March: Key Highlights Of The GCC Economy

Posted on 29 March 2023

Welcome to our GCC economy update, where we present ​some highlights of the regional economy that you may have missed out.

Real Estate

According to Knight Frank The Wealth Report, prime property prices are still much lower than in other major global cities. It has been calculated that for US$ 1 million, a Dubai buyer could acquire 105 sq mt of property. Still, for the same amount, the respective buyer in Monaco, Hong Kong, New York, London, Paris, Tokyo and Melbourne would only get 17 sq mt, 21 sq mt, 33 sq mt, 34 sq mt, 43 sq mt, 60 sq mt and 87 sq mt respectively. The fact that Dubai prices are a lot lower on a global scale is one of the main reasons why the local market has led in terms of prime property price increases for the second consecutive year in 2022, registering a rise of 44% out of one hundred markets tracked by Knight Frank.


This week, the country’s Central Bank announced the launch of its digital currency strategy, appointing G42 Cloud and R3 as the infrastructure and technology providers for implementing the initiative. The main aims of the Central Bank Digital Currency strategy are to improve domestic/cross-border payments, and to enhance financial inclusion, ahead of a move towards a cashless society. CBDC is a risk-free form of digital money issued and guaranteed by the Central Bank and serves as a secure, cost-effective and efficient form of payment and a store of value.


Because of “solid demand from retail investors and elevated oversubscription of the UAE Retail Offer”, Al Ansari Exchange Financial Services has increased the size of the retail tranche in its initial public offering from 37.5 million to 56.25 million shares, equating to 7.5% of the total shares on offer; 18.75 million shares have reduced the eligible investor offer to 693.75 million shares, or 92.5% of the total shares on offer. The price range will be between US$ 0.272 and US$ 0.281 per share.


The chances of overseas airlines, including Emirates and flydubai, increasing their foothold into Indian airspace have diminished as India’s aviation minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia, urging local carriers to fly long-haul and help establish new hubs as it seeks to recapture control of Indian travel and air space from foreign rivals. Only last month, the new owners of Air India placed a record order for 470 jets, whilst IndiGo is also in talks for a new order of more than five hundred planes. Both carriers are taking a forceful approach to take control of the Indian market whilst aggressively pushing in the international arena. The Indian market is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world, where current demand far outstrips supply, which is why Mr Scindia is pushing for aerospace companies to local step-up production.

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