UAE’s Ministry of Economy disclosed that growth currently exceeds pre-pandemic levels in trade, investment, number of new companies, work permits and economic revenues. Furthermore, it was revealed that the first phase of implementation of the 33 initiatives launched last July has been completed and that the second phase is 50% complete.
Abu Dhabi’s new decree will allow for non-Muslims to marry, divorce, get joint child custody, and inheritance under civil law: it had previously been based on Shariah principles. A new court, operating in both Arabic and English, will be set up to handle non-Muslim family matters.
The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and Department of Economic Development have submitted a regulatory framework proposal allowing for the listing of special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) to the Securities and Commodities Authority.
UAE will allow government entities to create their own development funds, to increase productivity and flexibility of government work.
UAE’s Energy Minister stated that the OPEC+ will be able to increase oil supply should there be a market demand. He also highlighted that oil and gas would be needed to ensure reliable supplies of energy during the transition period toward clean energy, and that insufficient investments in oil and gas would lead to higher prices. Separately, it was also revealed that the UAE invested in 71 different projects worth USD 5.64bn in Africa.
Improvements in road and transport infrastructure in Dubai has saved nearly AED 220bn (USD 60bn) in time and fuel wasted due to traffic congestions during the period 2006-2020, according to the Chairman of Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority. The total investment for the improvement totalled only AED 140bn in comparison.
Real estate transactions in Sharjah touched 16,781 in Q3 2021, valued at AED 5.7bn.
In the period till 7th November, a total of 2,942,388 visits were recorded at the Dubai Expo. This is about 7 times the number of visits in the first 10 days.
UAE aims to house 20 "Unicorns" by 2031, stated the Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs at a conference.
Emirates Airlines received AED 2.5bn (USD 681mn) in state support in H1 2021, raising the total support it received since the pandemic began close to USD 3.8bn. The airline reported a loss of AED 5.8bn in April-September, down from the AED 12.6bn loss in the same period last year. Revenues increased by 86% to AED 21.7bn, thanks to the rise in passenger numbers (to 6.1mn from 1.5mn a year ago).
UAE plans to list Dubai’s “Salik” road toll system on the financial market, tweeted the nation’s Finance Minister. Earlier in the week, Reuters reported that Dubai Holding was weighing an IPO of the business park operator TECOM Group. It has a portfolio of 10 business parks where around 6,500 businesses employ a total workforce of 95,000.
The Syrian Ministry of Electricity and a group of UAE firms will establish a photovoltaic power plant in the Damascus countryside with a capacity of 300 MW, reported the Syrian News Agency. This came days after the visit of a high-level UAE delegation to the country.
Bahrain and UAE plan to establish a joint investment fund “to invest in promising opportunities and projects in both countries and beyond”.
Bahrain is in the process of qualifying developers for its metro project: the project, which will include 20 stations over 29 kms and 2 tracks, will be implemented and operated by the private sector for up to 35 years while being monitored by the Transport Ministry. The plan envisages train linkage with Saudi Arabia in the future.
Egypt’s Central Bank approved regulations allowing for instant electronic payments between bank accounts via mobile phones. This will not only allow money transfers instantly but also for the topping up of prepaid cards and e-wallets.
Oman has capped motor fuel prices at October rates till end-2022, with the government bearing the cost difference due to any increase in prices. Furthermore, various fees related to doing business was reduced including setting up and renewing company licences, organising tourist camps, and the issuing or renewal of permits for organisations that provide essential services.
S&P affirmed Qatar’s “AA-/A-1+” long- and short-term foreign and local currency ratings, with a stable outlook.
IMF expects GCC’s foreign reserves to increase by USD 300-350bn in the next three years.
The MENA region saw 4 IPOs in Q3 2021, raising a total of USD 1.836bn, according to EY: this compares to a single IPO valued at USD 115.9mn in Q3 2020. Saudi Arabia led the IPO activity. Year-to-date, there have been 8 IPOs worth USD 2.261bn.
Saudi Arabia’s preliminary Q3 GDP shows the economy expanded by 6.8% YoY, thanks to a 9% YoY uptick in the oil sector while non-oil sector activity eased (+6.2% vs Q2’s 11.1%). Higher demand for oil globally, rise in oil production (as agreed under OPEC+) and higher oil prices supported the uptick
Non-Saudis will be allowed to invest in real estate funds in Makkah and Madinah, according to the Saudi CMA
Most equity markets ended on a positive note last week: US Nasdaq regained after posting a 1.7% drop, while the S&P 500 is less than 1% from peak; European shares, closed higher for the 6th consecutive week, and touched new records given strong earnings performance (STOXX, Germany’s DAX, France’s CAC40). However, the key question being asked is whether the rising inflationary pressure would tip the Fed to tighten monetary policy earlier than anticipated. Regional markets were mostly up, with Dubai and Abu Dhabi leading the gains with the latter touching a new record high. The dollar strengthened: the euro dropped to its weakest against the dollar since July 2020 and the British pound fell to its lowest since December 2020. Gold prices gained by 2.6% – the biggest weekly gain in 6-months, while oil prices fell for a third consecutive week on a stronger dollar.
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