The UAE will continue to strengthen its position as a regional safe haven and business hub.Access to global markets from Dubai will be among the best in the world.The latest official data for Abu Dhabi, which is the UAE’s largest emirate, shows that the non seasonally- adjusted real GDP grew by only 0.6% q/q in Q2 2017.
A ban on Skype, a popular internet phone call and messaging service, could likely weigh the heaviest on small and medium sized businesses, analysts say.“This move by the U.A.E government is expected to have a major impact on the business ecosystem of U.A.E and in-turn would affect the overall economy of the country,” explains Parminder Kaur Saini, Principal Consultant of Digital Transformation Practice at Frost & Sullivan. “The ban on Skype is expected to largely affect the small and medium businesses (SMBs) of the country. Given the fact that SMBs form a greater chunk of the overall business ecosystem of the U.A.E., this move of banning of services like Skype has left this community disappointed and frustrated.”
NMC Healthcare Shares Surge As Firm Closes Deals Worth $250 Million
The U.A.E.-based hospital operator NMC Healthcare’s shares have surged 8.11% after the firm announced that it increased its stake in Fakih IVF and As Salama Hospital on January 4, 2018.The London Stock Exchange-listed firm had a share of 51% in Fakih IVF and a 70% stake in As Salama Hospital. Both the companies were acquired at the same enterprise value which was set in 2016 during its initial purchase.
Al Rajhi REIT Fund Launches $437.4 Million IPO In one of the largest REIT fund IPOs in Saudi Arabia, Al Rajhi REIT Fund—Al Rajhi Capital’s first Real Estate Investment Fund—launched an IPO with a fund size of $437.4 million (SAR 1.62 billion) on January 1 this year.The IPO will run until January 14, offering 42.67 million units for SAR 10 each. The Sharia-compliant fund—managed by Al Rajhi Capital—aims to acquire or invest in income generating commercial, office, and educational assets, as well as warehouses, located in Riyadh, Jeddah, Al Khobar and Khamis Mushait in the Kingdom—except Makkah and Madinah.
Air Liquide Acquires Saudi-Based Thimar Al Jazirah Company’s Homecare Unit French industrial gas company Air Liquide announced that it has acquired the respiratory division of Riyadh-based medical devices company Thimar Al Jazirah Company (TAC).Although financials weren’t disclosed, Air Liquide reports it acquired a 60% stake in TAC’s home healthcare division, which specializes in the distribution of respiratory equipment and sleep disorder diagnosis services. The unit generated revenues of about $6.6 million in 2016, according to a press release.With this acquisition, Air Liquide pursues the development of its activity in Saudi Arabia and expands its healthcare business in the Middle East.
U.A.E. Telcos Brush Up Their VoIP Offerings Amidst Skype Block Telecommunications service providers Etisalat and Du have confirmed on Twitter that access to the Skype application has been blocked in the United Arab Emirates due to its status as an unlicensed Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service.According to the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), any VoIP service that is being used by companies or individuals must be licensed within the U.A.E. Any person using unlicensed VoIP services may be committing a criminal offence.
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