The Gulf is set for economic growth and accumulation of financial reserves in 2013 says the Institute of International Finance.
Sound familiar? Well that’s because most macroeconomic forecasts make similarly rosy forecasts for the oil-rich region. But the IIF, the world bankers’ club, warns that the good times may not last – and the region’s governments need to pursue economic reform before the outlook changes. Continue reading »
Dubai is renowned for its indoor ski-slope, boasting a black run for experienced skiers and a parcel of penguins for the kids. Ski Dubai is one of the emirate’s biggest attractions, particularly popular with tourists from the parched Gulf.
But its upstart neighbour, Ras al-Khaimah, says it plans to go one better: building a winter resort in its craggy mountains that will offer sweeping open-air runs. Continue reading »
Dubai’s trade statistics for 2012 are in. And they show that, finally, western sanctions on Iran are crippling trade with the Islamic republic. Continue reading »
Iraqi telecoms firm Asiacell’s $1.3bn initial public offering is the Middle East’s largest in four years.
There are also hopes the issue will mark a turning point in the history of post-Saddam Iraq, with the authorities seeking to broaden public share ownership throughout the country. But the buzz around the landmark event has not travelled far. Continue reading »
With Dubai’s economy recovering, the emirate is rediscovering its mojo. That brimming confidence has already seen the return of large-scale development projects. Now the government is moving on to big concepts.
The ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, on Wednesday oversaw the launch of an attempt to place Dubai at the centre of the ‘global Islamic economy.’ Continue reading »
Dubai has been back for some time. The trade, tourism and transport that are the foundations of its economy have been thriving for a couple of years, bringing an air of optimism back to the city after its 2009 debt crisis.
But now, some fear, the old hubris is back, too. Continue reading »
While multibillion dollar scandals have been making headlines during the financial crisis, here’s a cautionary story from the Gulf about what went wrong when a boutique investment bank was found by regulators to have breached the rules in accounting for the the value of eight contemporary Iranian art works.
Dubai investment bank Arqaam Capital and its auditor, Ernst & Young, have been fined $50,000 each by Dubai’s regulator for contraventions of accounting rules in relation to the valuation of eight art works by a renowned Iranian artist. Continue reading »
Sorting out Dubai Group’s $10bn debts was always going to be tougher than most negotiations over the emirate’s total $110 debt pile.
Now RBS, Commerzbank, Standard Bank and Commercial International Bank of Egypt have raised the stakes by launching arbitration proceedings in London, calling for immediate repayment of their loans after claiming two years of talks had failed. Continue reading »
Qantas has ditched its alliance with British Airways for Dubai’s Emirates airline, in a further sign of the shifting balance of power from Europe’s legacy carriers to the Gulf.
As part of the 10-year deal, the Australian carrier will move its long-haul hub from Singapore to Dubai, where Emirates’s cavernous Terminal 3 building is already filling up to the rafters. The move dovetails with Dubai’s plan to ramp up capacity through Dubai airport to match the airline’s aggressive expansion plan and boost the number of passengers travelling through the emirate. Continue reading »
An air of normality has returned to Bahrain’s central business district and the government is keen to focus on positive matters. But violent protests continue and, as events this week have demonstrated, political reform and economic progress still face severe obstacles. Continue reading »
Halwani Bros, a Saudi food producer, seems to think it has a recipe for labour market transformation – beyond the dense, sesame halawa dessert, for which it is famous. The 60-year-old, Riyadh-listed company has set a minimum wage of SAR3,000 ($800) per month for Saudi employees, according to a report in Arab News.
The move may only benefit 80 nationals employed at food production plants across the kingdom, as well as 50 more that the company plans to hire – but the decision could have far-reaching ramifications for other Saudis. Continue reading »
When British businessman Safi Qurashi walked from jail in Dubai on Tuesday, he thought his family’s long campaign for his release was complete.
The 43-year-old real estate developer, jailed for seven years for bounced postdated cheques, had been released after a judicial review of his case prompted by a seven-week hunger strike.
Not so fast. Continue reading »
Dubai has long been the regional hub for the oil-rich Gulf states, but the ambitious city state is never one to rest on its laurels.
The emirate has for years been touting itself as the central node for 2bn people, spanning the Middle East, the subcontinent, central Asia and eastern Africa. Now, even West Africa, an eight-hour flight away, is on its radar. Continue reading »
Things have been going Dubai’s way of late. The emirate may still have a debt burden of $110bn but its state-related entities have managed to sign restructuring after refinancing deal as the city’s economy recovers, riding its status as a financial haven from the Arab spring.
But not everything is going Dubai’s way. It has emerged that three creditors last month pulled out of two-year restructuring talks over $6bn owed by the troubled Dubai Group, the investment arm of a conglomerate owned by the emirate’s ruler. Continue reading »