Dubai’s new real estate law to attract foreign capital

The law opens the UAE market to large investment capital infusions. File
The law opens the UAE market to large investment capital infusions. File
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Updated 04 August 2022

Dubai’s new real estate law to attract foreign capital

Dubai’s new real estate law to attract foreign capital
  • Experts believe new legislation to help boost sector, regulate private development

DUBAI: The new law on incentivizing property investment funds will lead to a boost in foreign capital, according to Amira Sajwani, general manager of sales and development at Damac Group.

Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum enacted a new law on July 19 to promote the growth of real estate investment funds in Dubai.

As part of efforts to position the emirate as a global destination for investment in real estate, the law grants certain privileges to real estate investment funds, reported Emirates Media Agency, also known as WAM.

HIGHLIGHTS

The law grants certain privileges to real estate investment funds.

There is also a dedicated committee created by the new law that identifies which areas and properties the funds may invest in.

Investopedia defines a real estate fund as a type of mutual fund that primarily invests in securities offered by public real estate companies.

On the other hand, a real estate investment trust invests directly in income-producing real estate and is traded like a stock.

Among those covered by the law are all real estate investment funds licensed and regulated by government authorities, private development zones and free zones, such as Dubai International Financial Center, WAM stated.

Also, investors will be entitled to benefits that will help them invest in the emirate’s real estate market.

So how will the new law benefit the country and real estate investors?

Husni Al-Bayari, D&B Properties chairman and founder, said the new law would encourage investors and real estate funds to enter the market while increasing transparency and governance.

Moreover, it will contribute to regulating Dubai’s private development and free zones, Al-Bayari said.

As a result, high-net-worth individuals are flocking to Dubai, and this legislation will open up new areas for personal and professional relocation, Al-Bayari commented.

The register is open to applicants with real estate assets of 180 million dirhams ($49 million) or more, WAM said.

Damac’s Sajwani said that “creating a register for property investment funds gives the added value of transparency which is always good to attract more foreign entities to invest here.”

As she pointed out, the new law follows a slew of recent economic and social reforms that have increased Dubai’s appeal.

There is also a dedicated committee created by the new law that identifies which areas and properties the funds may invest in, WAM stated.

Alexey Galtsev, founder and CEO of Realiste, a personal artificial intelligence firm on real estate investing, said removing liquidity and asset management risks should help real estate investment trusts attract 15 percent more investments and support liquidity and market growth.

Dubai Land Department, the real estate registrar, will also appoint an expert to appraise properties owned by the funds, WAM added.

With real estate as one of Dubai’s focus sectors, the move comes as the city ramps up efforts to attract foreign investors.

Galtsev also said the law supports significant funds in Dubai real estate and opens the UAE market to large investment capital infusions.

Al-Bayari concluded that the UAE has recently been recognized as the preferred place for millionaires to migrate. This initiative will further elevate Dubai to the top of the affluent investor’s list.


Russian firms eye stronger business ties with Saudi Arabia amid western sanctions 

Russian firms eye stronger business ties with Saudi Arabia amid western sanctions 
Updated 05 October 2022

Russian firms eye stronger business ties with Saudi Arabia amid western sanctions 

Russian firms eye stronger business ties with Saudi Arabia amid western sanctions 

RIYADH: A business delegation of 23 Russian companies held talks with Saudi firms in Riyadh on Oct. 4 amid a growing call from the US and EU to cut ties with Kremlin entities. 

The meeting comes as Saudi Arabia strives to attract foreign direct investments aligned with its Vision 2030 goals. 

The talks stressed on the vitality of elevating trade relationships between Saudi Arabia and Russia, while taking advantage of investment opportunities and establishing commercial partnership relations between the two parties to serve common interests. 

Stanislav Yankovitz, the commercial representative at the Russian Embassy, noted that the trade relationship between Saudi Arabia and Russia has leapfrogged in recent years, with commercial exchange volume in 2021 witnessing an increase to $1.7 billion, and is expected to reach $5 billion by the end of 2024.  

The event also witnessed bilateral meetings between businesspeople and representatives of Russian companies working in various sectors which include creative industries, education, electric power and design engineering.

Some of the other sectors include cosmetics, furniture, perfumery, food industry, industrial, information technology, smart technologies, medical equipment and oil and gas.

Counselor of the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Saudi Arabia Alexander Istomin, said that Russian-Saudi relations are strong and that they have been witnessing continuous rapprochement.

The head of the Saudi-Russian Business Council Tariq Al-Qahtani said that it is playing a crucial role in strengthening trade relations between the two countries as it seeks and provides investment opportunities through the establishment of joint projects. 

Western firms exiting Russia

Meanwhile, owing to the conflict in Ukraine, several western companies have exited their operations in Russia, despite chances of revenue loss. 

Adidas, which has over 500 stores in Russia, suspended its operations in the country — the move is expected to cut 1 percent of its revenue this year. 

Cigarette maker Philip Morris also announced that it has suspended planned investments and will reduce manufacturing in Russia. 

In the energy sector, BP said it would sell its nearly 20 percent stake in Rosneft, the Russian state-controlled oil company. The firm also wrote off $25.5 billion on its nearly 20 percent holding in Rosneft. 

Another energy major Exxon Mobil had announced that it would end its involvement in a large oil and natural gas project. 

In a move that could cost billions, Shell also exited its joint ventures with Gazprom, the Russian natural gas giant.


Etihad Airways named MENA airline of the year

Etihad Airways named MENA airline of the year
Updated 05 October 2022

Etihad Airways named MENA airline of the year

Etihad Airways named MENA airline of the year
  • The transformation of Etihad has been recognized following a record-breaking core operating profit of $296m in the first half of 2022

ABU DHABI: Etihad Airways was named Middle East & Africa Airline of the Year at the Airline Economics Aviation 100 Awards.

The company’s Chief Financial Officer Adam Boukadida also received the Middle East & Africa CFO of the Year award for the second successive year on Tuesday.

The Airline Economics awards are held annually to recognize outstanding businesses, individuals and financial transactions in the commercial aviation industry. 

Boukadida said: “We’re incredibly proud to be named Airline of the Year by Airline Economics, which comes just before our 19th birthday.

“This award goes to our entire organization and stands as a testament to the success of our transformation, in which every member of the Etihad family played an important role.”

Etihad was recognized for its successful turnaround, which resulted in a record-breaking core operating profit of $296 million in the first half of 2022. 

For the Airline of the Year award, the judges also considered profit, debt, load figures, RPK (revenue passenger kilometers), orders and routes. 

 


Riyad Bank completes offering of $1bn sukuk 

Riyad Bank completes offering of $1bn sukuk 
Updated 05 October 2022

Riyad Bank completes offering of $1bn sukuk 

Riyad Bank completes offering of $1bn sukuk 

RIYADH: Riyad Bank has completed the offering of its Saudi riyal-denominated additional Tier 1 capital sukuk worth SR3.8 billion ($1 billion).

The bond is perpetual and has a rate of return of 5.25 percent to be paid quarterly from the issue date, according to a bourse filing.

Established in 1957, Riyad Bank is one of the largest financial institutions in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi government owns 51 percent of the bank’s shares. 


Saudi Arabia and Morocco target trade worth $5bn annually

Saudi Arabia and Morocco target trade worth $5bn annually
Updated 05 October 2022

Saudi Arabia and Morocco target trade worth $5bn annually

Saudi Arabia and Morocco target trade worth $5bn annually

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Morocco plan to raise the volume of trade to $5 billion annually in light of the huge opportunities and capabilities of the two countries, according to Moroccan Minister of Industry and Trade Riyad Mezzour.

Mezzour was speaking at the Moroccan-Saudi Economic Forum, held by the Federation of Saudi Chambers and the General Federation of Moroccan Contracting on Oct. 4, with 130 companies from both countries participating.

Mezzour encouraged Saudi investors to take advantage of 670 industrial projects in Morocco.

Businessmen in both Saudi Arabia and Morocco need to establish a clear roadmap for economic relations between the two countries, as it is important to recognize the joint opportunities available in Africa and Europe with the Kingdom's Vision 2030, Saudi Commerce Minister Majid Al-Qasabi said.

The official visits and economic agreements have contributed to rapid trade growth in recent years, according to the chairman of the Federation of Saudi Chambers, Ajlan Alajlan.

The trade exchange reached SR9.7 billion ($2.5 billion) during the first half of this year, a value that exceeds SR5 billion for the entire year 2021.

The joint investments doubled significantly over the past years in various economic sectors such as industry, real estate, tourism, and agriculture, Alajlan said.

The two sides aim to reshape economic relations by studying and analyzing trade and investment opportunities and competitive advantages in the Saudi and Moroccan economies, he added.

Meanwhile, Chakib Alj, the president of the General Confederation of Moroccan enterprises, revealed that there are approximately 250 Saudi companies in Morocco, whereas there are 20 Moroccan companies in the Kingdom.

The current economic environment calls for joint efforts to increase food security through the development of agriculture and the establishment of new integrated value chains that integrate sustainability and innovation, Alj said.

In addition to identifying ways to develop companies and enhance their activities outside the Moroccan and Saudi markets, the forum called for easing administrative restrictions and non-tariff barriers, and the creation of a Moroccan-Saudi fund to facilitate trade.

The meeting focused on enhancing joint economic and trade cooperation, empowering the private sector, and developing investments between the two countries.

The meetings come as part of the minister's four-day official visit to Morocco, leading a government delegation consisting of officials from 14 government institutions and representatives of over 62 Saudi companies.

Furthermore, the Saudi Exports Development Authority partnered with the Moroccan-Saudi Economic Forum organized by the Federation of Saudi Chambers in collaboration with the General Authority for Foreign Trade to organize the "Saudi Made" trade mission to Morocco.

Saudi Exports, through this mission, focuses on several sectors, including construction, food, medical supplies, and auto spare parts.

 


Bahrain attracts $290m investment in manufacturing and logistics sectors till Q3

Bahrain attracts $290m investment in manufacturing and logistics sectors till Q3
Updated 05 October 2022

Bahrain attracts $290m investment in manufacturing and logistics sectors till Q3

Bahrain attracts $290m investment in manufacturing and logistics sectors till Q3

RIYADH: Bahrain recorded $290 million in direct investment in the first three quarters of the year, with 25 manufacturing and logistics companies setting up and expanding their businesses within the Kingdom. 

The Bahrain Economic Development Board which is responsible for promoting investment in the Kingdom said this inflow of funds is capable of creating more than 1,200 jobs over the period of the next three years. 

Some of the noted companies expanding within the Kingdom are FedEx, BASF, and Racing Force International, while the new firms entering Bahrain include Bahrain Sugar Refinery, Hoover Circular Solutions, and K.K.C. Industry, it said. 

“Manufacturing and logistics are among the priority sectors for us and under the Economic Recovery Plan to support future growth and employment within the Kingdom,” said Ahmed Sultan, executive director – business development for manufacturing and logistics at Bahrain EDB. 

Overall, Bahrain EDB attracted direct investment from 66 companies during the first nine months of the year, which could create 4,700 jobs over the next three years in key sectors, including financial services, information and communications technology, logistics, manufacturing, and tourism. 

Sultan added: “We are very pleased to see international manufacturing and logistics companies set up and expand in Bahrain, benefiting from the Kingdom’s strategic location, enabling them to tap into the $1.67 trillion Gulf Cooperation Council market.” 

The manufacturing sector is a significant and consistent contributor to Bahrain’s economy, accounting for over 13 percent of the gross domestic product. Manufacturers and logistics companies enjoy duty-free trade through Bahrain’s free trade agreements with 22 countries around the world, including the first-ever US Free Trade Agreement with a GCC member.