July 2018

Gulf Industry Magazine helps you catch up with the numbers behind economic and industrial developments in the region.

SMEs contribute 40pc to Dubai’s GDP

SMALL and medium enterprises (SMEs) are estimated to contribute 40 per cent to Dubai’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employ 42 per cent of the total workforce, said a top official.

The significance of such enterprises must not be overlooked as they are responsible for substantial employment and income generation opportunities across the world, thus playing a major role in poverty alleviation, socio-economic and sustainable development, Fahad Al Gergawi, chief executive officer of Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), was quoted as saying in a Wam report.

The announcement was made on the occasion of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day, which is observed on June 27. The CEO added that the new series of policies announced by federal and emirate governments are set to transform the nation’s business ecosystem by enhancing the ease of doing business, supporting new sectors and further developing SMEs, said the report.


Global sales of smartphones up 1.3pc in Q1

GLOBAL sales of smartphones to end users saw growth in the first quarter of 2018 with a 1.3 per cent increase over the same period in 2017, according to a report by research and advisory firm Gartner.

Compared to the first quarter of 2017 sales of total mobile phones stalled and reached 455 million units in the first quarter of 2018, said the report by Gartner, titled “Market Share: Final PCs, Ultramobiles and Mobile Phones, All Countries, 1Q18 Update”.

Nearly 384 million smartphones were sold in the first quarter of 2018, representing 84 per cent of total mobile phones sold, it added.

Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner, said: “Demand for premium and high-end smartphones continued to suffer due to marginal incremental benefits during upgrade. Demand for entry-level smartphones (sub-$100) and low midtier smartphones (sub-$150) improved due to better-quality models.”

Continued weakness in Greater China’s mobile phone market also limited growth potential for the top global brands, including Chinese brands such as Oppo and Vivo, with over 70 per cent of their sales coming from Greater China, it said.

Samsung’s midtier smartphones faced continued competition from Chinese brands, which led to unit sales contraction year on year.

The delayed sales boost for Apple from last quarter materialised. Apple’s smartphone unit sales returned to growth in the first quarter of 2018, with an increase of 4 per cent year on year.

Whereas, Huawei’s refreshed smartphone portfolio helped strengthen its No. 3 global smartphone vendor position, said the report. Gupta said: “Achieving 18.3 per cent growth in the first quarter of 2018 helped Huawei close the gap with Apple.”


UAE-Hong Kong non-oil trade reaches $8.9bn

THE UAE is the biggest trade partner of Hong Kong in the Middle East, as the value of the non-oil trade exchange between the two countries accounted for $8.9 billion in 2017, marking a 5.1 per cent growth over 2016, a top official said.

Juma Al Keet, assistant under-secretary for Foreign Trade Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Economy (MoE) was speaking at the recently concluded 6th edition of Hong Kong Lifestyle Expo – Dubai, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), reported Emirates news agency Wam.

The fair is a platform for trade exchange between Hong Kong, China and the Middle East, where exhibitors showcase a variety of products that include electronics, IT and communication, home appliances, fashion, accessories, furniture and lighting systems.

“There are great potentials for forming more fruitful partnerships between the two countries, with a focus on SMEs, technology, tourism, renewable energy, infrastructures and finance and banking as they feature high in the development agenda of both countries,” Al Keet said.

The fair comes as a continuation of the cooperation and the strategic partnership between the UAE and China, particularly under the initiatives and development projects of China’s One Belt One Road Initiative that focuses on building trade and investment partnership between countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

The event was attended by a large number of officials and representatives of the private sector, the Chinese Embassy in the UAE, HKTDC and the China Trade Development Corp.


FDI to UAE up 8pc, tops $10bn in 2017

FOREIGN direct investment to the UAE rose by eight per cent to $10.4 billion in part due to rising cross-border mergers and acquisitions sales, making the country the largest source of FDI in 2017 for the Arab region (at 36 per cent of total FDI inflow), a media report said.

The UAE has ranked 30th in the world in terms of a nation›s ability to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2017, up five places from 2016, reported Emirates news agency Wam, citing the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) study titled  ‹World Investment Report 2018›.

In terms of expanding outflows, the UAE increased by eight per cent to 14 billion, advancing to 21st position globally, and accounting for 41.9 per cent of total FDI outflows for the West Asia region.Global flows of foreign direct investment fell by 23 per cent to $1.43 trillion in 2017, the UNCTAD report highlighted. It attributed this reduction, in part by, a 22 per cent decrease in the value of cross-border mergers and acquisitions.


Dubai non-oil private sector sees sharp growth

DUBAI’S non-oil private sector witnessed a sharp and accelerated growth during May with output and new orders both expanding at the strongest rates since early 2015, said the latest Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker.

Increases in the travel & tourism and wholesale & retail sectors were the key drivers of May’s improvement. Reflective of strong business conditions in the sector, positive sentiment was at its highest since the series began in April 2012.

The seasonally adjusted Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker Index – a composite indicator designed to give an accurate overview of operating conditions in the non-oil private sector economy – scored 57.6, up from 53.9 in April. The latest figure signalled a sharp improvement that was the strongest recorded since April 2017.

Wholesale & retail led the upturn on a sector basis, with an index reading of 58.3, closely followed by travel & tourism (57.3). At 54.6, down marginally from 54.9 in April, construction was the only sector to record softer growth in May.

A reading of below 50.0 indicates that the non-oil private sector economy is generally declining; above 50.0, that it is generally expanding. A reading of 50.0 signals no change.


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