Stars are aligned for a solid 2014 for UAE markets

The major news event for the UAE markets last month was Dubai winning the right to hold the World Expo 2020.

Many investors had anticipated a win and were proven right, and the market reacted well to the news. On the geopolitical front, the Middle East made headlines as the P5+1 group entered into a temporary six-month agreement with Iran, that if followed through with a wider long-term agreement, could lead to a fundamental change in the dynamics of the region.

The global environment also supported UAE markets as China unveiled a new focus on market-driven reforms and US equity markets hit record highs. UAE markets last month delivered slightly positive returns; Abu Dhabi’s benchmark index rose 0.1 per cent, and Dubai’s edged up 0.8 per cent.

The UAE banking system remains a beneficiary of the strengthening domestic economy. Dubai’s economy grew 4.9 per cent in the first half of the year, driven by tourism and the hotel industry. The tourism sector grew 13.7 per cent, while the trade sector – which accounts for nearly a third of GDP – grew 4.1 per cent.

Two new regulations were announced by the central bank. The first was on mortgage lending and the second was on concentrated lending exposure. The long-term effect of these regulations should be positive for the banking sector and the economy. Last month, Mashreq shares rose 10 per cent, ADCB 7 per cent, Dubai Islamic Bank 6 per cent and First Gulf Bank 5 per cent, while Emirates NBD and National Bank of Abu Dhabi respectively declined 5 per cent and 4 per cent.

The average value traded on the Dubai Financial Market dropped to US$192 million a day last month, down 23 per cent from October. But it is still some five times the trading value achieved in November last year. The shares of DFM closed the month 3.4 per cent down, possibly affected by investors’ growing concern that the market might be overheating. They were also awaiting the decision on Expo 2020. The win is a further boost to Dubai’s market sentiment, which has already improved significantly this year.

Dubai’s property and construction sectors continued to edge higher in anticipation that Dubai’s bid would be successful. Emaar gained 3.6 per cent during the month. In Abu Dhabi, however, Aldar fell 11.5 per cent as investors booked profits after the third-quarter results announcement. The stock has more than doubled this year. Aldar’s net profit in the quarter rose to Dh407.5m from Dh205.7m last year, as provisions and writedowns were no longer required.

In the construction segment, Arabtec’s third-quarter net income jumped to Dh100.8m, from Dh35m a year earlier, on the back of new projects. That beat the market consensus estimate of Dh54m. Arabtec also cancelled the second part of its rights issue. The stock declined 5 per cent last month.

In the telecoms sector, Etisalat announced the completion of its purchase of Vivendi’s 53 per cent stake in Maroc Telecom. The deal was valued at $5.7 billion, including dividend which Etisalat would pay to Vivendi. The deal is the largest in the region and is valued at 6.2 times Ebitda. I view this deal to be earnings accretive and positive for Etisalat.

The UAE’s markets have risen significantly in the first 11 months this year. The domestic economy has strengthened, and the underlying confidence among companies and investors is high. In addition, the local property market has been highly resurgent. All these factors combined with easing political tensions in the Middle East, and the recovering global markets set the stage for what should be a solid showing in 2014.

Saleem Khokhar is the head of equities at NBAD Asset Management Group

Afcon 2019


Senegal v Tunisia, 8pm

Algeria v Nigeria, 11pm

Matches are live on BeIN Sports

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets

Founder: Hani Abu Ghazaleh
Based: Abu Dhabi, with an office in Montreal
Founded: 2018
Sector: Virtual Reality
Investment raised: $1.2 million, and nearing close of $5 million new funding round
Number of employees: 12


Main card

Robert Whittaker defeated Ikram Aliskerov via knockout (Round 1)
Alexander Volkov def Sergei Pavlovich via unanimous decision
Kelvin Gastelum def Daniel Rodriguez via unanimous decision
Shara Magomedov def Antonio Trocoli via knockout (Round 3)
Light heavyweight:
Volkan Oezdemir def Johnny Walker via knockout (Round 1)
Preliminary Card

Nasrat Haqparast def Jared Gordon via split decision
Felipe Lima def Muhammad Naimov via submission (Round 3)
Rinat Fakhretdinov defeats Nicolas Dalby via split decision
Muin Gafurov def Kang Kyung-ho via unanimous decision
Light heavyweight:
Magomed Gadzhiyasulov def Brendson Ribeiro via majority decision
Chang Ho Lee def Xiao Long via split decision

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.


Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

Korean Film Festival 2019 line-up

Innocent Witness, June 26 at 7pm

On Your Wedding Day, June 27 at 7pm

The Great Battle, June 27 at 9pm

The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion, June 28 at 4pm

Romang, June 28 at 6pm

Mal Mo E: The Secret Mission, June 28 at 8pm

Underdog, June 29 at 2pm

Nearby Sky, June 29 at 4pm

A Resistance, June 29 at 6pm 


UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024


Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).


Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).


Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

The specs

Engine: 4-cylinder 2-litre
Transmission: 9-speed automatic
Power: 252 brake horsepower
Torque: 352Nm
Price: from Dh146,700
On sale: now


Director: Tamer Ruggli

Starring: Nadine Labaki, Fanny Ardant

Rating: 3.5/5

Forced Deportations

While the Lebanese government has deported a number of refugees back to Syria since 2011, the latest round is the first en-mass campaign of its kind, say the Access Center for Human Rights, a non-governmental organization which monitors the conditions of Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

“In the past, the Lebanese General Security was responsible for the forced deportation operations of refugees, after forcing them to sign papers stating that they wished to return to Syria of their own free will. Now, the Lebanese army, specifically military intelligence, is responsible for the security operation,” said Mohammad Hasan, head of ACHR.
In just the first four months of 2023 the number of forced deportations is nearly double that of the entirety of 2022.

Since the beginning of 2023, ACHR has reported 407 forced deportations – 200 of which occurred in April alone.

In comparison, just 154 people were forcfully deported in 2022.


Instances of violence against Syrian refugees are not uncommon.

Just last month, security camera footage of men violently attacking and stabbing an employee at a mini-market went viral. The store’s employees had engaged in a verbal altercation with the men who had come to enforce an order to shutter shops, following the announcement of a municipal curfew for Syrian refugees.
“They thought they were Syrian,” said the mayor of the Nahr el Bared municipality, Charbel Bou Raad, of the attackers.
It later emerged the beaten employees were Lebanese. But the video was an exemplary instance of violence at a time when anti-Syrian rhetoric is particularly heated as Lebanese politicians call for the return of Syrian refugees to Syria.


UAE fixtures

Monday, June 19

Sri Lanka v UAE, Queen’s Sports Club

Wednesday, June 21

Oman v UAE, Bulawayo Athletic Club

Friday, June 23

Scotland v UAE, Bulawayo Athletic Club

Tuesday, June 27

Ireland v UAE, Bulawayo Athletic Club

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

The specs

Engine: 2.9-litre, V6 twin-turbo

Transmission: seven-speed PDK dual clutch automatic

Power: 375bhp

Torque: 520Nm

Price: Dh332,800

On sale: now

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000


Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat

UAE medallists at Asian Games 2023

Magomedomar Magomedomarov – Judo – Men’s +100kg
Khaled Al Shehi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -62kg
Faisal Al Ketbi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -85kg
Asma Al Hosani – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -52kg
Shamma Al Kalbani – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -63kg
Omar Al Marzooqi – Equestrian – Individual showjumping
Bishrelt Khorloodoi – Judo – Women’s -52kg
Khalid Al Blooshi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -62kg
Mohamed Al Suwaidi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -69kg
Balqees Abdulla – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -48kg
Hawraa Alajmi – Karate – Women’s kumite -50kg
Ahmed Al Mansoori – Cycling – Men’s omnium
Abdullah Al Marri – Equestrian – Individual showjumping
Team UAE – Equestrian – Team showjumping
Dzhafar Kostoev – Judo – Men’s -100kg
Narmandakh Bayanmunkh – Judo – Men’s -66kg
Grigorian Aram – Judo – Men’s -90kg
Mahdi Al Awlaqi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -77kg
Saeed Al Kubaisi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -85kg
Shamsa Al Ameri – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -57kg


1. New Zealand Daniel Meech – Fine (name of horse), Richard Gardner – Calisto, Bruce Goodin - Backatorps Danny V, Samantha McIntosh – Check In. Team total First round: 200.22; Second round: 201.75 – Penalties 12 (jump-off 40.16 seconds) Prize €64,000

2. Ireland Cameron Hanley – Aiyetoro, David Simpson – Keoki, Paul Kennedy – Cartown Danger Mouse, Shane Breen – Laith. Team total 200.25/202.84 – P 12 (jump-off 51.79 – P17) Prize €40,000

3. Italy Luca Maria Moneta – Connery, Luca Coata – Crandessa, Simone Coata – Dardonge, Natale Chiaudani – Almero. Team total 130.82/198.-4 – P20. Prize €32,000

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now

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