Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Arabian Gulf Business Insight


Comment & Analysis

Latest from the Middle East

Dessert, Food, Yogurt

Unilever sells Ben & Jerry’s business in Israel

Unilever on Wednesday sold its Ben & Jerry’s ice cream business in Israel to its local licensee for an undisclosed sum, aiming to smooth over a potentially damaging diplomatic row over the company’s political stance. The deal comes after the US ice cream brand announced last year it would stop marketing products in the Israeli-occupied […]

Text, Number, Symbol

Egypt stocks rebound after hitting lowest in over two years

Stock markets in the Gulf ended mixed on Wednesday on growing concerns over inflation and the possibility of recession, while the Egyptian bourse rebounded a day after hitting its lowest in two years. In Abu Dhabi, equities closed 0.4 percent lower, hit by a 1.6 percent fall in the United Arab Emirates’ biggest lender First […]

Office Building, Building, Architecture

Hotelier recruiting 12,000 workers for World Cup

Hotel operator Accor is recruiting 12,000 temporary overseas employees to operate 65,000 empty rooms in apartments and homes in Qatar as temporary fan housing for the 2022 soccer World Cup, its chairman and CEO Sébastien Bazin told Reuters. Qatar is working to avoid an accommodation shortage during the tournament and has hired Accor, Europe’s largest […]

Clothing, Apparel, Face

Jordan hopes for $3bn in deals from Saudi crown prince visit

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with Jordan’s King Abdullah on Tuesday amid a thaw in relations after years of tension due to divergent views on regional conflicts and unfulfilled pledges of aid. The first visit to Jordan in years by the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia comes at a time, officials say, […]

Masdar City, due to be one of the most sustainable communities in the world, has been held up bu funding and other issues

Climate target aided by surging oil price, says top US banker

Oil and gas-producing countries can capitalise on the commodity price boom to fuel their transition to net zero, the boss of one of the world’s leading financial institutions said yesterday. Arshad Ghafur, president of the MENA region at Bank of America, made the comment in a speech to the Dubai International Financial Centre’s Fintech Week, […]

Changpeng Zhao

Binance CEO warns Gulf banks they must adapt

Banks that fail to catch up with blockchain and decentralised finance technologies will have a “hard time in the future”, the chief executive of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange has warned. Changpeng Zhao, CEO and co-founder of Binance, told a conference in Dubai today that embracing these tech advances allowed entrepreneurs to raise tens of […]

Tie, Accessories, Accessory

Iran, US hold nuclear talks with EU in separate Doha hotel rooms

Indirect nuclear talks between Tehran and Washington started on Tuesday in Doha, Iranian state media reported, as Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator met with European Union envoy Enrique Mora, who will shuttle between the American and Iranian sides. Based in separate rooms in a hotel in Qatar’s capital, Iran’s Ali Bagheri Kani and US Iran special […]

Iraq in focus

Oil sector revs up to exploit higher prices

The Iraqi oil sector is surging, with revenues hitting $11.1 billion in March – the highest monthly oil export figure since 1972.  In April, crude oil exports (excluding the Kurdistan region) rose by 3.9 percent to 3.38 million barrels a day. Buoyed by promising increases in output and high oil prices, Baghdad is setting optimistic […]

Political impasse overshadows oil bonanza

Precious time is slipping away in Iraq. Since parliamentary elections eight months ago, a political impasse has blocked any moves to deal with the country’s bundle of crises: the lack of access to basic services, insecurity, high unemployment and rampant corruption. The Sadrist Movement, which won the most seats in the October 2021 election, proposed […]

Iraqis are left in the dark due to power cuts

Power infrastructure continues to generate headaches

As the peak summer months draw near and political stalemate continues to block hopes for reform in Iraq, concern is mounting that the poor performance of the country’s power sector could spark a return to mass protests. Iraq’s electricity infrastructure is in dire straits. Ravaged by war, decades of mismanagement, political chaos and corruption, power […]

Sweltering heatwave adds to power cuts misery

Iraq’s problems are piling up and threatening protests: Price increases, a faltering power grid and a summer heatwave made all the more unbearable by electricity outages limiting air conditioning and the use of fridges for many. While the southern city of Basra is used to scorching summers, this year it has started sooner than expected, […]

Saudi Arabia latest

Phone, Electronics, Mobile Phone

Snapchat paid version launches in Saudi Arabia, UAE

Snap Inc on Wednesday launched a paid version of the Snapchat app in the US, priced at $3.99 a month, and a few other markets, in a major step away from a revenue model dependent mostly on advertising. Snap, which had teased the subscription version, Snapchat+, earlier this month, said it would be available in […]

Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed invested in US dairy replacement producer Eclipse Foods

Saudi prince backs $40m funding for dairy replacement producer

KBW Ventures, the venture capital firm founded by Saudi Arabia’s Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed, was one of the prime investors in a $40 million fundraising round by a Californian company that is aiming to become the world’s first true plant-based dairy replacement producer. Oakland-based Eclipse Foods was founded in 2019 by chef Thomas Bowman and […]

BBC News controller heads for Saudi’s Al Arabiya News

A former senior news editor at the BBC left the corporation to take a position at Saudi Arabia’s state broadcaster. Jamie Angus stepped down from his role as BBC News’s senior controller of output and commissioning in April. He is expected to take a senior role at Al Arabiya News.  Sources were uncertain about Angus’s […]

G7 should opt for fuel tax cut over price cap, says Saudi analyst

A proposal by the G7 group of leaders to look at the feasibility of introducing a price cap on energy imports was dismissed as “highly doubtful” by a top Saudi-based energy analyst. A report by the Financial Times on Tuesday claimed that the G7 leaders – which includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK […]

Riyadh hopes a nuclear pact can still be made with Iran

Saudi foreign direct investment rises 9.5% in first quarter

Saudi Arabia recorded 9.5 percent increase year on year in foreign direct investment (FDI) flows during the first three months of 2022, the investment ministry said on Twitter on Tuesday. The FDI inflows were at 7.4 billion riyals ($1.97 billion) in the first quarter of 2022, the ministry added. ($1 = 3.7530 riyals)

UAE Latest

DP World's terminal at Constanta

DP World port deal set to boost UAE’s trade with Romania

Dubai’s DP World has signed a deal to develop infrastructure at the Black Sea port of Constanta, in a move designed to boost bilateral trade relations between Romania and the UAE. The agreement between the Romanian government, Dubai’s Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC) and port operator DP World will also expand cooperation in […]

Abu Dhabi incentives tipped to relieve squeeze on factory space

Analysts have welcomed Abu Dhabi’s plan to launch an incentives package aimed at the industrial sector, including discounts on electricity bills and land purchases. Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, unveiled the package last week, ahead of its launch in July. The scheme also includes a […]

Sheikh Mohamed told world leaders that the UAE is on track to submit its plan to cut emissions by 2030

$50bn climate change pledge critical to UAE’s oil reduction

The UAE’s big-ticket promise to pledge a further $50 billion to abate global climate change must be wisely planned to deliver a meaningful path towards a sustainable economy, according to experts.  “[Such investments] are likely to generate the most efficiency if allocated to reduce the reliance of productive sectors on hydrocarbons which will further diversify […]

Around the world

Pc, Computer, Electronics

UK bank losses from fraud scams surge 40%

British bank customers were tricked out of 583 million pounds ($712 million) stolen through sophisticated fraud in 2021, up nearly 40 percent on the prior year, according to data published by trade body UK Finance. Lenders have been battling increasingly complex fraud schemes against their customers, as criminals target the growing numbers of people banking […]

Tesla vehicles at a sales and service center in Vista, California

Tesla closes office as layoff hits Autopilot jobs

Tesla has shuttered its office in San Mateo, California and laid off roughly 200 employees working on its Autopilot driver-assistant system there, one of the people told Reuters, in a move seen as accelerating cost-cutting. Most of the laid-off people had been hourly workers, that person said. Early this month, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk […]

Volt Bank CEO Steve Weston

Volt, Australia’s first online-only bank, shuts down

Volt Bank Ltd, the first exclusively online bank to gain an Australian banking licence, said on Tuesday it would shut down, returning deposits and selling its mortgage book after failing to raise sufficient funds to support the business. Its collapse is a further blow to a business model that the Australian government and regulators promoted […]

High Rise, Urban, City

Freeze on Russians selling boosts luxury London house prices

The war in Ukraine is making it hard for even unsanctioned Russians to sell exclusive residential property in Britain, adding to a shortage of supply that has helped drive up house prices in prime locations, real estate sources say. Russian oligarchs, Middle Eastern oil barons and billionaire Chinese entrepreneurs have been on a spending spree […]

Person, Human, Bus

US mass shooting insurance rates jump as incidents rise

The cost of buying insurance protection against mass shootings has spiked more than 10 percent in the United States this year following a string of deadly events, insurers said. The United States witnessed 293 mass shootings so far this year, according to a report by the Gun Violence Archive that defines them as any event […]

Uber ex-security chief accused of hacking coverup faces charges

A federal judge on Tuesday said a former Uber Technologies Inc security chief must face wire fraud charges over his alleged role in trying to cover up a 2016 hacking that exposed personal information of 57 million passengers and drivers. The US Department of Justice had in December added the three charges against Joseph Sullivan […]

Car, Automobile, Transportation

Toyota, Suzuki partner to build hybrid vehicle

Toyota Motor Corp and Suzuki Motor Corp said on Friday they will begin production in August of their first hybrid vehicle in India, as part of a partnership formed by the two Japanese carmakers in 2017. The hybrid sport utility vehicle (SUV), developed by Suzuki, will be manufactured at Toyota’s local plant in southern India. […]

Person, Human, Shop

British shoppers continue to cut back as retail sales fall in May

British consumers cut back on shopping in May in the face of fast-rising inflation, and an increase in sales in April was revised down sharply, according to data that on Friday provided further evidence of a cost-of-living squeeze. The Office for National Statistics said May sales volumes fell by 0.5 percent on the month, a […]

Turkey Latest

Airplane, Aircraft, Vehicle

Biden administration supports potential F-16 jet sale to Turkey

The Biden administration threw its support on Wednesday behind the potential sale of US F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, a day after Ankara lifted a veto of NATO membership for Finland and Sweden. Celeste Wallander, Assistant Secretary for Defense for International Security Affairs at Pentagon, told reporters on a call that strong Turkish defense capabilities […]

Person, Human, Suit

Turkey lifts veto on Finland, Sweden joining NATO

NATO ally Turkey lifted its veto over Finland and Sweden’s bid to join the Western alliance on Tuesday after the three nations agreed to protect each other’s security, ending a weeks-long drama that tested allied unity against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The breakthrough came after four hours of talks just before a NATO summit began […]

Person, Human, Helmet

Erdogan says Turkey to review minimum wage due to inflation

President Tayyip Erdogan said he has asked the Labour Ministry to review the minimum wage in Turkey due to persistently high inflation, after hiking it by 50 percent at the end of last year. Speaking after a cabinet meeting, Erdogan said the ministry would finalise work on the issue this week and he would make […]

Person, Human, Clothing

Wildfire in southwest Turkey enters third day

Firefighters sought to contain a wildfire in southwestern Turkey from land and air on Friday as the blaze raged on for a third day, with windy conditions fanning the flames and spreading them through a forested area. Scenes of burning woodland near the Aegean coastal resort of Marmaris sparked fears of a repeat of last […]

Turkey and Saudi vow to start new period of cooperation

Turkey and Saudi Arabia emphasised determination on a new period of cooperation in bilateral relations during talks in Ankara, as the two countries aim to fully normalise ties that were ruptured after the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. In a joint statement following the talks between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country’s […]

Egypt Latest

Reviving the ancient tradition of wine-making in Egypt

Egypt’s revival of its tourism sector following the coronavirus pandemic impacts on its wine industry as well as its expanding hotel sector. Today, popular wine brands in the country include Omar Khayyam, Ayyam, Shahrazade, and Beausoleil, which are served in many of Egypt’s hotels, resorts and the bars in some of the more upmarket neighbourhoods. They’re […]

Text, Number, Symbol

Egypt stocks rebound after hitting lowest in over two years

Stock markets in the Gulf ended mixed on Wednesday on growing concerns over inflation and the possibility of recession, while the Egyptian bourse rebounded a day after hitting its lowest in two years. In Abu Dhabi, equities closed 0.4 percent lower, hit by a 1.6 percent fall in the United Arab Emirates’ biggest lender First […]

Phone, Electronics, Mobile Phone

Egyptian microfinance firm closes $150m bond issuance

Egyptian microfinance lending and payments company MNT-Halan said on Monday it had closed a securitised bond issuance of approximately $150 million, as part of a $600 million program with Commercial International Bank (CIB). “The proceeds will fuel the company’s accelerated growth across multiple lending business lines,” the company said. “We expect our loan book to […]

Money, Dollar, Person

Egypt can no longer depend on foreign money, says minister

Egypt’s finance minister said on Monday the government could no longer depend on foreign purchases of treasuries to finance its budget, but must work to boost foreign direct investment (FDI) instead. “The lesson we have learned (is that) you cannot depend on this type of investment. It is coming just to get high yields, and […]

Person, Human, Suit

Qatar’s emir arrives in Egypt for first visit since end of boycott

Qatar’s ruler arrived in Egypt on Friday, his first trip to the country since the two Arab countries agreed last year to end a long-running regional feud, diplomatic sources said. Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, who last visited Egypt in 2015, was greeted at the airport in Cairo by President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi. The […]


Person, Human, Book

25 years of Harry Potter: From rejection to 500m global sales

When Bloomsbury Publishing founder Nigel Newton brought home a manuscript for “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” by a then unknown J.K. Rowling, his daughter Alice described it as “possibly one of the best books an 8/9 year old could read”. Twenty-five years later, it is one of the biggest selling novels of all time […]

Airplane, Aircraft, Transportation

Return of the superjumbo: A380 set for a dramatic comeback?

Two years ago, dozens of Airbus A380s set course for storage sites in rural France from the Gulf as the outbreak of COVID-19 accelerated the demise of the world’s largest jets. Now, the iconic European double-decker is gaining a new lease on life as airlines scramble to cope with rising demand and shortages of newer […]

Erika Blazeviciute Doyle, the founder of Drink Dry

How I got to the top: Erika Blazeviciute Doyle, Drink Dry

What does your company do? Drink Dry is the UAE’s first and only non-alcoholic drinks marketplace. We aspire to open the world to new and better ways of drinking. We sell and distribute premium non-alcoholic drinks in the UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. What inspired you to develop your idea? The business idea […]

Person, Human, Helmet

11 ways robots are transforming the UAE

A new AED1 billion ($272 million) library, which  opened in Dubai on Thursday, will employ artificial intelligence (AI) in its operations, including in choosing titles and borrowing and returning books. The Mohammed bin Rashid Library will use a first-of-its-kind smart system in the Middle East to send commands to robots to locate books and deliver […]

Lifestyle & People

Reviving the ancient tradition of wine-making in Egypt

Egypt’s revival of its tourism sector following the coronavirus pandemic impacts on its wine industry as well as its expanding hotel sector. Today, popular wine brands in the country include Omar Khayyam, Ayyam, Shahrazade, and Beausoleil, which are served in many of Egypt’s hotels, resorts and the bars in some of the more upmarket neighbourhoods. They’re […]

Mobile Phone, Phone, Cell Phone

Life after the smartphone? BlackBerry revenue tops estimates

Canada’s BlackBerry Ltd topped Wall Street estimates for first-quarter revenue on Thursday, powered by growth in its auto products and cybersecurity services segments. Soaring demand for electric vehicles and connected-car technologies boosted sales of BlackBerry’s auto software, used in cars made by General Motors, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota, among others. BlackBerry said that revenue from its […]

Person, Human, Necklace

Aung San Suu Kyi moved to solitary confinement in jail

Myanmar military authorities have transferred deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi to a prison in the capital from an undisclosed location where she had been held since she and her government were ousted in a coup last year, a military spokesman said. The Nobel laureate, who turned 77 on Sunday, had been moved to the […]

Saudi adventure tourism climbs to new heights

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 ambition to diversify into tourism has added the action sport of climbing to its offer, a way for adventure holiday enthusiasts to explore the kingdom’s natural landscape. Climbing is a new concept for the country, only born locally from young Saudis who studied or worked abroad and then returned home with […]

Face, Person, Human

Naomi Osaka and LeBron James launch new media company

Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka is launching a new media company in partnership with four-times NBA champion LeBron James aimed at telling stories that cross cultural barriers, the former world number one announced on Tuesday. Hana Kuma, which translates to “flower bear,” will produce stories that are “culturally specific but universal to all audiences” and […]

First multifaith gathering held on Arabian Peninsula in 1,000 years

In contrast to a rhetoric of conflict, the forum proposes a unifying vision The Muslim World League held the Forum on Common Values Among Religious Followers this week in Saudi capital Riyadh. A multifaith event with leaders from around the world, the forum included 90 faith leaders in all, with Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists and […]

Chef Jason Atherton opens fine dining restaurant in Jeddah

A new Mediterranean restaurant in Jeddah is bringing a fine dining experience to the city thanks to a partnership between English chef Jason Atherton and Saudi businessman Abdelkarim Abbar. Located at the newly opened Jeddah Yacht Club on the Red Sea, Marina Social, operated by Atherton and owned by Abbar, opened on June 19. Dinner […]