The UAE agrees to Establish and Pursue Diplomatic Relations with Israel...

In exchange Israel will suspend “temporarily” its plan to annex parts of occupied Palestinian territory in the West Bank.

The UAE agrees to Establish and Pursue Diplomatic Relations with Israel...

UAE News:
The UAE agreed to establish and pursue diplomatic relations with Israel including bilateral travel and trade (including technology and goods) as well as cooperation on food security, climate change and energy. In exchange, Israel will suspend “temporarily” its plan to annex parts of occupied Palestinian territory in the West Bank. Bahrain, Egypt and Oman endorsed the move.
Dubai non-oil PMI improved to 51.7 in July (June: 50), thanks to strong expansions in activity and new orders. Travel and tourism posted the first rise in activity since February on government’s effort to restart tourism. However, job growth remained weak, falling for a 5th straight month and outlook among businesses weakened for the first time since April (on expectations of a protracted recovery).
Abu Dhabi formed an economic collaboration committee, comprising representatives from 4 public sector entities and 22 private sector firms, to form working groups on 7 key sectors: construction & real estate; banking & financial services; retail, hospitality & tourism; education & technology; healthcare; industry & manufacturing and one specialized on SMEs.
Emirates District Cooling, a subsidiary of Dubai Investments, announced a 7% discount on customers’ “declared load” bill for the 3 months (August-October) across all sectors.
Property transactions in Dubai touched 2361 in June, worth a total of AED 4.9bn and the secondary market had higher sales transactions than off-plan transactions. Overall, 5605 transactions were recorded in Q2 this year, worth AED 11.05bn.

MENA News:
Unemployment among Egypt’s university graduates touched 36.1% in 2019: among these, male unemployment was 25.1% while among females, a staggering 53.2%.
Iraq has started 10 rebuilding projects in Northern Mosul, which were part of the post-war reconstruction plan approved two years ago.
Jordan closed the main Jaber border crossing with Syria for a week, after a spike in COVID-19 cases from across the border. Other land crossings with Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Palestinian territories are only open for commercial goods.
Foreign assistance to Jordan by donor countries and international financing institutions touched USD 465.4mn in H1 2020. This includes USD 107.6mn offered to support Syrian refugees and USD 222.2mn as soft loans.
Kuwait moves into the 4th stage of gradual easing after the COVID-19 outbreak from 18th August: in this stage, more activities like gyms, sports clubs, salons and tailor shops will open.
A new residency law will come into effect in Kuwait, enabling an expat to stamp residence up to 5 years and for an expat businessman for 10 years.
Lebanon approved a 2-week state of emergency in Beirut, giving the army powers to prohibit gatherings and close down assembly points.
Lebanon’s economy minister clarified that the country has flour to last 4 months after reports emerged of a potential shortage. In addition, the World Food Programme is sending 17,000 tonnes of flour as a first batch of a 50,000-tonne supply plan.
About 79k expats have left Oman between March-June this year, on repatriation flights arranged by their respective countries, according to the National Centre for Statistics and Information.
Saudi Arabia launched a platform for electronic notarization of employment contracts.
The aviation and related industries in the Middle East are likely to lose about 1.5mn jobs during the pandemic, according to IATA. This is more than half the region’s 2.4mn aviation-related employment. GDP supported by the industry will fall by up to USD 85bn this year.

Global News:
Global stock markets had another good week – though US stocks narrowly missed all-time highs, stocks linked to tourism/ airlines tumbled in Europe (surges in COVID-19 cases are leading to quarantine requirements related to travel) and China’s stocks closed lower after weaker-than-expected data releases. Regional markets were mostly up during the week, with Dubai’s market hitting a 2-month high. The dollar index was into its 8th straight week of losses, while the euro, yen and pound sterling gained. Oil prices fell below USD 45 ahead of the OPEC+ meeting this week. A meeting to review the US-China Phase 1 trade deal (scheduled for 15th August) has been delayed with no new date set as election fever picks up in US (with Biden’s choice of Senator Kamala Harris as the VP nominee and Trump’s comments on universal mail-in voting and the postal crisis).

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