Dubai property market stability still a few years off

Dubai property market stability still a few years off
Dubai’s real estate market has been sluggish for most of the past decade. (AFP)
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Updated 03 March 2020

Dubai property market stability still a few years off

Dubai property market stability still a few years off
  • Dubai is one of the seven emirates of the UAE and has a diversified trade and tourism economy
  • But its real estate market has been sluggish for most of the past decade

BENGALURU: The downward spiral in Dubai house prices will continue this year, albeit at a slower pace than in 2019, with oversupply remaining the biggest risk, a Reuters poll showed.
Dubai is one of the seven emirates of the UAE and has a diversified trade and tourism economy, but its real estate market has been sluggish for most of the past decade.
House prices are forecast to fall 4 percent this year and 1.3 percent in 2021 before stabilizing in 2022, according to 15 analysts and property market specialists in a Reuters poll taken between Feb. 16 and March 2.
Reports from several consulting firms showed average Dubai property values dropped by more than 10 percent last year, roughly in line with predictions in a Reuters poll last November. The government doesn’t publish an official measure of home prices.
Analysts are clearly optimistic about prospects stemming from the World Expo, which Dubai will host, starting in October through to April 2021.

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But downside risk remains. The biggest of these, according to 11 of the poll respondents, is a surplus of existing properties for sale.
“Oversupply is the single largest contributor to Dubai’s declining residential prices, with continued project launches, coupled with rising levels of unsold developer inventory, continuing to place downward pressure on values,” said Chris Hobden, head of strategic consultancy at Chestertons MENA.
An economic downturn was considered the biggest downside risk by three of the analysts, with only one respondent pointing to a further decline in oil prices.
Dubai’s economy grew 2.1 percent in the first half of last year, compared with 1.9 percent growth for 2018. However, risks from non-oil private sector activity and the economic fallout from the global coronavirus outbreak are likely to apply the brakes this year.
Residential property is still rated relatively affordable, the poll suggested. On a scale of 1-10, from cheap to expensive, the median rating from the analysts was 6.
A majority of the analysts said they expect a prolonged period of sub-par activity followed by recovery.
“Further softening and probably stabilization is expected in the next couple of years. In the long term, we don’t expect a huge spike,” said Haider Tuaima, head of real estate research at ValuStrat.
“We think there is going to be a more gradual recovery process.”


Suez Canal starts dredging work to extend double lane

Suez Canal starts dredging work to extend double lane
Updated 15 May 2021

Suez Canal starts dredging work to extend double lane

Suez Canal starts dredging work to extend double lane
  • The Ever Given, a Panama-flagged, Japanese-owned ship, had ran aground in the single-lane stretch of the canal on March 23

CAIRO: The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has started dredging work to extend a second lane that allows for two-way traffic in a southern section of the canal near to where a giant container ship got stuck for six days in March, it said on Saturday.
The SCA has said previously that it planned to extend a second canal lane that opened in 2015 by 10 km to make it 82 km long, and that it would widen and deepen a single lane stretch at the southern end of the canal.
Egypt earlier announced plans to widen and deepen the southern part of the Suez Canal.
The Ever Given, a Panama-flagged, Japanese-owned ship, had ran aground in the single-lane stretch of the canal on March 23 before it was extracted six days later after a massive salvage effort by a flotilla of tugboats.
The vessel is still held in the canal's Great Bitter Lake amid a financial dispute between its owners and the Suez Canal Authority.


UAE airlines Etihad, flydubai cancel Tel Aviv flights

UAE airlines Etihad, flydubai cancel Tel Aviv flights
Updated 15 May 2021

UAE airlines Etihad, flydubai cancel Tel Aviv flights

UAE airlines Etihad, flydubai cancel Tel Aviv flights
  • Armed Palestinian groups have repeatedly shelled the Tel Aviv area during hostilities that erupted on Monday

DUBAI: UAE carriers Etihad Airways and flydubai have canceled flights to Tel Aviv, joining American and European airlines in avoiding Israel due to escalating hostilities there.
Airlines in the UAE, which established diplomatic relations with Israel last year, have only in the past few months launched regular services to Israel.
Abu Dhabi’s Etihad has suspended all passenger and cargo services to Tel Aviv from Sunday, it said on its website, citing the conflict.
“Etihad is monitoring the situation in Israel and continues to maintain close contact with authorities and security intelligence providers,” it said.
Flydubai has also canceled flights from Dubai on Sunday, its website shows, though two flights operated on Saturday. Other flights are scheduled for next week, according to its website.
The airline has recently operated fewer than its scheduled four daily flights, citing a drop in demand.
Armed Palestinian groups have repeatedly shelled the Tel Aviv area during hostilities that erupted on Monday, leading to several airlines canceling flights this week.


Philippines cuts rice tariffs to ensure food security, fight inflation

Philippines cuts rice tariffs to ensure food security, fight inflation
Updated 15 May 2021

Philippines cuts rice tariffs to ensure food security, fight inflation

Philippines cuts rice tariffs to ensure food security, fight inflation
  • Philippines’ paddy rice output rose to a record 19.3 million tons last year
  • Southeast Asian nation is battling elevated inflation

MANILA: Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte reduced the tariff for imported rice on Saturday to ensure food security and protect consumers in the world’s biggest importer of the grain.
The Southeast Asian nation, which is battling elevated inflation, took into consideration the increase in global rice prices and uncertainties in local rice supply, the president’s office said in a statement.
In an executive order, Duterte cut the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) tariff rates on rice to 35 percent from 40 percent for in-quota purchases and 50 percent out-quota volume for one year “to diversify the country’s market sources, augment rice supply, maintain prices affordable, and reduce pressures on inflation.”
In January, the agriculture ministry projected the country to import at least 1.7 million tons of its staple food this year to fully cover domestic requirements. It buys more than 90 percent of import requirements from Vietnam.
The Philippines’ paddy rice output rose 2.6 percent to a record 19.3 million tons last year, government data showed. The agriculture ministry targets unmilled rice output at 20.5 million tons this year.
More than 20 tropical storms hit the Philippines annually, with the strongest typhoons destroying crops like rice and corn in the second half, the peak harvest season.
Duterte also tweaked MFN tariff rates for pork products to 10 percent for in-quota purchases and 20 percent for out-quota volumes for the first three months, and 15 percent for in-quota and 25 percent for out-quota from the 4th to the 12th month.
The tariffs were higher than previously-announced rates after opposition by the local hog industry.
The government is rushing to address the shortage of pork supply, hit hard by African Swine Fever outbreaks, that has pushed inflation to the high end of the 2 percent to 4 percent target.


Dubai issues new LPG trading rules

Dubai issues new LPG trading rules
Updated 15 May 2021

Dubai issues new LPG trading rules

Dubai issues new LPG trading rules
  • Cylinders must be filled in approved factories under directive

DUBAI: New rules covering the transportation and storage of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) have been introduced by Dubai.
The new directive published on Saturday prohibits the distribution of LPG cylinders in Dubai unless they are filled in approved factories in the emirate.
Checks will also be made to ensure workers in the sector comply with safety regulations.
“Through this directive, we outline the regulatory framework, strategies and regulations for LPG trading in Dubai, in accordance with the highest international standards in this area," said Saeed Mohammed Al-Tayer, vice chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy.
The new rules also stipulate that the issue or renewal of licenses to distribute LPG and its derivatives in Dubai require written approval from the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE).

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Turkey tourism video pulled after public outcry

Turkey tourism video pulled after public outcry
Updated 15 May 2021

Turkey tourism video pulled after public outcry

Turkey tourism video pulled after public outcry
  • Turkish public took to social media to vent their anger over what they saw as a depiction of Turks as subservient subjects

DUBAI: A Turkey tourism video provoked an angry backlash on social media for showing tourism employees wearing masks that read “Enjoy, I’m vaccinated.”
The video which was posted on Thursday evening was captioned: “Sanitized resorts and vaccinated staff! We call it: Double Safety for Tourism!”
But it was removed shortly afterwards as an angry Turkish public took to social media to vent their anger over what they saw as a depiction of Turks as subservient subjects.
“Deliver us from another conservative government that would write ‘enjoy — I’m vaccinated’ over the face of a woman to market her,” said academic Tuğçe Varol.
Battered by a weak currency and high inflation, Turkey will be heavily reliant on foreign tourists to help replenish its foreign exchange reserves.
From Monday it will remove the requirement for a negative PCR test for passengers arriving from about 15 countries.
Tourism workers have been prioritized to receive vaccinations while many other citizens have to wait to receive their shots.