Monday, December 11, 2017

GULF NOTES, the week ending 25 July 2009

July 31 2009

seedingprocess

“The truth, economists say after examining what evidence is at their disposal, is that things are neither as bad as you may have heard, nor as good as you may have been led to believe.”

Under the guidance of Rothschild, Dubai took measures to borrow a second tranche of $10 billion to support government-related companies suffering from the global recession. Deutsche Bank reported the world’s sovereign wealth funds had lost over 15% of their value in the last year but are expected to more than double in value to $7 trillion in the next ten years. UAE’s inflation was expected to hit a 15-year low of 1% this year, and its population could contract by 2%. Abu Dhabi’s car imports dropped more than 80% since last year. UAE universities reported a 20% increase in matriculation, presumably because of the crisis.

The world’s largest “single cut and bend facility” for steel rebar is expected to open in Dubai this month at a cost of $67 million.

Estimated value of current development projects in the GCC, not including those on hold: $2.1 trillion (more than four times the value in June 2005). This figure represents “some $55,000 for each inhabitant of the Gulf.” 81% of these projects are in the UAE. Saudi Arabia’s financial backing for major projects not able to secure private financing was expected to exceed $5 billion this year. Iraq’s government moved closer to announcing Baghdad’s $70 billion development plan, while a large residential project received its go-ahead; the project’s media director: “The compound will be according to the vertical housing system, and will embrace 5,000 apartments.” Kuwait has $168.8 billion worth of “mega” construction projects under way, the largest still being Silk City at $77 billion. The UN found Kuwait to be the least popular GCC destination for foreign direct investment.

DP World neared opening its first container terminal since the economic crisis, this time in Vietnam. Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund advanced toward a $1 billion investment in a Malaysian development. UAE-based mobile provider Etisalat announced a $2.2 billion agreement with India’s Reliance Communications as it inches closer to being one of the world’s top-ten operators. Porsche was on the verge of accepting Qatar’s share purchase offer. British football teams in talks with, or recently bought by, Gulf investors: Everton, Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur. Liverpool, and Notts County.

Dubai’s English-language TV channel planned to triple its locally produced content. A Kuwaiti-drawn comic strip, The 99, will link with US-based DC Comics. The creator: “My idea is to have the story start from Obama’s speech in Cairo.” The 99 includes a superheroine from Sharjah. A Sharjah-based company announced plans for “sports cities” in six countries, including India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Dubai won the rights to host the 2013 FINA world swimming championships. Dubai Municipality banned the Friday wrestling matches on the corniche, so far to no effect.

US-based Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute rated Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala a perfect ten for transparency.

Sama Dubai stopped pursuit of a $545 million Bahraini beach resort, once billed as a “bastion of opulence and luxury,” after six months of unpaid bills and labor salaries. Bahraini villagers demonstrated to protest the two-year delay in the beginning of their new homes’ construction. Ajman’s largest residential development was scaled back from 206 to 20 buildings. 1400 investors demanded $95 million from the Saudi government for incurred losses in a botched Meccah development project.

The Bahraini government approved a new $26.5 million park, which is billed as the “first of its kind in the area.” Meteorology ministries from both the UAE and Saudi Arabia claimed to have induced rain through “rain seeding.” The UAE meteorology ministry’s spokesperson: “We can’t say we created the rain. … We just give it a little push to actually fall and replenish our water supply.” Recent inspections found some Saudi vegetable farms were using sewage water to grow crops.

The value of remittances from the UAE to the Philippines was expected to drop 6.7% this year. A local human rights group called upon the Kuwait government not to treat unfairly expats facing exportation as a result of their being duped by permit providers. Indian officials claimed that levels of Indian workers in the Gulf are staying the same as a result of increased hiring in the healthcare and household services sectors. A Human Rights Watch report “slammed” Oman and Saudi Arabia for ill-treatment of expatriate construction workers. The UN lauded Saudi Arabia for being the “largest international donor to humanitarian appeals.


The National July 23, 2009 / The National July 23, 2009 / Gulf Daily News July 22, 2009 / Emirates Business 24/7 July 22, 2009 / The National July 19, 2009 / The National July 19, 2009 / Khaleej Times July 19, 2009 / Emirates Business 24/7 July 24, 2009 / Zawya.com July 22, 2009 / Zawya.com July 24, 2009; Zawya.com July 22, 2009 / Zawya.com July 22, 2009 / Zawya.com July 22, 2009 / The National July 22, 2009 / The National July 22, 2009 / Gulf News July 23, 2009 / Emirates Business 24/7 July 23, 2009 / Emirates Business 24/7 July 24, 2009 / The National July 19, 2009 / Khaleej Times July 22, 2009 / Emirates Business 24/7 July 23, 2009 / Khaleej Times July 19, 2009 / The National July 19, 2009 / Emirates Business 24/7 July 22, 2009 / Gulf Daily News July 19, 2009 / Gulf Daily News July 20, 2009 / The National July 19, 2009 / Zawya.com July 20, 2009 / Gulf Daily News July 24, 2009 / Arab News July 19, 2009; The National July 19, 2009 / Arab News July 21, 2009 / Khaleej Times July 20, 2009 / Kuwait Times July 21, 2009 / The National July 21, 2009 / Construction Week July 21, 2009 / Arab News July 25, 2009.

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