UAE In-Focus — Air Arabia to double fleet capacity in 12 months

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Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s low-cost airline, has unveiled plans to double its current fleet capacity within the next 12 months, state-run news agency WAM reported.

According to Adel Al-Ali, group CEO of Air Arabia, the expansion will strengthen both inbound tourism and the emirate’s long-term vision of attracting regional and global visitors.

Al-Ali also highlighted the significant growth of visitors to Abu Dhabi, which witnessed 15.9 million guests in 2022, nearly triple the number seen in 2021.

“Air Arabia Abu Dhabi is supporting the UAE capital’s growing prominence as a global tourism and business hub. Doubling the fleet strength will be crucial to meet growing passenger demand for low-cost travel as the city records a new wave of tourism growth,” said Al-Ali.

In collaboration with Etihad Airways, Air Arabia has been playing a crucial role in catering to the growing low-cost travel market segment in the region.

“Committed to providing the highest quality of service to our customers, we are exploring new and agile technologies and services to enhance customer experience and provide a distinctive value proposition to all our passengers,” he added.

UAE’s Ministry of Finance imposes new tax

The UAE’s Ministry of Finance has announced a new decision regarding taxing income earned by foreign companies and non-resident juridical persons from real estate and other immovable properties.

According to the new decision, such entities will be subject to corporate tax on income generated from these dead assets, WAM reported.

However, income from real estate investments earned by foreign individuals or UAE residents, directly or through any legitimate bodies, will not be subject to corporate tax, provided they are not involved in a licensed business activity.

UAE and Vietnam eye stronger trade ties

The UAE and Vietnam have started discussing a comprehensive economic partnership agreement to boost bilateral trade.

Thani Al-Zeyoudi, the UAE minister of state for foreign trade, discussed the agreement while attending a bilateral meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chin during a visit to Hanoi, WAM reported.

“Vietnam is the UAE’s leading trade partner among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, with bilateral non-oil trade totaling $8.7 billion in 2022, which accounts for 27 percent of trade with the bloc,” Al-Zeyoudi said.

The purpose of the meeting was to mark the initiation of negotiations for the agreement.

The discussions also touched on the World Trade Organization’s 13th Ministerial Conference, which will be held in Abu Dhabi next year.

“The proposed UAE-Vietnam comprehensive economic partnership agreement will push these figures even higher and underline the benefits of open, rules-based trade,” Al-Zeyoudi added.

Dubai empowers startups to fuel digital transformation

Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy announced it attracted 30 startups in the technology sector in the first three months of 2023 to boost the development of the digital economy and enhance investor appeal.

The chamber has also successfully conducted 10 interactive workshops designed specifically for the private sector, concentrating on distinct aspects of the digital economy, WAM reported.

These workshops provided valuable insights and practical guidance to help businesses thrive in the rapidly evolving digital landscape.

“We aim to chart a roadmap for strengthening the emirate’s digital infrastructure, develop legislation that supports the growth of tech companies, and enhance the digital economy’s competitiveness and contribution to Dubai’s overall economic growth,” said Omar Al-Olama, chairman of Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy.

With an ambitious strategy, the chamber is set to attract 300 new digital startups in the years ahead.

It will host the highly anticipated Expand North Star summit in October as part of this initiative.

The event, recognized as the region’s largest gathering of startups, will serve as a platform to highlight the emerging growth opportunities within Dubai’s thriving digital economy.

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