Month: February 2008

Photo Speaks – Now some rest

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Photo Speaks – Now some rest

Curtain down for DSF and still the fun goes on. This was an early morning scene from the fun station at the Dubai Creek.

Prices of Selected Commodities Weekly Review dt 28 Feb 2008

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Prices of Selected Commodities Weekly Review dt 28 Feb 2008

Source : Ministry of Economics, Khaleej Times

English county cricket teams pick UAE for pre-season tournament

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English county cricket teams pick UAE for pre-season tournament By K.R. Nayar, Senior Reporter GULF NEWS Published: February 28, 2008, 00:40

Dubai: Top English county cricket teams have found UAE as an ideal venue for a pre-season tournament.

“UAE is close to UK and has the weather and facilities to play professional cricket before the start of their season,” said Matthew Jackson, the Chief Executive Officer Sports Arabia Ltd, the organiser of the Arch Trophy to be held in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi next month.

Top England Test stars like Andrew Flintoff, Marcus Trescothick, Ravi Bopara, Graham Gooch and Mushtaq Mohammad, representing five county teams, will play in the tournament.

“One of our companies, Arabian Cricket Ltd, a tour operator that specialises in organising cricket tours, organised a tour for Sussex and Essex last year.

“They enjoyed playing here. So we contacted the England Cricket board and International Cricket Council for approval to stage a tournament here. We are now sanctioned as an unofficial ICC event,” added Jackson.

“We are also staging an Under-19 English schools tournament from March 26 to 31 at the Zayed stadium in Abu Dhabi and a County Academy tournament in December,” he said.

Jackson is keen to expand the Arch Trophy next year. “This will be an annual event contested mainly by English teams but we will soon include pro teams from other cricketing nations too,” he said.

Elaborating on how he picked the five counties, Jackson said: “Sussex and Essex readily agreed as they played here last year. We approached Lancashire and Yorkshire because they are two of the biggest pro teams in the UK and Somerset as they are the English second division champions.

“We are also keen to develop cricket in UAE and invited the UAE team to gain from the experience of playing some of the best players in world cricket and help them in their quest to qualify for the next World Cup.”

Reviving a timeless tradition in Dubai

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Reviving a timeless tradition in Dubai
By Shakir Husain, Staff Reporter GULF NEWS Published: February 28, 2008, 00:39

Dubai: The almost extinct Gulf heritage in pearl trading is set to be resurrected in Dubai. However, this revival is a far cry from the old days of pearl diving when divers spent weeks searching for the treasure hidden in oysters.

When the Pearls of Arabia project is completed in two years, creating a pearl business hub on “Antarctica” at The World manmade island cluster, the new face of the pearl trade in Dubai will reflect the progress the city has seen since the pre-oil era.

Led by the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), Pearls of Arabia is designed to serve as a hub for retail and wholesale pearl traders. It will also become a tourist attraction in the city, which is targeting 15 million tourists in 2015.

“This project is the first stage of Dubai’s plan to re-establish the emirate as a centre for the global pearl trade,” DMCC said.

Last year Dubai set up an exchange to provide a platform for pearl trading.

The 6,000-square-metre Pearl of Arabia features a themed cultural heritage centre, a performing arts theatre, an exhibition gallery and a seafood restaurant alongside boutiques to be run by top pearl fashion houses.

Dubai will invite leading international names in the pearl industry to set up shop in the city. Visitors will travel to the pearl destination by ferries that will serve The World archipelago of 300 islands.

Officials did not get into the specifics of the project, but made their ambitions clear.

Ahmad Bin Sulayem, executive chairman of DMCC, said Dubai is seeking “inspiration from our heritage to build a brighter tomorrow”.

He said pearling was the lifeblood of Arabia less than a century ago and accounted for some 80,000 jobs in the UAE alone. Pearling represented 95 per cent of the country’s revenues.

“Pearls of Arabia presents age-old wisdom in a modern and contemporary fashion to revive the region’s historic legacy for the benefit of future generations,” Bin Sulayem said.

DMCC did not say if pearl farming will be part of the project, which is being implemented in association with Australia’s Paspaley Pearling Company.

“Historically, Dubai served as the world’s hub in the trade of fine-quality natural pearls. Now, almost 100 years later, we are delighted to collaborate with DMCC to revitalise the region’s traditional association with pearls,” said Nicholas Paspaley, executive chairman of the Australian company.

“Together, we will resurrect Dubai’s reputation as one of the world’s premier and most important pearl destinations. Dubai will present to the world the best selection of pearls and pearl jewellery that the 21st century pearling industry has to offer, and will showcase the beautiful history and story of pearls,” he added.

The UAE had some of the best pearls at the start of the 20th century, but the diving tradition died out in the wake of the wealth generated from oil.

Globally, pearl diving is a thing of the past. Australia has one of the world’s last remaining fleets of pearl diving ships. Australian divers dive for south sea pearl oysters to be used in the cultured south sea pearl industry.

However, the Pearls of Arabia is not aimed at recreating the trade in the old style. “It will be a commercial hub with a modern facade,” said Gaiti Rabbani, executive director of coloured stones and pearls at DMCC.

Industry award

Along with developing the pearl trade, Dubai will also institute an industry award that will attract global participation.

Dubai is using its strengths in the gold and diamond trade to make pearls a big business in the city.

“We will bring all elements of the jewellery trade together. We will use the same model that has been successful for other industries by offering tax-free benefits and easy rules,” Rabbani said.

She said a set of standards will also be introduced to generate consumer confidence in the pearl trade.

DMCC is looking at introducing a uniform certification for pearls, based on globally accepted quality parameters.

The certification will be developed in conjunction with leading gem certification bodies and in consultation with local and international trade players.

History: A feature of life

Arabian pearling developed with the opening of the ancient Silk Route.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, pearl diving was a key feature of life on the Trucial coast.

Around 80,000 men earned their living from the pearling trade, accounting for up to 95 per cent of national incomes. The Trucial States had 1,200 pearling dhows, of which 335 were from Dubai.

The pearl banks were generally some distance from the coast lying at depths of 46 to 120 feet.

The pearl banks of the Gulf provide the finest pearls in the world due to the formation of the seabed, the temperature and shallowness of the water.

Pearl diving was a hazardous business as navigation was limited to the stars, a simple compass and the captain’s knowledge and experience of the pearl banks.

In the 1830-1900 period, output was worth an average of $1.75 million a year, rising to nearly $4 million in the first decade of the 20th century.

Sources suggest that in the Mumbai market, 1gm of fine Gulf pearls may have had the same approximate value as 320 grammes of gold or 7.7kg of silver in 1917.

At the turn of the last century, the UAE had a reputation for having some of the best natural pearls in the world.

By the early 20th century the pearl industry in the Gulf was at its height but it declined during the Great Depression of the 1930s and the development of the more affordable cultured pearl in 1921.

– Source: DMCC

Opec expects stock to keep increasing

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Opec expects stock to keep increasing
Bloomberg Published: February 28, 2008, 00:39

Dubai: Oil supply and demand are in balance, and a gradual rise in stockpiles will continue through the second quarter, a Gulf official familiar with Saudi Arabian oil policy said yesterday.

The oil price, which reached a record $102.08 a barrel in New York electronic trading yesterday morning, is higher than it should be and isn’t in line with supply and demand fundamentals, the official said in an interview on condition of anonymity.

Saudi Arabia is the largest influential producer within the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, scheduled to meet on March 5. “Opec is taking a cautious view of the supply and demand balance,” said Paul Horsnell, head of commodities research at Barclays Capital in London. “But it seems hard to justify a cut in production, even based on their numbers.”

Futures jumped in New York as the dollar fell to an all-time low against the euro. The UBS Bloomberg Constant Maturity Commodity Index rose to the highest ever, on gains for gold, silver, sugar, copper and coffee.

The dollar weakened to $1.5088 a euro, the lowest since the European single currency was introduced in 1999. Oil traded 38 cents higher at $101.26 at 11.54am London time.

Opec will consider all available supply, demand and inventory levels when it meets next week in Vienna, and recommendations from the group’s secretariat, the official said.

Position: Group firm on stand

A combination of economic slowdown in the US and a seasonal fall in consumption will hit oil demand and Opec will not increase output when it meets next week, the producer group’s president said on Tuesday.

“I can tell you they are not going to increase production because there are plenty of stocks,” Opec president Chakib Khelil told Reuters in the Nigerian capital of Abuja.

Adnoc to give full term crude to Asia in April

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Adnoc to give full term crude to Asia in April Reuters Published: February 28, 2008, 00:39

Singapore: Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (Adnoc) told its Asian customers that it will supply them crude oil at full contracted volumes for April, unchanged from March as expected, refiner sources said yesterday.

Demand for additional supplies from Abu Dhabi, the main oil producer for UAE, were limited for April as Asia enters the refinery turnaround season and oil demand falls, refiners added, in line with Opec’s reasoning that no more oil is needed during the second quarter.

“We got full contracted volumes,” a trader with a term lifter said.

The full allocations, and limited additional volumes, come ahead of Opec’s March 5 meeting, where members are expected to refrain from raising output due to expectations of slower demand.

Dubai fuel retailers increase price of diesel to Dh12.80 per gallon

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Dubai fuel retailers increase price of diesel to Dh12.80 per gallon By Nadia Saleem, Staff Reporter GULF NEWS Published: February 28, 2008, 00:39

Dubai: Dubai fuel retailers have again increased the price of diesel by 30 fils to Dh12.80 per gallon, making diesel in the emirate almost 50 per cent costlier than in Abu Dhabi.

A manager of a Dubai-based transportation company told Gulf News there had been an average 30-fils increase in the price of diesel every month and this had increased his business costs.

Last month diesel sold at Enoc, Eppco and Emarat filling stations at Dh12.50 per gallon, up from Dh11 in October.

“We have to spend time and resources informing commuters of price increases in transportation and then they become very upset and angry,” said the Dubai transport company manager, who did not wish to be quoted.

While Dubai fuel companies have been raising diesel prices for months, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) has kept the price steady at Dh 8.60 per gallon.

Companies in Dubai have argued in the past that they are forced to revise their prices to match the rising crude prices in world markets.