The Finance World Magazine| Edition: September 2022

The September edition of The Finance World Magazine (TFW) is out now! Our cover story will help you comprehend the significance of NFT trading regulation and how the UAE has implemented laws to that effect. Through this edition, we also provide you with information on a number of important financial sector-related topics, including DeFi's modernization of crypto lending routes, the GDP contributions of UAE banks, EdTech startups driving educational growth in the UAE, and many others. We firmly believe in offering our readers content that is truly valuable, and we will continue to do so.

The September edition of The Finance World Magazine (TFW) is out now! Our cover story will help you comprehend the significance of NFT trading regulation and how the UAE has implemented laws to that effect.

Through this edition, we also provide you with information on a number of important financial sector-related topics, including DeFi's modernization of crypto lending routes, the GDP contributions of UAE banks, EdTech startups driving educational growth in the UAE, and many others. We firmly believe in offering our readers content that is truly valuable, and we will continue to do so.


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Blockchain and its importance in virtual asset world

Air Taxis: From fantasy to reality in Dubai

DeFi modernizing crypto lending routes

How is inflation affecting UAE?

September 2022 thefinanceworld.com




The government’s assistance has

accelerated the development of

EdTech startups.




Golden visa holders in the

UAE can purchase specialized

health insurance plans.

UAE - AED 30 | USA - USD 8.5 | KSA - SR

60 | Qatar - QAR 30 | Oman - OMR 3.5

| Bahrain - BD 3.5 | Kuwait - KWD 2.5

| UK - £6.5 | EU - €7.5

Regulation of NFT trading in the UAE:

Why It Matters?




Investing & Building

Stronger Businesses


Find Your Space in the Crowd


Editor’s Note


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Silence is not golden anymore

Do your words matter?

We frequently find ourselves debating whether to voice our

opinions or keep them to ourselves in this fast-paced world, but

we must understand that communication is what aligns with

teamwork and synchronization.

Communication starts at the top. Business leaders effectively

motivate others, convey their vision, and communicate in difficult

situations. They can articulate the company’s purpose and strategy to

others so that people believe in it. Our goal is to serve as a platform for

such individuals who want to share their experiences, inspire others,

support their growth, and serve as an advisor to the audience by offering

pertinent opinions.

We want people to know that the Finance World Magazine is a source

where they can express their ideas and share their opinions on a wide

range of business-related topics. Our readers can enjoy the latest trends

and updates from the finance sector, which include corporate results,

startups, banking, funding and investment, fintech, digital banking, and

many other topics. We believe in working and delivering relevant and

impactful information, which we will send to you now and in the future.

We strive to provide significant value through the content we produce

to the world of finance & investments. We want our readers to live

in an open communication culture where they can freely express

themselves, advocate for better solutions, and achieve higher financial


- Ambrish Agarwal, Editor in Chief


Advertisers advertised in this guide are included on a sponsored basis.

Details are correct at the time of going to press, but offers and prices

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Please recycle the magazine once you've finished reading it

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 3

UAE - AED 30 | USA - USD 8.5 | KSA - SR

60 | Qatar - QAR 30 | Oman - OMR 3.5

| Bahrain - BD 3.5 | Kuwait - KWD 2.5

| UK - £6.5 | EU - €7.5

August 2022 thefinanceworld.com






Blockchain and its importance in virtual asset world

Air Taxis: From fantasy to reality in Dubai

DeFi modernizing crypto lending routes

How is inflation affecting UAE?

September 2022 thefinanceworld.com

Masdar: Global Leader of clean energy

Are NFTs the next revenue generation stream?

BNPL: A new replacement for credit cards?

Guidelines to keep in mind for CT














The government’s assistance has

accelerated the development of

EdTech startups.

Golden visa holders in the

UAE can purchase specialized

health insurance plans.

UAE - AED 30 | USA - USD 8.5 | KSA - SR

60 | Qatar - QAR 30 | Oman - OMR 3.5

| Bahrain - BD 3.5 | Kuwait - KWD 2.5

| UK - £6.5 | EU - €7.5

Regulation of NFT trading in the UAE:

Why It Matters?





JULY 2022


Contact us at:

+971 58 580 7812



+971 800 5757



P07 | Risk assessment within

portfolio creation



P08 | UAE: Aiming towards

Sustainability and Green Growth


P40 | DeFi modernizing crypto lending


P48 | Cryptocurrency News


P12 | Influence of the Russia-

Ukraine conflict on UAE Banking

P14 | UAE Banking News

P16 | UAE banks’ contributions

to GDP growth


P19 | Fintech laws and

regulations within UAE

P22 | Fintech News


P24 | How is Inflation

affecting UAE?

P26 | Business News

P34 | Kroma: A success story

of defying odds to reach new



P27 | EdTech startups drive

educational growth in UAE

P32 | Start-up News

P11 | Energy News


P30 | UAE residents enjoy

broadening investment into art






Regulation of NFT

trading in the UAE:

Why It Matters?

P36 | Mergers & Acquisitions News



P38 | Investment and Funding


P64 | UAE programs to fund

entrepreneurs and start-ups


P45 | Key points highlighting the UAE’s

corporate tax law


P46 | Ronaldo Mouchawar Co-founder

and CEO of Souq.com


P50 | Blockchain and its importance in

virtual asset world


P53 | UAE: Opportunities in the

Healthcare Industry Post Pandemic

P42 | UAE Golden Visa: Fueling nation’s

financial growth

P56 | Healthcare News

P58 Corporate Results


P60 | Air Taxis: From fantasy to reality

in Dubai

P62 | Travel News


P68 | New reporting requirements for

real estate transactions in UAE

P70 | Real Estate News


P66 | Al Ansari: UAE exchange

business to consider IPO

P66 | Salik, the latest IPO in Dubai,

aims to raise $1 billion

P67 | DFM announces inclusion of

TECOM to General Index

P67 | UAE excels as 24 MENA IPOs

raise $13.5 billion in H1 2022

P72 | Global News

6 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

Personal Finance

Risk assessment within portfolio creation

Risk scoring is a simple yet

clever hack that addresses

an investor’s risk-taking

ignorance and adds a certain

amount of professional

finesse to portfolio construction.

A risk assessment provides investors

with knowledge of their risk appetite

and helps them determine whether

an investment is suitable for their

portfolio. This reduces the likelihood

of risk shocks and keeps the portfolio

on track toward long-term wealth

accumulation without being disrupted

by short-term bear markets or


Risk assessment forms the basis

of a sophisticated, three-step, riskoriented

portfolio construction process

practiced by professional investment

advisors and experts.

• Investors undergo a risk

assessment to determine their riskbearing


• This risk category for investment

portfolios are chosen with historical

risk levels that correspond to the

desired level of risk.

• Investment portfolios proven

to produce the highest returns are


This risk-assessment-based approach

allows investors to choose optimal

portfolios designed to maximize

return potential within a set target risk

without being swayed by short-term

volatility surprises or risk shocks.

Because investment losses remain

within expected limits, risk assessment

brings consistency, science, discipline,

and purpose to portfolio construction,

greatly increasing the likelihood of

realizing promised return potential.

Two people, even from the same

socio-economic class, can have very

different personal/economic realities.

Personalization is central to the risk

assessment approach, enabling us to

design optimal investment portfolios

as well as increasing our chances of

success over other approaches driven

by the one-size-fits-all.

Risk assessment is not a one-time

activity. To maximize its potential, a

risk assessment should be conducted

after any significant financial/personal

event. It enables risk assessment

A risk assessment provides

investors with knowledge of

their risk appetite and helps

them determine whether an

investment is suitable for

their portfolio

as an effective tool for creating and

maintaining optimal investment

portfolios over the investment horizon.

Steps and precautions to consider

before portfolio creation

Assess Risk Tolerance

Risk and return are usually inversely

related. The more risk an investor

takes, the higher the potential return

they expect. Individual stocks are

generally riskier than government

bonds. Cash carries little to no risk,

other than the potential loss of

purchasing power over time. Because

of the higher risk, stocks have higher

return potential and lower yields than

government bonds but are much more

stable in value.

Diversify Investments

The next aim should be to build

a diversified portfolio offering you

optimal returns while also safeguarding

corpus from undesirable eventualities.

Allocate Assets Wisely

Tracking your investment

performance allows you to correct

course on time. But don’t react

prematurely to poor performance.

For example, the stock market is

volatile, which can underperform

equity investments and affect portfolio


Rebalance Portfolio

Regular reviews also help assess

whether we are adhering to our asset

allocation strategy. Without regular

adjustments, the portfolio may

become too aggressive or conservative

concerning its risk profile, making it

less likely to meet its objectives.

Risk Management

Portfolio risk management is one of

many portfolio management processes,

but it has a specific role that affects the

entire portfolio. It is about planning,

assessing, and responding to risks.

To achieve the desired level

of overall risk or tip the scale

on the positive side, a portfolio

risk management plan needs to

be developed. However, because

of the downstream impact on

portfolio components, portfolio risk

management must address the root

causes of potential threats. In other

words, remediation of negative risks

should be done at the root level.

However, positive risk capitalization

must be done at the organizational and

portfolio level.

Developing a portfolio risk

management plan begins with a risk

management plan that describes

the structure of risk management

activities and how they will be carried

out. This is where the plan is created

and completes the procedures,

schedules, and references to

corporate policies, risk management

policies, and procedures that define

the organization’s risk tolerance,

thresholds, and strategies.

The main goal of portfolio risk

management is to reduce the impact

of negative events and increase the

impact of positive events on the

portfolio. Portfolio risk management

requires a balancing act between the

portfolio manager and all stakeholders.

This is because the composition of

the portfolio dynamically shifts and

changes as programs and projects are

improved, delayed or manipulated

to maintain strategic fit for portfolio

balance and reach.

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 7


UAE: Aiming towards

Sustainability and Green Growth

The UAE has invested more than $40 billion in clean energy over the last 15 years

and has plans to invest an additional $160 billion in clean and renewable energy

sources over the next three decades on the road to net zero.

According to experts, the

Middle East and North

Africa (MENA) are one of

the most climate-vulnerable

regions, with the destructive

impact of climate change

becoming increasingly evident in the

shape of droughts, water scarcity,

and elevated pollution levels. Despite

this, the region is regarded as wellpositioned

to become a leader in

renewable energy and green and

blue hydrogen. While oil and gas will

continue to play a significant role in

the regional energy landscape, the

region has witnessed the promising

emergence of a new, more circular


According to the plans, the UAE

wants renewables and nuclear

facilities to make up for half of its

installed power capacity by 2050,

which will help decarbonize its grid

and boost green hydrogen production.

Simultaneously, the country will

adopt carbon capture and storage

(CCS) technology enmasse to mitigate

emissions from continued fossil-fuel

production and support blue hydrogen

production. Leveraging on the financial

resources, technological expertise, and

client base it has amassed from being

a top 10 oil exporter in recent decades,

the UAE plans to diversify from fossil

fuels to supplying renewable energy

and clean hydrogen to overseas

customers in the coming decades.

In its first investment in the UK,

ADNOC will take a 25% stake in the

design stage of BP’s blue hydrogen

project, H2Teesside, which is expected

to kickstart the UK’s hydrogen

8 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

economy at scale with the development

of two 500-megawatt hydrogen

production units by 2030. The project

is targeting the start of operations in

2027. The Abu Dhabi-based renewable

energy company, Masdar, also signed

a memorandum of understanding to

acquire a stake in BP’s proposed green

hydrogen project, HyGreen Teesside.

This project plans to produce 60

MWe (megawatt electrical input) of

hydrogen at start-up in 2025, increasing

to 500 MWe by 2030. Together, these

two projects could deliver 15% of the

UK government’s recently expanded 10

GW target for hydrogen production in

2030, according to the statement.

According to Global SWF (New

York-based research firm), the Emirati

sovereign wealth fund Mubadala

Investment company’s renewables

arm has already invested more than

$20 Billion in clean energy projects,

surpassing other state investors and

public pension funds. However, UAE

investments in oil-and gas-related

businesses remain higher. The

UAE, which is the seventh-largest

oil producer in the world, plans to

invest in and develop clean energy

projects that generate up to 100

gigawatts at home and overseas by

the end of the decade. This would be

four times the current commitments

and deployments. The government

has merged its national oil company

with Mubadala, a power-generation

company, to jointly own Masdar,

the country’s renewable investment

development and investment arm. No

financial details were disclosed, but

the companies said TAQA will own

43% of Masdar’s renewable business,

Mubadala retains 33%, and ADNOC

holds 24% following the transaction.

ADNOC will hold a 43% stake in

Masdar’s green hydrogen business,

Mubadala has 33%, and TAQA owns

24%.This merger will bring together

renewable assets under one brand,

consolidating them and helping the

government achieve net-zero emission

by 2050.

On the demand side, the UAE has

formed partnerships to develop a

hydrogen economy with major energy

consumers like Japan and Germany,

and government officials said the

country is discussing with its oil and

gas customers over future hydrogen


The state-owned company produces

over 300,000 mt/year of hydrogen and

plans to raise its output to 500,000

mt/year. The current production is

mainly grey hydrogen, but ADNOC is

promising to shift to green and blue

hydrogen. Phase I of ADNOC’s Al

Reyadah CCUS facility with a capacity

of 800,000 mt/year was commissioned

in 2016. Phase II, which has a capacity

of 2.3 million mt/year, is due by 2025,

and the 2 million mt/year Phase III will

come online by 2030. This is designed

to capture CO2 from steel making and

gas processing.

More than 130 countries have set

or are considering a goal of net-zero

emissions by 2050. Achieving net-zero

on a global scale, however, requires

$125 trillion in climate investment

by 2050, according to research

commissioned by the United Nations

Framework Convention on Climate

Change (UNFCCC). While that level

of investment hasn’t been achieved

yet, it’s ramping up. In 2021, the world

spent $755 billion on deploying lowcarbon

energy technologies, up 27%

from the year prior. The U.S. invested

$114 billion in clean energy last year,

up 17% from 2020. Several European

countries also made the top 10 list,

with Germany, U.K., and France

rounding out the top five. In total,

European countries invested $219

billion in the energy transition.

The Solar Park, is the largest singlesite

solar park in the world, using the

IPP model, and will have a production

capacity of 5,000 megawatts MW by

According to the plans, the UAE wants

renewables and nuclear facilities to make up

for half of its installed power capacity by 2050,

which will help decarbonize its grid and boost

green hydrogen production. Simultaneously,

the country will adopt carbon capture and

storage (CCS) technology enmasse to mitigate

emissions from continued fossil-fuel production

and support blue hydrogen production.

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 9


The program aims to supply clean electricity to 100 million people by

2035. The program will raise funds from the public and private sectors for

clean energy investment with guidance and coordination from the UAE’s

MoFAIC and Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change.

2030, with a total investment of 50 AED

billion. When completed, the solar

park will reduce more than 6.5 million

tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions

annually. The capacity of solar energy

projects that have been operated

at the Solar Park is 1,627 MW using

photovoltaic solar panels. DEWA has

1,233 MW projects underway using

photovoltaic panels and concentrated

solar power (CSP). The production

capacity of clean energy amounts to

about 11.5% of the total energy mix in

Dubai and is expected to reach about

14% by the end of this year. The current

production capacity of the Hassyan

Power Complex, which runs on natural

gas, has reached 1,800MW, using the

IPP model. A further 600MW will

be added in 2023. This will raise the

capacity of the Complex to 2,400MW.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign

Affairs and International Cooperation

(MoFAIC) announced the launch of

Etihad 7 at Abu Dhabi Sustainability

Week 2022. Etihad 7, a UAE-led

innovation program, is dedicated

to securing funding for renewable

energy projects in Africa. The program

aims to supply clean electricity to

100 million people by 2035. The

program will raise funds from the

public and private sectors for clean

energy investment with guidance and

coordination from the UAE’s MoFAIC

and Office of the Special Envoy for

Climate Change. Commenting on

the initiative, His Excellency Sheikh

Shakhboot bin Nahyan Al Nahyan,

Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign

Affairs and International Cooperation,

said: “United by economic, cultural,

political, and people-to-people ties,

our two regions are inextricably

linked, with enormous potential for

further cooperation in the years to

come. One of the keys to unlocking

that potential, supercharging Africa’s

economies, and allowing millions of

people to contribute to building a

prosperous continent is electricity–

specifically, renewable energy. As the

proud host of COP 28 next year, the

UAE is committed to partnering with

Sub-Saharan African nations to achieve

sustainable development and promote

the welfare of the larger region by

advancing together in the field of

renewable energy.”

“Etihad 7 is a truly collaborative

program, one that acknowledges and

adapts to the needs and requirements

of our partner nations…The UAE

deeply appreciates the contributions

of all African nations in this shared

journey of development, and we in the

UAE look forward with enthusiasm

and optimism to a future in which our

countries channel our cooperation into

creating new avenues for our peoples

to thrive,” He concluded.

10 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

ALEC Energy and

Stantec sign MoU

In a Memorandum of Understanding

(MoU) signed, ALEC Energy

and Stantec, a world leader in

sustainable design and engineering,

aim to combine their respective

expertise in renewable energy to help

private and public sector organisations

meet and surpass the objectives set

forth in the UAE Energy Strategy

2050.According to the agreement,

the two businesses will collaborate

on initiatives to create best practises

in building design, systems, and

services while also providing Net Zero

solutions as they apply to particular

endeavours. Stantec’s expertise in

sustainable design techniques, design

enhancement, creative and renewable

technology integration, performance

optimization, and cost assessment will

be a complement to ALEC Energy’s

demonstrated track record in the

implementation of complicated solar

energy projects.

Soon, 270,000 Dubai

houses will use

sustainable energy

Over 270,000 Dubai homes will

receive sustainable energy from

the fifth phase of Mohammed

bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar

Park, the largest single-site solar park

in the world, according to officials’

announcement. Saeed Mohammed Al

Tayer, managing director and CEO of

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority

(DEWA), visited the solar park and

checked on the status of the projects

there. The fifth phase, which will

be implemented incrementally until

2023, will also lower annual carbon

emissions by 1.18 million tonnes. By

2030, the solar park is anticipated

to have a total capacity of 5,000

megawatts (MW). One of the main

foundations of the Dubai Renewable

Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai

Net Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy

is the park’s projects, which aim to

generate all of Dubai’s electricity from

clean sources by the year 2050.

Masdar will work on

renewable energy

projects in Tanzania

An agreement was inked by

the Emirati renewable energy

company Masdar to create

renewable energy projects in

Tanzania. According to the agreement

between Masdar and the Tanzania

Electric Supply Company, they will

work on two energy projects that

together would eventually generate

2,000 megawatts of onshore wind and

solar power. The UAE is investing in a

range of renewable energy and green

technology projects to diversify its

economy and reduce its dependence

on oil. The agreement with Tanzania

demonstrates the UAE’s continued

interest in strengthening economic

ties with countries on the African


Coral Energy

overtakes other

petroleum suppliers

of Pakistan

Dubai-based trader Coral Energy

has just overtaken state-run

Pakistan State Oil (PSO) as

Pakistan’s largest importer of

fuel oil after winning a spate of import

tenders. According to a spokesman

for Pakistan’s energy ministry,

Coral Energy obtained contracts

to supply PSO with eight fuel oil

cargoes between April and August

as the nation’s need for oil for power

generation increased as a result of the

sharp increase in the price of liquefied

natural gas. This is equivalent to

more than 475,000 tonnes of fuel oil.

Data from Pakistan’s Oil Companies

Advisory Council showed that in

the first half of this year, Pakistan

imported roughly 992,500 tonnes of

fuel oil. Since PSO started purchasing

fuel oil from Coral Energy this year,

the private trader has taken over as

PSO’s primary supplier in July

and August.

Energy News

Mediclinic Middle

East & EWEC

partner-up for clean

energy in hospitals

One of the top private hospital

groups in the UAE, Mediclinic

Middle East, and the Emirates

Water and Electricity Company

(EWEC) have partnered to offer

renewable energy to power the

hospital’s structures and utilities.

The present deal, which is part of

the hospital group’s attempts to

further advance its decarbonization

campaign, calls for the provision of

clean energy for an entire operational

year. Additionally, EWEC will offer

Mediclinic clean energy certificates

(CECs), a programme launched by the

Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE)

to give Abu Dhabi-based organisations

a powerful route to achieving their

targeted sustainability objectives.

DEWA contributes

to reducing carbon

emissions by

217,370 tonnes

The clever concept of Dubai

Electricity and Water Authority

(DEWA) to conserve microscopic

drops of water is unquestionably

heading toward a powerful ocean. The

utility firm reported that its “High Water-

Usage Alert” service, which identifies

an unusual spike in water consumption

at a user’s premises and sends SMS and

email notifications, has now assisted

in identifying 1,062,781 incidences of

water leakage, 23,199 faults, and 11,566

incidents of excessive load. Since the

service’s debut three years ago, the

savings from using it have reduced

217,370 tonnes of carbon emissions.

To understand the significance of that

reduction, consider that 217,370 tonnes

of CO2 are equivalent to 1.09 million

trees planted or 108,000 gasoline

automobiles driven for a whole year.

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 11

UAE Banking

Influence of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on

UAE Banking

When Russia invaded

Ukraine on February

24, 2022, it was the

first large-scale war of

aggression in Europe

since World War II.

Unimaginable to many, the conflict

also brought many unexpected

impacts that have reverberated across

the globe. The greatest economy in

the Arab world, the kingdom, had a

little increase in annual inflation in

June 2022, from 2.2 percent in May

to 2.3 percent. According to Jadwa

Investment, the Russia-Ukraine warrelated

increase in food costs around

the globe is expected to push Saudi

Arabia’s inflation rate for 2022 to 2.4%

this year.

Rating agencies expect the improving

economic conditions combined with

higher interest margins and a decline

in provisions will improve the overall

profitability of UAE banks. The

four largest banks, First Abu Dhabi,

Emirates NBD, Abu Dhabi Commercial

Bank, and Dubai Islamic Bank, which

account for 78 percent of UAE banking

assets, reported a combined net profit

of $8 billion, up 31 percent from $6

billion in 2020, according to Moody’s.

(Image: https://www.expatica.com/



According to S&P Global Ratings’

latest UAE Banking Sector 2022

Outlook, the impact of the Russia-

Ukraine conflict on the UAE banking

The impact of the


conflict on the UAE

banking system

is expected to be

“limited for the

time being.”

12 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

Based on the report, the UAE banking sector will benefit

from expected interest rate hikes, assuming banks take a

prudent approach toward borrowers.

system is expected to be “limited for

the time being.”

“The UAE’s economic activity will

accelerate in 2022, due to higher oil

prices, supportive government policies,

and normalizing non-oil activity,”

according to the report authored by

Mohamed Damak, the senior director –

of Financial Services, and Puneet Tuli,

an associate at S&P Global Ratings.

Based on the report, the UAE

banking sector will benefit from

expected interest rate hikes, assuming

banks take a prudent approach toward


Stable and strong capital buffers,

good funding profiles, and anticipated

government support should keep banks

creditworthy in 2022.

Corporates are gradually recovering

as economic activity normalizes and

the oil price rises, but industries such

as aviation and hospitality remain


The rise in Dubai real estate prices

may slow because a structural

oversupply of residential property

may pose a long-term challenge to the


Increasing investor risk aversion and

the price of oil are two other factors

that the report claims could have an

indirect effect.

Although higher oil prices are

probably going to help the UAE

economy’s confidence and sentiment,

even more, no significant shift in the

macro-picture of continued lending

acceleration is anticipated.

The UAE’s economic expansion

may spur lending growth, though this

possibility is muted by the anticipated

rise in interest rates, which may

impede lending growth in the second

half of 2022.

The UAE banking system, which

operates with a sizable gross external

debt position, has a sizable amount

of external liquid assets that could

be used if banks’ access to external

funding is restricted due to investor

risk aversion.

“Moreover, we expect the

government to support systemically

important banks should the need

arise,” the report added.

Strong capital buffers supported

the banking sector despite

lower profitability in 2020–2021,

demonstrating that capitalization is still


“With the anticipated increase in

profitability, we expect banks to further

strengthen their capital buffers. We

think banks will start paying dividends

at pre-pandemic levels from 2022,

as profitability improves,” the report


Deposit growth for banks could be

considered moderate. Because private

corporations and retail depositors

prioritized saving over spending in a

still difficult operating environment in

2021, overall deposit growth increased.

According to the report, the banking

sector’s deposits will increase slightly

in 2022 as the economy continues

to improve and corporate cash flow

generation becomes more robust.

A higher return on deposits under a

higher interest rate environment could

hasten deposit growth.

The SRB intervened in the European

operations of Sberbank, Russia’s

biggest lender, which looked set to fail

due to a run on deposits after Russia

invades Ukraine. A second Russian

bank, VTB, continues to operate in

Europe because, unlike Sberbank,

its largely Germany-based depositors

had not fled. The SRB requires banks

in the EU to issue a set amount of

special debt that can be written down

in a crisis to replenish depleted capital

without the need for taxpayer bailouts.

There were no worries that banks

won’t meet a 2023 deadline for special

debt issuance, SRB officials said, but

banks need to continually be on guard

as existing debt expires over time.

Banks in the UAE, Saudi Arabia,

and South Africa will remain relatively

insulated from the fallout of the

Russia-Ukraine conflict due to limited

dealings with Russian and Ukrainian

counterparties while Turkish and

Tunisian banks are most likely to suffer

from the negative indirect effects,

S&P Global Ratings said. For the UAE

banking sector, the conflict is likely to

have a limited impact for now, given

their limited exposure to Russian and

Ukrainian counterparties.

Egypt’s bank sector remains exposed

due to the country’s significant reliance

on staple food imports, the report

stated, which added that government

support could be vital to mitigate

the damage to the nation’s economy.

Ukraine and Russia accounted for

approximately 85 percent of Egypt’s

wheat imports in 2021. Higher food

prices lifted inflation to 8.8 percent in

February 2022, prompting the Central

Bank of Egypt to increase interest

rates — for the first time in years – by 1

percentage point.

According to S&P, UAE banks are

expected to record an increase in

lending this year as the Arab world’s

second-largest economy charts a strong

recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

UAE banks’ funding structures benefit

from strong core-customer deposit

bases and limited reliance on external

funding. The higher interest rate

environment means a higher return

on deposits, which could further

accelerate deposit growth. However,

it would inevitably rise the cost of

funding as some deposits migrate to

interest-bearing products from no-or

low-interest-bearing products. Strong

capital buffers continue to support

the UAE’s banking sector. With the

anticipated increase in profitability,

S&P analysts expect banks to further

strengthen their capital buffers. Some

banks have raised additional capital

in the form of Tier 1 instruments over

the past couple of years to benefit from

existing rates.

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 13

UAE Banking News

Total assets of UAE banks

estimated at Dh 3.44 trillion as

of May 2022


he UAE Reserve Bank announced that the total

assets of financial institutions, consisting of lender

approvals, increased by 2.9% from Dh 3.345 trillion

at the end of April 2022 to Dh 3.443 trillion at the end

of May 2022. Total bank deposits increased by 1.6%

from Dh 2.008 trillion at the end of April 2022 to Dh 2.04

trillion at the end of May 2022. The increase in total

bank deposits was driven by a 2.0% increase in deposits

from residents. It hid a decline in deposits from nonresidents

of 1.2 percent.

UAE steps up training of central

bank officials

The launch of the certification

program comes as the UAE

intensifies its efforts to

strengthen its anti-money

laundering and anti-terrorist financing

(AML/CTF) framework to comply with

international standards. Twelve UAE

National Supervisors have already

enrolled in the program’s first cohort.

The bank has announced that further

cohorts are planned. Khaled Mohamed

Balama, the governor of the central

bank, said in a statement that “the

Governor of CBUAE

launch of this intensive programme

is part of the Central Bank’s efforts

to achieve effective supervision on

licenced financial institutions by its

examiners and supervisors, which

would contribute to the UAE’s financial

stability”. The Central bank of the

UAE has recently imposed sanctions

on a number of financial institutions

for having violated tax compliance

policies. In the first half of 2022, the

government imposed fines totalling to

$11.2 million for AML cases.

Dubai’s Nakheel

to raise AED 17bn

to restructure


Dubai-based developer Nakheel

is rumoured to be planning a

loan of around AED 17 billion

(US$4.6 billion) to restructure

existing debt. Nakheel approached

local banking groups such as Dubai

Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD and

others for loans. The banks are also

asking regional and global lenders

to participate in the deal. Nakheel

is the lead developer of other major

residential areas in Dubai such as

Jumeirah Islands, Jumeirah Park and

Al Farjan. Also home to Jumeirah

Village Circle, Discovery Gardens,

International City, the community’s

portfolio has recently attracted

attention with new property sales.

14 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

SRC signs SR500

million real estate

loan with Riyadh


HSBC expands global brokerage

services with ADGM

audi Real Estate Refinance

SCompany (SRC), wholly owned

by Public Investment Fund,

has signed an agreement with

Riyadh Bank to acquire an

SR500 million (US$133.13 million) real

estate financing portfolio. The deal

between SRC and Riyad Bank is the

second largest mortgage refinancing in

the UK. Chaired by SRC CEO Fabrice

Susini and Riyadh Bank CEO Tarek Al

Sadan. “As a result, Saudi citizens are

more likely to have access to mortgage

solutions that meet their needs, thus

achieving the Vision 2030 goal of

increasing family home ownership in

Saudi Arabia from 47% to over 60%

within four years.”

BisB launches


mobile business


Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB)

has launched an end-to-end

mobile account opening feature

for corporate customers via

an enterprise mobile application,

enabling them to open and manage

their accounts electronically. Freeing

corporate customers from the hassle of

visiting branches and financial centres,

the launch of the feature is in line with

the bank’s strategy to continuously

develop innovative digital financial

solutions that enable secure banking

operations. To ensure the highest level

of security, the Face ID sign-in process

requires a copy of the applicant’s

ID card as an additional layer of

authentication. After confirmation

by the bank, the corporate customer

can immediately apply for all of BisB

corporate products and services and

conduct daily financial transactions.

HSBC expands its market and

securities services division

in Abu Dhabi Global Markets

(ADGM) with an arrangement

custody license for government,

institutional and investment

management clients. HSBC, which

is increasingly focused on Asia to

drive income, said all its regions were

profitable in the first half. The Lender

High oil prices

increase the

profits of GCC


Due to the high price of oil,

the GCC banks’ bottom lines

performed well in the second

quarter of this year, with net

income and assets reaching all-time

highs. A robust q-o-q increase of 4.8%

in Q2’s total revenues for GCC banks

was driven by higher interest rates

after local central banks raised their

policy rates in response to US Federal

Reserve rate hikes, totalling $24.9

billion. Consequently, net interest

income grew strongly by 9.6% to

reach $17.1 billion. This rise, however,

was somewhat offset by a quarterly

reduction in non-interest revenue,

which fell by 4.5% and reached $7.7

billion in Q2.

stated that the earning prospects

remain positive based on the current

market consensus and continuous

credit growth of 2022. Earlier this

month, HSBC said its pre-tax profit

was stable in the second quarter,

with higher earnings and net interest

margins offsetting higher expected

credit loss burdens amid heightened

uncertainty in the global economy.

UAE banks help



their rates for


The UAE Government might

potentially introduce credit

enhancement incentives for

investments backed by the banking

industry to provide direct funding

through designated funds, or both to

speed up the scaling up of transitionrelated

projects and activities. Banks are

familiar with the tried-and-true project

finance framework, which may be used

to scale up renewable energy projects.

The private sector is responsible for

a relatively large portion of the UAE

economy, and cannot succeed in this

crucial contest unless they accept

the need for change and cooperate

with the banks. Credit facilities with

sustainability/ESG links are a crucial

component of this strategy.

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 15

Cover Story

Regulation of NFT trading in the UAE: Why

It Matters?

NFTs are distinct cryptographic assets and are different from digital currencies and

cryptocurrencies. They portray actual collectibles including trade cards, artwork,

films, music, real estate, and photographs and paintings.

Nonfungible tokens (NFTs)

are unique, non-transferable

assets built on the blockchain.

NFTs are purchased and sold

online in specialized marketplaces and

serve as ownership proof on a digital

ledger system. Similar to the highend

art market, the value of NFTs is

determined by market demand.

Since NFTs contain certifications of

authenticity, they cannot be changed.

Each NFT runs on a decentralized

network that employs blockchain

technology. NFTs can also be used

to represent the identities, property

rights, and domain name ownership

of a person or organization. NFTs

can be used for a variety of corporate

applications, including supply chain,

evidence of ownership of goods or

services, and collectibles for loyalty, all

credit goes to the blockchain, which

prevents copies and destruction.

NFTs are essentially digital versions

of actual collectibles. So the purchaser

receives a digital file rather than an

actual oil painting to display on the


Additionally, they receive sole

ownership rights. NFTs can only

have one owner at a time. Due to the

distinctive data of NFTs, it is simple

to confirm ownership and transfer

tokens between owners. Additionally,

the author or owner may choose to

store particular data inside them. As

an illustration, artists can sign their

work by putting their signature in the

metadata of an NFT.

Are NFTs subject to regulation in

the UAE?

To determine the regulatory

approach in the UAE, crypto assets are

not generally characterized by their

intended use. Instead, it is generally

determined based on actual use.

For example, a crypto asset may

be designed to be a utility token (and

thus potentially not regulated as a

financial product), but it is commonly

traded for investment purposes due

to its popularity. Such a crypto asset

is likely to be classified as a financial

product and subject to UAE securities

16 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

regulations. As a result, considering

the actual use of the crypto asset is

critical in determining whether such an

asset would be subject to any financial


As a result, there are no regulations

that specifically regulate NFTs, but

each of the UAE mainlands namely

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)

and Dubai International Financial

Centre (DIFC), have their regulations

governing crypto or virtual assets,

which regulate such assets based on

their actual use in business.

One of the world’s first jurisdictions

to regulate crypto assets that falls

within its definition of virtual assets.

Within its regulations, the term “virtual

assets” is defined as any “digital

representation of value that can be

digitally traded and functions as:

• a medium of exchange

• a unit of account

• a store of value

But in any jurisdiction, it does not

have legal tender status. A Virtual

Asset is:

• It is neither issued nor guaranteed

by any jurisdiction, and it performs

the aforementioned functions solely

through an agreement among the

Virtual Asset’s users.

• Distinct from fiat currency and

electronic money.

Since the definition of virtual assets

is broad enough to include crypto

assets, which could potentially include

NFTs as well, the financial regulator,

the Financial Services Regulatory

Authority, clarified through guidance

that its regulations are limited to

stablecoins, cryptocurrencies, digital

assets, and derivatives/funds (including

any ancillary activities conducted with

them) and do not extend to utility

tokens, which lack the features and

characteristics of virtual assets.

Following the ADGM’s virtual

asset regulations, the Central Bank

and the Securities and Commodities

Authority (SCA) on the UAE

mainland issued crypto asset

regulations, broadly defining crypto

assets as cryptographically secured

digital representations of value or

contractual rights that use a type of

distributed ledger technology and

can be transferred, stored, or traded

electronically, as a result, potentially

capturing NFTs. Even though the

Central Bank, as the currency

regulator, has limited its regulations

to crypto assets, they are being used

as stored value facilities for storing

currency or payment tokens (e.g.,

stable coins or other tokens backed by

fiat currency). As a result, they do not

apply to NFTs. SCA, on the other hand,

clarified that its regulations apply to

most types of crypto assets, whether

securities or otherwise, that are listed

and traded on an organized market,

except those regulated by the Central


The regulations issued by the ADGM,

Central Bank, and SCA were followed

by the Dubai International Financial

Centre’s (DIFC) regulatory framework

on investment tokens. The current

regulatory framework is intended to


1. Securities and derivatives in the

form of a cryptographically secure

digital representation of rights

and obligations issued, transferred

and stored via distributed ledger

technology or other similar technology.

2. A digital representation of

rights and obligations that is

cryptographically secure and is issued,

transferred, and stored using DLT or

other similar technology, and:

• Confers rights and obligations

that are substantially similar to those

conferred by security or derivative or

• Has a substantially similar purpose

or effect to security or derivative.

Accordingly, since, by their very

nature, the NFTs may not qualify in

being a financial product, they may still

be subject to financial regulations in

the United Arab Emirates, when it is

dealt with by the way of the business,

depending upon its original use and

the jurisdiction, under which it is being

dealt with.

The UAE’s technology and media

laws apply to NFTs as crypto assets.

NFTs are not addressed in the current

UAE media and content law because

they are a new development. However,

this does not negate the importance

of considering these laws from a legal


In addition, the UAE issued

Federal Decree-Law No. 34 of 2021

on the Fight Against Rumours and

Cybercrime, which includes provisions

for the offering and promotion of

unrecognized crypto assets. The law

specifically prohibits anyone from

using the internet or technology

for “promotion, advertisement,

mediation, or dealing in any form,

or encouraging dealing in a virtual

currency, cryptocurrency, stored value

unit, or any payments unit not officially

recognized in the UAE or without being

there are no regulations that

specifically regulate NFTs, but

each of the UAE mainlands

namely Abu Dhabi Global

Market (ADGM) and Dubai

International Financial Centre

(DIFC), have their regulations

governing crypto or virtual

assets, which regulate such

assets based on their actual

use in business.

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 17

Cover Story

licensed by the competent body.”

As a result, vetting is required for

the content and advertising of the NFT

before creating and offering them in

the UAE, just as it is for the creation

and promotion of other digital assets.

What sets NFTs apart from


NFT is an abbreviation for nonfungible

tokens. Even though it is

frequently developed using the same

programming style as cryptocurrencies

such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, the

similarities end there. Because

cryptocurrencies and traditional

currency are “fungible,” they can be

traded or converted into one another;

a dollar is always worth another

dollar and a bitcoin are always worth

a bitcoin. This means they are both

of equal worth. Cryptocurrency

is a dependable way to complete

blockchain transactions due to its


Everything you need to know about

NFT wash trade

When a securities transaction, or

several transactions, are staged to

appear as real purchases or sales but

are later revealed to be false, this

practice is known as “wash trading”.

This typically happens when

an investor purchases and then

immediately sells the same security

or investment. As a result, a trader

appears to be trying to pass off trade

as having been made even if it hasn’t

been, claiming a change to their

portfolio when there hasn’t been one.

In financial parlance, wash trading

is also referred to as round-trip

trading, which can occasionally cause

misunderstanding among non-finance


This is an explicit attempt at market

manipulation in some instances. In

other cases, wash trading may be the

outcome of a more innocent error

or plain ignorance on the side of

the trader who attempted the deal.

Although they can also happen in

the bitcoin business, wash trades are

typically used to describe the practice

of falsely misrepresenting stock or

securities trade activity. Regardless of

the type of finance, you choose to trade

centralized (CeFi) or decentralized

(DeFi)—it is critical to comprehend the

potential repercussions of engaging in

a wash trade.

In the instance of intentional wash

trading, such action typically occurs

to sway buy/sell judgments in favor of

the trader or party initiating the trade.

Wash trading is strongly discouraged

by most people, whether it’s to

artificially inflate price/activity or to

spuriously impact trend line indicators

that are used to evaluate the market.

$44 billion NFT sales last year

Many people, according to several

sources, think that wash trades may

have had some influence on the $44

billion in non-fungible token (NFT)

sales that were made last year, at least

in part. Although it’s very challenging

to claim this with a high degree

of certainty, some cases are truly

concealed from view.

Attempts are made by bitcoin

exchanges to inflate their trading

volumes. Chainalysis found 262 people

who have sold an NFT more than 25

times to a self-financed address by

using blockchain analysis.

It’s interesting to note that the 110

successful wash traders have together

earned approximately $8.9 million

from this activity, much outpacing the

$416,984 in losses incurred by the 152

unsuccessful wash traders.

Why is wash trading prohibited?

Some governments have opposed

NFT although there is no regulation or

categorization for it. A South Korean

cryptocurrency exchange called

Bithumb, for instance, was charged in

2018 with promoting wash trading with

false volume totaling more than $250


Data from the NFT tracker

CryptoSlam revealed that wash trading

accounted for $18 billion, or 95%, of all

trade volume on the LooksRare NFT


The decentralized nature of

cryptocurrencies makes it challenging

to identify the offenders, even though

crypto wash trading is forbidden in

several places. Unlike conventional

financial products like equities, which

have verified Know Your Customer

criteria, blockchain-powered assets

can be traded anonymously, increasing

the danger of wash trading. Without

a determination by the authorities as

to which jurisdiction is in charge of

overseeing cryptocurrency, the risk is

caused by deceptive price and volume


In conclusion, wash trading is a

risky regulatory activity that, if done

on purpose, can even be considered

illegal. This is why it’s crucial to

comprehend what wash trading entails.

A trader must take extreme care to

avoid getting involved in wash trading

to avoid irreparable harm to their

professional reputation. Although

it’s not strictly unlawful in the same

manner, crypto wash trading can

nevertheless harm a trader’s reputation.

Wash trading is prohibited in the

majority of traditional U.S. markets,

but because blockchain exchanges

are conducted anonymously, it is still

challenging to police in the crypto

world. This is something that NFT

traders will use to give the appearance

of great demand and raise the price of

an NFT collection. Typically, there are

warning indicators that an NFT has

been wash traded, such as a significant

disparity between the floor price and

list price of an NFT in a collection.

In the end, determining if an NFT’s

price has been altered requires

investigating an NFT collection and

reviewing the transaction history.

To curb the same, necessary

regulations need to be implemented

by authorities.

18 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022


Fintech laws and regulations within UAE

The United Arab Emirates continues to claim its position as the Middle East’s leading Fintech

market. It has become a popular jurisdiction in the GCC for various Fintech companies in

recent years.

Fintech encompasses a wide

range of activities, but it

should be noted that some

specific categories are

currently trending, such as

BNPL, Digital Payments, InsurTech,

and Cryptocurrencies. The growing

popularity of the Fintech industry

is underpinned by the government

supportive policies and the

implementation of attractive Fintech

programs in both land and free trade


The Financial Services Regulatory

Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi

Global Market (ADGM) has initiated

consultations to introduce a regulatory

framework to support participants

using innovative technologies in the

financial services (Fintech) sector. This

follows an announcement by ADGM

Chairman earlier this year that Abu

Dhabi aims to become the financial and

technology hub of the Arabian Gulf.

The ADGM proposal is similar to

the announced initiative to open

a regulatory sandbox by Financial

Services regulators in the UK,

Singapore and Australia. However,

ADGM’s announcement provides a

significant first-mover advantage in the

GCC region.

A key feature of the proposed

RegLab is a “blank slate” approach to

regulation. Fintech participants who

are authorized by the FSRA to engage

in regulated activities within the

RegLab are not subject to the standard

rules and regulations applicable to

regulated activities under the Financial

Services and Markets Regulations, 2015

(FSMR). A customized set of rules

can be selectively applied based on

risks identified in the Fintech business


Central Banks, SCA, FSRA and

DFSA have their own laws, rules,

regulations and policies governing

Fintech activities in their respective

jurisdictions, but they coordinate

the regulatory environment and are

responsible for the overall Fintech

ecosystem. Efforts are being made to

promote development.

There are no transit rules in these

jurisdictions. Fintech participants are

therefore required to restrict their

activities within the jurisdiction in

which they are incorporated, requiring

additional licenses to conduct activities

in other jurisdictions.

Last month, Abu Dhabi Global

Markets hosted its annual Fintech

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 19


The regulation

categorized retail

payment services into

four licensing categories.

PSPs must apply for one

category. A PSP applying

for a license must

meet the initial capital

requirements. Initial

capital requirements

vary by license category

and can reach up to

AED 3 million for some


Abu Dhabi Festival, bringing together

stakeholders from around the world

to launch progressive initiatives

within the Fintech ecosystem. The

festival held an innovation challenge

where Fintech companies presented

their specific problems and received

concrete implementation support from

key industry players.

In May, Dubai-based Free Zone

DMCC launched the Crypto Center,

to support companies operating in

the crypto and blockchain space.

DMCC already uses distributed

ledger technology in blockchain

agricultural trading platform Agnota

and international trading platform

Digital Sugar. The Free Trade Zone

aims to provide a full range of services,

including incubation and investment

opportunities for early-stage startups,

educational events, consulting and

innovation services.

UAE laws supporting streamlined

Fintech modulation:

• Central Bank Circular No. 15/2021

regarding Retail Payment Services and

Card Schemes Regulation (RPSCS)

The RPSCS Regulations were

published in the Official Gazette on

July 15, 2021, and came into force

within one month of publication.

Regulations prohibit retail payment

services without prior approval from

the central bank.

The regulation sets out the

requirements and conditions for

obtaining a license to provide retail

payment services and operate card

schemes. Payment Service Providers

(PSPs) have one year to meet their

licensing requirements.

The regulation categorized retail

payment services into four licensing

categories. PSPs must apply for

one category. A PSP applying for

a license must meet the initial

capital requirements. Initial capital

requirements vary by license category

and can reach up to AED 3 million for

some categories.

• Central Bank Circular No. 9/2020

regarding Large Value Payment

Systems Regulations

This regulation focuses on the

Large Scale Payment System (LVPS),

the financial infrastructure system

that supports financial and wholesale

activities in the UAE.

This rule covers licensing

requirements related to LVPS, and

20 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022


obligations and ongoing requirements

related to designated LVPS.

The regulation applies to:

• LVPS that are operated in the UAE,


• LVPS accepts the clearing

or settlement of transfer orders

denominated in the AED currency both

in the UAE and outside the UAE.

A prior license from the Central

Bank is required to operate an LVPS in

the UAE. LVPS must ensure compliance

with central bank directives and

information requests.

• DFSA- Consultation Paper No. 138

– Regulation of Security Tokens

The Dubai Financial Services

Authority (DFSA) has initiated a

regulatory framework for “investment

tokens” based on Consultation Paper

No. 138 – Regulation of Security

Tokens, published in March 2021.

“Investment Token” is defined to


• Security (which includes,

for example, a share, debenture,

or warrant) or derivative (an

option or future) in the form of a

cryptographically secured digital

representation of rights and obligations

that is issued, transferred, and stored

using Distributed Ledger Technology

(“DLT”) or other similar technology; or

• A cryptographically secured digital

representation of rights and obligations

that is issued, transferred, and stored

using DLT or other similar technology

and: (i) confers rights and obligations

that are substantially similar to those

conferred by security or derivative; or

(ii) has a substantially similar purpose

or effect to security or derivative.

Major cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin,

ETH, etc.) are not securities and are

not considered to be materially similar

in nature or purpose to securities

or derivatives and are therefore not

subject to this regulatory framework.

Companies wishing to provide

financial services (e.g. issuing, trading,

holding, trading, advising, portfolio

management) related to investment

tokens within or from the DIFC must

meet certain licensing and technical

requirements set by the DFSA.

• The Stored Value Facilities (SVF)


The Stored Value Facility (SVF)

Regulation, issued in September 2020,

obsoletes and replaces the regulatory

framework for stored value and

electronic payment systems.

The regulation defines an SVF as a

facility whereby a customer can pay

a sum of money to the SVF issuer in

exchange for the storage of that money

on the facility.

This regulation applies to companies

wishing to undertake an SVF activity,

with certain exceptions. For instance,

the regulation does not apply to the

below SVFs:

• SVFs used for certain cash reward


• SVFs used for purchasing certain

digital products.

• SVFs used for certain bonus point


• SVFs that can only be used within

a limited group of products or services


• SVFs within which (subject to

being accepted by the UAECB) the

aggregate amount of the float of the

facilities does not exceed AED 500,000

and the aggregate number of customers

is not more than 100.

SVFs are given 1 year period

to comply with the Regulation’s

requirements. The main change

we noticed is the removal of the

requirement to have a regulated

bank as a majority shareholder.

However, other technical and capital

requirements apply. In addition, this

rule expressly prohibits the sale of his

SVF abroad in the UAE.

• Federal Decree-Law No. 45 of 2021

regarding Personal Data Protection


The law applies to:

• Organizations incorporated in the

UAE that process data of subjects

inside or outside the UAE; and

• Organizations outside of the UAE

that process data of subjects inside the


Regional data processing restrictions

mean that Fintech companies that

collect and process data from UAE

customers must not physically

maintain and store data within the UAE

and transfer it outside the country.

Business in the UAE will need to set

up a physical hub to store data or hire

a service provider in the UAE to host

company’s servers or data.

All foreign companies wishing to

access clients in the UAE must obtain

a license locally in order to carry out

their intended activities. This process is

either in the case of a digital business

or the company itself is based outside

UAE but is interacting with local

customers, as the legal framework for

these evolving digital industries is not

always clear.

Fintech investment in MENA has

already reached $819 million in the first

half of 2022. This is already about the

same as in the whole of 2021 and more

than 14 times what was in 2016. One of

the biggest increases this year is Saudi

Arabia-based cloud company Foodics.

Base technology and payment platform

for restaurants, Rain, a Bahrain-based

cryptocurrency exchange, Tribal Credit

- a business credit card for start-ups in

emerging markets in the United States

and Egypt, Tabby - a BNPL platform

in the UAE, Paymob - an Egypt-based

omni-channel merchant financial

services platform.

The MENA region also attracts

major global crypto companies.

Cryptocurrency exchanges such as

Crypto.com, Binance, FTX, and Bybit

have all moved to Dubai. The world’s

largest cryptocurrency exchanges,

Binance and Bybit, have moved their

headquarters to the city, while Crypto.

com and FTX have opened regional

outposts. All are also licensed by

the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory

Authority (VARA).

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 21

Fintech News

Sanabil and Shorooq Partners raise $100

million for Tamara

The most recent investment round

for Tamara brought in $100 million,

increasing the company’s total capital

to $216 million in equity and debt

since its founding. Sanabil Investments, a

portfolio company of the Public Investment

Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia, is the lead

investor in the Series B equity round.

Shorooq Partners, a venture capital firm

based in Abu Dhabi, Coatue, and Endeavor

Catalyst also participated. Checkout.com, a

leading global finance company, has made

a follow-up investment in the capital round.

In addition to those who already use BNPL,

31% of inhabitants of the UAE, 27% of Saudi

Arabians, 26% of Kuwaitis, and 18% of

Bahrainis stated they also want to use the

technology in the next 12 months.

FinTech Hive selects

logistics partner as

Emirates Post Group

As part of a sponsorship deal

with FinTech Hive to support

the project, Emirates Post

Group (EPG) has been selected

the logistics partner of the fintech

accelerator programme Hive 22. The

postal group hopes to facilitate the

creation of technological solutions

for the enhancement of the customer

experience as well as the range of

technological co-creation among

various stakeholders within the group

by taking part in the programme. The

chosen start-ups will have access

to a larger network of business

stakeholders, which is anticipated

to foster creative co-creation of

technological solutions.

The Founding Partners of Shorooq

Partners - Shane Shin and

Mahmoud Adi

Hub71 company Zywa

raises $3 million in a

seed round

Zywa, a teen-focused fintech

firm, has launched a $3 million

US seed investment round to

reimagine banking for Gen

Z across the MENA. The start-up

provides a prepaid card for teenagers

and a money management and

saving app. It is a part of Hub71, Abu

Dhabi’s international tech ecosystem.

Strategic angel investors joined the

round’s investors, who also included

Goodwater Capital, the largest

consumer digital venture capital firm in

the world, Dubai Future District Fund,

Rebel Fund, Trampoline VC, Zemu

VC, and some of the most well-known

European family offices.

Saudi Central Bank

approves 2 new

FinTech businesses

Lean Technologies and Mod5r will

supply open banking solutions,

raising the total number of

licenced Fintech companies

working under its regulatory sandbox

to 38, the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA)

stated. The implementation of SAMA’s

sandbox environment function and the

achievement of the Kingdom’s Vision

2030 goals through the Financial Sector

Development Program are just two

of the strategic goals that have been

conquered as a result of the measures

done up until this point (FSDP). The

well-known FSDP is a bold initiative

with the goals of fostering financial

inclusion, savings and investment

behaviour, and economic growth.

ValU prepares to

begin its operations

in Saudi Arabia

The consumer finance division

of EFG Hermes, valU, is getting

ready to increase its roots in

Saudi Arabia before the year is

over. According to the sources, valU

is working to complete all necessary

operational steps in collaboration with

the Saudi Al-Hokair Group, which

recently purchased a stake in the

platform worth about 5%, as well as the

Marakez Company, to finance vaIU’s

points of sale and merchants, provided

that it expands with other products in

the future. A deal to buy a 4.99% share

in ValU for $12.4 million was concluded

by Fawaz Abdul Aziz Al Hokair, Salman

Abdul Aziz Al Hokair, and Abdul Majid

Abdulaziz Al Hokair in June of last

year, raising the company’s value to

$247.4 million.

22 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

India’s Beams

Fintech Fund

seeks UAE


As financial services become

more accessible to the

full potential of the digital

environment, an Indian fintechfocused

fund is looking to attract

investments from the UAE and the

Gulf. Fintech is growing in India,

whether it has to do with remittances,

consumer lending, or digital wallets.

Beams Fintech Fund, an early investor

in payments portal BharatPe, is looking

to capitalise on this by acquiring

positions in companies with strong

growth potential. Beams’ objective

is to invest $15 million to $20 million

in firms going through growth stage,

Series B and C rounds, and led by

“high-quality founders,” with a target

size of $120 million and a “green-shoe”


UAE’s new

payment route

opened by


Anew payment route to the UAE

has been launched, according

to the cross-border payments

company Tranglo (UAE).

This is a part of Tranglo’s Middle

East expansion programme, which

concentrates on network development

and infrastructural investment to

introduce additional channels with

significant growth potential. An

integrated collaboration with the

financial system of the UAE, Tranglo

can now provide quick and seamless

fund transfers to that country. The

direct-to-bank payment service from

Tranglo is accessible to one-off senders

and recipients around-the-clock.

DIFC FinTech Hive & ADIB conducts

sixth iteration of “Speed Meeting.”

For the sixth

year running, a

“speed meeting”

session was

sponsored by Abu

Dhabi Islamic Bank

(ADIB) in association

with DIFC FinTech

Hive. This year, eight

FinTech companies

from different nations

had the chance to

present their ideas

and have interactive

discussions with

ADIB management and specialists in digital banking. Islamic FinTech, RegTech,

payments, fraud risk, and gamification were discussed. These firms might keep

looking into different opportunities for cooperation with ADIB as a way to

enhance the bank’s developing digital products.

Tabby raises

$150 million in

debt financing

Atalaya Capital Management

and current investor Partners

for Growth have provided

$150 million in debt financing

to the Gulf region’s “Buy Now Pay

Later” fintech Tabby (PFG). This

credit facility, which followed Tabby’s

Series B extension earlier this year,

is the largest credit facility secured

by a fintech in the GCC to date. The

portal has so far raised $275 million

and provides customers with financing

for small- to medium-sized goods. In

the first half of 2022, Tabby’s revenue,

“active” consumers, and retailer

partners all increased by a factor of

ten. In a market where credit is hard

to come by and consumers can’t

simply overextend themselves, Tabby

continues to function with superior

economics powered by limited risk.

Dubai fintech Ziina

tests “payments

keyboard” for


The Dubai-based fintech Ziina

is submitting a patent for a

“payments keypad” to facilitate

the movement of money online.

Businesses may use the keyboard,

which is now in beta mode, to generate

payment links and collect money in three

clicks from within the messaging app

of their choosing, such as WhatsApp,

Instagram, or Messenger. According

to Faisal Toukan, the app’s CEO and

co-founder, “The ZiiBoard (was) built

exclusively for enterprises. Since our

founding in 2020, we have focused on

creating the most convenient means for

people to transfer and receive money.”

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 23


How is inflation affecting UAE?

The United Arab Emirates, as an

economy with an open capital

account and pegged foreign

exchange rate regime, has

limited scope for exerting an

independent monetary policy. More

specifically, given that it’s key policy

objective is to maintain a stable peg

with the US dollar, domestic shortterm

interest rates generally follow

US interest rates, and therefore, the

Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE)

does not anchor the inflation target.

Moreover, inflation in the UAE moves

for the most part in response to other

forces that are not under the direct

control of the central bank. Specifically,

non-tradable account for 63% of the

CPI basket, of which housing accounts

for 39% of the total. Further, inflation of

tradable (37% of the CPI basket) moves

with developments in the nominal

effective exchange rate (NEER) largely

attributed to bilateral movements in

the US dollar concerning major trading


The inflation rate in the Arab

countries is expected to rise to

approximately 7.5 percent in 2022,

compared to 5.7 percent in 2021,

reflecting the impact of international

supply chain challenges and the

rise in the prices of agricultural and

industrial commodities as well as

energy products due to current global

developments. Dubai’s consumer

inflation rose to 4.6 percent in April,

when compared on a year-on-year

basis. This was the highest reading

24 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

since May 2015, according to a report

from Emirates NBD. For the month-onmonth

figure, consumer prices rose 1.2

percent, the biggest monthly increase

since January 2018, according to new

data from the Dubai Statistics Center.

The 16th edition of the Arab

Economic Outlook Report released by

the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) added

that some inflationary pressures are

expected to emerge over the forecast

horizon due to the anticipated increase

in aggregate demand levels; the rise

in consumption tax rates in some

Arab countries, the depreciation of

some Arab currencies against major

currencies, and the impact of other

inflationary factors that vary from one

Arab country to another. “Food prices

(8.6 percent higher year-on-year) were

the second biggest driver of inflation

in April, followed by recreation and

culture costs and restaurant and hotel


CPI is calculated by using a Young

index, which assumes expenditure

weights are constant over time.

The CBUAE has developed a

collection of other operational and

regulatory policy tools, such as

liquidity management and macro

prudential measures, to complement

the traditional monetary policy tools in

the absence of independence to set the

policy interest rate. These tools play

a significant role in better monitoring

monetary conditions (including

inflation) and safeguarding overall

economic and financial stability in the


The Young index differs from the

Lowe index, where quantities are

constant over time and expenditure

shares are price-updated every month.

In general, the Young index tends

to underestimate price movements

relative to the Lowe index.

In the first quarter of this year, the

UAE’s inflation increased by 3.35

percent amid higher prices in 11 main

sectors. The country’s Consumer Price

Index (CPI) jumped to 102.70 points

in Q1-22, compared to 99.37 points in

the year-ago period. The UAE Minister

of Economy Abdullah bin Touq Al

Marri said the country is doing all it

can to limit the impact of global price

rises and inflation. He said commodity

price hikes are a worldwide challenge

and that the ministry has “wellstudied

policies and plans” to contain

unjustified increases in the country’s

The inflation rate in the Arab countries is

expected to rise to approximately 7.5 percent

in 2022, compared to 5.7 percent in 2021,

reflecting the impact of international supply

chain challenges and the rise in the prices

of agricultural and industrial commodities as

well as energy products due to current global



The economy of the United Arab

Emirates (or UAE) is the 5th largest

in the Middle East (after Iran, Saudi

Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt), with a

gross domestic product (GDP) of

US$501 billion (AED 1.84 trillion) in

2022. The UAE economy is heavily

reliant on revenues from petroleum and

natural gas, especially in Abu Dhabi.

In 2009, more than 85% of the UAE’s

economy was based on oil exports. In

2011, oil exports accounted for 77%

of the UAE’s state budget. In recent

years, there has been some economic

diversification, particularly in Dubai.

Abu Dhabi and other UAE emirates

have remained relatively conservative

in their approach to diversification.

Dubai has far smaller oil reserves than

its counterparts.

The UAE’s economy shrank by

6.1% in 2020. The country’s account

balance dropped to six percent of

GDP in 2020 from 8.5 percent in 2019

due to the underperformance of both

hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon

exports mitigated by lower imports. In

late 2021, it was announced that UAE’s

banking assets are expected to grow

by between 8 percent and 10 percent

in 2022 as the second-biggest Arab

economy continues to recover from

the covid-19 pandemic. It was also

announced the UAE’s economy might

grow at a faster than projected rate,

reaching 4.6% in 2022.

In an interview with the Emirates

News Agency (WAM), Michael

Bolliger, Chief Investment Officer

Emerging Markets at UBS Global

Wealth Management, has stated

that the UAE’s economy expanded

by 3.8 percent in 2021 as a result of

appropriate government initiatives and

plans as well as the immunization of

all residents and citizens. Bolliger also

noted that the expansion of the non-oil

sector also contributed significantly to

this economic recovery. Bolliger noted

that the UAE’s economic diversification

is demonstrated by the swift recovery

from the Covid-19 pandemic and the

significant contributions of non-oil

sectors. The transportation, tourism,

and hospitality sectors also made

solid recoveries in the recent period,

as evidenced by the rise in visitor

numbers and hotel occupancy rates. In

2022 and 2023, respectively, the GCC

economies will rise by 6.4% and 3.4%,

he insisted. The US’s GDP fell by 0.9

percent in the second quarter of 2022,

and worries of a recession in Europe

are growing, he observed, which has

caused the global economy to trend


September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 25

Business News

ADNOC signs a $1.17

billion deal with the

logistics division

The logistics and services sector

and Abu Dhabi National Oil

Company (ADNOC) have

agreed to a five-year, $1.17

billion arrangement to increase

offshore capacity. ADNOC Offshore

awarded ADNOC Logistics & Services

(ADNOC L&S) the contract, which

calls for the hiring of 13 self-propelled

jack-up barges. The state-owned oil

corporation stated that the barges

will be “deployed across ADNOC’s

offshore areas and are designed to

support a wide array of operations,

including project work, maintenance,

and accommodation”. Al Suwaidi

continued, “the award enables

exceptionally high ICV, which can

encourage new business prospects to

assist the expansion and diversification

of the UAE’s economy”.

UAE non-oil


increases to $431

billion in H1-22

In comparison to the same period

in 2021, the non-oil commerce

of the UAE increased by 17%

to around Dh1.58 trillion ($431

billion) in the first half of the year,

according to Sheikh Mohammed bin

Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of

Dubai. According to official figures,

this is the first time the nation’s non-oil

commerce has surpassed the AED

1 trillion threshold. In the first half of

the year, compared to the same period

in 2021, non-oil exports from the UAE

climbed by 8% to Dh180 billion. Nonoil

imports in the nation increased by

19% over the same period last year,

approaching Dh580 billion for the first


SAMA declares the

beginning of the

“POS Service”

The inauguration of point-of-sale

(POS) services between Saudi

Arabia and Qatar was announced

by the Central Bank of Saudi

Arabia (SAMA). SAMA has emphasised

that the service will connect the Qatari

National Network and the national

payments network Mada (NAPS).

Through the Gulf Payments Network

(GCC-Net), Mada and NAPS cardholders

will now be able to conduct pointof-sale

transactions in Saudi Arabia

and Qatar, according to SAMA. Bank

customers in the Gulf can use the GCC-

Net to make cash withdrawals from

ATMs using the host nation’s currency.

According to SAMA, this procedure will

help bank customers - who have used

the available international payment card

networks to conduct POS operations -

pay less.

Abu Dhabi adds 126 new

economic activities to Tajer

The Tajer Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi Trader)

licence has been expanded to include 126 new

economic activities, according to the Abu Dhabi

Business Center (ADBC), a division of the Abu

Dhabi Economic Development Board (ADDED).

Business Small and Medium-sized businesses

(MSMEs) can get a company licence without having

to pay three years of rent for a commercial space or

work at a physical location. 29.5% of all economic

activities authorised and regulated by ADDED in 2021

were carried out by Tajer Abu Dhabi, reaching 4062

activities at present by the end of 2021.

EDB and MoCCAE provide financial

support to UAE agribusiness

UAE agribusiness is financially supported by EDB and the

Ministry of Climate Change. The action is a component

of the UAE’s 2051 National Food Security Strategy, which

is centred on putting effective agricultural techniques

into place which will increase output. One of EDB’s five priority

sectors is the UAE’s sustainable economic development and food

security, which is essential to boosting the nation’s competitiveness

and economic resilience. The two organizations will identify

opportunities for cooperation on food security and support small

businesses and start-ups. EDB provides financing solutions for

farms and MoCCAE organizes regular seminars and introductory

courses on the latest agricultural methods and techniques.

26 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022


EdTech startups drive educational growth in UAE

EdTech, short for educational technology, refers to new technological implementations in

the classroom. In-classroom tablets, interactive projection screens and whiteboards, online

content delivery, and MOOCs are all examples of EdTech. EdTech can be a contentious topic.

As a large portion of the education system is unionized, there are concerns that EdTech is

attempting to phase out specific in-class duties to reduce costs.

With time constraints, it is difficult for a teacher to teach according to

curriculum, catch up with lower-level learners, and keep the top of the

class engaged in their work. By automating the assessment of ability

and adjustment of difficulty, EdTech can lead to better outcomes for

individual students and the class.

The creators of EdTech

emphasize the enhancement

potential of the software and

technology, freeing up the

teacher to move into more of

a facilitator role. With time

constraints, it is difficult for a teacher

to teach according to curriculum, catch

up with lower-level learners, and keep

the top of the class engaged in their

work. By automating the assessment

of ability and adjustment of difficulty,

EdTech can lead to better outcomes for

individual students and the class.

EdTech is still in the early stages of

development for even basic subjects

like math or reading and composition

skills. There are a variety of design

challenges for EdTech. The biggest

hurdle is adjusting to different learning

styles in the classroom. EdTech is

usually delivered through a laptop or

tablet, resulting in a read-and-respond

learning experience. Critics have

noted that this style can disadvantage

other types of learners—auditory and

kinesthetic-. As with any new field of

technological development, EdTech

will improve the more it is used, and

the more feedback is collected.

As the global Edtech market is

expected to reach, according to

Valustrat, UAE’s EdTech industry has

also risen to the occasion. Recently,

we’re seeing a steady rise in Edtech

startups in UAE. Furthermore, the

growth of EdTech startups in the UAE

has been sped up by the government’s


An example is Anjal Z, Abu Dhabi’s

Edtech accelerator, which runs a

program to help EdTech startups

specifically. It provides selected

startups with eight weeks of intense

training and mentorship. The topperforming

startup receives a chance

to qualify for $ 100,000 in non-equity

grant money, in-kind services, and

follow-on investments. It has 1300+

legal documents, keeping the current

UAE compliances in mind. Few startups

helping the Edtech industry are as


September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 27



3asafeer is an edutainment company.

Their learning materials are

categorized according to difficulty

levels and the child’s age. They also

focus on learning material that will

increase emotional intelligence and IQ

among learners.

Coded Minds


Abjadiyat is an Edtech startup in UAE

that has built a platform for kids to

learn the Arabic language. They do this

in a fun and interactive manner. They

are a product of Ibdaa Kids, an Edu

Tech company founded and based in

Abu Dhabi. The platform is carefully

developed with leading linguists,

early childhood experts, world-class

engineers, and designers to deliver a

comprehensive Arabic teaching and

learning ecosystem for in-school and

at-home instruction and practice. They

have partnered with numerous schools

in Dubai with the vision to transform

the way kids learn.

CTS (Creative



CTS is a company offering IT solutions

for education in the Middle East. The

company was founded in 2013 in Dubai.

They’ve also designed educational

software, tablets, and interactive and

gamified learning platforms. CTS has

partnered with top technology players

like Intel, Microsoft, and Google. The

company has received funding from

Symphony Asia.

Coded Minds serve to educate people

right from kindergarten to adulthood.

Coded Minds also has projects, lessons,

and sessions to clarify students’

doubts. Today, the company educates

students of about 45 nationalities in 6

different countries. They aim to have

over 1 million students by the end

of 2022. Currently, they have raised

funding of AED 10 million.

Coded Minds serve to

educate people right

from kindergarten

to adulthood. Coded

Minds also has

projects, lessons, and

sessions to clarify

students’ doubts.


Almentor.net is an e-learning platform

for professionals. They have videos in

two languages, namely – Arabic and

English. They even offer crash courses

on various topics. Their mission is

to empower individuals, learn from

experts in every field, and leverage the

power of knowledge.


The MENA area may take Englishspeaking

lessons online via the portal

Englease. They aim to make education

accessible to all demographics at

reasonable prices. They provide

instruction with native Arabic and

English speakers to assist their

customers in achieving perfect


Along with preparation for

examinations like the IELTS and

TOEFL, they also provide flexible live

lessons. To study and grow, students

may also take a variety of competency

examinations. They have accreditation

as a CPD Training Provider.


An application called SchoolVoice was created

to bridge the communication gap between

parents and schools. One of the UAE’s Edtech

businesses offers an app that lets parents keep

tabs on their children’s classroom activities and

interactions with teachers. Ali Bin Yahia started

the business in 2012.

28 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022


A working mother group created QiDZ

in 2017 as a resource for entertaining

suggestions for family-friendly

activities. The QiDZ platform motivates

working parents to spend more time

with their children. You may use the

smartphone app to look for kid-friendly

restaurants and attractions in Dubai.

You may plan and organize your

trips with QiDZ, one of the Edtech

companies in the UAE, and keep up

with the newest offers. Daily updates

to QiDZ include the newest DIY

projects, games, online resources, and

more. The business could secure 1.5

million dollars from its eight investors

in its initial investment round.

You may plan and organize your trips with QiDZ, one of the Edtech companies

in the UAE, and keep up with the newest offers.


An E-library platform service called

Deepknowledge offers top-notch

library administration solutions.

This offers individualized access to

materials and information. Their goal

is to provide information that will aid

researchers and information seekers.

It is a cloud-based service that aids

businesses in starting their e-libraries.

The EdTech sector has seen a

sudden growth spurt since the virus

outbreak, and many forecasts that it

is here to stay. Several start-ups have

been catering to the needs of parents,

teachers, and schools, while many

more are now emerging in the market

to cater to various other training and

development requirements.

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 29


UAE residents enjoy broadening

investment into art

UAE residents and expats can count on the emirate to support the arts, be it classical or

contemporary. On the investment side, paintings can provide diversity to your portfolio due to their

volatility as an asset class. The interest in art increased as the UAE developed into a major hub for

trade, logistics, and transportation as well as a haven for jet setters.

The UAE’s booming art

industry benefited from

a variety of perspectives

and experiences thanks

to its expanding ex-pat

population, and galleries popped up

throughout the nation.

The three biggest emirates in the

UAE have adopted the arts in various

ways, each influenced by the goals

of its rulers and patrons. Abu Dhabi

has made investments in large-scale

international collaborations, Sharjah

has linked regional artists to a global

arts scene, and Dubai has evolved into

a hub for commercial art.

The ensuing proliferation of paid

murals, graffiti festivals, packed art

nights, and free performances have

made it possible for art to be seen

as a shared treasure that belongs

equally to the residents and the

more affluent art world. In order to

strengthen this artistic influence, the

Consulate General of India in Dubai

co-hosted an event called Divya

Chakra 2022 with HH Sheikh Ahmed

Bin Faisal Al Qassimi’s private office

on the auspicious occasion of the 75th

anniversary of India’s Independence

Day. This celebration honored India’s

spirit of peace, unity, and cultural


An outstanding exhibition of 75

carefully chosen works of art by

artists from various nationalities

was on display at the event.

Additionally, honorable artists gave

LIVE performances as part of the

celebration. The Virtual Art Gallery was

announced, and artists from all over

the world could submit their works to

be a part of this momentous occasion.

30 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

H.E. Dr. Aman Puri, The Consul

General of India was seen heartily

interacting with artists exhibiting their

work. “The United Arab Emirates is

one country in the world where it is

also the whole world in one country. I

am sure in the last couple of years of

difficulty, the artist has really helped us

to lift our spirits and give us a message

of hope, peace and prosperity. Here in

the Consulate General of India, Dubai,

we are extremely proud and privileged

to be hosting these celebrations,

bringing artists from different genres

together and celebrating art in its

various forms.” he said, expressing


Many GCC museums and galleries

are also now offering virtual portals to

the interiors of their buildings as well

as to their collections, a great array of

which may now be accessed online.

The museum collections are now

accessible to the global public virtually,

enabling the Gulf states to share their

cultural treasures with international

virtual visitors and to exert a significant

influence beyond their borders keeping

in mind that such access is reserved

for those who are technologically and

culturally connected.

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 31

Start-up News

Agritech start-up Graze-it begins

operation in UAE

Agritech company Graze-it, based in the UAE, has now officially started

operating in the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) with the goal

of revolutionising livestock feed for a more sustainable future. With the

help of cutting-edge controlled environment agriculture (CEA), which allows for a

water consumption that is 95% lower than conventional agriculture, the company

is resolving a significant food security challenge in the Middle East by growing

sustainable animal feed on-site at the consumer’s location.

Clara and Hub71 for automated

legal services of start-ups


relationship between Clara, a legal tech start-up that provides automated

legal services for entrepreneurs, and Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s distinctive

international digital community, was recently revealed. The collaboration

will assist the intricate legal procedures involved in starting, growing, and exiting

a start-up by giving Hub71-based start-ups access to Clara’s cutting-edge digital

platform. Clara is an operating system that digitizes and automates legal expertise

for start-ups. Led by a team of experienced entrepreneurs from the legal and

technology industries, Clara is ready to handle many of the tasks that lawyers do

today, including company formation, contract drafting, cap table creation, data

room building, transfers, and more.

UAE tech startup


raises $10


Technology start-up in the UAE In

order to grow into new markets

and advance its core technology,

Dukkantek raised $10 million in a fresh

investment round. Beco Capital, an

early-stage venture capital firm based

in Dubai, served as the round’s lead

investor. Other investors included

Rocketship, Colle Capital, Comma

Capital, AMK Investment Office, Chaos

Ventures, Wamda Capital. According to

the statement, the funding “will further

access worldwide expansion, enhance

the platform’s technology stack, and hire

the top people in the region.” Previously,

in October, the store management

platform raised $5.2 million in a seed

round, bringing its total capital to $15.2


UAE remains

start-up hub as

it raises $700

million in H1-22

The UAE remains MENA’s

richest and most developed

market, accounting for 50% of

all investments accumulated in the

region. According to the latest data,

the UAE raised nearly US$700 million

through her 85 deals in the first half of

this year, cementing its dominance as

a top destination for start-ups in the

MENA. Saudi Arabia takes second

place with 79 deals raising $584 million,

Egypt takes third place with her 78 deals

raising $307 million. Bahrain went up

three spots to position four in terms of

capital, garnering $116 million, while

Tunisia raised one spot to position five

thanks to a $36 million investment in its


32 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

G42 opens

$10 billion

investment fund

The company that develops AI and

cloud computing technologies

revealed the information,

adding that it would launch the

investment fund in collaboration with

the Abu-Dhabi Growth Fund, which

is supported by the government.

The statement didn’t specify which

company of G42 will be in charge

of managing the investment fund”.

Since their founding, 22 start-ups in

the UAE have received investments

totalling almost $1.8 billion, accounting

for more than 60% of the list’s total


Peng Xio, Group

CEO of G42

Saudi fintech

start-up Tamara

raises $100


Saudi Arabia BNPL start-up,

Tamara is planning to go public

in the “future” and has secured

$100 million in its second investment

round to support that goal. Sanabil

Investments, which has the support

of the Public Investment Fund, the

kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund,

served as the lead investor in Tamara’s

Series B investment round. The FinTech

would utilise the profits to offer new

products and grow into “adjacent”

areas, with an emphasis in the MENA

region. In the future, Tamara plans to

list in Saudi Arabia, with a potential

second listing in other countries. The

business, which has already secured

$216 million in debt and equity,

anticipates turning a profit.

12 new start-ups introduced

by Ma’an in Abu Dhabi


Alsukhan -

Co Founder

& CEO –


UAE investor

bet on Indian

NFT Artfi start-up

raising $3.2M


non-fungible token (NFT)-

focused firm has raised $3.26

million from a number of

investors, including Raza Beig, director

of Landmark Group, UAE, and Sheikha

Hend Al Qassemi, a member of the

Emirate of Sharjah’s ruling family. A

$100 million value was used to raise

the present funds. With the goal of

democratising the fine art market, Artfi

fractions expensive works of art into

limited-edition NFTs. The polygon

network will be used to mint the NFTs.

In addition to preparing for whitelisting

for its initial fine art NFT offering in

August, the fine art fintech start-up is

also planning to create a museum in

the metaverse where the art collection

will always be available.

The Ma’an Social Incubator (MSI) sixth cohort, the first of

2022, was completed by the Authority of Social Contribution

(Ma’an), with 12 participating start-ups that had grown their

business concepts inside the incubator. A strategic cooperation

between Ma’an and start AD, a start-up accelerator situated

at NYU Abu Dhabi, allowed for the organisation of the 6th

Cohort. The 6th Cohort assisted these social entrepreneurs in

developing novel solutions applicable to the financial literacy

and education technology (EdTech) sectors under the theme of

“Entrepreneurship for Social Good. Salama Al Ameemi, Director-

General of Ma’an, and Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of

the Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi, both

attended the ceremony.

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 33


Kindly brief us about the company

and its services.

Kroma is the answer to all kinds of

delivery requirements of a customer.

• Courier: We collect and drop off

your papers, packages, and other such

items in a timely way.

• Food: The meals are supplied

without touch and within social

distancing protocols to individuals,

groups, or parties.

• Pharmacy: Pharma needs regular

prescription drugs or emergencies

that will be delivered promptly and


• Grocery: Regular orders may be

made with a range of retailers, which is

handy for customers.

• Heavy Goods: Heavy goods such

as furniture or bulk orders can be


• B2B Delivery: All pickups and

deliveries for companies of all sizes.

Mayur Gohel, CEO and Founder of Kroma Delivery Services


A success story of defying

odds to reach new heights

All start-up companies are looking for growth. While some can

work it out, others are still figuring out how to do the same. Mayur

Gohel, CEO and Founder of Dubai-based Kroma Delivery Services,

spoke exclusively to Finance World Magazine about the changes

caused by the pandemic in the UAE’s food delivery industry and

how businesses are adapting.

We only started 18 months ago, and

in that time, we have 150+ bike delivery

riders working on the road with various

clients. In addition, we are expanding

in other GCC countries such as Qatar

and Bahrain.

How did the pandemic affect


In the midst of the chaos of

COVID-19, restaurants adapted because

they had to, as an estimated 110,000

establishments closed permanently.

The industry quickly learned that it

needed to adapt to survive, which is

to rely on more delivery services. Now

that the sector has had time to adjust to

these changes, their long-term potential

is clearer.

Online ordering has also made it

easier than ever to get takeout or

delivery. Overall, online transactions

increased as delivery became a

popular and preferred option following

the implementation of lockdown

restrictions. It paved the way for

backend technology evolution.

34 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

The pandemic may have played the role of a catalyst in the sudden

increase in demand, but UAE was already prepared to handle a

genuine online delivery business flood. So, there is no doubt that the

eCommerce delivery business has a rock-solid future in the UAE.

What do you think the future of

the UAE’s delivery industry will be?

It would not be wrong to say that

digital transformation has touched

almost every industry on earth.

The logistics industry is also not an

exception to this. Due to the growing

craze of online shopping in Dubai,

every industry including logistics has

realized the importance of automation.

The buyers’ gradual inclination

towards online shopping will help

eCommerce delivery businesses to

grow further in Dubai in the future.

This makes a healthy flow of online

orders keeping the courier & delivery

companies busy throughout the year.

The eCommerce delivery business

has an impeccable space for growth

and development in the UAE. The

pandemic may have played the role

of a catalyst in the sudden increase

in demand, but UAE was already

prepared to handle a genuine online

delivery business flood. So, there is no

doubt that the eCommerce delivery

business has a rock-solid future in the


What are the key things that you

focus on?

• Customer partnerships.

• Vision of long-term working

relationships with our customers.

• Quality of service.

• Knowledge of services we offer.

• Employee happiness and retention.

• Feedback to improve regularly.

What’s the one thing which helped

your business grow significantly?

There are several factors that

contribute to business growth. But,

if we had to pick one thing, it would

be that the financial assistance

we received from iFund Factoring

Forfaiting Services was a significant

boost to our business. They have a

client-friendly technology, process,

and people. All the process is managed

digitally. They gave us support from

the initial period for working capital in

terms of financing.

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 35

Mergers and Acquisitions

Last year, Agthia

Group made

acquisitions of AED

2.3 billion

After investing more than AED2.3

billion ($626.2 million) in

expansion plans last year, Abu

Dhabi’s Agthia Group is preparing

to make additional acquisitions in

Egypt and Saudi Arabia. In order to

maintain its market leadership, the

business has been staging acquisitions

around the region, especially in the

sizable economies of Egypt and Saudi

Arabia. Agthia most recently bought

a 60 percent stake in the Egyptian

food manufacturer Abu Auf Group. It

made an announcement earlier this

year to invest AED 90 million in the

construction of a new manufacturing

plant in Saudi Arabia.

Emaar decides to

sell Namshi to Noon

Emaar Properties has decided

to sell fashion and accessories

portal Namshi to Noon “in

principle”. It was this week that

Emaar said its Board of Directors

was to take up the potential sale

of Namshi. Immediately thereafter,

Emaar’s stock went through a sharp

rise. “The price shall be a cash

consideration of $335,200,000 noting

that the price is within the range which

has been defined by an independent

valuer approved by the Securities &

Commodities Authority,” Emaar said.

“The above cash consideration is

the equity value of Namshi, which is

equivalent to $350 million of ‘enterprise

value’ of the company.

Huspy purchases UAE mortgage brokerages

Huspy, a proptech business based in the UAE, has announced the acquisition

of Just Mortgages and Finance Lab, two mortgage brokerages. Both

companies’ founders and staff members will join Huspy. The most recent

acquisition deals come after Huspy acquired Home Matters in January of this

year, a move that established the business as a market leader in the UAE’s

mortgage industry. Ankit Shah, head of M&A, mortgages at Huspy, claimed that

the combination of the two companies will enhance the expertise that Huspy was

known for while also providing additional advantages to UAE homebuyers.

Actis to purchase controlling interest in

Yellow Door Energy

As demand for renewable energy sources increases globally, the British

private equity firm Actis will purchase a majority interest in the Dubaibased

renewable energy developer Yellow Door Energy. Actis has signed

the deal’s final transaction agreements, which are still awaiting regulatory

approval. Actis’ Energy 5 Fund, its most recent energy fund with $6 billion in

investable capital, will provide the funding for the acquisition. According to Actis,

it would implement its buy-and-build power strategy to scale the company and

speed up growth. To date, the company has contributed to more than 70 renewable

energy projects, producing about 11 gigawatts of renewable energy worldwide.

Apollo buys a share in Aldar Investment


For $400 million, New York-based Apollo

Global Management purchased an 11.1

percent share in Aldar Investment Properties

(AIP), a division of the dominant Abu Dhabi

real estate company. The purchase comes after

Apollo previously declared it would invest $1.4

billion to support Aldar’s growth plans. The asset

management division of Aldar, AIP, has a real estate

portfolio worth about $6.3 billion that includes

retail, residential, commercial, and logistics space.

The deal will help the Aldar division’s efforts

to stage more acquisitions in order to grow its

portfolio. Four prestigious office skyscrapers in

Abu Dhabi Global Market were purchased by AIP

last month for $1.2 billion.

36 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

IHC purchased 50% share in Kalyon Enerji

International Holding Company

(IHC), located in Abu Dhabi,

declared that it had purchased a

50% share in Turkish clean energy

company Kalyon Enerji. An estimated

AED1.8 billion ($490.1 million) will

be spent on the transaction. IHC will

use its subsidiary International Energy

Holding to purchase the interest in the

Turkish company. The stake acquisition

agreement covers several renewable

energy projects in different Turkish

cities, such as the 100 MW solar project

in Nide, the 50 MW solar project in

Gaziantep, the 1,000 MWe photovoltaic

power plant project of Kalyan Enerji in

the Karapinar neighbourhood of Konya,

Ankara, and the 1 GW wind project

developed by YEKA.

First Turkish

acquisition by UAE

since relations


The first significant business

transaction between the two

nations since relations between

is the purchase of a 50% stake in a

Turkish company with ties to President

Recep Tayyip Erdogan by a United

Arab Emirates company managed

by the nation’s national security

adviser. As wealth funds in the oil-rich

capital of the UAE look for billions of

dollars in investments, the company’s

expansion in Turkey may open the door

for a flurry of partnerships between the

two nations. The agreement also shows

that relations between the two nations,

which had been at odds for much

of the previous decade over issues

ranging from Islamist movements to

the conflicts in Syria and Libya, have


Adnoc Distribution

to buy 50% share in


Adnoc Distribution, the largest

gasoline distributor in the

UAE, is buying a 50% stake in

TotalEnergies’ Egyptian division in order

to continue its regional growth. The

purchase agreement might cost $186

million, with an extra earn-out of up to

$17.3 million “if certain requirements are

achieved.” With 240 refuelling stations,

more than 100 convenience stores, and

more than 250 lube changing facilities in

its portfolio, TotalEnergies Egypt is one

of the country’s top fuel retail operators

in North Africa. The corporation also

engages in the wholesale distribution

of fuel, aviation fuel, and lubricant


359 M&A agreements

signed across MENA

in H1-22

In the first half of 2022, the MENA

area saw 359 merger and acquisition

(M&A) deals worth $42.6 billion.

The increase in M&A activity reflects

a 12% year-over-year (YoY) increase

in deal volume, which is fueled by

the region’s post-pandemic economic

expansion, which is supported by

high oil prices and rising boardroom

confidence. Domestic transactions

provided 48% and 33%, respectively, of

the overall value and volume of M&A

transactions over the course of the past

six months. In the first half of 2022, the

M&A activity involving PE and SWFs

made up 35% and 38%, respectively, of

the overall deal volumes and values.

Emaar Properties

to pay $2 billion to

acquire Dubai Creek


Dubai Holding will surpass Dubai

Investment Corporation, which

now holds 24.07% of Emaar, to

take over as the company’s secondlargest

stakeholder after the prior splitcash

transaction. It was revealed that

Emaar Properties and Dubai Holdings

have reached an agreement for AED

7.5 billion ($2.04 billion) to purchase

100% of Dubai Creek Harbour, a new

construction along the famed shoreline

of Dubai Creek. The Investment

Corporation of Dubai, which currently

owns 24.07 percent of Emaar’s

stock, or roughly 1.97 million shares,

according to Dubai Creek Harbour,

provides breathtaking views of the Burj

Khalifa and the Downtown area over

the creek..

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 37

Investment and Funding

G42 opens $10

billion technology

investment fund

G42, based in Abu Dhabi, raises

$10 billion to finance worldwide

expansion by investing in

“revolutionary technology.” The

fund will act as a private equity

investor with a focus on expanding

businesses in developing nations. The

Mubadala-backed artificial intelligence

company stated that the fund will

function as a private equity investor

with a focus on late-stage growth

enterprises in emerging regions. By

giving portfolio firms special access to

networks, management, and operational

assets through the G42 Expansion

Fund, hopes to increase the scale of

worldwide effect.

Gem Digital to

invest $10 million

in UAE’s Everdome

EEverdome, a metaverse

company with headquarters in

the UAE, has invested in Gem

Digital Limited (GEM), a digital

asset investment company

with headquarters in the Bahamas that

raises utility tokens listed on more

than 30 CEXs and DEXs around the

world. GEM has announced that it has

committed to investing $10 million

through a structured token subscription

agreement. Gem’s funding will prioritise

team development and technology

metaverse advancement, and it will

hasten the game’s virtual reality


ArabyAds raises

$30 million in Pre-

Series B funding


ArabyAds, the top AdTech firm in

the MENA area, revealed that

AfricInvest, a top pan-African

investment platform that

manages a variety of alternative

asset classes like private equity,

venture capital, and private credit, had

contributed $30 million to its Pre-Series

B funding round. ArabyAds will use the

additional funding to increase its reach

and make more investments to promote

its technological development and hire

more personnel to assist growth

Venture capital

funding led by UAE

in MENA for H1-22

Companies in the UAE raised

US$699 million in the first

half of 2022, according to data

platform Magnitt, making the

UAE the Middle East and North

Africa’s top venture capital fundraiser.

According to a report released by

Magnitt, the Emirates also held the top

spot in terms of agreements, which

increased by 10% over the previous

six-month period. With a $181 million

convertible note mega-round for Abu

Dhabi-based Pure Harvest in June, the

UAE also hosted the largest deal. This

was the country’s tenth consecutive year

hosting a mega-round, which is funding

totalling $100 million or more. More

than $1.47 billion in venture capital was

invested in the UAE in 2021.

Qatar leads the funding round in Celonis

Software company Celonis, with offices in Munich and New York, raised $1

billion from investors, including the Qatar Investment Authority, to expand

its business providing software that aids businesses in running more

effectively. A year ago, in June 2021, the business raised $1 billion at a $11

billion valuation. A number of businesses are creating “process mining”

tools, including Celonis, which was founded in 2011. These tools help companies

identify operational inefficiencies that a human eye might miss. For instance, the

technology can indicate if a company is paying an invoice twice because of a small

spelling error.

38 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

Khalifa fund

announces AED 3.5

billion investment

in Kenya

The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise

Development (KFED), supported

by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi,

recently announced its first $30

million investment in Kenya

(Sh3.57 billion). With a focus on Kenya

agreements, the UAE Fund created a

local innovation and entrepreneurship

centre in February. The capital,

according to the fund funded by the Abu

Dhabi State, will be distributed via the

Kenyan Youth Enterprise Development

Fund. The funds would aim to give

promising start-ups and creators earlystage

finance, it was added.

Qatar’s wealth will fund $3 billion into


In order to boost Pakistan’s faltering economy, the $3 billion investment that

Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) plans to make were confirmed by the Emir of

Qatar. Emiri Diwan stated, without going into specifics, “The Qatar Investment

Authority announced its intention to spend $3 billion in various commercial and

investment sectors in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.” During Prime Minister

Shahbaz Sharif’s visit to Doha, the idea was announced. PM Shahbaz spoke with

Qatari Ameer Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani after meeting with the QIA during

his official visit.

Burjeel Holdings plans to invest $1

billion in Saudi development

UAE investments in

Egypt increased by

169.1% in H1-22

According to the Egyptian

Central Agency for Public

Mobilization and Statistics

(CAPMAS), the value of Emirati

investments in Egypt surged by

169.1% during the first half of the fiscal

year 2021–2022, from $712.6 million to

$1.9 billion (AED 6.98 billion), or $1.9

billion. The value of trade between

Egypt and the UAE increased by 1.4%

to around $1.2 billion during the first

quarter of 2022 from $1.1 billion during

the same time in 2021. The amount of

remittances from Egyptians working

in the UAE increased by 1.4% to $3.5

billion in the 2020–2021 fiscal year from

$3.4 billion in the 2019–2020 fiscal year.

Agoal to invest up to $1 billion by 2030, the private healthcare provider

Burjeel Holdings, located in the UAE, signed an initial agreement with

the Saudi Ministry of Investment in an effort to expand into the Kingdom.

The owner of 39 hospitals and medical facilities will look for investment

opportunities through joint ventures and public-private partnership models

to build and grow different healthcare solutions throughout Saudi Arabia. Offerings

in the healthcare industry will include comprehensive specialised hospitals, day

surgery capabilities, digital health initiatives, and speciality medical facilities.

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 39


DeFi modernizing crypto lending routes

Many DeFi offerings and

products closely resemble

products and functions in

the traditional financial

marketplace. There are decentralized

applications, or dApps, running on

blockchains, that enable people to

obtain an asset or loan upon posting

collateral, much like traditional

collateralized loans. Others offer

the ability to deposit a digital asset

and receive a return. Both types of

products offer returns, some directly,

and some indirectly by enabling the

use of borrowed assets for other DeFi

investing opportunities. In addition,

there are web-based tools that help

users identify, or invest in, the highestyielding

DeFi instruments and venues.

Other applications let users earn fees

in exchange for supplying liquidity or

market making. There are also tokens

coded to track the prices of securities

trading on registered U.S. national

securities exchanges, and then can

be traded and used in a variety of

other DeFi applications. So while the

underlying technology is sometimes

unfamiliar, these digital products and

activities have close analogs within the

SEC’s jurisdiction.

Market participants who raise capital

from investors, or provide regulated

services or functions to investors,

generally take on legal obligations. In

what may be an attempt to disclaim

those legal obligations, many DeFi

promoters disclose broadly that DeFi

is risky and investments may result in

losses, without providing the details

investors need to assess risk likelihood

and severity. Others could accurately

be characterized as simply advocating

a “buyer beware” approach; by

participating, investors assume the risk

of any losses. Given this, many current

DeFi participants recommend that new

investors exercise caution, and many

experts and academics agree there are

significant risks.

In the United States, multiple federal

authorities likely have jurisdiction

over aspects of DeFi, including the

Department of Justice, the Financial

Criminal Enforcement Network,

the Internal Revenue Service,

the Commodity Futures Trading

Commission, and the SEC. State

authorities likely have jurisdiction over

aspects as well. Despite the number of

authorities having some jurisdictional

interest, DeFi investors generally will

not get the same level of compliance

and robust disclosure that are the

norm in other regulated markets in the

U.S. For example, a variety of DeFi

participants, activities, and assets fall

within the SEC’s jurisdiction as they

involve securities and securities-related


The SEC is equipped with a wide

range of tools, including the ability

to make rules, different exemptive

or no-action reliefs, and enforcement

actions. Importantly, DeFi development

teams should contact our Strategic

Hub for Innovation and Financial

Technology (“FinHub”) or other

offices and divisions, all of which have

professionals well-versed in matters

relating to digital assets, if they are

unsure whether their project falls

under the SEC’s purview.

DeFi has a total market cap of $50

billion, with over thousands of coins

trading in the sector. To allow you to

navigate through this vast space easily,

below are few DeFi coins that are

popular in 2022.

Tamadoge Uniswap Decentraland

Tamadoge, offers great utility

and enabling investors to

earn rewards. Peer-to-peer

transactions without a middleman

have become possible thanks to

decentralized finance, but Tamadoge

has also made it possible for users to

play games and earn cryptocurrency.

Users must purchase NFTs in the

Tamaverse in order to participate

in order to feed and raise their

virtual pets. The top rankings on the

leaderboard and best rewards will go to

players who have given their pets the

best care and upbringing. Tamadoge

coins are the prize, but players can

exchange them for other money.

Uniswap is a cryptocurrency

exchange which uses a

decentralized network protocol.

Uniswap is also the name of

the company that initially built the

Uniswap protocol. The protocol

facilitates automated transactions

between cryptocurrency tokens on the

Ethereum blockchain through the use

of smart contracts.

Uniswap’s native token, UNI, is the

26th largest coin with a market cap of

$4.7 billion. While UNI has corrected

from a price-high of $43 to only $7, it

has the backing of a strong ecosystem

that provides

easy liquidity to

facilitate peer-topeer


in a completely



ecentraland is

a project built

on top of the



that offers

a virtual

gaming world

that can be

accessed by

all. One of the most innovative things

about Decentraland is that users can

buy virtual land and subsequently build

digital real estate.

In November 2021, the DeFi crypto

token rewarded users with almost a

600% price increase. After reaching an

ATH of $5.4, MANA is trading at just

$1.16 a token. However, Decentraland’s

token still has a market cap of $637

million and is the 40th most valuable

digital token in the cryptocurrency


40 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

DeFi Coin (DEFC)

DeFi Coin is a cryptocurrency

token that, as its name suggests,

is deeply ingrained in the rapidly

expanding decentralized finance

(DeFi) industry. The new DeFi Swap

decentralized exchange (DEX), which

provides beneficial swapping, staking,

and yield farming services, has adopted

the token as its native currency. For

those who own DEFC tokens, DeFi

Swap offers some of the best DeFi

interest rates.

DeFi Swap has been under

development for several months, but

the exchange’s team only gave it the

all-clear to launch in early May, which

caused the price of DeFi Coin (DEFC)

to jump by over 300%. Although DEFC

is the exchange’s native token, it also

has a number of other intriguing use

cases, such as “static rewards” for


Lucky Block


owards the end of January,

LBLOCK was officially released

on Pancake Swap - one of the

industry’s biggest decentralized

exchanges (DEX). After releasing at an

ICO of $0.00089, LBLOCK soared to an

all-time high (ATH) of $0.009617. This

equates to a 10x price increase.

Lucky Block games are carried out

by a smart contract in order to provide

a decentralized platform. Knowing

how smart contracts operate will allow

you to understand that the underlying

code is unchangeable and free from


Yearn Finance

Yearn Finance offers these

services through multiple ranges

of products & features.

● APY (Annual Percentage

Yield) - To determine the interest rates

across different lending protocols

● Earn - This feature identifies the

highest interest rates users can earn by

lending out different assets

● ZAP - A tool that bundles multiple

trades, reducing costs & labor.

All these activities take place in

the Yearn Finance ecosystem using

YFI - the native digital token. Users

can earn YFI tokens by locking their

crypto holdings on the Yearn Finance


The Abu Dhabi Global Market

encouraged FinTech companies to

propose their ideas for decentralized

apps as part of the fifth iteration of

its Regulatory Laboratory (RegLab)

sandbox program that took place

recently. The most recent cohort will

concentrate on decentralized finance

(DeFi), Web3, and tokenization and will

function under the Financial Services

Regulatory Authority of the ADGM.

According to the financial free zone,

this will allow FinTech companies

to promote innovation in the UAE

financial services market.

It is a great location for blockchain

enterprises due to the innovative rules

and tax-free business environment. The

first free zone in the UAE to establish

regulations and norms for virtual

assets was the Abu Dhabi Global

Market. For firms with a focus on

cryptocurrencies, it offers a licensing

system that includes a framework

for digital securities offerings, virtual

asset custodians, multilateral trading

facilities exchanges, and digital

settlement facilities for the clearing

and settlement of digital securities. The

Securities and Commodities Authority

(SCA) of the UAE has published rules

and recommendations regarding

digital currency. For blockchain-based

firms looking to conduct business in

the UAE, the regulations offer clarity

and have created new opportunities.

The SCA’s policies have created new

possibilities and portals.

For instance, the Dubai Multi

Commodities Centre (DMCC), a free

zone that is subject to SCA’s regulatory

authority, has granted special licenses

to companies interested in establishing

and operating from DMCC, such as the

distributed ledger technology service

provider license and the proprietary

trading in crypto commodities license.

Market Research Future predicts

that the market for Web3 will be

worth roughly $6.2 billion in 2023 and

will increase at a compound annual

rate of 44.6% from 2023 to 2030. In

the meanwhile, DeFi might displace

intermediaries in the financial system

like brokers and banks. Transactions

based on blockchain technology are

typically thought to be safer this way.

According to Emergen Research, the

market for DeFi platforms would

expand to $507.92 billion in value by

2028, with a compound annual growth

rate of roughly 44%.

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 41


UAE Golden Visa: Fueling nation’s financial


Due to its many advantages, the UAE has overtaken other countries as the most popular

travel destination for wealthy people (HWNIs). Incentives like tax-free status and other

favorable factors forecast a net inflow of 4,000 HNWIs for the UAE in 2022. The residencyby-investment

(RBI) and citizenship-by-investment (CBI) programs are facilitated by Passport

Legacy, a leading and widely regarded government-authorized organization. Passport Legacy

shares its analysis of how the UAE achieved this and how the nation’s future outlook compares

to recent developments.

Global geopolitical

unpredictability has led

to significant changes in

every industry, but the

immigration sector has

experienced particularly

significant changes, including an influx

of European investors. As a result, the

UAE, through the implementation of

investor-friendly policies and alluring

immigration incentives like the nation’s

Golden Visa program, has achieved

great success in luring the most highnet-worth

individuals, globally.

Expats can now live, work, and

study in the UAE without a national

sponsor thanks to the UAE Golden Visa

program, which was first introduced in

2019. Expats who take advantage of the

RBI incentive offered by the nation are

also qualified to keep 100% ownership

of their companies in the mainland

free zone of the UAE. The UAE

widened the requirements for its RBI

program between the end of Q2 and

the beginning of Q3 of 2022. This has

helped a good deal more than 65,000

people obtain the 10-year residency


Scientists and real estate investors

are now eligible for the UAE’s

expanded ten-year visa requirements.

A Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent,

UAE employment documentation,

an occupation level recognized by

the Ministry of Human Resources

& Emiratization (MOHRE), and a

minimum monthly income of AED

30,000, or the equivalent of USD 8,174,

are requirements for eligibility. With

the implementation of a new program

component this month, investors will

be able to obtain the nation’s Golden

Visa with a minimum real estate

investment of AED 2 million. The

42 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

UAE will also roll out five-year Green

Residence Visas to honor exceptional

talent, skilled workers, investors,

freelancers, and business owners.

This initiative will benefit foreign

nationals who plan to invest, work as

freelancers, or operate their businesses

out of the UAE, though eligibility

requirements will vary depending on

the particular industry. This represents

a major shift from the nation’s longstanding

sponsorship model and more

recent alternatives like Virtual Working

Visas and Freelance Visas.

Specialized health insurance plans

Golden visa holders in the UAE can

purchase specialized health insurance

plans with premiums starting at AED

2,393 and an AED 300,000 annual

coverage maximum. “A strong health

insurance plan for Golden Visa holders

ensures security and helps them plan

their next five or 10 years in the UAE,”

Saleh Al Hashimi, CEO of Dubai Health

Insurance Corporation under Dubai

Health Authority (DHA), said in a

statement in one of his interviews.

Saleh Al Hashimi, CEO of Dubai

Health Insurance Corporation

It is a crucial component of their

criteria to remain in the nation. He

stated, “We will urge the industry

to strive toward such products. We

are delighted that Daman, a national

corporation, has taken the effort to

come out with a dedicated plan for

Golden Visa holders. Unlike the more

common resident’s visa, which needs

to be renewed every two to three

years, the UAE golden visa is a special

residency visa that provides recipients

with ten years of residency.

Holders of the Esaad privilege

card have access to some very good

savings on lodging, tuition, dining out,

travel, and more. According to the

National Health Insurance Company

- Daman, owners of the UAE golden

visa will now also be allowed to

take advantage of particular health

insurance products. The National

Health Insurance Company (Daman)

is the first business in the United Arab

Emirates to offer a health insurance

plan created especially for those with

Golden Visas. With a coverage limit of

up to AED 300,000, Cover Silver has a

starting premium as low as AED 2,393.

While the Premier package starts at

AED 39,857 with an AED 20 million

annual restriction, and the Enhanced

Gold package starts at AED 4,985

with an AED 2.5 million annual limit.

Additionally, on vacations or business

trips outside of the UAE, the packages

offer 180-day coverage.

The Golden visa is for:

• Investors

• Entrepreneurs

• Exceptional Talents

• Scientists and Professionals

• Outstanding Students and Graduates

• Humanitarian Pioneers

• Frontline Heroes

The UAE’s ‘Golden visa’ is a longterm

residency visa that enables

foreign talents to live and work or

study in the UAE while enjoying

exclusive benefits which includes:

It is a crucial

component of their

criteria to remain

in the nation. He

stated, “We will

urge the industry

to strive toward

such products. We

are delighted that

Daman, a national

corporation, has

taken the effort to

come out with a

dedicated plan for

Golden Visa holders.

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 43


• an entry visa for six months with

multiple entries to proceed with

residence issuance

• a long-term, renewable residence visa

valid for 10 years

• a self-sponsored visa, as there is no

need for an employment sponsor

• ability to stay outside the UAE for

more than the usual restriction of six

months to keep their residence visa


• sponsoring their family members,

including spouses and children

regardless of their ages

• sponsoring an unlimited number of

domestic helpers

• allowing family members to stay in

the UAE until the end of their permit

duration if the primary holder of the

Golden visa passes away.

According to experts, Indians

looking to invest in foreign real estate

are increasingly choosing Dubai

as their preferred location. “Dubai

has been the preferred investment

destination for Indians interested in

purchasing real estate abroad,” stated

Anuj Puri, Chairman of ANAROCK.

Due to an oversupply and subpar

economic activity, the city’s real estate

market has experienced considerable

instability during the last two to three

years. Because of this, real estate in

Dubai is now fairly reasonable. Luxury

residences in Dubai are particularly

alluring due to their lower price points.

In addition to lower costs and its

proximity to India, several other

factors, such as supportive government

policies, such as the UAE’s longterm

visas of five and ten years

for businesspeople, professionals,

investors, and experts in the medical,

scientific, research, and technical

fields, are to blame for the rising

demand. Luxury properties continue

to draw wealthy Indians searching for

alternatives priced between Rs. 2 and

Rs. 6 crore, even though Indian HNIs

are among the top investors in Dubai.

The Golden Visa route has raised

the demand for upscale homes and

properties in the UAE, turning it into

a second home for Indian citizens,

according to Ajay Sharma, President,

and Founder of Abhinav Immigration

Services Private Limited. Foreign

people may dwell, work, or study in the

UAE for ten years under the Golden

Visa residence. The most qualified

candidates for this route are investors,

entrepreneurs, eminent scientists,

gifted students, humanitarians, and

frontline heroes. To obtain a Golden

Visa, investors might invest in the UAE

or purchase a home there. Dubai is a

great place for international investors

to invest because there is no income

tax there. The recent changes to the

Golden visa program have raised

interest among affluent Indians for real

estate in Dubai.

The new rules state that companies

must continue to pay for Golden Visa

applicants’ health insurance as long as

they are employed in Abu Dhabi. The

second change mandates that those

applying for Golden Visas who do

not fall under the first category must

provide proof of health insurance for

both themselves and their families, as

well as proof that the insurance will

remain in effect for the entire time they

will be living in the UAE.

The applicant for a Golden Visa must

sign an agreement promising to offer

health insurance coverage otherwise,

he will be responsible for paying all

relevant expenses for their healthcare

and medical services, should they be

required. According to the media office,

experts in the sciences and knowledge,

such as doctors, specialists, scientists,

inventors, artistic and sporting talent,

as well as business, start-ups, and

real estate investors, are suitable

candidates for the Golden Visa.

According to ADMO, the UAE’s goal

in providing the Golden Visa is to

entice talent to participate in Abu

Dhabi’s long-term growth and boost the

emirate’s economy.

44 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

Corporate Tax

Key points highlighting the UAE’s corporate tax law

The below summary is based on the Public Consultation Document released by the Ministry

of Finance and the final CT Law and Regulations are still expected to be released soon.

What is the rationale for

introducing Corporate Tax (CT) in


A competitive CT regime based on

international best practices will solidify

the UAE’s position as a leading global

hub for business and investment, as well

as accelerate the UAE’s development

and transformation to meet its strategic

goals. The implementation of a CT

regime reaffirms the UAE’s commitment

to meeting international tax

transparency standards and preventing

harmful tax practices. The proposed CT

regime will be implemented for financial

years beginning on or after June 1, 2023.

Tax rates applicable in Corporate

Tax (CT)

• 0% tax rate – for taxable income

up to AED 375,000 to support small

businesses and startups and for

qualifying Free Zone Persons

• 9% tax rate – for taxable income

exceeding AED 375,000

Note : There can be different tax rates for large

multinationals that meet specific criteria set

with reference to ‘Pillar Two’ of the OECD Base

Erosion and Profit Shifting project

How will CT impact Free Zones?

Companies and branches established in

a Free Zone are subject to UAE CT. Free

Zone persons can benefit from a 0%

tax rate if they only conduct qualifying

transactions within FZ and with the

Mainland. Persons doing business in the

Free Zone with Mainland companies

(except in qualifying transactions)

will disqualify the FZ entity from

receiving a 0% tax benefit on all of their

income. Free zones should be audited,

registered for CT, and file CT returns.

Taxable persons and income

eligibility in CT

• Natural Person - includes sole

establishments, freelancers,

etc. Taxable income – Includes

commercial activities in UAE,

excludes personal income from

employment, investment, etc.

• Legal Person (Resident) –

includes legal entity established in

UAE and foreign entity effectively

controlled in UAE is considered

Legal Resident Persons. Taxable

Income - Worldwide Income, with an

exemption on income earned from

foreign branches/subsidiaries.

• Non-Resident - Non-Resident Entity

will be taxed on business from their

Permanent Establishment in UAE

and their UAE sourced income.

What effect does CT have on various

business groups?

The UAE CT regime will allow tax

grouping for essentially wholly-owned

groups of companies (common

shareholding of at least 95%) and be

treated as Single Taxable persons. UAE

CT will also allow the transfer of losses

between group companies that are 75%

or more commonly owned. Certain

qualifying intra-group transactions (like

the transfer of assets and liabilities)

will not attract UAE CT. To facilitate

mergers, spin-offs, and other corporate

restructuring transactions, the UAE

CT regime will provide relief in form

of tax exemption or deferral. All above

benefits are subject to fulfillment of

provided conditions.

How does the UAE CT regime hold

transfer pricing?

The UAE CT regime will include

transfer pricing rules to ensure that the

price of a transaction is not influenced

by the relationship between the

parties involved. The UAE will apply

the internationally recognized “arm’s

length” principle to transactions and

arrangements involving related parties

and connected persons. This will apply

to domestic as well as international

transactions. UAE businesses must

follow transfer pricing rules and keep

documentation to support expected


What is the process for registration,

filing, and compliance of CT?

A company must register with the

Federal Tax Authority within the

timeframes specified. CT returns

and supporting schedules must be

submitted, and any tax liability (if any)

must be paid within 9 months of the end

of the applicable tax period. CT returns

must be filed once a year. Tax Group has

the option of filing a single consolidated

tax return.

How can we help you in preparing

for Corporate Tax?

• Detailed impact assessment.

• Corporate structure review and

potential changes necessary.

• Mapping of the related party

transactions and impact of Transfer

Pricing on such transactions.

• Identifying Connected Persons and

the impact of Transfer Pricing on

such transactions.

• Review of the Accounting process,

policies, and documentation.

• Evaluate System readiness for data

capturing and reporting.

• In the case of Free Zone, mapping

transactions to identify eligibility to

claim 0% tax benefit.

• Understand the overall impact on

business operations and cash flows.

• Have an implementation plan to

be ready to be compliant with all

reporting requirements.

Khushboo Agarwal

Partner – Tax and Compliance

Fincirc International Management


September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 45

Entrepreneur in Focus



Co-founder and CEO of Souq.com


yrian businessman Ronaldo Mouchawar

is one of the co-founders of Souq.

com, the largest online store in the Arab

World, which he created in 2005, turning it

into the first unicorn in the area. Mouchawar

was named vice president of Amazon MENA

after the company’s 2017 acquisition of Souq.

He was a longtime employee at Maktoob,

a website that Yahoo acquired in 2009. He

started Souq.com in 2005, however as of

September 1, 2021, it has been replaced by its

parent business Amazon.com.

Early Life and Career Background

Ronaldo Mouchawar was born

in Aleppo, Syria. His father was a

merchant, and this inspired the name

of the e-commerce site. Mouchawar is

also a former basketball player of the

Jalaa SC Aleppo.

Mouchawar holds a master’s degree

in digital communications and

a bachelor’s degree in electrical

and computer engineering from

Northeastern University in Boston,

Massachusetts in the United States. He

spent the early years of his career with

the Boston engineering firm working in

technology and business management,

including a role as a technical and

systems consultant at Electronic Data

Systems (EDS).

Mouchawar co-founded Souq.com in

2005 alongside Jabbar, Internet Group’s

Samih Toukan, and Hussam Khoury.

He added products from fashion to

electronics and homeware and the site

became the largest e-commerce retailer

in the Arab world.

‘White Friday’

In 2014, he established the White

Friday sales event to coincide with

Black Friday in the US, explaining that

a “black” Friday doesn’t make cultural

sense in the Arab world, since Friday

is the traditional day of prayer. The

sale was widely popular as it raised

over $275 million. In 2015 Souq.com

more than doubled its sales during

its second White Friday sale, with 13

million visitors and 600,000 items sold

during 25–28 November across the

UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Egypt.

Additionally, it was involved in the

exclusive release of the Huawei Honor

6 launch in Abu Dhabi.

Funding and Amazon acquisition

In February 2016, Souq.com announced

it had received $275m of funding,

with a valuation above $1bn, the Arab

world’s largest-ever funding deal. In

March 2017, it was made public that

Amazon would be acquiring Souq.com.

The sum of this deal was not initially

disclosed, though an Amazon SEC filing

later revealed that the total sum paid

was $580m in cash. Today Mouchawar

serves as VP of Amazon MENA.

Souq.com and expansion

In the Arab world, Souq.com was the

biggest e-commerce site. Dubai hosted

the company’s 2005 launch. Amazon.

com Inc. purchased Souq.com as a

subsidiary on March 28, 2017, for a

cost of $580 million. Souq.com UAE

changed its name to Amazon.ae on

May 1 of this year and Souq.com KSA

changed its name to Amazon.sa on

June 17 of the following year. Last

but not least, on September 1, 2021,

Souq.com Egypt changed its name to

Amazon.eg, officially bringing an end

to Souq.com. However, several blog

articles, pages, and the Sign In/Log In

Page have not been changed to Amazon

and are thus the last remaining Souq.

com pages.

Sales and Growth

Souq now has 9.5 million products

available on its marketplace, which

46 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

attracts more than 45 million users

each month and includes consumer

electronics, furniture, clothing brands,

and baby supplies. It employs 4,500

people. The growth of the web in the

area has had a significant impact on

Mouchawar’s professional life.

Because of customers ordering during

global lockdowns, Amazon saw a 38

percent increase in sales to $386 billion

and an 84 percent increase in net

income to $21.3 billion last year. During

the same period, the IT behemoth’s

global sales, which include Souq,

increased by 40%.

“Since then, we’ve introduced Amazon

in Arabic in the United Arab Emirates,

Saudi Arabia, and Egypt,” Mouchawar

stated in one of his interviews. Another

significant event was the release of

our virtual assistant Alexa in several

regional Arabic dialects in December.

Since its inception, Souq has grown

to be the Middle East’s largest

e-commerce supplier and one of its

fastest-growing companies. It now

serves over 135 million people across

seven countries. The workforce has

grown from five to over 3,000 people,

with software engineers, digital

marketers, call center agents, and

delivery personnel now among them.

Technology and software came to

the rescue. Souq developed a digital

solution for retailers and couriers

that serves a variety of functions. To

begin, a cash customer’s Souq product

selection is determined by both their

overall and specific merchant-specific

cash purchase histories; the more

transactions they have made, the more

expensive the products they can afford.

When there is a COD, the courier

accepts the cash payment and records

it immediately on his phone. When

he deposits the entire amount the

next time he visits one of our sorting

facilities, the system immediately

credits the appropriate merchants’


Changes after technological


But over the last two years, we’ve seen

how an entrepreneurial environment

has grown, which has enabled people

to become more knowledgeable.

A rising understanding that oil will

run out eventually and that money

generated from it should be invested in

sectors with stronger growth potential

is one factor in this. The Saudis, for

instance, are making investments in

the internet. Additionally, there is a

greater desire to use oil revenue to

enhance the region’s capabilities.

The Middle East needs to develop

meaningful and long-lasting jobs

because 50% of its population is under

the age of 25. The acquisition of Souq

by Amazon represents a significant

advance in this area. The company has

substantial resources and a wealth of

knowledge, and it shares Souq’s values

and our emphasis on the customer,

technology, and innovation. Together,

we have a lot to look forward to:

We currently only operate in a small

number of geographic areas, but the

Middle East still offers a big potential

for e-commerce. Even in our current

markets, only 2% of retail sales are

made online, compared to 8% in the US,

12% in Europe, and up to 15% in China.

For Middle Eastern tech entrepreneurs,

these are exciting times. As more

investments in new companies like

Amazon’s are made, more opportunities

and jobs will be created, as will be the

case for all of us.


The primary resource of Souq is its

proprietary software platform, which

connects more than 75,000 businesses

with more than 10 million monthly

visitors. It relies on its engineering

team to keep the platform running, and

on its support team to offer assistance.

With warehouses in the UAE, KSA,

Egypt, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia as well

as technology hubs in Jordan and India,

the corporation has significant physical

resources. Finally, as a startup, it has

primarily relied on outside finance,

having raised $425 million from seven

investors as of February 2016.

Souq.com had an average of 39M

hits per month from all around the

world in the last year, 68% of which

were desktop visits. This number

has increased by 21% since February

2015. The United Arab Emirates, Saudi

Arabia, and Egypt contributed the most

traffic to souq.com over the past year,

each contributing 22%. While Egypt

has undoubtedly dominated in terms of

overall visits, Similarweb’s engagement

metrics let us understand the nature

of traffic in greater detail. We can

determine which geographic regions

for souq.com will be the most profitable

for Amazon after this acquisition by

using metrics like bounce rate.

The Middle East needs

to develop meaningful

and long-lasting jobs

because 50% of its

population is under the

age of 25. The acquisition

of Souq by Amazon

represents a significant

advance in this area. The

company has substantial

resources and a wealth

of knowledge, and it

shares Souq’s values

and our emphasis on the

customer, technology, and


Business expansion in Egypt

Egyptian audiences are the least

attentive, despite their size, with a

bounce rate of 64.8% on average. With

only a 37.3% bounce rate over the

previous year, United Arab Emirates

visitors are the most active. In addition,

while examining the site’s traffic over

time, we discover that although Egypt’s

traffic share has declined by 51% in the

last year, the United Arab Emirates has

increased by 17 percentage points in

its traffic share, passing Egypt for the

first time in January 2017. However,

the Saudi Arabian market operates

differently. Over the past two years,

souq.com’s share in this market fell

by seven percentage points, while

amazon.com’s share climbed by 12

percentage points, surpassing souq.

com’s dominance in that nation.

Ronaldo Mouchawar, who founded

Souq, is still Amazon’s expert on online

commerce in MENA. The pioneer of

the internet in MENA may have sold

the company he founded for $580

million, but he still exhibits the same

determination as when he joined his

first venture 20 years ago.

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 47

Cryptocurrency News

Millennials adopt

crypto for travel


As travel recovers, millennials

use cryptocurrencies to pay for

vacations and engage in AR/VR

(Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality),

according to a recent survey from

US digital consultancy firm Publicis

Sapient. In the UAE, the UK, and the

US, the survey included 3,000 Gen

Z (aged 18 to 25), Millennial (aged

26 to 40), and Gen X (aged 41 to 57)

participants. All three age groups

cited cost as their “top concern,”

however Gen X was found to be the

generation least likely to be open to

using cryptocurrencies for payments

and using AR/VR to experience a

destination before they arrive.

During the crypto crisis, the biggest

Bitcoin miners lost nearly $1 billion

After incurring a number of impairment losses brought on by the decline in

cryptocurrency prices, the three biggest US publicly traded Bitcoin mining

companies lost over $1 billion in the second quarter. In the three months

that ended June 30, Core Scientific Inc., Marathon Digital Holdings Inc., and Riot

Blockchain Inc. all reported net losses of $862 million, $192 million, and $366 million,

respectively. Following the approximately 60% decline in the price of Bitcoin during

the quarter other large miners such Bitfarms Ltd.

Cryptos are still in


Analysts claim that

cryptocurrencies are still in

danger despite recent upward

trends following a prolonged crisis

that reduced their market value

by $2.0 trillion. The two biggest

cryptocurrencies, bitcoin and

ethereum, are still trading close to

50% below their November 2021

record highs. Bitcoin has been trading

between $20,000 and $24,000 since

late June. While there have been

attempts to push higher, there hasn’t

been much of a breakout. However,

there are currently indications of a

minor rally. Even as analysts disagree

on whether bitcoin would experience

more dips similar to those of 2013 and

2017, it began to recover and reached

$24,000. The second-most valued

cryptocurrency, ethereum, was trading

above $1,900 after experiencing greater

gains than bitcoin in recent weeks..

As Ethereum changes its software, dog

themes coins are surging

Coins with canine themes saw a rise as private investors’ enthusiasm for the

market increased. After Ethereum makes progress with its software upgrade,

this change was seen.

According to pricing information

gathered by Bloomberg, “Shiba Innu”

had gained roughly 40% over five

days, while Dogecoin was up about

14%.” Influential figures including

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, businessman

Marc Cuban, and US artist Snoop

Dogg have all supported Dogecoin.

With a total market cap of about $1.2

trillion, the cryptocurrency market

has marginally recovered.

Bitcoin reaches $25,000 for the first time

since June

For the first time since mid-June, Bitcoin temporarily crossed the $25,000 mark

as momentum from lower-than-expected US inflation figures and advancements

in Ethereum’s major upgrade persisted. The biggest cryptocurrency climbed as

much as 2.2% to $25,031, its highest level since June 13. It was trading about $24,750,

increasing on the sixth day in a row on the strength of US consumer-price index data

that came in below expectations. Ether increased by as much as 2% to $2,030.50 after

surpassing $2,000 for the first time since May 31.

48 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

DhabiCoin obtains Dubai

DMMC License

After a protracted process to secure the DMCC

licence, DhabiCoin (DBC) has been granted the

same. Felipe Leclerc, co-founder, DhabiCoin, said:

“DhabiCoin is already launched, people can trade on various

exchanges today. However, we are following a launch

schedule, where we first release the DhabiCoin Wallet in

the coming weeks, then the collections in NFTs with Dubai

utilities and soon a marketplace of products and services

by the end of the year. With the DMCC license DhabiCoin

shows the serious commitment it has to generate security

and people to be able to use DhabiCoin on a daily basis.”

Day To Day Hypermarket

accepts crypto payments

According to a recent development by the UAE government,

30 licenses were granted and new regulations were put into

place to allow cryptocurrency exchanges to operate there.

In the United Arab Emirates, Day To Day Hypermarket aims to be

the first retail establishment to accept cryptocurrency payments.

The retail behemoth promotes cryptocurrency payments and

accepts a variety of cryptocurrencies, including Tron, Ethereum,

Bitcoin, and others. The steps for cryptocurrency payments within

the store and on the website have been explained in a tutorial

section that has been set up on the website and banners have been

placed throughout their branches.

Crypto bridge Nomad loses roughly $200


An attack on Nomad, a crosschain

token bridge, resulted in

the complete financial theft of

the protocol. About $200 million worth

of cryptocurrency was lost overall as a

result of the hack. Similar to previous

cross-chain bridges, Nomad enables

users to transfer tokens back and forth

between several blockchains. The attack

is the most recent in a line of widely

reported instances that have raised

concerns about the safety of cross-chain


Al Jalila Foundation

receives first

donation in


The first cryptocurrency donation

for the Hamdan Bin Rashid Cancer

Charity Hospital has been made,

according to the Al Jalila Foundation,

a part of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al

Maktoum Global Initiatives committed

to transforming lives through medical

innovation. The founders of QUINT,

a revolutionary token promoting the

widespread adoption of DeFi and

cryptocurrencies by providing real-world

rewards and perks to investors, made the

donation, the first of its kind in the UAE.

QUINT has given the Hamdan Bin Rashid

Cancer Charity Hospital a donation in the

amount of $16 million.

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 49

Digital Assets

Blockchain and its importance in

virtual asset world

The rapid progress of blockchain technology shows no signs of slowing down.

Over the last few decades, many things that seemed impossible have turned out

to be wrong, including high transaction fees, double spending, cyber fraud, and

retrieving lost data. But now, with the help of blockchain technology, all of this

can be circumvented.

Blockchain started in 1991 as

a way to store and secure

digital data. Blockchain is

an open ledger that can be

accessed simultaneously

by multiple parties. One of

the main advantages is that recorded

information is less likely to change

without the consent of all parties

involved. IBM explained that each

new record results in a block with a

unique identifying hash. Blockchains

are formed when blocks are linked

to form a series of data sets. Bitcoin

cryptocurrency uses blockchain


Blockchain helps with the

verification and traceability of

multi-stage transactions that require

verification and tracking. You can

provide secure transactions, reduce

compliance costs, and speed up

data transfer processes. Blockchain

technology can support contract

management and verify product

provenance. It can also be used in

voting platforms, and manage titles and


Blockchains are encrypted using

public and private keys to maintain

a kind of virtual security. Blockchain

allows one person to securely send

money to another without going

through a bank or financial services


The United Arab Emirates

50 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

government has adopted blockchain

technology when conducting

transactions. To support this move,

UAE has launched the Emirates

Blockchain Strategy 2021 and the

Dubai Blockchain Strategy. Emirates

Blockchain Strategy 2021 aims to

leverage blockchain technology

to convert 50% of government

transactions to blockchain platforms.

The Dubai Blockchain Strategy will

help Dubai become the first city to

fully utilize blockchain. The strategy

is based on the three strategic pillars

of government efficiency, industry

creation, and international leadership.

As part of its effort to adopt the

latest technology and innovation

practices on a global scale, the Dubai

Future Foundation launched a Global

Blockchain Foundation to study,

discuss and organize transactions

across blockchain platforms for

current and future applications.

The Board facilitates transactions

within various sectors of the financial

and non-financial sector, increasing

efficiency and reliability. The Council

is made up of 46 members, including

government agencies, international

companies, major UAE banks, free

zones, and international blockchain

technology companies.

Vehicle history blockchain project

Roads and Transport Authority

(RTA) is working on a project to create

a vehicle lifecycle management system

using the blockchain technology. The

project aims to provide automakers,

dealers, regulators, insurance

companies, buyers, sellers, and

workshops with a transparent record

of vehicle history from manufacturer

to scrap yard. This blockchain-based

system will help increase transparency

and trust in vehicle transactions,

avoid disputes, and reduce service

costs. Track ownership, sales, and

incident history to create a smarter,

more efficient supply chain system.

The system is part of the Dubai10X

initiative and is expected to be

completed by 2021.

Many in the financial services

industry refer to blockchain technology

as distributed ledger technology.

Others see blockchain as a more

reliable database than existing

Many in the financial

services industry

refer to blockchain

technology as

distributed ledger

technology. Others see

blockchain as a more

reliable database than

existing databases.

With the proliferation

of digital money and

an estimate that more

than 50% of the world’s

population owns a

smartphone, some

believe blockchain

technology will replace

traditional banking

industry technology.

databases. With the proliferation

of digital money and an estimate

that more than 50% of the world’s

population owns a smartphone, some

believe blockchain technology will

replace traditional banking industry


The Dubai Virtual Assets Regulation

Act aims to create a progressive

legal framework to protect investors,

provide international standards for

the governance of the virtual assets

industry, and promote responsible

business growth in the emirate.

The authority, which is also

responsible for licensing, will have

legal and financial autonomy over the

virtual asset space and will be linked

to the Dubai World Trade Center

Authority (DWTCA). The creation of

VARA is part of the Dubai Securities

and Exchange High Commission’s


It also stipulates that the authority is

mandated to organize and set the rules

and controls that govern the conduct

of virtual asset activities, including

management services, clearing and

settlement services, in addition to

classifying and specifying types of

virtual assets.

The law says that it is prohibited for

any person in the emirate to engage

in activities without authorization

from VARA, while any person wishing

to practice virtual asset activities

must establish a presence in Dubai to

conduct business.

The new law and the establishment

of VARA is a step ahead for Dubai

and will have a positive effect on the

emirate’s property market.

Meanwhile, Dubai’s initiative to

establish the law in a relatively new

field represents a welcome leap into

the future that aims to develop and

protect investors, developers, traders,

and marketers.

A qualified investor is broadly

defined as:

• Institutional investors (banks,

financial institutions, corporations,

etc.) or state governments, foreign

governments, and international

organizations with assets of AED 75

million or more or a net turnover of

AED 150 million or more.

• A person who has funds of

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 51

Digital Assets

Non-fungible tokens have risen in price in many collections

and have returned to the public attention, hitting $25 billion

in sales in 2021. As virtual reality evolves and blockchain

becomes more widespread, projects like the Metaverse

will soon take on a new shape, supported by various NFT

projects. However, the bond market is an important missing

factor in the NFT ecosystem.

4 million dirhams or more or an

annual income of 1 million dirhams

or more and who can prove that the

licensee has sufficient knowledge and

understanding of the risks of investing

in crypto assets.

The United Arab Emirates, a country

that has developed a comprehensive

regulatory framework for blockchain

and digital assets, is one example

that is seizing this opportunity. The

United Arab Emirates has many

characteristics that position it as

an ideal global hub for the digital

assets and blockchain industry. It is

ideally positioned in terms of existing

business networks to take advantage of

connectivity in the Middle East, North

Africa, India, and the West. Its role

as a regional financial hub also helps

the digital assets sector thrive in the


The Dubai Blockchain Strategy

will foster entrepreneurship and

international competitiveness, creating

economic opportunities in all sectors

of the city, in line with Digital Dubai’s

mission to become a global leader in

the smart economy. Solidifying Dubai’s

reputation as a global technology


“By adopting blockchain technology,

Dubai will realize annual savings of

AED 5.5 billion in document processing

alone, equivalent to the annual value of

the Burj Khalifa.” The future belongs to

whoever designs it, and today, through

the virtual assets law, UAE seeks to

participate in the design of this new

and rapidly growing global sector.

52 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022


UAE: Opportunities in the Healthcare Industry

Post Pandemic

The UAE has a strong healthcare infrastructure as one of the most economically developed

and diverse marketplaces in the Middle East. The UAE government prioritizes the development

of world-class healthcare infrastructure, and as a result, the sector has changed and expanded

greatly in recent years.

Following the onset of COVID-19

in January 2020, the UAE

government took immediate

preventive health measures.

Due to the tremendous efforts

of the UAE leadership, the UAE has

been ranked as one of the top countries

in the world and one of the best in

the Arab world in terms of COVID-19


The healthcare market is growing

rapidly. Total health spending is

expected to account for 4.6% of

countries’ GDP in 2026, compared with

4.27% in 2018.

According to the research, the UAE

has a track record of good health

policy supported by continuous

investment and openness to private

innovation. However, in the years

preceding the pandemic, federal

healthcare spending fell in absolute

terms. This was attributed in part to

the expansion of high-quality private

healthcare facilities, which was fueled

by a favorable regulatory environment.

It illustrates how tight collaboration

between the public and private

sectors has resulted in a reduction

in noncommunicable disease

(NCD) fatalities. The UAE’s medical

infrastructure is dispersed around the

country, however Abu Dhabi boasts

the most private and governmental


SEHA, or Abu Dhabi Health Services

Company, is a key player in Abu

Dhabi’s healthcare sector. It handles

all public hospitals and clinics in Abu

Dhabi and services both natives and

expatriates. SEHA actively collaborates

with the Mayo Clinic in the United

States to assist bringing the emirate’s

care and services up to worldwide

SEHA, or Abu Dhabi

Health Services

Company, is a key

player in Abu Dhabi’s

healthcare sector. It

handles all public

hospitals and clinics

in Abu Dhabi and

services both natives

and expatriates.

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 53



The organization is focused on

innovation, adaptability, and the

effective use of new technology, and it

has been able to respond swiftly to the

pandemic’s problems and help national

efforts to control the virus’s spread and


SEHA currently operates two blood

banks, three mobile clinics, four dental

centers, ten disease prevention and

screening centers, 14 hospitals totaling

2,644 beds, 36 primary clinics, and 64


Despite the post-pandemic

environment in Dubai, the healthcare

sector is rapidly developing, attracting

large international firms. The same is

true for the growth of other Emirates.

Dubai’s objective is to be a global

destination for both domestic and

international patients, as well as a

destination for medical tourists from

all over the world, by providing highquality

and cost-effective treatments

and procedures.

However, as the population of Dubai

and the other Emirates grows and ages,

there is a strong need for healthcare,

accompanied by high expenses. The

prevalence of chronic diseases in the

population reinforces this. As a result,

another priority of the government

is to attract reputable, world-class

healthcare providers.

Despite the



in Dubai, the

healthcare sector is

rapidly developing,

attracting large

international firms.

The same is true for

the growth of other


Dubai’s overall goal is to increase competition

among healthcare providers while also raising

healthcare quality. The Ministry of Health, Abu

Dhabi Health Department (HAAD) and Dubai

Health Department (DHA) are now contributing

to this aim.

Dubai’s overall goal is to increase

competition among healthcare

providers while also raising healthcare

quality. The Ministry of Health, Abu

Dhabi Health Department (HAAD) and

Dubai Health Department (DHA) are

now contributing to this aim.

The healthcare industry has grown

significantly in recent years, especially

in medical spas. According to Euro

monitor International, the UAE spa

market forecast for 2015 was $ 411

million. The Global Wellness Institute

states that the Middle East and North

Africa are the second fastest-growing

spa markets in the world.

United Arab Emirates spa market

revenue is expected to reach up to the

US $ 495 million.

Patients in the UAE tend to overconsume

expensive medical services,

resulting in higher per capita health

care and wellness spending. As the

cost of health care and surgery has

increased by 30-40% over the last three

years, there is also an increase in

medical costs by large corporations.

This is due to overconsumption of

medical services, rising costs of

medical equipment, competition for

skilled workers, and an increase in

chronic illness.

Medical and surgical costs have

increased by 30-40% over the last three

years, and so have the medical costs

of large corporations. This is due to

overconsumption of medical services,

rising costs of medical equipment,

competition for skilled workers, and an

increase in chronic illness.

Dubai is known for its highly

specialized care and excellent clinical

services. Apart from LASIK, dental

and rejuvenation treatment qualified

professionals, the demand for qualified

cosmetologists is increasing. The

men’s plastic surgery market alone

offers opportunities in areas such as

rhinoplasty, flocking, and liposuction.

Due to the growing elderly

population and the high number of

chronic illnesses, long-term care

facilities are in constant demand from

the market. High healthcare costs also

contribute to this, paving the way for

investment in home health services and

private providers.

Leading Sub-Sectors

• Pharmaceuticals

The UAE pharmaceutical market is

growing rapidly. The UAE currently

imports most medicines, but this

is starting to change, with some

international pharmaceutical giants

partnering with UAE companies to

manufacture their products locally.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced

the UAE to focus on investing in life

sciences both in the UAE and abrad.

• Medical Equipment

The projected growth of the UAE

medical device market largely reflects

the growth of other sectors. Given the

relatively small number of medical

devices produced domestically by the

UAE, this represents an important

business opportunity for international

companies. However, the pandemic

has led the UAE to consider the local

production of certain medical devices.

Diagnostic imaging equipment occupies

most of the medical device market in

the United Arab Emirates.

• Healthcare Information Technology

The UAE medical information

technology market is expected to

grow rapidly over the next few

years. Pandemics continue to create

opportunities for expansion of the

telemedicine/healthcare sector

through telemedicine services through

technology platforms. The Ministry of

Health is working with the Emirates

54 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

Numerous programs

are underway to

build and renovate

hospitals. The

growing medical

tourism sector is

driving the demand

for modern facilities

equipped with

the latest medical

equipment, and

there is competition

among the seven

emirates to attract

medical tourism.

Integrated Telecommunication

Company PJSC (DU) to improve

tele-based health care options. This

included a “virtual hospital” where

doctors and nurses could remotely

care for patients using AI and smart


•Education and Research

To meet the growing need for

qualified medical professionals, the

UAE has sought to expand its nascent

medical education and training

capacity. It also aims to make the

country a regional hub for medical

research and events.


Numerous programs are underway

to build and renovate hospitals. The

growing medical tourism sector

is driving the demand for modern

facilities equipped with the latest

medical equipment, and there is

competition among the seven emirates

to attract medical tourism.

The Ministry of Health continues

to modernize national hospitals with

the latest technology to prevent and

treat the development of an increasing

number of non-communicable diseases,

especially cardiovascular disease,

cancer, and diabetes. The Dubai Health

Department will continue to tailor

medical technology to smart city plans

and implementations.

Restructuring efforts proved

necessary not only to increase

efficiency but also to reduce costs,

scale, units, departments, and levels

of the restructured organization and

enhance overall competitiveness.

Globally, even the best-managed

health systems can benefit from an

innovative focus on filling critical

gaps in the healthcare environment.

In the UAE, this approach will be

especially beneficial. The result will

be a more efficient and responsive

one that delivers high-quality services

to industry stakeholders, and the

country’s citizens, and transformative

visions that outline the future progress

of the country.

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 55

Healthcare News

UAE to provide 4

additional health

services by end of

the year

Saudi hospital operator HMG saw a 22%

increase in revenue

The “Automatic Patient Transfer

Service” has been introduced by

Emirates Health Services (EHS)

using its “Smart Nutrition Services”

technology, which is used in all of its

institutions. One of four initiatives

scheduled to be completed by the end of

the year, according to EHS, the service

is the first of its kind in the Middle East.

The four projects that make up the new

services are: Transfer of Malnourished

Children Aged 5 to 19, Type 2 Diabetes,

Tube Feeding for Patients, and, Tracking

Children’s Growth Within Normal

Weights and Automatic Transfer for

Children to Health Centers.

UAE sends medical

supplies worth

AED 60 million to

developing nations

The burden on people suffering

from severe medical problems

and chronic diseases worldwide,

the DIHAD Sustainable Humanitarian

Foundation and the Emirates Red

Crescent (ERC) have dispatched the

first shipment of medications and

medical supplies worth Dh60 million to

countries in need. The delivery is a part

of the foundation’s “FOREVERCARE

Initiative,” which was established

to act as a generous supplier of

pharmaceuticals and medical equipment

in an effort to create a disease-free

world by accumulating and distributing

pharmaceuticals, medical equipment,

and medications.

Dr. Sulaiman Habib Medical Services Group (HMG), the largest private medical

service provider in Saudi Arabia, reported net profits of about $210 million

in the first half of the year. According to a statement from the corporation, it

marks an increase of 22.38 percent over the same period last year. The income gain

was driven by a 16.22 percent increase in half-yearly revenues to SAR 4 billion. The

hospital group, which is listed on Tadawul, also attributed the growth to an increase

in the number of patients as well as an uptick in the occupancy rates of inpatient beds

and outpatient clinics.

Sheikh Hamdan initiates new outpatient

building at Dubai Hospital

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of

Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council, officially opened the facility

and emphasised that Dubai would keep improving its healthcare system to

meet the highest international standards and specialised care. Sheikh Hamdan

claimed that Dubai has one of the best public healthcare systems in the world. The

32,000 sqm facility was constructed for AED 177 million ($48.2 million). It has 128

specialised clinics, which is more than 2.5 times as many as the previous facility’s

clinics. More than 200 times as many patients can be seen in an hour at these

clinics as at the old building.

56 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

Abu Dhabi’s health officials use AI to

forecast future disease risk

AI (artificial intelligence) is being

used by the Department of

Health – Abu Dhabi (DOH) and

Malaffi, the health information exchange

system, to forecast patients’ future risk of

disease. The Patient Risk Profile, which

is integrated into the Malaffi provider

interface, will help clinical decisionmaking

be more effective and more

informed for better patient outcomes and

healthcare quality. The feature forecasts

the likelihood that a certain patient will

experience an acute incident or certain

chronic conditions. The technology

underlying Malaffi’s risk management

system makes use of cutting-edge

artificial intelligence (AI) techniques

and machine learning algorithms to

create predictive risk models based on

the population-level demographic and

clinical data available from the Emirate

in Malaffi.

G42 Healthcare

collaborate with

Amazon Web


Aspen Medical launches its first location

in Abu Dhabi


provider of healthcare solutions

with headquarters in Australia

has inaugurated the first of

six primary healthcare facilities in

Abu Dhabi. Following the signing of

a memorandum of understanding

(MoU) with the Department of Health

- Abu Dhabi (DoH) to cover nine

areas in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, Aspen

Medical opened a community Primary

Healthcare Center in Al Wathba.

Residents of the Al Wathba region and

the neighbouring areas are the target

audience for the new community centre.

General practise, family medicine,

obstetrics, gynaecology, paediatrics,

and dentistry are among the services


G42 Healthcare, a prominent

provider of health technology

based in Abu Dhabi and a division

of the cloud computing and artificial

intelligence firm G42, has announced

collaboration with Amazon Web Services

(AWS) to create a new worldwide

genomics, proteomics, and bio banking

service. The partnership, which was

announced at the BIO International

Convention in San Diego, California,

aims to give governments, population

genome programmes, and life science

initiatives all over the world access to

G42 Healthcare’s cutting-edge nextgeneration

sequencing, proteomics, and

data analytics capabilities.

New procedures

adopted in UAE

Healthcare industry

According to a senior healthcare

specialist at NMC Royal Hospital

Sharjah, there are other illnesses

that children need to be safeguarded

from even though polio infections have

essentially eradicated across the globe.

The most frequent cause of acute and

subacute flaccid paralysis in newborns

and children is GBS (Guillain-Barre

Syndrome), now that Covid is gradually

fading into the background, healthcare

investments in speciality categories and

therapies are increasing in the UAE.

The provision of tertiary specialties as

well as longer-term out-of-hospital care

is anticipated to rise significantly in the

UAE and Gulf region’s healthcare sector

over the next several years.

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 57

Corporate Results

Emirates NBD result for H1


Net profit: $5.3 billion

Dubai-based bank Emirates NBD’s

Q2 2022 net profit reached AED 3.5

billion, its best quarterly performance

since 2019. The latest figures come

from a 42% year-over-year increase. For

the first six months, Emirates NBD’s

net totaled a robust Dh5.3 billion (up

11 per cent), while gross income came

to Dh14.2 billion. Impairment charges

are down an impressive 28 percent –

“We are extremely well positioned for

rising interest rates and will continue

to invest in our international and digital

capabilities to support further growth,”

a statement said.

Aramex result for H1 2022

Net Profit: AED91.9 million.

The company reported AED2.97

billion in revenues and AED91.9 million

in net profit. With positive free cash

flows and a cash balance of AED592

million so far this year, the company

has maintained a very healthy liquidity

profile. The company’s growth strategy,

which includes investments in digital

and technological infrastructure as

well as an active M&A pipeline, will be

supported by Aramex’s strong balance


Air Arabia result for H1 2022

Net profit: AED 451 million

The company posted sales of AED

1,113.83 million for the second quarter,

up from AED 495.71 million in the same

period last year. Compared to AED

10.4 million a year prior, net income

was AED 160.05 million. Basic earnings

per share from ongoing operations

increased from AED 0.002 to AED 0.034.

Sales for the six months totaled AED

2,242.43 million, up from AED 1,067.86

million in the prior year. Compared to a

year ago, net income increased to AED

44.24 million from AED 450.92 million.

Basic earnings per share from ongoing

operations increased from AED 0.009 to

AED 0.097.

ADNOC Distribution result for H1 2022

Net profit: AED 1.56 billion

ADNOC Distribution, the UAE’s largest fuel and convenience retailer, which

is listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), reported strong first half

results for 2022, recording an EBITDA of AED 1.99 billion and Net Profits of AED

1.56 billion. The company witnessed year-on-year growth in total fuel volumes,

up 9 per cent in H1 2022 compared to H1 2021, while their corporate fuel volumes

recorded sustained growth with a 27 per cent year-on-year increase.

TAQA result for H1 2022

Group Revenue: Dh 25.4


Net Income: 4.3 billion

Abu Dhabi-based utility TAQA posted

revenue of Dh 25.42 billion in the first

six months of 2022, up from Dh 22.19

billion a year ago. This generated a

profit of Dh 4.3 billion compared to his

Dh 2.92 billion last year. In line with its

quarterly dividend policy, TAQA will

issue Dh675 million as second interim

one for the year (at 0.6 fils a share). On

the capex side, the H1-2022 total is 10

percent lower at Dh1.8 billion than in

the last year, ‘mainly driven by lower

expenditure in the transmission and

distribution segment’.

ADCB result for H1 2022

Net profit: AED 3,059 million

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

(ADCB) has announced its financial

results for the second and first quarters

of 2022. Net profit for the period

ended 30 June was AED 3,059 million,

up 21% year-on-year. It reported an

interest income of AED 4.718 billion, a

YoY increase of 6 percent; and a noninterest

income of AED 1.713 billion,

reflecting an increase of 4 percent over

2021. The operating income reported

was AED 6.431 billion, an increase of

6 percent YoY, impairment charges

of AED 950 million decreased by 31


58 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

Yahsat result for H1 2022

Net Income: AED 167


Al Yah Satellite Communications

Company (YahSat), the UAE’s flagship

satellite solutions provider, has

announced its financial results for

the first half of 2022. The company

reported revenue of Dhs755 million

($206 million), an increase of 8.1%

year on year (YoY), driven by doubledigit

growth in managed solutions and

mobility solutions. EBITDA (earnings

before interest, taxes, depreciation,

and amortization) were Dhs448m

($122m), up 5.3 percent year on year,

with a margin of 59.3 percent.

Julphar result for Q1 2022

Net Sales: AED 419.9


Sales for the second quarter were

AED 419.9 million, up from AED 220

million in the prior quarter. Compared

to a year earlier, net income dropped

from AED 73.8 million to AED 4.8

million. Basic earnings per share

decreased from AED 0.064 to AED

0.004 over the past year. Sales for the

six-month period were AED 838.5

million, up from AED 383.5 million

in the prior year. Compared to a year

earlier, net income decreased from

AED 49.9 million to AED 6.3 million.

In contrast to a year before, basic

earnings per share were AED 0.006

instead of AED 0.043.

Emaar result for H1 2022

Net Revenue: AED 13.575


Emaar reported strong firsthalf

revenue of AED13.575 billion

(US$3.696 billion), up 10% from H1

2021, driven by strong performance in

its core property development business

and complemented by growing

recurring revenue operations. Earnings

before interest, taxes, depreciation,

and amortization (EBITDA) increased

by 66 percent to AED 6.112 billion

(US$1.664 billion) in H1 2022 compared

to H1 2021, owing to higher revenue,

improved margins, and continued cost


Amlak result for H1 2022

Net Profit: AED 266 million

Amlak reported a net profit of

AED 266 million for the first half of

2022, up from a net profit of AED 197

million in the first half of 2021. The

company concentrated on managing

its UAE operations and balance sheet

prudently. Amlak’s total revenue for

H1 2022 fell by 9% to AED 319 million,

down from AED 351 million in H1 2021.

Revenues from the financing business

fell by 19% to AED 69 million in H1

2022, from AED 85 million in H1 2021.

RAK Ceramics result for Q2


Net Profit: AED 102.2 million

RAK Ceramics PJSC, one of the

world’s largest ceramics lifestyle

solution providers, announced its

financial results for the quarter ended

30 June 2022 today. RAK Ceramics

reported total revenue of AED 927.0

million, a 32.3% increase year on year,

and a reported net profit of AED 102.2

million, a 7.7% increase over Q2 2021.

Deyaar for H1 2022

Net Profit: 196% to AED 66.9 million

Deyaar, a Dubai-listed developer, reported a 196% increase in net profit for the

first half of 2022, owing to stronger performance in its real estate and hospitality

portfolios. The company’s net profit for January to June this year was AED66.9

million dirhams ($18.2 million), up from AED22.6 million in the same period last

year, according to a statement on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), where its

shares trade. Revenue increased by 24% to AED369.4 million from AED297.4

million the previous year.

Aldar Property result for H1 2022

Net Profit: AED 1.53 billion

The financial results for the second

quarter and the six months ending June 30,

2022, were released by Aldar Properties

PJSC. Sales for the second quarter were

AED 2,669.41 million, up from AED 2,191.64

million in the same period last year,

according to the business. In contrast to

a year before, when net income was AED

520.08 million, it was AED 803.99 million.

Basic earnings per share from ongoing

operations increased from AED 0.066 to AED

0.102. Sales for the six-month period were

AED 5,352.61 million, up from AED 4,232.66

million in the prior year.

Ajman Bank PJSC result for

H1 2022

Net Profit: AED 74.92 million

Ajman Bank earned AED 74.92

million in net profits during the first

half (H1) of 2022, up from AED 61.88

million in H1-21. According to the

income statements, basic and diluted

earnings per share (EPS) were AED

0.036 in H1-22, up from AED 0.029

in H1-21. Meanwhile, the bank’s net

operating income fell to AED 273.20

million in the January-June 2022

period, from AED 331.85 million the

previous year.

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 59


Air Taxis: From fantasy to reality in Dubai

In a world where fantasies come true, flying taxis will soon be available in Dubai. 35 air taxi and

city air transportation concepts are being developed for Dubai by Falcon Aviation Services and

Eve Holding, an electric aircraft business controlled by Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer.

From Dubai, air taxis might fly as

early as 2026. According to the

agreement, Atlantis, The Palm

will be the starting point for the

first Electric Vertical Take-off

and Landing (eVTOL) flight.

Due to this ruling, electric air taxis

may soon become commonplace.

According to a news release, both

Eve and Falcon will collaborate with

regional authorities and stakeholders

to build the UAE’s urban air mobility

ecosystem. Some start-ups are

attempting to diverge from their

immediate goals.

The Volocopter is the first manned,

all-electric aircraft in the world. The

car’s technical prowess and prospects

for a more ecologically responsible

future were scrutinized during a Berlin

presentation. It is drone-powered, and

a robot changes the battery before each

ride. The Volocopter design is elegant

and cozy. It has leather seats, nine

battery systems, a rescue parachute,

and a battery that charges quickly (in

about 40 minutes).

The maximum speed and range

of Velocity are 110 km/h and 35 km,

respectively. The capacity of an electric

car is two people.

Volocopter used a location on the

outskirts of Paris as a test center and

stated last year that it hoped to provide

the service within the next several

years. It started selling tickets for the

inaugural flights last year because it is

so convinced the project would be a


$355 is the cost of a reservation for

a 15-minute flight on the aircraft.

According to Volocopter, the

project’s performance during

test flights in Germany, Finland,

and Singapore gave the company


The Volocopter conforms

with the stringent German and

international safety standards and

is the first multicopter in the world

with a certificate for manned flight.

It is an ultralight aircraft that can

accommodate two passengers at

once. The weight of the Volocopter is

290 kg, and for takeoff, it can lift an

additional 160 kg. The urban helicopter

has 18 rotors and has a top speed of

100 km/h (62 mph). Flying is less noisy

than driving at highway speeds since

the noise level is only 65 dB(A) at 75


The mission of Volocopter is to

redefine urban mobility by enabling

60 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

The business claims that silent,

ecologically efficient, twopassenger

aircraft will transform

urban mobility. Future mobility of

autonomous driving and electric

vehicles is of special interest to

the auto industry.

everyone to fly. According to business

representatives, the first manned

flight of an electric multicopter in

2011 cemented the company’s place in

aviation history. In a vast, developing

market, “I think Dubai is a pioneer,”

asserts Zosel, who is certain that many

other major cities will follow. With

Dubai as our first flagship project,

Zosel continued, “We now have a

fantastic opportunity to cooperate with

RTA to create and test the full future

ecosystem for safe autonomous air


Utilizing the new funds, Volocopter

will collaborate with partners to grow

its leadership position in new and

developing industries. Volocopter will

continue to be improved until it is

ready for continuous manufacturing

and has received international aviation

authorities’ commercial certification.

We intend to employ more engineers

with expertise in the creation of

software, electric propulsion, and

commercial activities to further the


The business claims that silent,

ecologically efficient, two-passenger

aircraft will transform urban mobility.

Future mobility of autonomous driving

and electric vehicles is of special

interest to the auto industry.

A vertical takeoff, all-electric

multicopter for carrying people and

large packages is being developed by

Volocopter GmbH. The technological

platform is incredibly adaptable and

can be operated manually, remotely,

or autonomously. Additionally,

the distinctive design offers great

redundancy for all crucial components

together with a high level of security.

The company’s stated objectives are

to fulfill everyone’s desire to fly and

to find a solution to the modern cities’

escalating mobility issues.

After signing a non-binding

agreement for 100 Vertical Aerospace

VX4 electric vehicles with Avolon,

a Dublin-based lender, it was stated

that AirAsia Aviation Group planned

to introduce low-cost flight sharing in

Southeast Asia in early 2022.

The French Riviera, Rome, Venice,

and Bologna airports worked together

to develop and maintain the air taxi

infrastructure, the two firms said in a


Additionally, the London-based

start-up Bellwether Industries declared

in January 2022 that testing of an allelectric

palm-side eVTOL prototype had

been completed in Dubai.

“This enormous task for both

businesses will help establish Dubai as

a market leader in urban air mobility.

Eve’s global experience, which covers

numerous continents, will undoubtedly

help this initiative succeed”.

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 61

Travel News

UAE-India flights:

August saw nearly

60% decrease in

ticket prices

October to be cheapest month to fly from


Many Indian cities now offer

significantly cheaper airfares.

According to travel industry

leaders, prices have decreased by close

to 60% in the past month compared to

the peak travel season. The authorities

further stated that summer vacations

for students, Eid holidays, and summer

travel to the UAE were the causes of the

previous month’s increase in airfare.

India’s Vistara to

offer direct flights

to Abu Dhabi

The full-service airline of India,

Vistara, will soon begin offering

new direct flights from Mumbai

to Abu Dhabi. It is planned for the new

flight service to start on October 1,

2022. Additionally, special introductory

roundtrip flights for the economy,

premium economy, and business classes

of Vistara, a joint venture between

Singapore Airlines and the Indian

conglomerate Tata Group, would be

available for $222 (AED 799), $288

(AED 1,199), and $576 (AED 3,999),

respectively. The airline will conduct the

daily flights between the two cities using

its A320neo aircraft.

Direct flights from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to London costing an average of more

than AED 4,000, airfares between the UAE and London appear certain to

remain expensive for the remainder of the summer. However, those who can

wait and book flights later in the year will be able to benefit from reduced average

fares. The cheapest time to fly from the UAE to London is in October. With prices

starting at £568 ($669), October currently offers the best value for direct economy

round-trip flights from the UAE to London.

Etihad adds four weekly flights to

New York

To meet the growing demand for air travel following the epidemic, Abu Dhabi

airline Etihad Airways, will begin offering four additional weekly flights to

New York on Nova Aircraft. With the addition of the new flights, there will

now be 11 weekly stops at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). The new

flights will be run with a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, one of the most fuel-efficient

aeroplanes in the world with much lower fuel burn and carbon emissions, while

the everyday services will continue to be operated by Etihad’s new Airbus A350


62 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

Emirates set to launch A380 on the Dubai-

Perth service

Emirates halt

business in Nigeria

Beginning on December 1,

Emirates plans to reintroduce

its signature A380 aircraft on the

Dubai-Perth route. The daily Boeing

777-300ER flight between Dubai and

the Western Australian Capital will

be replaced by the A380 service as

part of the UAE carrier’s expansion of

services to Australia. With around 500

seats available on each trip, Emirates’

capacity between Dubai and Perth will

grow. Emirates will also run twice-daily

A380 flights from Dubai to Perth in

addition to its Perth services. Since its

inaugural flight to Perth back in August

2002, Emirates has flown close to 6

million passengers between Perth and

its Dubai hub.

Emirates said it is suspending flights

to Nigeria starting September 1,

as the Dubai carrier struggles to

repatriate funds of around $85 million

from the African country. The airline

said “there has been no progress” in

collecting the payments, resulting in

the decision “limits further losses and

impact on our operational costs that

continue to accumulate in the market.”

In June, the International Air Transport

Association (IATA) said airlines are owed

$1.6 billion from 20 countries. Nigeria,

the most populous African nation, takes

$450 million in that chunk of blocked


Abu Dhabi’s private airport reopens

following extensive renovation

Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen Executive

Airport, which serves only

private aircraft, has reopened

after undergoing extensive renovations

to increase capacity. The runway was

resurfaced and expanded during the

90-day renovation project to handle

wide-body aircrafts. The airport will be

able to handle the additional operating

demand thanks to the renovation. The

Al Bateen Executive Airport renovation

project “embodies the commitment

of our aviation partners in the UAE

to invest in the safety, modernization,

and sustainability of the region’s only

dedicated executive airport,” Over 800

people were employed by the airport

in close collaboration with GACA and

the Abu Dhabi Airports to complete the


Emirates to spend

$2 billion to

upgrade its airline


The Dubai-based airline Emirates is

spending over $2 billion to improve

the in-flight traveller experience.

The upgrades include a sizable initiative

to revamp 120 aircraft interiors, along

with other amenities available in all

cabins beginning in 2022. According

to Emirates, travellers may anticipate

“elevated dining options, a brand-new

vegan cuisine, a “theatre in the sky”

experience, upgraded cabin interiors,

sustainable choices, and a generous

commitment to the little details that

make travel unforgettable.”Additionally,

fresh vegetables from the largest

hydroponic farm in the world a $40

million facility built by the airlines in

Dubai will be served to passengers.

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 63

Funding and Investment

UAE programs to fund entrepreneurs and start-ups

According to the most recent

data, the UAE continued to

be the preferred location for

entrepreneurs in the MENA, securing

about $700 million in funding through 85


The UAE continues to be the topfunded

and most active market in

MENA, accounting for 50% of all

investments made in the area, according

to Magnitt, which published the

inaugural UAE venture capital report

in collaboration with the Emirates

Development Bank (EDB).

With $584 million in financing from

79 projects, Saudi Arabia took second

place, and Egypt took third place with

$307 million from 78 deals.

Pure Harvest acquisition

Over 25% of the total financing raised

by the UAE came from Pure Harvest’s

$180.5 million mega-round ($100M+),

which marked the 10th year in a row of

mega deals for Mena’s top region. The

Pure Harvest acquisition contributed 26%

of the venture capital raised in the UAE

during the first half of 2022.

With a $180.5 million contract from

Pure Harvest, the agriculture industry

in the UAE ranked second in terms of

funding during the first half.

Sky Kurtz – Founder)

Dubai initiatives for UAE start-ups

The UAE has implemented several

new policies to aid startup founders and

entrepreneurs in the region in obtaining

funding, luring in the ideal people, and

gaining assistance.

To support and maintain startup

projects and entrepreneurs in the

emirate, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed

bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown

Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai’s

Executive Council, has created a $100.73

Ahmed Alnaqbi, CEO of Emirates

Development Bank)

million (AED 370 million) Venture

Capital Fund for Start-ups.

The Venture Capital Fund for Startups,

which is governed by the Dubai

International Financial Centre (DIFC),

which also contributes 15% of the fund’s

total assets, will establish an integrated

finance system with a variety of viable

solutions that may meet the demands of


Small to medium startup ventures will

receive funding from the fund totaling

$100.73 million (AED 370 million),

enabling their growth in Dubai and

gradual expansion to international


It will also create more than 8,000

employments for young talent, enhancing

Dubai’s standing as a regional hub for

venture capital, innovation, and financial

technology (fintech). This will help Dubai

draw in investors and businesspeople

from all over the world.

The post-Covid acceleration project

“Sanad” has been launched by the

Emirates Development Bank (EDB),

a crucial financial engine of the UAE’s

goal for economic diversification and

industrial transformation.

The new $27.2 million (AED 100

million) initiative intends to provide

quick, simple, and flexible financing to

Emirati-owned and operated companies

wishing to accelerate their company

growth following the Covid-19 outbreak.

The project is by the National Strategy

of the UAE and several other initiatives

to support SMEs in the UAE.

EDB was able to mobilize more than

$90.38 million (AED332 million) of

funding for SMEs through the launch of a

new loan guarantee platform.

The expansion and development

of large businesses and SMEs in the

following five main industries will

enable this: manufacturing, advanced

technology, infrastructure, healthcare,

and food security. In line with its goal,

EDB will also arrange direct and indirect

loans for a combined $8.16 billion

(AED30 billion) by 2025, supporting

more than 13,500 businesses.

Top start-ups received funding

The top startups in terms of funding

raised during the first half were Tabby

($54 million), Wahed ($50 million), altibbi

($44 million), and Huspy ($37 million).

Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi, the

chief executive of EDB, stated that

the organization was “constantly

looking into new initiatives and

opportunities to catalyze the growth

of businesses, strengthen the culture

of entrepreneurship, and provide

the funding solutions to enhance the

ecosystem for entrepreneurial minds

throughout the UAE.”

UAE with the most investments

The UAE has accumulated 27.3% of

deals in the Mena region and 34.4% of

investment this year alone, according to

Noor Sweid, managing partner at Global

Ventures, solidifying its position as a

prominent innovation powerhouse in

the area.

The UAE is quickly turning into an

example of where some of the most

fundamental opportunities of the

future will come from, Sweid said. “We

are consistently witnessing the birth

and growth of pioneering, UAE-born

solutions for the region and the world

across verticals”.

Fintech continues to be the top


Fintech continued to be the top sector

for investors in the Emirates, accounting

for 33% of all deals and 32% of all capital

64 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

invested in the first half. By receiving

$234 million in funding, it had a first-half

rise of 249% over the prior year.

With $50 million in funding, the fashion

and lifestyle sector rose 13 spots to take

third place, while the healthcare sector

advanced six spots to take fourth place.

Transportation and logistics made a $40

million profit but fell to sixth place.

Edtech moves up to 6th position as

the most transacted industry spot

Edtech moved up six spots to take the

fourth-most-transacted industry spot in

the first half of the year in terms of the

major industries by several agreements,

behind transportation and logistics,

and e-commerce. To enter the top five

rankings, healthcare also rose three


Expansions in UAE

“Dubai and the UAE have consistently

dominated the global rankings for

economic growth, and with more than

8% growth in the first quarter of 2022,

the UAE economy is set for the biggest

expansion in almost a decade”

In regards to the UAE’s venture

landscape and the advantages it will

bring to the region, we are more

enthusiastic than ever, he added.

By introducing integrated national

projects to strengthen the role of

entrepreneurship in the economy,

according to Shane Shin, founding

partner at Shorooq Partner, the UAE

has achieved unparalleled success in

attracting venture capital investment

for start-ups and new fund managers

based there. He cited Magnitt’s first-half

report and claimed that the UAE had

taken the top rank in attracting venture

capital investments for startups in the

Middle East, Africa, Turkey, and Pakistan

in 2021, expanding by 93% and reaching

$1 billion in venture capital for startups

for the first time. According to Shin, “the

strong results obtained over the previous

several years confirm the UAE’s ability to

attract great startups and investors, and

cement its position as the premier venue

to connect cutting-edge talent with local,

regional, and international investors.”

Launch of “Start-up Handbook for

Funding” by Dash Venture Labs

To equip founders with the different

funding options accessible in today’s

evolving business ecosystem, Dash

Venture Labs has released a “Start-up

Handbook for Funding.” The objective is

to comprehend the phases of the startup

cycle as well as the various funding

options, including grants from the

government and similar deals from other

financial organizations.

The three main elements of the

handbook, which was created in

partnership with Ascent Partners, are

as follows: 1) why do start-ups need

funding? 2) funding stages, 3) the many

types of funding for each level. Each

section is intended to give readers a

greater grasp of the topic, particularly for

founders and entrepreneurs who want

to understand the motivations behind

and stages of funding. Furthermore,

entrepreneurs, today don’t seem to

have a problem with liquidity, but they

should be aware of the significance

of each round of fundraising and the

contemporary frameworks created

for each capital raising activity. What

matters most is how these will affect

their shareholding composition and

future fund-raising activities.

• The first part of the manual

concentrates on how crucial it is for

entrepreneurs to comprehend why they

need to raise money using the numerous

channels offered by the industry at this


• The second half of the guide focuses

on the different fundraising stages

within the startup ecosystem. Given that

there are numerous sources of funding,

the funding source must generally

correspond to the stages of operation of

the companies.

• The most crucial part of the book

for entrepreneurs is the third section,

which describes the different kinds of

funding that are available throughout

the ecosystem. The founder must

comprehend the significance of each

possible source of funding and how it

will affect the shareholding structure.

Furthermore, it draws attention to the

difficulties in obtaining funding from

various sources and the expectations

of all the stakeholders. The comparison

table for the various financing methods

depending on size, accessibility, and time

frame is also displayed in this section.

The total amount invested in startups

in MENA was $1.73 billion, representing

a 67.6% increase year over year. The H1

of 2022 saw 354 overall deals, up from

294 in the corresponding period of last


September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 65

Stock Market

Al Ansari: UAE exchange business to consider IPO

Al Ansari Exchange in the UAE

is considering making an

Initial Public Offering (IPO).

The UAE-based money exchange

company has preliminary discussions

with prospective advisors on the

Dubai IPO that may occur in the first

quarter of 2023, according to the

sources.Preliminary information may

change, they said

Al Ansari Exchange CEO Rashed

Al Ansari responded to a request

for comment by saying, “Al Ansari

Exchange has been considering the

concept of going public for some

time, but no final decision has

been taken yet.” He added that the

business will keep an eye on the

market and “make an announcement


During the first half, the area was

primarily a standout market for IPOs.

In striking contrast to most other

global markets where listings have

slowed to a trickle owing to surging

inflation and worries about a looming

economic slump, high oil prices have

led to a frenzy of share sales and

massive stock inflows.

Rashed Al Ansari, CEO of

Al Ansari Exchange

Salik, the latest IPO in Dubai, aims to raise $1 billion

The Dubai government hopes to

generate $1 billion by selling

road toll operator Salik shares

as early as next month.

Unnamed sources informed

Bloomberg that Salik received a

$1.1 billion loan from Emirates

NBD to pay a special dividend to

the government and that other IPO

hopefuls in Dubai received similar

loans. The toll operator intends to

go public in September. The Dubai

government said it would keep at

least a 60% share in Salik.

Salik is one of ten potential

privatizations in Dubai as part of the

city-efforts states to strengthen its

capital market.

Several firms in the UAE have

been talking about going public.

TECOM Group launched on the Dubai

Financial Market (DFM) , after raising

$462 million in an initial public

offering in June. Burjeel Holdings,

a well-known healthcare provider

in the UAE, has also announced

intentions to raise $750 million via an

IPO in Abu Dhabi.

66 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

DFM announces inclusion of TECOM to General Index

The TECOM Group has been

added to the Real Estate Index

sector and the DFM General

Index, according to the Dubai

Financial Market (DFM).

DFM announced in a statement

that the inclusion of TECOM Group

will start on August 8, 2022.

After completing its Initial

Public Offering (IPO), which

attracted significant demand and

was oversubscribed by just over 21

times overall, TECOM Group started

trading on the DFM on July 5, 2022.

The UAE Retail Offer achieved an

astounding oversubscription multiple

of almost 40 times overall, outpacing

any IPO on the DFM to date.

During the first seven months of

this year, the 27 brokerage companies

at the DFM completed more than 1.41

million transactions, transacting 40

billion shares worth Dh98.25 billion.

UAE excels as 24 MENA IPOs raise $13.5 billion

in H1 2022

The number of firms listing in the

MENA area increased by 500%

year over year in H1 2022. 24

IPOs raised $13.5 billion in proceeds,

an increase of 2,952% in value over

the same time in 2021. Worldwide,

630 IPOs generated $95.4 billion in

revenue, a decline of 46% and 58%,


The largest IPO in EMEA since

2019 was raised by the Dubai

Electricity and Water Authority PJSC

(DEWA), which raised over $6 billion.

Saudi Home Loans Company raised

$160 million and was listed on the

Tadawul in Q2 2022.

Retal Urban Development

Company raised $384 million after

62 times oversubscribing their

institutional order book. Three initial

public offerings garnered $40.8

million on the Nomu-Parallel Market.

The Second Market of the ADX was

renamed the Growth Market in April


September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 67

Real Estate

New reporting requirements for real

estate transactions in UAE

The UAE has introduced new reporting requirements for “certain real estate transactions”

conducted in the country to fight money laundering and terrorism financing. As part of the latest

directive, all real estate agents, brokers, and law firms are required to file reports to the Financial

Intelligence Unit on the purchase and sale transactions of freehold properties that involve three

methods of payment, whether for a portion or the entirety of the property value.


he Ministry of Economy (MoE)

and the Ministry of Justice

(MoJ), in collaboration with

the UAE Financial Intelligence

Unit (FIU), have announced the

introduction of these new reporting

requirements. The UAE is one of the

first countries to implement such a

mechanism for real estate transactions

involving virtual assets, marking the

latest example of the UAE’s sustainable

and evolving approach to the global

fight against money laundering and

terrorist financing. The decision was

made following multiple meetings and

discussions amongst the MoE, MoJ,

FIU, and other competent authorities

in the UAE, including the Executive

Office for Anti-Money Laundering

(AML) and Countering the Financing of

Terrorism (CFT).

The new requirements, which apply

to both the real estate and legal sectors,

aim to “ensure the development of

their regulatory frameworks, leaving

little or no room for manipulation or

illegal practices that could negatively

impact the work environment and the

economy and investment within these

sectors”, said Mr. bin Touq, Minister

of Economy. In UAE includes any of

the below three methods of payment,

whether for a portion or the entirety of

the property value:

• Single or multiple cash

payment(s) equal to or above AED


• Payments that include the use of a

virtual asset

• Payments where the fund(s) used

in the transaction were derived from a

virtual asset

One of the requirements for the sale

and marketing of off-plan units will

now include that the developer has set

up an escrow account. The proceeds

from off-plan sales will need to be paid

into this account and only taken out

in stages to fund construction. Given

the restrictions on withdrawals, the

developer will effectively have to selffund

(or obtain finance) for the first 20

percent of construction works. These

accounts also apply to existing projects

as well, unless the building has reached

68 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

at least 70 percent completions.

DNFBPs include a wide range of

sectors that are mostly exposed to

the risks of money laundering and

misuse of commercial transactions and

the funds traded by them for money

laundering or other illegal practices,

given the nature of the services they

provide and the products they deal

with. Last year, the country established

the Executive Office of Anti-Money

Laundering and Countering the

Financing of Terrorism, an agency

to deal with money launderers,

organizations, and people suspected

of financing terrorists and organized

crime. In November 2020, the Ministry

of Economy set up a new anti-money

laundering department to ensure

that all non-financial businesses and

professionals comply with local laws.

The CBUAE has also been penalizing

exchange houses operating in the

country for failing to achieve the

appropriate levels of compliance with

anti-money laundering regulations.

The relevant private sector

entities have been informed about the

specific requirements in regulatory

circulars issued by the MoE and MoJ.

Additionally, to ensure preparedness,

UAE authorities have collaborated

to host three separate workshops

with real estate agents and brokers,

as well as law firms, helping to guide

them through the new reporting

requirements and enhance their

familiarization with the FIU’s goAML

system. The MoE and MoJ play a key

role in the UAE’s framework for

AML/CFT as the supervisory authorities

for designated non-financial businesses

and professions (DNFBPs), including

real estate agents and brokers, and

law firms, respectively. DNFBPs

include a wide range of sectors that are

mostly exposed to the risks of money

laundering and misuse of commercial

transactions and the funds traded by

them for money laundering or other

illegal practices, given the nature of the

services they provide and the products

they deal with. The MoE and MoJ apply

a proactive, risk-based supervisory

approach in line with UAE legislation

and the international standards set

by the Financial Action Task Force


Al-Marri noted that the real estate

sector is one of the key sectors for

investment and a vital pillar of the

country’s economic development.

The new requirements, with regards to the

reporting rules of both the real estate and

legal sectors, ensure the development of their

regulatory frameworks, leaving little or no room

for manipulation or illegal practices that could

negatively impact the work environment and the

economy and investment within these sectors.

Therefore, he noted, the UAE is keen

to adopt procedures and regulations

that promote sound financial

practices in the sector in line with

the highest international standards.

The new requirements, with regards

to the reporting rules of both the

real estate and legal sectors, ensure

the development of their regulatory

frameworks, leaving little or no room

for manipulation or illegal practices

that could negatively impact the work

environment and the economy and

investment within these sectors.

HE Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri,

Minister of Economy of UAE

The DMA may fine developers

to compensate purchasers where

the developer is delayed beyond six

months. Importantly, this may apply

to existing developments depending

on the stage of completion. The new

law also includes provisions for the

cancellation of projects or appointment

of a new development where there is a

significant delay.

PwC’s recent report, The UAE

Virtual Assets Market, emphasizes

the highly internationalized customer

base of the real estate sector and its

vulnerability to transactions in cash,

as observed by the global Financial

Action Task Force in its 2020 mutual

evaluation report on the jurisdiction.

Earlier in 2022, Dubai introduced

a virtual assets regulatory regime

supervised by the Dubai Virtual Assets

Regulatory Authority. Some real estate

firms are now accepting payments

in cryptocurrencies, although the

UAE nominally prohibits the use

of cryptocurrencies as a method of

payment. Real estate buyers must

work with a third-party broker to

convert their crypto-assets to fiat

currency before sending them to the

seller. Agents, brokers, and law firms

will also have to obtain and record

identification documents for all parties

to a transaction. The Ministry of

Economy and Ministry of Justice have

issued regulatory circulars informing

private sector entities about the new

requirements. The rules apply to both

individuals and corporate entities.

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 69

Real Estate News

Square Yards launch

3D metaverse real

estate platform

One of the world’s fastest-growing

proptech businesses, Square

Yards, unveiled its 3D Metaverse

platform, which features a high-end 3D

digital replica of Dubai City to highlight

how property search and discovery will

evolve in the future. The platform is the

first of its type to deliver high-definition

3D maps for a high-fidelity, interactive

visualisation of real estate using

cutting-edge technologies including

3D, AI, VR, and AR. With this solution,

customers may utilise its interactive

3D interface to browse more than 2000

potential real estate projects across

Dubai, acquire detailed information

about each project, and log into the

project’s metaverse as an Avatar.

SRC and Riyadh Bank

agree to $ 133m real

estate loan

Saudi Real Estate Refinance

Company (SRC), which is fully

owned by Public Investment

Fund, has a contract with Riyadh Bank

to purchase a portfolio of real estate

loans of SR500 million (US$133.13

million). The second-largest mortgage

refinancing arrangement in the kingdom

is the one between SRC and Riyad Bank.

In the presence of Majid bin Abdullah

Al Hogail, Minister of Municipal and

Rural Affairs and Housing, and Abdullah

bin Mohammed Al-Issa, Chairman of

the Board of Directors at Riyad Bank,

it was signed by Tareq Al-Sadhan, CEO

of Riyad Bank, and Fabrice Susini,

CEO of SRC. According to Susini, the

arrangement is a part of SRC’s ongoing

efforts to develop and solidify its

relationships with the top banks and

lenders in the kingdom.

Villa prices fall amid Dubai’s housing

market recovery

According to a new research from

consulting firm Knight Frank, the

average price of a home in Dubai

increased by 10.1% from the previous

summer to AED 1,100 per square foot

in the second quarter of 2022. Faisal

Durrani, Partner – Head of Middle East

Research, Knight Frank, stated that

price increases in Dubai continued

In addition to 396 sales transactions

totaling AED845.37 million, 110

mortgage transactions total

AED376.93 million, and 11 gift

transactions totalling AED96.55 million.

Russians were among the top five

buyers in Dubai’s hot property market

during the first half of the year as the

emirate benefited from an infusion

of riches after Western sanctions.

in Q2 despite a slowing in the rate of

growth. On the other hand, demand in

the mainstream market has increased

by 10.1% over the past year, with villas

continuing to lead the way. Although the

value of villas increased by 19.3% over

the summer, the “developing tone for

pricing is one of the less steep jumps”

Dubai real estate increases by 60% in H1-22

According to property consultancy

Betterhomes, residential real estate

transaction volumes increased by 60%

in the first half of the year, and the value

of the sold properties increased by 85%.

There were 356 villas and apartments

sold for AED693.98 million, 40 land

parcels were purchased for AED151.4

million, and 94 villas were mortgaged.

70 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

Nakheel unveils Dubai Islands master

plan vision

The blueprint for Dubai Islands has been published by Nakheel, developer

of the renowned Palm Jumeirah, to meet the UAE’s growing demand for

premium real estate. The five-island development, formerly known as

Deira Islands, is in line with the UAE’s continued efforts to become a top choice

for travellers and investors, according to the developer in Dubai. According

to Naaman Atallah, chief executive officer of Nakheel, “Dubai Islands are an

integral part of the future vision for the emirate, focusing on enhancing the health,

happiness, and wellbeing of residents and visitors, as well as providing the highest

standards and variety of urban infrastructure and facilities.”

Real estate

transactions in Dubai

total more than $463


562 sales of AED1.42 billion were

made in Dubai’s real estate market,

according to data provided by

Dubai’s Land Department (DLD). Along

with 42 gift agreements for AED 94.62

million and 75 mortgage agreements

worth AED 271.02 million. The sales of

520 villas and apartments for AED 1.08

billion, the mortgages of 64 villas and

apartments for AED 258.99 million, and

the sales of 42 land plots for AED 335.9

million total more than AED 1.7 billion in

real estate expenditures.

Bloom grants contract to Edrafor Emirates for

Abu Dhabi project

Edrafor Emirates has been hired by prominent real estate development

business Bloom Holding as the first contractor for the foundational work

of its fully integrated residential community, Bloom Living, in Abu Dhabi. A

significant step forward

in the growth of Bloom

Living will be reached

when the contractor

starts enabling work in

September, just before

the second phase of the

community is launched.

More than 4,000 homes,

including a variety of

villas, townhouses, and

apartments, are included

in Bloom Living’s 2.2

million square metre


Left - CEO of Bloom Holding, Carlos Wakim , Right -

General Manager of Edrafor, Pierre Fayad )

Launch of Yas Park

Gate by Aldar

Yas Park Gate, the newest gated

community from Aldar Properties,

has just begun construction right

outside Yas Park, Abu Dhabi’s first family

and recreation park of its sort. The AED

1.15 billion residential development will

complement the current communities

and include 508 new homes with a total

area of 255,000 sqm as a logical step in

the creation of North Yas’ second phase.

The property enjoys convenient access

to the 115,000 square metres Yas Park,

which is half the size of Yas Mall and

will serve as the model for landscape

architecture throughout the whole North

Yas master development. By combining

a variety of services for the public, Yas

Park will establish a new benchmark for

parks in the UAE.

September 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 71

Global News

Lamborghini vehicles sold through 2024

The head of Lamborghini claims

that all of the company’s

production through the beginning

of 2024 has already been presold,

demonstrating that luxury

goods are largely unaffected by the

situation of the global economy

at the moment. According to CEO

Stephan Winkelmann, the Volkswagen

business is seeing “strong demand”

and has an order book for the next 18

months. “More people are getting into

Lamborghinis. By 2024, Lamborghini

intends to provide hybrid versions of

each of its models, and in the second

half of the decade, it will launch its first

entirely electric vehicle.

Lulu Group

confirms $237

million expansion

plan for India

The Lulu Group, based in Abu

Dhabi, has made public its

ambitious aspirations for growth

in India. The group intends

to invest more than INR 190 billion

($237 or AED 871 billion). This will

contain shopping malls, superstores,

and facilities for producing food. The

company, with an annual revenue of

over $8 billion, operates five malls

in India, including their first one in

northern India’s Lucknow, in the state

of Uttar Pradesh. The other four malls

are located in south India in Bengaluru,

Thrissur, Thiruvananthapuram, and

Kochi. Over 60,000 individuals work for

LuLu Group, which has operations in

23 nations throughout the Middle East,

Asia, the US, and Europe.



losses will top $30

billion by 2023

According to a report by the

technology and cyber security

company Acronis, the total

cost of ransomware damages

would likely exceed $30 billion

by the following year. In order to

prevent consumers or organisations

from accessing their online data and

files kept on computers or servers,

ransomware is a type of malware.

Criminals demand money for the

decryption key because all data is

encrypted. Businesses are more

vulnerable to cyber risks when they

implement hybrid work models and go

through quick digital transformations

to address Covid-19 problems,

according to industry experts.

Johnson & Johnson

will remove talc

baby powder from

stores worldwide

Johnson & Johnson announced

that it will stop selling talc-based

baby powder internationally

in 2023, more than two years

after it stopped selling the product in

the United States, which prompted

thousands of consumer safety lawsuits.

It added that cornstarch-based baby

powder is already available in many

nations around the world. “As part of

a worldwide portfolio assessment, we

have made the commercial decision to

transition to an all cornstarch-based

baby powder portfolio,” according to

the statement. About 38,000 lawsuits

have been filed against the corporation

by consumers and the survivors of those

who have died from cancer, alleging

that asbestos, a proven carcinogen, was

present in the talc goods.

72 www.thefinanceworld.com September 2022

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