Expat relocation Egypt Saudi Middle East ..
Mobility Management Middle East

Thyssenkrupp wins Egypt fertilizer complex EPC deal

German industrial conglomerate Thyssenkrupp said its plant engineering business has won a major order from the Egyptian group NCIC (El Nasr Company for Intermediate Chemicals) for its new fertiliser complex coming up near the capital Cairo.

The project is being implemented by thyssenkrupp in a consortium with the Egyptian company Petrojet.

It is expected to go into operation in 2022 and produce up to 440,000 tonnes of ammonia, 380,000 tonnes of urea and 300,000 tonnes of calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) every year, said the company in a statement.

As per the deal, the company will provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for the complex which will be located at Ain El Sokhna, close to the existing NCIC phosphatic and compound fertilizer complex.

These new plants are part of NCIC’s plans to expand its current product portfolio to include high-quality nitrogen fertiliser for local and export markets, it stated.

On the contract win, thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions CEO Marcel Fasswald said: "We have a particularly successful partnership with Egypt stretching back more than 160 years which offers great potential for the future. Our longstanding experience in plant construction, our strong local presence and close collaboration with our customers form the basis for our success and strong market position in the region."

Ralf Richmann, CEO Fertilizer & Syngas Technologies, said: "To date, we have planned and built 16 of the 17 existing nitrogen fertiliser plants in the country and are delighted that another state-of-the-art plant will now be added."- TradeArabia News Service


Saudi's Acwa Power plans $3bn investment in Egypt

Saudi-based Acwa Power, a major developer of power and water desalination projects, is set to invest around $3 billion in Egypt’s electricity projects during this year.

The utility developer has collaborated with Hassan Allam Holding Company to establish a 2.3-megawatt (MW) power plant in Luxor.

The power plant, being built at a cost of $2.3 billion, is expected to start Phase One of the operation in the summer of 2022 and the full commercial operation in the summer of 2023.

The power purchase agreement (PPA) is under a build-own-operate (BOO) framework with a term of 25 years. The project will be vital in meeting Egypt’s increasing demand for electricity over the next years, particularly in the upper Egypt region.

The $3 billion will be allocated for implementing investments in the Upper Egypt governorates of Luxor, Aswan’s Benban Solar Park, along with other projects, it added.- TradeArabia News Service


Savills in deal to set up Egyptian real estate JV

Global real estate advisor Savills has announced the signing of a prominent joint venture with Egyptian company Sphere, to cover the full range of real estate services in Egypt.

The new partnership, which will trade as Savills, will combine local knowledge with international best practice.

As a result of this partnership, Savills has established a new team in Egypt which will grow from three to around 30 people in the next few months, said senior company officials at the signing ceremony held on the sidelines of Mipim 2019, a leading international property event in Cannes, France.

Senior executives including Steve Morgan, CEO of Savills Middle East, Catesby Langer-Paget, Head of Savills Egypt, James Sparrow, CEO of Savills UK & EMEA, Philip Ingleby, COO of Savills UK & EMEA, and Sherine Badreldine, CEO of Sphere took part.

The new joint venture company will take responsibility for the management, agency and marketing of the highly regarded mixed-use development, Arkan which is located in West Cairo by May, stated the officials.

The development opened its doors in 2012 and quickly became the prime location for business, retail and leisure for Sheikh Zayed City and beyond, it added.

Arkan is undergoing significant expansion, with construction on track to be completed in Q1 2020.

Once the extension is concluded, the project will span over a total built-up area of 260,000 sq m and features 210 shops, 67 restaurants, 185 room hotel, 600 seat theatre, 47,000 sq m offices, 4,500 parking spaces and other key developments.

Langer-Paget said: "The Savills journey in Egypt to date has been a great success. We launched our operations in Egypt only in December 2018 and recently announced the launch of our first residential project, One Zamalek, the much anticipated waterfront address in Cairo."

"These rapid developments allowed us to grow considerably in a market that shows promising signs of expansion. We are now achieving another milestone through our strategic joint venture with Sphere, and the subsequent management of Arkan," he stated.

"This key development is set to become one of the most sought-after destinations in the Egyptian capital. Thus we are bringing on board world-class expertise to set a new benchmark in the market," he added.

Badreldin said: "We have managed Arkan since its inception and were able to provide one of the first real mixed use schemes in Cairo. Accordingly, we have been approached by other clients for property management, marketing and leasing mandates."

"There is a strong demand for high-end real estate services in Egypt, given the growing number of developments. With Savills, we can meet these requests by providing best in class service, based on global standard policies and procedures," he stated.

"We take great pride in working with the renowned Savills team on the next phase of Arkan, and all the potential future mandates. Their global expertise and knowledge of the regional market, will be key in our journey towards being Egypt's best real estate service provider," he added.

Savills has also appointed James Bailey as Client Services Director to join the team. Bailey brings over 20 years of experience in delivering and managing key commercial assets.

For instance, he played a vital role in successfully launching three top 20 UK shopping centres which contributed to significant economic regeneration and community engagement in Leeds, Bristol and Leicester. His expertise will be an important asset to raise the bar of what has been previously achieved in Cairo.

Savills entry into the Egyptian market is part of an ambitious expansion plan within the Mena region. It comes at the time of an estimated 5.3 per cent GDP growth for Egypt, a rate higher than the other Arab world economies, according to reports.

Moreover, the population in Egypt is expected to pass 100 million this year with over 20 million in the Greater Cairo area alone.

Savills aims to play a key role in the country, through catering to different stakeholders within the real estate market and supporting the property project lifecycle with a robust and complete service offering.- TradeArabia News Service


Civil ID to be proof of residency after iqama sticker scrapped

Online process to begin with domestic workers from March 10

KUWAIT: The interior ministry yesterday announced the cancellation of the use of residency stickers on expats’ passports, saying all the needed data will be on their civil IDs, which will be considered as proof of residence for expats. During a press conference yesterday, Director-General of the Residency Affairs Department Brig Abdulqader Al-Shaaban said the decision to scrap the residency sticker on the passport will go into effect on March 10, 2019.

The decision does not include holders of article 14 (temporary residence) visas and those who received residency stickers before the implementation of the resolution. Shaaban said foreign residents in Kuwait will not be allowed to enter or leave the country unless they hold a valid passport and a civil ID card issued by the Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI). He noted that in case of losing the ID card during travel, the same procedures should be followed for a lost passport.

PACI Director General Musaed Al-Assousi affirmed that the cancelation of the residency sticker was on the direct order of Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, who gave this project attention and direct follow-up because of its impact on most segments of the society and to simplify and facilitate the transition towards electronic services.

“Expats should go on the website that serves as a link between the interior ministry and PACI. The authority will update the individual’s data and send a text message to the concerned person upon completion of the ID. The message will have a link to complete the procedures for issuing the civil ID and paying the necessary fees for issuing it,” Assousi explained.

He noted that expatriates who have received residence stickers on their passports or travel documents before the decision will remain valid until the expiration of the residency. “We stress the need to ensure the first and last name as well the passport number match what is printed on the civil ID card to avoid any obstacles while traveling,” he added.

General Manager of the General Administration of Information Systems Ismail Al-Yassin said: “We will first start this with domestic workers (article 20). The website will allow sponsors to renew residencies that will expire within two months, starting from March 10. Soon, the rest of expats will also be able to get their residencies online.”

Last month, Assistant Undersecretary for Residency Affairs Maj Gen Talal Maarafi said the new measure will consume fewer passport pages. It will also help stop sponsors from holding expats’ passports and put an end to this problem for good, he added, although it remains to be seen if sponsors will be willing to do so, despite it being illegal.


Expat families in ‘residential areas’ safe

KUWAIT: Chairman of a governmental committee dealing with ‘bachelors’ living in private residential areas Ammar Al-Ammar said citizens renting their apartments in private ‘residential areas’ to expat families is not a problem and will not be discussed in the next committee meeting, because the committee’s work is limited to renting to bachelors. He said governorates were instructed to report the cases they have received, provided that each governorate submits its report to the committee meeting by April 1.

Meanwhile, the misdemeanors court struck down a ruling to demolish the fourth floor of a house in Um Al-Haiman, cancelled the owner’s fines and made him sign an undertaking of good behavior for three years. The public prosecution had charged the owner with building a fourth floor on his house without a license. The comprehensive court fined the suspect KD 500 in absentia and ordered the removal of the fourth floor. The defendant appealed the ruling through his lawyer, who said his client was forced to build the floor because of the large number of his family members. – Translated by Kuwait Times from Al-Rai


First ‘pro-expat’ law to be passed in parliament in nine years

Labor law amendments expected to raise salaries, annual leave days

KUWAIT: As the National Assembly decided to pass the amendments to the private sector’s labor law in its first reading in a unanimous vote along with the government’s approval, this makes it probable that it will be passed during the sessions of March 19 and 20. Sources described the law as the first legislation to be issued by the National Assembly in favor of expats in nine years. It is expected to raise annual leave for 1.7 million expats working in the private sector to 40 days and increase the monthly salary and indemnity by 15 percent, according to specialized economic sources. This law is among the conciliatory legislations by the government and parliament to strengthen legislative gains despite fears expressed by financial parties that this law will raise the cost of labor in Kuwait and constitutes a burden for some companies.

Residency sticker

The interior ministry is coordinating with the foreign ministry to prepare the plan of implementing the decision of scrapping the residency sticker for expats and use the civil ID information instead, a security source said. The sources said coordination with the foreign ministry will be in case the civil ID is lost outside Kuwait – in the expat’s country – because they will not be able to leave the country and will not be allowed in Kuwait unless they have a civil ID, which will hinder the return of expats, especially teachers, doctors, nurses and others. The sources said the solution will be to coordinate with the foreign embassy to inform Kuwaiti embassies abroad to receive expats who lose their civil IDs in their countries, provided that they produce a lost certificate from their country. Then the embassy will write to the Kuwaiti interior ministry to enquire about the expat’s data and their residency, and when confirmed, they will be given an entry paper from the embassy with the required information.

Housewives’ licenses

A security source at the traffic department said no driving licenses will be given to housewives except in eight cases. The sources said the exempted cases include homemakers who have children whose husbands are public prosecution members, advisors, experts, faculty members of universities and institutions, doctors, pharmacists and general managers and their aides, provided that their salaries are not less than KD 600. The source said traffic departments in the six governorates are not authorized to issue driving licenses to Syrian homemakers, and only the assistant undersecretary for traffic affairs and his assistant for licensing affairs have the authority to make a decision. He said it is not true that engineers’ wives can get licenses, adding that engineers are not among the exempted professions in the latest ministerial decision.

KD 110 million

Informed sources said the health ministry collected around KD 110 million from expats in health insurance last year, adding that the money was transferred to the ministry’s account through the contracted company. Sources said KD 62.5 million was collected in cash, KD 41 million through electronic stamps from machines available at health insurance centers in Fahaheel, Sabah, Farwaniya, Jahra and Jabriya, KD 107,600 through regular stamps and KD 192,000 through the K-Net. The sources said KD 5.6 million was collected from government bodies in which employees’ residencies are renewed, at KD 50 per expat. They said the fee collection continues through the online service or insurance centers that work two shifts during the week, except for holidays.

670 teachers

The education ministry needs 670 teachers of both genders for the 2019-2020 school year to cover a shortage in nine specialties, especially with the opening of new schools. Informed sources said the required specialties are English, French, science, mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology, geology and physical education. Educational sources said the ministry will consider those who apply locally, then it will decide on the number of foreign contracts before traveling to three countries – Palestine, Jordan and Tunisia. In case committees cannot get the required number of teachers, and when it is absolutely necessary, they will consider contracting teachers from Egypt.

Framework of coordination

Deputy Director General for Labor Affairs at the Public Authority for Manpower Hassan Al-Khader said that within the framework of coordination and cooperation with the commerce and industry ministry, a meeting was held on Monday, March 4, 2019 to discuss the mechanism of registering licenses related to the files of employers at the authority, besides other subjects. Khader said that the meeting ended with positive results with regards to the rules related to registering commercial licenses issued by the ministry, based on which files are opened.


Kuwait issues law to regulate real estate market

Kuwait has issued a decree for establishment of the Real Estate Broker’s book electronically in an effort to complete the regulation of real estate sector and also eliminate the manipulations occurring in the market, reported Arab Times, citing a senior minister.

The Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Khalid Al Roudhan, has issued a decree establishing the Real Estate Broker’s book (log/register) electronically in an effort to complete the regulation of the real estate market and eliminate the manipulations that occur in the market, it stated.

As per the new decree, the ministries of commerce and industry, justice and the Kuwait Municipality along with the Public Authority for Civil Information, will be linked to provide a reliable and comprehensive database of any property that is being traded with regards to dispute and ownership status, said the report.

The decision specifies the beginning of the e-booking system through the website dedicated for the purpose, which is authorised to be used by the licensed intermediary (broker) to manage the real estate in the ministry after obtaining the required electronic permits and identity from the Public Authority for Civil Information, it added.


UAE regulator cuts charges to terminate phone contracts

The UAE's telecommunications regulator on Wednesday announced a new regulatory framework for early termination charges of service contracts.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said the new amendment stipulates charging one month fee only for early termination, replacing the previous provision, which stipulated charging one month rent multiplied by the number of the contract’s remaining months.

It said the new amendment comes in response to complaints from customers who were previously forced to commit to using the service until the end of the contract due to the level of termination charges.

This amendment has been introduced already in the new individuals’ mobile contracts.

TRA said it is currently working on introducing these amendments to the other services’ contracts in the coming period.

It added that the move is part of its mission to apply the best international standards on services provided by licensees in the UAE and to provide more freedom and flexibility to users in choosing the services they desire.

This decision also comes in the context of the consolidation of all termination fees of service contracts that impose termination charges, making it easier for customers to calculate the costs of the services they wish to use.

Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, TRA director general, said: “We strive to hear the comments of the stakeholders on the operators’ services, and we don’t hesitate to review any policies or regulations for the interests of the parties and the public, to increase the happiness of the telecom sector customers in the country.

"Revision of early termination fees of telecom contracts is part of the sustainability approach whereby TRA is working to enhance the quality of telecom services and to ensure that these services reach the various segments of society on satisfactory terms.”


Can landlords in UAE cut power, water connection to tenants?

Does a landlord have the right to cut electricity and water connection in a tenanted property? Can he order eviction of a tenant before the tenancy contract expires?

The landlord has no right for any reason to cut the electricity even if it is mentioned in the tenancy contract.

Article 25 of Law No. 33 of 2008 by the amendment of some of the provisions of Law No. 26 of 2007 states the following:

“Landlord may demand eviction of tenant before the expiry of tenancy period in the following cases:

  1. If the tenant fails to pay rent value, or part thereof, within thirty (30) days of landlord’s notification for payment; unless parties agreed otherwise.
  2. If tenant subleases the property, or part thereof, without the landlord’s written approval and in such case eviction shall be applicable to the tenant and the subtenant, and the subtenant’s right to refer to the tenant for compensation shall be reserved.
  3. If tenant uses or allows others to use the property for illegal or immoral activities.
  4. If the leased property is a commercial shop and the tenant left the same without occupation and without legal reason for 30 continual days or 90 non-continual days in one year; unless the parties agreed otherwise.
  5. If the tenant causes changes that endanger the safety of the property in a way that it cannot be restored to its original condition or if he causes damage to the property intentionally or due to his gross negligence to take proper precautions or if he allows others to cause such damage.
  6. If tenant uses the property for purposes other than the purpose it was leased for or if he uses the property in a way that violates planning, building and land using regulations.
  7. If the property is in danger of collapse provided that landlord must prove such condition by a technical report issued by Dubai Municipality or accredited by it.
  8. If tenant fails to observe legal obligations or tenancy contract conditions within (30) days from the date of notification by landlord to abide by such obligations or conditions.
  9. If development requirements in the emirate require demolition and reconstruction of the property in accordance with government authorities’ instructions.

And for the purpose of this clause (1) of this Article, the landlord must notify the tenant through the Notary Public or by registered mail.”

In case a landlord decides to file an eviction case, he must notify the tenant officially. In other words, he has the right to file an eviction case only after 30 days from the date of receiving the notification by the tenant, else the case might be rejected.


Dubai group launches digital property rental experience

Dubai Asset Management, the owner and manager of one of the city’s largest portfolios of rental residential communities and a member of Dubai Holding, announced the roll-out of Phase One of the first fully digital and paperless property rental experience in partnership with Smart Dubai.

The smart solution is accessible via DubaiNow, a comprehensive platform available as a website and a mobile app that integrates the services of government and private sector partners, said a statement from the company.

The move aligns with the Dubai Paperless Strategy, launched by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai. The first strategy of its kind globally seeks to transfer all applicable government transactions to digital platforms by 2021.

Dubai Asset Management’s fully integrated customer experience allows tenants to browse through the company’s portfolio and complete five essential services online.

These include finding a home, registering and signing the tenancy contract, arranging Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) utility services, signing up for landline, cable TV and home internet services with telecom company du, and raising maintenance requests, said a statement from the company.

All the services are linked to a digital tenancy contract, enabled by UAE Pass, a national digital identity solution, making it possible for tenants to receive their Ejari tenancy contract within a few minutes after the completion of the digital application, it stated.

Speaking on the digital interface, CEO Arif Mubarak said: "In line with the objectives of the Dubai Paperless Strategy, Dubai Asset Management supports the leadership’s vision for Dubai’s integrated digital transformation. As a forward-looking organisation, we seek to leverage technology to enhance customer happiness while improving operational efficiencies and reducing our environmental impact."

"In this context, we are proud to partner with Smart Dubai and roll out the first digitally integrated paperless customer experience in the real estate sector that allows tenants to complete rental transactions online," noted Mubarak.

Phase One of the Dubai Paperless Strategy achieved remarkable results, cutting down on paper consumption across the six participating entities by 57 per cent.

At present, the Dubai leadership has directed eight government entities – Dubai Courts, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Public Prosecution, Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Dubai Health Authority, Community Development Authority, Dubai Airports and Dubai Customs – to begin implementing Phase Two.- TradeArabia News Service


Azizi unveils short-term home rental concept in Dubai

Azizi Developments, one of the leading private developers in the UAE, has launched the sale of Bayt by Azizi in Dubai Sports City, a new short-term rental home concept through which investors can gain higher returns by having their owned apartments managed and serviced for them.

Designed to suit the needs of those who value a balanced and healthy lifestyle, this new residential property features 431 apartments comprising 238 studios, 140 one- and 53 two-bedroom apartments.

With the wellness of its residents being its prime consideration, Bayt is designed to enhance the quality of life through its spacious balconies, with corner units having large terraces of over 1,076 sq ft, said the Emirati developer.

Panoramic elevators offer stunning views of the neighbourhood while the dedicated plantation area on the facade allows residents to grow gardens, it stated.

As per the deal, Azizi Developments will provide registration, licensing and hotel-quality service while also administering all interior design and marketing functions, effectively relieving customers of the hassle associated with short-term letting.

While investors can still choose to live in their properties, rent them out for the long term, or sell them, the short-term letting process ensures a substantially higher ROI (return on investment) of more than 35 per cent, stated the developer.

Owners also have the option to reside in their apartments when they please, while letting Azizi Developments rent them out in the interim, allowing for more flexibility and maximum occupancy, it added.

CEO Farhad Azizi said: "This outstanding new concept is our response to a growing market need for short-term housing and complements the tourism development strategy of Dubai."

Given its central location along the growth corridor of Dubai, the development stands out for its extraordinary connectivity, as well as for the multitude of best-in-class shopping, leisure and sporting options in its vicinity.

Set in Dubai Sports City on both Al Khail Road and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, Bayt by Azizi offers residents easy access to the rest of Dubai. The development is also in proximity to Dubai South, the Expo 2020 site, Al Maktoum International Airport, Mall of Emirates, JBR and Dubai Marina, among many other major points of interest.

"We plan to extend this model to several of our residential buildings in the city, in line with our commitment to create sustained value for our customers," added Azizi. .-TradeArabia News Service


Saudi German Hospital to open new facility in Ajman

Saudi German Hospitals Group – one of the largest private hospital groups in the Mena region – will soon open a world-class, state-of-the-art Dh300 million ($81.68 million) healthcare facility in Ajman, UAE.

The tertiary-care speciality and sub-specialty facility will be the biggest hospital in Ajman, designed to cater to the growing population across all northern emirates, while offering a wide range of medical services.

Spanning over 41,062 sq m, the 200-bed hospital will have 46 OPD clinics and over 20 specialities. It is the group’s third healthcare facility in the UAE, and 10th across the Mena region.

Dr Reem Osman, CEO of Saudi German Hospitals (SGH) Group – UAE, said: “Everyone is entitled to proper healthcare and at SGH we are committed to providing superior quality services to our patients, their families and community as a whole. Saudi German Group has a very well-thought-out expansion programme to reach out to the maximum number of patients in the UAE and the new state-of-the-art facility in Ajman is part of the plan.

"With two hospitals successfully running in Dubai and Sharjah, we aim to simulate the same international standards in SGH-Ajman that we have adopted in our other facilities. Moreover, the emirate is strategically positioned in close proximity to all the other emirates, which allows SGH-Ajman to treat patients from across the UAE.”

Designed with a futuristic view, SGH-Ajman can grow in all directions, both vertically and horizontally. The hospital will offer a wide range of medical services including all kinds of specialities, sub-specialties and critical care units of highest international standards. Sub-speciality facilities include ICU, CCU, NICU, Open Heart, Oncology, Neurosurgery, ENT, Maxillo-facial surgery, Obs/Gyn and IVF centres, Laparoscopic and Laser surgeries, among others.

“Our aim is not just to provide healthcare through our hospitals, but to have a significant role in providing the UAE health sector with scientifically qualified and highly efficient medical staff. The hospital is the first phase of our expansion; in the second phase, we plan to build Centres of Excellence, medical colleges and staff accommodation, among other features. Together they will make up the Batterjee Medical City, work for which has already begun in Dubai. These, and many such features will be the legacy of the Saudi German Hospitals Group strengthening its footprint in the UAE and the Mena region,” added Dr Osman.

Besides providing quality medical services, SGH-Ajman also aims to introduce several CSR initiatives, community engagements and provide wellness education to the people of Ajman and beyond. The group has been actively involved in many humanitarian projects across the world. - TradeArabia News Service


Abu Dhabi Airports extends city check-in facilities to IndiGo

Abu Dhabi Airports has extended its city check-in facilities to IndiGo, one of India's leading budget airlines, enabling passengers flying out of Abu Dhabi airport to check-in 24 hours prior within the city i.e. before reaching the airport.

This new service is in line with the airline’s commitment to providing courteous and hassle-free travel experience to its customers. The new service has been made available to all IndiGo customers effective March 10.

IndiGo passengers can visit the 'City Terminal' located opposite to Abu Dhabi mall to complete check-in procedures.

Maarten De Groof, chief commercial officer, Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “We are delighted to welcome IndiGo passengers to stop by our easily accessible and conveniently located remote check-in facilities. Ensuring a seamless and efficient customer is one of our top priorities at Abu Dhabi Airports, and we look forward to introducing travellers to our world-class services and unique brand of Arabian hospitality. India has always been one of our most important and largest areas of operations, and we are looking forward to continuing to work closely with IndiGo passengers to meet the market’s growing demand.”

William Boulter, chief commercial officer, IndiGo said: “We are delighted to introduce this new check-in feature for our passengers in Abu Dhabi which will both add convenience and ease to their travel experience with us. We thank the Abu Dhabi International Airport team for extending us all the support to make this feature live. We started providing this service to all IndiGo passengers starting March 10. IndiGo will continue to enhance its hassle-free experience which is one of the core values that the airline stands for besides providing on-time and affordable fares to customers.”

Currently, IndiGo flies two daily non-stop flights from Abu Dhabi to Calicut and Kochi. - TradeArabia News Service


Dubai puts into action rainwater drainage system

Dubai Municipality has put in intensive efforts to address rainwater collections throughout the emirate during the past few days, in its efforts to build a happy and sustainable city.

According to a 24-hour work programme, based on an analysis of meteorological reports and weather forecasts in the Emirate of Dubai, all measures were taken to deal with the expected emergency communications due to rainfall, beginning 14th March 2019. On Friday morning, rain showers were observed in many areas, with rainfall expected to reach 5mm per hour from Friday to Sunday.

The Dubai Municipality team has completed all preparations to meet the effects of rainwater catchments in the coming days too because this type of rainfall is often not specific and expected in terms of the amount of water left behind because it is caused by rainfall that comes along with thunderstorms.

Rainfall varied in intensity between medium and heavy. Observations showed that rainwater was not collected in many areas of Dubai.

Talib Julfar, CEO, Infrastructure Services Sector and team leader of Ghaith Dubai, said, "The city has 60 pumping stations for rainwater, within the 1.75 million metre long pipe network, with 28,000 inspection chambers and 72,000 drainage holes connected to it. All these systems end up with 28 outlets to the sea or to Dubai Creek. The specialised technical teams comprised multiple departments that work as per their specialties to carry out maintenance programmes for surface water and rainwater drainage stations."

He added that the responsibility of rainwater falls on the main drainage system, which covers most of the city of Dubai, and there are some areas that are not connected to the general network of rainwater drainage and in this case, the concerned teams in the municipality are responsible for discharging the accumulated rainwater either by tankers or using portable pumps.

"Any drainage network, no matter how much it can, has limits that cannot be bypassed. Therefore, the rainwater drainage network in Dubai does its work normally, within the given design and operational capacity. But if the rain intensity is heavy, the general network will take a relatively longer time than usual to drain the water. In the end, the network is highly reliable and dependable, and this is what has been seen far and wide," pointed out Julfar.

The Dubai Municipality called upon all those who observe any accumulation of rainwater to never hesitate to report it by using the Dubai 24/7 App, which is now an emerging communication channel between the municipality and the community.

The municipality also invited the public to understand the priorities as the declared priorities for the field work range from the main streets, sub-streets to the other areas and squares. It also called for the discharge of rainwater from the roofs of houses and buildings to the sewerage system.


Abu Dhabi residents can now file lawsuits through an app

Residents in Abu Dhabi are now able to file lawsuits through a mobile application in order to speed up the claims process, improve the public’s access to legal assistance and reduce the need for court appearances, officials at the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department told local media.

The new technology will enable users to upload required documents and pay fees online, allowing them to file claims within minutes and attend hearings through video conference.

The move is part of a series of changes by authorities at the department to improve the capital’s legal offerings.

In February, the department introduced Hindi as the third official language of the Abu Dhabi legal system in order to allow Indian expats to lodge claims in a faster and easier manner. Mandarin was also introduced to attract more investors to the emirate.

Last year, authorities revealed that all plaintiffs in civil and commercial cases will be required to translate court documents into English if they or the other party did not speak Arabic.

This week, prominent Emirati lawyer and chairman of local law firm Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla criticised a new legal support service announced by Dubai Courts as a “bad idea” that will create “serious issues” for users, legal firms and law graduates.

According to its website, the Al Adheed service centre will provide “7-star” legal services, including the submission of applications for case registrations, case follow-up enquiries, marriage documentation and information about attending sessions remotely.

While the centre offers prices as low as AED52 ($14.15), it does not require its employees to have any legal degree, education, experience, regulation or supervision. As a result, they are not required by law to maintain attorney-client privilege, and are allowed to represent conflicting parties.


Saudi Arabia to launch plan for multibillion infrastructure projects in Asir

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is launching a plan to complete several infrastructure development projects worth billions of riyals in Asir region.

The governor of Asir, Prince Turki Bin Talal, was set to patronize a plan on Sunday to complete the upcoming projects, signaling an important milestone for the region's people.

Prince Turki was quoted saying the projects cover sectors such as health, transport, and municipal services. The projects are in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and efforts to diversify its economy as well as reaching untapped resources in the Kingdom’s many regions.

“These projects represent an important step forward for the region’s sons and daughters who have long been looking forward to them. The diversity of the projects represent the health, transportation and municipalities sectors within a large system of projects, not only in the region but at a Kingdom-wide level,” said an official statement issued earlier.


SAUDIA expands popular free social messaging service

Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) has announced that its highly popular free social messaging plan has now expanded to five free messaging apps.

SAUDIA is the first and only airline in the world to provide a free social messaging plan that includes five of the most popular and widely used applications. Included in the plan is texting up to 10 MBs, which can be used on any of the included five chatting applications: WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, iMessage, and now Instagram chat and WeChat.

As of May, guests have had the option to log on to the free messaging plan onboard to connect with family and friends while inflight. The free messaging plan has since become widely used onboard SAUDIA flights, with now more than 85 per cent of passengers connecting onto the simple, easy to use plan.

Guests travelling with SAUDIA onboard all flights enabled with WiFi connectivity can access the social messaging plan through a simple three-step login process.

All guests can access the free social media messaging plan, regardless of their class of travel.

The free plan includes texting only, with photos and attachments excluded, however a range of WiFi plans are available for purchase which do enable file and photo transfer.


Saudi Railway achieves major signalling system milestone

TUV Rheinland Middle East, the global testing, inspection and certification organization, said Saudi Railway Company (SAR) has achieved a major milestone with the full implementation of the European Railway Traffic Management System (ERTMS) - European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 2 signalling system.

Handing over of the Independent Competent Person (ICP) certificate by TUV Rheinland Middle East marked the formal acceptance by the Public Transport Authority of the full implementation of ERTMS - ETCS Level 2 signalling system.

This is a globally significant achievement in the railway industry since, according to UIC data, SAR's 2,400-km network has become the longest single line, ETCS Level 2 signalled, mixed freight and passenger service rail network in the world.

Since securing its first contract with SAR in 2011, TUV Rheinland has played an important role in the development of the kingdom's railway infrastructure as a global testing, inspection and certification organisation.

Its Middle East chapter has worked alongside the SAR organisation on each phase of the development of its railway network, which is recognised as a critical part of the railway infrastructure serving the GCC states.

Stephane Riverain, TUV Rheinland Middle East's senior consultant and project manager, presented the ICP certificate and Letter of Assurance to Dr Bashar Al Malik, the chief executive of SAR during a key ceremony held at SAR's headquarters in Riyadh.

"I would like to congratulate and thank the various individuals and departments at the SAR for their cooperation and support on this process for the last four years," stated Riverain.

The TUV Rheinland Middle East Rail Team recently certified the SAR's North South Railway, which operates ETCS Level 2 equipped passenger trains supplied by CAF, as well as freight locomotives supplied by EMD, hauling minerals and cargo. Thales Transport provided the signalling system.

"TUV Rheinland has a well-established and recognised expertise in ICP related assessments for railway infrastructure managers and operation and maintenance organisations, both globally and in the Gulf region in particular," said Ruben Zocco, the director of mobility - Rail for TUV Rheinland Middle East.

"As a rail safety certification service provider, we are proud to have played a significant role in the assurance process of this extensive network and look forward to participating in the future development of one of our key customers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," he added.

TUV Rheinland is one of the world's leading independent testing service providers with 145 years of tradition. With a 20,000-strong global workforce, the group boasts an annual turnover of almost €2 billion ($2.26 billion).- TradeArabia News Service


Saudi Arabia Takes another Step Forward in Its Transformation Drive

Riyadh - King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia today launched four wellbeing projects for the kingdom’s capital Riyadh, which will significantly improve the lives of its citizens, transform the city into an attractive destination and make it one of the world’s most livable cities.

The four wellbeing projects - King Salman Park, Sports Boulevard, Green Riyadhand Riyadh Art – complement the Saudi Vision 2030’s “Quality of Life” Program and are aligned with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, to create sustainable cities and communities, while driving urgent action against climate change.

Developed with a government investment of US$23 billion, the four projects will offer opportunities worth US$15 billion for the private sector to invest in the residential, commercial, recreational and wellness areas. In addition to providing tens of thousands of new jobs, they will also contribute to an integrated approach to wellness, health, sports, culture and the arts, underpinned by a commitment to environmental sustainability.

With its 13.4 square kilometers, King Salman Parkwill be a green oasis in an urban setting and will be the largest city park in the world. Besides residences and hotels, it will also feature a Royal Arts Complex, theaters, museums, cinemas, sports venues, water features, restaurants and an 18-hole Royal Golf Course. The park will also boast several landmark assets, including the Riyadh Fountains and a Vertical Garden. As an environmentally sustainable urban development, it will offer opportunities for the international community in arts, entertainment and culture.

One of the world’s largest urban greening projects, Green Riyadh will increase the green cover in the Saudi capital with the planting of 7.5 million trees. This will help increase the city’s green cover from 1.5 percent of the total area to 9.1 percent, or approximately 541 square kilometers, by 2030. Green space availability will increase to 28 square meters per capita from the current 1.7 square meters per capita, compared to the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 9 square meters per capita. Green Riyadh will help reduce average ambient temperature by 2 degrees Celsius, and will use more than 1 million cubic meters of treated sewage affluent daily for irrigation, for the sustainability of water resources in the city.

An iconic new health and wellness destination in the heart of the city, Sports Boulevardwill feature a 135 kilometer-long professional cycling track covering the city and the surrounding valleys, the first of its kind in the region. Adding 3.5 million square meters of new open space across the city, this grand project will also feature a sports pavilion, riding stables and athletics tracks, in fact accommodating a wide variety of sports activities. Sports Boulevard has been designed with full accessibility for all segments of the population.

Riyadh Artis the world's single largest government investment in public art and will establish the city as “a gallery without walls” through a world-class interactive public arts program. With 1,000 art pieces curated through 10 separate arts programs and an annual arts festival, this grand project will feature large-scale art works that will both fascinate and engage artists and art lovers from across the world. The highlight of Riyadh Art will be an iconic installation that will be Riyadh’s 21st century landmark art statement, to be created by the world’s most innovative, creative and ambitious talent.

Construction for the above four wellbeing projects will start in the second half of 2019.


Uber Lite app to be launched in the UAE, Saudi Arabia

Ride-hailing app Uber has announced it is launching Uber Lite, a redesigned, simplified version of the app in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Uber Lite is being launched across the region to give consumers the opportunity to book a ride irrespective of the quality of their network connection, it said in a statement.

At less than 5MB download size and available in both English and Arabic, Uber said its Lite version enables those with basic smartphones operating in spotty network conditions to book a ride and start their journey.

It added that not only does the lighter version of the app reduce data consumption, it does so without sacrificing on any of its main functionalities. Some of its features work even when the app is not connected to the internet.

Instead of typing where you are, you can choose a nearby point of interest while the app stores the city’s top places so that even when you are offline, no network is needed for them to appear.

Uber Lite was specifically developed to cut down on mobile data consumption, as well as work in areas with limited network connectivity, the statement said.

Tino Abdellatif Waked, general manager, Middle East and North Africa for Uber, said: “Uber is all about providing reliable transport solutions to our riders, and it stands to reason that the quality of the network connection should not pose a hurdle to achieving that goal. With Uber Lite it’s possible to book a ride even in low connectivity areas and the data usage while doing so is also limited. We have made the app easier and more convenient, but without compromising on any of the Uber’s hallmark features.”

He said Uber Lite retains the core functionality of the rider app, has in-app support and includes critical safety features.


Saudi king launches $23 bn Riyadh recreational projects

Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Tuesday announced recreational projects in the capital Riyadh worth $23 billion, officials said, in a new drive to transform the congested city.

The four projects - an entertainment park, a sports boulevard, a tree-lined oasis and an arts centre - are the latest in a series of high-profile state investments overseen by the monarch's 33-year-old son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

In a separate report, state media said the king also ordered that one of the capital's main roads be named after the prince.

Construction for the projects, expected to generate tens of thousands of jobs, is set to begin in the second half of 2019, officials said.

Prince Mohammed will head the government committee overseeing the projects, which a government statement said will create opportunities worth $15 billion in private sector investment.


Saudi Arabia to approve tourist visit visas within 24 hours

Sports and entertainment in Saudi Arabia - from new cinemas to major international sporting events, like Formula E and European Tour golf - is attracting billions of dollars in investment.

Saudi Arabia has approved new electronic visas for foreign visitors attending sporting events, concerts and business attractions.

The decision will enable visitors to obtain a visa within 24 hours, Arab News reported.

Saudi’s governing bodies for sports, cultural and business events - General Investment Authority, General Sports Authority and General Entertainment Authority – will provide the government with details of upcoming events two months ahead of time, which will then be included in the new visa system.

Under its Vision 2030 plan, Saudi Arabia has made diversifying the economy as key pillar of its wide-ranging reforms.

Sports and entertainment in Saudi Arabia - from new cinemas to major international sporting events, like Formula E and European Tour golf – are attracting billions of dollars in investment.

The reforms undertaken by the kingdom’s authorities look to lift total spending — by locals and foreigners — from $27.9 billion in 2015 to $46.6 billion in 2020.

Saudi Arabia’s investment in entertainment infrastructure over the next ten years is expected to be $64 billion (SAR240bn), according to Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority, which will generate 224,000 jobs by 2030, and boost the kingdom’s economy by $4.8bn (SAR18bn).

Saudi Arabia has seen approximately 500 entertainment-related companies establish themselves in the kingdom over the last year, according to Khaled Tash, the deputy governor for marketing and communication of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).


More green spaces: PDO opens park in Manah

Muscat - Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) has officially opened the Manah Public Park in an event which also marked World Water Day. The opening was held under the auspices of H E Sayyid Tariq bin Mahmoud al Busaidi, deputy wali of Manah.

The park was funded by PDO as part of its effort to provide safe and suitable spaces for community gatherings and entertainment. It consists of greenspaces, a children’s playground with recreational equipment, prayer rooms and a security office.

Mohammed bin Ahmed al Ghareebi, external affairs and communication manager, PDO said, “Community infrastructure development is one of the key themes of PDO’s social investment programme and this project reaffirms our ongoing commitment to community support.

“We are determined to continue to reach out and create more value and sustainability for people across the sultanate.”

The company has been actively supporting local communities for decades and is currently developing a number of infrastructure projects in partnership with governmental bodies to provide communities with better access to important services and amenities.


Ooredoo expands super fibre internet service coverage

Ooredoo has extended its Super Fibre Home Internet service to Al Khuwair South - Commercial Area and Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), offering users in the area a fast, uninterrupted buffer-free internet service.

Customers can now enjoy amazing speeds of up to 1Gbps and unlimited usage from just OMR28 ($72.5) a month. The plans also offer unlimited fixed Ooredoo minutes, discounts on international call rates, and higher download speeds.

Feras bin Abdallah Al Sheikh, director of consumer sales at Ooredoo, said: “Our fibre coverage roll-out is rapidly expanding to cover all areas of the sultanate. We are thrilled to offer our customers an exceptional home internet service with a choice of plans to suit all needs. Enriching the digital lives of our users, customers can enjoy faster streaming, surfing, chatting, gaming and more.”

Residents in areas with new coverage can order Ooredoo’s Super Fibre via WhatsApp by sharing their ID and location to 95103000 or calling the Fibre team on 1514. Ooredoo’s Super Fibre is already available in areas including old Al Amerat, Saa’dah in Salalah, Al Mussanah, Al Khuwair, Ruwi, Darsait, Al Hail, Al Mawalih, Al Khoud, Al Mabaila, Al Manuma, and more. - TradeArabia News Service


Oman- Muscat Municipality battles tax evasion by landlords

Muscat- Muscat Municipality has said that some landlords are evading taxes by not registering their contracts with tenants, leading to losses in thousands of rials every year.

'This tax evasion is affecting our ability to shore up revenues necessary for expenditure on public services,' the Muscat Municipality said.

The municipality said that all contracts/leases have to be registered with it along with an administrative fee of five per cent of the annual rental value of the property.

Muscat Municipality has said that some owners of residential buildings do not register the lease pacts. 'The forms of evasion include a pact between the landlord and the tenant for a much lower value than actual or not signing a lease at all. This affects the rights of both the parties.

'Some landlords do not even sign agreements in connivance with tenants while others undervalue the property to evade tax. It deprives the municipal coffers of thousands of rials every year.'

Muscat Municipality has said that a contract allows property owners to claim late payment and get the house vacated in the event of non-payment of rent.

'A registered contract helps in solving rent disputes and address rent hike issues. It protects the tenant from an unjustified eviction for six months.'

Meanwhile, Muscat Municipality has signed an agreement with the Oman Investment and Finance Company (OIFC) to tackle the problem of tax evasion. OIFC will collect information about property owners and tenants in the agreed areas who have not registered their contracts with the municipality.


Oman- Rental market hit hard by falling expat numbers

Muscat- A steady decline in the number of white collar expatriate employees has hit housing rental market hard in Oman. Rents declined by 10-15 per cent in 2018 compared to 2017. Since the demand is mainly from these expatriates, their declining number is resulting in stress in rental as well investment properties, according to the March 2019 Property Report from Al Habib, the largest real estate solutions provider in Oman.

Owners who have been quick to adjust the asking rents downwards, and who offer good maintenance services, are enjoying higher occupancies than those who are less flexible on rents and who do not maintain their buildings well,' stated the report.

Location is also a key factor, with rents and occupancies in popular locations, declining less than those in other areas. 'The declines are less in popular locations like CBD, Qurm, Al Khuwayr and Ghubra while higher in Wadi Kabir, Ghala, Amerat and the areas beyond the airport.'

According to the company, the demand for real estate is driven by the job market. The total number of expat employees has gone down from a peak of 1,854,880 as on December 31, 2017 to 1,787,447 as on December 31, 2018, a decrease of 67,433 (3.64 per cent).

'However, a closer look at the numbers shows that the number of expats who hold a diploma and above has gone down, in the last two years, from 159,506 to 142,989, a decline of 16,517 (10.36 per cent).

In most cases, enquiries are not from the newly arriving expatriates but from those already in Oman, seeking to move to cheaper or better accommodation. 'This has resulted in declining rents as well as occupancy and rental incomes taking a double hit.'

The total number of Omanis in the private sector has gone up from 223,083 as on December 31, 2016 to 251,009 as on November 30, 2018, an increase of 27,926 (12.5 per cent) in about two years. 'Oman now produces a number of high school and college graduates every year, and it is natural that they will replace expatriates, especially in white collar jobs.

'We forecast a further decline in rents and occupancies as more white collar expatriate employees are replaced by Omanis. In general, Oman has, among the highest home ownership, in the world. Omanis prefer to live in their own homes, sometimes in extended families, till they are able to buy/build their own houses. It is also common for more than one Omani in a household to be employed while it is less common in expatriate families,' the report stated.

Office market

Rents have declined sharply in almost all locations and occupancies are even more of a problem, stated the report. 'CBD is the worst affected with major banks shifting to locations that are fast growing. 'Rents in CBD are RO2.5per sq m per month and sometimes even lower. In the more attractive areas of Qurm, Al Khuwayr, Azaiba rents are RO5-6 per sq m per month and sometimes below. Filling up newer buildings (even grade A office space) in popular locations is taking years.'

Housing mortgage

Villas are mostly for self-occupation and one would expect demand to be steady with rising employment of Omanis. 'However, the figures indicate there is slackening of demand here too. The latest statistics show that the number of residential building permits, in all of Oman, has declined to 24,149 in 2017 from 31,912 in 2016 and 34,925 in 2015. Surprisingly the drop is steep (more than 50 per cent) in Muscat and Dhofar and less in the smaller governorates.'


With three malls, that are expected to host about 700 outlets, coming up in Muscat in the next couple of years, and with a number of malls opening in Salalah, Sohar, Nizwa and Sur in the last couple of years, the retail sales are stagnating.

'Retailers are struggling to break-even with increasing outlets catering to the same volume. The newer malls will find it challenging to fill up, and collecting rents is not going to be easy from struggling retailers. Some of the mall owners are offering space free on a long-term basis and sometimes providing subsidy for interior fit out.'


American University of Bahrain to open in September

The American University of Bahrain (AUBH), the first purpose-built American university in the kingdom, will open its doors in September.

The university promises a fresh new approach in programme delivery, and significantly changing the landscape of higher education in the country.

Built on a 75,000-sq-m plot in the prestigious Riffa area, the AUBH campus is designed by the US-based global architects Ayers Saint Gross (ASG), who have designed a number of renowned US university campuses.

The new AUBH campus will feature modern classrooms and labs, as well as a state-of-the-art auditorium, student commons, and athletic facilities, all of which will encourage and foster interaction and collaboration between students, faculty and the professional community, providing an educational experience unique to the Middle East.

AUBH has received institutional approval by the Higher Education Council (HEC) of the Ministry of Education in Bahrain and plans to launch its schools of engineering, architecture and design, and business in the 2019-2020 academic year.

Strong emphasis on graduate outcomes and employability will be key differentiators of the new university which aims to offer world-class higher education opportunities in a rapidly evolving Bahrain and the wider Middle East region.

The AUBH Board proudly selected Dr Susan E Saxton, an internationally experienced executive to lead AUBH as founding President.

Dr Saxton is recognised for building business capability and transforming institutions into operational success stories. Influenced heavily by achievements in competitive athletics, Dr Saxton’s leadership, self-discipline, rigor, and focus were consolidated early in her career and played a key role in her rise to that of an upper echelon internationally recognised senior executive uniquely experienced and credentialed in both business and academia.

On the creation of this greenfield first-of-its-kind university in Bahrain, Dr Saxton, said: “We are very confident in the academic prospects of the kingdom and look forward to the American University of Bahrain solidifying the country’s position as an education hub in the GCC and wider Arab region.”

“Higher education plays an integral part in advancing economies by addressing the skills needed for the next generation of workforce. The American University of Bahrain will provide the necessary academia to support the Kingdom’s 2030 vision while enriching students with a holistic university experience,” she said.

Dr Saxton continued: “Students enrolling in AUBH will be exposed to a university life that is very much influenced by collaborative learning, critical thinking and technical education in an American style university environment.”

“Beyond the academic education that the students will receive, they will receive mentorship in soft skills and competencies including problem solving, negotiation and creative thinking with the purpose of empowering the next generation with the confidence, leadership and professionalism skills required in the workforce. They will also be able to experience social, athletic and other extra-curricular activities making AUBH home,” she added.

Prior to joining AUBH, Dr Saxton was the chief executive officer, Int. and senior vice president innovation and emerging strategies for the University of St Augustine, a Laureate Education institution; chief strategy and development officer for the International Baccalaureate Organization in The Hague; and chief strategy officer, chief academic officer, and senior vice president for Laureate Education Inc. Global Products and Services Division.

Dr Saxton holds two PhD’s in business and human services, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) from the University of Liverpool in the UK, Masters of Science in Business Administration (MSBA) and Boston University and a BA from Wellesley College in the US.

Further details about the admission to the university and information related to the curriculums will be released at a later stage, it stated. – TradeArabia News Service


Areas for Non-Qatari property ownership announced

Last week Qatar’s Council of Ministers gave its approval to identify areas and places where non-Qataris could own real estate, moving a step closer to making the dream of many expatriates come true.

Now, the country has made its decision regarding designated areas for non-Qatari property ownership, reported Gulf Times.

Under the executive procedures of Law No. 16 of 2018 on regulation of non-Qatari ownership and use of real estate, expatriates in Qatar can now freely own property in 10 areas with 16 others designated for real estate use for 99 years.

According to the law, non-Qataris can invest in offices, shops, units and villas in residential complexes, real estate development of land in the allotted areas, not limited to apartment and residential units, according to Qatar Tribune.

The ownership and use of real estate will be based on certain conditions determined by a decision of the Council of Ministers based on a proposal developed by the Committee for the Regulation of Ownership and use of Property for Non-Qataris.

In an interview with Qatar TV, His Excellency the Minister of Justice and Acting Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Dr Issa bin Saad Al Jafali Al Nuaimi announced the areas, which have been determined for freehold non-Qatari property ownership.

These areas comprise: West Bay (Area 66), The Pearl-Qatar (66), Al Khor Resort (74), Rawdat Al Jahaniyah (investment area), Al Qassar (administrative area 60), Al Dafna (administrative area 61), Onaiza (administrative area 63), Al Wasail (69), Al Khraij (69) and Jabal Theyleeb (69).

This decision brings a new investment model in view, offering 100% guaranteed return on investment.

The innovative investment program is the first of its kind not only in Qatar but also in the region and in the world as the areas combine capital development and promote cultural co-existence between developers, owners, and investors in these areas, given its architectural symbolism that merges different world cultures, according to a statement from the minister, reported by The Peninsula.

Residents and citizens of Qatar will enjoy a number of benefits under this model as the new procedures are designed with full flexibility and facilitate transactions in line with the rules defined by the law. These are flexible and transparent controls that are built considering the latest successful experiences in the field of ownership and use of real estate.

The areas where non-Qataris can use real estate for 99 years are: Msheireb (Area 13), Fereej Abdelaziz (14), Doha Al Jadeed (15), New Al Ghanim (16), Al Refaa and Old Al Hitmi (17), Aslata (18), Fereej Bin Mahmoud (22), Fereej Bin Mahmoud (23), Rawdat Al Khail (24), Mansoura and Fereej Bin Dirham (25), Najma (26), Umm Ghuwailina (27), Al Khulaifat (28), Al Sadd (38), Al Mirqab Al Jadeed and Fereej Al Nasr (39) and the Doha International Airport area (48).

The areas were selected by the Cabinet at its meeting last Wednesday.

Previously only non-Qatari individuals were allowed to own real estate in the country, whether for 99-year use or on free ownership basis. However, the new law and its regulations bestow this privilege also on non-Qatari companies in addition to real estate investment funds, whether these have been established within or outside Qatar, HE the Minister is reported to have said in his interview with Qatar TV.

Aligned with the rules and regulations determined by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, expatriates in the country can own two types of real estate: offices and shops inside commercial complexes, and residential villas inside residential complexes.

HE Dr Al Nuaimi further mentioned that under the new conditions, owners of real estate valued at a minimum of $200,000 will be issued permanent residency cards for as long as they own the property.

For other expatriates, the residency cards are issued for five years, which is renewable, in accordance with Law No 21 of 2015 regulating the Entry, Exit and Residence of Expatriates.

HE the Minister underlined that these new regulations will reflect positively on the country, Qataris, non-Qataris and the national economy.

The modern ideas that Qatar is taking the lead in are aimed to push forward economic development in the country, making Qatar a global investment destination.


Jordan- Senate refers Labour Law to Lower House

(MENAFN - Jordan Times) AMMAN — The Senate on Thursday referred the 2019 amendments to the Labour Law to the Lower House, requesting that the 'flexible work' provision MPs added be clarified in a special by-law.

MP added a provision to the Labor Law, redefining 'flexible work' as any physical or mental effort for which a worker is paid for, within a defined flexible work contract.

Senators also insisted that the employment, training and education fund's allocations that go as allowances to employees participating in the fund's works remain at 5 per cent as in the government's version of the law, and not at 10 per cent as raised by MPs.

Senators also rejected a provision granting work-permit exemption for Gazans living in Jordan, recommending instead that the Council of Ministers issue a special decision to exempt them from work permits, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The amendments also kept a 14-day annual leave with full salary, which would increases to a 21-day annual leave after five years of employment. MPs had suggested annual leaves of 18 and 24 days respectively, according to Petra.

As per their validating reasons, the 2019 amendments to the law aim to keep up with developments in the labor market, address provisional changes to the law, organise the recruitment of non-Jordanian workers and stiffen penalties on violators to increase employment opportunities for Jordanians.

The Lower House passed the law in January, raising fines on employers who violate the minimum wage regulations to no less than JD500 and no more than JD1,000 for each case of underpaid employees or gender discrimination. The current lawsets the fine at no less than JD50 and no more than JD200.

Mobility Management Middle East

Middle East:
Saudi Arabia

Ivory Coast

Other Countries: