UAE Remains a Hot Investment Destination

UAE Remains a Hot Investment Destination

UAE Remains a Hot Investment Destination

The UAE has maintained its position as a top investment destination for citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC, with 1,899 new licenses granted to GCC citizens to practice economic activities during 2015, leading to a total of 19,803 licenses by the end of 2015.

Commercial licenses made the top of the economic activities’ list, with a ratio of 78.1 percent, while professional licenses provided to GCC citizens represent a ratio of 15.6 percent, according to the 7th Annual Statistical Report on the Gulf Common Market, GCM, issued by the Department of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf Affairs.

The volume of direct GCC imports to the UAE amounted to AED 12.4 billion during the first nine months of 2015. The UAE’s direct exports to other GCC member states amounted to AED 32.16 billion, while UAE re-exports amounted to AED 24.6 billion during the first nine months of 2015.

The Ministry of Finance, MoF, today released the report at a press conference at the Ministry’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi. The report outlined the UAE’s performance in the Gulf Common Market.

During the press conference, Younis Haji Al Khoori, Under-Secretary at the MoF, offered an overview of the report and the UAE’s performance with regards to 15 prominent aspects of the market.

The report included statistical indicators of the UAE’s performance in economic, educational and social fields of the GCM, particularly sectors such as industry, real estate, investment companies, banks, stocks, trade, education, scientific research, tourism and health services.

Commenting on the report, Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, stressed the UAE’s important position in the GCC countries and GCM, according to statistical data issued by the General Secretariat of the GCC. Al Tayer highlighted that these achievements come as a result of the directives of our wise leadership in achieving GCC economic integration.

Al Tayer said, “The Ministry of Finance is committed to strengthening the UAE’s position in the GCM, and supporting the country’s public policy with regards to increasing Gulf economic integration. The Ministry also works on implementing the unified economic agreement between GCC countries, which falls within the scope of topics of GCC financial and economic integration, in order to achieve prosperity for GCC citizens and companies.”

Younis Haji Al Khoori said, “The Ministry continues its efforts to support and enhance economic cooperation as well as initiate economic activity within the region. We urge all relevant entities to strengthen joint cooperation and work with the GCC to overcome economic difficulties and achieve sustainable economic development.”

The UAE maintained its position as a top investment destination for GCC citizens. 1,899 new licenses were granted to GCC citizens to practice economic activities during 2015, leading to a total of 19,803 licenses by the end of 2015. Commercial licenses made the top of the economic activities’ list with a ratio of 78.1 percent , while professional licenses provided to GCC citizens represent a ratio of 15.6 percent.

Real estate activity witnessed a remarkable increase in 2015, where the number of new real estate registrations for GCC citizens reached 4,964, with 3,290 residential ownerships, representing a ratio of 66.3 percent , and 1,484 commercial, representing a ratio of 29.9 percent.

The number of listed companies in the Securities and Commodities Authorities, SCA, allowing GCC citizens to trade, reached 86, representing a ratio of 78.2 percent from the total registered companies in SCA for 2015.

The total number of Gulf investors witnessed some fluctuation over the past years, dropping to 196,044 in 2015 as a result of the economic conditions. However, the decline did not affect GCC citizens’ investments in capital, where public listed companies’ capitals that allow GCC citizens to trade increased from AED149 billion in 2014 to AED167 billion in 2015.

The volume of direct GCC imports to the UAE amounted to AED 12.4 billion during the first nine months of 2015. The UAE’s direct exports to other GCC member states amounted to AED 32.16 billion, while UAE re-exports amounted to AED 24.6 billion.

In 2015, the number of GCC industrial establishments operating in the UAE amounted to 89, with 46 establishments from KSA representing the largest share of 51.7 percent; 13 industrial establishments for Oman at 14.6 percent, followed by 13.5 percent for Kuwait, 11.2 percent for Bahrain and 9 percent for Qatar.

The volume of Gulf industrial investment in the UAE amounted to AED 4.31 billion in 2015 and is distributed across different sectors including: AED 1.8 billion for non-metallic mining industry, 41.8 percent, AED 690 million for metal products, 16.1 percent, AED 410 million for the food and beverage industry, 9.4 percent, followed by the chemical industry at 6.5 percent, machinery and equipment industry, 6.1 percent, and the paper and paper product industry at 5.6 percent.

In 2015, the number of GCC citizens working in the federal government sector reached 964, while the number of GCC citizens working in the local government sector reached 815 in 2015. The number of GCC citizens working in the private sector amounted to 1,286 employees.

The number of GCC tourists to the UAE witnessed remarkable growth between 2010 and 2015, with a total of 4,185,110 tourists in 2015 and a compound annual growth rate of 66.2 percent. Saudi tourists represented a ratio of 45.7 percent of the total amount, 32.9 percent were Omanis, 11.9 percent Kuwaiti, Qataris recorded a figure of 5.6 percent, and 3.9 percent were Bahraini tourists.

The total number of GCC national beneficiaries of social and retirement security in the public and private sector between 2012 and 2015 recorded a ratio of 79.6 percent. This period witnessed significant growth in the number of beneficiaries, which increased from 5,698 to 10,289, representing a growth rate of 80.6 percent. The number of beneficiaries of social and retirement security in the government sector reached 7,232 beneficiaries, and 3,057 beneficiaries for the private sector in 2015.

The total number of GCC citizens benefiting from social services in the UAE reached 272 in 2015, 245 of which benefit from social aid, and 27 from social welfare.

The number of GCC students attending public schools in the UAE amounted to 12,824 in 2015, with 2,567 in private schools. The number of GCC students attending public higher education institutions was 971, while students attending private higher education institutions reached 8,023. The number of GCC professors teaching in private and public higher education institutions was 30 in 2015.

The number of GCC citizens participating in the health care system and benefiting from health services offered by the UAE Ministry of Health, reached 5,569 in 2015. Omanis represent a ratio of 86.8 percent, followed by Saudis at 6.1 percent and Bahrainis at 5.4 percent.

The number of GCC patients visiting health centres under the Ministry of Health reached 15,278 in 2015, while the number of patients visiting private healthcare centres reached 22,124. GCC patients admitted to ER departments reached 20,141 in 2015. The number of GCC citizens visiting outpatient clinics amounted to 42,265 citizens, while inpatients amounted to 4,328 in 2015.

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Shayne Heffernan Funds Manager at HEFFX holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.

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