Residential property prices in Abu Dhabi are more than 13 percent lower than a year ago, according to new research from consultants ValuStrat. Its Q2 2019 Abu Dhabi real estate market report also highlighted a 3.3 percent fall in prices compared to the previous quarter. Residential rents in the UAE capital also softened by another 2 percent over the last three months and by 7.9 percent on an annual basis, the report noted. It added that the weighted average residential value in Q2 was AED9,795 per sq m. All ten locations monitored by ValuStrat witnessed single-digit quarterly declines in capital values of less than 5 percent, with the highest quarterly price falls ranging seen in Hydra Village and Al Reef. The report added that on an annual basis, two locations were slightly less affected by the negative trend - apartments on Saadiyat Island and villas located in Mohamed Bin Zayed City saw prices drop by 10.2 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively. “Abu Dhabi city is increasingly … [Read more...] about Abu Dhabi ‘increasingly affordable’ as prices fall 13%
Athens, July 20 (IANS) An earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale has shaken the Greek capital of Athens, knocking out phone networks and power in parts of the city. The quake had an epicentre about 22 km north-west of Athens, the BBC reported on Friday. Athenians ran out into the streets as the city shook for 15 seconds. There were no reports of serious injuries, but several aftershocks have been felt and two buildings have collapsed. The strongest aftershock had a magnitude of 4.3, almost an hour after the initial quake hit at 2.13 p.m. (Friday noon). Seismologists warned there could be more. The earthquake was felt particularly strongly in the centre of Athens, where people stood in the streets after evacuating from tall buildings. Plaster fell off the walls of the chief prosecutor's office in Athens and cracks appeared in the 170-year-old parliament building. There were reports that the … [Read more...] about Buildings collapse as 5.1-magnitude quake jolts Athens
China and the UAE are enjoying their "best period" in history now while celebrating a milestone in their relationship, according to a top Chinese diplomat. "This year marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the UAE. Our relationship is currently at its best period in history," Ni Jian, the Chinese Ambassador to the UAE, told the Emirates News Agency, WAM, in an exclusive interview. Among all Middle East countries, the UAE has the deepest, broadest and most fruitful cooperation with China, he said. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, will be on a state visit to China next week, almost one year after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s successful visit to the UAE. "The exchange of visits between our top leaderships within a year is testimony to the high standards and special significance of China-UAE Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, thus … [Read more...] about China-UAE relationship at its best in history: Chinese envoy
Saudi Arabia's real non-oil growth is expected to strengthen to 2.9 percent in 2019 as government spending and confidence increase, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The executive board of the IMF also said real GDP growth is projected to slow to 1.9 percent as real oil growth slows to 0.7 percent with the implementation of the OPEC+ agreement. Growth is expected to pick up over the medium-term as ongoing reforms take hold while the unemployment rate among Saudi nationals has moved down but remains high at 12.5 percent, the IMF said after concluding an Article IV Consultation with Saudi Arabia. It noted that the fiscal deficit is projected to widen to 6.5 percent of GDP in 2019 from 5.9 percent of GDP in 2018 as spending is projected to increase and exceed the budgeted amount and offset an increase in non-oil revenues. The deficit is then projected to decline to 5.1 percent of GDP in 2020. With oil prices implied by futures markets declining over the medium-term, the … [Read more...] about Revealed: what the IMF thinks of Saudi economic progress
Saudi Arabia may need to launch more mega projects in the coming years to hit its Vision 2030 targets on unemployment in the Gulf kingdom, according to new research. Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s latest report on Saudi Arabia said it sees the Saudi Aramco bond proceeds and the possible finalisation of the Aramco-SABIC-PIF deal as a stepping stone in creating sustainable employment opportunities over the medium-term. Middle East equity research analyst, Belal Sabbah, said: "While it is difficult to quantify the impact of these projects, the availability of funding post-SABIC deal could support a first phase of mega projects." Unemployment rates among Saudi nationals are still high - 12.5 percent in the first quarter of 2019 - and Vision 2030 sees that falling to 7 percent. Sabbah said: "Mega projects may be needed to structurally reduce them [unemployed] by providing new industries and venues for creating jobs. Initially however, job creation could likely be geared towards … [Read more...] about Could more mega projects solve Saudi unemployment?