Archive for January, 2009

Landmark Ruling

A person can use a valid UAE licence even after the residence visa is cancelled, Dubai court ruled.
Driving licence valid after visa cancellation

A Former UAE residents can still use a valid driver’s licence while visiting Dubai even after having cancelled their residence visas, according to a recent landmark ruling.

The Dubai Court of Cassation issued a recent ruling which stipulates that a person can continue using his or her UAE-issued driving licence as long as it remains valid and even after having cancelled the residence visa.

“When the authorities terminate a resident’s visa that does not mean that his/her driving licence is unusable as well. A driver’s licence remains valid in UAE as long as it hasn’t expired. The document is considered applicable provided it was issued upon a valid residence visa,” said the landmark ruling which was issued upon a traffic case that surfaced at Dubai courts recently.

The Traffic Court of First Instance recently fined an Arab national Dh1,000 and revoked his driver’s licence for three months for drinking and driving but acquitted him of driving without a licence.

The Public Prosecution appealed the initial verdict before the Dubai Appeals Court which upheld the primary ruling.

The Public Prosecution said in its appeal that article 51 of the Federal Penal Code No 21, 2005, concerning traffic, and its amendments in the law No 12 of 2007, bans the accused from using his driver’s licence (which was issued upon a residence visa earlier before it was annulled and he left the country).

The Dubai Court of Cassation confirmed his acquittal and issued the landmark ruling.

2 in 1

Sama Dubai scraps Bahrain resort deal

A joint venture between Bahrain’s Nass Corporation and South Africa’s Murray & Roberts Holdings said on Tuesday its contract to build a hotel resort for Sama Dubai in Bahrain had been terminated,

The contract covered the luxury Salam resort, a luxury beach-front resort close to the Bahrain Formula 1 track. Sama Dubai, the international real estate arm of state-owned Dubai Holding, did not give a reason for the termination.

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Dubai traffic eases

Peak rush hour traffic Dubai is noticeably less as many people are taking public transport or are carpooling due to the economic downturn, reported Gulf News. Another factor that is said to be easing traffic is the recent completion of interchanges.

Resturant Opening at Crunch

Combining a selection of recipes from Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia,

Chimes is Dubai’s latest destination for guests looking for a contemporary and unpretentious dining experience at a reasonable price. Chimes is centrally located in close proximity to the Mall of the Emirates and opens seven days a week, with a focus on dine in, home delivery and a take away service that includes a Big Plate lunch option for those who prefer to order – in during lunch time.

An unforgettable dining experience awaits guests at Chimes; notably great food, reasonable prices, friendly service and a welcoming ambience. Serving generous portions from their wide-menu, Chimes enjoys a range of items that can be shared amongst family and friends during meal times. For an authentic taste of the flavors from the Far East, the Thai Green Chicken curry, Singapore Chili Crab and Chimes Prawn Salad with wasabi sauce are a must-try. Vegetarian lovers are well catered for with good choice of authentic Far Eastern cuisine with vegetarian options.

With highly experienced Chefs preparing exotic, succulent dishes in an open style kitchen combined with soft mellow lighting, candlelit ambience and Asian art complementing the fun, contemporary décor, Chimes is set to become popular as Dubai’s ultimate Far Eastern gourmet experience.

‘Chimes,’ signifies the seamless blending of several musical notes into a harmonious whole. With the menu simply in tune: Chimes offers a bouquet of distinctive Far Eastern flavors that represent the very best cuisines of countries that famously share a passionate approach to food.

Crunch

Dubai has been hit by two financial crises in the last eight months, which have combined to bring the emirate’s real estate market to a crawl.

As well as the current global credit crisis, Dubai has suffered from its own run on liquidity based around the hype surrounding the dropping of the dollar peg.

Rumours of a possible revaluation caused a number of global investors to speculate on the pegs, bringing billions of dollars into the UAE and, in turn, creating an influx of liquidity and allowing banks to lend at very attractive rates, Ali Al Shihabi, CEO of Rasmala Investment Holdings told delegates at the monthly Dubai Property Society meeting.

When the central banks put an end to speculation by issuing repeated denials, these speculators pulled capital from the region. By July the market was suffering from a major lack of liquidity, causing tightening in lending criteria, and by August, the emirate was undergoing its own mini credit crisis.

The global crisis being felt by countries across the world, has further compounded the problem by causing local markets to plummet and regional investors to question local stock – especially the real estate shares that prop up Dubai’s economy.

Repatriation of capital, Though the market is undeniably slowing, witnessed by the falling trend amongst speculators looking to flip off plan properties, there has been no sign of a halt in buying by end users.

If recent past precedent is any guide then Dubai will be a winner from the current global financial crisis. And remember, in big financial shakeouts there are always winners and losers.

After 9/11 – which at the time looked an absolute disaster for inward investment into the Middle East – Arab investors brought an estimated $1 trillion back to the region from America where it was under threat of seizure. It was this money that first powered up the Dubai property boom.

Similarly the invasion of Iraq in 2003 hardly appeared good for regional confidence at the time. But Dubai gained in the aftermath as a safe haven in a troubled region and from the war’s impact on oil prices that fuelled its trading and service economy.

Capital flight this will be a flight of capital to safety and quality. It could well mean that Dubai property prices have another up leg to come, and that the crisis today is no more than a slowdown in the bull market.

In the meantime, if a fall off in cash flow to under-capitalized developers results in a consolidation of the sector, that will be healthy in the long run.

The losers will be the people who cannot afford their installment payments and who were relying on flipping to cash out before payments became due. Over-stretched speculators both among buyers and sellers will go through a painful consolidation period, unless new capital arrives from overseas very quickly.

Given that their financial distress may be very immediate this is where a shakeout is most likely. However, the market for completed property in many locations is severely undersupplied and will not suffer much – prices for villas are still going up, and even in the middle of last week’s crisis, completed properties were selling in Dubai, although at a slower pace than previously.

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