The future of cryptocurrencies have been an interesting discussion in a recent couple of years as technological advancement keeps growing and investments keep rising in Bitcoins – which currently holds 40 percent of the cryptocurrency market. However, there is a high risk in any luxurious business and the risk in trading with cryptocurrencies is beginning to unfold. This year, Bitcoin rose to a $5,000 at some point while gradually running down to $3,000. In UAE, cryptocurrency investors are under threat as the central bank is underway to impede the use of cryptocurrencies as it is noticed as an easy way to engage in money laundering, fraud, and funding terrorist activities.
Dubai is set to spearhead the push towards efficient public transportation through innovative technologies. All public transport stakeholders including insurance companies, carmakers and drive through restaurants are sure to be affected.
Following the recent launch of the UAE Passport Force initiative which is designated to aid the UAE passport to become a part of the top class important passports in the world, the 2017 Global Passport Power Rank reveals UAE to be the first important passport in the Arab region and 22nd in the world. Although the long-term goal is to fall within the five most powerful passports, this new achievement is contributing immensely to the region’s 2021 Vision.
Dubai has made an impressive progress in date export. The country’s total date trade in 2016 amounted to 221.7 million USD, with export representing the largest share (85.1 million USD), imports (72.1 million USD) and re-exports (64.5 million USD) in the trade value. The growth of the sector between 2011 and 2015 is recorded at 34.1 percent compound annual growth In 2015, the country was offering the best prices of dates being imported to Europe the lead market as some leading markets in Europe and North America had a tight price. The price of dates exported from Dubai in 2016 was 786 USD/ton, while the price for re-exports and imports were 405 USD/ton and 399 USD/ton, respectively.
The UAE has been attracting international investors with ease due to the Emirate’s simplified business registration, accounting, and tax systems. Based on this ease of operating, the TMF Group’s inaugural Financial Complexity Index 2017 has revealed that the UAE is the third least complex jurisdiction in the world for accounting and tax compliance. The Financial Complexity Index which was ranked using key metrics such as the accounting, tax rules, and regulations in different jurisdictions, and risks associated with non-compliance in these areas, showed that all the five least complex jurisdictions in the Index have simplified reporting requirements and beneficial tax rates to encourage investment.
Dubai Investments, the world-class company investing in profitable entities and the largest investment company listed on Dubai Financial Market is aiming at a substantial growth in the ever increasing solar energy trends across the UAE through Emirates Insolaire LLC. Since late 2014, renewable energy has continuous growth in investments and advancement in the solar technology.
Gulf Council Countries renewable energy targets have been reported to have the potential of creating an average of 140,000 direct jobs per year. The report which was published last year by International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) on renewable energy market analysis in the Gulf Council Countries (GCC) region sees an appreciable growth of renewable energy in the region and also declares Saudi Arabia as the world’s seventh largest oil consumer and the world’s largest oil exporter, thus making it an oil dependent economy. However, the country has declared plan to diversify its economy by depending on more green technology and sustainable sources.
In previous reports, I had reiterated the growing tourism sector in the United Arab Emirates. This has accordingly expanded other sectors including real estate, hospitality, and recreational centers, and additional infrastructural developments which keeps attracting tourists. This is also increasing the number of expatriates in the region.
Last week, during the 2016 World Islamic Banking conference (WIBC), the fourth edition of the Islamic Finance Development Report was released. According to the report, global Islamic finance development (as measured by the IFDI global average value) declined to 8.8 in 2016 from 9.9 in 2015, reflecting the poor performance of many nations due to aspects that are based on actual market practice, such as financial performance and corporate social responsibility. The decrease in performance had been attributed to the global fall in the prices of oil which significantly affected the finances of oil dependent countries and countries with an Islamic finance presence, like the GCC. Although this resulted in a decline in profitability measures, the fall in oil prices had not so much impact on the growth on the GCC Islamic finance assets – aside Kuwait which experienced a 3 per cent decline in assets.
The Knowledge Summit 2016 commenced yesterday, 5th December with a remarkable opening from H.E. Jamal bin Huwaireb (Managing Director of MBRF) who inaugurated the Summit with an opening address, in addition to announcing the results of the Arab Reading Index. The event has brought together Ministers of education from around the Arab World to discuss the role of reading in building a national identity.