Par La Rando

Comment faire des brownies

Les ingrédients: – 300 g de chocolat noir – 150 g de sucre en poudre – 160 g de beurre – 1 sachet de sucre vanille – 100 g de farine tamisée – 4 œufs – 1 pincée de sel Faire fondre le chocolat noir coupé en petits morceaux au bain-marie. Faire fondre aussi le beurre dans une casserole sur feu très doux. Badigeonner un moule à manqué avec le beurre fondu à l’aide d’un pinceau. Battre les œufs en omelette en ajoutant un peu de sel. Ensuite, mélanger le chocolat avec le beurre, incorporer le sucre en poudre, le sucre vanillé et les œufs en omelette puis, ajouter peu à peu la farine en remuant jusqu’ à l’obtention d’une pate homogène. Verser la pâte dans le moule beurré, enfourner et laisser cuire à thermostat 6 (180°) pendant 20 min environ, laisser refroidir et réserver au frais pendant 2 heures. Démouler le gâteau et coupez-le en morceaux identiques. Bien entendu, servir frais.

Par La Rando

Hôpitaux aux Emirats Arabes Unis (UAE, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al ain)

1 Al Zahra Private Hospital Hospital in Sharjah with an associated medical centre in Dubai; departments: anaesthesiology, cardiology, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, dentistry, dermatology, ENT, audiology, gastroenterology, internal medicine, neurosurgery, nuclear medicine http://www.alzahra.com/ 2 American Hospital 100-bed, acute care, general medical/surgical hospital in Dubai; expertise in total joint replacement and diabetes; accredited by the Joint Commission International Accreditation ( JCIA ) http://www.ahdubai.com/ 3 Department of Health and Medical Services Health authority in the emirate of Dubai set up to provide preventive and curative health services; runs Dubai Hospital, Rashid Hospital, Al Wasl Hospital, blood donation centre, thalassemia centre, fertility centre, and Al Maktoum health care centre http://www.dohms.gov.ae/ 4 Emirates Hospital Specialist surgical hospital in Dubai; services: plastic surgery, obstetrics & gynaecology, ENT (ear, nose, throat), general surgery, urology, endoscopic surgery, breast surgery, orthopaedics, endocrinology, paediatric services, internal medicine etc http://www.emirateshospital.ae/ 5 Gulf Medical College Hospital and Research Centre University hospital based in Ajman, UAE; departments: internal medicine, surgery, anaesthesiology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, paediatrics, dermatology, obstetrics/gynaecology, ENT, dental, radiology, pathology, physiotherapy etc http://www.gmchospital.com/ 6 Iranian Hospital Hospital in Jumeirah, Dubai; departments: paediatrics, dentistry, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, laboratory and radiology, cardiac care, etc http://www.irhosp.ae/ 7 Mafraq Hospital 500-bed tertiary hospital 35 km from Abu Dhabi; commissioned by the Ministry of Health in 1983; caters to approximately 1,000 outpatients a day; departments: medical, surgery, cardiology, renal transplantation, oncology etc http://www.gulfmd.com/ 8 New Medical Centre Group (NMC) Business group engaged in many businesses; runs hospitals, food companies, distributes pharmaceuticals, laboratory equipment, medical equipment, fast moving consumer goods, commodities (agricultural products, cement), runs restaurants etc http://www.nmc.ae/ 9 Shaikh Khalifa Medical City Medical complex consisting of the Sheikh Khalifa Medical Pavilion, the Al Jazeira Pavilion, the Central Pavilion, the Behavioural Sciences Pavilion, and National Rehabilitation Centre http://www.skmc.gov.ae/ 10 Welcare Hospital Hospital in the Al Garhoud area of Dubai; departments: accident & emergency, critical care, endoscopy, maternity complex, medical imaging, cardiology, pulmonology, nephrology, ophthalmology, orthopedic and physiotherapy, urology, endocrinology etc http://www.welcarehospital.com/ 11 Zulekha Hospital Hospital based in Sharjah with associated clinics in Dubai and Sharjah; departments: dermatalogy, gynaecology, neurology, orthodontics, paediatric, psychiatry, MRI, cardiology, ophthalmology, plastic and reconstructive surgery etc http://www.zulekhahospitals.com/ 12 Ahalia Medical Group Group that operates hospitals in Abu Dhabi (multi-specialty), Dubai, Mussafah, Baniyas, Mirfa, Madina Zayed, Gayathi, Sharjah, Ajman & Delma; also runs pharmacies etc http://www.ahaliagroup.com/ 13 Al Ain Hospital Highly specialised acute care & emergency hospital with over 400 beds in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi; departments include cardiology, neurology, stroke unit, general surgery, ENT, orthopaedics, trauma surgery, neurosurgery etc http://www.alain-hospital.com/en/ 14 Al Mousa Medical Centre Medical centre in Dubai, founded by Dr. Hassan Al Moosa; sections: paediatrics, plastic surgery, ENT, psychiatry, dermatology, obstetrics & gynaecology, dental etc; part of Al Moosa Healthcare Group (AMHCG) http://www.almousamedical.com/ 15 Al Noor Hospital Hospital in Abu Dhabi with departments of gynaecology and fertility, cardiology, dental, ENT, general medicine, internal medicine, neurology, ophthalmology, paediatrics, plastic surgery, radiology, surgery, vascular surgery, anaesthesia, etc http://www.alnoorhospital.com/ 16 Al Wasl Hospital Secondary & tertiary healthcare facility that specialises in obstetrics, gynaecology, paediatrics & paediatric surgery; part of the Department of Health & Medical Services, Government of Dubai WaselHospital 17 Belhoul European Hospital Day care hospital in Dubai, with a network of 19 outpatient clinics in the UAE; specialties include cardiology, dental, dermatology, ENT, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, paediatrics, paediatric surgery, obstetrics etc http://www.belhouleuropean.com/ 18 Canadian Specialist Hospital (CSH) Multispeciality private hospital in Dubai; departments: cardiology, dental surgery, ENT, fetal medicine, clinical genetics, gynaecology, ophthalmology, paediatrics, surgery, laboratory, radiology & imaging, rehabilitation etc http://www.csh.ae/ 19 Cedars Jebel Ali International Hospital Hospital in the Jebel Ali Free Zone area with 16 beds, an ICU, and one major and one minor operation theatre; departments include anaesthesiology, allergy centre, ENT, orthopaedics, traumatology, paediatrics, obstetrics/gynaecology, endoscopy etc http://www.cedars-jaih.com/ 20 Central Private Hospital Hospital in Sharjah; departments: internal medicine, physiotherapy, general surgery, cardiology, anaesthesia, dermatology, urology, ophthalmology, ENT, medical imaging, dentistry & orthodontics, and pathology http://www.centralprivatehospital.ae/ 21 Dubai Hospital Hospital run by the Department of Health and Medical Services, Government of Dubai; medical specialties include ophthalmology, orthopaedics, obstetrics, nuclear medicine, urology, oncology, ENT etc http://web.dohms.gov.ae/dh/ 22 Emirates International Hospital Hospital located 5 km from the centre of Al Ain city; clinics: female internal medicine, cardiology, gastroenterology, general surgery & laparoscopy, urology, dental, orthodontic, obstetrics and gynaecology, ophthalmology, ENT, paediatrics etc http://www.eih.ae/ 23 Hospital Franco Emirien (HFE) Hospital in Abu Dhabi; site has details of facilities: pathological laboratory, radiology, operating unit, delivery room, video endoscopy, orthopedics and sports medicine, dental unit, pharmacy, etc http://www.hfe.ae/ 24 Imperial College London Diabetes Centre Facility in Abu Dhabi that specializes in diabetes treatment, research, training & public health; next to Zayed Military Hospital; offers specialised patient care http://www.icldc.ae/ 25 International Modern Hospital Hospital in Dubai http://www.imh.ae/ 26 International Private Hospital 30-bed hospital in Dubai’s central Al Nasr Square; departments: ophthalmology, plastic surgery, urology, obstetrics & gynaecology, dentistry & orthodontics, paediatrics, x-ray examinations, general surgery, ENT, orthopaedics, cardiology, dermatology http://www.inthospital.com/ 27 Jebel Ali Hospital Boutique private hospital in Dubai; centres of excellence include obesity surgery, joint replacement, advanced dentistry & cosmetic surgery http://www.jebelalihospital.com/ 28 Lifeline Healthcare Healthcare provider that runs Jebel Ali Hospital, the Lifeline Medical Center in Bur Dubai and Dubai Marina, the Lifeline Corporate Clinics in Jebel Ali and Bur Dubai, and Al Shan Pharmacy http://www.lifeline.ae/ 29 Medcare Hospital 60-bed premium general hospital in Dubai with advanced medical & emergency services; located in Jumeirah adjacent to Safa Park; will act as a centre of excellence in primary, secondary and selected tertiary care services http://www.medcarehospital.com/ 30 Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai Dubai arm of Moorfields Eye Hospital, the largest eye care facility in Europe; has the latest equipment for treating conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment and retinal vein occlusions etc 31 Oasis Hospital Family hospital in Al Ain; facilities: family clinics, general surgery, paediatric clinics, obstetrics/gynaecology, dental clinics, physiotherapy, medical imaging, ultrasound, EKG, laboratory, pharmacy etc http://www.oasishospital.org/ 32 Rashid Hospital Hospital that provides emergency, trauma, critical care & ambulatory care services; part of the Department of Health & Medical Services, Government of Dubai RashidHospital 33 Tawam Hospital Government hospital in Al Ain; departments: surgery, medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, psychiatry, pathology, anaesthesia, paediatrics, radio therapy, nuclear medicine, audiology speech therapy, clinical imaging, oncology etc http://www.tawam-hosp.gov.ae/ 34 Welcare World Health Systems Ltd Healthcare company that is part of the Varkey Group; operates several hospitals & clinics in the UAE, including the Welcare Hospital, a 100-bed acute care facility in Dubai, an ambulatory care centre, eye centre, diagnostic clinic etc http://www.welcareworld.com/ 35 Al Baraha Hospital Hospital in Dubai http://www.albarahahospital.8m.com/ 36 Delta Medical Est. Suppliers of medical, health & beauty care products and equipment to hospitals, clinics, wholesalers, supermarkets and retail outlets; also runs Al Manara, a retail pharmacy network in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Al Ain; and the Ibn Sina Medical Centre http://www.deltamed.ae/ Ibn Nafees Medical Centre National Bank of Oman Bldg, Najda Street, Abu Dhabi T: 02 6324200 F: 02 6324724 www.uaemed.com Middle East Specialised Medical Centre Muroor Street, P.O. Box 3781, Abu Dhabi T: 02 4467446 F: 02 4467447 www.mesmc.com En plus sur Abu Dhabi: _ Hôpital d’Al Mafraq +971-2-5823100 _ Hôpital de la Corniche +971-2-6724900 _ Hôpital national +971-2-6711000 _ Centre médical Sheikh Khalifa +971-2-6102000 _ Hôpital de l’île de Delma +971-2-8781888 _ Hôpital de Ghayathi +971-2-8741666 _ Hôpital de Madinat Zayed _ Hôpital d’Al Ahlia +971-2-6262666 _ Hôpital international d’Al Manara +971-2-6218888 _ Hôpital d’Al Salama +971-2-6711220 _ Hôpital de Dar Al Shifa +971-2-4435555 _ Centre de Diagnostique du Golfe +971-2-6658090 Sur Al Ain _ Hôpital d’Al Ain (Al Jimi) +971-3-7635888 _ Hôpital d’Al Tawam +971-3-7677444 _ Hôpital international des émirats +971-3-7637777 _ Hôpital – soins spécialisés +971-3-7552291 _ Hôpital d’Al Noor +971-3-7667666

Par La Rando

Trois jours de congé pour l’Aïd Al Adha

Les salariés du secteur privé auront trois jours de congé (du 7 décembre au 9 décembre inclus) pour marquer l’Aid Al Adha. La circulaire a été émise par le ministre du Travail, Gobash Saqr, qui a déclaré que lundi, toutes les sociétés privées resteront fermées pour observer l’Aïd Al Adha. Rappelons aussi que le secteur privé a également observera aussi une journée de congé le 2 décembre pour marquer le 37eme anniversaire de la Journée nationale des EAU.

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Noor Islamic Bank to Open More Branches Next Year

Noor Islamic Bank will have seven more branches at the end of the first quarter of next year, said its CEO Hussain Al Qemzi. He was speaking to Khaleej Times after the inauguration of Noor Islamic Bank’s new branch the other day. Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman & CEO of Emirates Group and Chairman of Noor Islamic Bank, inaugurated Noor Islamic Bank’s 10th full service branch at Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport. The opening ceremony was also attended by Hussain Al Qemzi and senior officials from the bank. Qezmi said, “Our target is 17 branches at the end of the first quarter of 2009 and we plan next branch in Dubai Mall.” Qemzi rules out merger talks of Noor Islamic Bank and said the bank has enough deposits. The new branch is strategically located in departure area T3-08, which is expected to handle over 60 million passengers annually. Operational round the clock seven days a week, the full service branch will cater to passengers, retailers, visitors and airport staff. Qemzi said: “The new full-fledged branch complements the overall offering of Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport, marking a significant milestone in the expansion of the bank as part of our ongoing commitment to reach out to customers. Since our launch 11 months ago, we have gradually established a presence in both the consumer and corporate banking spheres. Our focus remains on providing convenient and premium banking services to our customers.” Through its location at Terminal 3, Noor Islamic Bank will offer its complete range of Sharia’a-compliant solutions including the bank’s self-service facilities such as internet banking, phone banking, ATM, and cash and cheque deposit machines. In May of this year, the bank’s main branch on Shaikh Zayed Road became the first in the Middle East to deliver round-the-clock services to its customers. Noor Islamic Bank now has several full service locations, including two service centers in the Mall of Emirates and the Garhoud District. Abdul Basit khaleejtimes.com

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Bahrainisation success

Gulf Air’s 162-strong revenue accounting department is now fully staffed and managed by Bahrainis. “As one of the largest employers in the kingdom and a fully-owned Bahraini company, Gulf Air believes in encouraging and empowering local talents,” said Gulf Air deputy chief executive officer Ismail Karimi. “There is no dearth of Bahraini talents in the country – all they need is the opportunity and empowerment to assume responsibilities. “Gulf Air considers providing such opportunities as part of its corporate social responsibility and we are proud to have one of the key departments of Gulf Air now run by qualified, talented and experienced Bahrainis.” The revenue accounting department processes all revenue from passenger and cargo across its entire network, besides dealing with interline revenue of its several partner airlines and accounting of commission for its travel agents. gulf-daily-news.com

Par La Rando

Dubai’s Palm builder cuts jobs as boom ends

Dubai government-owned company Nakheel, developer of the man-made Palm Islands, said yesterday it had cut 500 jobs, the starkest sign yet that the end of the Gulf hub’s property boom could hit the whole economy. The announcement by Nakheel, the developer behind a series of mega-projects that propelled Dubai into the global spotlight, comes as Dubai’s real estate regulator urged developers to slow down, saying worsening financial conditions were driving up defaults on high-end property. Nakheel’s decision to cut back 15 percent of its workforce comes a week after a Dubai government official said the emirate would pull back on its building spree and rationalize spending as global turmoil forces the emirate to revise its growth plans. We have the responsibility to adjust our short term business plans to accommodate the current global environment,” Nakheel said in a statement quoting an unnamed spokesperson. “The redundancies are indeed regrettable, but a necessity dictated by operational requirements which are in turn dependent on demand. Senior Nakheel officials were not immediately available for comment but the company said earlier this month it was witnessing a slowdown in real estate sales. Last month, the developer said it had scaled back dredging work on its Palm Deira project, the largest of three palm-shaped islands, which was planned to house one million people. Major job losses in Dubai, where expatriates comprise more than 80 percent of the workforce, could have serious knock-on effects for the emirate’s economy as a whole, particularly as the real estate boom was behind much of its recent economic growth. “Because such a high proportion of the workforce are expatriates, the second rou nd effects of job losses will be particularly serious,” Simon Williams, a senior economist at HSBC in Dubai, said. Unless they can find new jobs and new sponsorship, expatriates will have no choice but to leave. And when they go they take their spending, savings and expertise with them. Nakheel’s announcement comes in the wake of a slew of major project delays and redundancies by developers in Dubai, which kicked off a regional property boom when it allowed foreign investment in real estate in 2002. Kuwait’s Al-Mazaya Holding, which is also listed in Dubai, said yesterday it would put regional expansion plans on hold and focus on completing current projects until market conditions improve. The developer did not specify which expansion plans were being shelved, but said it was “adopting new strategies concerning its expansion plans to the Gulf and Arab countries, after considering the current situation of the various economic sectors and the distorted movement of the market. Limitless, which is controlled by government-owned Dubai World, said last week it was reviewing the pace of development on its $61 billion Arabian Canal project, the largest of three it has in the emirate, as well as staffing levels. In a major policy shift, federal government stepped in last week to bail out the former boomtown’s financial sector in the face of the financial crisis. It will inject capital into the Emirates Development Bank, a rescue vehicle created to absorb merging Islamic property lenders Amlak and Tamweel. Marwan bin Ghalita, head of Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Authority, said developers should review projects that had not been launched for sale, or where only a few units had been sold. Slowing down is very important and this is what we at RERA asked developers to do about a year back,” he told Reuters. – Reuters

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UAE banks under increasing pressure

The country’s banks are coming under further pressure as the economy slows, leading to calls for additional government measures to ensure their strength. The Central Bank and Federal Government have taken several unprecedented steps as the global financial crisis has arrived in the Gulf, including announcing a plan to inject Dh120 billion (US$32.67bn) into the country’s banking system. Those funds are intended to replace funds withdrawn by foreign investors and international lenders in recent months and prevent banks from cutting back on lending. As the global credit crunch has hit the country, however, the economy is losing steam and property prices have begun to fall. Both of those trends could hurt banks. A decline in financial market activity could also undermine financial performance, according to Raj Madha, a banking analyst at EFG Hermes. But falling property markets create some of the biggest problems for performance as the property and banking sectors risk falling into a mutually reinforcing decline. Banks have some exposure to property buyers via mortgage loans, but the bigger threat may come from loans made to property developers and construction contractors, Mr Mahda said. Already struggling in some quarters, the banking industry may even be contributing to the problems by restricting loans in an attempt to reduce their own risk. That is undercutting demand for property and sending prices lower, said Mushtaq Khan, an economist at Citigroup. “We believe banks are now so concerned about the future of real estate, and other banks, that they have stopped lending to individuals affiliated with these sectors,” Mr Khan said in a report. Such caution is likely to “choke back growth” and make it difficult for new buyers to emerge. “The lack of liquidity is compounding the problems in the real estate sector,” he said. Mr Madha said concerns surrounding the banks have driven their shares to extremely low levels and they could rebound if the government moves aggressively to bolster the system. The government should make moves to eliminate the “structural risk” to the system presented by the possibility of default by large property developers. “The first thing we would like to see is an explicit guarantee of the solvency of the major developers, not only with a guarantee on their existing debt, but a guarantee to finance what we see as an excess inventory build-up,” he said. Mr Khan said the Dh120bn that the Government has pledged to local banks during the past few months has not been injected into the system quickly enough. “In our view, the authorities need to inject liquidity more aggressively, perhaps taking their cue from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, if not from the US itself,” he said. thenational.ae

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Positive fallout may ripple from Mumbai to UAE

It’s probably unwise, if not unseemly and unkind, to say it, but the events that afflicted Mumbai these last few days are almost certain to have financial implications for India and the UAE. It isn’t untimely, however, to suggest that those implications could be negative and positive for both countries. Let’s start with tourism, which accounts for nearly 6 per cent of India’s trillion-dollar economy. In the short to medium run, tens of thousands of tourists who had made plans to travel to India are likely to change their itinerary. Already, travel agencies worldwide are reporting a cascade of cancellations. Depending on whose statistics you choose to believe, India gets about five million tourists annually; that figure almost surely includes non-resident Indians – who constitute the global Indian diaspora of nearly 20 million people. Regardless of the ethnicity of that traffic, a formidable portion comes from the UAE, where there are an estimated 2.5 million people of Indian or Pakistani origin. The traffic from the UAE and the other Gulf countries contributes mightily to India’s travel and tourism industry. But most Gulf-based Indians don’t stay in the 1,980 hotels that can cost upwards of US$300 (Dh1,101) a night; they either have their own homes, or they are put up by relatives. So the occupancy rate of 70 per cent in the 109,000 rooms at Indian hotels – of which 27 per cent are categorised internationally as five-star, 7.5 per cent as four-star, and 22 per cent as three-star – is going to be dramatically affected, at least in the immediate future, as foreigners cut back their visits. Contributing to the decline in tourist traffic will be a downswing in business traffic, as foreign deal-makers and entrepreneurs shy away – understandably so in light of last week’s events – from the possibility of suddenly finding themselves hostages. Moreover, the Taj Hotel and the Oberoi Group’s Trident Hotel in Mumbai are likely to be shut for at least a year to repair the damage from the attacks. With a severe shortage of top-quality hotels in India’s commercial and entertainment capital, these closures mean that foreign businessmen will need to find alternative lodgings. But where? The slippage in tourist and business traffic is certain to be reflected in shrinkage of foreign direct investment (FDI) in India. Again, depending on whose statistics you believe, India received nearly $20 billion in FDI so far this year. In addition, NRIs repatriated around $22bn, about 50 per cent of it coming from the UAE. The latter sum may not shrivel. But a downward trend in FDI was already evident well before the events of last week. This was on account of poor domestic infrastructure, corruption, mismanagement, and an inability of the Indian system to properly absorb foreign investment to grow the economy by creating much-needed jobs in manufacturing and in agro-businesses. Coupled with a global recession – albeit one from which Indian officials puzzlingly claim immunity, for the most part – it is all but inevitable that India’s annual growth rate of about 9 per cent will be hit. Here, then, is an entirely plausible scenario: India-bound tourist traffic from non-Gulf regions may well be detoured to the UAE. This isn’t to imply that the UAE is encouraging such diversion of tourist traffic from India, a country with whom the Emirates have historically enjoyed strong trade and cultural ties. But UAE carriers such as Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways are in the unusual position of finding themselves with a strong natural constituency – Indians – whose visits to their homeland will not be cut back; and they may see an increase in tourist traffic from the US and Europe, sources of a lucrative supply of passengers. At the same time, the UAE may well find itself receiving more FDI as foreign investors display some timidity towards India, at least in the short run. Investors are typically heartened by the modern infrastructure in the Emirates, the relative ease with which new businesses can be established, and the openness of Emiratis to trading with the outside world. A report by Barclays Wealth, a part of the UK’s Barclays Group, that was prepared before the global financial crisis suggested that the UAE already seemed to be viewed with increasing favour by foreign investors. Total foreign direct investment inflow into the UAE is expected to nearly double from $59.2bn last year to $108bn in 2011, the report said. The analysis was based on semi-official data, as the UAE does not ordinarily publish official FDI figures, according to AMEInfo, the Dubai-based website. In contrast, the UN Conference on Trade and Development puts FDI inflows into the UAE at $12bn in 2005 accounting for about 60 per cent of total inflows into the Gulf that year. It would be foolhardy to end this essay by leaving the impression that, however implicitly, the UAE might savour India’s anguish, both economic and societal, because it would somehow be salutary for the Emirates. The UAE Government, and, in particular, its vice president and prime minister, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum – who is also Ruler of Dubai – have offered outreach to Mumbai at this time of shock and grief. It would be more appropriate to expect that the UAE’s rulers will want to expand trade and commercial relations with India, especially at such a traumatic time. UAE investors and transport institutions might also want to look more closely at how to revive India’s tourism sectors. If there’s a UAE ethos that the world understands, it is that Emiratis have not only thick wallets, they have very large hearts. This is a time to open those wallets; this is a time to feel India’s pain. And this is certainly the time to build on those relationships that have deeply enriched both cultures. thenational.ae

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UAE ‘largest market for UK in the Middle East’

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Foreign Trade, has said the UAE and UK could conquer any and all obstacles to their sustained growth and success by fostering a spirit of co-operation and positivity. Addressing renowned business personalities at an event organised by the British Business Group, she said the United Kingdom has been a steady and reliable partner for the UAE. “Even amid today’s economic crisis, our collaboration remains highly productive. The UAE continues to be the largest market in the Middle East for the UK,” said Sheikha Lubna. “Now more than ever, amid a global financial crisis that challenges our development agendas, we need to foster a spirit of cooperation and positivism that can conquer any and all obstacles to our sustained growth and success.” The newly appointed UK Business Ambassador Lord Digby Jones said an example could be set by the oil producing countries of this region by producing peaceful, safer nuclear energy. He said that knowledge economy was the way to be. “During such times we have to focus on building skills and training of people.” He said post this phase, the world would not be the same again. “It would take time for banks to get their confidence back, he said while adding that instead of trying to indulge in a blame game it was time to take things forward.” Assuring the business heads of UK in UAE a continual support, Sheikha Lubna said: “I take this opportunity, to congratulate the BBG for Dubai and the Northern Emirates, for hosting this wonderful venue for us to reaffirm our commitment to supporting our British partners and assuring you all that the UAE, particularly Dubai and the Northern Emirates, remain ready to meet your needs and realise your goals.” She said trade had made this region successful and commitment to trade would ensure its continual growth. Mentioning the ongoing global crisis, the UAE Minister said the time called for better vigilance from the business community and stronger commitment. “This calls for more vigilance from us as dynamic members of the trading community; we must encourage countries throughout the world to continue to sustain trading levels that spur economic activities, rather than resort to protectionism,” she said. UAE’s role in global commerce continues to expand, she added. “The UAE’s role in global commerce has expanded considerably despite the less than optimal conditions of the money markets. Just recently, we were named as one of the top 30 trading nations and the first in the Arab World by the World Trade Organisation. Our share in global trade rose $41 billion (Dh150.4bn) from $234bn in 2006 to $275bn in 2007. We recorded a GDP of $698bn for the same year, continuing a compounded annual growth rate of 23 per cent over the past four years.” She said the region has become a preferred destination for investments into growth areas such as real estate, construction, tourism, utilities and aluminium production. “These and other non-carbon economic sectors will generate around 70 per cent of the national revenue by 2010. All in all, the UAE has totally transitioned into a flexible, vibrant and vital player in today’s global business and trading movements.” The UAE also supplied around a third of the Gulf’s £3.22bn (Dh18.1bn) exports to the UK last year, with Dubai accounting for 65 per cent of the figure. “Our country’s inclusion in UK Trade and Investments’ High Growth Markets Programme secures a long and fruitful commercial partnership between our nations. “In return, the UAE maintains a safe, enjoyable and productive environment for the more than 120,000 British citizens living in our shores. We have enjoyed considerable British investments into our burgeoning real estate, construction and tourism industries. We maintain numerous significant investments in British business interests spanning sectors such as manufactured goods, telecommunications equipment and industrial machinery, etc.” Shveta Pathak business24-7.ae

Par La Rando

Saudi Arabia set to keep spending high

Saudi Arabia is expected to approve higher expenditure for 2009 when it unveils its state budget just before the end of this year despite the recent plunge in oil prices, experts said yesterday. But the world’s dominant oil power will again assume a conservative price for its oil as it had done in the past five years to ensure the budget will remain in surplus and the Kingdom has enough funds to rebuild its finances. “I don’t think the Kingdom will reduce expenditure next year despite the strong link between expenditure and oil prices,” said Saleh Al Sultan, a former adviser at the Saudi Ministry of Finance. “Actual budgetary expenditure has grown by an average 20 per cent annually during 2004-2007 and I think the policy of increasing spending to ensure growth will remain in force because the government has always forecast conservative not high prices for its oil,” he told the Saudi daily Alriyadh. Strong oil prices over the past years have tempted Saudi Arabia to exceed forecast spending, which climbed to a record SR466 billion (Dh461bn) in 2007. But the budget recorded one of its highest surpluses of around SR176bn (Dh173bn), far above the projected SR20bn surplus. Experts said Saudi Arabia needs to keep government spending high as it is still the wheel of economic activity in the Kingdom despite a surge in the private sector over the past 10 years within a reform drive. “Saudi Arabia can not make deep cuts in spending because most of it is current expenditure, including salaries for civil servants and government allocations for services,” said Malik Yunus, an economist at the National Commercial Bank, the largest bank in Saudi Arabia. “Any cut will affect development spending and this will naturally depress growth in the domestic economy and hamper the Kingdom’s efforts to find jobs for its citizens. It will also send a negative message to the market,” he said. Oil provides more than two thirds of Saudi Arabia’s income and their plunge to nearly a third of their peak of around $150 in July along with cuts in the Kingdom’s output is expected to seriously depress its revenues. Saudi Arabia, which controls nearly a quarter of the world’s recoverable crude deposits, is expected to announce its 2009 budget in December and analysts said it would reflect Riyadh’s outlook on output and prices. Although the 2009 budget could be far above the 2008 forecast spending, the actual expenditure is expected to be restrained through 2009. “Given the present conditions in the oil market, I expect spending to be forecast at not more than SR500bn… if oil prices recovered to nearly $70, actual expenditure could reach SR600 billion but if they remain at $50 a barrel, then actual spending could be around SR540bn,” Al Sultan said. “Even if oil prices dip to $40 a barrel, I expect spending to maintain momentum next year… there are several factors that support my view, including the sharp growth in the Kingdom’s savings over the past years… any way, the present conditions require maintaining high spending and I believe this will be the case in 2009 and even 2010.” According to the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, the Kingdom’s Central Bank, Riyadh largely overshot spending in 2007 despite lower revenue. Actual revenues stood at around SR642bn in 2007, while they hit an all-time high of nearly SR673bn in 2006 although the price of Saudi Arabian crude averaged nearly $70 last year compared with $60 in 2006. The revenues included nearly SR604bn in oil export earnings in 2006 compared with SR562bn in 2007, according to Sama. The decline was caused by a drop of 400,000 barrels per day in the Kingdom’s oil output from nearly 9.2 million bpd to 8.8 million bpd. Mammoth budget surpluses over the past three years have allowed the Opec de facto leader to slash its soaring public debt and rebuild foreign assets after a sharp decline in late 1990s due to persistent budget deficits and relatively low oil prices. The public debt hit a record SR690bn to exceed the country’s gross domestic product in 1999 before it dipped below 20 per cent of the GDP at the end of 2007. The Kingdom’s foreign assets also rocketed above SR1.7 trillion at the end of October from only SR190bn at the end of 2001. As oil prices are heading for their highest nominal average of around $100 a barrel this year, Saudi Arabia’s budget surplus is expected to leap above SR500bn, nearly triple its 2007 budget surplus. “Higher oil revenues will sharply lift the budget surplus in 2008. We expect the surplus to be around SR565bn in 2008,” NCB said. “However, the government will most likely exceed budgeted expenditures by an average of 13 per cent to 15 per cent, to reach around SR507bn… the government’s inflation alleviation package, which includes a public sector pay rise and direct subsidies on foodstuffs, building materials and other consumer goods will probably be one factor for the government’s overspending this year,” the NCB said. Nadim Kawach business24-7.ae