EP governor launches first Saudi cargo village

Updated 07 April 2015
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EP governor launches first Saudi cargo village

King Fahd International Airport (KFIA), one of the region’s fastest growing and leading international airports, Tuesday unveiled its cargo village.
The launch event was presided over by Eastern Province Gov. Prince Saud bin Naif, in the presence of Sulaiman Abdullah Al-Hamdan, president of the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA), royal family members, top executives of several public departments and the top management of KFIA.
The cargo village is spread over half a million square meters. More than 70 percent of goods bound for the Gulf region are destined for the Kingdom, and by facilitating operations the cargo village positions KFIA as a multi-modal shipment and clearance destination, directly serving the Eastern Province and the Kingdom.
The new facility offers direct access to Saudi Arabia and bypasses the need for cargo to transship through neighboring countries.
Al-Hamdan said: "We are delighted by the launch of the first cargo village in the Kingdom, and we believe that it will play a vital role in supporting the Saudi economy. KFIA’s cargo village offers ease of shipping and cargo services while serving as a regional hub for global companies. Most importantly, the cargo village creates new economic and employment opportunities for the Eastern Province.”
For the planning and implementation of the cargo cillage, KFIA has worked in cooperation with Saudi Customs and Changi Airports International (CAI).
The cargo village has been designed to the latest international standards and has been customized to maximize convenience for airlines and freight companies operating from KFIA. The cargo village guarantees express cargo delivery with reduced shipping times and increases cargo capacity, promising operating efficiencies for freight companies.
KFIA Director-General Yousef Al-Dhahri said: “King Fahd International Airport is proud to present to Dammam, the Kingdom and the region this dynamic facility revolutionizing the way cargo is handled in the region. With our continued partnership with Changi Airports International and their efforts, we are on track to becoming one of the region’s leading aviation hubs serving both passenger and cargo traffic. We anticipate that we will soon be starting the next phase as the demand for facilities is expected to grow strongly.”
CAI CEO Lim Liang Song lauded the close working partnership among CAI, KFIA and Saudi Customs. He said: “We are proud to be part of this partnership in bringing this innovative facility to Dammam. The cargo village will provide greater connectivity and cost efficiencies, and enhance KFIA’s position as a key regional cargo hub on the Eastern seaboard of the Kingdom.”
The two-year construction commenced in December 2012 and is now fully operational. The first of its kind for multimodal facilities in the Kingdom, the cargo village has attracted leading international and regional freight companies, such as DHL Express, NAQEL, SMSA Express, TNT and UPS, to establish express cargo clearance facilities and offices at the King Fahd Cargo Village.


Dubai real estate market recovery to be seen as of 2022: S&P

Updated 54 min 24 sec ago
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Dubai real estate market recovery to be seen as of 2022: S&P

  • The outlook on property was part of a challenging assessment of the credit-worthiness of the emirate
  • S&P was generally comfortable with the credit ratings of the emirate’s banking system

DUBAI: S&P Global, the ratings agency, painted a grim picture for the real estate sector in Dubai, with a meaningful recovery in property prices expected only after 2022.
At a presentation to journalists in the Dubai International Financial Center, S&P analyst Sapna Jagtiani said that under the firm’s “base case scenario,” the Dubai real estate market would fall by between 5 and 10 percent this year, roughly the same as the fall in 2018, which would bring property prices to the levels seen at the bottom of the last cycle in 2010, in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.
“On the real estate side we continue to have a very grim view of the market. While we expect prices to broadly stabilize in 2020, we don’t see a meaningful recovery in 2021. Relative to the previous recovery cycle, we believe it will take longer time for prices to display a meaningful recovery,” she said.
S&P’s verdict adds to several recent pessimistic assessments of the Dubai real estate market. Jagtiani said that conditions in the other big UAE property market, in Abu Dhabi, were not as negative, because “Abu Dhabi never did ramp up as much in 2014 and 2015 as Dubai.” S&P does not rate developers in the capital.
She added that a “stress scenario” could arise if government and royal family related developers — such as Emaar Properties, Meraas, Dubai Properties and Nakheel — which have attractive land banks and economies of scale, continue to launch new developments.
“In such a scenario, we think residential real estate prices could decline by 10-15 percent in 2019 and a further 5-10 percent in 2020. In this case, we expect no upside for Dubai residential real estate prices in 2021, as we expect it will take a while for the market to absorb oversupply,” she said.
S&P recently downgraded Damac, one of the biggest Dubai-based developers, to BB- rating, on weak market prospects.
However, Jagtiani said that, despite the “significant oversupply” from existing projects, several factors should held stabilize the market: Few, if any, major product launches; improved affordability and “bargain hunting” by bulk buyers; and a resurgence of Asian, especially Chinese, investor interest in the market.
Jagtiani also said that government measures such as new ownership and visa regulations and reduction in government fees could help prevent prices falling more sharply, as well as “increased economic activity related to Dubai Expo 2020, which is expected to attract about 25 million visitors to the emirate.”
The outlook on property was part of a challenging assessment of the credit-worthiness of the emirate. “In our view, credit conditions deteriorated in Dubai in 2018, reducing the government’s ability to provide extraordinary financial support to its government related entities (GREs) if needed,” S&P said in a report. “The negative outlook on Dubai Electricity and Water
Authority (DEWA) partly reflects our concern that a real estate downturn beyond our base case could out increased pressure on government finances,” the report said.
It pointed out that about 70 percent of government revenues come from non-tax sources, including land transfer and mortgage registration fees, as well as charges for housing and municipality liabilities, as well as dividends from real estate developers it controls, like Emaar and Nakheel.
S&P was generally comfortable with the credit ratings of the emirate’s banking system, which has an estimated 20 percent exposure to real estate. “Banks in the UAE tend to generally display a good level of profitability and capitalization, giving them a good margin to absorb a moderate increase in risks,” the report said.