Monday, December 11, 2017

GULF NOTES, the week ending 29 August 2009

September 5 2009

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Arab countries experienced the world’s highest inflation rate in 2008 as a result of economic growth. This year Qatar and the UAE expect negative inflation, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait low inflation. FDI to 17 Arab nations surged last year to an all-time high of $89.2 billion while it is expected to decline for the first time this year. Inter-Arab investments made up only 5% of foreign assets for these countries.

Arabtec, the UAE’s largest local contractor, won its first major construction project in Dubai since the crisis. Dubai-based developer Damac announced tender for eight of the 25 towers it promised for the coming two years. Dubai Holding moved closer to merging its three developers — Dubai Property Group, Tatweer and Sama Dubai — for an eventual merger with Emaar. Nakheel sold its shares in the the Australian developer Mirvac Group for $171 million. The Financial Times introduced a new term, plough, to refer to the growing secondary market of investors in Nakheel developments “unlikely to see the light of day” selling their down payments at a discount to other Nakheel investors who then buy larger stakes with these full-value credits in more realistic developments.

Based on the cost of a “basket” of services including haircuts, phone charges, dry cleaning and restaurant prices, Dubai was ranked UBS’s most expensive city in the world; Doha was second. The UAE’s 2010 census will be coordinated with a GCC-wide census.

Authorities from the Emirate of Ajman approved construction of “about” 172 towers, less than a quarter of the 900 originally planned in the emirate. Dubai property agents continued to confidently predict dropping values in the residential market. However, rents in Dubai Marina increased as people look there “to upgrade.” A Kuwait-based report claimed the country’s real estate prices increased “15% at the end of July.” A GCC bank claimed that the UAE accounts for 45% of development projects in the region (whether this is based on 2008 numbers is unclear). Meccah’s governor said that three new urban centers in Meccah, Jedda and Taif will be named after Crown Prince Sultan, returning home from a medical trip.

Two Kuwaiti investment houses announced funds to buy distressed properties in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the US. Qatar announced a planned pipeline to Turkey, through Saudi Arabia and then Kuwait and Iraq or Jordan and Syria. A Bahraini Bank announced investment in a $315 million student housing project in London. Qatari Diar launched a $150 million luxury real estate project in Tajikistan. Yahoo bought an Arab internet portal, a move some read as the region’s entree into the digital media industry.

Abu Dhabi-based Aldar Properties announced completion of infrastructure work on Yas Island in anticipation of November’s Formula 1 race. It was announced Australia-based LAVA won an international competition to design Masdar’s new urban center.

Plans for Bahrain’s conversion of an area including 62 4,000-year-old burial mounds into a World Heritage Site were dashed by the federal council’s decision to allocate funding for a new road. Oman will invest $7.6 billion in new power stations as urbanization strains the existing grid. The UAE announced $23 billion in funding for its seaports’ expansions.

A developer announced plans to mimic Dubai’s creative industries development in Al Quoz, but this time in Abu Dhabi’s Mussafah industrial area. Saudi internet developers introduced NaqaTube, a “clean” alternative to YouTube. UAE officials outlined a plan for a national female football team by 2012.

Business 24/7 August 29, 2009 / Arabian Business August 29, 2009 / Business 24/7 August 23, 2009 / The National August 25, 2009 / Arabian Business August 23, 2009 / The National August 29, 2009 / Business Intelligence Middle East August 23, 2009 / Financial Times August 26. 2009 / Arabian Business August 25, 2009; The Peninsula August 27, 2009 / The National August 24, 2009 / The National August 24, 2009 / Business 24/7 August 23, 2009; Arabian Business August 24, 2009 / The National August 27, 2009 / Zawya, August 24, 2009 / Gulf News August 24, 2009 / Arab News August 24, 2009 / Arabian Business August 24, 2009; Khaleej Times August 25, 2009 / The National August 27, 2009 / Gulf Daily News August 27, 2009 / Arabian Business August 28, 2009 / Gulf News August 27, 2009 / Gulf News August 27, 2009 / Dezeen August 28, 2009 / Arabian Business August 23, 2009 / Business 24/7 August 27, 2009 / Zawya August 29, 2009 / The National August 23, 2009 / Arabian Business August 28, 2009 / The National August 23, 2009

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