Newly Married Couples Rent Gold at the Weeding Night

The title seems to be from a first glance a mere joke rather a news report published by al Arabiya website yesterday. With the continuation rising of gold prices and exceeding the limit of $910 per ounce, Gold shops in the Eastern region in al Riyadh came up with a trade way for moving the stagnated market, especially with the decline of demand during the last three months.
The report said that investors in Gold Industry and private parties found that renting gold for newly married couples represents a suitable solution for both the bride and bridegroom. These Gold shops take advantage of this way to have a financial revenue that contributes in compensating them for their losses as a result of the decline of demand following hit records in Gold prices. Moreover, renting gold pieces is considered a preferable choice for those who own a little gold in a way these poor people are content with buying few gold pieces. The solution seems to be rather strange but it is logical at the same time, specially that the Arab citizen is destined to watch from a distant the surge of prices whereas his cold hands are looking for warmth in his empty pockets.

Tourist Projects Estimated at 700 billion Dirhams in Dubai Exhibition

The activities of the first session of the exhibition of projects of development and investment are due to starts next Sunday in Dubai International Trade Center for three days. More than fifty companies in the tourist sector in the Middle East region as well as the local and international tourist investment companies would take part in the exhibition. It is worth mentioning that the total volume of the projects that will be exhibited in the exhibition is estimated at about 700 million dirhams in what was considered by observers as an indicator on the huge potentials the sector enjoys and the promising investment opportunities in it.

The Arab Fund Grants Mauritania a 35 million Euro Loan

The Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development has granted Mauritania a loan estimated at 35 million Euros for financing water and electricity projects in the capital, the official Mauritani news agency said. The aim is to contain the deficit in water and electricity in the capital due to the increasing demands.

The International Monetary Fund Expects a Big Jump with Regard to the Iraqi Economic Growth Rate

The International Monetary Fund has expected the Iraqi economy to witness a considerable economic growth rate following the low levels the economy recorded last year as a result of an expected increase in oil production and the improvement of the security situation. It is worth mentioning that the Iraqi government has adopted the federal budget for 2008 with a total volume estimated at $48 billion with an increase of 18% compared to the budget of 2007.

Secretary General of the Arab Economic Unity Council Calls for Investment in the Arab Region

The Secretary General of the Arab Economic Unity Council, Ahmad Joweli, said in an interview with al Sharq al Awsat news agency that the financial surplus resulted from the increase of oil prices has led to the improvement of the bi-Arab investments that reached in 2006 about $17 bn compared to about $1 bn as an annual average by the end of the 90’s.
Joweli underlined the necessity of expanding investment in the Arab region, considering that this would be an important step for Arab integration or to push forward the development cycle and facing the challenges facing the Arab economy.

Small Indexes

- Abu Dhabi has been chosen as one of the best ten tourist destinations in the world by the British Electronic Travel Agency “Expedia: www.expedia.co.uk” .
- Iraq owns reserves of natural gas estimated at 775 billion cubic meters that equals 7.2% of the Arab homeland reserves of natural gas and about 1.2% of the world total reserves.

Bids

- Iranian Minister of Housing and City Construction Mohammad Kiya and the Syrian Minister of Economy Amer Lutfi signed in Tehran on Thursday a memorandum of understanding in the field of developing the economic cooperation between the two countries.

Companies Indexes

- The Real Estate Investment Company “Diyar” has started building a multi purpose project estimated at $600 m in the Sudanese capital al Khatoum.
- British Media source said yesterday that Dubai International Capital Company seeks to buy the share of one of the owners of Liverpool Club: The American Tom Hix and George Gillette.

Exhibitions

- Al Ain Park and Resort will take part in the activities of the projects of tourist investment and development at Dubai International Trade Center between 20-22 of January.
- The Fairgrounds at al Sharjja Expo Center will host the first session of Expo Riva the Middle East 2008 exhibition between 17-19 of next February, organized by the center in cooperation with Riva Delgarda Ferconegreci and with support from al Sharjja Chamber of Trade and Commerce. The participants in the exhibition will be only merchants and workers in the field of shoes and leather products.

Indicators is a daily economic watch newsletter about the Near East, issued by New Orient News agency in Beirut, Lebanon. It is available on Voltairenet.org in Arabic, English and Spanish. Also worth a read is Tendencies, the daily Near East political watch newsletter, available in Arabic, English, French, German, and Spanish languages.