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unit trust A type of collective investment fund, run by a fund manager, that gives access to a wide range of securities. The fund is described as being open ended because it is divided into equal units which rise and fall in value according to the net asset value of the fund. When new money is invested, new units are created at the current buying price; when they are sold, they are sold at the current selling price. This means there is no supply or demand for units; they can be created and negated as they are bought and sold.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) A federation of seven emirates situated in the eastern Arabian Peninsula, bordered by Saudi Arabia and Oman to the south and the Persian Gulf to the north. The emirates have seen immense growth in recent decades, mainly due to vast oil reserves, and are now a major financial centre of the Middle East. Dubai is the largest emirate by population, but Abu Dhabi, the capital, is the largest by area. The emirates are seen globally as being relatively open and liberal, and have an extremely cosmopolitan population.

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unsecured loan A loan in which no collateral is put up. Because of the extra risk to the lender, unsecured loans will have a higher interest rate than a secured loan, all other things being equal. Since the collateral in most commercial secured loans is the borrower’s home, unsecured loans are the only borrowing option available to non-homeowners.

urboun A deposit made by a buyer of products or services on completion of negotiations for price and timescale. Should the contract go as planned and finish on time, the urboun will be taken into account and the final fee will be exactly as negotiated. If completion is late or if the project never gets started at all, the buyer may lose his deposit. In the west this is known as an earnest payment, because it shows that the seller is serious about going ahead with the contract and has the wherewithal to complete it. It is very common in real estate or civil engineering projects.

urf Literally, a custom. In some Muslim countries, the word is used in business to describe unwritten or customary  laws separate to Shariah.

uroodut-tijaarah Trade merchandise.

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