Monday, September 25, 2017

GULF NOTES, the week ending 15 August 2009

August 20 2009

Bahrain announced a nationwide study of the kingdom’s air and sea pollution levels. Better weather allowed Abu Dhabi’s first solar power plant to increase its productivity rate beyond the previous weeks’ 60% caused by unusually high rates of dust in the air. Abu Dhabi investors looked to wheat fields in Egypt for a $250 million agricultural investment promised to be “strictly for Egyptian consumption.”

Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund Aabar Investments used its control in Daimler and MAN Ferrostaal to strike a deal with the Algerian government that will see a yearly production of 10,000 automobiles and trucks in the North African country. Production will partially support the Algerian military; a Daimler spokesperson: “The main purpose of this project is for the Algerian government to create jobs locally.”

UAE investments in Lebanon were reported to exceed $1 billion.

Iran and Indonesia solidified a collaboration on addressing housing and urbanization issues.

Abu Dhabi was ranked the world’s second most expensive destination. A Nielsen’s survey ranked UAE consumers as the seventh most optimistic of 51 countries monitored; job security had decreased as a main concern.

Hydra Properties, whose giant billboard in Abu Dhabi announces “All Projects Under Construction,” reported that about 20% of its home buyers are behind on payments. The Hydra Investors Group - an online community of buyers in Hydra properties - released results of a members survey that found “close to 50%” prefer taking collective legal action again Hydra Properties. Hydra announced the day before that it was “reassessing” its commitment to new projects.

Dubai’s third largest developer, Union Properties, reported a $62 million loss in the second quarter. Dubai Properties faced angry investors in Executive Towers still not able to take possession of their properties despite having completed payments. Omniyat, a Dubai-based developer, promised to reduce payments by 10% for buyers, crediting the discount to a drop in material costs.

Business Monitor International predicted Saudi Arabia’s construction sector would grow by .05% this year. Meccah’s Jabal Omar Development Company stepped up its search for private investors in light of tepid interest from lenders to fund its $3.3 billion project just outside the Prophet’s Mosque. Fear of the H1N1 virus was expected to decrease the number of Haj and Umrah pilgrims to Mecca this year by 25%.

Dubai transit officials responded to rumors that the metro would not meet its 09.09.09 launch date by saying work has accelerated and announced which stations will be part of the opening.

Gulf Daily News August 10, 2009 / The National August 9, 2009 / The National August 13, 2009 / The National August 11, 2009 / Gulf News August 11, 2009 / Zawya August 9, 2009 / The National August 10, 2009 / The National August 11, 2009 / The National August 10, 2009 / Business 24/7 August 12, 2009 / Zawya August 11, 2009 / Business 24/7 August 11, 2009 / The National August 10, 2009 / Business 24/7 August 10, 2009 / Construction Weekly Online August 10, 2009; Arabian Business August 9, 2009.

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