• 14 Nov 2017

    Abu Dhabi Q3 residential market review

    Housing demand in Abu Dhabi is primarily a factor of job growth and the resulting population growth, particularly of the white-collar labour force. According to the latest available data from the Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi, the total population for the emirate was 2.9m in 2016, rising by nearly 9% since 2014, the last residential market peak.

    In comparison, the white-collar population declined by 2% over the same period to 1.4m in 2016, and the percentage contribution of the white-collar workforce in the total population declined from 53% in 2014 to 48% in 2016.

    The oil & gas sector remains a primary source of revenues for the economy, and housing demand in Abu Dhabi is closely linked to job creation in this sector. Analysis of price performance among key freehold communities within the emirate against oil price movement bears out this correlation. Housing budget readjustments and job losses in this and other key sectors, such as banking and aviation, have affected rents and occupancy levels across Abu Dhabi.

    An infrastructure push from the government through bond issuance and other measures is expected to drive investment into the emirate and potentially improve housing demand. However, further consolidation in sectors such as banking and real estate could lead to job losses. These are expected to affect senior executives more and hence could have an impact on larger units such as villas/townhouses rather than smaller units.

    Price Performance
    Over the last 12 months in Abu Dhabi, marginal price declines have continued, averaging 1.5% for apartments and 1.9% for villas/townhouses. According to the Property Monitor Index, Saadiyat Beach Residences and villas in Al Raha Gardens have experienced 12-month declines of more than 2% on average, based on Q3 2017.

    There is limited transaction activity in the secondary market in freehold locations throughout Abu Dhabi, as expatriates appear to be biding their time, waiting to purchase a property at its lowest price. Many are opting for off-plan units, as although they are smaller in unit size, they are more affordable and tend to have higher specifications.

    Off-plan sales activity remains high in comparison to the secondary market, mainly due to developers introducing attractive payment plans, especially catering to buyers who would otherwise be priced out of the market.

    Meanwhile, deals between UAE nationals have continued, predominantly for private villas/townhouses throughout Abu Dhabi and buildings on the islands. While GCC and Arab investors remain the largest segment of buyers in the Abu Dhabi real estate market, there is increasing activity from end users/occupiers looking to move up the property ladder. The ticket prices of some newly launched projects, along with the attractive payment plans and mortgage options offered by banks, are increasing activity from this buyer segment.

    Rent Performance
    Rent averages have declined by 3.1% for apartments and 4.3% for villas/townhouses over the past 12 months in Abu Dhabi investment zones. These declines are more pronounced in Al Raha Gardens and Al Reef villas. In these locations, units exhibit 12-month declines of 4% or more.

    Rental declines have continued as summer draws to an end and the last group of expatriates leave the UAE, with fewer new families arriving. The many vacant apartments and villas/townhouses in freehold areas such as Reem Island have left landlords facing long vacancy periods on their assets. This downward trend is expected to continue over the next quarter.

    Communities that have existing social infrastructure such as schools are expected to fare better, with price and rent levels remaining relatively stable. Within new master developments, getting schools into the mix early on can help to drive end user/occupier interest, as well as interest from sub-developers looking to build within that community.

    Residential Supply
    Approximately 1,700 residential units have been handed over across Abu Dhabi investment zones this year. As of September, approximately 6,274 units are scheduled for handover for the remainder of the year, though actual completions may vary significantly. The key locations for upcoming supply this year are Reem Island and Yas Island, which have more than 1,500 units each scheduled for completion this year.

    Among the new launches this quarter was Aldar’s Water’s Edge project on Yas Island, expected to have 2,255 residential units, with the majority (42%) being one-bedroom. In terms of pricing, the new launch is targeting the mid-income buyer, with starting prices at $131,000 for a studio.

    Meanwhile, at the luxury end of the market there was the launch of 44-storey Reem Tower by National Bonds Corporation (NBC). The luxury tower is to be designed by Japanese architectural firm Nikken Sekkei and is expected to have 335 apartments.

  • 15 Nov 2017

    From humble abra steps to sky-high icons

    One of the first international engineering firms to take up residence in Dubai, Atkins’ influence on the built environment has evolved over the last half century from behind-the-scenes infrastructure consultancy to a high-profile portfolio of iconic structures.

    “This year we are celebrating 50 years in the region,” says Tom Hasker, managing director — property at Atkins. “Originally, Atkins was largely recognised as an engineering and infrastructure brand, but over time we also developed our architectural business.”

    Atkins’ UK expertise was first exported to the region in 1967 when a small team of engineers was sent to Kuwait to work on the country’s utilities infrastructure and road design. In 1979, client project demand saw the firm plant its feet permanently on Dubai ground with a new office and involvement in key infrastructure projects such as the dredging of Dubai Creek.

    Says Hasker: “In the early days the region already had tremendous aspirations, but there wasn’t the supply of on-the-ground quality engineers, architects and contractors needed to realise the vision of the rulers.

    “The people who worked here at the time always reminisce about the immense pressure they were under to make projects happen. However, in a lot of ways it was easier to deliver the big jobs back then as there were less of them, whereas these days everyone’s job is big and important, but just one of many.”

    One of Atkins’ first transformational Dubai projects was, quite literally, a step change for the company, as Hasker explains: “In the early 80s the Dubai Municipality commissioned Atkins to design a reinforced concrete edge along the Deira bank of the creek to make passenger access on and off abra water taxis less of a challenge, and this resulted in the creation of the now familiar abra steps.”

    In 1985, the team took on its first residential architectural commission, for the design and construction of a private villa on Al Wasl Road, and this led the way for more and more project wins, including the city’s original Standard Chartered Bank building, Dubai Police College and the Taj Palace Hotel.

    Atkins’ turn to truly shine came in 1994 when it was engaged to design the city’s original hospitality icon, the Burj Al Arab, with the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Wild Wadi Water Park also representing milestone project wins for the company.

    Moving into the new millennium, the company continued to build bigger, taller and more complex structures with the Shaikh Zayed Road area home to a raft of Atkins-designed and engineered landmarks, including the first Address Hotel, The Address Downtown Dubai, along with the Princess Tower, 21st Century Tower, Chelsea Tower (now rebranded as the Al Salam Hotel Suites) and the Millennium Tower.

    Its most recent high-profile accomplishment is the Dubai Opera, with Atkins managing the project from drawing board to delivery.

    But its contribution to the city’s urban fabric isn’t always so immediately apparent, as Hasker explains: “Our involvement with Dubai Municipality spans years from creekside development to the Metro and in defining the areas that will promote Dubai’s growth and development. The Dubai Metro, with the Red Line the world’s longest driverless single metro line, was another hugely successful project for which we provided full multidisciplinary design and management of the civil works.

    “We are also heavily involved with master planning for Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai South.”
    Urban rejuvenation is another area where Atkins is making its mark. “We see a lot more thought now going into development, rather than a desire to simply have trophy buildings, which don’t reflect the true urban fabric,” says Hasker.

    “And there’s real interest in urban rejuvenation projects such as what Meraas has done with La Mer to bring new life and sensible development to existing areas,” Hasker adds. “Atkins is also lead consultant for the mixed-use waterfront Marsa Al Seef development on Dubai Creek, which is reactivating the real ‘old Dubai’.”
    At the opposite end of the design spectrum, but also sited on the banks of the historic creek, Atkins’ work on the master plan for Emaar’s Dubai Creek Harbour community, in collaboration with RTKL, has a strong focus on digital innovation.

    “Dubai is ahead of the curve compared to more established markets when it comes to digital infrastructure development, and that’s because a lot of the infrastructure here is so young,” says Hasker. “So, whereas not many established cities have the ability to master plan scaled communities such as Dubai Creek Harbour from scratch, we have the opportunity to leapfrog ahead. We have the view that within the next five years our business landscape, as well as Dubai’s physical landscape, will be dramatically different.

    “The way that we deliver our services will reflect the massive shift towards digital engagement — or generative design — with technology that allows us to produce more efficient designs more quickly. And Dubai is embracing this far more quickly than other markets.”

  • 14 Nov 2017

    Union Properties posts Dh45m loss as construction revenue slumps

    Union Properties, the developer primarily known for its projects in Dubai’s Motor City, posted a Dh45 million loss for the third quarter, as construction revenues dropped by more than a half.

    The loss, reported on the Dubai stock exchange, was an improvement on the Dh2.3 billion loss posted in the previous quarter, but down from a Dh32m profit for the third quarter of 2016.

    Revenues from contracting and other operating activities – the company’s largest revenue generator – fell 56 per cent year-on-year to Dh82m. Property management and sales revenue declined 15 per cent year-on-year to Dh18m.

    Union Properties announced in August a Dh2.8bn write-down of the value of its assets by a new management team in its second-quarter results, leading to its worst ever quarterly loss for the three months to the end of June.

    A new chairman and vice-chairman were appointed in May after an impromptu board reshuffle saw the resignation of three directors, including the chairman Khalid bin Kalban. A new chief executive, Ahmed Khouri, was appointed in July.

    The Union Properties chairman Nasser bin Yousef described the actions taken in the second quarter as “a one-time charge for the accounting irregularity by the previous management.”

    The company’s shares opened 1 per cent lower in early Tuesday trading.

  • 13 Nov 2017

    163,000 properties to be delivered over next five years in Dubai

    Dubai: If all goes as per developers’ plans, Dubai will see a further 163,840 properties being built over the next five years from 387 projects. Next year could account for the highest number of these handovers, at 27,360 units, based on broad estimates put out by fam Properties. The year after could see 19,850 units and 17,754 further homes in 2020.

    So far in 2017, Dubai has seen the launch of 90 projects consisting of 36,556 units. “We took this initiative because we want our investors and buyers to have a more accurate picture of the Dubai property market by being able to analyse facts and figures in a new way,” said Firas Al Msaddi, CEO of f?m Properties. “This is something they’re eager for because it will help to make buying decisions based on facts and figures and is ultimately more profitable.”

    The online tool also provides comparisons on the change of rent over time. Investors or end users keen to assess rental yield potential can take advantage of a rental range index which pinpoints rates over 10 years.

    Although rental rates for the same category of apartments in the same area have varied greatly based on size and location over 10 years — a major factor in the buying decision — the gap has closed significantly in the last two to three years. Two-bed apartment rentals in Downtown Dubai ranged from Dh150,000-Dh260,000 in 2009 and reached a low of Dh95,000-Dh120,000 in 2012. In December 2016, rates were at Dh160,000-Dh180,000.

Abu Dhabi Q3 residential market review

Housing demand in Abu Dhabi is primarily a factor of job growth and the resulting population growth, particularly of the white-collar labour force. According to the latest available data from the Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi, the total population for the emirate was 2.9m in 2016, rising by nearly 9% since 2014, the last residential market peak.

In comparison, the white-collar population declined by 2% over the same period to 1.4m in 2016, and the percentage contribution of the white-collar workforce in the total population declined from 53% in 2014 to 48% in 2016.

The oil & gas sector remains a primary source of revenues for the economy, and housing demand in Abu Dhabi is closely linked to job creation in this sector. Analysis of price performance among key freehold communities within the emirate against oil price movement bears out this correlation. Housing budget readjustments and job losses in this and other key sectors, such as banking and aviation, have affected rents and occupancy levels across Abu Dhabi.

An infrastructure push from the government through bond issuance and other measures is expected to drive investment into the emirate and potentially improve housing demand. However, further consolidation in sectors such as banking and real estate could lead to job losses. These are expected to affect senior executives more and hence could have an impact on larger units such as villas/townhouses rather than smaller units.

Price Performance
Over the last 12 months in Abu Dhabi, marginal price declines have continued, averaging 1.5% for apartments and 1.9% for villas/townhouses. According to the Property Monitor Index, Saadiyat Beach Residences and villas in Al Raha Gardens have experienced 12-month declines of more than 2% on average, based on Q3 2017.

There is limited transaction activity in the secondary market in freehold locations throughout Abu Dhabi, as expatriates appear to be biding their time, waiting to purchase a property at its lowest price. Many are opting for off-plan units, as although they are smaller in unit size, they are more affordable and tend to have higher specifications.

Off-plan sales activity remains high in comparison to the secondary market, mainly due to developers introducing attractive payment plans, especially catering to buyers who would otherwise be priced out of the market.

Meanwhile, deals between UAE nationals have continued, predominantly for private villas/townhouses throughout Abu Dhabi and buildings on the islands. While GCC and Arab investors remain the largest segment of buyers in the Abu Dhabi real estate market, there is increasing activity from end users/occupiers looking to move up the property ladder. The ticket prices of some newly launched projects, along with the attractive payment plans and mortgage options offered by banks, are increasing activity from this buyer segment.

Rent Performance
Rent averages have declined by 3.1% for apartments and 4.3% for villas/townhouses over the past 12 months in Abu Dhabi investment zones. These declines are more pronounced in Al Raha Gardens and Al Reef villas. In these locations, units exhibit 12-month declines of 4% or more.

Rental declines have continued as summer draws to an end and the last group of expatriates leave the UAE, with fewer new families arriving. The many vacant apartments and villas/townhouses in freehold areas such as Reem Island have left landlords facing long vacancy periods on their assets. This downward trend is expected to continue over the next quarter.

Communities that have existing social infrastructure such as schools are expected to fare better, with price and rent levels remaining relatively stable. Within new master developments, getting schools into the mix early on can help to drive end user/occupier interest, as well as interest from sub-developers looking to build within that community.

Residential Supply
Approximately 1,700 residential units have been handed over across Abu Dhabi investment zones this year. As of September, approximately 6,274 units are scheduled for handover for the remainder of the year, though actual completions may vary significantly. The key locations for upcoming supply this year are Reem Island and Yas Island, which have more than 1,500 units each scheduled for completion this year.

Among the new launches this quarter was Aldar’s Water’s Edge project on Yas Island, expected to have 2,255 residential units, with the majority (42%) being one-bedroom. In terms of pricing, the new launch is targeting the mid-income buyer, with starting prices at $131,000 for a studio.

Meanwhile, at the luxury end of the market there was the launch of 44-storey Reem Tower by National Bonds Corporation (NBC). The luxury tower is to be designed by Japanese architectural firm Nikken Sekkei and is expected to have 335 apartments.

14 Nov 2017

From humble abra steps to sky-high icons

One of the first international engineering firms to take up residence in Dubai, Atkins’ influence on the built environment has evolved over the last half century from behind-the-scenes infrastructure consultancy to a high-profile portfolio of iconic structures.

“This year we are celebrating 50 years in the region,” says Tom Hasker, managing director — property at Atkins. “Originally, Atkins was largely recognised as an engineering and infrastructure brand, but over time we also developed our architectural business.”

Atkins’ UK expertise was first exported to the region in 1967 when a small team of engineers was sent to Kuwait to work on the country’s utilities infrastructure and road design. In 1979, client project demand saw the firm plant its feet permanently on Dubai ground with a new office and involvement in key infrastructure projects such as the dredging of Dubai Creek.

Says Hasker: “In the early days the region already had tremendous aspirations, but there wasn’t the supply of on-the-ground quality engineers, architects and contractors needed to realise the vision of the rulers.

“The people who worked here at the time always reminisce about the immense pressure they were under to make projects happen. However, in a lot of ways it was easier to deliver the big jobs back then as there were less of them, whereas these days everyone’s job is big and important, but just one of many.”

One of Atkins’ first transformational Dubai projects was, quite literally, a step change for the company, as Hasker explains: “In the early 80s the Dubai Municipality commissioned Atkins to design a reinforced concrete edge along the Deira bank of the creek to make passenger access on and off abra water taxis less of a challenge, and this resulted in the creation of the now familiar abra steps.”

In 1985, the team took on its first residential architectural commission, for the design and construction of a private villa on Al Wasl Road, and this led the way for more and more project wins, including the city’s original Standard Chartered Bank building, Dubai Police College and the Taj Palace Hotel.

Atkins’ turn to truly shine came in 1994 when it was engaged to design the city’s original hospitality icon, the Burj Al Arab, with the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Wild Wadi Water Park also representing milestone project wins for the company.

Moving into the new millennium, the company continued to build bigger, taller and more complex structures with the Shaikh Zayed Road area home to a raft of Atkins-designed and engineered landmarks, including the first Address Hotel, The Address Downtown Dubai, along with the Princess Tower, 21st Century Tower, Chelsea Tower (now rebranded as the Al Salam Hotel Suites) and the Millennium Tower.

Its most recent high-profile accomplishment is the Dubai Opera, with Atkins managing the project from drawing board to delivery.

But its contribution to the city’s urban fabric isn’t always so immediately apparent, as Hasker explains: “Our involvement with Dubai Municipality spans years from creekside development to the Metro and in defining the areas that will promote Dubai’s growth and development. The Dubai Metro, with the Red Line the world’s longest driverless single metro line, was another hugely successful project for which we provided full multidisciplinary design and management of the civil works.

“We are also heavily involved with master planning for Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai South.”
Urban rejuvenation is another area where Atkins is making its mark. “We see a lot more thought now going into development, rather than a desire to simply have trophy buildings, which don’t reflect the true urban fabric,” says Hasker.

“And there’s real interest in urban rejuvenation projects such as what Meraas has done with La Mer to bring new life and sensible development to existing areas,” Hasker adds. “Atkins is also lead consultant for the mixed-use waterfront Marsa Al Seef development on Dubai Creek, which is reactivating the real ‘old Dubai’.”
At the opposite end of the design spectrum, but also sited on the banks of the historic creek, Atkins’ work on the master plan for Emaar’s Dubai Creek Harbour community, in collaboration with RTKL, has a strong focus on digital innovation.

“Dubai is ahead of the curve compared to more established markets when it comes to digital infrastructure development, and that’s because a lot of the infrastructure here is so young,” says Hasker. “So, whereas not many established cities have the ability to master plan scaled communities such as Dubai Creek Harbour from scratch, we have the opportunity to leapfrog ahead. We have the view that within the next five years our business landscape, as well as Dubai’s physical landscape, will be dramatically different.

“The way that we deliver our services will reflect the massive shift towards digital engagement — or generative design — with technology that allows us to produce more efficient designs more quickly. And Dubai is embracing this far more quickly than other markets.”

15 Nov 2017

Union Properties posts Dh45m loss as construction revenue slumps

Union Properties, the developer primarily known for its projects in Dubai’s Motor City, posted a Dh45 million loss for the third quarter, as construction revenues dropped by more than a half.

The loss, reported on the Dubai stock exchange, was an improvement on the Dh2.3 billion loss posted in the previous quarter, but down from a Dh32m profit for the third quarter of 2016.

Revenues from contracting and other operating activities – the company’s largest revenue generator – fell 56 per cent year-on-year to Dh82m. Property management and sales revenue declined 15 per cent year-on-year to Dh18m.

Union Properties announced in August a Dh2.8bn write-down of the value of its assets by a new management team in its second-quarter results, leading to its worst ever quarterly loss for the three months to the end of June.

A new chairman and vice-chairman were appointed in May after an impromptu board reshuffle saw the resignation of three directors, including the chairman Khalid bin Kalban. A new chief executive, Ahmed Khouri, was appointed in July.

The Union Properties chairman Nasser bin Yousef described the actions taken in the second quarter as “a one-time charge for the accounting irregularity by the previous management.”

The company’s shares opened 1 per cent lower in early Tuesday trading.

14 Nov 2017

163,000 properties to be delivered over next five years in Dubai

Dubai: If all goes as per developers’ plans, Dubai will see a further 163,840 properties being built over the next five years from 387 projects. Next year could account for the highest number of these handovers, at 27,360 units, based on broad estimates put out by fam Properties. The year after could see 19,850 units and 17,754 further homes in 2020.

So far in 2017, Dubai has seen the launch of 90 projects consisting of 36,556 units. “We took this initiative because we want our investors and buyers to have a more accurate picture of the Dubai property market by being able to analyse facts and figures in a new way,” said Firas Al Msaddi, CEO of f?m Properties. “This is something they’re eager for because it will help to make buying decisions based on facts and figures and is ultimately more profitable.”

The online tool also provides comparisons on the change of rent over time. Investors or end users keen to assess rental yield potential can take advantage of a rental range index which pinpoints rates over 10 years.

Although rental rates for the same category of apartments in the same area have varied greatly based on size and location over 10 years — a major factor in the buying decision — the gap has closed significantly in the last two to three years. Two-bed apartment rentals in Downtown Dubai ranged from Dh150,000-Dh260,000 in 2009 and reached a low of Dh95,000-Dh120,000 in 2012. In December 2016, rates were at Dh160,000-Dh180,000.

13 Nov 2017

163,000 properties to be delivered over next five years in Dubai

Dubai: If all goes as per developers’ plans, Dubai will see a further 163,840 properties being built over the next five years from 387 projects. Next year could account for the highest number of these handovers, at 27,360 units, based on broad estimates put out by fam Properties. The year after could see 19,850 units and 17,754 further homes in 2020.

So far in 2017, Dubai has seen the launch of 90 projects consisting of 36,556 units. “We took this initiative because we want our investors and buyers to have a more accurate picture of the Dubai property market by being able to analyse facts and figures in a new way,” said Firas Al Msaddi, CEO of f?m Properties. “This is something they’re eager for because it will help to make buying decisions based on facts and figures and is ultimately more profitable.”

The online tool also provides comparisons on the change of rent over time. Investors or end users keen to assess rental yield potential can take advantage of a rental range index which pinpoints rates over 10 years.

Although rental rates for the same category of apartments in the same area have varied greatly based on size and location over 10 years — a major factor in the buying decision — the gap has closed significantly in the last two to three years. Two-bed apartment rentals in Downtown Dubai ranged from Dh150,000-Dh260,000 in 2009 and reached a low of Dh95,000-Dh120,000 in 2012. In December 2016, rates were at Dh160,000-Dh180,000.

13 Nov 2017

The affordability angle: a consumer’s view

Globally, decision makers usually view affordable housing development from a developer’s viewpoint. As the accepted thinking goes, if developers are sufficiently incentivised then they will build good-quality affordable housing projects. Sometimes this includes the government zoning and land rights approach among other well-known financing interventions.
However, as we dive into the human approach, affordability resides at the heart of the monthly income management for average households.

Let us look at four household income bands in the UAE and connect that to affordability of a property purchase. Everyone will agree that it is fair to look at the primary household income as a key driver of affordability-related housing discussions.
In our analysis we have taken household income brackets starting from Dh10,000 to Dh35,000. We have analysed the value of property each income bracket could afford to purchase. This takes in certain assumptions, most importantly that affordability implies 30 per cent of total household income being paid towards housing. Other important caveats are that the analysis is based on 3.99 per cent interest rate and 25 per cent down payment or 75 per cent loan-to-value ratio. These will vary based on mortgage lender and one’s personal credit history.
The tenure of loan repayment is another major area of debate for affordability. A higher tenure means lower monthly repayment, but also a longer wait to fully own the property. Lower tenures result in higher repayment each month, however, it decreases the total interest paid to the lender and you will own your property earlier. Our approach is a conservative one, given this analysis relates to middle-income households, having taken a 240-month, long-term exposure on the tenure.

It is also important to be aware that the down payment requirement varies as per UAE Central Bank regulations. And the Dubai Land Department fees and agency commissions are separate amounts for the actual core property value discussion. However, we have included these to highlight the minimum upfront amount required for a household to enter the property ladder.
We observe that even at the lowest starting point of Dh10,000, should a loan be made available, the household can look at a maximum property value of Dh650,000. This will require more than Dh200,000 to be able to enter the transaction.
In the highest band of Dh35,000 per month income bracket, the household can at best look at a house priced at Dh2.3 million. Conservatively, they will be paying up to Dh750,000 in interest to the bank over a 20-year period. They would ideally need to have saved an equal amount to invest in their first property, including government fees and commissions.

So, even at the highest band, which is a bit higher than most affordable discussions will allow, we still see that the maximum they would be able to afford is a relatively modest apartment in only specific communities.
Overlaying this information on data from Property Monitor we can safely say that 14 per cent of properties transacted in Dubai this year are not within reach of anyone earning below Dh35,000. In the lowest band of Dh10,000, the household would be unable to participate on 74 per cent of properties transacted in Dubai.

This is a significant part of the market that is currently not in reach of a majority of the population that earns modest incomes. Perhaps the best solution for middle-income earners to enter the market is to crowdfund real estate assets. More on that in another article.re
on that in another article.

15 Nov 2017

MIDEAST STOCKS-State funds support Saudi, GFH Financial boosts Dubai

* Saudi spends most of day lower, before buying in final hour

* Public Investment Fund-related banks continue to rise

* Alujain plunges as it resumes trading after suspension

* GFH Financial surges after describing business plan

* Emaar Properties rises after earnings

By Andrew Torchia

DUBAI, Nov 13 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s stock market rose on Monday, apparently boosted by purchases of shares by state-linked funds, while a surge in GFH Financial lifted Dubai’s bourse.

Data released by the Saudi exchange showed local individual investors were net sellers of stocks by a margin of about 13 percent last week because of the government’s sweeping anti-corruption probe, which has raised fears that people detained in the crackdown could dump assets.

Foreign investors were net sellers by a bigger margin of 41 percent and Gulf investors were also net sellers. That left Saudi institutional investors net buyers by a large margin; most of them were government-linked funds deliberately supporting the market to avert a panic, many asset managers believe.

That pattern appeared to continue on Monday, when the market fell as much as 0.8 percent during the day but saw a burst of heavy buying in the final hour that caused the index to close 0.4 percent higher.

Banks performed well with National Commercial Bank gaining 1.7 percent and Samba Financial Group up 1.5 percent.

Both are part of the portfolio of the Public Investment Fund, which increased by almost $3 billion in value last week, Reuters calculations show, even as the market as a whole stagnated because of the probe – a sign of the PIF’s growing power and authority.

But the most heavily traded stock, real estate developer Dar Al Arkan, fell back 2.5 percent after surging 18 percent in the previous two days following strong quarterly earnings.

Petrochemical investor Alujain sank 9.7 percent in its heaviest trade this year as it resumed trading after being suspended since August because of a delay in reporting earnings. It said third-quarter net profit fell to 36.1 million riyals ($9.6 million) from 36.8 million riyals.

In Dubai, the index also rose 0.4 percent. GFH surged 6.3 percent to 1.53 dirhams after swinging between 1.35 and 1.55 dirhams in its heaviest trade since February.

The company said it had exited real estate portfolios in Bahrain and the United States worth $180 million, would invest in the education sector, and planned to acquire a financial institution in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council by year-end.

Emaar Properties was up 1.5 percent after posting a 32 percent rise in third-quarter net profit to 1.51 billion dirhams ($411.2 million), beating SICO Bahrain’s forecast of 1.36 billion dirhams.

HIGHLIGHTS

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index rose 0.4 percent to 6,962 points.

DUBAI

* The index rose 0.4 percent to 3,478 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index edged down 0.1 percent to 4,370 points.

QATAR

* The index fell 0.2 percent to 7,857 points.

EGYPT

* The index dropped 1.0 percent to 14,123 points.

KUWAIT

* The index climbed 1.2 percent to 6,251 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index edged down 0.1 percent to 1,263 points.

OMAN

* The index rises 0.3 percent to 5,084 points. (Editing by William Maclean)

13 Nov 2017

Mapping the UAE’s transformation

The World Economic Forum (Wef) has provided public access to its “Transformation Maps”, which are dynamic, digital knowledge tools which show which key factors are shaping countries, industries and issues such as Climate Change and how they interact with each other.

This has been timed to coincide with its summit in the UAE this weekend; the Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils 2017 being held in Dubai. Seven hundred leading experts from around the world are participating under the theme The Globalization of Knowledge in a Fractured World, and will seek solutions and develop ideas to foster international cooperation and shared responses to global challenges, the Wef said.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, said that the UAE had become a centre for exploring the potential impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and pioneer in shaping this future of technological advancement including the development of artificial intelligence.

Work on the transformation maps began in 2015, but the idea for harnessing the flow of information in an increasingly digital world has been in the mind of the Wef for almost 15 years.

This map of the transformation of the UAE is part of this overall effort says Jeremy Jurgens, the Wef’s head of knowledge and digital engagement and the architect of this initiative.

“This knowledge was drawn from our experts in the UAE and via workshops over two years,” he says.

Here are they key factors driving the transformation of the UAE:

Environmental Sustainability and Resource Security

The UAE is seeking to mitigate the effects of climate change with renewable energy sources. The de-carbonization of infrastructure and energy projects, and helping neighbouring countries to grapple with climate change, are also key parts of the UAE government’s strategy.

Diagram
Environmental Sustainability and Resource Security / WEF

Human Capital Development

The UAE is developing talent among its citizenry, especially in the private sector. Here education, the balance of the labour market and behavioural science all come into play.

diagram
Human Capital Development / WEF

The Innovation Imperative

The UAE is planning a future economy that does not rely on natural resources. The oil & gas industry, education, technology and entrepreneurship are some of the critical areas which converge when it comes to innovation as the UAE seeks to shift away from oil dependence.

diagram
The Innovation Imperative / WEF

Regional and Geopolitical Positioning

The UAE is seeking peace through economic development and good governance. Humanitarian action is one of the important factors here as UAE develops a response to violent extremism that goes beyond military intervention.

diagram
Regional and Geopolitical Positioning / WEF

Economic Diversification

Construction and manufacturing can help diversify the UAE’s oil-dependent economy. Economic diversification is a key element of the Vision 2021 programme and new laws for competitiveness, investment in infrastructure and telecommunications have important roles in reaching this goal.

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Economic Diversification / WEF

Investing in Infrastructure

The UAE’s infrastructure could be the foundation for a bright future especially regarding the development of the digital economy and its impact on transport. The country has pointed the way forward for the broader Middle East and North Africa region.

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Investing in Infrastructure / WEF

10 Nov 2017

Who we are

The team, at Chii Richtown, comprises indigenous experts in renting, selling and managing commercial properties and villas in Dubai, UAE. Established in 2006, the company has over a decade of experience in tracking new property developments and estimating trends in prime market areas that help clients in meeting their requirements. We are currently selling and leasing out properties in all areas of Dubai.We strongly believe if you have a requirement for a home or office space, we will help you find it!

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