai DED’s Chief Economic Advisor.
The UAE announced plans to set up an AED 300mn fund to train 18,000 graduates to enter the workforce, and also that a part of VAT revenues has been allocated to train and employ 8,000 Emiratis.
Dubai, with its latest “Virtual Commercial License” initiative, will allow freelancers and businesses globally to have access to a regulated e-commerce platform and work with Dubai-based companies (without being a resident of Dubai or UAE). This will ease the cost of doing business in the emirate while also supporting the move towards a digital economy.
Dubai plans to offer a new long-term “Cultural Visa” for artists and authors in a bid to boost the creative sector.

MENA News:
Bahrain has been ranked among the “Top 20 Improvers in Doing Business 2020” list, by implementing reforms in 9 out of the 10 areas covered by the report (except in starting a business). Other Middle East nations in the list include Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Tourism revenues in Egypt accelerated by 28.2% yoy to USD 12.57bn during the 2018-2019 fiscal year, as per the central bank’s balance of payments data.
Iraq reopened its Qaim border-crossing with Syria after eight years of closure: the crossing has been declared open for travellers and trade.
Prices of gasoline and diesel were increased in Jordan starting in October. The price per litre of unleaded 95-octane gasoline rose by 2% mom to JOD 1.005 while diesel price was up 2.5% mom to JOD 0.605.
Lebanon’s PMI slipped further into contractionary territory, with the reading at 46.4 in September (August: 47.8), largely due to an accelerated contraction in output; political instability was an oft-cited reason for lower business activity.
PMI in Saudi Arabia picked up in September, rising to 57.3 from August’s 57. Output grew (61.7 from 60.7) while new orders were down (62.3 from 63.5) while employment growth touched an 18-month high in September (51.5 from 50.1 in August).
Oil output in Saudi Arabia has been restored after the attacks, according to the energy minister. Crude oil production capacity is now at 11.3mn barrels per day (bpd), after it had been halved after the attacks.
Foreign investments in Saudi Arabia grew by 10.9% yoy and 3.05% qoq to SAR 1.685trn (USD 449.33bn) in Q2 this year. FDI, which grew by 1.95% yoy to SAR 877.22bn in Q2, accounted for more than half (52.06%) of total foreign investments.
Fitch downgraded Saudi Arabia’s credit rating to A from A+ after the attacks on its oil attacks, reflecting “rising geopolitical and military tensions in the Gulf region”. Saudi Arabia called the downgrade “somewhat speculative without direct reference to the swift, decisive and effective response to the event”. S&P meanwhile affirmed its “A-/A-2” long and short-term sovereign credit ratings on Saudi Arabia with a stable outlook, supported by “strong external and fiscal net asset stock positions”.

Global News:
Weak economic data, ongoing political tensions in the US, UK and Hong Kong, US tariff hikes spreading to the EU as well as geopolitical turmoil contributed to weak performances among global stocks last week. In spite of modest non-farm payrolls data supporting stocks towards the end of the week, the pan-European STOXX 600 index and FTSE posted declines. Among regional markets, most markets ended lower on the week given oil price movements. Gold price gained on its safe-haven status, while oil prices posted its second consecutive weekly decline.

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