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Abu Dhabi tram system to be up and running by 2014


The Department of Transport (DoT) has said that by the year 2014, Abu Dhabi's light-rail tram (LRT) system will be operational.

On Tuesday, the local and international consulting firms were invited by the DoT officials, for presenting a proposal to carry out a detailed planning of the tram system.

The DoT said in a statement: "The 340km tram system is part of an ambitious and far-reaching Surface Transport Master Plan that will meet the people and economy's mobility needs as part of Plan Abu Dhabi 2030."

Q2 profit for National Bank of Abu Dhabi plunges 9.3 pct


Tuesday saw National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) - the biggest United Arab Emirates bank by market value - reporting a 9.3 percent decline in quarterly profits because of an increase in provisions.

According to an NBAD statement, the bank had a net profit of 907 million dirhams ($246.9 million) in the second quarter, compared to 1 billion dirhams in the same period last year.

Earlier, analysts had predicted the Q2 net profits to reach 726.4 million dirhams.

UAE projects worth over $300 billion put on hold

Proleads Global

On Tuesday, Dubai-based research firm Proleads Global said that because of the global financial crisis, more than 400 projects worth over $300 billion have been placed on hold or cancelled in the United Arab Emirates.

The firm added that this year the construction sector in the UAE will stabilize; and, in the year 2010, it is expected to show signs of recovery. It said that several projects in various sectors are scheduled for completion by 2011, with most of the completing in 2010.

Measures to help Palestinians better discussed by UAE, UN agency

Red Crescent Authority

It has been decided by the UAE Red Crescent Authority (RCA) and its UN partner for humanitarian projects in the Palestinian territories, to speed up their joint projects in the regions affected by conflict.

According to a report, a meeting was held by Peter Ford, the representative of UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) with RCA Secretary General, Mohammed Al Qamzi, to find ways to utilize 96.7 million UAE dirham (about $26.5 million) earmarked for humanitarian projects in the Palestinian territories.

Stellar vision held by Abu Dhabi Company buying Virgin Galactic stake

Virgin Galactic

It has appeared that a 32 per cent stake in Virgin Galactic, the commercial space venture of entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, is being mulled to be bought by an Abu Dhabi state-linked investment company. This move is the latest sign of the oil-rich emirate's rising ambitions.

A sum of $280m (£170m) would be paid by Aabar Investments for the holding in the company, which was unveiled in 2004 with the motive to commence flying private passengers to space within two years, at a cost of $200,000 per ticket.

Profit for Aldar falls 79.5%

Aldar Properties

Profits of Aldar Properties fell 79.5 per cent, to Dh253.5 million, as compared to last year; and now it has decided to hold back the sale of land.

It has been for the second quarter that no sale of land has been reported by the company due to the "challenging market conditions."

Profit of Dh1.1 billion has been reported by the company in the first half, against Dh2.6 billion last year.

Bangor City to be bought by Sheikh

Bangor City FC

Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour's nephew has confirmed that he is willing to invest in Welsh minnows Bangor City.

Twenty six-year-old Bangor University graduate, Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, during his student days, followed the League of Wales side and is ready to put millions of pounds into the club.

He said, after returning from Abu Dhabi to collect his economics PhD previous week, "I don't see any reason why my family wouldn't want to invest in the club."

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