Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) processed over 65 million transactions last year (2015). The number of transactions in 2015 is higher than the transactions in 2014, which is over 61 million transactions. The DNRD processed 65.35 million transactions in 2015 compared to 61.32 million in 2014, which constitutes an increase of 6.58 per cent in 2015 over 2014. As for the entry permits (visa), the statistics demonstrated a rise in the number of the entry visa transactions in 2015 with almost 13.02 million transactions compared to 12.77 million entry visas processed in 2014, which is up by 2.46 per cent.
Dubai will press ahead with plans to build the world’s largest shopping mall despite the economic slowdown in the gulf economies. However Dubai will assess market demand before proceeding with the later stages. The Mall of the World, which encompassing 8 million square feet (745,000 square metre) of shopping space connected to a theme park, 100 hotels and serviced apartment buildings with 20,000 rooms, was announced by the government of Dubai in mid-2014, as oil prices began their dip. Although Oil makes a small direct contribution to Dubai’s economy, however its drop has affected investor confidence . Ahmad Bin Byat the vice-chairman and managing director of Dubai Holding stated that The project is massive and will be built in stages, and that it would become the world’s largest shopping destination. He added that the first phase, a quarter of the project’s size, would be completed before Dubai hosts the Expo 2020 exhibition. Plans for the rest of the Project will depend on market dynamics and conditions.
In the midst of slowing market conditions in the Emirate of Dubai, government spending cuts and continued oil price decline, a high number of property development projects in the UAE won’t be completed as per schedule. It is estimated that some 18,200 residential units in Dubai won’t be delivered as originally anticipated due to several of factors. This number represents 70 per cent of the 26,000 units planned for completion in 2016. These figures relate to Dubai and not Abu Dhabi, but the two markets are expected to be relatively similar. In the recent years, Several affordable, middle-end and luxury property projects were launched in Dubai, including Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC), Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah. Some of these projects were supposed to deliver about 26,000 apartments, more than 7,000 villas and townhouses and 1.1 million square metres of office space in 2016. Project delays were attributed to financing issues, contractual disputes, construction delays and governmental licensing delays. Some developers also delay completions to avoid flooding the market, while cautious investors have avoided off-plan properties. Over the past five years, the completion rate of proposed projects has been relatively low, with only 30 per cent of residential projects and 45 per cent of office space completing on schedule. However project delays are quite common in Dubai’s real estate market. The delivery of certain projects has suffered delays due to optimistic completion dates and poor project management. Some developers fail to take into consideration approval requirements and the time required for these approvals. Some off-plan projects have witnessed a slowdown in investor appetite, which has resulted in shortage in cash flow. This is the reason why several developers have introduced lately attractive payment plans beyond handover dates.
The United Arab Emirates government is contemplating the enactment of a law by year end which will allow the federal government to issue bonds. The UAE would issue around 80 billion to 100 billion dirhams ($22 billion to $27 billion) worth of debt, a senior finance ministry official stated. The official further stated that he expects the law to be ratified in six to nine months. The seven emirates in the UAE issue bonds, but the UAE federal government has not issued any bonds due to the absence of a law, which has been in preparation for years. The plunge in oil prices since mid 2014 has pushed state finances into negative territory, and issuing bonds at the federal government level would give the UAE another fund-raising alternative and would reduce pressure on the individual emirates to draw down their assets. The largest emirate, Abu Dhabi, is expected to cover part of its deficits in 2016 and 2017 by drawing down assets at its sovereign wealth fund, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. After the law had been ratified by the UAE’s federal national assembly (FNC) and rulers, the central bank would be responsible for issuing the dirham-denominated bonds. The projected issuance of 80 billion to 100 billion dirhams was smaller than initial expectations.
The US President Barack Obama stated that his country was proud to be a partner of the UAE. Speaking via video link at the World Government Summit in Dubai, Obama said that both countries together can ensure for children better education opportunities to prepare them for the global economy. He also asked governments across the Middle East to make a “commitment to justice and human rights. ”When governments truly invest in their citizens, their education and health, and when universal human rights are upheld, countries are more peaceful, more prosperous and more successful”, remarked Obama.The annual summit opened on Monday as heads of governments and top industry leaders gathered in the city to discuss about the best ways to develop the future of governments.The summit saw the presence of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank Group, Jose Angel Gurria, Secretary-General of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development and Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum who spoke at the summit. Schwab said it was time for governments to embrace the fast evolving changes in technology that have brought about the advent of the fourth Industrial Revolution, and urged them to recognize that the availability of human talent adds a valuable competitive advantage to nations. “Capitalism is in some ways has been replaced by talent-ism”. Dr Nabil Al Arabi, Secretary General of the Arab League and Dr. Abdul Latif Al Zayani, Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) also addressed the summit.
The Ministry of Labour has reviewed over 250,000 job offers submitted by private sector companies since the beginning of this year, and has issued 233,000 labour contracts, out of which 75 percent are of unlimited duration. The Assistant Under-Secretary for Labour Affairs was quoted saying that the number of job offers confirms the clarity and ease of a working relationship between employers and employees in accordance with the new Decrees issued, that which aims to establish a balanced productive employment relationship between both sides, in order to safeguard rights. He added that employees must look into job offers in their preferred language before signing such offers or employment contracts to achieve a healthy employment relationship between the two parties. The Under-Secretary stated that the ministry of labour had ratified a total of 233,190 new and renewed employment contracts during January, out of which 75 percent were of unlimited duration. The increase in unlimited duration contracts numers indicates that employers have chosen that type of term in the contract in accordance with the new Decrees, which is contrary to the prevailing practices in the labour market previously, as limited duration contracts were the most commonly used by employers back then.
A legal consultant, serving life sentence for rape, surprised the Dubai Court of Appeal when he pleaded guilty. The Dubai Court of First Instance had convicted him in December for raping a woman hairdresser in the building’s stairway, despite the fact that he had pleaded not guilty. The Egyptian legal consultant had parked his motorbike and followed the woman into a building in Al Nahda area in Dubai. When he appeared before the Court of Appeal, he pleaded guilty. The accused stated that he had raped the woman and claimed to be a policeman. In fact the Records show that the accused forced the woman to have sexual intercourse with him and impersonated a police officer. The accused is also facing a deportation sentence, to be executed upon serving his imprisonment jail term.