Middle East Business Review – 12 February

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Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) announced it has awarded a 13-year maintenance contract of the Al Sufouh tram project in Dubai to a consortium of comprising of Alstom and Cofely-Besix worth AED851 million. “The selection of Alstom for the maintenance of Al Sufouh Tramway was prompted by the fact that it is the only company in the world that manufactures tramsets powered by a modern, safe and catenary-free power supply system, which helps preserve the urban environment and historic heritage of the city of Dubai,” Mattar Al Tayer, chairman and executive director of the RTA, said.

According to the World Environmental Performance Index (EPI), the UAE has been named as the most cleanest environment in the Gulf region. The survey, carried out jointly by Yale and Columbia University, listed the nation on 77th position, a massive improvement from last year’s 152nd out of 163 countries. Other GCC countries on the list are Saudi Arabia (82), Qatar (100) and Kuwait (126). “The ranking is a fantastic result and great news for the country, but it hasn’t happened overnight. It’s been due for a long time as the groundwork has been going on for years,” said Habiba Al Marashi, Chairperson of Emirates Environmental Group (EEG).

Dubai Municipality has announced it is working on plans to have a ‘world class’ standards zoo with a “full-fledged team of specialists, veterinarians, animal curators and entire qualified cadres for animal welfare according to the global systems and frame lines?. Hussain Nasser Lootah, director general of Dubai Municipality, said the animals would be shifted as soon as the new zoo was ready.

MEED Quality Awards for Projects 2012 said in a statement that the GCC region will see the completion of AED3.67 trillion ($1 trillion) worth of projects by 2020 – the highest per capita construction spending across the planet. “The projects completed and now under way in the six countries that make up the GCC have special significance. To an extent [this is] unmatched anywhere else on earth,” said Edmund O’Sullivan, chairman of the judging panel of the MEED Quality Awards for Projects, an independent programme established in 2011 to recognise project excellence. The UAE would be the top spending nation among GCC countries with its construction projects worth AED2.36 trillion ($636 billion).

Savills, one of the UK’s top real estate advisor, said world’s most expensive real estate development which is partly owned by Qatar’s Prime Minister has completed the sale of 11 five bedroom apartments for $2.36 billion. “Over ?1.5bn of sales have completed already at One Hyde Park making it the most successful residential scheme in London and probably the world,” Edward Lewis, director of residential development sales for Savills, said in a statement.

Emirates Post Group Holding declared it has acquired the remaining 40% shares in Wall Street Exchange Centre, one of the UAE?s largest and oldest forex companies, for an undisclosed price. ?Emirates Post Group is pleased to announce that Wall Street Exchange is now a fully owned subsidiary of the group. We are confident that the full ownership of Wall Street Exchange will help us lead the company to new heights by taking bold and innovative steps to compete in a crowded marketplace,? said Fahad Al Hosani, acting president of Emirates Post and chairman of Wall Street Exchange.

Speaker of the Iranian Majlis has warned Gulf nations not to side with the US in its current stand-off against the Islamic Republic. “We recommend to some of the countries in the region who were siding with (Iraq dictator) Saddam (Hussein) and now are siding with the US plots against the Iranian nation to give it up.?Iran will not forgive them again. There will be consequences in the region if new plots against our nation are carried out,” Ali Larijani said in a statement on state media.

(By Moign Khawaja – Editor: Arabian Gazette)

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