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Expat life

Expat employees in the UAE traditionally leave with a "golden goodbye" bonus. But this is starting to change

Expats in UAE get ready to leave ‘golden goodbye’ behind

The “golden goodbye” has long been a staple of UAE office life. Expat staff are handed a lump sum by their employer when they leave, based on a percentage of their salary and length of service.  But the practice is starting to change. More companies are looking to set up workplace pension and saving plans instead.  […]

Passengers on the Ain Dubai wheel look out over Palm Jumeirah – now a popular spot for Russian property investors

Russians snap up plots of land to build ‘Little Moscow’ in Dubai

Russian investors in Dubai are working to become real estate developers or acquire clusters of homes to build “Little Moscow” communities in the emirate. Buyers from Russia have become big investors in Dubai property since sanctions imposed on Moscow locked them out of European and North American markets. The UAE has also become a key […]

Baseball United CEO Kash Shaikh (left) launches Dubai Wolves and Abu Dhabi Falcons, the first professional baseball franchises in the Gulf

Baseball ready to strike home run in the Middle East

When the opening pitch is thrown at Dubai International Stadium in November it will signal the official start of the first ever professional baseball league in the Middle East and South Asia. And the power broker behind the ambitious project hopes the 25,000-seater venue will be at least a quarter full to mark the inaugural […]

Ritesh Agarwal, seen at a SoftBank event in 2019, founded Oyo in 2013

Oyo expands to meet expat demand for Abu Dhabi flats

Indian hospitality chain Oyo is adding 2,000 apartments to its offering in Abu Dhabi as demand grows for expat housing. The furnished units will be available for long-term rent and many will be located in business districts such as Khalifa City, Al Zeina, Al Raha, Al Reem Island, Al Reef and Al Mushrif. Other apartments […]

Aldar's Faisal Falaknaz said overseas buyers were becoming homeowners in Abu Dhabi

Aldar targets China as sales to overseas buyers balloon

Aldar Properties is working to attract more Chinese customers as it reports a fourfold increase in sales to overseas and expat buyers for the first half of the year. “One interesting demographic we are starting to see is the Chinese,” said Faisal Falaknaz, group chief financial and sustainability officer at the Abu Dhabi developer. “It […]

Sahar Cooper, CEO of Aldar Education

Aldar Education expands into Bahrain and Dubai

Aldar Properties has increased investment in its education business, with over AED350 million ($95 million) added to the initial AED1 billion commitment announced last year, it said on Monday.  A filing to the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange notes that the company is expanding into Dubai and Bahrain, as well as adding a new acquisition in […]

Russian investors and developers are buying up rows of villas and homes in Dubai to rent to Russian nationals

Russians bucking trend in Dubai with bigger, pricier homes

Russian buyers are bucking the trend in Dubai real estate and buying bigger, more expensive houses as they make the emirate their new permanent home. Residential property prices in the emirate climbed at their fastest rate in almost a decade in the first half of this year. Villas topped previous records set in 2014. Property […]

Residential deals slump in Saudi as mortgage costs rise

Residential real estate deals in Saudi Arabia fell by nearly a third during the first half of 2023 as higher mortgage costs eroded purchasing power. New analysis from Knight Frank showed there were about 70,000 transactions during the first six months of the year, down from 103,000 in the same period last year, representing a […]

Jordan retail

Jordan GDP growth forecasts raised on domestic demand

Real GDP growth forecasts for Jordan have been raised after sectors including manufacturing, finance, transport and retail performed stronger than expected in the first quarter of the year. Analysts at BMI (formerly Fitch) expect Jordan’s real GDP growth to hit 2.8 percent – up from a previous forecast of 2.6 percent. Growth stood at 2.5 […]

UAE passports

UAE passports gain most visa-free access since 2013

The UAE’s passport has recorded the biggest improvement over the last decade in access to global markets, as the Gulf state develops international tourism and trade. Figures from the Henley Passport Index show that Emirati passport holders enjoy access to 179 out of 226 countries and territories without requiring a visa in advance. This places […]

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Private vaults fill the gap as banks abandon deposit boxes

Private vaults in Dubai are emerging to take the place of the safety deposit boxes once provided by traditional banks. Costs, concerns over legal liability and the rise of online banking have made providing safety deposit boxes less appealing for banking giants. Capital One, HSBC, Barclays and JPMorgan Chase have all withdrawn from the market. […]

A street in Manama, Bahrain. The kingdom's real GDP is forecast to rise by 2.9 percent this year

Non-oil sector propels Q1 growth in Bahrain

Bahrain’s economy expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2023, driven by a 3.5 percent rise in real GDP for the non-oil sector, the finance ministry said in its quarterly economic report. The oil sector recorded a 5.9 percent drop in real GDP, as seasonal maintenance led to a downturn in production. Nominal […]

personal security opening car door for client

Personal security grows as wealthy expats flock to GCC

As more and more high net worth individuals choose to call the states of the GCC home, the private personal security sector has become big business, and some providers are reporting surging demand for their services. Last year 5,200 more HNWIs relocated to the UAE than left. The Gulf state had the highest net inflow […]

Bahrain souq visitors

Bahrain named best country in Middle East for expats

Bahrain is ranked among the top 10 countries in the world and number one in the Middle East for expatriates to live and work, according to the latest Expat Insider Survey by InterNations. The survey ranked countries in 56 categories including quality of life, ease of settling in, working abroad, personal finance and expat essentials. […]

Arada Sharjah Masaar

Sharjah real estate sales surge from Dubai spillover

The loosening of buying rules and a steady spillover of tenants from Dubai has boosted real estate sales in its neighbouring emirate Sharjah. Arada, a master developer in the emirate, has reported a 186 percent increase in sales during the first half of this year. It sold a total of 1,616 homes worth a total […]

Luxury Skyscraper In Dubai

UAE changes bank rules for Emirati mortgage holders

The Central Bank of the UAE has introduced new mortgage repayment rules for citizens this week as a response to rising interest rates. Customers who have a monthly income of AED40,000 ($10,890) or more will now have their mortgage repayments capped at 60 percent of their present salary. Banks were previously only allowed to deduct […]

Meteora, towers, Dubai

Indian buyers flock to Dubai for higher rental yields

With more wealthy Indians moving to the UAE and rental yields in the Gulf state more than twice the size of those in India, interest in purchasing real estate is set to continue to rise. Indians were the top foreign buyers in Dubai last year, spending more than those from Russia, China, Pakistan and the […]

Dubai, Skyros project, apartments

Affordable homes warning for Dubai private developers

Private developers in Dubai must build enough affordable housing or the government may be forced to step in, a prominent business leader has warned. Nasser al Shaikh, who served as director-general of Dubai’s Department of Finance until 2009 and held senior roles at real estate finance firm Amlak Finance and property developer Deyaar Development, said […]