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.


Iran looms large over OPEC summit

Updated 22 September 2018
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Iran looms large over OPEC summit

  • Saudi Arabia only country in Mideast, and perhaps world, with enough capacity to keep market supplied, say experts
  • At Algiers, Opec and leading non-Opec countries are expected to discuss how to allocate supply increases to offset a shortage of Iran supplies

LONDON: The Opec summit in Algiers on Sunday meets amid widespread fears of a supply crunch when a forecast 1.4 million barrels a day of crude is lost from Iran in November when US sanctions kick in.
If, on top of that, more supply shocks hit the market in worse-than-expected disruption from Libya and Iraq, the price of crude could surge, said Andy Critchlow, head of energy news at S&P Global Platts. “At the moment, the market looks finely balanced,” he said.
There isn’t a lot of slack in the system. As Critchlow points out: “Upstream investment in infrastructure and new wells is historically low and it will take a long time to turn that around.”
At Algiers, Opec and leading non-Opec countries are expected to discuss how to allocate supply increases to offset a shortage of Iran supplies. The gathering comes after a tweet by President Trump on Sept. 20 calling on Opec to lower prices. He said on Twitter that “they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for a higher and higher oil price.”
Critchlow reckoned KSA still had spare capacity of about 2 million bpd. And KSA would get oil back as they go into winter as it had needed 800,000m bpd merely to generate electricity for the home market to meet heightened demand for air conditioning in the summer.
But there is uncertainty about what will come out of Algiers. For a start, the Iranians say they will not attend. That could be tricky in terms of an Opec communique at the end of the meeting as statements need unanimous support from member nations. And Iran has indicated it will veto any move that would affect Iran’s position, ie, one where other countries absorb its market share as sanctions bite.
Jason Gammel, energy analyst at London broker Jefferies, said: “The magnitude of the drop in Iranian exports is likely to be higher than any hit in demand as a result of problems linked to emerging market currencies, or trade wars. That’s why we expect oil prices to continue to strengthen. The Saudis and their partners will keep the market well supplied, and I think the issue is that the level of spare capacity in the system will be extremely low. Any threat or interruption will mean price spikes. Possibly by the end of the year demand will exceed supply; for now, the market remains in balance, but threats of supply disruption will bring volatility.”
Under the spotlight in Algiers is a production cuts accord forged by Opec and 11 other countries in 2016 which has been extended to the end of this year. The agreement helped reboot prices and obliterate inventory stockpiles that led to the crash in crude prices nearly three years ago. But how long will the agreement last? Algiers may kick that one into the long grass.
Thomson Reuters analysts Ehsan Ul-Haq and Tom Kenison told Arab News: “OPEC members would like to maintain cohesion within the group around supply ahead of Iran sanctions and declining Venezuela production, However, they are expected be in favor of maintaining stability in prices while doing so. On the other hand, they need to find a consensus around how their market share would be affected by a decision to pump more oil in the market. Any decision around production will likely be offset until the November meeting.”
Critchlow said that it is what KSA and Russia say and do that matters. “They speak for a fifth of the global oil market, producing a combined total of 22m bpd.” Together, they are the swing producers when it comes to crude production and supply.
Another factor about Algiers is that it is a meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee, which is not a policy-making forum. Big policy statements may have to wait for the main Opec summit in Vienna at the end of year. That said, there will be some very high-level delegations in Algiers, including the Saudi oil minister and his Russian counterpart.
A statement about the demand picture could emerge, especially as there are fears about the impact on the global economy from the US-China tariff war.
Looking to the future, Critchlow thought the Opec production cuts accord would carry on into 2019. “Oil priced between $70/bbl and $80/bbl is a sweet spot for Middle East producers. Its’s good for Saudi as it helps stop further drainage of their foreign reserves and moves the budget back toward balance. Do they want (the price) to go higher? I think that would cause a lot of political problems for them.”