Oil Gas: Resolution to merge Ipic and Mubadala

Oil Gas: Resolution to merge Ipic and Mubadala

The oil gas industry in seeing major changes ahead as demand for fossil fuels could reduce over the coming years. Consolidation will be key across the industry to save costs and provide more capabilities. Diversification into renewable energy sources will also be very important as the millennial are becoming more selective in favour of more friendly products and services. Energy producers around the world must diversify to take advantage of this opportunity.

oil gas

ABU DHABI: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, has issued a resolution to merge International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic) and Mubadala Development Company (Mubadala).

The resolution stipulated that a joint committee be created and assigned with the responsibility of merging the businesses of the two companies.

The joint committee will be chaired by Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, with Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak serving as Vice Chairman and the membership of Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al Mazrouei, Hamad Al Hurr Al Suwaidi, and the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Finance

Integrating the two entities would create greater benefits and enhanced economic value to the Government of Abu Dhabi and to the oil gas industry in the region.

The combined entity will realise synergies and growth in multiple sectors including the energy and utilities sector, technology, aerospace, industry, health care, real estate and financial investments.

It will also have the ability to contribute more significantly to the diversification of the economy, in line with the Abu Dhabi Plan and the country’s long-term vision. It would also build on the creation of quality, long-term employment and development of human capital in critical sectors for the emirate.

The two companies will continue to operate independently until the joint committee concludes its assignment.


Arab e-commerce world behind in digital revolution

Arab e-commerce world behind in digital revolution

As the world increasingly relies on online business transactions, the Arab e-commerce world is lagging behind. Steps are requried to encourage Arab businesses to boost their investment in this critical business area.

Arab e-commerce

Arab e-commerce is poised for huge growth and companies in this region must take advantage of this opportunity. The technologies that underline these systems provide unprecedented information and insights into customer behavior.

ABU DHABI // The Arab world is lagging behind the rest of the world in the digital revolution, a business leader has said, despite its high number of internet users.

Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar, on Monday night told the Ramadan Majlis of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed that the UAE should be more involved in e-commerce.

“In the Arab world, there will be 300 million internet users by 2020,” Mr Alabbar said. “Our lives have become entirely dependent on the internet. We spend four hours a day connected on our mobile phones of which three hours are spent on social media.” Last year, the total amount spent on e-commerce in the country was Dh7 billion.

“The overall commercial value of trade in the country was Dh600bn and only a small portion of this is traded online,” Mr Alabbar said. “Those numbers are really low and we need to get into the opportunities that the digital revolution is providing.


“Huge global companies collect and aggregate data about our purchase patterns, eating habits, beliefs, friends and financials. They mine that data for insights and over time do a significantly better job than us at targeting our own consumers.”

“The profit pool then begins to shift away from asset owners and towards tech companies leaving us all behind.”

Companies that control the information on consumers control the market, he said.

He cited international online retailers including Amazon, which has a net worth seven times that of the biggest traditional retailers, and Priceline Group, owners of the Booking.com, which is worth more than the five biggest major hotel groups combined.


Saudi prince could jump-start the kingdom or not

Saudi prince could jump-start the kingdom or not

Saudi Arabia is a country attempting to change as it moves away from being so reliant on oil revenues. The country has traditionally been very conservative in its outlook but a new generation of leaders is looking to transform the country.

The tensions unsettling the Saudi royal family became clear in September, when Joseph Westphal, the U.S. ambassador to Riyadh, flew to Jiddah to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, nominally the heir to the throne. But when he arrived, he was told that the deputy crown prince, a brash 30-year-old named Mohammed bin Salman, wanted to see him urgently.

The ambassador was redirected. The United States and the crown prince swallowed the embarrassment.

Palace intrigue is a staple of monarchies, but it is impossible to overstate how out of character such a generational power play was for the desert kingdom. Robert Lacey, in his classic 1981 book, “The Kingdom,” described the tradition of deference that has held the Saudi royal family together through feast and famine: “Deference to elders is one of the Al-Saud’s inviolable ground rules, the best corset they know to discipline the outward thrust of so many assembled appetites.”

Not anymore: Starting in January 2015 with the accession of King Salman, Saudi Arabia has been shaken by the bold reform campaign of his son, known at home and abroad by his initials, MBS. By outmaneuvering and sometimes defying his elders, the young deputy crown prince has turned the politics of this conservative, sometimes sclerotic monarchy upside down.

MBS is the kind of prince that Machiavelli might conjure. He’s a big, fast-talking young man who dominates a room with the raw, instinctive energy of a natural leader. But his hardball tactics have offended some Saudis — especially his rebuffs of Mohammed bin Nayef, his elder at 56 and his nominal superior. In addition to detouring the U.S. ambassador, MBS is said to have engineered the firing of the crown prince’s closest aide in September.


Saudi Reforms Aim For Silicon Valley Appeal

Saudi Reforms Aim For Silicon Valley Appeal

Saudi Arabia’s grand vision for the future includes becoming less reliant on oil based revenues. To help with this process the younger generation of royals are looking to change the image of the Kingdom in order to attract foreign direct investment. Saudi reforms are being put in place in order to increase the attraction to the outside world across a whole range of business areas such as tourism, manufacturing, financial services, transportation and more.

Saudi reforms are imperative in order to increase the number of jobs for the growing younger generations. There is a changing demographic in the kingdom due to the baby boom over the last 20-30 years with many of the younger generation feeling disenfranchised. A new generation of upcoming Saudi leaders are looking to the West for new investment opportunities and they are being encouraged by the reaction of young Saudis on social media and elsewhere.

(Reuters) – The powerful young prince behind modernizing reforms in Saudi Arabia presents himself as the champion of his nation’s plugged-in youth, and his visit to Silicon Valley this week sought to bolster that image.

Saudi reforms from young Saudi prince

The 31-year-old Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has unabashedly pitched his “Vision 2030” reforms at the 70% of the staid Islamic kingdom’s people younger than him, promising to unlock their “talent, potential and dedication.”

He has also tried to overcome Western stereotypes of Saudis, meeting foreign media to sell his vision of market-oriented reforms and a transformation of the kingdom’s society. Pictures of the denim-clad prince in Silicon Valley served both purposes.

His modernizing message has strongly resonated on social media with younger Saudis, whose concerns sometimes seemed misunderstood or ignored by older royals, and where hashtags referencing the prince receive large volumes of traffic.

“The Saudi youth and the government are finally speaking the same language,” said Manal al-Sharif, a banker and mother of two teenage girls in Jeddah.

Saudi Prince Aims For Silicon Valley Appeal to Gleam at Home

Religious tourism to drive Saudi Arabia hotel openings

Religious tourism to drive Saudi Arabia hotel openings

Religious Tourism

Religious tourism is set to grow in Saudi Arabia as the number of pilgrims increase year by year for festivals such as Umrah. This has led to plans to many new hotel openings in the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia is expected to have a steady stream of new hotel openings over the next five years amid a jump in pilgrim numbers as part of its 270 billion riyal (Dh264.43bn) National Transformation Plan.

hotel openings due to increased tourism

The kingdom wants to increase the number of Haj pilgrims to 2.5 million by 2020 from 1.5 million and more than double Umrah pilgrims to 15 million from 6 million, according to the plan revealed last week. Saudi Arabia also wants to boost tourism spending by two-thirds to 174.8bn riyals from 104.8bn riyals.

“Although currently there are no definitive plans available regarding where the additional revenue will be spent, we expect that the priority targets will include expansion of tourism infrastructure in the country, training Saudi workforce to participate in the growth of this sector, and developing and upgrading tourism facilities across the country,” said Rashid Aboobacker, the associate director at TRI Consulting, in Dubai.

New Investment Required

The plan envisages raising the number of hotel rooms and apartments by about 40 per cent to 621,000 from 446,000.


Real Estate Development:  Chinese invest in Dubai

Real Estate Development: Chinese invest in Dubai

Real estate development has always been a good investment over the long term Dubai. The UAE as a whole provides a mature market, strong demand, excellent infrastructure, no restrictions on returning capital to its country of origin, and a tax free environment to make such investments. Dubai is also strategically located with access to half of the world’s population within 6 hours of flying. This has attracted a multitude of businesses to invest and setup in the emirate which has led to boom in commercial and residential real estate. Combined with a stable business environment, the city of Dubai is well placed to take advantage of the opportunities in the future with real estate development being a core driver.

China’s current status as a global financial giant has not been achieved overnight but earned through consistent efforts. The resultant rise in affluence has given wings to Chinese investors. This has encouraged them to flock to other countries in the hope of making savvy investments. As a way of preventing the over-saturation of the Chinese markets, the Chinese government has been rallying investors to look for investment opportunities abroad. The Chinese real estate market underwent drastic changes in the past few years that left investors high and dry. The changes have mostly been influenced by low rental yields, stock market downturn and low interest rate, high prices and low capital gains. As a result, the Chinese have found the UAE’s, especially Dubai’s, real estate sector a lucrative investment option.

The Chinese were ranked the seventh biggest property investors in Dubai in 2015, investing around $460 million in the first nine months of the year. Juwai.com said Chinese investor interest in the Dubai real estate market rose by 1,200 percent by August 2015, as compared to the previous year. But let’s consider a few points that help clarify why UAE makes so much sense to China’s wealthy.


Dh30b earmarked for new retail developments

Dh30b earmarked for new retail developments

Majid Al Futtaim says it sees enough future growth right here in the UAE to justify an additional Dh30 billion investment over the next 10 years. The Dubai-based retail and hospitality company said on Wednesday that it will boost its investment in the country from Dh18 billion to Dh48 billion by 2026.