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Mon 21 Nov 2011 03:02 PM

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All the action from the 5th Arabian Business Forum

The Middle East's top business leaders tackle the key economic questions of the day

All the action from the 5th Arabian Business Forum
(Above) ITP chairman Andrew Neil speaks at the 5th Arabian Business Forum. The event was held at the Armani Hotel in the Burj Khalifa on Nov 21
All the action from the 5th Arabian Business Forum
Keynote speakers for the event included Hamad Buamim, the director general of the Dubai Chamber (above)
All the action from the 5th Arabian Business Forum
DMCE chairman Ahmed Bin Sulayem was also among the key speakers of the day\n
All the action from the 5th Arabian Business Forum
As the director general of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Buamim is effectively in charge of overseeing the interests of the private sector in the city
All the action from the 5th Arabian Business Forum
'Soft infrastructure needs to match hard infrastructure,' said Buamim. By that he means new laws to match the strong facilities that Dubai already has
All the action from the 5th Arabian Business Forum
Speaking to Andrew Neil, Buamim said that the slowdown in real estate has helped Dubai diversify its offering more broadly
All the action from the 5th Arabian Business Forum
On the subject of retail, Neil points out that shopping is pretty expensive in Dubai. 'But there are no taxes here,' retorts Buamim
All the action from the 5th Arabian Business Forum
Still only 33-years-old, Ahmed Bin Sulayem is this year celebrating his tenth anniversary overseeing the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)
All the action from the 5th Arabian Business Forum
Bin Sulayem, joined by Gerhard Schubert, head of precious metals at Emirates NBD, and Carlos Banon Pardo, head of commodities Middle East at Macquarie Bank
All the action from the 5th Arabian Business Forum
Bin Sulayem said there is still much room for growth in existing products - like gold and diamonds - but point out that DMCC is working on new products
All the action from the 5th Arabian Business Forum
Chief financial officer of Arabtec, Ziad Makhzoumi says that the euro zone crisis will lead to a depreciation of the euro, potentially to below parity with the dollar
All the action from the 5th Arabian Business Forum
Makhzoumi also refers to the shortcoming of the GCC region's monetary regime - where currencies are tied to the US dollar. 'At some stage, this will affect our buying power,' he says
All the action from the 5th Arabian Business Forum
Makhzoumi says that there are virtually no big projects being undertaken in the UAE at the moment. Other than Abu Dhabi airport expansion and some oil and gas work, there are very limited opportunities there
All the action from the 5th Arabian Business Forum
Shehab Gargash, CEO of Daman Investments
All the action from the 5th Arabian Business Forum
Mohammed Gouali, managing director for Al Mal Capital, Ashok Aram, CEO MENA of Deutsche Bank, Ahmed Bin Ali, group senior vice president corporate communications, Etisalat, and Bassam Hage, from Ernst & Young also attended the Arabian Business Forum
All the action from the 5th Arabian Business Forum
Indian consul general of Dubai, Sanjay Verma said 'Indians are the largest buyers of property here. There are 450 flights between India and the UAE a week.' 'We expect 1m Indian tourists to visit the UAE this year'
All the action from the 5th Arabian Business Forum
Chairman of the Nikai Group, Paras Shahdadpuri said 'The banking system [in the UAE] is fairly robust, there is rule of law, and the UAE has a vast hinterland, including India. And you cannot expect a better lifestyle than in Dubai'
All the action from the 5th Arabian Business Forum
BR Shetty, the managing director and CEO of the Abu Dhabi-based New Medical Centre (NMC) Group. Shetty, who initially trained as a pharmacist, moved to the UAE in 1973 and quickly spotted a gap in the market for providing healthcare services
All the action from the 5th Arabian Business Forum
'India is a place where you have the rule of law and a large democracy. It's a great opportunity,' said Shahdadpuri