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July 1, 2015


Bank of China lists $322m bonds on Nasdaq Dubai
Capital from bonds to support cross-border trade

Bank of China announced the listing of a two billion yuan, or (Dh1.18 billion, $322 million) bond on Nasdaq Dubai on Wednesday. The bank is set to use the capital raised to support cross-border trade and infrastructure activities linking various regions of the globe under China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ strategy.

The listing is also in line with Nasdaq’s plans to attract more international companies seeking high visibility in the Middle East.

The issuance was one of a tranche of bond issues made last months by the bank. Bank of China has already raised the equivalent of about $4 billion from the international bond markets from its tranche of bond issues. The multi-currency bonds consist of four currencies; renminbi, Singapore dollars, US dollars, and euros, and are the first bonds issued in support of China’s initiative.

Under the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, China aims to create a modern Silk Road to improve its connections to Europe and the Middle East. Projects under the plan include railways, highways, pipelines, power grids, and other infrastructure links.

“If you connect the five branches chosen as issuers; Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, UAE and Hungary, they represent the new Silk Road. It clearly illustrates the main purpose of this issue, and that is to boost financial and trade ties China and 65 countries alongside the Belt and the Road,” said Tian Jun, general manager of the Bank of China Abu Dhabi branch.

Jun had earlier said that the bank decided to list its bonds on Nasdaq Dubai as the UAE is becoming more important in terms of trade and finance in the world.

The total nominal value of all conventional bonds listed on Dubai’s exchanges reached $11.64 billion, the largest of any exchange in the region, according to Nasdaq Dubai.

Hamed Ali, chief executive officer of Nasdaq Dubai, said that the exchange is expected to further strengthen links with regional and global investors, and enhance services provided by Nasdaq to its issuers.

Bank of China lists $322m bonds on Nasdaq Dubai | GulfNews.com


Related thread:

UAE to bolster economic ties with China

China launches its first yuan bond in Middle East

Qatar launches first Chinese yuan clearing hub in Middle East
July 12, 2015


Ahmed Mahboob Musabih and Li Lingbing stressed the importance of enhancing economic cooperation and coordination for stronger economic relations between China and the UAE.

Dubai-China trade robust
Value hits Dh47 billion in Q1; countries keen to bolster activity

China is well-positioned as Dubai's top trading partner with bilateral trade valued at Dh47 billion in the first quarter of 2015.

This was announced by Dubai Customs director Ahmed Mahboob Musabih following a business meeting with Li Lingbing, Consul-General of the People's Republic of China in Dubai.

Hailing the exceptional UAE-China commercial relations, Musabih noted that Dubai-China trade scored a record Dh175 billion in 2014.

The two sides explored Dubai-China bilateral trade ties and discussed mechanisms for further coordination in customs operations to see more growth and prosperity in their mutual trade.

Li paid tribute to Dubai Customs for pushing the reel of bilateral trade and offering top customs services and facilitations for Chinese traders and investors.

She also stressed the importance of enhancing economic cooperation and coordination for stronger economic relations between China and the UAE.

Musabih said Dubai takes on a vibrant role to keep the Chinese commodities flowing to the world.

"Dubai has become a major platform for networking the Chinese market with European and African markets," he added.

Dubai Customs spares no effort to develop economic and trade ties with China as directed by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to boost trade with Asia and underpin Dubai's regional and global foothold on the trade landscape, he said.

"Dubai Customs' strive to boost trade with China calls for closer economic ties and supports the flow of Chinese investments to Dubai, coupled with the growing number of Chinese companies that make Dubai their regional office for managing their business throughout Europe and Africa," Musabih added.

Dubai Customs is committed to bolstering Dubai's economic growth by supporting foreign trade and investment from all parts of the world, including China, he said.

"We are very keen to assist Chinese traders and investors who are willing to expand their market potential here, making best use of Dubai's position as a fast-growing global trade hub."

Dubai-China trade robust - Khaleej Times
July 19, 2015


The launch of the fourth ship of Baynunah Corvette Class Programme for the UAE Navy at the Abu Dhabi Ship Building Shipyard in the Mussafah area of Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi Ship Building announced earlier this year that it will partner with the French company Thales to provide maintenance services to naval forces across the region.


A vehicle at the Tawazun military industry factory.


State-owned Emirates Global Aluminium is spending $5.2bn to boost capacity at its smelter in Dubai and build an alumina refinery in Abu Dhabi.


Tawazun was among the local winners awarded contracts at this year’s Idex.


Women operators work in the final assembly area at Strata.


A military ship under construction at Abu Dhabi Ship Building.


Temperatures rise to 650 degrees Celsius to mix various elements for aluminium at the Emirates Aluminum plant in Abu Dhabi. EGA, the world’s fifth-largest aluminium producer, was formed last year in the merger of Dubai Aluminium and Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Aluminium.

Abu Dhabi makes big strides in diversifying economy as oil price remains low

As Gulf economies take stock of continuing oil price turbulence, the Abu Dhabi government is boosting investments in the industrial and petrochemical sector to diversify income from fossil-fuel energy.

From petrochemical projects to defence industries, the UAE has made strides in becoming one of the most non-oil dependent economies in the region.

“The UAE is one of the most diversified economies of the region and ranks favourably on competitiveness indicators,” the IMF says. “Structural reforms should aim at further diversifying the economy and accelerating private sector-led job creation for nationals.”

The industrialisation efforts are part of Abu Dhabi’s 2030 Vision, which counts on non-oil industries to play a significant role in supporting the economy.

As part of Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030, the contribution of the non-oil sector is aimed to be 64 per cent of GDP. In 2013, non-oil activities contributed 45 per cent to the emirate’s GDP, versus 43 per cent in 2012, according to the Economic Report of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi 2014.

The manufacturing industries sector in Abu Dhabi accounted for 12.6 per cent of the emirate’s non-oil GDP in 2013.

Petrochemicals and plastics remain the top manufacturing sector, accounting for about half of the manufacturing industries’ production and 73 per cent of its fixed capital formation. It is followed by the basic metal industries (iron and aluminium), which account for 11 per cent of the production value of manufacturing industries sector.

“Dubai has been traditionally the leader of the diversification effort, but Abu Dhabi has found its own competitive niches in different segments and it is natural to focus on the non-oil sector in the current period of low oil prices,” says Razan Nasser, a senior economist at HSBC Middle East.

For example, the plastics firm Borouge plans to reach a petrochemical production capacity of 4.5 million tonnes a year by 2016 as the country’s biggest petchems producer undertakes a US$4.5 billion expansion despite the oil price rout. Borouge 3, which had an initial start last year, will increase output to 4 million tonnes of petrochemicals a year by the end of this year from the current level of more than 2 million tonnes per year. Abu Dhabi-based Borouge is a joint venture between state-run energy firm Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and Austria’s petrochemical company Borealis.

Meanwhile, the state-owned Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) is spending $5.2bn to boost capacity at its smelter in Dubai and build an alumina refinery in Abu Dhabi. EGA, the world’s fifth-largest aluminium producer, was formed last year by the merger of Dubai Aluminium (Dubal) and Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Aluminium (Emal).

EGA is adding about 40,000 tonnes per year to the 1 million tonnes per year smelter plant at Dubai due for start-up in 2017 and it is building a 2.2 million tonnes per year alumina refinery in Al Taweelah in Abu Dhabi set for start-up in the first quarter of 2018.

All of these expansion projects at EGA, which reached a capacity of 2.4 million tonnes per year last year, are part of plans to become the fourth-largest aluminium producer globally in the next two to three years.

“Currently, projects in chemicals, plastics and related products dominate manufacturing value added in Abu Dhabi. These are oil-related [petrochem] and energy intensive,” says Dima Jardaneh, an economist and director of research at investment bank EFG-Hermes in Dubai. “To more effectively diversify the manufacturing sector away from oil, there needs to be an emphasis on projects that are not oil-related.

“I believe that Abu Dhabi plans to expand efforts in this direction. For example, manufacturing clusters around basic metals, the aerospace industry, and health and pharma, albeit these efforts are still at early stages.”

Abu Dhabi has also been keen to develop the aerospace efforts and defines the industry as part of its Vision 2030. At this year’s edition of the International Defence Exhibition (Idex) in Abu Dhabi a large portion of deals went to UAE-based defence companies as part of government plans to carve up a local industry and create jobs for nationals. The newly-formed Emirates Defence Industries Company, Tawazun and Abu Dhabi Ship Building were among the local winners awarded contracts alongside foreign firms such as the US-based Boeing, Europe’s Airbus Defence, and the French-Italian aerospace manufacturer Thales Alenia Space.

Strata, a company owned by strategic investment company Mubadala, will make parts worth $80 million for Airbus this year and is expected to eventually produce composite parts for the A350 and A320.

Al Ain-based Strata, which also manufactures parts for Airbus’s rival Boeing, won deals with the two plane makers worth $5bn to make parts for their aircraft at the Dubai air show in 2013.

At the Khalifa Industrial Zone, where Emal and other industries are based, there are a number of projects that will support diversification efforts.

Abu Dhabi Ports this year signed an agreement with a unit of FourWinds Group to build a steel foundry to produce car parts at the capital’s Kizad free zone, with Germany’s car parts maker Continental Teves agreeing to buy the full output of the first production line.

The Abu Dhabi-based Senaat conglomerate is developing a Dh1.1bn steel plant that will create 370 jobs in Kizad through a joint venture with two Japanese steel makers, JFE Steel and Marubeni-Itochu Steel.

“With the introduction of Abu Dhabi Vision 2030, the AD government is in pursuit of economic diversification and sustainable growth,” says Alp Eke, senior economist at National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

“In my opinion AD is on the right track and is able to reach ambitious goals of Vision 2030 with projects like Khalifa Industrial Zone, Abu Dhabi Midfield Terminal, and Etihad Rail,” Mr Eke says.

“These projects will reduce reliance on oil sector, facilitate trade and transportation, will boost activity, enable direct and indirect economic growth.”

Abu Dhabi makes big strides in diversifying economy as oil price remains low | The National
July 21, 2015

Jebel Ali the world’s most productive port
Sharjah’s Khor Fakkan features in top 10 list despite a slip in productivity from 119 to 100 movers per ship per hour

DP World’s flagship Jebel Ali Port was the most productive port in 2014, according to the latest JOC Port Productivity report that looks at 771 ports worldwide.

The port handled 131 moves per ship per hour in 2014, a 10 per cent improvement on the 119 moves it had in 2013 when it was also the world’s most productive port.

JOC defines productivity as the average number of moves per hour for each ship. A move is the loading, offloading and repositioning of shipping containers.

In an emailed statement, DP World Chairman Sultan Bin Sulayem said the top ranking is a reflection of the company’s investment in the port including the soon-to-be completed semi-automated Terminal 3.

“We constantly work towards improving turnaround times for ships at our berths, which in turn delivers benefits down the supply chain to other stakeholders,” stated Bin Sulayem.

Six ports from China featured in the top 10 as well as one from Japan and South Korea. Sharjah’s Khor Fakkan Port, operated by Gulftainer, was listed as the tenth most productive port in the world.

However, its year-on-year productivity rate slipped to 100, down from 119 in 2013.

In the Europe, Middle East and Africa, Jebel Ali, Khor Fakkan and Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Port were the most productive.

Oman’s Salalah Port was fourth and Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Port was seventh. Ports from Germany, Netherlands, Spain and Belgium also made the regional top 10.

Jebel Ali the world’s most productive port | GulfNews.com
July 21, 2015

Are you ready to fly? Middle East needs 60,000 new pilots

The Middle East will need more than 6,000 pilots and technicians each year over the next two decades according to a new report from Boeing.

The plane maker estimates the world will need 558,000 new commercial airline pilots and 609,000 commercial airline maintenance technicians over the next 20 years as airlines add 38,000 planes to the global fleet.

The Middle East region will need 60,000 new pilots and 66,000 technicians over the same period according to Boeing’s 2015 Pilot and Technician Outlook - a rate of about 6,300 each year.

But while the region’s big three carriers have dominated new hiring in recent years, led by Dubai-based Emirates, the focus will increasingly shift to Asia.

Boeing says the Asia-Pacific region will need 226,000 new pilots and 238,000 technicians through 2034.

Such demand is creating pressure on airlines and manufacturers to keep pace.

“The challenge of meeting the global demand for airline professionals will not be solved by one company alone,” said Sherry Carbary, vice president, Boeing Flight Services

“Aircraft manufacturers, airlines, training equipment manufacturers, training delivery organisations, regulatory agencies and educational institutions are all stepping up to meet the increasing need to train and certify pilots and technicians.”

Etihad and Emirates are together adding thousands of new staff each as they expand their route networks and increase flight frequencies.

Are you ready to fly? Middle East needs 60,000 new pilots, says Boeing | The National
August 13, 2015

Emirates to fly world’s longest route to Panama
Flights to Panama City from Dubai to start next year in what will be the world’s longest non-stop flight

Emirates said on Thursday it will launch flights to Panama City, Panama next year in what will be the world’s longest non-stop flight.

The 17-hours-and-35-minute westbound journey between Dubai and Panama will launch on February 1st, 2016 and it will be the airlines first destinations in Central America, according to an emailed statement.

The route will be operated daily by a three class Boeing 777-200LR (long range) with 8 seats in first class, 42 in business and 216 in economy. The aircraft will be able to carry 15 tonnes of cargo.

“Panama City will be our first destination gateway in Central America, providing a convenient option for our passengers travelling from or through our global hub in Dubai and onward to destinations throughout Central America, the Caribbean and the northern part of South America,” stated Shaikh Ahmad bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline & Group.

“We’re also pleased to be the only commercial airline to offer a daily, first class service to travellers on what will be the world’s longest non-stop flight,” he added.

Panama’s Vice President stated that government-to-government talks played a pivotal role in launching the new route.

"It is gratifying to see how diplomatic efforts focused on generating development and prosperity for Panama materialise," stated Isabel Saint Malo de Alvarado, Vice President of the Republic of Panama.

“New doors to the country will open with a direct connection to the Middle East,” he added.

Emirates already flies to South American cities Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Buenos Aires in Argentina.

Current record

Australian airline Qantas currently flies the world's longest route at 16 hours and 55 minutes between Sydney, Australia and Dallas/Fort Worth in Texas, the United States.

Emirates to fly world’s longest route to Panama
Closed-door summit takes up GCC integration



JEDDAH, May 31, (KUNA): The leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states held their 16th consultative meeting in Jeddah on Tuesday, with His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah attending. The just-several-hour closeddoor meeting was presided over by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

During their gathering, the GCC leaders discussed GCC integration and cooperation and ways of developing them in all fields as well as the current regional and international developments. GCC leaders commended efforts exerted by His Highness the Amir aiming to bring about success in the current peace talks among the Yemeni warring parties in Kuwait, said GCC Secretary General Abullatif Al-Zayani.

Al-Zayani made the statement on Tuesday during a joint news conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al- Jubeir at the conclusion of the 16th consultative meeting in Jeddah today.

Meanwhile, Al-Jubeir said the Yemeni peace negotiations are currently held in accordance with the implementation of outcomes of national dialogue, the UN Security Council resolutions, the Gulf initiative, the ceasefire, handover of weapons and the restoration of legitimacy. He hoped that the talks would make further progress so as to restore peace, stability and security to Yemen. He pointed that his country reached an understanding on stopping military operations on southern borders to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian and medical aid to that Arab country. Al-Jubeir regretted, at the same time, that there are some breaches of the ceasefire truce.

The Kingdom stressed the need to reach a political solution to the crisis in Yemen, he said. He pointed out that the countries tasked with Yemen are working to get a peaceful solution as soon as possible. His Highness the Amir and his accompanying delegation have since arrived back to Kuwait.

His Highness the Amir was received at the airport by His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, senior sheikhs, Deputy Chief of Kuwait National Guards Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammd Al-Ahmad Al- Sabah, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Acting National Assembly Speaker Mubarak Salem Al-Harees, Deputy Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah and senior officials.

The accompanying delegation included First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Deputy Premier and Defense Minister Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, director of the office of His Highness the Amir Ahmad Fahad Al-Fahad, head of the Amiri protocols Sheikh Khaled Al- Abdullah Al-Sabah Al-Nasser Al-Sabah, chief of media and cultural affairs at the Amiri Diwan Youssef Al-Roumi, chief of political and economic affairs Sheikh Fawaz Saud Nasser Saud Al-Sabah, and senior officials at the Amiri Diwan and Foreign Ministry.

His Highness the Amir sent on Tuesday a cable to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud thanking him for warm reception and hospitality during the 16th consultative meeting of GCC leaders held earlier Monday.

In the cable, His Highness the Amir lauded the results of the meeting aiming to enhance the bonds of historical and cordial relations among the GCC member states. His Highness the Amir said this would be in favor of meeting the aspirations of Gulf nations towards further prosperity and stability. His Highness the Amir wished King Salman good health and the Kingdom further progress and prosperity under his wise leadership
Saudi developers create road app to save lives


Layan Damanhouri
Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — Saudi computer engineer Abdullah Hejazi and his team created “Hofra”, a mobile app that monitors road conditions and alert drivers of potholes and other impeding dangers on their route.

Created in Silicon Valley, the app has been mainly used in the United States and Saudi Arabia, according to Hejazi. It allows users to exchange information about 20,000 road hazards.

The founders say they were impelled to create the app following a fatal accident of a close relative because of a pothole on the road.

Others who have the luck of surviving are left with costly repairs and serious injuries.

“We decided to engineer the solution and came up with this application,” Hejazi told Saudi Gazette.

Following a lot of research, the team worked on a mobile app that operates on crowdsourcing that allows the community to share the responsibility of reporting road hazards.

“We strive to help governments fix the problems that people most complain about as well as be aware of the need of maintenance and improve road conditions,” he said. “The goal is to make it a stand-alone app.”

The app concerns everything to do with the road condition, including potholes, the asphalt’s condition, spilled water, abrasions and construction work.

When asked about the challenges faced, Hejazi said, “We were expecting the app to take a few weeks to develop, but — in reality — it took eight months nonstop. Our team consists of a developer, designer, project manager, and user tester. We found out so many things about roads that we didn’t know about. We went out and asked the opinion of people on the streets. We met experts and learned about potholes and maintenance.”

Hejazi said he looks forward to collaborating with municipalities in Saudi Arabia to enhance the service on a larger scale.

The Kingdom has one of the highest mobile penetration rates in the world. Up to date, it has reportedly exceedingly reached over 170%.

“Smart devices in Saudi Arabia are in the hands of the young and the old,” he said. “However, Arabic content is very little. I wish Saudi Arabia leads the front in mobile smart technology.”

He adds, “There’s been a lot of buzz about billion-dollar companies born after 2005 that started from mobile apps. Today these companies generate a lot of money and contribute to the growth of the economy. There needs to be enough companies and startups to launch as many apps in the market for the Arab population.”

He expects the smart application market is yet to see growth over the coming years, similar to the dot-com boom.


NBA Stores to open in four GCC countries


A partnership between the NBA and Al Mana Fashion Group will see the first NBA Stores open in the Middle East.
Two stores are set to open in Doha during the 2016-17 NBA season, with outlets in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to follow.
“This long-term project cements the NBA’s commitment to grow our footprint across the Middle East,” said NBA EMEA Vice President, Global Merchandising Vandana Balachandar.
“As the demand for the NBA continues to grow in the Middle East, our partnership with Al Mana Fashion Group will allow us to provide a comprehensive assortment of NBA merchandise while bringing the official NBA shopping experience to our fans in the region.”
The stores will sell official merchandise of the US professional basketball league, including replica team uniforms, footwear and toys.
The NBA has more than 400 branded outlets globally. It NBA opened its flagship NBA Store in New York on 45th Street and Fifth Avenue in December 2015. It also has three stores in the Philippine capital Manila, with a fourth scheduled to open in Cebu in August.
“The NBA is one of the most successful sports leagues in the world and is watched and enjoyed by millions of people around the globe,” said Andrew Fairall, General Manager of Al Mana Fashion Group – Sports Division.
“With basketball being one of the fastest-growing categories in sports retail in the region, we are very excited to be working with such an iconic brand as we build an exciting new chapter in our illustrious legacy in the Middle East.”


@Arabian Stallion :-)
‘Kuwait, GCC states keen to activate railway project’ – Over 2,000 km line to link all states’


RIYADH, June 24, (KUNA): Kuwaiti Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs Dr. Ali Al-Omair said Thursday his country is keen on cooperation with other GCC member states to implement the GCC railway network. “The GCC leaders instructed their respective governments to attach great importance to this vital project which will facilitate the movement of individuals and commodities among our countries,” he told reporters.

Al-Omair made the press remarks following the extraordinary meeting of the GCC ministers of transport and communication at the GCC Secretariat here. “The meeting discussed the progress made in this mega project,” he said, noting that some GCC members have finalized the designing and started implementing of the project while others are still working on the designs. “We have also discussed the GCC partnership in navigational assistance and standard controls for licensing the ship inspecting companies as well as the single guidelines for traffic controllers,” he revealed.

The planned 2,117 km-long railway will start from Kuwait and proceed towards Dammam city in Saudi Arabia where it will bifurcate into three lines – one to Manama in Bahrain, another to Doha in Qatar and a third to Abu-Dhabi and Al-Ain in the UAE and the Muscat in Oman.

@Arabian Stallion
Will the whole GCC going to expel Pakistani out in coming years?

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