Oman's Blue City Investments 1 Ltd's plans to sell bonds worth $900 million to finance the development of an upmarket residential, hotel and leisure resort on the Indian Ocean coast, Fitch Ratings said.
That's pretty bold for a country that really wasn't interested in this whole boom. You need only to visit to realise that. However, the issue is this: The project is a private one, although it appears that it has the stamp of approval from Qaboos. Is that reason enough for Arabs to invest their hard earned cash, at a time where they are low on money after catastrophe on the financial markets.
No doubt, the Omanis are not the wealthiest, the other GCC Arabs are a little short on cash, and the Westerners won't see the value of being in Oman versus Dubai, where all the perceived action is. It will be interesting to see how this one develops. No GCC leader will want to see this fail, so if it gets into any problems, Qaboos will reign in some capital from his friends to make up the $20bn.
Posted by grapeshisha at 12:50 PM
The ministry says it is producing the weekly update in the hope of boosting competitiveness among UAE supermarkets rather than tracking the country's inflation rate.
That's what they said when they released the second weekly list of goods.
In the first week, it was:
The purpose of this move is to spread public awareness and ensure a cap on price increases.
However, when the second release of prices were released, it was a second basket goods, unrelated to the first one. For me, the man on the street, that doesn't really give much value added. I'm sure that the Ministry is doing their job, and don't need proof by a weekly column in the newspaper.
How about this instead: A weekly column on 30 or so goods, and the percentage changes week on week, to get a better picture of what is going on. I can get the prices by visiting the stores myself, so what, apart from the proof that the Ministry is doing their job, does this exercise bring? After all, if the Ministry can't control prices, then we will be going down a very narrow road to hyperinflation.
That's my two dirhams worth. Well, actually one, as there was a hike.
Posted by grapeshisha at 9:55 AM
My issue with using the CPI in such a changing economy is that it does not reflect the changing weight on a year by year basis. While it may be useful in mature economies, since it is possible when taking time-series measurements of financial instruments, such measurements can only sense if they are expressed in "constant" money terms. This is where the CPI is useful. People also can make important decisions after hearing the actual rate, since it supposedly measures the "rate of inflation."
But, in the UAE it doesn't. Why? The weight of housing as a proportion is always changing. We're not talking a few point here. We're talking big scale issues, that would affect the CPI significantly.
What you need to bear in mind is that the CPI is not an economic variable. It is a statistic that, at best, gives an inaccurate picture of the economic phenomenon of inflation. To calculate the monthly or an annual CPI, the Central Bank or another body takes a weighted average of prices of various things that consumers purchase, and then statisticians try to figure out the various proportions of different items in a "typical" household budget. For example, that weight may be that housing costs are 30 percent of household expenditures, food costs 20 percent, petrol another 15 percent, etc. But typical in the UAE, is wide ranging. The average is skewed. What about expat versus local? What's the best way of looking at it?
The problem is that it is very difficult to monitor. Legislation loopholes mean that that the housing proportion changes based on a landlord's whim and the the speculators frenzy. The predominance of imported goods depends on other countries, in the main, the distributers and how much the shops wish to pass on those price changes. And even though there is now a government price watch in place, Keefieboy's example of egg-stortionate price rises come into play, perhaps even for a short period of time.
My recommendation. Ignore the CPI. It's not accurate in this changing market where price changes are extremely difficult to control.
With regard to inflation, even though an announcement today states that inflation will decrease from 7% to 4% by the end of the year, take that with a pinch of salt - the number may reduce, but we're really looking at a higher base.
Forget the basic concept of inflation or CPI for a minute. Take it down to its base level. What was your like for like outgoings 2 years ago, last year and now this year? How much does it cost to lead that same life, without dropping your quality of life, this year, compared to previous years. The answer is probably significantly more, no matter what level of income you are on. That's what you have to bear in mind. The man on the street has no control over inflation, in real terms. All you can do is change factors to accommodate the price rises, including dropping your the quality of life. The story in the Mercer Human Resource Consulting Cost of Living Survey 2006 is indeed that Dubai and Abu Dhabi are now the 25th and 30th most expensive cities in the world to live. But there should have been more of a highlight on quality of life. Neither city made it onto the top 50. Make of that what you wish. Is the glitz and the glam enough?
Posted by grapeshisha at 11:15 AM
In later years, "crane" meant Dr. Frasier Crane, formerly of Cheers fame, spinning off to produce one the most amusing sitcoms of all time. (apart from Seinfeld!)
Mention the word "crane" now and you think Dubai, with people throwing statistics of the percentage of all cranes that are here to help build the uber-buildings.
Earlier this month, Dubai's Gulf News daily claimed the city harbors 24 percent of the world's construction cranes _ or 30,000 of 125,000 cranes worldwide. Less ambitious estimates range from 6 percent to 10 percent.
Binder believes there are between 1,100 and 1,200 tower cranes in the Emirates, mainly in Dubai, which is roughly 5 to 10 percent of the world's active tower cranes _ one of three varieties used in construction. Dubai harbors many thousands more mobile cranes and crawler cranes _ those on wheels or tracks.
In years to come, this period of growth in the UAE will be referred to as the Crane Years. Whether the actual percentage is 5 or 24, it's a hellova lot of cranes.
(The latest AP article on Dubai - Dubai Sprouts a Forest of Building Cranes )
Posted by grapeshisha at 10:50 AM
Posted by grapeshisha at 2:30 PM
Posted by grapeshisha at 10:30 PM
The crash has probably been reversely proportionate to perception of markets, creating that bubble effect. In Western markets if you had a 12% drop, similar to Kuwait's drop, sentiment would be very low. Dubai's 57% is a catastrophe. No worry. Everyone is still smiling. It's not just about the stock market after all, is it?
Posted by grapeshisha at 10:13 PM
Definition: Leaving Home or Staying in Touch. People who live informally outside a homeland while maintaining active contacts with it.
This definition implies a distinction between those who leave home and those who stay in touch. These are overlapping but not identical concepts. Some of those who leave home do not stay in touch, even though many of them do. Some who stay in touch never left home - they were born and raised outside the homeland but, for various reasons, want to return or create links with a place they think of as their home.
The word, diaspora, has been used for both of these concepts, but we need to be able to distinguish between them. Actually, the word dispersion is often used as a synonym for diaspora. Historically, they were just different versions of the same word, in two separate languages.
Can we use diaspora and dispersion to make a distinction? Dispersion is the act of leaving home, and diaspora is the act of staying in touch. Dispersions link up with studies of migration and immigration. Those who leave home often settle elsewhere and, in due course, become part of the hostland where they make new homes for themselves. Thus dispersions tend to dissolve to the degree that their members eventually lose their old identities and take on new ones. Much of the literature on "diaspora" is, substantively, part of the literature on immigration and assimilation. It tells the story of those who left one home and created new homes in a different place, perhaps for a temporary period of time.
The UAE is a collective of temporary and permanent diasporas.
Posted by grapeshisha at 3:06 PM
Posted by grapeshisha at 1:57 PM
However, I believe that fully emiratising a certain industry, especially within a lead time of 18 months, presents a number of problems. While there are a hugely disproportionate number of UAE Nationals out of work, this solution is potentially a quick fix that does not cater for the longer term.
UAE Nationals may be forced down career routes that they do not intend to follow, just because of the lack of overall jobs. Indeed, work arounds have existed for a number of years to get emiratisation levels up by pulling the incumbent expatriate out of the company, and recruiting him or her as a consultant to the UAE National. While this may solve the problem somewhat, it creates an extra burden on the organisation. Emiratising complete HR departments, for example will result in an increasing amount of work for the number of HR consultancies that exist within the region.
A longer term solution would involve a shadowing of general positions, but strictly enforced, so that theory is reinforced by on the job type training. While this may be the aim with the latest legislation, 18 months within one sector does not do justice to the more technical areas of HR, such as OD, Compensation and Benefits and Manpower Planning.
The problem is a big one. Swapping expat secretaries with UAE National ones, does not benefit the long term career prospects, since it reduces the expectation of education levels, since, in theory, these type of positions do not require much more than a diploma or higher diploma, which is relatively easy to obtain. What should be promoted is the forced education to a minimum of degree level or at worst, the carrot approach should be adopted whereby UAE Nationals should be offered larger incentives to complete their education to graduate and, ideally, post graduate level.
The lack of adoption of emirtisation by the banking insurance and trade sectors is based on the fact that there is a skill gap in an increasingly competitive arena. Whether this latest announcement will result in the desired end state is debatable. There is some merit to it, but, a long termist solution is needed to: one; increase the average education level of UAE Nationals; two, create transition periods to achieve company emiratisation levels; and three, to integrate UAE Nationals rather than force and employer into a corner. With a larger amount of UAE Nationals joining the job pool every year, Tanmia will have larger problems when they try and decide which is the next sector to emiratise.
Posted by grapeshisha at 9:54 AM
Posted by grapeshisha at 4:35 PM
2005 - UAE Real GDP Growth - 8.5%
2006 UAE Current Account Surplus estimate - USD 27Bn
By 2010 - UAE will experience 60% GDP Growth
Last week, someone told me that GDP increased by 26.4%. What he really meant to say is that the growth during the year 2005 was an increase of 26.4 per cent over the same period in 2004.
It's important to understand the numbers if you reference them and express that understanding in a correct way. Even if you don't reference them, it's a useful statistic to have to hand.
Posted by grapeshisha at 12:36 PM
1. I know as much as people with degrees
2. I didn't have time to do the degree
3. I couldn't afford to do the degree. This was cheap.
4. I needed to get a job
5. I didn't realise that it was not real.
It's amusing how people will stick to their story that their "degree" is legitimate, and how they learned so much from their "time at university" until you actually tell them that you have checked it up. This kind of practice is not so prevalant in the West, but most of the fake certificates come from the West, and hold an air of prestige western education. One univeristy I was asked to probe for a client was the University of Canterbury. Now there is a University of Kent at Canterbury, but not a University of Cantebury. They are just a phone number based out of Manchester, from whom you can buy a doctorate for a couple of thousand bucks. I'm sure you can get one cheaper if you shop around. Just don't think this kind of rubbish will hold any weight any more in the UAE.
Posted by grapeshisha at 2:36 PM
Posted by grapeshisha at 12:31 PM
Posted by grapeshisha at 2:26 PM
What people fail to realise is the value of the "freezones". While essentially a little expensive to operate within, it is a major reason why many expatriates are here. A haven to operate from without the burden of taxes and the like. The freezones were fundamental to the UAE and Dubai's economy, and one thing that is often forgotten when looking at the bigger picture of growth. The freezones, from my perspective, represents a key lever in the development of this once barren land.
Posted by grapeshisha at 2:13 PM
From speaking to a diverse group of expatriates, many do not trust keeping their money here "in case something goes wrong". Frozen accounts once you resign are always a worry, sometimes imposed on those who seem to be running from paying their debts before they leave. Indeed, many come to the UAE, take the maximum loan and return to their home country without cancelling their visa. We're in a catch 22.
How can you have a banking industry conducive to saving if the expatriates who live here are scared of being the "one" who loses out because of someone else's misdemeanours set the precedent for mistrust.
Flexible laws to keep the money onshore benefit high net worth individuals who were based here but do not remove that element of worry that the expat has that one day they will br "frozen" out of their savings.
Posted by grapeshisha at 1:37 PM
Posted by grapeshisha at 12:41 PM
Posted by grapeshisha at 11:56 AM
The artist formerly known as Prince, then known as Symbol, now known as Prince
Puff daddy, formerly known as Puffy, then known as P.Diddy, then as Diddy, now known as Sean Combs, maybe known as Daddy or Sean to his friends and family.
I get confused enough by the UAE companies, especially with some of them being similar in name, and yet, some get renamed or reassigned or whatever.
What will happen to ADIA? What will happen to the MOI? I predict that Etisalat will rename as its current tagline "Reach" when it hits the overseas western markets, if it reaches that far.
Posted by grapeshisha at 10:10 AM
However, price fixing and cartels could fall apart if there is an economic downturn, the exposure of price fixing by regulatory bodies, over production of products or services.
These are hardly going to happen in the UAE: downturn - doubt; regulatory bodies - wel...; over production - unless there is a significant investment in technology (e.g. 3G and Vodafone), there would seem no reason to change pricing structures.
The good news is that, even though firms operating at super normal profits, cartels usually break down because either firm is not profit maximising. The way I see it is that etisalat will strategically invest overseas using the UAE as a cash cow. Don't expect a radical change in services or price reductions when Du comes on board.
Posted by grapeshisha at 9:47 AM
How many words in the lexicon?
The common lexicon, for the moment, consists of just three terms: "Islamist", "fundamentalism" and "jihad".
Posted by grapeshisha at 11:58 AM
historically, the market has been like this:
west: independant - old people's home - hospital
gulf: independant - childrens's home - hospital
The western market is moving to replace old people's homes with home living, assisted living, with general montoring solutions. But the Dubai, UAE and Gulf market is a difficult one for a telecare provider to enter. There is no doubt that old people's homes exist here, but not worthwhile to try and tackle the cultural element.
Understand nursing / old people's homes from a Muslim perspective - IHT
Understand the telecare market from the lead worldwide provider - Tunstall
Posted by grapeshisha at 11:25 AM
Of course, we live in a different place and although not so long ago, these are different times. However, the message is clear, the viewer, the reader, the listener, the audience - they are in control of the successes of the media, under the constriction of legislation. However, without them, TV is nothing, nada, rien, nichts, niente. And remember, audiences are a fickle bunch – one false move and they will leave, never to return. However, the other side of the coin is this: prejudge the market and the audiences will flock in their thousands. Either way, TV Media needs to be in a position to change when the market dictates or when they want to dictate the market. This is driven by the need to meet the audience expectations with a new found malleability unsurpassed in the Arab world.
For much time, I have been unimpressed by the TV here. The problem is the very diverse audience that exists, especially in the UAE, the minimal expenditure on production and difficulty in montoring the real stats that could drive the advertising revenue. Words are thrown around like radical upheaval or shake up. TV Channels should think of retuning and identifying their audiences, refocusing their strategy and recreating the backbone that will propel the taker to further success. The leader will be recognized both in the Arab world and beyond. Let the revolution be televised.
Posted by grapeshisha at 2:25 PM
Luckily the practice of luring girls to a new world in Dubai, where they get forced into the sex industry working as prostitutes under the connected pimps has now been exposed by Philippine Overseas Employment Administration:
Here is how the syndicate works:
• The illegal recruiters scour their hometowns or malls and bars in Metro Manila for prospective victims. They also seek former entertainers in Japan who could no longer get entry visas to that country.
• The recruiters promise the women they would be hired in Dubai as waitresses, salesgirls, mall or hotel employees. They are lured into entering Dubai with visit or tourist visas which can be easily obtained from travel agencies in the UAE.
• The victims leave the country on the cheapest airlines for Dubai. On arrival, the women are escorted by the recruiters’ contacts past the immigration booths.
• To facilitate their departure, the victims are given roundtrip tickets. The return tickets, however, are fake. The contacts immediately take hold of the women’s passports, visas and plane tickets.
• Brought to their quarters, they are told not to communicate with the consulate or embassy. The victims are threatened by their “mamasans,” or caretakers, who boast connections with the UAE immigration and police authorities.
• Most of the mamasans know each other and even lend “girls” to suit the tastes of their customers.
• Closely watched by the mamasans, the women are taken to discotheques and bars to look for customers.
Human trafficking of any sort is despicable, whether this be illegal purposes (prostitution or camel jockeys, say) or for other "jobs" sold as better paying than they actually are. The UAE is clamping down on such practices in general, but prostitution has taken a back seat in the headlines as the contruction workers took centre stage. It's time to clean up the streets of Dubai, and repatriate these girls so that they can try to rebuild their lives.
Posted by grapeshisha at 1:18 PM
Posted by grapeshisha at 1:19 AM
Posted by grapeshisha at 1:57 PM
Posted by grapeshisha at 1:45 PM
“There were two buildings when I moved here in August of 2004, and that is no lie. Those two buildings and nothing else existed,”
Yup, two years ago, everyone was living in tents in the desert, and travelling up and down the Sheikh Zayed Road by camel.
Posted by grapeshisha at 10:52 AM
The Western expatriate is afraid. They are afraid of the increasingly educated Arab who has been educated overseas and posess the skills that used to be short in supply. The UAE Labour Law states that preference in employment should be given to UAE Nationals, Other Arabs, followed by other nationalities, in that order. In previous years, especially at the Middle to Senior Management level, there would be a shortage of professionals, say as a senior accountant. And while there used to be some Arabs in these positions, Western expats would bring Western education, and Western experience to the table. The tables are now starting to turn. Many Arabs are choosing to educate themselves and gain experience overseas before looking at the UAE to continue their career and bring their supposed "best practice" here in the UAE and within the Middle East. And so those who had generic middle management type skills are now having to compete with Arabs who are higher up on the UAE Labour Law pecking order, speak Arabic and have the skills and experience to boot.
Does this mean that the numbers of Western Expats will reduce? No - what it does mean is that specialist type positions, in the banking arena, for example, will be the main area for Expats and specialist skills will be required to be in such positions. I don't forsee a major shift any time soon, especially in the free zones, but just be aware that this shift is occuring beneath the surface. While business transactions generally occur in English, Arabic is becoming increasingly important. And with the Middle East taking the stage as third in the sentence of developing regions, after China and India, and with double digit economic growth an everyday occurrence, the "White Arab" will continue to lead this growth.
(Aside, I don't like the term "White Arab". I would prefer the term Western Educated Arab)
Posted by grapeshisha at 11:36 AM
Posted by grapeshisha at 11:25 AM
What is it called when you are on growth hormones in the UAE?
Why would you move to the UAE?
You might have had to emmigrate
What's the best protection against the mad drivers in Dubai?
Boom Boom. You should have seen the bad ones!
Posted by grapeshisha at 1:33 PM
While Dubai has undoubtedly established itself as the region's financial hub, a base there may not be enough on its own. For example, bankers turning up in Qatar with Dubai addresses on their cards have been known to be sent packing. And other states in the region have much larger oil reserves than Dubai – and consequently more money looking for a home.
The real competition for Dubai lies in Qatar and to some extent Bahrain and Kuwait. Saudi is a a different kettle of fish, despite its own massive projects. There are more pieces to the Gulf pie than one city can handle - the Gulf states need to look to differetiating themselves based on their strengths. Dubai has just gone out there and said, we're going to do all of this and this and that and whatever else seems good. And people like that - that is its appeal. If either of the other cities could take elements of what is not wholly covered, and become a powerhouse in specifics, there would be several regional hubs rather than just the one.
But, as we know from living in the Middle East, the main issue is pride - no one wants to play second fiddle to Dubai.
Posted by grapeshisha at 9:54 AM
1. The big guys are not here yet
2. The postal system in the UAE works on a PO Box basis
3. The general UAE consumer is not yet Internet savvy
4. Payment systems are problematic
5. The Chinese DVD lady...
While the first four areas are workable, the Chinese DVD lady, who provides dodgey DVDs, usually taken in dingey cinemas in the US or the Far East provides titles, direct to your home, for a cheaper price, and before they are officially released. While this is completely illegal, there is not enough being done to clamp down on such practices. It will be interesting to see if Cyberflix are able to get the consumer to go legit and opt for quality. If they are, they will establish a big market share before other players come in. If not, they will sink and burn in cyberspace. Good luck to them.
Posted by grapeshisha at 10:29 AM
Please read Clyde Prestowitz: The View From Dubai at "The Washington Note". It talks of democracy in Iraq, the conflicting relationship with Saudi, how the US depends on the Gulf States currently, and the future of the Dollar.
Posted by grapeshisha at 1:39 AM
Much has been made of the skimming device at Emirates bank. This is one way by which criminals have attempted to swindle the public at the cash point. It is an age old trick, one that has been done to death in the West. This should make it easier for the authorities here to clamp down on such things happening again. I am just surprised that there weren't any preventitive measures in place beforehand. However, with big brother in play, I'm sure that criminals will be too scared to pull a swifty once those responsible are lashed and deported.
Skimming and the like doesn't bother me too much. What worries me is the basics of some of the retail banking operations. For example, are you aware that some of the banks in the UAE have to rekey your transactions between one system and another, overnight so that it is updated on your account. That means you transact something on your bank account, or example pay a bill, but this wont get updated until the next day, after someone has rekeyed that on your main account. Sounds bizarre that such things still happen, and as any techy will tell you, a few bits of code and an interface and you have a feed between two systems to update automatically. Such basic issues in retal baning are things that were dealt with about 15 years ago in the West.
On another level, with Basel II compliance deadlines somewhat close in many countries, it is refreshing to hear that banks are volunarily investing in risk and compliance systems! Does that mean that risk monitoring was done on a manual basis before? It is high time that the banking industry invested some of the cash that it gained from the naive stock market investors and create robust systems that mitigate against risk at all levels, from credit card scamming, to cash card skimming to Basel II implementations.
To be treated as world class, you must act world class. That would also go for some of the World Cup teams playing this month.
Posted by grapeshisha at 12:31 AM
The World Cup and Economics (2.15MB, 59 page download)
Come on Ingleezi!
Posted by grapeshisha at 12:28 PM
I finally got to read the interview in full. What I really want to read is his ">book when it is translated.
Posted by grapeshisha at 2:15 AM
Super-rich Kuwait sits uncomfortably close to unruly Iraq and obstreperous Iran, and Saddam Hussein's invasion in 1990 burned up much of its fortune. Saudi Arabia pumps far more oil, but must split the proceeds among lots more people, quite a few of them bellicose Islamists. Tiny Qatar is underpeopled and rolling in cash, but its erratic foreign policy irritates Saudis, Americans and others one should not annoy. Even Abu Dhabi's neighbour Dubai, the glitzy boomtown that is another of the seven United Arab Emirates, is troubled by the grumbles of abused foreign workers.
Great intro to the region and to the article.
Posted by grapeshisha at 1:47 AM
Posted by grapeshisha at 3:37 PM
If you are not looking for a job or looking into the industry or know how the industry works - you won't really see what I believe is going on. And of course, if you get super excited by seeing the ideal job being advertised, you might get all starry eyed by that new glam job that could be yours in a couple weeks.
Before I unveil my concern, here's a very generalised overview of how recruitment agencies generate revenue.
Recruitment agencies make money in a number of ways but mainly through the following:
Job Advertising - an agency will advertise your job for a company for a fixed fee and handle all the bits a pieces, potentially break down those candidates that meet the requirements and provide you with a list of suitable CVs.
Job Placement - similar to Job Advertising, but are only paid if they place a candidate, for which they are paid a percentage of the first year salary.
Executive Search - similar to Job Placement, but usually poaching key individuals with proven track records. This is sometimes called headhunting.
Candidate Database Search - clients can search through a full database of those looking for jobs, under specific terms, either for period of time, or for number of employee's details, or for a number of searches.
Value Added - provision of additional services that an employer may potentially be interested in, such as training, or jobscreening, pre-interviewing and the like, as well as services to job seekers such as CV preparation, interview techniques for example.
With an increased number of jobs available in the UAE and the Middle East, it could potentially be lucrative to be in this industry as the middle man. I have already voiced my concerns about jobsindubai.com as well as how jobs are advertised. There are a number of reputable agencies in Dubai, some of which I have provided on a spreadsheet on the main grapeshisha site, but this is what you need to be aware of. There are a number of so called "agencies" trying to enter the market. To be reputable, they believe they need to offer a Candidate Database Search to employers. So this is what is happening. They are doing a few things, two of which are:
1. Harvesting CVs from international sites, posing as potential employers and pulling those CVs of job seekers who would consider Dubai or the Middle East.
2. Advertising in the press, with dummy jobs to lure jobseekers to send in their CV for specific areas.
This is concerning because while you may be looking for a job, all they are doing is spending a little money advertising in newspapers (that really don't charge too much) both here and abroad, just to be able to sell your data to employers later.
While this may not be an issue to some, I believe that this is an unethical practice of entering the market, and one that is unregulated. While this may be the de facto way of entering the recruitment industry for some, it screams of unprofessional behaviour to others. Some say that this is obvious, but others are unaware that this is going on. All I wish to do is to point this out to those looking for jobs in Dubai, the UAE or the Middle East in general. I'm neither tied to any of the recruitment firms, nor do I hope to be - I just hope that, at some point in time, someone cracks down on this practice and forces some old fashioned hard work to enter an industry. I won't name any names, for fear of being libelled, but next time you look at the job section of your paper, just think which jobs are actually real.
Good Luck with the job search!
Posted by grapeshisha at 1:33 PM
"There has been an inflationary pressure in some countries in the region, the UAE being the principal one. It needs to be controlled. One part of it [inflation] is the rising consumer price index. The other is being felt in the form of the asset price increases stock market and real estate."
2. GDP Growth Rate
To a question about GDP growth rate, he said IMF projects it at 10.5 per cent this fiscal, over 8.5 per cent during 2005. During 2004 its seen at 9.7 per cent coming down from 12 per cent in 2003.
3. Reforms are necessary
He said that oil-rich countries in the Gulf region were aware that if they miss the chance to “utilise this period to undertake those reforms and develop the private sector (they) will be back in the 1990s.”
4. Non-oil economic growth
Non-oil economic growth in the GCC states has registered some 8.6% in Saudi Arabia in 2005, compared to 8.3% in Qatar and 7.8% in the United Arab Emirates, according to the IMF’s Regional Economic Outlook, which was published in May.
5. Services are the future
“The future lies in the private sector development of services and knowledge economy.“(In) information technology ... that is where jobs are going to be created by the private sector,” he added.
6. Investment strategy
For countries like the UAE, which does not have the scope of witnessing large-scale industrialisation nor the adequate population to sustain a large industrial production with domestic consumption, the ideal growth model would be the one that relies a lot on foreign investments and investing abroad.
7. Credit Expansion
He showed IMF's concern over the massive credit expansion which was seen enlarging by 45 per cent during last year, it had its huge impact on inflation.
8. CPI needs to be revised
He said that during his discussions with the UAE economic managers, he raised the issue of inflation estimates which are not indicative of the price hikes and particularly the rent hikes. "We (IMF) have asked them to broaden the scope of CPI and offered our technical assistance to prepare a new index," said Mohsin S.Khan.
10. Oil Prices
According to IMF estimates oil prices will hover around $60 until 2011. That will shower the Middle East economies with a huge amount of investible surplus.
In sum: The UAE and the region has a prime opportunity to build the region, but needs to be aware of the pitfalls that could be grave.
KT - IMF tells UAE to revise its CPI
GN - UAE economy will grow 10.5%, says IMF
AFP - Gulf countries aware energy windfall won’t last: top IMF official
GN - UAE needs to control inflation, says IMF director
IMF May 2006 Regional Report
Posted by grapeshisha at 10:30 AM
Posted by grapeshisha at 12:56 AM
Posted by grapeshisha at 12:49 AM
Asia Times Article
Posted by grapeshisha at 12:39 AM
If we look at the next couple of years, the UAE, Kuwait and Qatar will be roughly around the $30,000/head/annum mark. That is a phenomenal amount.
(Oh yes, keep your eye on what is going on in Kuwait - it's the dark horse in this long race)
Posted by grapeshisha at 12:36 AM
- Dubai pricing itself out of the market,
- A reduction in room price resulting in lower revpar
- A reduction in standards.
Personally, easy hotels at the cheap and cheerful end of the market have a big demand, as well as the plush types.
I don't think it is doable. However, as with all things in Dubai, time will tell. If grapeshisha still exists in 2010, let's see if the prediction comes true.
Posted by grapeshisha at 12:11 AM
From Willy's Blog
Posted by grapeshisha at 11:56 PM
Now, this report is based on hard data and opinion. I am not disputing any of this, but something has got to be suspect. The opinion is from 200 CEOs of top private companies, no doubt UAE National Businessmen - which would defy the object of teh report. Here's the thing - I am not doubting that Dubai is very competitive, and probably deserves to feature pretty high, but some things just don't make sense. I found this particularly amusing:
The report ranks Dubai as one of the top ten competitive economies in several sub-factor ranking. These include 5th place in the criteria of ease of doing business, employment (2nd place), fiscal policy (1st place), public finance (9th place), labor market (8th place), adaptability of government policy to change in the economy (3rd place).
Remember, while these are sub factors, they are compared against the best in the world. And to place Dubai as number 1 on fiscal policy, when really there isn't one and employment at number 2, despite the problems that have surfaced only recently after years of bubbling - I'm sorry, it just sounds ludicrous.
Now despite the weight of the findings, something like this really gets my goat, and I can't trust the underlying data. Maybe my office boy was right all along - "incompetitive"!
PS. If anyone has the report with all the data, send it my way. If the data is indeed non suspect, I'll take it all back.
Posted by grapeshisha at 11:18 PM
Something that shocked me was the revelation that DIFX might be purchasing DFM. Globally not such a big deal, but locally, this has a huge WOW factor. ADSM must be shuddering in its shoes.
But really, is this such a surprise?
Posted by grapeshisha at 4:10 PM
Posted by grapeshisha at 11:27 AM
Others, especially some from Michigan, are looking forward to a party in Hell on the 6th of June.
Posted by grapeshisha at 10:29 AM
Posted by grapeshisha at 10:16 AM
Another move is on the cards as The UN regional headquarters in Dubai have been asked to shift away from where they currently sit which is where Business Bay will be built:
One site identified as a possible new home for the U.N. is a warehouse park under construction on Dubai's desert outskirts, 20 miles from the city's glitzy center. The park, next to a seaport and new airport, makes sense for U.N. agencies dealing in aid airlifts. But for diplomats like Ivo Freijsen, chief of the U.N.'s regional office for emergency relief, the move would be like shifting U.N. headquarters in Manhattan to an industrial district in New Jersey.
Maybe, they'll just move to Qatar or Abu Dhabi. Full Story
Posted by grapeshisha at 10:03 AM
Commenting on the fast-paced growth of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed dismissed analysts' fears of a bubble about to burst. 'If we had listened to talk of the bubble we would never have done anything ... if you ask those who are speaking of the bubble what they mean, you would get a 'bubble response' that has no relation to economics or development or science or reality,' he said.
In terms of economic development and growth, I think he is absolutely correct. But,if you define a bubble, it's all to do with specualtion frenzy. And that is exactly what happened when many people threw their hard earned money into the pevious bubble that burst.
In totality, the bubble on Dubai won't burst unless something goes very wrong, but there will be lots of little bubbles bursting along the way. Maybe you canjust call them "corrections".
Posted by grapeshisha at 1:22 AM
Posted by grapeshisha at 1:00 AM
Is Qatar the next Dubai - NYTIMES
Posted by grapeshisha at 12:50 AM
Wenzhou businessman buys Arab TV station
A BUSINESSMAN from Wenzhou City in eastern China's Zhejiang Province, has purchased a United Arab Emirates state-owned television station. It is the first TV station in the Middle East to be owned by a Chinese, according to a Wenzhou newspaper report yesterday. The report did not say how much was paid for the station. The new owner, Wang Weisheng, who left Wenzhou for the UAE more than 10 years ago, has changed the TV station name to "Arab Alibaba Business Satellite TV," the report said. Wang will be the chairman of the board.
I can't see how a state owned TV station out of DMC could be sold off, but this has come from official sources in China... What next? Bush taking over Etisalat?
Posted by grapeshisha at 10:47 PM
Pity the cartographers and guidebook publishers striving to capture Dubai's juggernautlike sprawl. With every month bringing announcements of audacious new hotels and leisure concepts — a huge artificial coral reef studded with World War II planes and pounds of gold is being built for scuba divers — today's top draws can easily become tomorrow's fire sales. Dubai travel guides and maps, their shelf life shorter than eggs, can pretty much go straight from printing press to pulp plant.
Dubai is pretty much cemented on the world stage.
Posted by grapeshisha at 11:58 AM
Here are some predictions:
1. The UAE stock markets are close to their trough. They'll go down a little more, and then will stabilise with increased trading from long termers but not much more real gain.
2. The Dirham V Pound will drop from about 6.88 to about 7.3 and then stabilise at about 7.0. It will take about 6 months to get to 7.3. With gloomy employment figures, the US is in trouble. It would hate for the GCC countries to rebase to a basket. And I don't think that will happen this year. If at all, something will happen early '07. Implementing a floating peg for the Dirham at this stage would be to destabilising.
3. Dubai Property is the next area for correction. I think the value is about right, but some properties will go down about 5-10%, before stabilising. This won't be too much of a problem. The speculators won't speculate so much any more because of the increased supply coming to market.
Let's see how long it will take for any of these three to prove me wrong. These predictions are all based on my general feel for what's going on, no analysis no nothing, but it's sometimes ballsy to do just that.
Posted by grapeshisha at 2:21 AM
This article highlights that:
"We here must wear abayas. So, much as (other) people like to show off their clothes, the only thing we can take pride in is our abayas," said Hana Mohsen, a 26-year-old Emirati broker picking a new outfit in a Dubai shopping mall.
It doesn't talk aboutthe fact that they buy cheap abayas to wear at work because they keep getting caught in the wheels of the chair.
Posted by grapeshisha at 6:38 PM
As Political Agent in Dubai at the end of the Sixties, he had the difficult task of maintaining a semi-colonial relationship with the sheikhly rulers of what were then still the Trucial States, later to be the United Arab Emirates. The political atmosphere was fragile, following the humiliation of the Arabs in the 1967 war and the undignified British departure from Aden. The relationship was evidently obsolete and could only be sustained on the basis of personal friendship, operating almost entirely in Arabic, which Bullard had learnt mainly in his spare time at previous posts (which had included Vienna, Amman, Bonn and Moscow). This ancient and advantageous relationship was kept green by Bullard, only to be abruptly cut off by the Wilson government.
The rest of his obituary at the Independant
Posted by grapeshisha at 6:34 PM
Our aim is to open up opportnities
There is a "u" in opportunities. Maybe that's the point...
Either way, it looks a lot better, although someone with detailed HCI knowledge will probably have some issues with it. One thing though - the URL is bit long....
Bring on the service that meets the vision.
Posted by grapeshisha at 12:05 PM
Often described as the 'pillars of Dubai', the Futtaim brothers, Abdullah and Majid, seem to own half of the emirate, as many here say in jest. But the real humor behind their story is that a quarrel between the two brothers over inherited wealth has actually led to Dubai's expansion.
This piece gives a great overview of the benefits of competition. Perhaps they should be involved in telecoms?
Posted by grapeshisha at 9:54 AM
Posted by grapeshisha at 9:39 AM
But those who speak Arabic say both the sentence and words are written backwards. Unlike English, Arabic is written right to left. "I think no Arabic speaker would understand what it does mean. The first time, I thought it wasn't Arabic," said Nasreddine Ben Ali, who is originally from Tunisia. He said that once he had figured out how to read the sentence, he still wasn't sure of its meaning. Ali said the sentence translates to "Don't sacrifice your life." He guessed that it might have something to do with drinking and driving.
I think the 'backward' meaning is probably a stronger message.
Full story here.
Posted by grapeshisha at 9:30 AM
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- Oman joins in on the action
- The UAE Price Watch
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- On Cranes
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