Dubai Business News and Updates.

UAE to discuss tax procedure laws this week.

Earlier this year, the UAE announced a value added tax (VAT) rate of five per cent from January 1 2018.

The Federal National Council (FNC) will hold the ninth and 10th meetings of the Second Ordinary Session of the 16th Legislative Chapter on Tuesday and Wednesday, during which members will discuss the federal draft law on taxation procedures.

The UAE had earlier announced a value added tax (VAT) rate of five per cent from January 1 2018, but the introduction of other alternate revenue measures including corporate and income taxes are not under consideration for the time being, according to Minister of State for Financial Affairs Obaid Humaid Al Tayer.

The minister said each country has the flexibility to introduce VAT within this time frame. "A lot of ground work needs to be done before implementing VAT. The private sector will need time to prepare for complying with tax rules that is the reason we are giving enough time for all," said Al Tayer.  Younis Al Khouri, undersecretary to the UAE's Ministry of Finance, has said that an estimated Dh12 billion would be generated by the VAT tax in the first year.
(News Source: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/economy/fnc-to-discuss-taxation-procedures-in-uae).


SAP to invest $200 Million in UAE over the next five years.

SAP, Europes’s largest enterprise software company, is investing a further $200 million (Dh734 million) in the UAE over the next five years after making a $450 million investment in 2012.

Tayfun Topkoc, managing director for UAE, Oman and Iran at SAP, told Gulf News the investment is to create economic diversity and jobs for youth.

The German company opened its new Middle East and North Africa headquarters in Dubai Internet City on Tuesday. It was inaugurated by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, in the presence of Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates airline and Group, and other dignitaries.

Topkoc said the new headquarters will serve as the hub for SAP’s Training and Development Institute (TDI). TDI is committed to develop local talent, hiring millennials, and supporting women in the workforce.
(News Source: http://gulfnews.com/business/sectors/technology/sap-to-invest-200m-in-uae-in-five-years-1.1994041)


Dubai unveils free airport Wi-Fi with fastest speed.

Dubai Airports announced on Tuesday that it has upgraded the Wi-Fi service across its terminals to provide flyers superfast internet access while they wait for their flight.

Aptly called WOW-Fi, the service offers a top speed of up to 100 megabits per second (mbps), about ten times faster than what many internet users would get at home in the UAE.

The launch of the service, which is said to be the fastest being offered by any airport in the world, follows Dubai Airports’ launch of an upgraded free unlimited high-speed Wi-Fi connection across Dubai International and Dubai World Central in December 2016.

With the improved connection, users can now access social media or browse the internet much faster. The airport’s landing page has also been simplified, enabling travellers to connect with just one click.

Dubai Airports said that it is also investing in more than 6,000 new Wi-Fi access points to upgrade the entire wireless network infrastructure across both airports in Dubai and enhanced the internet links to 5Gps each to provide the required bandwidth and resilience.
(News Source: http://gulfnews.com/business/aviation/dubai-unveils-free-airport-wi-fi-with-fastest-speed-1.1993784)


Dubai top choice for expats.
Dubai retained its ranking as the number one destination for quality of living across the Middle East and Africa region and came in 74th place in the global ranking topped by Vienna, according to Mercer's 2017 Quality of Living Survey.
It is for the fifth year in a row Dubai is retaining its positions as the region's top city.

Dubai, globally placed 74, continues to rank highest for quality of living across Africa and the Middle East, rising one position in this year's survey. It is followed closely by Abu Dhabi, which has climbed three spots since last year's survey to claim 79th place due to improvements in infrastructure, said Rob Thissen - Mercer's Middle East Talent Mobility Lead.

Saudi cities Riyadh and Jeddah find themselves further down the ranking at 166th and 169th respectively, whereas Sana'a (229) in Yemen, Bangui (230) in the Central African Republic, and Baghdad (231) in Iraq are the region's and world's three lowest-ranked cities for quality of living.
Vienna occupies first place for overall quality of living for the 8th year running, with the rest of the top-ten list mostly filled by European cities: Zurich is in second place, with Munich (4), Dusseldorf (6), Frankfurt (7), Geneva (8), Copenhagen (9), and Basel, a newcomer to the list, in 10th place. The only non-European cities in the top ten are Auckland (3) and Vancouver (5). The highest ranking cities in Asia and Latin America are Singapore (25) and Montevideo (79).
(News Source: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/economy/dubai-top-choice-for-expats). 


Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) Free Zone reported 27.7 percent growth in 2016 Net Profit.

Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) has successfully transformed into a preferred integrated destination for IT companies and entrepreneurs, and an exemplary pioneer of the smart city model, said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA).

The announcement followed the release of the DSOA's yearly results that showed positive performance across all areas of operations in 2016.

The organisation registered Dh518 million in recurring revenue by end-2016, representing a 9.4 per cent increase compared to 2015. The DSOA also earned a Dh234.7 million net profit in 2016, achieving a 27.7 per cent growth over the previous year.

Sheikh Ahmed, who is also President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Emirates airline and Chief Executive of the Emirates Group, said that the high-tech free zone is a key contributor to the development of Dubai's economy, based on knowledge, innovation and technologies of the future. He added that DSO has succeeded in reinforcing its position as an early adopter of smart city development through proactively implementing and integrating technology into the daily lives of its residents and employees.
(News Source: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/local/tapping-tech-leads-to-success)

AED 66 million White Oils Plant opened at Hamriyah Free Zone.

Petroleum Specialities, a specialised manufacturer of industrial white oils, has opened its new plant in Hamriyah Free Zone, and is the first wholly-owned subsidiary of its parent company, Apar Industries, outside India.

The $18 million (Dh66 million) fully-automated 30,000sqm facility was inaugurated by Sheikh Khalid bin Abdullah bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Hamriyah Free Zone Authority. It was attended by Saud Salim Al Mazrouei, director of the Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA); Kushal Desai, chairman and managing director of Apar Industries; Sanjay Abhyankar, vice-president of sales; and a number of government officials, investors, businessmen and senior directors from the HFZA and the company.

Al Mazrouei emphasised that the launch of vital projects in Hamriyah Free Zone will continue. "We will continue our efforts to build partnerships and attract diverse investments to keep pace with the economic development in Sharjah, as the emirate enjoys one of the most diversified and attractive economies in the entire region," he added.

"The inauguration of the first and largest of its kind plant in the region, which is expected to meet the demand for high quality industrial oil products in the regional markets, is a proof of the HFZA's successful strategy in attracting international firms. This will inspire us to increase our efforts to attract more thriving investments from across the world to the emirate of Sharjah. We will continue to improve our practices, services and facilities to achieve this goal," he added. Al Mazrouei encouraged the local and foreign business community to benefit from the investment opportunities offered by Hamriyah Free Zone to help investors build effective business relations and from all the other unique advantages in the emirate.
(News Source: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/local/dh66m-white-oils-plant-opens-at-hamriyah-free-zone).


First Banknote Printing Company in the region inaugurated.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said that the UAE will continue to build its economic capacity in line with the directives of UAE President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the close follow up of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

His Highness further said that the UAE’s economic growth will be achieved through the clear strategy laid out in the UAE Vision 2021. The UAE’s success, he said, has created a unique model for human development, as well as for building a sustainable and diverse economy and ensuring the happiness of all members of its society.

Shaikh Mohammad’s remarks came during the opening of “Oumolat Security Printing”, a banknote printing company that is the first of its kind in the region. The facility is located in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD).
(News Source: http://gulfnews.com/business/sectors/banking/mohammad-bin-rashid-opens-oumolat-security-printing-1.1991934).

Expo 2020 Dubai and Jebel Ali Free Zone launched apprenticeship programme.

Expo 2020 Dubai’s successful Apprenticeship Programme is being integrated with a corresponding scheme at Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) to give even more young Emiratis the chance to take a positive first step on the career ladder.

The Memorandum of Understanding means the tried and tested structure and content of the Expo programme will be absorbed into the existing Tumoohi (‘My Ambition’ in Arabic) scheme run by Jafza, the UAE’s flagship trade and logistics hub

The aim is to provide an enhanced programme of more apprenticeship options that can boost the careers of increasing numbers of UAE graduates by combining knowledge and expertise from the on-the-job training they receive at the companies they join.

(News Source: http://www.emirates247.com/news/emirates/expo-2020-dubai-and-jebel-ali-free-zone-team-up-to-offer-emirati-youth-more-work-training-opportunities-2017-03-11-1.649506).

Dubai Free Zones represent over AED500 billion trade.

The free zones in Dubai hosts 20,000 companies with diverse interest across industries, and represents more than Dh500 billion trade, a senior official at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) told an industry conference. Speaking of the Dubai experience to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) at the Annual Investment Conference, Arif Amiri, the chief executive of DIFC said the government “simplified doing business by adopting policies and encouraging free trade and FDI by establishing free zones,” like the Jebel Ali Free Zone and Dubai Airport Free zone and the DIFC.
(News Source: http://gulfnews.com/business/economy/dubai-free-zones-represent-over-dh500b-trade-1.1709180).

Dubai Free Zone Council to apply Dubai Statistics Centre System.

The Dubai Free Zone (DFZ) Council has approved the usage of the Dubai Statistics Centre (DSC) system. Apart from approving the usage of the system, the DFZ Council meeting also reviewed the progress on the strategic plan of the council, studied a potential co-ordination with the Federal Competitive and Statistics Authority (FCSA), collaboration with the Ministry of Finance around the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act, and the electronic connectivity between Free Zones and Dubai government departments.
(News Source: http://www.emirates247.com/news/emirates/dubai-free-zone-council-to-apply-dubai-statistics-centre-system-2016-10-25-1.642523).

Transfer of firms among Dubai Free Zones without cancelation.

The Dubai Free Zone (DFZ) Council approved a decision to facilitate the transfer of companies among the free zones in the emirate of Dubai, where the company that is looking to relocate can transfer its full record to the new free zone without having to cancel its outstanding registration and/or liquidating the business. This will give companies wishing to relocate to a more appropriate environment in Dubai financial and administrative stability. This initiative is expected to boost the performance of free zones and attract more investors to setup their business in Dubai Free Zones.
(News Source: http://www.emirates247.com/news/transfer-of-firms-among-dubai-free-zones-without-cancelation-2016-02-28-1.622482). 

UAE is now one of the top 20 billionaire capitals in the world.
(Posted on this website on 08th March 2017)

The UAE has for the first time broken into the world’s top 20 list of countries with the highest concentration of ultra-rich residents, with its billionaire population jumping by more than 30 per cent in one year. A total of 21 individuals with at least $1 billion are now living in the UAE, up from just 16 a year earlier, making the country one of the biggest billionaire capitals in the world, according to a new report by Hurun.
(News Source: http://gulfnews.com/business/money/uae-is-now-one-of-the-top-20-billionaire-capitals-in-the-world-1.1990127).

Hyperloop One to hire more staff in UAE
(Posted on this website on 08th March 2017)

Rob Lloyd, the CEO of Hyperloop One, has told that the company will hire “dozens and dozens of staff” locally, adding that they were “in the process of finalizing an entity here in the UAE.” Speaking at the Middle East Rail event on Tuesday, Lloyd added that the company was “seeing interest from across the Gulf in this idea, and you’ll see a significant amount of expansion of our resources here.”
(News Source: http://gulfnews.com/business/sectors/technology/hyperloop-one-to-hire-dozens-and-dozens-in-the-uae-1.1989923).

New baggage rules at Dubai International Airport effective today.
(Posted on this website on 08th March 2017)

Operators in the travel industry have advised passengers flying out of Dubai International Airport to adhere to the new baggage regulations that go into effect today, March 8, to avoid delays. Starting today, bags that don’t have at least one flat surface will be rejected at check-in, including irregularly shaped and oversized items, as they can bog down the luggage handling process.
(News Source: http://gulfnews.com/business/aviation/travel-alert-new-baggage-rules-at-duba-airport-effective-today-1.1990099).

New DIFC Court of Appeal judge sworn in.
(Posted on this website on 08th March 2017)

A new judge in the Dubai International Financial Centre’s (DIFC) Court of Appeal was sworn in on Tuesday before His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
(News Source: http://gulfnews.com/business/economy/new-difc-court-of-appeal-judge-sworn-in-1.1989903).

India seeks UAE investment in its rail network.
(Posted on this website on 08th March 2017)

India will invest $140 billion in its rail network over the next five years, according to the Indian Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu, speaking in an interview with local media outlets. The minister also revealed that his office has been in talks with UAE-based sovereign wealth funds this week, around the Middle East Rail event that began on Tuesday.
(News Source: http://gulfnews.com/business/renewables/india-seeks-uae-investment-in-its-rail-network-1.1989975). 

UAE’s Minister of Economy expects 3.5 to 4 per cent GDP growth.
(Posted on this website on 07th March 2017)

The UAE’s Minister of Economy Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri expressed optimism that the economy will continue to grow this year, boosted by higher oil prices. He expects the UAE’s economy to grow between 3.5 to 4 per cent in 2017. The Minister was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of UAE-Jordan Investment Forum in Abu Dhabi.
(News Source: http://gulfnews.com/business/economy/uae-economy-minister-optimistic-about-growth-in-2017-1.1989317)

Opinion: The 3.5 to 4 per cent growth forecast will definitely infuse confidence in investors who have new Business Setup and expansion plans in UAE.

Etisalat plans to invest more than AED 3 billion in 2017
(Posted on this website on 07th March 2017)

UAE’s leading telecom operator ‘Etisalat’ plans to invest more than AED 3 billion in 2017 to develop infrastructure and to expand mobile and fibre optic networks across UAE. Etisalat Group CEO Saleh Al Abdooli revealed the plans in an interview on the sidelines of Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona. The proposed investment will improve coverage across the country and prepare the network towards the deployment and requirements of 5G technologies.
(News Source: http://gulfnews.com/business/sectors/telecoms/etisalat-to-invest-more-than-dh3b-in-2017-ceo-says-1.1987939)

Opinion: This major investment plan will naturally encourage the telecom sector and the economy as a whole.

India based Federal Bank to start wholesale banking services from DIFC
(Posted on this website on 07th March 2017)

The Kerala head-quartered Federal Bank would launch full-fledged wholesale banking services for catering to trade and industries from the Dubai International Financial Centre this year. The DIFC branch opening announcement comes three months after the bank launched its second UAE representative office in Dubai as part of a strategy to expand footprints in the Gulf to serve its fast growing overseas clients estimated at over 800,000.
(News Source: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/banking-finance/indias-federal-bank-to-open-at-difc)

DAFZA reports 16% rise in Net Profits and 2% rise in Total Revenues in 2016.
(Posted on this website on 06th March 2017)

The Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA) reported a 16 per cent increase in net profit and a 2 per cent increase in total revenues in 2016. It is also reported that the total assets of DAFZA grew by 28 per cent during the year. In its statement, DAFZA said the total leasable area of multinational companies occupying the Free Zone rose by 44 per cent, while total leased office space increased by 13 per cent. (News source: http://gulfnews.com/business/companies/dafza-reports-16-rise-in-profits-in-2016-1.1988814).

The UAE non-oil sector continued to gain momentum in February.
(Posted on this website on 06th March 2017)

The seasonally adjusted Emirates NBD UAE Purchasing Managers' Index, which covers manufacturing and services, rose to 56.0 in February from 55.3 in January. Boosted by higher oil prices, business conditions in the UAE's non-oil private sector continued to gain momentum in February as output and new orders accelerated, Emirates NBD survey revealed on Sunday. "The rise in the UAE PMI to the highest level since September 2015 suggests that demand has strengthened, both domestically and abroad," said Khatija Haque, head of Mena Research at Emirates NBD. (News Source: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/economy/uae-non-oil-sector-records-strongest-upturn-in-output-in-18-months).

The UAE Central Bank issues new rules related to the Basel III
(Posted on this website on 06th March 2017)

The Central Bank of the UAE has issued new regulations to ensure that capital adequacy of all banks operating in the UAE is in line with revised rules outlined by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision in Basel III, a global regulatory framework for more resilient banks and banking systems. The capital adequacy regulations, which became effective on February 1, are supported by accompanying standards, which elaborate on the supervisory expectations of the central bank with respect to capital adequacy requirements, said Khalifa Mohammed Al Kindi, chairman of the board of the Central Bank of the UAE. (News Source: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/banking-finance/uae-central-bank-issues-new-rules-related-to-basel-iii).

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