Meydan Free Zone unveils Dubai 24×7 & Grow from Dubai Initiatives

DUBAI: Meydan Free Zone orchestrated an elegant gala dinner to unveil the groundbreaking Dubai 24×7 initiative, epitomising the forward-thinking aspirations of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. This initiative marks a paradigm shift in regulatory service delivery, guaranteeing accessibility 24×7. It aims to streamline company establishment processes and visa services for both clients and investors, setting a new standard in efficiency and convenience.

The pinnacle of the event was the official introduction of the Dubai 24×7 initiative, poised to significantly elevate Dubai’s business landscape, rendering it more accessible and streamlined. Under this initiative, the clients and partners of Meydan Free Zone have 24×7 physical as well as digital access to all the services, with the free zone premises open round the clock. To ensure that all transactions are done on schedule, the operations team is available in the client lobby to offer consul
tations, conduct transactions and issue legal documents at all times.

In his opening address, Mohammed Bin Humaidan, Director of Meydan Free Zone, underscored the pivotal role that free zones hold in Dubai’s economic progression and the realisation of the D33 agenda’s objectives. “We are inspired by the visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai. Our endeavour to provide services 24×7 reflects our commitment to fostering a culture of innovation and growth and empowering businesses to achieve new levels of success. This continuous operation underscores our unwavering dedication to our tenants’ prosperity, providing them with the flexibility and resources they need to thrive in an ever-evolving global marketplace. Together, we are shaping the future of business in Dubai and beyond,” he stated.

Expanding on the significance of the Dubai 24×7 initiative, he remarked, ‘This initiative is poised to not only enhance oper
ational efficiency but also to play a critical role in nurturing a lively and dynamic business ecosystem, attracting investments, and fortifying Dubai’s standing as a premier global business hub.’

In conjunction with the Dubai 24×7 initiative, Meydan Free Zone unveiled the innovative “Grow from Dubai” platform. This cutting-edge application is crafted to simplify the establishment and expansion of businesses in Dubai, perfectly aligning with the ambitious goals of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The platform’s primary objective is to streamline business operations while offering unparalleled support to entrepreneurs and investors.

The gala dinner also featured an enlightening panel discussion with esteemed speakers representing Meydan partners and key government entities. The gala culminated in an awards ceremony recognising Meydan’s Channel Partners and their invaluable contributions to the growth and success of Meydan Free Zone

Source: Emirates News Agency

CBUAE’s balance sheet hits AED771.23 billion in March, up 30% YoY

ABU DHABI: The balance sheet of the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) hit a record AED771.23 billion by the end of March 2024, a YoY growth of 30% from approximately AED594.12 billion in March 2023, as per a CBUAE report released today.

On a monthly basis, the apex bank’s balance sheet increased by 3.2 percent, or AED23.6 billion, from AED747.62 billion in February 2024.

According to the statistics, allocations of the Central Bank’s balance sheet assets included AED359.04 billion for cash and bank balances in February, approximately AED216.21 billion in investments, AED158.46 billion in deposits, AED1.73 billion in loans and advances, and AED35.79 billion in other assets.

On the liabilities and capital side, the balance sheet comprised AED322.9 billion for current and deposit accounts, around AED264.12 billion for treasury bills and Islamic certificates of deposit, AED146.85 billion for issued banknotes and coins, AED26.2 billion for capital and reserves, and AED11.12 billion for other liabilities.

Emirates News Agency

S. Korea Adds Fewest Number of Jobs in Over 3 Years in May

South Korea reported the slowest on-year job growth in more than three years in May and the unemployment rate among young people reported a marked growth, data showed Wednesday.

The number of employed people came to 28.92 million last month, up 80,000 from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

It marked the fewest on-year job additions since February 2021, when the country shed 473,000 positions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to South Korea’s News Agency (Yonhap).

In April, the country had 261,000 new jobs, after adding 173,000 new positions a month earlier. In January and February, the monthly job additions surpassed the 300,000 level.

The decline also came as the number of jobs for those aged 15-29 dropped by 173,000, the largest fall since January 2021 when the country lost 314,000 jobs for young people.

The unemployment rate for the age group came to 6.7 percent by going up 0.9 percentage point, or the largest increase since February 2021.

Source: Qatar News Age

Emirates Global Aluminium launches Green Finance Framework, reveals first green loan facility

ABU DHABI: The Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) today published its Green Finance Framework to support decarbonisation projects and initiatives that contribute to the transition to a low-carbon economy. The company also revealed that its recent acquisition of European speciality foundry Leichtmetall was fully funded with EGA’s first green loan facility.

A green finance framework defines eligibility and governance mechanisms for financing from third-party institutions and funds that prioritise sustainability in their capital allocation, among other sources.

Publishing the framework advances EGA’s sustainability goals by enabling access to a more diverse range of funding options for loans and bonds, potentially lowering the cost of borrowing while ensuring increased transparency.

Citi and ING acted as the lead sustainability structuring banks and First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) acted as the sustainability structuring bank to support EGA in the framework’s development.

EGA has publicly committed to reaching net ze
ro greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, in line with the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative.

Aluminium demand is expected to grow worldwide by between 50 per cent and 80 per cent by 2050. Recycled and low-carbon primary aluminium are expected to account for around 60 per cent of supply growth between now and 2030, and around 70 per cent of supply growth between 2030 and 2040.

EGA completed the acquisition of Leichtmetall in May. Leichtmetall uses renewable energy to produce up to 30,000 tonnes per year of aluminium billets at its plant in Germany, with secondary aluminium comprising some 80 per cent of the input material.

Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Global Aluminium, said: ‘The aluminium EGA produces plays an essential role in the development of a more sustainable society. It is also important how sustainably it is produced. This is both an enormous opportunity and a significant challenge for EGA and our wider industry. Our Green Finance Framework enables us to access a
deeper pool of liquidity to finance projects and initiatives that advance our decarbonisation goals. Our use of green financing for our recent acquisition of Leichtmetall is another first for EGA in our sustainability journey.’

Separately, in 2023, EGA rolled out the first ESG-linked supply chain finance programme in the UAE’s manufacturing sector to advance sustainability in its supply chain. The programme has provided some $73 million in financing to EGA’s suppliers since October last year.

In 2022, EGA was among the first in the region to open sustainable corporate bank accounts, which ensure cash balances are used to finance or refinance sustainability initiatives elsewhere in the economy. Over the past 20 months, EGA has deposited some $76 million in total in these accounts, maintaining an average cash balance of $25 million.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Etihad Cargo ramps up belly hold cargo capacity with summer schedule

ABU DHABI: Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of Etihad Airways, will provide its customers and partners with increased belly hold cargo capacity across its global network starting from June 2024.

The carrier’s summer schedule will introduce 23 passenger flights to new destinations and increase passenger flights to existing routes by 77 per week, totalling 100 new weekly passenger flights.

Popular seasonal destinations in Europe return to the carrier’s schedule, and Etihad Cargo will offer additional belly hold cargo capacity to Spain, Greece, and France and launch a new route to Trkiye.

From 2nd June, customers will be able to book cargo capacity on three weekly passenger flights to Malaga and two flights per week to Nice.

In addition to increasing the flights to Athens to 14 per week, two flights to Greece’s capital will operate via Myknos, and two flights will operate via Santorini. The airline will also launch a new route to Antalya via three weekly flights in addition to increasing weekly flig
hts to Istanbul from 10 to 14th, from 22nd July.

Etihad Cargo’s customers will also benefit from increased cargo capacity for Dublin, with three more flights being offered from 23rd July, bringing the total number of flights to the Republic of Ireland’s capital to ten per week.

Etihad Cargo’s partners and customers will have access to increased belly hold cargo capacity in the Middle East. In addition to three passenger flights to Al-Qassim in Saudi Arabia, a new destination for the carrier, the airline will also increase frequencies to Middle Eastern destinations by 32 flights per week.

This includes seven additional flights to Amman, bringing the total to 14 per week; seven more flights to Kuwait, bringing the total to 28 per week; two more flights to Bahrain, Beirut and Muscat; five more flights to Doha, and by mid-July, flights to Cairo will have increased to 28 per week.

The carrier’s India network will grow to include four weekly flights to the new destination, Jaipur. Following the launch of Thiruv
ananthapuram to the carrier’s 2023 winter schedule, weekly flights will increase from seven to ten per week in response to increased demand.

Two new flights to Ahmedabad will bring the weekly total to 17, three new flights to Bengaluru will bring the weekly total to 17, and flights to Kolkata will increase by one to eight per week.

Strengthening its commitment to the Asian market, the airline will also launch a new route via four weekly flights to Bali. Additional belly hold capacity will also be offered via an extra weekly flight to Bangkok, bringing the total to 18; eleven more flights to Colombo, bringing the total to 27; three more flights to Karachi, bringing the total to 17; and four more flights to Seoul, bringing the total to 11.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Saudi Arabia Participates in 3rd TNC Ministerial Meeting on Trade Preferential System in OIC

Istanbul, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has participated in the third Ministerial Meeting of the Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) of the Trade Preferential System among the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states, held in Istanbul, Trkiye.

The Saudi delegation was headed by Deputy Governor of the General Authority for Foreign Trade (GAFT) for Agreements and International Organizations Farid bin Saeed Al-Asali, who was deputizing for Minister of Commerce and GAFT Chairman of the Board of Directors Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi.

The Kingdom stressed its commitment to dialogue and cooperation with member states, to boost trade cooperation, as stipulated in the declarations and resolutions of the Islamic Summit Conferences, the Council of Foreign Ministers, and the ministerial sessions of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the OIC (COMCEC), to achieve the goal of increasing intra-OIC trade by 25%, as specified in the OIC-2025 Program of Action.

The Kingdom comm
ended the diligent work of the COMCEC Coordination Office and the Islamic Center for Development of Trade, which are joint TNC secretaries.

The Kingdom’s participation in the event reflects its belief in the importance of improving the Trade Preferential System among OIC member states, which is a cornerstone of COMCEC projects. The system seeks to explore opportunities and stimulate intra-OIC trade to increase trade volume among member states and establish trade partnerships among OIC countries.

GAFT seeks to increase the Kingdom’s gains from international trade, boost its international presence, and ensure its participation in several international organizations to achieve common goals and sustainable development.

Source: Saudi Press Agency