April 2021 / United Arab Emirates

April 28 2021

DXB maintains momentum in Q1 with 5.75m customers

Dubai International (DXB) ended the first quarter of the year on a relatively positive note, registering a gradual but steady recovery in both customer numbers and cargo volumes. By the end of Q1 2021, DXB served 63% of the destinations in 89% of the countries on 74% of the airlines compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key facts and figures

Boosted by passenger numbers breaching the 2 million-mark in March, DXB’s passenger volumes for the first quarter this year reached 5.75 million. This translates to a contraction of 67.8% compared to Q1 of 2020, which was largely unaffected by the pandemic related suspension of operations by airlines and airports worldwide towards the end of March.


Cargo, which has shown more resilience compared to the passenger segment throughout the pandemic, continued its strong recovery despite the reduction in belly-hold capacity. DXB handled a total of 550,811 tonnes of airfreight during the first three months of 2021, a year on year increase of 3.2%.


Total flight movements during the first quarter totalled 50,176, down 38.3% from last year reflecting the impact of the pandemic on airline operations.

Top destinations

India, which is traditionally a strong market for the UAE, retained its position as DXB’s top destination country with traffic for Q1 reaching 1,384,448 – propelled by top city destinations New Delhi and Mumbai. Pakistan was placed second with 454,294 customers, followed by Bangladesh (221,027 customers) and Russia (196,890 customers). Other destination countries of note include Egypt and Turkey. The top three cities were New Delhi (262,035 customers), Dhaka (178,593) closely followed by Addis Ababa (169,715 customers).

Commenting on DXB’s Q1 performance, Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports said, “Whilst passenger numbers for the first quarter remained significantly below the monthly volumes we handled before March 2020, in the context of the current global situation they are very encouraging and reflect the consolidation phase in our business recovery.  Despite the ongoing challenges to air travel as the world continues to battle against the impact of the global pandemic, as an important hub, DXB will continue to play its role of enabling mobility and connectivity and contribute to the much needed social and economic recovery globally.” Dubai Airports is working closely with its aviation and commercial partners, government authorities and airport employees in its efforts to achieve a full recovery while enhancing customer confidence by providing a safe airport environment.

Source: Media Office

April 24 2021

UAE to include 10 new sectors under its commercial companies’ law

The UAE is working on a legislation to include 10 new sectors under its commercial companies' law, which allows for 100 per cent ownership of onshore entities in the country, a senior government official.

The legislation will enable investors and businesses in 10 new sectors of strategic importance to come under the purview of the law, undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade and Industry Abdullah Al Saleh said.

He was speaking at the Sharjah Economic Ramadan Majlis organised by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), according to a statement on Saturday.

"Chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, defence and heavy industries; the national food and healthcare security industries; and industries of the future, including space and renewable energy among others" will be added to the law, said Omar Al Suwaidi, undersecretary of the ministry of industry and advanced technology, said.

These industries will be prioritised under the UAE's 10-year plan to expand the contribution of the industrial sector to Dh300 billion by 2031 from Dh133bn presently.

The ministry of industry and advanced technology has been tasked with rolling out programmes and initiatives that will support 13,500 industrial small and medium sized enterprises in the UAE.

“A new industrial law will soon come into force and will be instrumental to promoting a conducive environment for industry in the UAE," Mr Al Suwaidi said.

A delegation from the ministry, which was established in July 2020, visited Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Ajman chambers of commerce to present Operation 300bn.

The visits were in line with the ministry's mandate to "explore opportunities for boosting co-operation" with various stakeholders to achieve the goals of the national strategy for industry and advanced technology, it said on Saturday.

The ministry is also working to resolve financial issues faced by start-ups in order to "boost their performance", he said.

The country is also planning to launch a programme to support locally-made products.

"A National Added Value Programme will be launched soon to support national products, enhance their competitiveness and find new markets for them.”

Some of the legislations to the UAE's companies law will be "enacted soon" and will increase the competitiveness of the country for both local and international investors in advancing business performance.

The changes to legislation is "not the outcome of a crisis", he stressed but was part of a long-standing vision for the UAE's economic future, undertaken collaboratively by federal, local and private sector stakeholders.

In 2018, the UAE announced a 'positive list' of 122 economic activities in which foreign commercial entities could have 100 per cent ownership.

The ministry of economy will also announce a "a comprehensive strategy" to attract talent from around the region, Mr Al Suwaidi said.

Source: Jennifer Gnana for The National News

April 9 2021

Treasury Removes United Arab Emirates from International Boycott Countries List

The US Treasury Department (Treasury) has updated its list of the countries that require cooperation with, or participation in, an international boycott as a condition of doing business. The Treasury published the updated list in the Federal Register on 8 April 2021.

The countries listed are Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and the Republic of Yemen. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is removed from the previous list that the Treasury published in the Federal Register on 13 October 2020.

The Treasury has removed the UAE from the list because the UAE repealed its law mandating a boycott of Israel and it subsequently has taken actions to implement the new policy.

The listed countries are identified pursuant to section 999 of the US Internal Revenue Code (IRC), which requires US taxpayers to file reports with the Treasury concerning operations in the boycotting countries. Such taxpayers incur adverse consequences under the IRC, including denial of US foreign tax credits (FTCs) for taxes paid to those countries and income inclusion under subpart F of the IRC in the case of US shareholders of controlled foreign corporations (CFCs) that conduct operations in those countries.