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Egypt confirms its fifth participation in Arab Women Sports Tournament

Four clubs will be competing in four sporting categories at AWST

Sports lovers from Egypt residing in the UAE and across the region have reason to celebrate as talented sportswomen and female athletes representing four renowned clubs in Egypt will be competing in the upcoming edition of the Arab Women Sports Tournament (AWST) 2020 – the largest women’s sporting event in the Arab world, February 2 – 12, in Sharjah.

This is Egypt’s fifth participation in the event since the tournament’s inception in 2012. The country will be competing in four AWST competition disciplines, namely, basketball, volleyball, fencing and karate.

Egypt plays a leading role in the Arab world in supporting and promoting women’s sports, and is one of the region’s first countries to establish sports clubs for females. The representation of Egyptian sportswomen in AWST has always been outstanding, who have won 28 medals competing in AWST’s previous editions. In the 2018 edition, six Egyptian clubs participated taking home 13 medals.

HE Nada Askar Al Naqbi, Deputy Head of AWST’s Supreme Organising Committee, Head of its Executive Committee, and Director General of SWS, said: “Egypt has always been superb in sports. It has a long history of brilliance and innovation in all sports, including women’s sports. The country’s dedication to enhancing the capabilities of women in sports is reflected in the nation’s unrivalled representation at AWST who play with utmost professionalism to defend their titles, inspiring their peers from other countries. We look forward to Egypt bringing a high level of excellence and sporting spirit to AWST 2020.”

The fifth edition of AWST 2020 will see the participation of 16 Arab countries who will compete across nine sports: shooting, basketball, volleyball, table tennis, athletics, show jumping, fencing, archery and karate.

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Sports

MATCH OFFICIALS NAMED FOR ICC U19 CRICKET WORLD CUP

The International Cricket Council today announced the umpire and match referee appointments for the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020, which will be staged in South Africa from 17 January to 9 February.

Experienced umpires Wayne Knights and Ravindra Wimalasiri will take charge of the opening match of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup after the officials for South Africa 2020 were confirmed.

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Amadeus Gulf hits 1,500 subscriptions to breakthrough Amadeus Voice tool

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Amadeus Gulf, a leading provider of technology and distribution solutions for the travel and tourism industry, has announced that 1,500 travel agents around the region have subscribed to its breakthrough product, Amadeus Voice. A desktop-based app, Amadeus Voice provides users with access to a range of services that complement their daily tasks, enabling them to work more efficiently while keeping in touch with the latest news from their industry.

Developed based on Amadeus’ 30-year relationship with travel industry professionals, Amadeus Voice combines features that are attuned to the daily needs of its intended users. The app uses push technology to send relevant data updates as needed, in real time, to the users’ computer, giving them access to daily industry news along with product updates and announcements, such as Dynamic travel documents tips, availability of content and more to keep them informed of latest innovate solutions, allowing them to track major events through the app’s calendar, and providing them with instant notifications on any critical issues. Other features on the app include access to resources via the user’s computer, access to 24/7 Amadeus support hub, and Amadeus company news and updates.

Graham Nichols, Managing Director, Amadeus Gulf, said: “Amadeus Voice is a highly interactive tool that we designed to be not only unique, but to align with the needs and requirements of travel industry professionals. Having worked closely with members of the travel industry in the region, Amadeus Gulf understands what they need to make their job easier day to day, and Amadeus Voice is the ideal addition to the suite of solutions we offer for the travel sector.”

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D-Link Smart Plugs Support the Google Assistant

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  • Consumers can now control their mydlink Wi-Fi Smart Plugs from anywhere, hands-free.

D-Link Corporation, a global leader in connectivity solutions for small, medium and large enterprise business networking, has today announced that its mydlink Wi-Fi Smart Plugs (DSP-W215 and DSP-W110) are compatible with the Google Assistant on Google Home, eligible Android phones and iPhones.

According to the vendor that makes solutions in the IP Surveillance, Wireless, Switching, Storage, Security, Cloud, VoIP, Print Servers, Structured Cabling, Digital Home, 3G/4G Routers, Power over Ethernet Kit, Powerline, KVM, Structured Cabling and Digital home offerings, consumers can control their mydlink Wi-Fi Smart Plugs from anywhere by saying “Ok Google” and asking the Google Assistant to turn the plugs on and off, opening up a world of possibilities for homeowners to manage their appliances.

“With the support of the Google Assistant, consumers no longer need to stress about forgetting to turn off the clothing iron or the lights after they’ve left home, because they can simply use voice-control to shut off the smart plugs wherever they are”, says Sakkeer Hussain, Director Sales & Marketing at D-Link Middle East & Africa.

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Digital Shadows lifts the lid on credit card fraud gangs cashing in on $24 billion a year

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  • Reveals step up in sophistication with Russian language e-learning courses, allowing aspiring criminals to make $12k in monthly earnings
  • A snapshot of just two of the most popular criminal forums finds 2 million card holder details are on sale

Digital Shadows, the industry leader in digital risk management, today reveals the findings of an in-depth study carried out by its team of multilingual analysts assessing the changing habits and tactics of organized credit card fraud gangs. It points to increased sophistication of a professional ecosystem as fraudsters seek to up-skill themselves and novice would-be cyber criminals.

By analyzing hundreds of criminal forums, Digital Shadows discovered a new trend in the form of remote learning ‘schools’. Available to Russian speakers only, these six-week courses comprise 20 lectures with five expert instructors. The course includes webinars, detailed notes and course material. In exchange for RUB 45,000 ($745) (plus $200 for course fees), aspiring cyber criminals have the potential to make $12k a month, based on a standard 40-hour working week. Given the average Russian monthly wage is less than $700 a month it means cybercriminals could make nearly 17x more than a ‘legitimate’ job.

Interestingly, a criminal ‘code’ appears to exist on many of the Russian-origin carding forums, whereby no Russian card details are permitted for sale.

The criminals are going after a potentially lucrative market. In just two of the most popular ‘carding’ forums nearly 1.2 million card holder details are on sale for an average of $6 each. However, prices do vary dependent on the level of security associated with the card and cardholder. The least expensive cards are those requiring further authentication to ‘cash out’. The main obstacle to this is the PIN of the cardholder, which can be tricky and time-consuming to find out. Therefore, there exist automated services which call cardholders in the Middle East in an attempt to scam their details using social engineering techniques.

Social engineering is given a heavy emphasis in the courses. Advice is given on how to manipulate people through knowledge of their local area in order to build rapport with the target and trick them into exposing information (such as PIN numbers), usually over the phone. As the instructor puts it “that’s why I always advise to watch the news because with such incidents, it is possible to play beautifully.”

“The card companies have developed sophisticated anti-fraud measures and high quality training like this can be seen as a reaction to this”, said Rick Holland, VP Strategy at Digital Shadows. “Unfortunately, it’s a sign that criminals continually seek to lower barriers to entry, which then put more criminals into the ecosystem and cost card brands, retailers and consumers. However, the benefit is that the criminals are increasingly exposing their methods, which means that credit card companies, merchants and customers can learn from them and adjust their defenses accordingly.”

The research found that credit card criminals fall into four main groups (with some overlapping between each)

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ManageEngine Adds Enhanced Troubleshooting Features to Desktop Central

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Lets IT Admins Provide Better Assistance Using Voice and Video Chat, Remote Registry Access and More

  1. Adds chat options, remote registry access, and multi-monitor support to troubleshooting toolset
  2. Now supports business app deployment for Linux operating systems
  3. Download a free, 30-day trial of Desktop Central at http://oly/pw3Y30dCn6a

 ManageEngine, the real-time IT management company, today announced the addition of enhanced tools to its endpoint management solution, Desktop Central. Available immediately, these new tools allow IT admins to troubleshoot remote computers using voice and video chat, control multiple monitors while troubleshooting, and manage computers’ registry keys remotely. Desktop Central has expanded the scope of desktop management with support for Linux software deployment as well.

Based on analysis by Jeff Rumburg, co-founder and managing partner at MetricNet, enterprises in North America spend on average $118 per service request ticket, taking one and a half to two hours to resolve each ticket. With enhanced tools like voice and video calls and multi-monitor troubleshooting options, enterprises can drastically reduce the cost per ticket and average resolution time. Spending less time on each ticket, IT admins can improve their productivity in the long run.

“Enhanced SLA resolution time combined with a lower cost per ticket can dramatically increase a business’s profit and productivity,” said Mathivanan Venkatachalam, director of product management for Desktop Central.

“The new tools in Desktop Central have saved me countless hours and days of remote troubleshooting, allowing me to help people even faster because of the remote access capabilities,” said Luke Schaedle, director of information technology at Good Will-Hinckley, a ManageEngine customer since 2013.” It really has lived up to my expectations.”

Highlights:

  1. Voice and video calling: Resolve issues remotely and easily by initiating a voice or video call with an end user.
  2. Remote registry: Manage the registry for remote computers from a central location.
  3. Multi-monitor troubleshooting: Troubleshoot with an extra edge by switching between multiple monitors at the same time. Adds extra visibility.
  4. Updates to Linux support: Deploy business apps to Linux computers, including the latest Debian and Ubuntu flavors.
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Dusit International Names Prateek Kumar as Regional Vice President – EMEA Region

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  • Experienced hotelier is tasked with strengthening Dusit’s operations and development efforts in Europe, the Middle East and Africa


Thailand-based, global hospitality company Dusit International has appointed Mr. Prateek Kumar as Regional Vice President – EMEA region, responsible for strengthening Dusit’s operations and supporting development efforts in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

For the past two years Mr. Kumar was Area General Manager in charge of Dusit’s operations in Dubai. In his new role, he will continue to serve as General Manager of Dusit Thani Dubai while also linking with the company’s head office in Bangkok to supervise operating and pre-opening properties in the EMEA region.

Mr. Kumar has a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel Management from Griffith University in Australia. Prior to joining Dusit International as General Manager of Dusit Thani Manila in 2008, he was responsible for the successful pre-opening of Ascott Raffles Place, a luxury all-suite hotel set in the heart of Singapore’s financial cityscape. He has also worked for Raffles Hotels & Resorts, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and Renaissance Hotels.

“In line with our strategy for sustainable and profitable growth, which includes balancing our portfolio of hotels to have half of our operations outside of Thailand by 2022, we are committed to increasing our resources to facilitate our expansion in the EMEA region,” said Mr. Lim Boon Kwee, Chief Operating Officer of Dusit International. “Mr. Kumar has a proven ability to create strategic approaches, drive revenue growth, set best operational standards, and deliver results, so we are confident he will help establish a strong presence for our brands in the region.”

With 29 properties currently in operation across four brands in eight countries, Dusit International is in a significant growth phase which will see the number of Dusit properties reach 70 within the next three to four years across key markets worldwide.

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SHUAA CAPITAL EXECUTES AGREEMENT FOR ACQUISITION OF INTEGRATED CAPITAL AND INTEGRATED SECURITIES

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  • Deal is pending final regulatory approvals
  • Landmark deal bolsters SHUAA’s offerings
  • Brings greater synergies to investors and clients

SHUAA Capital, the UAE’s premier integrated financial services firm, today announced it has entered into an agreement with Integrated Financial Group (“IFG”), towards the acquisition of Integrated Capital and Integrated Securities. The signing of the agreement follows the completion of the due-diligence process initiated in March.

The strategic acquisition, which remains subject to regulatory approvals, of two of the UAE’s most active and successful financial institutions will bring improved synergies, enhancing SHUAA Capital’s suite of products and services, and allowing it to expand its footprint.

Integrated Securities, which IFG acquired from First Gulf Bank in 2014, ranks within the top 10 by volume traded in the UAE. It brings to SHUAA over 3,000 clients and over AED 15bn shares in custody which would position SHUAA to offer one of the leading brokerage platforms in the region, and will also serve as a base for expansion.

In a brief timespan, Integrated Capital quickly grew and attained a leading position in the region’s high yield fixed income market. In 2016, it was co-lead on the $500m bond issuance by Etihad Airways Partners and was also the largest subscriber to the original $700m issuance in September 2015. Integrated Capital will combine with SHUAA’s developing capital markets business which provides access to regional and international securities on the primary and secondary markets.

These additions and enhancements to SHUAA are intended to provide a much broader range of investment solutions for existing and new clientele.

On the occasion of signing the agreement, Jassim Alseddiqi, Chairman of SHUAA Capital said: “SHUAA Capital is pleased to announce it has reached the next stage in this acquisition process. We have thoroughly considered all our strategic options and

firmly believe this deal will herald a new chapter for the Group, and for the financial services landscape in the MENA region as a whole. The combination of these brands serves the interest of our shareholders, and promises to establish a new financial force. We look forward to passing the final stage by receiving green light from the respective regulators”.    

Fawad Tariq-Khan, General Manager of SHUAA Capital said, “This acquisition marks a significant milestone for SHUAA Capital on its return to prominence as the region’s leading integrated financial services firm. We look forward to the many opportunities and added value that this combined entity will bring to SHUAA’s stakeholders.” 

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Weekly Bond Update: Greece contemplating a comeback

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Michael Boye, CFA Fixed Income at Saxo Bank

  • Since 2010 the Greek debt crisis has posed a threat to Europe’s financial market
  • The EU and IMF have committed to another round of emergency loans for Greece
  • Bond investors reportedly will be asked to invest in new Greek government bonds
  • Will Greece’s history of near-default scare today’s yield-starved investors?

The saga of the Greek debt crisis has been a recurring theme in financial markets ever since the debt problems first surfaced and led to the initial bailout in 2010. On several occasions since, it has threatened to shake up the monetary union, posing a constant threat to financial market stability in Europe.

But now the menacing clouds seem to be clearing over Athens. More than three years – and another bailout – since it last tapped intentional bond markets, the Greek government is said to be on the verge of issuing new government bonds again.

Some investors won’t forget the last time, which quickly turned into a grim tale for bond holders. In the summer of 2015, following a resounding public vote to dismiss Brussels-imposed austerity policies, Greece was within hours of leaving the common currency, which in turn saw the newly issued bonds trade as low as 40 cents on the euro.

This latest round of optimism comes after another 11th hour deal between Greece and its creditors, in which the European Union and the IMF (after much hesitation) have committed themselves to another round of multi-billion euros worth of emergency loans. What’s even more encouraging for the long-term prospects is that the deal includes yet to be specified debt relief, raising hopes that Athens will be able to stand on its own feet again within the near future.

The first reality check of this hope could be due already within a few weeks when bond investors reportedly will be asked to invest in brand new government bonds, expected to be in the shape and form of five years tenure and size of potentially more than €3 billion.

For the Tsipras-led government it would be quite the statement as well as reward for years of painful and domestically detested economic reform. However, adding to the urgency is undoubtedly the frothy sentiment of current bond markets, which has already seen Greek government bonds rally to the strongest level in years. In June, the benchmark 10-year government bond yield dropped below the 2014 low, the point in time when the troubled lender last reached out to bond markets. Recent history hasn’t been short on volatility, as in the meantime investors have been requiring as much as 14% for these bonds, while the current level of 5.25% is the lowest level since 2009!

But Greece is not the only debtor looking to finance. The hunt for yield in bond markets has seen several used-to-be-in-bad-standing bond issues rushing to sell new bonds this year – recently exemplified with Argentina’s 100-year bond issuance.

As was the case for Argentina, Greece’s history of near-default may not scare yield-starved investors today, but if history is of any guidance, there is no promise bond investors’ nerves won’t be tested again.

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BenQ announces ZOWIE XL2546 PC e-Sports Monitor for Advanced Gaming Experience

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  • BenQ’s e-sport PC range offer a gaming monitor with DyACTM Technology 
  • ZOWIE XL2546 selected as official monitor for DreamHack Atlanta 2017 

With a view of providing state-of-the-art gaming experience, BenQ launches the ZOWIE XL2546 e-sport monitor with Dynamic Accuracy (DyAcTM) Technology for gamers to suit their personal preference.

Since its worldwide release early this year, the XL2540 has become the monitor of choice for tournaments such as ESL Pro League Season 5, ESL ONE Cologne, PGL, DreamHack Open Series and other tournaments with competitive FPS titles.

With added technology of DyACTM, the new XL2546 provides increased movement clarity in-game with the same improved smoothness that was introduced in the XL2540. Furthermore, it provides actions with vigorous screen movement, such as spraying of weapons will benefit most from DyAcTM as being able to see more clearly can help with recoil control.

Another highlight of XL2546, is its native 240Hz refresh rate that can be fully activated when the computer generates over 240 frames per second(FPS) to deliver a whole new effortless in-game experience.

The ZOWIE XL2546 with DyAcTM will make its tournament debut at DreamHack Atlanta 2017 where it has been selected as the official monitor.

Come by the ZOWIE booth at DreamHack Atlanta from 21st to 23rd July and experience XL2546. Numbers and specifications do not tell the whole story so experience the DyAcTM difference for yourself.

Stay tuned to our social media for information regarding availability or experience events in your region

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UAE: The Ultimate Hub for Conferences & Exhibitions

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  • “25% INDEX’s Contribution to the Event’s Industry in the UAE”

As a leading national company in events management, INDEX Conferences & Exhibitions, a member of INDEX Holding, have shared its yearly reports that reflect its contribution to the events sector that is witnessing a remarkable growth in the UAE. INDEX contributes by 25% to the growth of this industry through the number of new events, conferences and exhibitions it hosts in the UAE annually.

The annual reports issued by INDEX have revealed the company’s contribution to the national economy in particular and its impact on the region in general. The number of visitors and participants who have come to Dubai to participate in conferences and exhibitions organized by INDEX has reached more than 140,000 participants and visitors from 130 countries around the world. The total number of hotel bookings for visitors and participants during this year have crossed 75,000 hotel nights.

The reports have also reflected the number of lectures and workshops that have been organized during this year that have reached more than 800 lectures and specialized workshops presented by more than 650 experts and speakers from the region and the world. In addition to that, the number of local and international companies participating in the exhibitions organized by INDEX have reached more than 4,000 local, regional and international companies. The exhibition area this year have covered more than 150,000 square meters.

For the year 2016-2017, INDEX have organized more than 25 conferences and exhibitions in different industries like healthcare, pharmaceutical, beverage, technology, electronic games, lifestyle, digital technology, media content, franchising, emergency and disaster management amongst many others.

Dr. Abdul Salam Al Madani, Chairman of INDEX Holding, said: “As a leading national company, we believe in the great potential of the UAE and we always work to promote our country through our participation in a number of events in countries like the United States, Europe, Britain, India, Japan, Korea, Germany and Saudi Arabia.”

Dr. Al Madani expressed his confidence and optimism in the continuous growth of the sector at the local and regional level. He said: “At INDEX we follow an annual strategic plan that works on developing all our conferences and exhibitions by 10-15% annually.”

It’s worth mentioning that INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions had added 12 new events to its agenda this year that will be happening between the capital Abu Dhabi and Dubai. INDEX have organized already National Service Career Fair in cooperation with the UAE Armed Forces, Atech World Conference & Exhibition, World Game Expo, Lifestyle Exhibition, Children and Parents World Exhibition, and Annual Radiology Meeting in the Abu Dhabi at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre- ADNEC. On the other hand, it organized Ajman Franchise Expo in cooperation with Ajman Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The event has witnessed a great success through attracting a number of local and international brands to the emirate of Ajman.

However, in Dubai INDEX have organized the first edition of The Global Franchise Market and Emirates International Forensic Conference & Exhibition in cooperation with Dubai Police at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

INDEX is set to organize the first Men’s Health Congress in December 2017 at Mohammed Bin Rashid Academic Medical Center in Dubai Healthcare City, the 8th Edition of International Congress of the International Society for the History of Islamic Medicine in February 2018, and Innovation Arabic 11 in cooperation with Hamdan Bin Mohammad Smart University in March 2018 at Dubai International Exhibition Centre

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Emirates Towers Business Park the Most Exciting Commercial Development in Dubai for 10 Years, says Cluttons

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While Dubai’s commercial real estate market has experienced muted growth over the past six months, the recently announced Emirates Towers Business Park is set to become Dubai’s most defining commercial development in over 10 years, according to leading international real estate consultant Cluttons.

Faisal Durrani, Cluttons Head of Research commented, “As we enter the second half of 2017, we are seeing new major projects being announced and launched in central Dubai such as the AED5 billion Emirates Tower Business Park project, which is located in close proximity to Dubai’s financial district. This is a huge positive for the market as the project will meet the increasing demand for Grade A office space through low- and high- rise office towers catering to a range of requirements. Dubai is moving rapidly from being a regional hub to a global one and the new Emirates Towers Business Park is expected to compliment the DIFC, effectively expanding the city’s financial district and putting it on a path to rivalling The City in London, or New York’s Wall Street.”

The development, which is set to help triple the size of the wider DIFC by 2024, will provide a welcome source of relief to the dwindling supply of Grade A space in the area.

Paula Walshe, Head of International Corporate Services at Cluttons explained, “With DIFC regulation, and therefore Free Zone status within this premium zone, the Emirates Towers Business Park will likely relieve demand pressures on core DIFC stock around the Gate, Precinct and Village developments. Already, international occupiers pay more rent per square foot than any other commercial building in Dubai for office space within the on-shore Emirates Towers office building, which is at the heart of this new development. With that in mind we expect demand and rental levels for space in this zone to be strong.”

According to Cluttons’ bi-annual Dubai Office Market Bulletin for Summer 2017, the overall quieter conditions in Dubai’s office market, that began to bed in at the start of the year, have persisted, with weaker-than-normal demand being reported across all quarters of the city’s office market.

Durrani said: “Faltering global economic conditions are chipping away at demand, with some reports of deals falling through in recent months due to a more cautious approach being adopted by some multinational organisations. Much of the activity we have been involved with recently has involved a consolidation of operations, across a number of different sectors.”

Cluttons, through its Corporate Services team, has tracked a trend this year around the ending of many five-year leases which were initially signed in mid to late 2012 as the market began to rise following the financial crisis in 2009. Occupiers who committed to new tenancies during this period are now faced with new rents that have on average, risen by 22%, if they intend to relocate, or downsize within a prime market. Cluttons cites that this uplift occurred during the period of 2012 to 2015 when rapid rental rises were a feature of the market.

Walshe highlighted, “This is making savings based relocations more challenging even where tenants are significantly reducing their footprint, especially when capital expenditure for fit out and moving costs are factored in.”

Cluttons’ Office Bulletin shows that Deira was the weakest performing submarket during the first six months of the year with lower limit rents receding by AED 10 psf to stand at AED50 psf at the end of June. At the other end of the spectrum, rents in the Dubai International Financial Centre core remain the priciest in the city, with occupancy levels holding at almost 100%. The strong prestige factor, combined with the attractiveness of operating in an internationally regulated free zone has meant the appeal of a DIFC base has been sustained.

The Business Bay area of Dubai has witnessed a rise in upper limit rents of AED 20 psf, making it the strongest performer in Dubai’s Office market, during the second quarter of 2017.

Durrani said, “The uplift in rents in Business Bay has been driven by the emerging shortage of Grade A quality stock in the area, which remains confined to a handful of completed buildings, such as Ubora Tower, for instance, which has a sub 20% vacancy rate. Cluttons does note however that there remains a surplus of Grade B and Grade C space in the area, with more in the pipeline.”

Away from Old and Central Dubai, TECOM free zones in New Dubai remain primary targets for many of the city’s new market entrants. The persistent demand, predominantly from the ever-expanding technology-media-telecoms (TMT) sector has stoked upper limit rents. In Internet City, Media City and Dubai Knowledge Park area for instance, upper limit rents (including service charges) have increased by almost 5% to AED 220 psf.

Paula Walshe confirmed, “As we previously reported, the depth of demand has resulted in the fast tracking of the 1 million sq ft Innovation Hub, which is reportedly ahead of schedule and due to be completed by late 2018, or early 2019; however much of it is likely to be pre-let, suggesting the upward pressure on rents here will persist. We already have numerous corporate clients vying to get a foothold in Internet City or Media City as they remain amongst the most popular locations for new market entrants, especially those from Europe or the US.”

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