World Expo 2020 to boost UAE real estate and tourism sector

Updated 29 November 2013
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World Expo 2020 to boost UAE real estate and tourism sector

With Dubai winning the World Expo 2020 bid, the emirate requires around $43 billion (47 percent of the estimated 2013 GDP) to significantly upgrade its infrastructure according to a research report by Deutsche Bank.
This will boost employment, population and tourist growth.
A bulk of this investment will go into expanding the hotel and leisure industry, while around $10 billion will be spent to improve transportation infrastructure.
The biggest beneficiary should be the real estate sector, which has to cater to the increased demand for new hotel and infrastructure projects.
Deutsche Bank’s report continues to see positive momentum in the Dubai property market, triggered by attractive yields and property prices close to historical average.
With Dubai hosting World Expo 2020, the sector should continue to attract strong investor interest.
Dubai property prices are currently up around 50 percent since the 3rd quarter 2011 but still 45 percent below the peak of 2008 and close to the average price of the last 8 years. Compared with other major cities in the world, Dubai offers attractive property prices and rental yields and a low tax environment. Moreover, Dubai’s “safe-haven” status, strategic location and growing tourism sector continue to attract investor interest.
The Al-Maktoum International Airport, the newly developed airport near the Expo site, started passenger operations on 27 October.
When fully completed the airport will be able to handle 12 million tons of cargo and 160 million passengers annually, making it the largest international airport by some margin.
Besides this, Dubai has also initiated an expansion plan for its existing Dubai International Airport to increase its existing capacity from 60 million to 90 million passengers per year by 2018.
Winning the Expo can further facilitate the “Dubai Vision” target of handling 20 million tourist arrivals by 2020.
Increased tourist arrivals and an upbeat business climate are positives for the hotel and leisure industry as well as the retail sector.
About 25 million visitors are expected for the World Expo 2020 event, 71percent of which will be non-domestic visitors.
Dubai was voted as the host city to conduct the World Expo 2020 event in the Bureau of International Expositions’ 154th General Assembly.
This will be the first World Expo to be hosted in the MENASA region.
Dubai was able to outbid the competition from Sao Paulo (Brazil), Ekaterinburg (Russia) and Izmir (Turkey) with its theme of “Connecting minds, Creating the Future”.
The Expo Live support package of 150 million euros for developing countries to aid their participation and the 100 million euro Partnership Fund to spur innovations, ideas and entrepreneurship on sustainable development projects helped sway the votes in Dubai’s favor.


Turkish lira hits record low, down 20 pct against dollar this year

Updated 4 min 38 sec ago
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Turkish lira hits record low, down 20 pct against dollar this year

  • Turkey's central bank announces a sharp hike in interest rates to boost the embattled lira
  • The bank said after an emergency meeting of its monetary policy committee it was raising the late liquidity window (LLW) lending rate from 13.5 percent to 16.5 percent

ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is facing a potentially severe crisis just a month ahead of elections over the sharp depreciation of the lira which risks buffeting his campaign and even influencing voters.
In an indication of the severity of the situation, the central bank hiked one of its key interest rates 300 basis points (bps) after an emergency meeting on Wednesday, after inaction for days amid Erdogan’s opposition to rate rises.
Erdogan has always painted himself as a champion of the Turkish economy, pointing to how growth and investment have expanded under his rule after the misery of Turkey’s 2000-2001 financial crisis.
But the lira’s depreciation by nearly 19 percent against the US dollar since the snap polls were called on April 18 may signal the economy could be a burden, rather than a boost, for Erdogan.
The Turkish strongman, a doughty campaigner and so far undefeated at the ballot box in any poll, has been strangely reticent in this campaign although his team emphasises his rallies will get fully under way on Saturday.
And when he speaks to the crowds in town squares nationwide, Erdogan will have to now confront people’s fears that the external value of the money in their pocket is crumbling.
“For Turks, a weak currency translates into a weak economy, so it’s difficult to see how this will not hurt Erdogan and the AKP (ruling party) even though their voter base is fairly loyal,” said Atilla Yesilada, country adviser at Global Source Partners in Istanbul, said.
Although the country was the fastest growing in the G20 in 2017, recording 7.4 percent growth, concerns remain over the economy overheating, the widening current account deficit and double-digit inflation. Inflation is currently at 10.85 percent.
Erdogan himself has spooked the markets by saying he plans a greater say in monetary policy — despite the nominal independence of the central bank — after the polls.
The central bank move to raise the late liquidity window (LLW) lending rate from 13.5 percent to 16.5 percent prompted a sharp rally in the value of the lira.
Even though the June 24 polls come at a time of strains with the West and the Turkish army is fresh from a successful operation inside Syria, pollsters’ surveys show the economy is the issue of most concern to Turks.
In polling done earlier this month by Ankara-based MAK Consultancy, 45 percent of 5,400 respondents told researchers the country’s most significant issue was the economy.
Another survey last month by Gezici pollster found 48.6 percent said economic woes were Turkey’s biggest issue.
And Turks’ faith in their economy is falling: the consumer confidence index dropped by 2.8 percentage points in May to 69.9 from 71.9 in April, according to the Turkish statistics office on Wednesday.
“Globally, it is shown that the economic performance has an immediate impact on voting behavior. Hence, the sizeable economic costs may have an impact on voting behavior,” Selva Demiralp, associate professor of economics at Koc University in Istanbul, told AFP.
She warned it was “hard to predict how the economy will evolve in the near future.”
Yesilada added: “If this exchange rate shock translates into weaker economic performance they will lose some more votes and the spectre of AKP losing power could become a reality in a fair election.”
Analysts have long said Erdogan’s administration has been split between pro-market pragmatists like Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek, a former Merrill Lynch strategist, and advisers known for outlandish statements such as Yigit Bulut.
The central bank’s decision ended days of suspense on the markets over whether it would raise rates after Erdogan called for lower rates to boost growth.
“It’s high time to restore monetary policy credibility and regain investor confidence,” Simsek said on Twitter after the bank’s move.
“The Central Bank governor and members of the monetary policy committee have my full backing in doing what’s necessary to stem the slide in lira and achieve price stability,” he added.
Erdogan has often blamed outsiders for economic problems in Turkey, railing against unnamed actors trying to wage “economic terror” against the country.
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag on Wednesday said voters were aware of the games being played.
“They are deluded if they think they can change the outcome of the election by playing with the dollar,” Bozdag said.