A look back at the news… and glance forward

A look back at the news… and glance forward
23 February 2011

IN THE news this week, it was reported that the UAE could be looking to buy land abroad, while the turmoil in the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region has had a positive effect on Dubai.

Plus, coming your way this week, there's an opportunity for graduates to boost their career prospects and other events to have fun while keeping your finances in check.

The week that was…

UAE to invest in foreign farmland

Businesses in the UAE are urging the government to invest in farmland abroad to grow staple foods to act as a buffer against increasing food prices worldwide. Last month, world food prices were the highest since records began, up 3.4% on the previous month, according to the United Nation's food price index. The UAE suffers from fluctuating food prices more than most due to importing around 85% of its total food produce. Is this the answer? cashy thinks it could help!

Saudi tourism boost

Saudi Arabia plans to increase the number of tourism jobs within ten years in a bid to diversify the economy so it doesn't rely solely on the oil industry. Currently, there are 457,000 tourism jobs in Saudi, but the government plans to raise this number to two million in the next decade. The red sea coastline and historical sights will be the main tourist attractions. With unemployment in Saudi currently as high as 43%, it could go some way to reducing the jobless total. Are you unemployed in Saudi? Do you think this move will help?

Abu Dhabi rents declining

Commercial and residential rental prices in Abu Dhabi will continue to fall this year, keeping the power in tenants' hands, according to reports. In some parts of Abu Dhabi rental prices are down 15% on this time last year, partly to do with more units becoming available than there are prospective tenants to fill them. Many people now commute from Dubai, with its cheaper accommodation, meaning landlords are struggling to fill vacant properties. Do you commute to Abu Dhabi? Or do you think higher rent is a price worth paying?

Investing in Egypt

It's thought that many banks will still see large-scale opportunities to invest in Egypt, specifically in special advisory boutiques, which have been growing in recent years. Egypt is also considered the trade crossroads between Europe and the Arab world, so bankers will remain aware of its importance, according to commentators – good news for the economy during a testing time for the region! Do you live in Egypt? How has the recent turmoil affected your day-to-day life?

Dubai benefits from MENA turmoil

Unrest in the MENA region has benefitted Dubai during this year's shopping festival. The Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment said hotels have been overbooked, while shopping centers have seen an increase in visitors and sales of between 10% and 25%, as tourists give Egypt and other parts of MENA a miss. Did you change your holiday plans to come to Dubai?

Consumers are spending again

Consumer confidence is on the rise, if figures from the Dubai Shopping Festival are anything to go by. Visa, the official sponsor, says UK visitors were the biggest spenders, forking out $9.2 million, a 9% increase on 2010. The US came second, splashing out $6.2m, an 11% increase. By far the biggest increase in year-on-year expenditure came form the Kazakhstanis. They spent $3.5m, a 171% increase compared to that of last year. How much did you spend during DSF? Go on, tell us!

The week ahead…

So, what's worth checking out in the next week or so?

Next step for graduates

Just graduated? Looking for your next move? Well, the National Career Exhibition kicks off today. It's a specialised exhibition for the UAE banking and financial sector, giving graduates first-hand information about the country's financial and private sector career opportunities. You can register or find out more on its official website. It runs until Friday at the Expo Centre, Sharjah. Don't miss the opportunity to develop your career!


Fitness First is staging a mass yoga session at Safa Park, Dubai, on Friday to raise money for the Dubai Autism Centre. Register at gate two from 7am for an 8am start. It costs AED 55 ($15) for non-members and AED 45 ($12) for members. Stretch your muscles, not your purse-strings – and help a great cause!

Abu Dhabi flea market

Got any old clobber to sell? Or maybe you want to grab a bargain? Well, get on down to the flea market at Sas al Nakheel Village, Abu Dhabi, on Friday. It kicks off at 8am and runs until midday. To book a table, and get rid of some of that clutter in your garage, visit the Sas al Nakheel clubhouse to reserve a space. It costs AED 50 ($14) to sell. To browse, it costs AED 5 ($1.3) on the door. Good luck whether you’re buying or selling!

Heritage film festival

Abu Dhabi's Heritage film festival kicks off today and lasts until Saturday – and the great news is it's free! It's the first open-air film festival to be held in the Emirates. For a schedule, visit the film festival's website.

Pic credit: healingdream/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What do you think of the week's headlines? Are you going to be attending any of the upcoming events? Share with cashy...


  • nima

    How can buying land abroad solve food supply prob's? It'll be impossible to get to when it's needed most - say when there's conflict. Close the borders. Stop export. Simple. So what's the point. Then again, what's the solution? Greenhouses? Consuming less?

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