Private sector employment in the UAE rebounded, rising by 1.2% in Q1vs a 0.6% drop in the previous quarter, supported by an acceleration in real estate sector jobs (+4.4% yoy), according to the UAE central bank.
The Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s visit to China and Indonesia sees further strengthening of ties with Asia: 16 deals were signed between UAE and China at the UAE-China Economic Forum and a joint statement issued affirmed the two nations’ commitment to achieving security, protecting energy supplies, stability as well as sustainable development. In Indonesia, multiple MoUs were signed with cooperation spanning industry development, defence, tourism and also cultural cooperation.
Bilateral trade between Dubai and China touched AED 36bn (USD 9.8bn) in Q1 this year, according to Dubai Customs. The country has been Dubai’s top trade partner since 2014.
Abu Dhabi will introduce road toll charges from Oct 15 this year: the charge will be AED 4 during the peak hours at 4 tollgates while at off-peak times the toll will be AED 2.
The Dubai World Trade Centre generated a record AED 13.1bn (USD 3.56bn) in value-added from events held during 2018. A total economic value of AED 23bn was reported during the period, with a high 57% locally retained impact. Europe accounted for the highest number of international business event visitors (25%), followed by GCC (21%), and the MENA region (17%).
Dubai Land Department will launch its first official sales and rental price index called Mo’asher in September, in coordination with Property Finder. The data will be published on a monthly basis and will improve transparency in the sector.
Bahrain’s ban of the use of single-use plastics came into effect from 25th July; the next phases will witness a blanket ban on the use of plastic bags at malls and supermarkets.
The traded value of property in Oman touched OMR 1.249bn in H1 this year; properties issued to Omani and GCC citizens dropped by 5% yoy (to 109,742) and 39.7% (to 490).
Inflation in Saudi Arabia fell 1.4% yoy in June; in mom terms, prices were up 0.2%.
Saudi Arabia will cover the VAT costs of buying new houses for its citizens, including those that previously owned houses but sold without benefiting from the tax exemption.
UAE ranked 36th globally, is the Arab world’s most innovative nation as per the latest Global Innovation Index. It ranked 24th and 58th on the innovation input and output sub-indices, respectively. Switzerland was ranked as the most innovative nation followed by Sweden, US, Netherlands and the UK.
MENA’s M&A deal value increased by 220.8% yoy to USD 115.5bn in H1 this year, according to EY. The largest deal was Saudi Aramco agreeing to acquire a 70% stake in SABIC from PIF (worth USD 69.1bn). Announced deal volume however declined by 10.7% to 216 this year.
US President Trump vetoed three congressional resolutions blocking weapons sales to countries including Saudi Arabia and UAE.
Positive earnings reports and strong economic data allowed US stocks to rebound to record highs. In Europe, equities were supported by better-than-expected earnings while emerging market assets ended the week lower. Regional markets revealed a mixed picture: Dubai’s DFM hit an 8-month high, while Egypt and Saudi exchanges closed lower. The dollar touched a 2-month high last week, while the euro weakened briefly to a 2-year low after the ECB held off rate cuts while calling for a fresh stimulus package. Tensions in the Middle East led to a weekly increase in oil prices and gold price gained on hopes of a rate cut.
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