Weekly News Update February 08 to February 14, 2019

UAE eyeing further oil investments in India


UAE is keen on making more investments in India, both in refining and petrochemical projects, as well as stocking more crude in storage projects, said Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State in the UAE and CEO of the ADNOC. "We are looking at expanding investment portfolio in the downstream sectors (particularly) oil refining and petrochemicals," the minister told reporters on the sidelines of Petrotech Conference in Greater Noida, near capital Delhi. UAE is looking to go beyond merely selling crude oil to India and wants to develop a strategic partnership.





UAE business confidence rises on infrastructure pledge


Increased infrastructure spending could bode well for the UAE economy, according to the latest edition of a global survey of accountants. The survey from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and Institute of Management Accountants showed that overall economic confidence in the UAE rose during the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the previous three months. Lindsay Degouve de Nuncques, head of ACCA Middle East, said there is optimism that the UAE economy is likely to perform relatively strongly over the next year or so.





Almost 50,000 jobs created in Dubai in the first nine months of 2018


Nearly 50,000 job vacancies were opened over the course of nine months in 2018, according to official statistics from the UAE Central Bank. According to the data, a total of 45,900 jobs were created between January and September, representing a 1.8 percent increase from the same time before in 201. The report noted that Dubai is the primary driver for the growth of the UAE’s labour market, and grew 0.7 percent in September, compared to 0.03 percent in June. Across the country, the growth of the labour market was found to be stable, growing by 1.6 percent compared to 2.6 percent over the same time period in 2017.





Dubai business optimism at highest since 2012, says Emirates NBD


The overall growth of Dubai’s non-oil private sector picked up pace in January, with firms at their most optimistic about future growth prospects since 2012, according to new data from the Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker Index. Of the three sectors monitored, wholesale and retail posted the strongest overall improvement in conditions at the start of the year, followed by travel and tourism. The construction sector, however, posted similar growth to January, but strong overall. According to the data, growth in January was roughly in line with that seen over 2018 as whole and was stronger than the long-run average. The construction sector posted the fastest expansion of the three monitored sectors.




DXB brand launched to make Dubai Int'l the world's best


Dubai Airports announced plans to elevate the airport customer experience as it unveiled a new brand for Dubai International Airport (DXB). It said the DXB brand launch signifies Dubai Airports’ transition from airport operator to a consumer-led company, committed to making DXB the world’s best. The launch event was attended by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Airports; Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, as well as VVIPs of Dubai’s aviation industry.





Most Dubai firms expect accelerated economic growth in Q1


A majority of businesses in Dubai foresee accelerated economic growth in the first quarter of 2019, according to a quarterly survey conducted by the Department of Economic Development. The survey, conducted in Q4 2018, shows that 59 percent of companies are optimistic about growth in Q1 2019, compared to 41 percent for the same period in 2018. Another 34 percent expect stability, while the percentage of firms expecting declines decreased from 8 percent to 7 percent. According to the DED, the high level of optimism is driven by public spending on infrastructure and social developments, initiatives to increase the ease of doing business and a brighter outlook on sales and profits.




Dubai reveals 2019 target countries for real estate investments


Dubai Land Department (DLD) has launched its real estate promotion plan for 2019 which will see the emirate's property investment potential showcased in 10 countries. Majida Ali Rashid, CEO of the Real Estate Investment Promotion Investment Management Sector at DLD, outlined plans for 20 exhibitions, conferences, and events in 10 countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, France, the US, Canada, China, the UK, India and Germany. Sultan Butti bin Mejren, director general of DLD, stressed that the selection of countries was based on specific criteria, most notably the activities of the investors from these countries.




World Bank says to set up office in Abu Dhabi's ADGM


The World Bank has announced it will be establishing its country office in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), Abu Dhabi's financial hub. Serving as the World Bank’s platform in the UAE, the new bureau will exercise its full functions including the facilitation of research on relevant policy issues, providing technical assistance to local governments on appropriate sustainable development programmes, and supporting initiatives that increase shared prosperity. Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of Finance, UAE said: “We welcome the World Bank Group to the UAE and congratulate them on the decision to set up its office in Abu Dhabi with the Abu Dhabi Global Market.





Dubai's Emaar sees 2018 net profit rise 30% to nearly $2bn


Emaar Properties reported a net profit of AED7.216 billion ($1.965 billion) in 2018, a 30 percent increase over the previous year, prior to considering the effect of the IPO of Emaar Development and forex movement. Revenue in 2018 was AED25.694 billion, a growth of 37 percent over 2017, the Dubai-based developer said in a statement. During the fourth quarter, Emaar’s revenue was AED8.304 billion, up 53 percent while net profit was AED1.954 billion, a rise of 34 percent. Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, said: “Our strategy for 2018 was to launch and build premium real estate assets that gained strong investor response from regional and international markets.