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Friday, 20 July 2012

FACTBOX-Political risks to watch in United Arab Emirates | Energy & Oil | Reuters

The United Arab Emirates has escaped the popular unrest shaking the Arab world, but its campaign of arrests targeting Islamist activists shows how wary the oil-producing state is about the spread of political Islam after the "Arab Spring".

Analysts say UAE decision-makers fear the Gulf Arab state is not immune to the increasing influence of Islamists in countries such as Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Morocco.

UAE security forces have arrested up to at least 20 Islamist activists since April, seven of them had been stripped of their citizenship.

Users finding more Arabic to login online |GulfNews.com

More often than not there’s little in the way of local language content or relevant services on the world wide web. This is a particular problem for the Arabic-speaking world.
But that is about to change. Icann — the body that regulates the web — has made it possible for full web addresses to be written in non-Latin characters. This is doing a lot to speed up the use of Arabic on the web.
“Technology companies, engineers and entrepreneurs are engaged in a concerted effort to Arabise the web to ensure websites and tools are available in Arabic, and to create platforms that can be used by local developers to easily create useful apps that better serve the local population,” said Mohammad Mourad, regional manager at Google Gulf.

Kuwait, UAE to award refinery, LNG contracts |GulfNews.com

The UAE and Kuwait are set to award engineering contracts as early as August for two refinery projects and an import terminal for liquefied natural gas, Fluor Corp said.
Fluor, based in Irving, Texas, is bidding on management contracts in Kuwait to build one refinery and upgrade a pair of older plants so they can produce cleaner-burning gasoline and diesel, said Colin McKenzie, the company’s vice-president for Saudi Arabia. Each of the two projects is valued at about $15 billion (Dh55 billion), he said by telephone July 17.
“By the end of August or early September, the client will pretty well know who they’re going to go with,” McKenzie said, referring to Fluor and its competitors.

UPDATE 1-Morgan Stanley may sell commodity stake to Qatar - CNBC | Reuters

Morgan Stanley is in advanced talks over selling a stake in its multibillion-dollar commodities trading division to Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, CNBC reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Talks have recently focused on the Qatar Investment Authority buying a minority stake, according to one of the people, CNBC reported on its website. It said a deal might be imminent, but cautioned the exact terms could not be determined and that discussions could still fall apart.

A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman declined to comment.

FUNDAMENTALMENTE ENERGIA » Blog Archive » United Arab Emirates: The Future Centre Of Renewable Energy

Growth in global carbon dioxide emissions from energy consumption continued through 2011 as fossil fuels vastly dominate global energy sources. Global warming fuelled concerns across the world, prompting the exploration and development of alternative sources of clean and more efficient energy sources and production, the use of which continues to rise, albeit still representing a very small percentage of total global energy consumption.
The UAE has some of the world’s largest and wealthiest oil and gas reserves but is committed to taking the lead as a responsible global citizen, conscious of the threats driven by energy consumption leading to climate change. The Abu Dhabi 2030 Plan and the Dubai Integrated 2030 Strategy are strong pillars for the UAE’s unique vision for sustainability. Having carefully devised a legal, political, economic and strategic framework, the UAE has deployed numerous innovative renewable energy projects throughout the country with the primary objective of reducing its dependency on fossil fuels and thereby reducing the UAE’s carbon footprint.

Qataris take stake in London luxury home developer | Reuters

A group of Qatari investors have snapped up a stake in London luxury property developer Native Land, the latest in a string of deals in which the oil-rich Gulf state has extended its ownership of Britain's capital in recent years.

Native Land, which builds houses in some London's most exclusive neighborhoods such as Chelsea and Belgravia, said on Friday that a "substantial private Gulf-based investor" had taken a 45 percent shareholding in the company.

A source familiar with the deal told Reuters the group of investors were from Qatar and were linked to the royal family.

Tajikistan: There’s Oil and Gas in Them Thar Hills | EurasiaNet.org

Tajikistan is sitting on “super-giant” oil and gas reserves, says the head of a Canadian firm prospecting in the country’s southwest since 2008.

Tethys Petroleum says Tajikistan may have more hydrocarbons than what remains in the British segments of the North Sea. The company’s stock surged in London on the July 19 announcement. Such a reserve, if extracted (and shared with the people), could radically alter the economy of Central Asia’s poorest state.

The announcement came after Gustavson Associates, an American mining consultancy, estimated that seismic data shows Tethys’s Bokhtar Production Sharing Contract (PSC) area contains 27.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent, including 114 trillion cubic feet of gas and 8.5 billion barrels of oil and condensate. The 25,000-square kilometer Bokhtar PSC is a “highly prospective region which has existing oil and gas discoveries but which has seen limited exploration to date,” according to Tethys’s website.

Etihad chief blasts Qantas tactics - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Etihad Airways chief James Hogan on Friday pledged the Abu Dhabi-based carrier will never seek control of Virgin Australia and hit out at Qantas's tactics to undermine his airline.
Etihad has built its holding in Virgin over recent months to 4.9 percent and on Thursday won approval from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board to boost the stake to 10 percent.
Virgin is Qantas's key domestic Australian competitor and last month the "Flying Kangaroo" reportedly warned the government it could "go under" if Etihad was allowed a greater stake in its rival.

Dubai property rising, but don’t get irrational |GulfNews.com

World markets witnessed a crash in March 2008, but we in Dubai felt it only by October 2008. Everyone finally agreed that world’s economies are inter-dependent.
That logic prevails in the long run. Everything that goes up, comes down and nothing can trend up infinitely. The pace at which this happened here surprised everyone.
During the fourth quarter of 2008, the demand-supply equation took over and ensured that economics prevails in the long run.

LAS VEGAS: Judge gives OK to raze flawed Vegas hotel tower | National | The Bellingham Herald

A Nevada state judge gave the go-ahead Thursday for casino giant MGM Resorts International to implode a flawed hotel tower that was partially built but never opened as the centerpiece of the glittering $8.5 billion CityCenter project on the Las Vegas Strip.

Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez's pretrial ruling sounded a death knell for the 26-story Harmon Hotel before trial next year in a massive construction defect case involving project general contractor Tutor Perini Corp. and resort owner MGM Resorts.

But it doesn't mean immediate demolition.