The UAE Central Bank gave the first forecast from a public source that the nation’s economy likely faces growth below 1%, possibly even negative. A Saudi-based developer in Dubailand revealed homeowners/investors have not made payments for the past 5 months. Bloomberg identified Istithmar, Dubai World’s investment arm, as the first sovereign wealth fund that faces the possibility of having to liquidate its assets. Abu Dhabi’s external debt reached $54 billion, excluding banks’ debt.
A local media source reported Dubai’s trademark developers Emaar, Nakheel and Limitless were taking a rain check on Cityscape Dubai (N.B., the first two did attend). Abu Dhabi’s tourism authority sent a delegation to the Leisure Moscow convention.
A UK-based engineer associated with TDIC’s development projects in Abu Dhabi: “This is a good time to create an icon as it’s cheaper. More resources from contractors and designers around the world are available.” Abu Dhabi turned down a 224-story Tommy Landau-designed tower named the Al Imlaq (the “Giant”); now to be pitched to Saudi Arabia. Dubai police downplayed reports of a plot to blow up the Burj Dubai.
Qatar Holiding bought additional shares in London’s Canary Wharf project, as part of its ambition to be the project’s major stakeholder. Gulf investors launched a $350 million project to invest in cash-crop farming. The group’s managing director: “The sky is the limit for agricultural investments, and we have found tremendous appetite among our clients.” Dubai-based developer Deyaar committed to developing low-cost homes outside Beirut with Solidere. Iran’s Kish Island secured hosting the 2010 Beach Volleyball World Championships. Abu Dhabi launched the World Sustainable Capitals with the World Economic Forum.
The number of UAE companies found violating this summer’s midday break law increased by 70% from last year, up to 677. UAE and India government representatives drafted “minimum standards” for Indian laborers in the UAE. India’s ambassador to the UAE: “Today, the irony is that, in the recruitment of a laborer and his departure, neither the government of India nor the Government of the UAE are in the picture – yet when we have a problem, both are involved.” The average monthly remittance transfer from the UAE to India, the Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka has fallen by 10% to $540.17 India’s embassy estimated that 200,000 of the 1.5 million Indians in the UAE have returned home. Stranded Filipinos workers camped out under Jeddah’s Kandara bridge as a means to demonstrate their presence.
The largest colony of flamingoes (18,000) was found breeding in the UAE.
Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai said he would use the metro: “It is like flying the first Emirates Airlines. Something great.” Nearly 100,000 people (10% of Dubai’s population) were said to have used the metro in its first two days of operation.
Kuwait said it would double its power-generating capacity over the next five years and days later announced a $2.65 billion power plant to be built by GE and Hyundai. A second South Korean company confirmed a plant deal with Saudi Arabia. Monday found 90% of Sharjah without electricity for more than three hours.
The owner of Moscow and Great Britain at the World has put on hold the former and admitted the latter will be “slighly different” from the original plans which were to reflect British architectural heritage.
Business 24/7 September 15, 2009 / Arabian Business September 15, 2009 / The National September 17, 2009 / The National September 17, 2009 / The National September 18, 2009 / Middle East online September 17, 2009 / The National, September 14, 2009 / The National September 17, 2009 / Khaleej Times September 16, 2009 / Zawya September 18, 2009 / The National, September 13, 2009 / Business Intelligence Middle East September 13, 2009 / Payvand September 15, 2009 / The National September 13, 2009 / The National September 17, 2009 / The National, September 19, 2009 / Arabian Business September 13, 2009 / The National September 19, 2009 / Arab News September 17, 2009 / The National September 14, 2009 / Gulf News September 17, 2009 ; The National September 13, 2009 / The National September 14, 2009 / Zawya September 17, 2009 / Arabian Business September 15, 2009 / Arabian Business September 17, 2009.