Par La Rando

Ajman plans Rera-like body

The Ajman Government will establish a real estate regulatory body, which will be similar to Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Rera), in the first quarter of 2009 to streamline the sector in the emirate, a top government official said. “The new real estate regulatory body will be similar to that of Dubai’s Rera and will be established in the first quarter of next year. The government agency will be a separate entity and will not be a part of the Ajman’s Department of Land and Property,” Mohammed bin Ahmed bin Omeir, Director of Planning and Survey Department of the Ajman Municipality, told Emirates Business. In June this year, the Ajman Government issued Emiri Decree No7 and No8 to regulate the emirate’s land and properties sector. The government will, however, enforce the escrow account law by first quarter of next year with the new agency ensuring implementation of the law. “The escrow account law is on similar line of the trust account law in Dubai. It is currently being drafted,” said Bin Omeir. Rera CEO Marwan bin Ghalita told this newspaper earlier that other emirates in the UAE and the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries were looking to create a body similar to Rera in order to regulate their property markets. “Many GCC country officials have come to us to discuss the blueprint of Dubai’s Rera and understand how they can establish a body similar to Rera in their respective countries,” said Bin Ghalita. Rera, which is part of the Dubai Lands Department, is a nodal agency established in July 2007 that formulates, regulates, manages and licenses various real estates related activities in the emirate. Ajman opened up its freehold property sector to foreign nationals in 2004. The law allows non-GCC developers and buyers to own freehold land and property in designated areas determined and approved by the emirate’s ruler. Robert McKinnon, Managing Director of Research at Al Mal Capital, said: “It is a good time for Ajman to enforce regulations in the emirate. The success of the new body will depend on the type of regulations it will bring into force.” Anjana Kumar business24-7.ae

Par La Rando

Supercontrat pour Airbus aux Emirats Arabes Unis

Etihad, compagnie aérienne d’Abou Dhabi (émirats Arabes Unis), a confirmé hier une commande de dix milliards de dollars à Airbus. Une commande majuscule rapportée au chiffre d’affaires annuel de l’avionneur basé à Toulouse : de l’ordre de 36 milliards de dollars. Ce mégacontrat vient en fait confirmer une annonce faite lors du dernier salon britannique de Farborough à la mi-juin. « Il s’agit de 20 moyen-courriers A320, 25 long-courriers A350 et 6 gros porteurs A380 », a précisé un porte-parole du constructeur européen. Certains détails commerciaux demeuraient à régler, a ajouté le porte-parole pour expliquer le laps de temps qui s’était écoulé entre l’annonce du contrat et son inscription au carnet de commande de l’avionneur. En fait, l’affaire avait paru compromise par une crise qui n’épargne pas les monarchies pétrolières, les cours du brut ne cessant de plonger en raison des sombres perspectives de la conjoncture mondiale. On peut penser que les choses ont probablement été facilitées par un accord distinct de production de composites conclu entre EADS, maison mère d’Airbus, et le fonds d’Abou Dhabi Mubadala Development. Une partie de la structure des composites de l’A350 sera construite dans une nouvelle usine à Abou Dhabi. En faisant état de son intention d’achat à Farnborough, Etihad avait souligné qu’il ne s’agissait pas d’une contrepartie mais rien n’est moins sûr. EADS est incité à opérer un transfert d’une partie de sa production dans des régions à moindres coûts salariaux qu’en Europe. Déjà un accord pour l’assemblage de monocouloirs en Chine dès l’an prochain témoigne de cette évolution. Là aussi, il s’agissait de sécuriser de futures commandes sur un marché stratégique. Airbus est très tributaire d’une région du Golfe qui représente une part importante de son carnet de commandes, en tout premier lieu pour l’A380. La depeche.fr

Par La Rando

Abu Dhabi convoite le contrôle d’Emirates

Abu Dhabi veut bien venir à la rescousse de son voisin Dubaï, mais pas sans conditions. Alors que la crise de l’immobilier à Dubaï nécessite un afflux d’argent frais, le riche Abu Dhabi, grâce à ses importantes réserves pétrolières, pourrait lui venir en aide. Mais au lieu de lui accorder des fonds, l’émirat préférerait prendre des participations au capital d’entreprises phares de Dubaï. Il aurait notamment demandé le contrôle de la compagnie aérienne Emirates, fleuron de Dubaï, selon The Sunday Times . Des sept émirats qui composent la fédération des Émirats arabes unis, Dubaï, le plus peuplé, a connu un développement économique insolent, axé sur l’immobilier, le commerce et le tourisme, pour anticiper le tarissement proche des revenus pétroliers. Depuis la crise financière, c’est aussi le plus sévèrement touché par le retournement. À l’inverse, Abu Dhabi, plus conservateur, est doté d’importantes réserves financières. La compagnie Emirates, créée en 1985, s’est imposée comme l’un des transporteurs internationaux majeurs, bien au-delà de sa jeune rivale d’Abu Dhabi, Etihad. Le Figaro

Par La Rando

Nakheel supprime 500 postes

Nakheel en arabe: نخيل va supprimer 500 postes prochainement. Nakheel c’est aussi the Dubai Waterfront, The World and The Universe Islands. Suite à la crise immobilière internationale, le promoteur immobilier de Dubaï, Nakheel, vient d’annoncer qu’il avait licencié près de 500 salariés. L’entreprise a justifié cette décision affirmant que c’était «une action responsable au regard des conditions actuelles du marché mondial». Rappelons que Nakheel est le constructeur de l’île artificielle en forme de palmier,et ce dernièr a annoncé qu’il allait supprimer 500 postes, soit environ 15% de ses salariés. La société est également propriétaire du paquebot Queen Elizabeth 2, qui est en train d’être converti en un hôtel de luxe.

Par La Rando

Steven Gerrard aura une tour à son nom à Dubaï

Le capitaine de Liverpool va donner son nom à une tour qui sera construite à Dubaï. En échange, il a reçu un appartement, dans cette même tour. Michael Schumacher et Boris Becker avaient déjà eu cet honneur. Steven Gerrard n’a pas (encore) de stade à son nom, mais il vient de recevoir un autre honneur : donner son nom à une tour de 21 étages sur le Palm Jebel Ali, au large de Dubaï, un ensemble d’îles artificielles formant un palmier. La tour, financée par le groupe Azizi va donc s’appeler la Steven Gerrard Tower, puisque le capitaine de Liverpool a signé l’accord mardi dernier, au cours d’une cérémonie en grande pompe à Londres. Coût du projet : 173 millions d’euros. A Dubaï, on ne connaît pas vraiment la crise… “Je suis vraiment honoré de participer à un tel projet”, a déclaré “Stevie G.” Monsieur Azizi expliquant de son côté, que “Steven Gerrard est un leader qui inspire le respect et l’admiration, sur et en dehors du terrain. Nous sommes très contents de travailler avec lui sur cette tour.” Le capitaine des Reds va en effet travailler avec des designers pour concevoir la décoration du building. On sait déjà que les appartements sont “luxueux, avec vue sur l’océan et comporteront de une à quatre chambres”. Steven Gerrard pourra plus spécifiquement donner son avis sur l’appartement du huitième étage, puisqu’il lui en sera fait cadeau ensuite. Pourquoi le huitième ? Car il porte le numéro 8 à Liverpool, tout simplement… En tout cas, si Gerrard est le premier footballeur à donner son nom à une tour, les Allemands Michael Schumacher et Boris Becker ont déjà eu droit à cet honneur auparavant. Source: Myfreesport.com

Par La Rando

Qatar to cut crude oil supply

Qatar, one of Opec’s smallest oil producers, told at least three Asian lifters it will cut crude supplies for January by five per cent, sources said yesterday after Kuwait and the UAE pledged to boost term sales. Abu Dhabi and Kuwait told many major term customers earlier this week that they would supply full contracted term volumes for January, compared with cuts in November and December. Qatar Petroleum (QP) had not informed lifters of supply cuts in the weeks following Opec’s late October deal to cut production by 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) until this week, traders said, although its oil minister said last month in Tokyo that it was making visible cuts in supply. “QP notified term lifters to cut Qatar Land and Qatar Marine allocations for January 2009 by five per cent,” a source with a refiner said. Three other lifters said they had yet to receive any notice for January, but some were unconcerned. “We are not checking closely as we do not need that much,” a trader with a second lifter said. Qatar’s oil minister, Abdullah al-Attiyah, told reporters on Wednesday that Opec will cut supplies at its next meeting in Algeria on December 17 as oil prices have fallen by more than $100 a barrel since July’s record peaks. Opec ministers meeting in Egypt last weekend deferred a decision on whether to reduce supply further amid signs that Saudi Arabia and its Gulf neighbours wanted tighter compliance with existing supply curbs. Opec members cut only 66 per cent of the 1.5 million bpd of a supply cut they had pledged in November, a Reuters survey showed. Qatar told at least two lifters last month that it was not planning to cut supplies in November and December. Core Opec members the UAE and Kuwait will increase oil sales to many major Asian customers next month, sources said on Tuesday, sending a mixed signal to markets looking for evidence of sustained Opec cuts. (Reuters) Iran demand The oil market is clearly oversupplied and producers should cut output to balance fundamentals, Iran’s Opec Governor said yesterday. “It is obvious that the market is oversupplied,” Mohammad Ali Khatibi told Reuters. “This is a critical situation and all producers are in the same boat, we are all suffering. If you remove oversupply and produce exactly what the market needs, it would be good for everybody.” “Every day we see more negative news,” he said. “It is difficult to quantify demand as the problem is getting worse every day.” Opec’s second largest producer was pumping at around 3.8 million barrels per day (bpd), Khatibi said. business24-7.ae

Par La Rando

Etihad unveils Almaty route

Etihad Airways said yesterday it has launched its first flight from Abu Dhabi to Almaty in Kazakhstan, taking the airline’s worldwide destinations to 50. The four flights a week Almaty service follows Etihad’s Monday launch of its Moscow route, which will operate five times weekly. “Kazakhstan is a growing economic force thanks to the strong investment in its oil sector and it is developing close relationships with the UAE. It is an important destination in the Etihad family of routes and we are proud to be bringing our services to this major city in Kazakhstan,” said CEO James Hogan. Etihad Airways will operate a two-class Airbus A319 configured to carry 104 passengers with 20 seats in business class and 84 in economy class. business24-7.ae

Par La Rando

Burj Dubai to stand tallest for at least a decade

Every cloud has a silver lining and for the world it literally will be The Burj Dubai. The global financial crisis has ensured that the super-tall skyscraper, already the region’s pride, will cement its place as the world’s tallest building for at least a decade. In the recent past, several projects have been announced in the Middle East threatening to surpass Emaar’s Burj Dubai. However, analysts state that all such projects, which require billions to complete, have been brought to a grinding halt. With the crisis expected to govern global lives for the next three to five years and an additional five years being the minimum period required to soar above 818 metres (the Burj Dubai’s proposed final height), it is safe to say Dubai’s astonishing landmark will rule till 2019. To date, four projects that would outstrip the Burj Dubai have been announced. Al Burj (The Tower) by Nakheel, the only serious contender that had bite, will also take a few more years than initially projected to complete. However, analysts spell complete doom for the other proposed projects – Murjan Tower 1 (Bahrain), Burj Mubarak al-Kabir (Kuwait) and Saudi Arabian Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal’s kilometre high tower for Jeddah. Nakheel has kept its proposed final height for the Al Burj a secret. Most recent reports suggested that the tower would rise to 1,400m (4,593ft). From an initial projection of 700m to reports of 1,600m, the Nakheel tower has kept everyone guessing. However, nothing can surpass the Burj Dubai for a decade. Located in the Business Bay district of Dubai, the Burj Dubai is the tallest man-made structure ever built, despite being incomplete. Construction began on September 21, 2004 and is expected to be completed and ready for occupation in September 2009. The building is part of the two sq km development called ‘Downtown Dubai’, at the ‘First Interchange’ (Defence Roundabout) along Sheikh Zayed Road at Doha Street. Record breaker The Burj Dubai holds the following records: Tallest structure: 707m; previously KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota, USA: 628.8m Tallest freestanding structure: 707m; previously CN Tower, Canada: 553.3m Building with most floors: 160; previously Sears Tower, Chicago, USA: 110 floors Highest vertical concrete pumping (for a building): 601m; previously Taiwan’s Taipei 101: 449.2m Highest vertical concrete pumping (for any construction): 601m (1,972ft); previously Riva del Garda Hydroelectric Power Plant, Torino, Italy: 532m business24-7.ae

Par La Rando

Tills ring for Xmas in Dubai

Malls across Dubai are rolling out ambitious Christmas promotions in a bid to keep consumer sentiment upbeat amid the rumbling of a spending squeeze. Shopping centres across the board, including the newly-opened Dubai Mall and ski destination Mall of the Emirates, have embarked on lavish displays of festive attractions in a bid to scupper any doubt. Mall of the Emirates has erected a 13-metre-high Norwegian spruce as its centrepiece for a charity event, organised to collect donations for the Dubai Centre for Special Needs. BurJuman, which caters primarily to luxury spenders, is planning a large scale entertainment package over the next few weeks, including bands aimed at the Arabic and Indian community. The Dubai Mall is laying on shark and stingray feeding displays for the public every day in December. And a number of its stores have special offers, including Mini Grand Optics which is pushing a 25 per cent off all items in store, while Pepe Jeans is giving away a free rucksack with a purchase of Dh300 or more. Meanwhile, individual retail outlets are also launching special promotion to lure eager shoppers. Electronics store Sharaf DG said it is giving away a 32 inch LCD screen every day over the festive period as part of a competition in conjunction with Sony. It is also selling two LG mobile phones for Dh249 for a limited time only. Malls are facing a harder slog this Christmas to get shoppers through their doors compared to last year as a financial squeeze begins to bite. Fears have also been raised that a strong dirham could dent Dubai’s image as a cheap foreign shopping destination, according to mall chiefs. Some are reporting they are happy to just break even with spending recorded last Christmas. Meanwhile, none have complained that their entertainment functions for consumers during the period have been derailed as a result of the financial crisis. As a recession unfolds in the UK and other major Western nations, the appetite for foreign shopping jaunts has diminished. The strength of the dirham against the pound sterling and euro has compounded things, making Dubai shop prices seem even less attractive. “With the strength of the dirham, my worry is that we don’t want to offer ourselves as an expensive shopping option for people coming to Dubai,” said Eisa Ibrahim, General Manager at BurJuman and Chairman of Dubai Shopping Mall Group. “We do understand the sentiment of people and what’s happening worldwide which will definitely affect people, but we still expect them to celebrate christmas, which means shopping.” Ibrahim said he expected a tougher Christmas this year compared to 2007, adding: “If I said we won’t have a harder time this year then that would not be being honest for sure. The issue is how can we get people to get their wallet out of their pocket. Retailers will have to work smarter and harder to get consumers to spend. But we will definitely maintain last years figures,” he added. October visitors were up 12 per cent from last year, November remained the same and December is also expected to remain “neck and neck” with Christmas 2007, said Ibrahim. “You have to be realistic about what’s happening. It’s very important to speak the truth,” he added. BurJuman, which caters primarily to high-end spenders, is already working with marketing teams to prepare for Dubai Shopping Festival, which takes place in January and February next year. Meanwhile, Dubai could see its residents escape to recession-hit nations such as the UK, to sample some cut-price shopping, according to research. Lifestyle management firm WhiteConcierge found that with high street prices falling, the UK is now better value for a range of luxury festive presents than Germany and France. “We’re finding that this year we’re getting more requests from our mainland European customers about booking trips to London to do their Christmas shopping,” said WhiteConcierge Managing Director Will Holroyd. Of the six countries surveyed, Dubai offered best value for money for Christmas gifts, followed by the US, UK, Germany, France and China. Dubai was three per cent cheaper than the UK and 15 per cent less expensive than China for a range of goods including perfume, sunglasses and watches. “Dubai is rapidly emerging as an alternative to traditional shopping destinations. With fantastic new shopping centres opening all the time and some great prices, we expect to see Dubai become an increasingly popular destination for Christmas shopping in the future,” Holroyd added. But Nilesh Khalkho, CEO at Sharaf DG, said the threat of the strong dirham could affect foreign tourist sentiment in Dubai. “It’s concerning because the prices in Europe are lining up with the prices in Dubai. That could affect visitor numbers as tourists from Europe are very knowledgeable and won’t come here unless there are tangible savings to be had.” As part of a drive to boost its appeal over Christmas, The Dubai Mall announced yesterday it had opened 100 new stores since opening less than a month ago. The mall said retailers are opening their stores daily, as they continue to complete fit-out operations, and the majority of the 1,200 stores will be operational by early next year. These include Galeries Lafayette, one of the mall’s two key anchor department stores. Bloomingdale’s will also open in 2010. New stores that have opened in the past month fall into sectors including fashion, accessories and home appliances. Yousif Al Ali, General Manager at The Dubai Mall, said: “The opening of The Dubai Mall has energised the retail sector in the region with strong sales recorded throughout the mall. The continual opening of new stores on a daily basis gives mall visitors a wider choice to complement the upcoming festive season sales.” business24-7.ae

Par La Rando

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