UAE tax-free system rated best in world

March 26th, 2008 - 7:11 pm ICT by admin  

(Gulf Business Capsule)

Dubai, March 26 (IANS) The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been rated as the country with the best tax-free system in the world and the least corrupt society in the Arab region. The assessment was done by the United States Heritage Foundation (USHF). In its Economic Freedom Index for 2008, the USHF gave the UAE 99.9 points in its Fiscal Freedom category within its overall index, according to a report in the Emirates Business 24-7 newspaper.

It also rated this Gulf nation as the least corrupt society in the Arab world, granting it 62 points in its Freedom from Corruption category.

Overall, the UAE was ranked 63rd among the 162 countries covered by the index.

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Gulf project services industry touches $2 trillion

Project services industry in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region has reached $2 trillion and is expected to hit $4 trillion in the next 20 years, according to industry projections.

Gulf project spending in the public and private sectors is shifting from construction to services, the Gulf News quoted Edmund O’Sullivan, chairman of Middle East Business Intelligence (MEED) events, as saying at a conference.

Half of that spending will be in logistics, he said, adding that about 25 percent of the spending will go to workers’ income.

“Presently, there are at least four to five million people working in the project industry, in the full value chain,” said O’Sullivan.

Stating that this figure would double in the next few years, he said, “Arabtech (a construction company) has 40,000 workers, and is expecting to double them in five years.”

The project market will involve about 25 million people over the next 20 years.

“This is a genuine international movement of people, on an unprecedented scale,” O’Sullivan said.

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Abu Dhabi ports firm issues two earthworks contracts

The Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) has awarded two major earthworks contracts for the Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone in Taweelah.

Strategically located between Abu Dhabi and Dubai in Taweelah, the Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone (KPIZ) is a multi-billion-dollar project designed as a multipurpose facility that involves the construction of a large container and industrial port, in addition to the development of over 100 sq km of industrial, logistics, commercial, educational, and residential special economic and free zones.

The contracts, which together involve more than 40 million cubic metres of landfill and a total cost of Dh1 billion, have been awarded to two prominent contractors, Al Jaber Transport & General Contracting LLC and Ghantoot Transport & General Contracting Establishment, reports here said.

The awards of these contracts mark the start of the construction activities in Area A of KPIZ, which covers 53 sq km of the total 137 sq km of Khalifa Industrial Zone.

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Saudi Arabia plans $30-bn investment to modernize ports

Saudi Arabia will develop its seaports with new investments to bring them on par with international standards.

“The kingdom is envisaging an investment of 30 billion Saudi riyals on modernizing and equipping all of its ports,” Arab News quoted Khaled A. Bubshait, president of the General Ports Authority, as saying at the Saudi International Ports and Maritime Transport Forum.

“This will be done with the participation of the private sector.”

The Kingdom has eight seaports - six of them commercial and two industrial. The location of the ports on the Red Sea and the Gulf makes the country a central commercial hub for the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia.

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