Gulf in the News – August 12, 2013

Rising demand for renewable energy in Mena

Source: The Peninsula (Read full story)

Steady economic and population growth,associated with rapid urbanisation, has led to an increase in energy demand to meet rising electricity and desalinated water needs in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region. The Mena Renewables Report published recently by the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) and Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), estimates that investments worth $145.7bn will be needed for power generation from 2013 to 2017 in the Mena region. Of which, investments worth $63.1bn will be in the GCC, $21.4bn in Iran and approximately $53bn in the combined other countries of the region.

SR2.2bn reservoir to solve Jeddah’s water woes

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

 The National Water Company announced on Sunday that it was building a strategic water reservoir in Jeddah at a cost of SR2.2 billion with a capacity of 6 million cubic meters to meet requirements of the city’s growing population. The water storage facility is being built in Briman. The project’s first phase, which is designed to supply 1.5 million cubic meters, will be ready by the second quarter of next year.  “Once the remaining three phases are completed, it will have a total capacity of six million cubic meters,” the NWC said.

Dubai bonds defy IMF’s warning on realty bubble

Source: Gulf Times (Read full story)

Dubai’s Islamic bond gains are showing that investors are downplaying an International Monetary Fund warning that the emirate’s real-estate industry is at risk of another bubble. Dubai’s 6.45% sukuk yield fell 54 basis points in July, the most in 13 months, to 5.19%. That was twice the monthly drop to 3.79% in the average yield on Gulf Co-operation Council debt tracked by HSBC/Nasdaq Dubai’s GCC US Dollar Sukuk Index. The IMF urged Dubai to consider levying higher charges on real estate to generate more revenue and prevent the industry from “overheating,” according to a July 30 report.

OPEC estimates for 2014 global oil demand growth unchanged

Source: Emirates 24/7 (Read full story)

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) has kept estimates for global oil demand growth in 2014 unchanged, and said world oil consumption will increase by 1 million barrels per day, or 1.2 per cent, next year to about 90.8 million barrels per day. Opec’s estimates came amid stable global growth expectations which it says now stand at 2.9 per cent for 2013 and 3.5 per cent for 2014. OECD economies are forecast to rebound from low growth of 1.1 per cent in 2013 to 1.8 per cent in 2014.

MoH: Too early to link MERS infections to camels

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

The possible link between camels and infection with coronavirus (MERS) is under close scrutiny. “The ministry is regularly following up the new development of the virus,” Khaled Marghalani, official spokesman for the Ministry of Health and general supervisor for communications and health awareness told local media. He noted that Dr. Zeyad Memish, the MoH undersecretary for public health and a member of the International Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO), is following up any news about the virus on a global level.

US teacher deported from Bahrain over tweets

Source: Arabian Business (Read full story)

A US citizen working as a teacher has reportedly been deported from Bahrain for writing “radical” Twitter and website posts. Erin Kilbride, of Portland, left the kingdom on Saturday, officials at the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights said in comments published by Associated Press. It also quoted the Bahrain’s Ministry of State for Communications as saying it had received complaints about Kilbride. The ministry said an investigation found that Kilbride worked “illegally as an unaccredited journalist” in violation of her visa.