Posts Tagged ‘United Arab Emirates’

UAE sticks to ‘no terror’ angle in UPS plane crash

November 9, 2010 1 comment

(Allan Jacob)

7 November 2010, 7:02 AM

The UAE said it will review the possibility that a bomb caused a UPS cargo plane to crash in Dubai although no proof has emerged, as Al Qaeda said it had put a device on board.

DUBAI – In a development linked to last weekend’s foiled parcel bomb plots, Al Qaeda’s Yemen wing has also claimed responsibility for the UPS cargo plane crash in Dubai on September 3, a claim which has been taken ‘seriously’ by the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) probing the incident.

The GCAA, however, maintained that evidence from the black box did not support a terror angle to the incident.

“Investigations carried out and the details collected from the wreckage, as well as the eyewitness accounts did not prove the incidence of any explosion on board the US cargo plane UPS, which crashed in Dubai earlier in September this year,’’ a GCAA statement said.

There was no vocal or graphic evidence from the black boxes that an explosion took place on board the flight which killed both pilots, according to the civil aviation authority.

Early findings showed a fire on board the stricken aircraft before it went down in Nad Al Sheba military base.

UPS Media Manager Mike Mangeot told this newspaper the company was backing the GCAA-led probe, which did not reveal an explosion on the aircraft.

“On October 31, the GCAA issued a statement in which they “eliminated the possibility of an onboard explosion following a detailed on site investigation of the wreckage”.

The GCAA also reported that they had “thoroughly analysed the technical data and has concluded that there was no presence of acoustic evidence or any forensic signature supporting the detonation of an explosive device”.

Officials in the United States have also said publicly there is no evidence the crash of the UPS plane was caused by an onboard explosion.

“We continue to participate in the investigation into last week’s suspicious package incident and are working actively to protect the security of our people, aircraft and customers’ shipments,’’ Mangeot said.

Earlier, Al Qaeda’s Yemen-based wing known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AGAP) said it was responsible for sending explosive parcels to the United States last week, and for the crash of the UPS Boeing 747 in Dubai.

“Because the act was not attributed to us, we were able to wait until we could return and strike again,” AQAP said.

The statement from the dreaded terrorist group that appeared on websites on Friday, also promised fresh strikes on the United States.

“We say to Obama, we have struck your jets three times in one year and we will continue, God willing, to strike the interests of America and its allies.”

Saudi Arabia also bore the brunt of the group’s verbal fury. “Our devices were headed to Jewish Zionist temples but you intervened with your treachery to protect them,” it said.

Commenting on the AQAP modus operandi, Dr Christian Koch of the Gulf Research Center, said the group was good at exposing weak links in the system that could be manipulated for terrorist activities.

“This they have done in these incidents when it comes to cargo shipments. If it was a dry run, it is likely not to work as authorities have now been alerted to this method.’’



UAE to crack down on Tramdol abuse

October 8, 2010 Leave a comment


This is a photo of Etisalat Tower 2, located a...

This is a photo of Etisalat Tower 2, located along Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, United Arab Emirates,...


Dubai Public Prosecution (DPP) has warned the public against excessive consumption of the controlled painkiller, Tramadol, as it can lead to death, Gulf News has reported.

The warning is part of a campaign to combat the “escalating Tramadol phenomenon,” chief prosecutor Waleed Ali Khalifa Al Fuqaie, head of drugs prosecution at DPP said.

“The phenomenon of selling Tramadol in an unlawful manner has been on the rise. We have probed in 21 cases of trafficking Tramadol since January 2010,” he said.


Chinese and Indian firms see Dubai as best regional business location

October 5, 2010 1 comment

This is a photo of Etisalat Tower 2, located a...

This is a photo of Etisalat Tower 2, located along Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, United Arab Emirates,...

reveals Cushman and Wakefield report

Indian and Chinese businesses see Dubai as the leading business centre in the region, but negative perceptions regarding occupancy costs still remain according to a new report, ‘Retreading The Silk Road’, published today by Cushman and Wakefield Middle East (C&W), part of the world’s largest privately held commercial real estate services firm.

Based on feedback from the firm’s agency division which suggested that commercial leasing by companies from South Asia and Asia Pacific has been on the rise, C&W conducted a series of interviews with Chinese and Indian companies already established in Dubai as well as with those companies considering setting up in the region. The companies interviewed cover a range of sectors – Financial Services, Professional Services, IT, Leisure and Tourism, Industrials and Manufacturing.

Across the board, Chinese and Indian companies believe that Dubai offers the best business environment as a result of its location, as well as its superior infrastructure and transport links in comparison with its regional peers. However, there remains a perception in the market that Dubai is as expensive and overcrowded as it was in the boom years of 2006-2008.

Dubai based companies

Superior quality of space – Respondents believe that Dubai offers suitable space, in terms of both quality and size, for a range of businesses at competitive rental values in comparison with neighbouring business centres within the region.
Satellite Offices – Despite being part of much larger organisations, the majority of businesses are currently operating small satellite offices, with limited space requirements and minimal headcount.
Business Uncertainty – Most companies express significant uncertainty regarding the business environment, with no plans or visibility beyond 3 years.

Businesses considering opening an office in the region

Dubai remains most attractive despite downturn – Those companies with plans to expand in the region do envisage establishing a Dubai office within the next 3 years.
Office Requirements – most companies surveyed will initially seek either serviced office space or a business park location, within a building less than 5 years old, close to the CBD.

The report, released to mark the start of Cityscape Global, also provides key advice for Dubai based landlords, existing and potential occupiers, and Dubai as a whole, as well as anticipated trends for the coming years.

Commenting on the report, Michael Atwell, Head of C&W’s Middle East Operations, said, “Indian and Chinese companies are quite clearly looking at Dubai as the ideal strategic location for their regional business activities. However, it is vital that the city’s landlords offer the flexibility and support that these new entrants, who are taking a cautious approach to regional expansion, require. Although rents in areas like DIFC remain relatively high, Dubai now offers improved affordability for those looking to set up operations and the city must work harder to challenge any misconception.”

“We expect the number of enquiries from China over the short term to remain relatively constant as companies focus on both home and neighbouring Asian markets. However, over the longer term we see this as a very strong growth market for Dubai,” Added Atwell.

C&W’s teams in China and India contributed to the research for this report and Kausuv Roy, Executive Director Cushman & Wakefield India, added, “When Indian companies talk to us about setting up an office in the Gulf, Dubai is naturally uppermost in their minds because it meets their needs, offering a friendly business environment, a large expatriate population and historic trade links with South Asia. We therefore anticipate an increased number of enquiries for office space to come out of India in the coming period.”


Property prices begin to steady in some parts of Dubai

October 5, 2010 1 comment

Prices for apartments and villas are remaining stable in some communities in Dubai, despite continued drops in property prices overall across the emirate, according to a new report by property management company Asteco.

  • Dubai property sale and rental prices have begun to stabilise in certain locations
    Dubai property sale and rental prices have begun to stabilise in certain locations

The Dubai Asteco Q3 report 2010 revealed that prices held steady at a number of freehold communities at both the lower and higher end of the sales spectrum across the emirate.

Apartment prices in Dubai dropped 6% overall in the third quarter on the back of increased supply entering the market, the report said. However, prices in more affordable areas such as Discovery Gardens and Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT) remained stable at Dhs500 ($136) and Dhs750 ($204) per sq ft respectively in the third quarter compared to the previous three months, the report said.

At the other end of the price spectrum, prices in Downtown Burj Dubai also remained unchanged at Dhs1,300 per sq ft, the report noted. Meanwhile, villas in Emirates Hills, Jumeirah Islands and the Green Community also held steady price-wise at Dhs1,600, Dhs950 and Dhs700 per sq ft respectively, the report said.

Elaine Jones, the chief executive of Asteco, said the changes were part of an overall shift in the sector’s focus from “short-term sale profits” to “maximising rental yields and long-term capital management”.

Dubai rental market also declines

The performance of the apartment rental market was similar, as average rental rates fell 6% in the third quarter, but units in JLT slid just 2% with 3% adjustments in Discovery Gardens and Downtown Burj Dubai.

“The number of transactions, which are generally at their lowest during the summer and Ramadan, has been surprisingly active with a number of people taking advantage of the quiet months to look for value for money accommodation. Therefore, the drop in rents has proved to be less significant than in Q2.

“Although further declines across the board cannot be ruled out, the drop in [Discovery Gardens and JLT] is expected to be less noteworthy due to the already lower rents,” explained the report.

The villa rental market fared slightly better, but rates still declined 4% quarter on quarter due in part to increased stock coming into the market in Dubailand and Dubai Silicon Oasis, the report said. Despite this, rates in the Green Community and on Palm Jumeirah remained unchanged with the market expected to gain momentum in the coming months as tenants look to upgrade from apartments.

“With an increase in activity over the summer, we expect this momentum to continue in Q4 2010 with expected demand predominantly coming from tenants looking to move from apartments to villas as rental levels continue to adjust. Villa rental rates seem to be more robust compared with apartments, which in part has to do with the fact that the current and future supply of villas is marginal compared to apartments,” said the report.

Investor relief at Nakheel project restart

A new study by real estate specialist Cluttons paints a similar picture, reporting that ‘sale and rental rates have continued to fall across the UAE in the third quarter as new supply from new developments and relocation exerts downwards pressure on prices’.

Freehold transactions over the last quarter in the UAE have been slow, the report added, with buyers adopting a ‘wait and see’ attitude. “Buyers and tenants are both now in a strong position to negotiate on prices.” the study said.

However, the report also finds that growth prospects in the UAE property market ‘remain strong in the medium to long term’ as the country remains a ‘powerhouse as the logistical hub for the region’.

“Nakheel’s recent announcement on the restart of six of its projects in Dubai including Jumeirah Park, Jumeirah Village and Al Badrah comes as a welcome relief for investors,” the report added. Cluttons predicts that secondary sales in these projects, which are nearing completion, will restart, with an increase in three and four bedroom villas.


Dubai drops away in world finance index

September 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Big News     Tuesday 21st September, 2010

Dubai has dropped back four places on the world finance index.

Dubai has dropped back four places on the world finance index.

Falling behind cities such as Munich, Guernsey, Sydney and Seoul, Dubai is now 28th on the list which is ranked by the Global Financial Centres Index, put together by a London-based finance research agency.

Dubai’s recent debt crisis has caused the slide with the emirate taking the booby prize as the Gulf’s biggest business loser.

With real estate and banking jobs still at risk in UAE, Dubai is likely to retain its low ranking for awhile.

Dubai is no longer seen as the rising star in the financial community, being eclipsed by some of Asia’s up-and-coming financial hubs.