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Dubai chamber webinar series promotes Dubai as an ideal hub for African businesswomen

Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently launched a webinar series providing African women business leaders and entrepreneurs with useful information about doing business in Dubai, as well as the benefits of participating in Expo 2020 Dubai.

The African Women in Business: Connecting the Dots to the UAE Market and Expo 2020 series, organised by the Chamber’s representative offices in Africa, attracted 200 participants from the UAE, Africa and other emerging markets, including business leaders and entrepreneurs representing a wide range of economic sectors.

The first webinar, organised earlier this month in partnership with the African Union Commission and Center for Accelerated Women’s Economic Empowerment (CAWEE), and supported by Bizzmosis and Dubai Exports, offered valuable insights on Dubai’s economy and business landscape, in addition to new incentives and competitive advantages available to foreign companies and investors.

Addressing participants, Omar Khan, director of International Offices at Dubai Chamber noted that the webinar series established new channels of constructive dialogue between the UAE and Africa business communities, examine existing bilateral business opportunities and explore new avenues of economic cooperation.

Square yards acquires PropVR

Square Yards has acquired PropVR, an AI based platform specialising in creating immersive digital property experiences using 3D technologies, virtual reality, and augmented reality.

Founded by Srinath Kandala and Sunder Jagannathan, PropVR’s AI based platform can convert any floor plan or physical space into an interactive 3D walkthrough in minutes (as against rather weeks being standard norm) and can cut the real estate marketing spends by 80 percent while increasing the customer engagement levels by up to 400 percent.

The platform helps property developers, real estate agents, architects, and interior designers to virtually showcase the properties to their clients using immersive 3D walkthroughs and inbuilt video conferencing solution. PropVR’s proprietary technology has won numerous awards for its innovation in visualisation technology and services in the proptech space.

This is Square Yards ’ third acquisition in recent times. Last year, it acquired Azuro, one of the largest Rentals and Property Management platforms in India followed by acquisition of PropsAMC, a leader in Data intelligence, Asset management and Real Estate Services.

Mideast firms see 50pc sales surge from Africa

Businesses in the Middle East expect a 50 percent surge in sales revenue from Africa while they witness a drop in international sales from North America, a global study on trade flows has revealed.

The study, commissioned by DP World and conducted by the EIU at the outbreak of Covid-19 in first quarter of 2020, found that optimism about future growth is widespread and assuming the pandemic does not worsen, and protectionist policies remain restrained, 77 percent of companies in the region expect international sales to expand despite the disruption to supply chains.

On average, companies allocated 32 percent of revenue from the first half of 2020 to help them switch suppliers or logistics providers and change production or purchasing locations, according to the study.

Consequently, 42 percent of companies saw international revenue expand in the first half of 2020 while 19 percent reported no year-on-year change from 2019.

“International trade has shown remarkable resilience during the pandemic and will play a critical role in facilitating the global recovery. The business community is more optimistic for the future than many expected, and the supply chain challenges exposed by the pandemic have acted as a positive agent for change. We expect the result will be global flows of trade that are more efficient and more robust,” said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, CEO and chairman of DP World.

Adnoc, ADMM extend strategic partnership

he Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) & Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management (ADMM) on Wednesday announced an extension to their long-term strategic partnership. Supporting the health and wellbeing of the UAE community, and providing more ways to participate in motorsport at all levels, will be key areas of focus, with Adnoc playing a pivotal role in the delivery of these objectives.

The partnership will expand the ComYAS community health and fitness programme, enhance the guest experience at DriveYAS and Yas Kartzone, and provide a number of unique offers and experiences for Adnoc’s employees and customers.

Now in its tenth year, the ComYAS program– incorporating TrainYAS and TriYAS – has welcomed over 1.2 million people to its free weekly events. The 2021 programme will see the return of a weekly ladies-only evening. Adnoc TrainYAS Ladies will provide an opportunity for ladies to run, walk or cycle at the circuit in a safe and secure environment.

Yaser Saeed Almazrouei, executive director, Upstream Directorate at Adnoc, said: “The extension of the strategic partnership with ADMM reflects the importance Adnoc places on promoting healthy lifestyles and ensuring the wellbeing of our community. Importantly, this partnership aligns with our drive to make a positive contribution to achieving the UN Sustainability Goal of ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all.”

Shuaa Capital appoints CEO of real estate

Shuaa Capital, the leading asset management and investment banking platform in the region, has announced the appointment of Walid El Hindi as its CEO of real estate with immediate effect.

Walid will be responsible for managing Shuaa’s significant real estate portfolio and activities across the value chain and multiple geographies. His role will encompass driving further growth in the Group’s real estate platform. Shuaa is already highly active in real estate investment with over $11 billion in assets under management, development and asset management through Northacre and Astrea in the UK, Terra Real Estate Investments in the UAE and Shuaa Capital Saudi Arabia, which provide unique investment opportunities across the region. In 2020, the business achieved a number of key milestones in London, including the topping out of Northacre’s landmark redevelopment of The Broadway and will begin handing over apartments at its No. 1 Palace Street development in the coming months.

Walid brings with him a wealth of experience in the real estate sector spanning over 25 years. Previously, he spent five years as CEO at Imkan Properties where he led the establishment and growth of the company into one of the leading property developers in the Middle East. During this time, he was responsible for building a portfolio of developments now valued at over Dh100 billion and comprising 26 projects across six countries. Walid was also a board member and Managing Director of Imkan Misr, a board member of Imkan Maroc, as well as a board member of HHRM, an international hotel management company.

Mubadala interested in buying NMC hospital business

Abu Dhabi’s sovereign fund Mubadala is considering buying NMC Health’s core hospital business, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, emerging as another suitor of the troubled hospital group.

NMC, the largest private healthcare provider in the UAE, ran into trouble last year after the disclosure of more than $4 billion in hidden debt left a many UAE and overseas lenders with heavy losses.

The company, now in administration, is exploring the possibility of selling its healthcare business in the UAE and Oman, which sources have previously said could generate around $1 billion.

Mubadala, which has over $230 billion in assets under management, is one of the investors and companies looking at the asset, said the sources.

“As an investor we regularly assess opportunities for their potential fit into our portfolio,” a source close to Mubadala told Reuters.

Other suitors include Abu Dhabi state-owned holding company ADQ and Europe’s largest private equity firm CVC, Reuters reported earlier this month.

Sources have told Reuters the potential sale is a price discovery exercise to determine whether NMC’s business can get the value its creditors seek, or whether the business should keep the assets, complete the restructuring, and sell when they can achieve the value they want.

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