The week past... and week ahead
WELCOME to cashy's new weekly update, where we take a look back to events of the past week that could affect your purse-strings... and tell you what's coming up!
This week, the Arab world continued to be rocked by unrest... but it has given the Dubai tourism sector a boost.
Looking ahead, lovers of the maritime world can snap up bargains or flog their unwanted pre-owned nautical goods, and there are prizes aplenty at the Dubai Shopping Festival. Good luck!
The week that was...
MENA rocked by unrest
The ousting of Tunisia's president sparked ongoing violence in Egypt, Algeria, Yemen and Lebanon – and rattled stock markets. Commentators question whether the uprisings could have damaging consequences on future investment in the Middle East and Northern Africa. Will investors be more cautious on investing in Arab world companies, or will they see it as an opportunity to snap up stock at low prices?
Boost to Dubai tourism
As holidaymakers bail out on Egypt, Dubai is picking up the slack. Business at hotels across the Emirate is booming with bookings almost at capacity. Occupancy levels are up 20% compared to this time last year, as Dubai also benefits from boosting its attractiveness to budget travellers as well as the well-heeled. Go Dubai!
Banks in the UAE are targeting the youth of today in a bid to teach them about financial management. Children under the age of 18 are now able to open a joint savings account with a parent. The banks hope the approach will teach youngsters the importance of financial management. In the long-term, of course, they hope to gain life-long customers. Is this just a ploy to boost their balance sheets or a genuine bid to create a savings culture? Tell cashy what you think below.
Hard line on credit
As they try to lure child savers, banks are increasingly pulling up the shutters on lending to local companies, yet their financial statements show income from interest charges growing sharply, according to reports. We all know the mess that easy credit got the global economy into, not least the UAE. But do we believe UAE banks when they say their profit margins on lending are lower than the rest of the Gulf? cashy thinks not.
New labour laws which came into force in the UAE on 1 January have shifted the power into the hands of employees. Businesses are rethinking salary and benefit schemes to retain staff and attract new workers. Government officials from the Ministry of Labour say the new rules will protect the rights of workers, allowing them to switch jobs more easily and ultimately empower them. Hurray to that!
The week ahead...
So, what's worth checking out in the next week or so?
Grab a nautical bargain
Got old nautical goods you'd like to sell or want to pick up a maritime bargain? Then head along to the final nautical flea market of the 2010-11 boating season to be held by Mourjan Marinas on Friday. Nautical lovers can meet and swap stories, as well as directly sell and buy pre-owned nautical items. Professionals and amateurs alike can find everything from equipment for fishing, diving and wakeboarding to anchors, radars, ropes and outboards. There might also be some yachts of up to 40 metres up for grabs. The event is on from 3-9pm at Dubai's Festival Marina. Aye-aye captain!
Your trash is my treasure
Bargain hunters will be out in full force on Friday at Promenade Courtyard, Uptown Mirdiff, to see what treasures they can find at Dubai flea market. This second hand market is where you can buy and sell everything used, from household items, home appliances, furniture, textiles, ceramics, electrical equipment, toys, games, books, DVDs, clothes, antiques, accessories... the list is endless. It runs from 3-9pm, so join the throng to see if you can find that perfect desk for your office, antique clock for your collection or unusual gift for a loved one. There's no entrance fee for visitors, but exhibitors must book a spot. One stand costs AED 230 ($39).
Dubai Desert Classic
Children under 18 can attend the Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament for free. It runs until Sunday at Emirates Golf Club. For golf fanatics, it's a chance to see Tiger Woods and other top golfers up close. Adult tickets cost AED 175 ($48), and children must be accompanied by an adult.
Crooning for free
Up until Tuesday, you can soak up some live jazz for free at the Jazz Garden in Dubai Media City at this year's Skywards Dubai International Jazz Festival. You must register online at the official website.
Let me entertain you
If you love to shop and would also enjoy some free entertainment, why not combine the two at Mall of the Emirates this week? Traditional music and dance from across the globe will be performed at the mall until 20 February, when Dubai Shopping Festival officially ends. Entertainment will run from 4-9pm at the Galleria and other mall locations. For a list of specific times and locations call 04 4099 000.
Prizes galore at malls
If the shops prove too much of a temptation and you end up spending more than a combined total of AED 300 ($82) at the Mall of the Emirates, Deira City Centre and Mirdiff City Centre malls, you could win a shopping spree worth a whopping AED 300,000 ($81,675). Other prizes include a trip to Paris for two. Plus if you spend AED 300 or more at Deira City Centre mall you are in with a chance of winning a solid bar of gold. The promotion runs until 20 February. Now that would appease your bank balance!
Sharjah and Ajman get in on act
Not to be outdone, there are prizes up for grabs at Sharjah City Centre and Ajman City Centre malls. Shoppers could win ten times more than they spend until 28 February. If you spend AED 100 ($27), you could win AED 1,000 ($270), splashing out AED 150 ($41) could see you walk away with AED 1,500 ($410) and AED 200 ($54) could net you AED 2,000 ($540). Don’t fall for the marketing hype, though, and throw your weekly budget out of the window in the vain hope of winning a few bucks. You've been warned!
What do you think of the week's headlines? Are you going to be attending any of the upcoming events? Share with cashy...