Suez Canal, the trade hub between Europe and Middle East after expansion is gaining 11.5% more than one year before.
Egypt’s revenue from the Suez Canal for the 2017-2018 financial year rose 11.5% to a record high $5.585 billion, the canal authority said in a statement on its website on Sunday.
Revenue a year earlier was $5.008 billion, it said. The financial year has not yet finished, however. Egypt’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to the end of June, Reuters reported.
The canal authority did not explain why it had released figures ahead of the end of the fiscal year.
It announced on Saturday increased revenue in May, and predicted a record yearly figure, attributing this to increased international trade and improvements in the shipping industry.
Egypt under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi invested in an expansion of the Suez Canal which began in 2014, one of the former military commander’s mega-projects designed to revive an ailing economy and restore the country’s place as an important trade hub.
Meanwhile, the head of the Suez Canal Authority, Mohab Memish, said revenues rose by $63.33 million last month compared to May 2017, an increase of 14.4%.
The Suez Canal is the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia and one of the Egyptian government’s main sources of foreign currency.
Dutch group wins Kuwait airport consultancy contract
Dutch consultancy in conceptual design, engineering and construction services, Deerns Group, has been awarded a contract by the Kuwaiti government to implement a range of technical facilities in and around Kuwait International Airport.
This is one of the largest projects being undertaken by Deerns in its 90-year history; the total contract value amounts to $35.3mn. It will be executed over a period of five years, said a statement from the Dutch group.
The project will be implemented in co-ordination with its local partner Al Nabhan Engineering Consultancy, it added.
Deerns said an agreement was signed by the duo along with Kuwait’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation for the speedy provision of management and supervision services at the airport.
According to the Dutch consultancy, it had won the project in a competitive bidding process that started early last year.
For the development of specialised communication, navigation and surveillance systems as well as meteorological systems for air traffic management, Deerns will collaborate with the Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR), it stated.
Majid Al Futtaim, a leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer in the region, is setting ambitious sustainability targets for its new flagship Dubai community, Tilal Al Ghaf, with plans to become the first mixed-use development in the emirate to achieve a ‘very good’ rating under the Breeam (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) sustainability accreditation programme.
Energy, water and waste are among key metrics measured to enhance the community’s environmental, social and economic sustainability performance as per Breeam’s assessment.
Spanning 3 million sq m at the intersection of Hessa Street and Sheikh Zayed Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan Street, near Dubai Sports City, Tilal Al Ghaf is a phased project that will include more than 6,500 freehold homes when completed by 2027, ranging from apartments, townhouses and bungalows, through to substantial luxury villas.
Homes will be set in a series of walkable neighbourhoods connected by pathways, natural open spaces, and neighbourhood parks.
Around 355,000 sq m of landscaped open space will include green spaces and play areas, 18 km of walkable trails and 11 km of cycling paths provided with bicycle sharing facilities for the residents and visitors to use.
The centrepiece for the landscaping will be Lagoon Al Ghaf, a 70,000-sq-m swimmable Crystal Lagoon, complete with 400 m of beachfront and 1.5 km of walkable waterfront, enabling a wide range of water sports.
Extensive on-site generation of solar power will be a key pillar of Tilal Al Ghaf’s sustainability strategy as Majid Al Futtaim aims to produce 20 per cent of the community’s energy needs from renewable solar power, transferring surplus electricity to Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) through the Shams Dubai initiative which went live in 2017.
To achieve this, the first offering of upper-luxury villas and bungalows, launched in April this year, will offer rooftop photovoltaic solar panels as a standard feature, providing 45 per cent of energy needs, along with solar hot water heating and top-notch air conditioning systems.
In addition, solar panels will be offered as options on other single-family buildings, and installed on public buildings across the community. Public spaces will be lit by solar-powered streetlights and renewable energy will be deployed alongside smart technology to reduce energy consumption.
Majid Al Futtaim Communities CEO Hawazen Esber said the retail pioneer sets itself apart by not just selling ‘bricks and mortar’, but also making a steadfast commitment to the community beyond delivering homes by setting long-term goals to enhance its green footprint.
“We are taking an ambitious but practical, viable, and achievable approach to sustainability that will not only have environmental benefits, but in the long run will also deliver financial savings for residents to create a healthy and balanced community living,” remarked Esber.
Other environmental targets include a 55 per cent reduction in the project’s carbon footprint, and 25 per cent reduction in potable water demand.
The community name itself – Tilal Al Ghaf – represents a link to environment and heritage, inspired by the indigenous Ghaf tree which is a symbol of the UAE, it stated.
The retail pioneer said homes will be fitted with water filters to provide pure drinking tap water and reduce consumption of bottled water, potentially saving 200 tonnes of plastic waste every year.
During the construction stage, 60 per cent of building waste will be diverted from landfill, and 30 per cent of waste will be recycled during operation, with 80 per cent of organic waste recycled as compost for the community’s parks and gardens.
“There is a growing number of consumers who want to make positive change in their world and community, and Majid Al Futtaim supports that in our vision for Tilal Al Ghaf,” remarked Esber.
The Saudi economy pulled out of recession in the first quarter of 2018 thanks to oil price rises, a think-tank said Tuesday.
Capital Economics said the oil-dependent Saudi economy grew by 1.5 percent in the first quarter, after having contracted by 0.7 percent in 2017.
“The oil sector was the main driver of the recovery,” the London-based group said.
Oil prices surged to around $80 a barrel last month from under $30 a barrel in early 2016 after OPEC and non-OPEC producers struck a deal to cut output.
As a result of the crash in prices, the economy dipped into negative territory last year for the first time since 2009, a year after the global financial crisis.
The world’s top crude exporter has seen a key boost in its revenues after the recovery in oil prices.
Riyadh-based Jadwa Investment said Monday that Saudi fiscal reserves rose by $13.2 billion in April, marking its largest monthly increase since October 2013.
The reserves stood at $506.6 billion in April, down from $732 billion at the end of 2014.
Since 2014, Saudi budget deficits have totalled $260 billion and the government is projecting a 2018 shortfall of $52 billion.
Emirates NBD’s purchasing manager’s index data shows a strong increase in project wins and developments related to Expo 2020.
The UAE’s non-oil private sector improved at the fastest rate in four months on May, recording a sharp growth in both output and new orders, according to Emirates NBD’s seasonally adjusted purchasing manager’s index (PMI).
According to the report, the strong performance of UAE’s non-oil private sector is a result of sharp improvements in business conditions, above the long-run average of the series.
The PMI has been in shown growth continuously since September 2009.
The expansion in out recorded in May matched that recorded in January, with many respondents noting a strong level of demand from both domestic and external sources.
The index showed that new export orders increased at the fastest pace since November 2015, with companies frequently noting improved demand from other countries in the GCC.
Additionally, the results showed a strong increase in new project wins and developments, largely related to the upcoming Expo 2020 event in Dubai.
As a result of rising output requirements, many firms reported hiring additional staff at the fastest rate recorded in four months.
This growth, however, was slight overall and below the long-run average, with some firms reporting falling employment levels due to cost optimisation.
As far as prices, firms reported a reduced level of input cost inflation in May, with softer staff costs and purchase price inflation contributing to only a modest increase in operating costs.
Promotional activity was reported in the most recent survey, as reflected by a significant decrease in output charges.
May data signalled a continuation of increasing backlogs in non-oil sectors, bringing the build-up to a length of 17 months. Many respondents linked higher levels of work outstanding strong inflows of new business.
Stocks of input goods rose in the May survey. Anecdotal evidence suggests companies acquired additional stockpiles of goods in anticipation of rising output requirements.
“The strong PMI reading in May was partly due to a rebound in export orders, reflecting improved external demand conditions as well as a significant price discounting domestically,” said Khatija Haque, head of MENA research at Emirates NBD. “As a result, while the headline index shows strength in activity, profit margins remain under pressure.”
Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities announces the opening of Hudayriat Recreational Beach, located on the 3,000-hectare Hudayriat Island
The Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities (DPM) has announced the opening of Hudayriat Recreational Beach, located on the 3,000-hectare Hudayriat Island, south-west of the Abu Dhabi main island.
Hudayriat Beach features four football fields, four volleyball courts, four basketball courts, four tennis courts, two beach football fields, two beach volleyball courts, and an open garden, state news agency WAM reported.
Officials said that the island could be perfect for hosting world sporting events.
Last year, plans for a mixed-use development were revealed for the island, the centrepiece of which will be a 30km waterfront.
Falah Al Ahbabi, chairman of the DPM, said: “The opening of Hudayriat Recreational Beach is part of the vision of President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to build a modern city and strengthen Abu Dhabi’s urban development.”
With the aim of attracting large numbers of tourists, Hudayriat Recreational Beach will help put Abu Dhabi on the world map as a top tourist, leisure and luxury destination, he added.
Saif Badr Al Qubaisi, general manager of Abu Dhabi Municipality, said infrastructure work on the island started in mid-March and was completed at the beginning of May.
“The Hudayriat Beach project aims to provide a new recreational destination, complete with a variety of leisure, sports, shops and restaurants that meet everyone’s needs, making the beach an ideal location for tourism and entertainment throughout the year. It is also perfect for hosting many world sporting events on the island,” he added.
The market for Flat Glass, which is extensively used in construction industry replacing conventional bricks, wood and stone, is poised for solid growth with its sales likely to surpass the $130-billion mark by 2024, said a report.
The positive outlook towards growth in infrastructural spending for building airports and residential buildings coupled with strict amendments regarding use of eco-friendly building materials will drive industry growth, according to a new research by Global Market Insights.
Strong outlook towards increase in automotive production meeting the global demand owing to rise in middle class income level and the consumer preference for luxury automobile is set to put the flat glass market on a smooth road with its demand likely to exceed 120 million ton by 2024, it stated.
Stringent environmental regulations on using hazardous substances supported by government initiatives pertaining to use of ecofriendly and energy saving building materials should surge product demand, stated Global Market Insights in its latest study.
Strong application indicator in windows, curtain walls, automotive windshield and storefront exterior should impact positively on product demand, it added.
According to the study, flat laminated glass market is poised to top $40 billion in sales in the next six years. The flat laminated glass is prominently used for skylight in construction and as windshield in automotive industry.
Leading experts believe flat tempered glass market may witness over a 7 per cent growth owing to extensive use in household and building application.
“These products on impact breaks into small pieces and used in automotive application to reduce risk of injury in case of accidents. Other household application includes table, shelves, partitions and shower enclosures” they stated.
According to experts, a shift in consumer inclination towards green building, mainly due to the rising environmental concerns, may favour industry growth.
Growing awareness pertaining to usage of renewable energy resources to control environmental impact has led to rise in demand for flat glass in domestic applications and electricity generation thereby stimulating industry growth, they pointed out.
Growing environmental concerns has led to rise in emphasis on use of energy efficient technologies thereby contributing towards flat glass market size, stated Global Market Insights in its study.
On the 2018 outlook, the company said automotive applications from flat glass market is likely to witness strong gains and surpass 1.8 billion sq m in demand. Rising influence on safety owing to high accidental mortality rate may fuel product demand, it stated.
Source: Trade Arabia
The liberalization and economic strategy of Saudi Arabia with its Vision 2030, taking place under the aegis of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was a “win-win” situation for Bahrain, Al Zayani said.
Bahrain is well positioned to benefit from an expected trade boost brought about by the liberalization and economic growth of Saudi Arabia, the country’s minister for industry, commerce and tourism told CNBC Thursday.
“The opening up and liberalization of Saudi Arabia is something good for the whole region not just Bahrain. Saudi is the largest market, it’s the largest population, it has the largest disposable income in the region, and by having a more liberal and accessible Saudi Arabia we all stand to benefit from that,” Zayed Al Zayani told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble.
“If you look at China opening up it didn’t hurt Hong Kong, Hong Kong flourished because of that and China flourished as well,” he said.
Asked whether it was Bahrain’s goal to be like the Hong Kong of the Middle East, Al Zayani said: “I think so, I think this is a great opportunity for us to be like that.”
The liberalization and economic strategy of Saudi Arabia with its Vision 2030, taking place under the aegis of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was a “win-win” situation for Bahrain, Al Zayani said, with the small kingdom well positioned to export throughout the region and beyond.
“We already have a large industrial base in Bahrain that’s predominantly orientated to Saudi Arabia and the rest of the region. All those that started as a regional manufacturing base are now expanding even further to North Africa, Southeast Asia, East Africa and exporting out of Bahrain. It’s great for us as it creates employment, it creates investment, it creates export value and it links us to our neighboring countries.”
Bahrain is only a short journey away from most of the major capitals in the Gulf, Al Zayani noted. “By air and by road we’re only four hours away from Riyadh, four hours away from Kuwait and we have an excellent logistics network.”
Speaking to CNBC from Bahrain’s Gateway Gulf Investment Forum in Manama on Thursday, the minister said the inaugural event had been a success.
“We set out to launch Bahrain as an investment hub, and we’ve had an excellent presence from our neighboring countries, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait specifically, and huge interest from the rest of the world. There’s been a lot of dialogue and a lot opportunity created,” he said.
A moon-sighting committee will meet that evening.
The beginning of the Ramadan Season is fast approaching, and from the looks of things, we’ll know when Ramadan will start tonight.
Ramadan begins during the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar when the new crescent moon is first sighted. The exact start date of Ramadan is only confirmed when the moon is spotted.
Ramadan lasts for 29 or 30 days every year, during which private sector workers are entitled to work two hours less per day.
What happens during Ramadan?
The word Ramadan comes from the Arabic root ramiḍa or ar-ramaḍ, which means scorching heat or dryness.
Fasting is obligatory for adult Muslims, except those who are suffering from an illness, travelling, are elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic, chronically ill or menstruating.
The fast is from dawn to sunset, with a pre-dawn meal known as suhur and sunset meal called iftar.
Muslims engage in increased prayer and charity during Ramadan.
Ramadan is also a month where Muslims try to practice increased self-discipline.
As well as fasting – abstaining from eating and drinking during daylight hours – Muslims are encouraged to read the entire Koran throughout the month, before the holy festival of Eid al-Fitr.
Of course, we would like to wish to all our Esteemed Partners in Gulf “Ramadan Mubarak,” which roughly translates into “Happy Ramadan.”
Sources: http://emirateswoman.com/uae-ramadan-start-date-2018/ https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4369822/ramadan-2018-when-start-end-date-mubarak/
$190b invested in Oman’s construction sector.
The construction sector in Oman is witnessing robust activities, with the value of the 2,410 active projects exceeding US$190 billion in April 2018, according to BNC Network, the largest project intelligence provider in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region.
Among these, 1,840 projects worth $61billion were urban construction, while 70 projects worth $39 billion were in the oil and gas sector and 150 projects worth $32 billion were in the transport sector.
With the crude oil price hovering around $70 per barrel, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries including Oman could see an increase in government reserves — part of the windfall was then expected to be invested in large infrastructure projects, energy and power projects that would help the economy grow further.
As many as 230 developments worth more than $29 billion were utility projects, while 110 projects worth $27 billion were industrial.Of the total projects, 1,730 worth $57 billion were in progress — tender and under construction — while 350 worth $71 billion were under planning. Of these, 240 projects worth $55 billion were in concept and 110 projects worth $15 billion were in design.
The report came as delegates gathered for the Windorex + Glass and Aluminium Oman trade show that started on Monday. The 3rd edition of this international event seeks to build on the overwhelming success of the previous version attracting more than 5,400 industry professionals.
As many as 330 projects worth more than $61 billion were currently on hold, the BNC Oman Construction Intelligence Report showed. This meant, in terms of value, more than a third of the $190 billion worth of projects were currently on hold.
“With a significant increase in contract award during the fourth quarter of 2017 as compared to the preceding year, there is a significant amount of ongoing construction work and the project pipeline indicates a stable construction market in the coming two years,” Avin Gidwani, Chief Executive Officer of BNC Network, said.
“If the current oil price holds, we expect several projects that are currently on hold to resume, providing a positive impetus to the overall economy of Oman,” he added.
“The increase in oil price is a good sign for the oil exporting countries of the GCC, which helps the current account deficit turn into current account surplus,” Gidwani pointed out.