Newsletter August 2022

Dear Friends and Clients,

The economic forecasts are for fair weather. The COVID pent-up demand is yielding results, with growth forecasts in the Middle and the Far East of 3 to 7%.

There is also some movement in the political stagnation. While in Myanmar the junta still holds the country by force of arms for 18 months, the Thai Constitutional Court ruled that General Prayut has to give up the position of prime minister after 8 years. He took power in a military coup in 2014 after months of mass protests without bloodshed and has ruled for the recent 4 years on the basis of a democratic constitution.  Whether elections will bring lasting change here remains to be seen.

Western economic growth remains modest, inflation rates less so. The draught horses at the stock exchanges are changed. Those who have bet on pharmaceutical stocks in recent years have made good money. Starting with all the hyped-up flu, like bird, pig, crazy cows, SARS to COVID and vaccinations, the pharmaceutical industry along with transportation has made fortunes.

Now the time has come to let money flow into the pockets of the weapons friends. Weapons production is in full swing, and the proxy war in Eastern Europe is a welcome opportunity not only to get rid of old material but also to test new material without using a single soldier from the weapons-producing countries.

The burgeoning trouble spot in the China Sea seems to be another playground for similar actions.

And finally, rearmament of all the countries associated with the West has allegedly become a security necessity. The FED is taking in more government debt and producing billions of dollars to keep the arms industry going.

And the next winter is just around the corner. With triple the heating costs. We show you how it works and where the warmth comes from the sun and not from the power station.

We wish you an autumn filled with the joy of decision-making.


Theodor Strohal

Investment opportunities in the UAE

Even in difficult times, the UAE offers a strong economic environment that ensures sustainable growth for multinational corporations, SMEs, and private investors. In the next nine years, the UAE plans to attract USD 150 billion in inward foreign investment, aiming to become one of the ten largest global investment destinations by 2030. Find out more about investment opportunities in the UAE here.

UAE’s latest labour regulations

A number of labour regulations have been announced by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation since the implementation of the Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 at the beginning of the year. Read or download the article here.

Dubai’s real estate momentum continues in 2022

Dubai has become a highly sought-after investment destination for businesses and investors from around the world. The real estate property sector has enjoyed a record-breaking first half and is expected to continue its momentum in the months to come. Read and download the full article here.

UAE’s non-oil foreign trade reaches over AED1 trillion in H1 2022

For the first time in its history, the UAE’s non-oil foreign trade exceeded AED1.053 trillion in the first half of this year. Compared to the first half of 2021, this number represents a 17% growth rate, and a 25% and 35% growth rate, respectively, over the same period in 2020 and 2019. The UAE achieved a first-time record of AED180 billion in non-oil exports during the first half of 2022. With a growth rate of 8% compared to the same period in 2021, 53% compared to the first half of 2020, 50% compared to the same period in 2019, and 69% compared to the same period in 2018. It nearly doubled when compared with the same period in 2017. As for re-exports, the UAE recorded a value of AED300 billion. Growth rates for the periods in 2021 2020, 2019, and 2018 were higher than those in previous years, increasing by 20%, 51%, 16%, and 23%, respectively. UAE’s imports increased during the first half of 2022, reaching an all-time high of AED580 billion. There was a 19% growth compared to the same period in 2021, a 49% growth compared to the same period in 2020, a 24% growth compared to the first half of 2019, and a 25% growth compared to the same period last year.

Real estate transactions in the UAE are subject to new reporting requirements

A new set of reporting requirements aimed at certain UAE real estate transactions have been announced by the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Justice. In order to comply with these new requirements, all real estate agents, brokers, and law firms must file reports with the UAE Financial Intelligence Unit for transactions involving freehold real estate properties in the UAE involving any of the following three methods of payment, whether for a portion or the entire value of the property:
– A single or multiple cash payment(s) equal to or above Dh55,000
– A payment that includes the use of a virtual asset
– Transactions involving funds derived from virtual assets

Individuals and corporate entities involved in the above real estate transactions are subject to the rules.

Food and healthcare storage hub to be launched in Abu Dhabi

A new warehouse serving the food and beverage, FMCG, healthcare, and specialty chemicals sectors will be ready to operate at KLP21 by Q3 2022, according to AD Ports Group. In total, the hub will have four warehouses with a capacity of over 80,000 square meters which can accommodate over 100,000 pallets across a network of chambers that can be independently configured to a gamut of sizes and temperatures, including -26°C to 25°C. The KLP21 facility is located in KIZAD, an integrated trade, logistic, and industrial zone between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and adjacent to the regional food hub along E311, providing direct access to all major markets in the region.

Commercial licensing business grows by 22% in the first half of 2022

During the first half of 2022, the Department of Planning and Development – Trakhees, a regulatory arm of the Ports, Customs, and Free Zone Corporation, completed more than 16,000 licensing transactions, a 22 percent increase over the same period last year. Between January and June this year, the Licensing Department reported 7,067 transactions by customers, both individuals, and companies, for local licensing services. Local license renewals ranked first with 3,426 transactions, followed by local license amendments with 1,063 transactions. 951 transactions were registered for booking a new trade name, while 627 transactions were registered for the booking of new local licenses. In terms of local licensing transactions, International City ranked first with 203 licenses, followed by Jumeirah Village Circle, Palm Jumeirah, Dragon Market, and Palm Deira. Statistics also showed a rise in government services transactions during the first half of 2022, accompanied by an increase in the number of work permits issued by the department, reaching 3,440 approved in Dubai, followed by 1,270 renewal transactions. Between January and June 2022, 527 transactions were made for license renewals in free zones. 185 permits for commercial activity followed, along with 78 transactions for reserving a trade name.

Abu Dhabi DoE announced hydrogen policy, regulatory framework

Abu Dhabi’s Department of Energy is collaborating with key government and private sector partners to develop a low-carbon hydrogen policy and regulatory framework to accelerate the UAE’s hydrogen strategy. A key goal of the initiative is to establish clear policies, regulations, standards, and certifications in order for the hydrogen industry to be competitive globally. A report on the outcomes of the policy and regulatory framework is expected by the end of 2022 by the Department of Energy.

Far East:

Thai economy to grow faster in Q3

A recovery in tourism and public investment spending is expected to boost Thailand’s economic growth in the third quarter following a weaker-than-expected second quarter. According to the country’s Finance Minister, an economic growth rate of 3.0% to 3.5% predicted by state agencies is considered to be positive, considering foreign tourist arrivals of 8 million to 10 million. According to a member of the central bank’s monetary policy committee, the economy is expected to grow 3.6% this year and 4.0% next year.

Thailand expects 1 million new expats and THB1 trillion from land-for-investment scheme

The government says allowing foreigners to invest at least 40 million baht (about $1 million) in property will bring in 1 trillion baht and 1 million new expats within five years. This plan will also attract 8 billion baht in property and land investment, part of the measures to boost the Thai economy. For foreigners to be eligible, they must invest at least 40 million baht over three years. It is expected that a total of 270 billion baht would be generated in tax revenue between 2022 and 2026.

Singapore trade forecasts

Trade forecasts are raised as Singapore increases non-oil exports by 9.1% in the second quarter of 2022. The increase was attributed to oil and electronics trade as well as higher than expected oil prices, according to Enterprise Singapore (ESG). Furthermore, ESG reported that the total merchandise trade grew by 28.1% in the second quarter of 2021, up from 20.8i% in the previous quarter. The non-oil trade rose 19.9%, while the oil trade increased 69.5% despite rising oil prices. The Singapore economy grew 4.4% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2022, faster than the previous quarter’s 3.8% growth.

‘Special tourist policy’ underway in Cambodia

To add value to the tourism sector, the government is preparing its “special tourist policy” to attract long-stay and repeat visitors, high spenders, potential investors, and others who may become involved in socio-economic development. This policy will help ecotourism become a more attractive investment option and will provide mechanisms for attracting more tourists. Typical travelers spend $700-800 per trip to Cambodia, while “special tourists” spend $2,000-3,000. ‘Special tourists’ visit Cambodia more frequently and stay longer, and most have businesses or jobs in the country.

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