Mon. Oct 2nd, 2023
RIYADH: Dubai’s real estate market continues to record growth in property deals, with the residential sector witnessing 8,269 transactions in October, registering a 72.5 percent increase from the prior year, global commercial real estate service provider CBRE said in its latest report.  
The increase in property deals has been driven by a 133.5 percent growth in off-plan market sales while secondary market sales rose by 29.4 percent, it said. 
Dubai’s property market has been showing signs of returning to the pre-COVID-19 levels as the emirate was among the first global cities to unshackle itself from the lockdowns after the government took a series of measures to contain the impact of the pandemic.  
In the year to date to October 2022, CBRE noted that the total transaction volumes reached 71,412, which continues to be the highest total recorded since 2009. 
This saw the average prices of residential units increasing by 9.2 percent in the year to October, with apartment and villa prices rising by 8.5 percent and 13 percent, respectively. The average apartment price in Dubai reached 1,149 dirhams ($313) per square foot, and the average villa price 1,359 dirhams per square foot, according to CBRE.  
However, these average rates are still 22.8 percent and 6 percent below the peaks recorded in 2014 for apartments and villas. 
“Residential rents in Dubai increased by 27.3 percent in October 2022 compared to a year earlier, extending on the record high annual growth we saw in the month prior,” said Taimur Khan, head of research – MENA at CBRE in Dubai. 
He said data from Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency’s online registration system, Ejari, showed that the number of new contracts registered year-on-year in the year to date to October fell by 4.7 percent, whereas renewals have increased by 33.6 percent, indicating that “tenants are less willing to move given current market conditions.”  
“We expect the rate of change in the rental market to start tapering off by the end of 2022. In the sales market, 8,269 transactions were recorded in October, a 72.5 percent increase from the year prior,” said Khan.  
The CBRE expert pointed out that a total of 71,412 transactions were recorded in the year to date to October, to put this into context, in 2019 this figure totaled 29,394. “In terms of transaction volumes for the year, we expect 2022 total transactions to comfortably surpass the 2009 total,” he said.
In terms of residential areas, Jumeirah registered the highest average sales rate per square foot at 2,226 dirhams, said CBRE, adding that the villa segment of the market, Palm Jumeirah recorded the highest average sales rate per square foot at 3,704 dirhams. 
The highest average annual apartment and villa rents were respectively seen in Palm Jumeirah, where average rents reached 242,250 dirhams on average, and Al Barari recorded average rents of 956,174 dirhams, according to CBRE. 
TUNIS: The Tunisian government on Tuesday presented a three-year development plan that relies heavily on private sector investment, particularly in industry, and boosting phosphate production.
The cash-strapped North African country is battling 10 percent inflation alongside slow growth, high unemployment and shortages of basic goods, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
The 2023-2025 plan “puts forward a new model of development” to reset Tunisia’s economy and battle poverty, which currently affects around a fifth of the 12 million population, Economy Minister Samir Saied said.
Tunisian authorities are hoping to secure a nearly $2-billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund they hope will unlock other sources of international financing.
Saied said the plan unveiled Tuesday, which is based on growth of 2.1 percent this year — compared to 1.8 percent last year — was “realistic and prudent.”
He predicted a fall in unemployment of just one percentage point to 14 percent between 2022 and 2025.
Saied said private sector investment should be the “engine of growth,” calling for improvements to Tunisia’s closed business climate.
He laid out plans for $12.3 billion in public investments over the three years, two-thirds via the state budget and the remainder through publicly owned companies.
Industry Minister Neila Gonji, who presented part of the plan, said increased investment in industry could see the sector grow from 15 to 18 percent of gross domestic product by 2025, with exports growing by a third to $18 billion a year.
The plan also seeks to boost production of phosphates, one of Tunisia’s rare natural resources, from 3.7 million tons last year to 12 million tons in 2025.
The government also plans to allow farming land to be used for solar and wind energy generation, as well as allowing small-scale solar projects in a market that is currently dominated by state-owned firm STEG.
The plan lays out a program of improvements to the social security system, with payouts for families looking after elderly non-relatives, and investments in education for school dropouts.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority is organizing a conference on Feb.8-9 in Riyadh to discuss the latest global taxation trends.
Top Saudi officials, heads of international tax authorities, and local, regional, and global experts will take part in the two-day event to be held under the theme “An Integrated Digital Ecosystem for Sustainable Economy and Improved Security.”
The conference will discuss key global and local experiences in the tax, zakat, and customs sector. Registration for the first Zakat, Tax, and Customs Conference has started online.
Registration will be allowed for members of the business sector, including taxpayers, importers, exporters, experts, and researchers from around the world. The event seeks to promote a joint line of action for the sector and discuss new visions and developments in the field.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index dialed up 82.60 points — or 0.78 percent — to close at 10,660.94 on Tuesday, as the monthly Purchasing Managers’ Index from Riyad Bank reported a sharp demand recovery and strongest job growth in almost five years. 
Tadawul All Share Index’s total trading turnover also increased to SR3.88 billion ($1.03 billion) from Monday’s SR3.67 billion. The market saw 162 of the listed 223 firms rise, while 44 lagged. 
“Saudi market witnessed gains for the third consecutive day resulting in a year-to-date gain of 1.7 percent in 2023 as it saw positive returns for the bulk of the sectors after the monthly PMI survey report,” Junaid Ansari, head of investment strategy and research at Kamco Invest, told Arab News. 
The sectoral pulse on Tuesday also revved up gains, as 19 of the 21 indices were northbound. The topmost gainer was the Food & Staples Retailing Index, which advanced 112.15 points to close at 8,802.64.  
Almost all large-cap stocks closed higher, with Saudi Arabian Mining Co. and ACWA Power Co. closing 1.34 percent and 1.4 percent up to SR68.10 and SR158.60, respectively. 
Parallel market Nomu and MSCI Tadawul 30 Index also rose 0.64 percent and 0.76 percent to close at 19,559.56 and 1,484.37, respectively. 
“The market sentiments were also positive thanks to the Hong Kong benchmark index gaining 1.8 percent on the first trading day of the year,” said Ansari. 
The move assumes significance as the Hang Seng Index braved a weak manufacturing survey from China and the dismal infection figures. Also noteworthy to mention is the overall gains happened even as oil prices took a hit. 
Brent crude futures fell $1.18 to $84.73 a barrel by 3.15 p.m. Riyadh time, while the US West Texas Intermediate crude slipped $1.10 to $79.16. 
Stock markets in the Gulf Cooperation Council region on Jan. 3 clocked mixed performance as Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Muscat posted marginal gains while Dubai, Kuwait and Bahrain closed lower. 
On the announcements front, Wafrah for Industry and Development Co. informed on Jan. 3 that it had signed a contract with Saudi Dairy and Foodstuff Co. for SR11.85 million. 
In a statement to Tadawul, Wafrah said it would produce frozen french fries under SADAFCO’s trade name, and the six-month contract is likely to increase its revenues. The breakfast food company became the best performer of the day as it closed 7.93 percent to end at SR29.95. 
On Tuesday, construction company Enma Al Rawabi Co. also announced that it signed an SR45.71 million contract with Saudi Mining Services Co. to lease a commercial building located on Takhassusi Street, Olaya District, Riyadh. The five-year contract will be effective as of May 15, 2023. 
RIYADH: Ducab Group – one of the UAE’s largest industrial manufacturing businesses – is supplying 633 km of medium voltage and earthing cable to a new Egyptian 70-turbine wind farm, according to the Emirates News Agency, WAM.
The Gulf of Suez project, for Egypt’s New and Renewable Energy Authority, will play a key role in the country’s commitment to generate 42 percent of all electricity from renewable energy by 2035 and save around 600,000 tonnes of CO2 every year.
The project is one of the largest developed utility scale wind power plants in Egypt and will contribute 250 megawatts of renewable energy generation to the country’s energy mix from the 70 turbines being installed in an area of 57 sq. km..
For the project, Ducab has partnered with Vestas, EPC contractor and supplier of the 70 wind turbines.
Group CEO of Ducab, Mohammed Almutawa, said: “We are committed to supporting countries achieve their sustainability ambitions and our solutions are in high demand for solar and wind power projects around the world.
“Ducab already supplies solutions to landmark renewable energy infrastructure in 55 countries, but we are proud that demand for our expertise, experience and quality solutions is experiencing significant growth as more and more countries, such as Egypt, decarbonise and transition to renewables.”
In addition to the Gulf of Suez wind farm, Ducab has provided solutions for a wide range of milestone renewable energy projects in the Middle East, including the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the Shams 1 project and the Al Barakah nuclear plant in the UAE.
The company has also initiated renewable energy projects across 55 countries and in April this year announced its first solar park partnership in Mexico.
As an Emirati brand, Ducab is aligned with ‘Operation 300bn’, the UAE’s national strategy to increase the industrial sector’s contribution to gross domestic product from $36.23 billion to $81.74 billion by 2031.
ABU DHABI: The seventh annual Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum, set to be held in Abu Dhabi on January 14-15, 2023, will set the global energy agenda for the year ahead and examine the longer-term implications of the changing energy system, according to organizers.
This year’s forum will take on particular importance as critical climate and energy strategy issues take center stage in the lead-up to the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28), which the UAE will also host at the end of the year. 
Held under the patronage of UAE president Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the headliners will include John Kerry, US special presidential envoy for climate and former US secretary of state.
The 2023 forum will have a special focus on the challenge of managing energy security priorities and decarbonization efforts in tandem, amid the continuing impact of the crisis in Ukraine on the energy transition.
The forum will also once again be part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, a global event supporting collaboration on climate action and net-zero pledges.
“As host of COP28, we are honored to welcome attendees of the Global Energy Forum to the United Arab Emirates to discuss the ongoing energy transition, Suhail bin Mohammed Al-Mazrouei, UAE minister of Energy and Infrastructure, said. 
“The UAE has adopted a wide range of energy initiatives to achieve global sustainable development goals and combat the devastating effects of climate change.
“This year’s forum provides a unique opportunity to not only talk about the energy agenda of the year ahead, but also begin the conversation for the United Nations Climate Change Conference now,” he added.
Frederick Kempe, Atlantic Council president and CEO, also said: “The dual challenges of energy security and climate change have elevated the energy transition to the top of global leaders’ list of urgent priorities.” 
He continued: “The 2023 Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum once again will provide a critically important platform for policymakers to meet those challenges, this is an opportunity to bring together leaders from around the world to set the 2023 energy agenda and build upon the past meetings’ success.”


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