UAE ‘Silver Visa’: 5-year Trade Licence and Visa Package…

Dubbed a “silver visa” the start-up offer is available at a fraction of the price of golden visas, which can require significant financial investments.

UAE ‘Silver Visa’: 5-year Trade Licence and Visa Package…
Dubbed a “silver visa” the start-up offer is available at a fraction of the price of golden visas, which can require significant financial investments.

UAE News:

Virtuzone is offering entrepreneurs a five-year visa and trade licence package which offers long-term residency and corporate support at a discounted rate. Dubbed a “silver visa” the start-up offer is available at a fraction of the price of golden visas, which can require significant financial investments. BXB clients can get a further AED 1,500 discount using code: BXB1500. Please email us at or call on +971 50 450 3880 for further details. 

Dubai’s inflation rose to a 6-month high of 4.3% in October, driven by higher transport prices (4.7%) alongside housing and utilities (6.07%) and insurance and financial services costs (8.97%). Food inflation rose by 3.52% while restaurant & hotel costs were up 2.94%.

Dubai Taxi IPO subscription period is underway: the firm expects to raise up to USD 316mn from the plan to offer a 25% stake. A price range of between AED 1.8 and 1.85 has been set per share, implying a market cap at listing of AED 4.5-4.6bn. Shares begun trading on the 7th December after the final price was announced on the 30th November.

Ports operator DP World reduced its carbon emissions from its UAE operations by 47% this year by accessing renewable power from Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA). DP World pledged to become carbon neutral by 2040 and net-zero by 2050.

The Gulf region’s first hydroelectric plant in Hatta is 80% complete and forecast to be completed by early 2025 (versus a prior plan for Q4 2024 completion). The AED 1.42bn plant will have a capacity of 250 MW, a storage capacity of 1,500 MWh, and a lifespan of 80 years.

The value of real estate transactions in Abu Dhabi grew by 56% YoY to AED 67.76bn (USD 18.5bn) between January-September 2023 from 16,170 transactions (+36% YoY).

MENA News: 

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) raised its stake by 2% in Egypt’s E-Finance company (a developer of digital payments infrastructure), though the deal value was not revealed.

Oman LNG signed a deal to sell 1mn tons of natural gas to UK’s BP for 9 years, starting 2026. Oman is a leading player in the LNG market, with an operational capacity totalling 10.4mn tons per annum as of April 2023.

IMF’s consultation report on Qatar revealed a favourable economic outlook in the medium term (output to expand by 1.75% in 2023-25), normalised following the World Cup-driven boom, fuelled by the non-hydrocarbon sector (2.75% growth). Inflation is estimated to moderate to 2% in 2023 and surpluses are forecast in both fiscal and current accounts.

MEED disclosed that the value of GCC contracts awarded touched an all-time high: a total of 1,268 contracts worth USD 178.6bn was awarded as of the 21st November (versus the previous annual record of USD 173.5bn in 2014). Saudi Arabia’s contracts totalled USD 82.5bn so far this year (2022: USD 58.3bn) while UAE’s stood at USD 68.4bn (higher than 2014’s USD 48bn and 2022’s USD 27.1bn).

Middle East climate tech-related transactions globally stood at USD 5bn in the 12 months to end-September 2023, almost triple estimated spending of USD 1.8bn in 2022, according to PWC’s “Climate Tech in the Middle East” report. Bulk of the funding was from Saudi Arabia (USD 3.7bn), followed by UAE (USD 900mn) and Qatar (USD 225mn). Furthermore, about 73.1% of Middle East investment in climate technology globally went into Mobility & Transport.

Kearney’s Global Cities Index ranked Dubai 23rd globally and leading in the region. Doha (50), Riyadh (61), Abu Dhabi (66) and Muscat (118) were other regional cities. Cities Outlook, which identifies urban potential (based on personal well-being, economics, innovation and governance), ranks Abu Dhabi 27th while Dubai, Muscat, Doha and Riyadh are placed 38, 44, 68 and 99 respectively.

Saudi Arabia and China signed a local currency swap agreement worth CNY 50bn (USD 6.93bn), valid for 3 years, and can potentially be extended by mutual agreement. This will strengthen financial ties and also promote trade and investment linkages.

A CBRE report revealed that Grade A office space in Riyadh reached full capacity in Q3, thanks to the rise of companies moving international headquarters to the capital. Prime rents in Riyadh rose by almost 24% YoY to Q3, with rents currently at SAR 2,617 (USD 712) per square metre. Earlier this month, the Minister of Investment disclosed that 180 companies had moved their regional HQs (versus an initial goal of 160 by end-2023).

Saudi Entertainment Ventures (or SEVEN, wholly-owned by the PIF) plans to construct a new entertainment destination in Asir with an investment of SAR 1.3bn. This will contribute more than SAR 4bn to GDP and is expected to welcome over 5 million visitors by 2030.

Global News:

Most global equity markets posted weekly gains last week on expectations that interest rates have peaked, while China’s market fell for the second week in a row, pulled down over concerns over a slowing economy, property woes and despite potential injection of liquidity by authorities. Regional markets performance was muted, except for Egypt where most sectors closed in the green. The euro edged higher against the dollar, and the GBP rose to the highest since early September on expectations that interest rates will be left unchanged till mid-2024, while the JPY held almost steady after news of an uptick in core inflation (hoping for BoJ to roll back monetary stimulus). Oil prices fell on over the announcement of a delayed OPEC+ meeting) but were relatively unchanged on a weekly basis. Gold price moved up, closing above USD 2,000, as the dollar weakened.

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Nasser Saidi & Associates

Arabian Business