Dubai Shopping Festival 2011

The Dubai shopping festival is a month long event that is held in Dubai, UAE on the first quarter of the year on that is promoted as a tourism activity and promotes retail sales. The festival started on 15th February 1996 as a retail sales promotion activity but has gone on to be a traditional activity. The shopping festival has grown to be the largest and longest running event in the Middle East and is said to attract about 3 million tourists. This year Dubai Shopping Festival 2011 will start on the January 20th 2011 and its closing ceremony will be held on 20th of February 2011

The popularity of the shopping started with campaigns in 1996 that invited the world to the festival. The idea of the city of gold was coined during the awareness campaigns; the festival attracted the idea of having a shopping global village. The shopping festival also attracted the idea of displaying the cultural and traditional aspects of the nation.

The Dubai shopping festival is an event that is quite popular due to the fancy displays and deals that are offered in the festival. The retail sector flourishes during this period since the shops offer great discounts on products, due to the tax free shopping that is encouraged during this period. There are also daily car raffles held during the 32 days of the festival and a great nightlife that is highlighted by the lighting of fireworks that light up the skies of Dubai.

The Dubai shopping festival has a large role in the tourism sector and it also presents great economical significance with a number of over 35 million tourists since 1996, tourists who have spent over 74 billion buying goods and services such as shopping from shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, casinos, airlines and entertainment spots. The festival is quite promising to both tourists and traders with increased numbers of both parties taking part in the festival every year.

Topics: Dubai Financial MarketDubai World FinancialMoney News World

What is Dubai World?

With the emergence of China and other high performing economies in these times one may then ask what is Dubai World? This is the investment company which manages and controls a wide range of businesses including projects for the government of Dubai. It spans across a variety of industries which enhance Dubai as a base for trading and commerce. The Dubai World is headed by Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem and plays a crucial role in the leadership of Dubai’s economy. It assets include Hakheel which built Palm Islands and DP World which nearly took over six US ports.

In terms of history, it was founded on March 2, 2006 by Vice President and Prime Minster of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. During that year it possessed over 50,000 workers in over hundred cities around the world. It now has significant investments in real estate companies in United Kingdom, South Africa and United States. Dubai World has a huge list of managed companies around the world. Some of these include Economic Zones World, Island Global Yachting, Dubai Maritime City, Infinity World Development (part owner of CityCenter), Inchcape Shipping Services, P&0 Maritime and Dubai Ports World (3rd largest port operator in the world).

After the global economic recession, the real estate market of Dubai declined after booming for nearly six years. The Dubai government and Central Bank started with a bail out system for the affected locally owned and foreign banks. Worldwide it laid off about 10,500 employees as it sought to restructure its debt with the help of Deloitte & Touché. This crisis eventually affected other markets around the world. The European stocks fell for over 3% on the 26th November, 2009. The next day, Asian stock  market indexes also experienced major drops. European stocks however bounced back on the basis that the debt was recoverable enough to prevent another world financial crisis. Share prices on the markets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are dropping like never before.

In November of 2009, Dubai World announced that they may delay their payment of about $26 billion debt owed its creditors. The magnitude of the debt caused a lot of shocks in the financial world driving down market indices and even the prices of oil.

This should go a long way to answer the question what is Dubai World?

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Dubai World Financial Situation and How It Affects Others

Over the past few months the prices of used cars and electronic goods have risen as the Dubai world financial situation gets worse. This has a spiraled effect on other economies like Kenya which depends heavily on this rich Arab nation. For instance the increase in price of second hand cars from Dubai means less Kenyans can afford this leading to un-utilized capacity. It has been estimated that close to ten thousand Kenyans live and work in the UAE. Trade relations between the two countries have increased over the years with a lot of Kenyans now regularly traveling to UAE to buy household items, automobile spare parts and office appliances.

Also another party taking a keen interest in the latest financial woes of Dubai is British Airways. It is reported that British Airways have cut down flights to Dubai. Also there could be an inflation of oil prices because of the economic crisis. The Central Bank of UAE has in recent times offered bail outs to the local and foreign banks in the country. However, there have been shock waves in the world markets as even the Dubai World conglomerate is pleading with its creditors to give it a six-month expansion in paying its $60m debts. Dubai World which is the governments investment flagship and popularly known for its slogan – ‘the sun never sets on Dubai world’ has been engulfed in a serious debt crisis.

Fears have been raised from countries like the USA and China about the fact that the economic meltdown in the Gulf can distract the recovery from the world’s financial crisis which could eventually spill over into the financial sector. The Dubai World Financial situation is also sending shivers the spines of banks in the UK. A lot of the commercial banks are vulnerable to the UAE’s financial crisis.

Because of this situation some financial analysts have raised doubts about a recovery as there seems to be a lack of details on the crisis situation. Some have gone as far as saying that this is financial meltdown part 2. It has lead to the down rating of a lot of state-owned related institutions.

Dubai which is just one of the small emirates has in recent years transformed its economy characterized by very tall buildings with the huge presence of foreign workers. Experts have therefore purported that it is a disintegration of asset bubbles.

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