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Qatar airways will start flights to Dubai and Abu Dhabi shortly

Qatar Airways will resume flights to the UAE, starting with services to Dubai International on January 27 and followed by Abu Dhabi on January 28.

Qatar’s flagship carrier will start with a double daily service to Dubai, and one daily flight to Abu Dhabi. “Passengers in UAE will have the ability to connect to the largest network in the region with over 800 weekly frequencies to more than 120 destinations,” said the airline in a tweet.

UAE and the rest of the GCC states have opened their airspaces to Qatari aviation since a reconciliation deal was signedin Saudi Arabia. Air Arabia, Etihad Airways, and, most recently, budget carrier flydubai have all announced flights to Doha.

A one-way flight ticket from Doha to Dubai will cost about Dh480 on Qatar Airways as per the indicative rates available on travel websites. flydubai is offering Dh380 a seat on the same route.

Foreign investors can hold up to 49pc in Etisalat, DU

Foreign investors can from hold a combined 49 percent in the UAE telecom giants Etisalat and du. Both entities won internal approval to raise the ownership limit for non-UAE nationals from 20 percent to 49.

They thus join UAE market heavyweights such as TAQA (Abu Dhabi National Energy Co.) – which raised the limit to 49 percent – and Emirates NBD – to 40 percent.

Currently, non-Gulf nationals hold less than 1 percent in du and about 5 percent in Etisalat.

“The increase in ownership limits would allow for strategic partnerships and inflows (both passive and active) from key foreign players, especially as Etisalat and du look abroad for increasing revenues and user base,” said Sameer Lakhani, Managing Director at Global Capital Partners. “And to capitalize on accessing entry into 5G markets.”

UAE explores green recovery solutions

Addressing climate change is key to a healthy recovery and to build a sustainable future, said Eng. Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE), in his keynote address at the opening of the ADSW Summit 2021, asserting that “the economy of the future is a green economy and the society of the future is a green society.”

Taking place in the UAE capital from January 18-21, 2021, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2021 consists of a series of high-level virtual events, bringing together experts and leaders to define new pathways for delivering a green recovery in a post-Covid-19 world. ADSW Summit was scheduled.

“Today, as we rebuild our world in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we recognise more than ever the need to decarbonise our infrastructures, to promote sustainable consumption and production of essential resources, and to enhance our resilience to climate change,” said Al Marar.

The keynote speech focused particularly on how to make water more sustainable. The DoE Chairman cited two main reasons for selecting the topic: “Firstly, because of the opportunities that efficient water production and a decarbonised water infrastructure can offer to mitigate climate change risks to water availability, quality, and quantity; and secondly, because of the water-food-energy nexus and how the integration of these three sectors can improve security and support a green economic transition, making water a national priority.”

Etihad credit insurance, TDB sign agreement

Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI), the UAE’s Federal export credit company, has partnered with Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB), the financial arm of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, to advance economic development through trade finance and project and infrastructure finance, thereby bolstering the competitiveness of UAE-based businesses as they explore new markets and expand their operations in the international marketplace.

The UAE is Africa’s fourth-largest global investor after China, Europe and the US, with an investment of Dh92 billion ($25 billion) over the 2014-2018 period. This agreement is set to further boost the appetite of UAE businesses to increase their exports and investments in Africa.

In a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Massimo Falcioni, CEO of ECI, and Admassu Tadesse, Group MD and CEO of TDB, the two institutions have agreed to form a committee that will implement initiatives aimed at boosting the competitiveness of the trade and export industry both in the UAE and in Africa. TDB’s shareholders include 22 member states from the African continent.

The signing of the cooperation agreement between ECI and TDB coincides with this month’s official launch of African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), connecting 1.3 billion people across 55 countries, and creating the largest free trade area in the world with a combined gross domestic product valued at Dh12.48 trillion ($3.4 trillion).

UAE’s trade with Africa is expected to increase following the implementation of AfCFTA. A poll conducted by Dubai Chamber during its recent webinar revealed that 91 percent of participating businesspeople believe that AfCFTA will strengthen Africa’s relations with Dubai and the UAE.

Dubai to add 39,000 home units in 2021

Dubai’s realty sector, which witnessed a surge in the supply of residential units year-on-year in 2020 regardless of the disruptions caused by the pandemic, is expected to add 39,000 units in 2021.

Last year, the market saw the delivery of nearly 36,000 units, marking an increase over the number of units that were added to the market in the previous year, according to data supplied by real estate consultancy Core.

Data from Asteco also shows that 2019 saw a total of 31,000 residential units coming into the market in Dubai, comprising approximately 23,600 apartments and 7,400 villas. According to Data Finder, a total of 32,822 residential units in the freehold and non-freehold communities were completed in Dubai in the first nine months of 2019 and another 13,216 units have a completion date towards the end of 2019 or Q1 2020.

“We conservatively forecast nearly 39,000 units for 2021, however, further revisions are expected as forecasts will inherently depend on buyer confidence and an uptick in market sentiment as developers continue to adjust to ongoing market conditions,” said research analysts at Core.

In 2021, sales prices and rents to remain under downward pressure with apartment districts expected to face further headwinds while established villa districts that saw strong take-up over H2 2020 and now have limited supply are expected to see price resilience, said the report.

DFM inaugurates reits trading with the listing of Al Mal capital Reit

Dubai Financial Market (DFM) achieved a key milestone in its journey by introducing Reit trading at the exchange to diversify product offering and asset classes, broadening the scope of opportunities offered to its vast investor base of local and international investors.

DFM, which hosted a bell ringing ceremony to celebrate the commencement of Real Estate Investment Trusts (Reits) trading on Monday, said the listing culminates the successful floating of the new fund by Al Mal Capital, a subsidiary of Dubai Investments, in November 2020.

In a statement, DFM said the Dh350 million proceeds of Al Mal Capital fund will be invested by the company in a Shariah-compliant diversified portfolio of income generating properties that serve different sectors such as healthcare, education and industrial assets, with a target annual return of 7 percent.

Al Mal Capital is a diversified, multi-line investment institution headquartered in Dubai, and licenced and regulated by the UAE Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA). Dubai Investments owns 66.61 percent stake in Al Mal Capital.

Khalid Bin Kalban, vice-chairman and CEO of Dubai Investments and chairman of Al Mal Capital, rang the market opening bell in the presence of Essa Kazim, chairman of DFM; Hassan Al Serkal, CEO of DFM; Naser Al Nabulsi, vice-chairman and CEO of Al Mal Capital and Hamed Ali, CEO of Nasdaq Dubai and deputy CEO of DFM.

Dubai’s jewellery trade braces for ‘corrections’

After navigating the disruptions caused by the pandemic, Dubai’s resilient gold and jewellery trade is undergoing “a healthy correction” phase with major retailers reducing the number of outlets, in particular low-yielding stores in their network.

Tawhid Abdullah, chairman of Dubai Gold &Jewellery Group, said Covid-19 offered lessons that the industry could not shake off easily.

“One of these will be the need by retailers to reduce the number of stores within their networks.

Already, some of the leading jewellery retailers have started right sizing their operations by shuttering outlets that were not performing well. Some of them have reduced their operations by downsizing networks by upto 20-25 over the past 20 months, industry sources said.

“If they find there are stores that are not returning yields of 5-6 percent, they are better off without them. There are some corrections influenced by the pandemic that, indeed, are healthy,” said Abdullah as he addressed a media briefing on the group’s “Non-stop Winning” jewellery campaign on Sunday.

Abdullah said the gold and jewellery sector is getting ready for a full swing comeback as it expects the “City of Gold” would be the destination of choice for shoppers from overseas once travel restrictions are gone.

UAE looks set for v-shaped economic recovery in 2021

The UAE economy is expected a V-shaped recovery this year due to strong rebound in tourism and oil prices as well as its strong links to emerging markets that will help return to the growth path, says a latest report.

Global Investment Outlook report released by First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) said the national economy should grow by around 2.5 percent overall and 3.6 percent for non-oil sectors this year as the economy emerges from Covid-19 pandemic and recorded a steep increase in economic activity.

Referring to the Central Bank of the UAE data, the report titled as ‘Paving the path for our investors to grow stronger’, said the UAE economy shrank by around 6 percent in 2020 and 5 percent for non-oil sector.

FAB’s predictions for the UAE include signs of an imminent improvement for incoming tourism, as pent-up travel demand and the country’s successful management of the Covid-19 virus converge to make the UAE a potentially top destination this year.

“The Dubai Expo’s rescheduling to open in October 2021 will add further strength, and an improvement in tourism will have a positive effect on other sectors, including retail and real estate activity, as the Covid-19 immunisation programme moves forward,” according to the report.

Hana Al Rostamani, deputy group CEO and head of personal banking at FAB, said Abu Dhabi and the UAE have worked tirelessly during 2020, continuing the drive towards economic transformation and reinforcing ‘our status as a world-class trading hub’.

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