A Quarterly Newsletter from the UAE and Oman member firms of the PKF International Ltd.

VOL 14, Issue 1 January 2012

From the Managing Partner - U.A.E.

The 40th anniversary of the UAE saw much coming together of peoples and a justifiably great patriotic pride in the nation and its development over four decades. This has come at the end of a very uncertain year for many businesses that have experienced a mixture of fortunes – demand in some sectors has improved (tourism remarkably so) while in others it has been flat or still declining. Access to funds has continued to be challenging and problems first in the US and then in Europe have done nothing to alleviate this.

Stock markets have been volatile with profit taking on the slightest of upswings. Even the economies of India and China are starting to show strains that must have companies revisiting their budgets for next year. Amidst all this, general economic statistics for the UAE have been positive. The country has benefited from unrest in the region as funds have flowed in as have funds from a troubled Europe.

Will there be more government asset acquisitions such as with Aldar or will the recent announcements by Meeras and the Dubai Maritime City herald more large projects to get off the ground, echoing times gone by? Even if they do, all developers will now be proceeding with caution as, having successfully managed their way through a recession, lessons learned will now be put into practice. The Government too is being rightly cautious with reduced public spending. and new legislation is on the way that should help in driving the country forward. So 2012 will be an interesting year to observe.

In this edition I am happy to have interviewed Olivier Crasson of Ajman Sewerage (Private) Company Limited and more recently of BESIX – a very colourful person indeed.

We have an article on the market for the provision of sports facilities here in Dubai as well as a write up on the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre. We also have our usual update from the Oman member firm.

Please feel free to write to update@pkfuae.com if you would like to express an opinion on any matter inside.

GRAHAM MARTINS