Gulf in the News – October 10, 2013

Gulf Monetary Council big step forward toward economic integration

Source: Saudi Gazette (Read full story)

“The plans are moving smoothly and decisions are taken with adequate study to reach the aspired goal.” During the opening ceremony of the Gulf Monetary Council last Saturday, Governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency and Chairman of the GCC Monetary Council Dr. Fahad bin Abdullah Al-Mubarak said the Council will contribute to further promoting the monetary cooperation frameworks between the member states, based on the institution-building approach which aims at developing the monetary union, as this Council is the first step to the institutions of the monetary union.  Al-Mubarak pointed out that the main objective of the council is to “achieve the highest level of economic integration among GCC states for the interests and welfare of Gulf citizens.”

[Dubai] Property bubble unlikely

Source: Khaleej Times (Read full story)

Alan Robertson, chief executive officer of JLL Mena, observed that all sectors of the Dubai real estate market maintained their positive performance during the seasonally-quieter summer months.

“With just weeks to go before a decision is announced, speculation around Dubai’s bid for Expo 2020 continues to contribute to a prevailing sense of positive sentiment concerning the city’s real estate market.  While there has been concern over the possibility of another residential property bubble, and Dubai is as ambitious as ever, we believe these concerns are limited.  We are seeing a more mature and considered approach which is only going to benefit the long term health and credibility of the real estate sector[.]”


Qatargas and E.ON sign five-year SPA

Source: The Peninsula (Read full story)

Speaking at a ceremony in Doha, Christopher Delbrück, CEO of E.ON Global Commodities SE, said: “This contract represents a significant step in the development of our global growth strategy and is a major achievement in forging a long-term partnership with the State of Qatar.” Richard Baylis, Director of LNG, E.ON Global Commodities SE, said: “I am very pleased that we have been able to conclude this agreement with Qatargas. It is the culmination of a lot of effort from both companies over a number of years to find a suitable agreement in a rapidly changing LNG marketplace. The deal works well because it utilises our existing regasification position and provides Qatargas with access to arguably the most diverse European end user portfolio and, as a result, a new commercial home for their volumes.”


Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed releases 346 prisoners for Eid Al Adha

Source: The National (Read full story)

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, has ordered the release of 346 prisoners to mark Eid Al Adha.  The prisoners are of various nationalities, serving time at numerous penal and reformative institutions in the emirate.  Dubai’s Attorney General, Essam Al Humaidan, said public prosecutors immediately started the legal procedures to ensure the prisoners could be released before the Islamic holiday officially begins on Tuesday.


Qatar trade surplus expands 2% to QR32.97bn in August

Source: Gulf Times (Read full story)

The energy-rich Gulf country’s total exports (valued free-on-board) expanded 3.8% to QR40.91bn as there was large double-digit growth in shipments to China and India.  Japan continued to be the top destination of Qatar’s exports, followed by South Korea, India, China and the UAE.  Qatar’s re-exports surged 26.5% to QR332mn during the review period.  The country’s total exports of domestic products rose 3.6% to QR40.58bn in August this year.  Qatar’s exports of petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons (as liquefied natural gas, condensates, propane and butane) witnessed a healthy 17.60% growth to QR26.28bn.  However, non-crude petroleum oils and oils from bituminous minerals shrank 20.7% to QR2.35bn, other commodities by 17.5% to QR4.42bn and crude petroleum oil and oil from bituminous minerals by 11.5% to QR7.53bn.


Dubai solar park to start
 feeding grid on Oct 22

Source: Khaleej Times (Read full story)

The completed first phase of Dubai’s Dh12 billion Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will be launched on October 22, the chief of the emirate’s utility company announced on Thursday.  The first phase will generate 13MW of solar energy, which will be directly linked to the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (Dewa) grid.

Located at Seih Al Dahal in Dubai, the park has a planned capacity of 1,000MW on final completion by 2030.  On completion, the park will comprise a research and development centre, an educational institute, a museum of technology, and exhibitions to help students in training and be aware of the components of this project, which is the first and largest of its kind in the region.