Following the successful completion of the National Disinfection Programme in the UAE, Dubai Economy has announced that all economic sectors operating in this stage in the emirate can return to normal working hours as they were before the global outbreak of COVID-19, while adhering to precautionary measures.
Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of Dubai Economy, affirmed that the return to normal life and allowing movement around the clock validate the role of the leadership and competent authorities in Dubai in containing the pandemic and supporting the business environment in order to ensure its sustainability and continuity.
Dubai Economy stressed that the return normalcy reaffirms the principle of ‘We are all Responsible.’ The implementation of the previous precautionary protocols will continue, such as the restrictions on public gatherings and advisory on avoiding family visits to ensure the health and safety of everyone, as well as limiting the number of passengers in a single car to three except for members of the same family, and the need to wear a face mask if more than one person is in the car. Dubai Economy also encouraged the use of smart and contactless payment methods provided by the various parties in order to ensure safety.
The various work teams in Dubai Economy will continue to enhance awareness and guidance among consumers and the society, in addition to supporting business sustainability in the emirate.
It’s been a busy week for deal making in the Middle East.
In a matter of days, about $25 billion in deals have been struck in the oil-rich region, including the year’s biggest infrastructure and banking transactions even as the coronavirus pandemic cripples overall dealmaking.
The blitz is quite rare for a region often known for political unrest and its influence on energy markets. It is also welcome relief for investment bankers looking to salvage what could be a difficult year for mergers and acquisitions.
M&A activity in the Middle East is reviving as governments seek to create more efficiencies through consolidation or by bringing in overseas investors. Sovereign wealth funds including Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund are deploying billions of dollars to buy stakes in companies ranging from Facebook Inc. to Citigroup Inc. to take advantage of a downturn in prices.
Abu Dhabi has been leading the region in the past two years or so in bringing in more international investors to some of its prized assets. The state-owned energy producer Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. raised $10 billion on Tuesday by selling a stake in its natural gas pipelines to a group of investors including Global Infrastructure Partners and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.
Since embarking on a transformation plan, Adnoc has sold shares in its distribution unit and brought foreign investors into its refining and oil-field servicing arms. KKR & Co. and BlackRock Inc. agreed last year to invest $4 billion in Adnoc’s oil pipelines.
In banking, there has been a spate of large transactions in recent years, which has helped consolidate a fragmented industry in the region. National Commercial Bank’s attempt to buy rival Samba Financial Group for as much as $15.6 billion on Thursday could become the biggest banking takeover this year.
Even a small country in the region like Oman has seen the value of announced or proposed transactions involving an Omani target rise more than 100 per cent due to an increase in asset disposals by the government and large energy firms.
Alessandra Quarta Conte