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DP World claimed Wednesday it has won the contract to operate Nanaimo port on Vancouver island. Dubai-based ports and shipping group and Nanaimo Port Authority said they have signed a three year agreement to run facilities that include Duke Point facility and Assembly Wharf.

Emirates, Dubai?s flag carrier and the world?s largest long-haul airlines, announced Wednesday it has extended its Latin America network by linking Dubai with Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. “This new linked service to two of the most economically vibrant cities in South America will not only boost trade ties with the UAE, but will also introduce travellers to Emirates’ route network spanning points across the globe,” Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice President – Passenger Sales Worldwide, said in a statement. “Emirates will offer customers in Brazil and Argentina the most efficient and comfortable route to the Middle and Far East,” the statement added. The Dubai-based airlines now flies to 118 destinations in 69 countries.

FlyDubai, Dubai’s low cost carrier, announced Wednesday it will launch services to Taif from 1 February. “We are grateful to the Saudi authorities for their continued support of flydubai. Taif marks our seventh destination in Saudi Arabia and is part of our strategy to connect the UAE to destinations previously under-served by direct air links,” flydubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith said in a statement. FlyDubai operates a total of 55 weekly flights to destinations across Saudi Arabia.

A joint survey conducted by Markit Economics and HSBC Bank showed Wednesday that growth in UAE’s non-oil private sector suffered a four-month low in December resulting into employment stagnation and easing of new order growth. The UAE’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), the yardstick measuring the performance of country’s manufacturing and services sectors, dropped to 51.7 points in December from 52.5 in November last year. “The UAE economy may still be expanding, but another weak PMI score strongly suggests that growth has continued to lose momentum. Given how troubled the global outlook is, the UAE is unlikely to pick up pace over the first months of 2012,” Simon Williams, chief economist for the Middle East and North Africa at HSBC, said in the report.

Qatari government has established an anti-corruption watchdog and claimed it aims to rank among the world’s 10 most transparent countries. The country’s ruler, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, said the new watchdog would be tasked with scrutinising the activities of government-linked agencies. Analysts suggest the moves have been taken to discourage state employees from owning or managing a private business or sitting on the board of a listed company. According to Transparency International, the gas rich sheikhdom is currently the most transparent country in the Middle East.

Government of the State of Kuwait has posted a budget surplus of 11.6billion Kuwaiti dinars ($41.6 billion) during the first two quarters of 2011-12 fiscal year, double than a year ago on higher than expected oil revenue and lower spending. According to the data posted on the finance ministry’s website www.mof.gov.kw, the world’s sixth-largest oil exporter earned 18.7 billion dinars ($67.07 billion) in April-November, while spending came at 7.1 billion dinars ($25.47billion), a bit more than one-thirds of the full-year plan.

A global Islamic real estate advisory firm has welcomed a new Saudi legislation that regulates the real estate, immigration, business and finance sectors of the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. Alpha1Estates had proposed five critical pieces of legislation which focus on globalising the sector to non-Saudi Muslims. ?Our five main proposals for new legislation include: firstly, easing immigration and travel for non-Saudi Muslims; secondly, establishing a real estate regulatory authority to monitor buying and selling of real estate and prevent monopolies; thirdly, further empowering non-Saudi Muslim ownership, leasing and investment of real estate; fourthly, easing non-Saudi Muslims setting up a company, working or studying in the Kingdom, and fifthly, introducing and scaling Islamic mortgage financing in the Kingdom,” the company said in a statement.

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