GEMS completes repayment of inaugural sukuk

GEMS Education has redeemed its $200 million Sukuk at the first call date of November 21, resulting in the repayment to sukuk holders, the company has announced.

In a statement, GEMS said that following the repayment it sought permission to delist GEMS sukuk from the official lists of Nasdaq Dubai and the Irish Stock Exchange.

The GEMS sukuk was formally issued by a subsidiary company, GEMS MEA Sukuk Limited in November 2013, with repayment called for five years after its issue.

“The GEMS sukuk was a landmark transaction for our business and represented our first access to the international capital markets,” said GEMS Education CEO Dino Varkey.

When the sukuk was raised in 2013, GEMS operated 37 schools with a total student body of 79,000. The company now owns and operates 49 schools and educated more than 124,000 students.

“The $200 million of capital subscribed by our sukuk investors contributed significantly to this growth,” Varkey added. “We are proud to repay our inaugural Sukuk as we were to join the market back in 2013.”

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GEMS completes repayment of inaugural sukuk

GEMS Education has redeemed its $200 million Sukuk at the first call date of November 21, resulting in the repayment to sukuk holders, the company has announced.

In a statement, GEMS said that following the repayment it sought permission to delist GEMS sukuk from the official lists of Nasdaq Dubai and the Irish Stock Exchange.

The GEMS sukuk was formally issued by a subsidiary company, GEMS MEA Sukuk Limited in November 2013, with repayment called for five years after its issue.

“The GEMS sukuk was a landmark transaction for our business and represented our first access to the international capital markets,” said GEMS Education CEO Dino Varkey.

When the sukuk was raised in 2013, GEMS operated 37 schools with a total student body of 79,000. The company now owns and operates 49 schools and educated more than 124,000 students.

“The $200 million of capital subscribed by our sukuk investors contributed significantly to this growth,” Varkey added. “We are proud to repay our inaugural Sukuk as we were to join the market back in 2013.”

For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Dubai Expo site to be completed ‘well before’ 2020 event launch

Construction of the Dubai Expo 2020 site is well placed to be completed “well before” the mega event opens in October 2020, Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has been told.

Sheikh Mohammed was given updates on the significant progress made by the Expo 2020 real estate and development team during a visit to the site just days after it was confirmed that 190 countries has confirmed their participation.

He was briefed by Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and director-general of Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, state news agency WAM reported.

The Dubai ruler, also Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, he was told that 80 percent of the Expo-built structures on site will be retained as part of District 2020, an integrated community that will be a new destination in the city of Dubai.

The new development is set to open in late 2021.

This is the latest of several of Sheikh Mohammed’s visits to the Expo 2020 site to review the progress of the project since the UAE won its bid to stage the event in 2013.

District 2020 has already attracted interest from leading global companies including Expo’s Premier Partners Accenture and Siemens, which will establish important bases there.
District 2020 is part of the wider national development of Dubai South and will be linked by the Metro extension and connected by four major UAE highways.

It will also host an important new national business facility, the Dubai Exhibition Centre.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the Expo 2020 Higher Committee, chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group, said: “The Expo will be a destination for all nations to share their collective visions of the future. Specifically for the UAE, it will be happening on the eve of the nation’s 50th Jubilee Anniversary when we will share with the world our vision for the future, our culture and the values we stand for as a nation.”

Expo 2020 Dubai will open on October 20 2020 and close six months later on April 10 2021.

It will be the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, MEASA, region in the 167-year history of the event.

For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Dubai Expo site to be completed ‘well before’ 2020 event launch

Construction of the Dubai Expo 2020 site is well placed to be completed “well before” the mega event opens in October 2020, Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has been told.

Sheikh Mohammed was given updates on the significant progress made by the Expo 2020 real estate and development team during a visit to the site just days after it was confirmed that 190 countries has confirmed their participation.

He was briefed by Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and director-general of Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, state news agency WAM reported.

The Dubai ruler, also Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, he was told that 80 percent of the Expo-built structures on site will be retained as part of District 2020, an integrated community that will be a new destination in the city of Dubai.

The new development is set to open in late 2021.

This is the latest of several of Sheikh Mohammed’s visits to the Expo 2020 site to review the progress of the project since the UAE won its bid to stage the event in 2013.

District 2020 has already attracted interest from leading global companies including Expo’s Premier Partners Accenture and Siemens, which will establish important bases there.
District 2020 is part of the wider national development of Dubai South and will be linked by the Metro extension and connected by four major UAE highways.

It will also host an important new national business facility, the Dubai Exhibition Centre.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the Expo 2020 Higher Committee, chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group, said: “The Expo will be a destination for all nations to share their collective visions of the future. Specifically for the UAE, it will be happening on the eve of the nation’s 50th Jubilee Anniversary when we will share with the world our vision for the future, our culture and the values we stand for as a nation.”

Expo 2020 Dubai will open on October 20 2020 and close six months later on April 10 2021.

It will be the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, MEASA, region in the 167-year history of the event.

For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Microsoft ecosystem to create 5,600 Bahrain jobs by end-2022

Microsoft’s technology ecosystem and the growing popularity of cloud services will create more than 5,600 jobs in Bahrain by the end of 2022, according to new research by the International Data Corporation (IDC).

The Microsoft ecosystem – the companies that sell, service, deploy, or otherwise work with Microsoft products – supported more than 3,100 workers in the Gulf kingdom in 2017.

IDC said the ecosystem itself is a prolific generator of downstream revenues, accounting for BD10.57 for every BD1 that Microsoft produces.

“The report from Microsoft and IDC confirms the long-lasting strength we have rooted to realise the Economic Vision 2030. Cloud computing and Microsoft’s ecosystem of products, services and partner solutions will continue to play a vital role in economic development and creation of jobs in the Kingdom,” said Information eGovernment Authority chief executive Mohamed Ali AlQaed.

IDC’s white paper showed that organisations across the kingdom will participate in a rise in IT spending and employment. Innovation and economic diversification will be supported by the increasing utilisation of public cloud services, it noted.

In addition, the government’s cloud-first strategy, together with investments in private and hybrid cloud solutions, will enable businesses to generate almost BD129 million in new revenues over the next five years, the report added.

IDC predicts spending on public cloud services in Bahrain will almost quadruple over the same period, from BD2.74 million in 2017 to BD10.05 million in 2022.

Between the end of 2017 and the end of 2022, adoption of cloud services will create nearly 5,200 new jobs and the Microsoft technology ecosystem will add 400 jobs for a total of 5,600 in net job creation, it said.

“Digital transformation has the power to engage customers and citizens, empower employees, optimise operations and reinvent products and services,” said Necip Ozyucel, cloud enterprise group lead, Microsoft Gulf. “Microsoft is proud of its record of job creation in Bahrain. Acceleration of economic growth and innovation and the downstream revenue that comes from the Microsoft ecosystem are natural outcomes from our efforts to help every individual and organisation on the planet to achieve more.”

In March, Microsoft announced it would open dedicated cloud data centres in the United Arab Emirates, to serve customers across the Middle East.

In its whitepaper, IDC also examined wider ICT spending in Bahrain, predicting it would reach BD296.76 million in 2022, and that IT employment in the country will surpass 12,600 by that time.

“As cloud continues to gain momentum in the region, countries will be able to accelerate their digital transformation and economic diversification agendas,” said Megha Kumar, research director – Software Cloud, IDC Middle East, Turkey and Africa.

“Cloud will enable innovative projects that revolve around artificial intelligence, enterprise mobility, Internet of Things, and blockchain. It will also create demand for new skill types and expertise in the market.”

For all the latest tech news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Microsoft ecosystem to create 5,600 Bahrain jobs by end-2022

Microsoft’s technology ecosystem and the growing popularity of cloud services will create more than 5,600 jobs in Bahrain by the end of 2022, according to new research by the International Data Corporation (IDC).

The Microsoft ecosystem – the companies that sell, service, deploy, or otherwise work with Microsoft products – supported more than 3,100 workers in the Gulf kingdom in 2017.

IDC said the ecosystem itself is a prolific generator of downstream revenues, accounting for BD10.57 for every BD1 that Microsoft produces.

“The report from Microsoft and IDC confirms the long-lasting strength we have rooted to realise the Economic Vision 2030. Cloud computing and Microsoft’s ecosystem of products, services and partner solutions will continue to play a vital role in economic development and creation of jobs in the Kingdom,” said Information eGovernment Authority chief executive Mohamed Ali AlQaed.

IDC’s white paper showed that organisations across the kingdom will participate in a rise in IT spending and employment. Innovation and economic diversification will be supported by the increasing utilisation of public cloud services, it noted.

In addition, the government’s cloud-first strategy, together with investments in private and hybrid cloud solutions, will enable businesses to generate almost BD129 million in new revenues over the next five years, the report added.

IDC predicts spending on public cloud services in Bahrain will almost quadruple over the same period, from BD2.74 million in 2017 to BD10.05 million in 2022.

Between the end of 2017 and the end of 2022, adoption of cloud services will create nearly 5,200 new jobs and the Microsoft technology ecosystem will add 400 jobs for a total of 5,600 in net job creation, it said.

“Digital transformation has the power to engage customers and citizens, empower employees, optimise operations and reinvent products and services,” said Necip Ozyucel, cloud enterprise group lead, Microsoft Gulf. “Microsoft is proud of its record of job creation in Bahrain. Acceleration of economic growth and innovation and the downstream revenue that comes from the Microsoft ecosystem are natural outcomes from our efforts to help every individual and organisation on the planet to achieve more.”

In March, Microsoft announced it would open dedicated cloud data centres in the United Arab Emirates, to serve customers across the Middle East.

In its whitepaper, IDC also examined wider ICT spending in Bahrain, predicting it would reach BD296.76 million in 2022, and that IT employment in the country will surpass 12,600 by that time.

“As cloud continues to gain momentum in the region, countries will be able to accelerate their digital transformation and economic diversification agendas,” said Megha Kumar, research director – Software Cloud, IDC Middle East, Turkey and Africa.

“Cloud will enable innovative projects that revolve around artificial intelligence, enterprise mobility, Internet of Things, and blockchain. It will also create demand for new skill types and expertise in the market.”

For all the latest tech news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Abu Dhabi labour complaints fall by 42% in 2018

The number of complaints and labour cases in Abu Dhabi has decreased by more than 40 percent this year, according to the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD).

Yousef Saeed Al Abri, ADJD Undersecretary told state news agency WAM that cases during 2018 fell by 42 percent compared to the same period last year, dropping from 16,897 cases in 2017 to 9,979 cases in 2018.

The fall in complaints comes as the number of workers who participated in the awareness campaign of the ADJD increased by 35 percent to 135,000 workers spread over 19 labour villages in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafrah regions.

Al Abri said the awareness campaign, launched in 2018, has achieved its objectives, which are to promote the propagation of legal culture amongst workers and brief them about their rights and duties guaranteed by UAE law.

Al Abri emphasised the importance of awareness campaigns to introduce workers’ to their rights, duties and obligations, the situations that deserve to be brought to the labour courts and ways of amicable settlement of complaints.

Ahmed Al Marzouqi, head of the ADJD Labor Awareness Committee, said its work will be expanded to include all the workers’ villages in Abu Dhabi.

He also said campaigns will be available in five languages, including Arabic, English, Urdu, Pashto and Bengali.

For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Abu Dhabi labour complaints fall by 42% in 2018

The number of complaints and labour cases in Abu Dhabi has decreased by more than 40 percent this year, according to the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD).

Yousef Saeed Al Abri, ADJD Undersecretary told state news agency WAM that cases during 2018 fell by 42 percent compared to the same period last year, dropping from 16,897 cases in 2017 to 9,979 cases in 2018.

The fall in complaints comes as the number of workers who participated in the awareness campaign of the ADJD increased by 35 percent to 135,000 workers spread over 19 labour villages in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafrah regions.

Al Abri said the awareness campaign, launched in 2018, has achieved its objectives, which are to promote the propagation of legal culture amongst workers and brief them about their rights and duties guaranteed by UAE law.

Al Abri emphasised the importance of awareness campaigns to introduce workers’ to their rights, duties and obligations, the situations that deserve to be brought to the labour courts and ways of amicable settlement of complaints.

Ahmed Al Marzouqi, head of the ADJD Labor Awareness Committee, said its work will be expanded to include all the workers’ villages in Abu Dhabi.

He also said campaigns will be available in five languages, including Arabic, English, Urdu, Pashto and Bengali.

For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Iran’s President threatens to cut off Gulf oil

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani struck a defiant stance against US sanctions on Tuesday, renewing his threat to cut off international oil sales from the Gulf.

“America should know… it is not capable of preventing the export of Iran’s oil,” Rouhani said at a televised rally in Semnan province.

“If it ever tries to do so… no oil will be exported from the Gulf,” he added.

since the 1980s, Iran has said repeatedly it would blockade the Gulf in response to international pressure but has never carried out the threat.

Washington has reimposed sanctions, including an oil embargo, since withdrawing from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers in May. 

It has vowed to reduce Iran’s oil sales to zero, but has granted temporary waivers to eight countries.

Rouhani last threatened to close the Gulf in July when he warned the US “should not play with the lion’s tail.”

The president downplayed the economic impact of sanctions, accusing the media of exaggerating the country’s problems.

“No hyperinflation, no massive unemployment will threaten us. People should stop saying such things in the papers,” he told the crowd.

The latest inflation report from Iran’s central bank says food prices rose 56 percent year-on-year in October.

Rouhani acknowledged there were “some problems”, but said these would be addressed in the new budget plan to be presented on December 16.

He said the government would maintain subsidies on essential goods and increase public sector wages and pensions by 20 percent.

For all the latest energy and oil news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Iran’s President threatens to cut off Gulf oil

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani struck a defiant stance against US sanctions on Tuesday, renewing his threat to cut off international oil sales from the Gulf.

“America should know… it is not capable of preventing the export of Iran’s oil,” Rouhani said at a televised rally in Semnan province.

“If it ever tries to do so… no oil will be exported from the Gulf,” he added.

since the 1980s, Iran has said repeatedly it would blockade the Gulf in response to international pressure but has never carried out the threat.

Washington has reimposed sanctions, including an oil embargo, since withdrawing from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers in May. 

It has vowed to reduce Iran’s oil sales to zero, but has granted temporary waivers to eight countries.

Rouhani last threatened to close the Gulf in July when he warned the US “should not play with the lion’s tail.”

The president downplayed the economic impact of sanctions, accusing the media of exaggerating the country’s problems.

“No hyperinflation, no massive unemployment will threaten us. People should stop saying such things in the papers,” he told the crowd.

The latest inflation report from Iran’s central bank says food prices rose 56 percent year-on-year in October.

Rouhani acknowledged there were “some problems”, but said these would be addressed in the new budget plan to be presented on December 16.

He said the government would maintain subsidies on essential goods and increase public sector wages and pensions by 20 percent.

For all the latest energy and oil news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.