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hasan al fardan

Fintechs having ‘no impact’, says remittances CEO

Fintechs are no threat to the UAE-based remittances company Al Fardan Exchange, its CEO Hasan Al Fardan has declared. Al Fardan said there was no intention to drop fees to compete with finance technology startups. To date, he said, fintechs have had “no material impact on our business or our operations. We are hitting record […]

Healthcare sector props up Gulf IPOs in 2024

The healthcare sector has emerged as a significant contributor of initial public offerings in the Gulf region during the first half of 2024, according to a report by the Kuwait Financial Centre, known as Markaz.  This comes despite an overall decline in new listings. However, Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hokail Academy Specialized Digital Polyclinics Company cancelled its […]

Anyone for cricket? Saudi Arabia’s next big sports play

Saudi Arabia is aggressively courting much-needed foreign investment to commercialise its emerging sport sector, part of its Vision 2030 plan to diversify from its dependence on wealth from hydrocarbons. Basim Ibrahim, director of sport investment development at Saudi’s Ministry of Investment, said the kingdom, which has already put its football clubs up for sale, is […]

Turkey slashes current account gap by 84%

Turkey has cut its current account gap by more than 80 percent in a year, with improved trade data and strong portfolio inflows.  However, a slowing of foreign direct investment points to underlying caution by outsiders. The current account deficit for May was $1.2 billion, a report issued by the Turkish Central Bank on July […]

Logistics deals keep Kuwaiti real estate ticking over

A near doubling in the value of logistics deals drove an otherwise struggling real estate sector in Kuwait in the first six months of this year, as the Gulf state’s non-oil business activity keeps growing. The latest Ministry of Justice data, out this week, showed the value of transactions linked to warehouses totaled KD16.8 million […]

UAE latest

Aircraft, Transportation, Vehicle

Near-space balloon flights to start from Abu Dhabi next year

European space exploration company Eos-X Space will begin operating balloon flights to the edge of space from Abu Dhabi in the third quarter of 2025, as it aims to gain a bigger stake in the $9 billion space tourism industry. The UAE capital will host the launch facility and spaceport, including a hotel complex on […]

A view of Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi hotel and villas. Abu Dhabi National Hotels has invested AED100m in rebranding five hotels in Dubai

Abu Dhabi National Hotels hires banks for catering unit IPO

Abu Dhabi National Hotels, which trades on the Abu Dhabi stock exchange, has appointed banks to work on the initial public offering of its catering business, according to a news report. Citigroup and First Abu Dhabi Bank will oversee on the flotation of ADNH Catering, raising between $300 million and $400 million, Bloomberg reported, citing […]

EGSH

Dubai launches one-stop hub to streamline government services

People in Dubai can now obtain an Emirates ID, register a company, open a bank account and more under one roof following the opening of the Emirates Government Services Hub (EGSH). Owned by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum, a member of the Dubai Royal family, EGSH allows clients to access all essential […]

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hasan al fardan

Fintechs having ‘no impact’, says remittances CEO

Fintechs are no threat to the UAE-based remittances company Al Fardan Exchange, its CEO Hasan Al Fardan has declared. Al Fardan said there was no intention to drop fees to compete with finance technology startups. To date, he said, fintechs have had “no material impact on our business or our operations. We are hitting record […]

The UAE stopped issuing visas to Nigerians in 2022 after Dubai's Emirates suspended flights due to delayed repatriation of funds

UAE issues visas for Nigerians after two-year hiatus

The UAE government has started issuing visas for Nigerians after a halt of nearly two years. The governments of the UAE and Nigeria reached an agreement to resume travel between the two countries, Nigeria’s information minister said in a post on social messaging platform X. The UAE stopped issuing visas to Nigerians in 2022 after […]

Saudi Arabia latest

Saudi growth forecast

IMF lowers Saudi growth forecast over oil output cuts

The International Monetary Fund has lowered its forecast for economic growth in Saudi Arabia by almost an entire percentage point, as cuts in oil production continue to weigh heavily on the kingdom’s economy.  In its World Economic Outlook Update, the IMF reduced its forecast for Saudi GDP growth to 1.7 percent for this year, down […]

Syrian pilgrims queue at Damascus airport on their way to visit Saudi Arabia in June

Damascus resumes Saudi flights but sanctions stifle trade

Syria has resumed weekly flights from Damascus to Saudi Arabia as commercial relations warm up further after diplomatic ties were restored last year. But Syrian integration into regional economies is still moving slowly, because of US sanctions.  Syrianair began the once-weekly flights to Riyadh on July 10, adding its list of Gulf destinations including Dubai, […]

People, Person, Groupshot APQ CEO Ebubekir Koyuncu (sitting left) and Aramco acting senior vice president of new business development Mohanad M Alamdar at the signing ceremony

Saudi Aramco bolsters blue hydrogen portfolio 

Saudi Aramco has acquired a 50 percent stake in Jubail-based Blue Hydrogen Industrial Gases Company (BHIG), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air Products Qudra. No financial details were disclosed. The transaction, subject to standard closing conditions, includes options for the oil giant to offtake hydrogen and nitrogen.  The remaining 50 percent will be owned by APQ, […]

The new agreements will contribute to localising the production of 75% of the components in Saudi Arabia’s renewable projects by 2030

PIF ties up with China to meet renewable energy targets

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is swiftly moving towards localising renewable energy components to achieve its 2030 targets. The Renewable Energy Localization Company (RELC), a unit of the sovereign fund, has signed three joint venture agreements with Chinese companies to support the kingdom’s clean energy needs. RELC works to build partnerships between global manufacturers […]

China Saudi growth

Slowing Chinese economy no threat to Saudi oil exports – yet

Slower economic growth in China in the second quarter of this year has raised concerns about Saudi Arabia’s ability to maintain funding lines from its main trading partner.  The Chinese economy grew at a year-on-year rate of 4.7 percent, down from 5.3 percent in the previous quarter. In the retail sector, the pace of growth […]

Around the Middle East

Population growth in the UAE is driving the real estate industry in areas such as Dubai and thus increasing interest in property tech

Middle East property tech draws venture capital interest

Venture capital is pouring into the Middle Eastern property technology industry, buoyed by continued growth in regional real estate. Property tech offerings encompass listing websites, rental management services and investment products, among others. In the first half of 2024 startups in the sector became the number one target for early-stage funding, beating fintech, which has […]

A takeaway food stall in Saudi Arabia. While local version of Western soft drinks are increasingly popular, PepsiCo Inc's profits in the region are soaring

PepsiCo growth defies Middle East boycott of Western brands

PepsiCo Inc has reported robust growth in the Middle East, defying the boycotts that have battered other Western brands in the region. The food and beverage giant posted double-digit organic revenue growth in Egypt for the second consecutive quarter, even though it has been the subject of a backlash linked to perceived US support for […]

Almost 300,000 European visitors contributed to Oman's hotel revenues growing by more than 10 percent

Oman hotel revenues increase more than 10%

Hotel revenues across Oman were up by more than 10 percent in the first five months of 2024, fuelled by an increasing number of Asian and European visitors to the sultanate. Three-to-five star hotels reported revenues of OR108 million ($281 million) at the end of May, the latest data from the National Centre for Statistics […]

Ball, Football, Soccer

Qatar’s beIN to pay €100m to broadcast French football games

Qatar broadcaster beIN has agreed to pay €100 million ($109 million) annually for the rights to broadcast one French Ligue 1 football match per week, according to a news report. The sports channel is paying a premium per game as its package includes the most sought-after fixtures, the Financial Times reported, citing informed sources. DAZN, […]

Omani CO2 44.01

Amazon fund invests in Omani startup

Amazon is among a group of investors backing the Omani CO2 mineralisation startup 44.01 with $37 million in fresh funding. 44.01 won the 2022 Earthshot Prize for its development of a technique that harnesses the natural power of mineralisation in peridotite, a mineral that is found in abundance in the sultanate. The Series A funding […]

A view of Unesco World Heritage Site Aït Benhaddou. Morocco is aiming to attract more than 17.5 million tourists by 2026

Morocco nears 2024 tourism target as numbers surge 14%

Morocco has almost achieved 50 percent of its tourism target for 2024, according to a news report. The country received 7.4 million tourists in the first six months of 2024, an increase of 14 percent year on year, Morocco World News reported, citing tourism ministry data. The annual target has been set at 15 million. […]

According to the US International Trade Administration, Kuwait holds about 7 percent of global oil reserves and has a current production capacity of about 3 million bpd

‘Huge’ oil discovery could change the game for Kuwait

Kuwait has announced a significant discovery of light oil and associated natural gas in its offshore Al-Nokhatha field. The state-owned Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) – a subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) – reported on Sunday that the field, located east of the Kuwaiti island of Failaka, holds approximately 2.1 billion barrels of light oil […]

The Chittagong ship-breaking yard in Bangladesh. The industry is estimated to provide at least 50% of the country's steel

Bahrain signs ship recycling deal with Maersk

Bahrain has signed an agreement with Danish shipping and logistics company A.P. Møller-Mærsk to create a ship recycling plant in the country.  Maersk – the parent company of APM Terminals Bahrain and operator of Khalifa Bin Salman Port (KBSP) – will supply old vessels to the Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard Company, which will dismantle […]

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Turkey Latest

In a concession to the electorate, the legislation before parliament proposes a 25 percent increase in the payment to pensioners on the lowest rate of support

Turkey targets business with steep taxes to raise revenue

Multinational corporations operating in Turkey face a steep increase in their tax bills, thanks to one of the new revenue-raising measures outlined by the government in draft legislation aimed at narrowing the budget deficit. Under the new tax reforms, tabled before the parliament on July 16, multinationals with more than $817.6 million in annual consolidated […]

Turkey deficit factory

Turkey slashes current account gap by 84%

Turkey has cut its current account gap by more than 80 percent in a year, with improved trade data and strong portfolio inflows.  However, a slowing of foreign direct investment points to underlying caution by outsiders. The current account deficit for May was $1.2 billion, a report issued by the Turkish Central Bank on July […]

The Byd booth at the Auto Shanghai show in April 2023. The new Byd factory in Turkey will boost its access to the EU

Chinese EV maker Byd to open $1bn plant in Turkey

Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Byd will construct a $1 billion plant in Turkey, according to a news report. The agreement was signed between the Chinese company and Turkey’s industry and technology ministry on Monday in the presence of Turkey’s president Tayyip Erdogan. Bloomberg reported citing officials that the announcement planned on Monday. The electric […]

The average value of Turkish contractors' projects increased to $92.3 million in the first half of 2024, up from $65 million in 2023

Turkish contractors bag $7.6bn worth of overseas projects

Turkish contractors have started work on overseas projects valued at $7.6 billion in the first half of 2024, according to official data. The number of projects reached 82 in the January-June period, state-run Anadolu Agency said, quoting trade ministry data. The average project value increased to $92 million in the first half of 2024, up […]

Turkey manufacturing textile factory

Turkish manufacturers struggle to regain momentum

Turkey’s powerful manufacturing sector is still pessimistic about the country’s short-term economic prospects, with new orders slowing further and reduced employment levels, a closely watched survey of confidence has revealed.  There were, however, some hopes that a softening of inflation could herald better sales later in the year, the survey found.  The Istanbul Chamber of […]

Egypt Latest

Egypt's SCA is seeking revenue of $9 billion from the Suez Canal operation in 2024/2025, 25 percent more than the previous year

Egypt to float Suez Canal subsidiary next year

Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority (SCA) is planning to list Canal Mooring & Lights Company, a specialist in the mooring and unmooring of ships, on the local bourse, a news report said. The proposed listing will take place early next year, Bloomberg Ashraq reported, quoting SCA’s chairman Osama Rabie. In June 2023, the official confirmed the […]

Company executives at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new container terminal at Egypt's Ain Sokhna port

Expansion work begins at Egyptian Red Sea port

Construction has commenced on expanding a container terminal at Egypt’s Ain Sokhna Port on the Red Sea. Red Sea Containers Terminals, jointly owned by Hong Kong’s Hutchison Ports, France’s CMA Terminals and China’s Cosco Shipping Ports, has appointed Cairo-headquartered Edecs as the main contractor to work on constructing the infrastructure, yards and buildings.   The […]

Egypt arrears foreign companies power cuts students

Egypt pays $1.3bn arrears to foreign oil and gas companies

Egypt cleared $1.3 billion of outstanding payments to foreign oil and gas companies operating in the country in June and has established a plan to reimburse the remaining dues within the next month, according to the government. The payment accounted for about 20 to 25 percent of the arrears owed to the companies, Prime Minister […]

Egypt recorded its highest foreign exchange reserves ever in June

IMF postpones $820m Egypt loan meeting

An executive meeting between Egypt and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to discuss the North African country’s next loan instalment has been postponed to the end of the month. “The IMF executive board meeting on Egypt’s third review under the extended fund facility has been rescheduled to July 29th,” the IMF’s Egypt mission chief, Ivanna […]

Features

Alula Sharaan

AlUla plans Nabataean resort carved into Saudi mountains

Saudi Arabia is spending around $15 billion on the ancient site of AlUla, including a resort for the super-rich chiselled into the face of its rock formations and mountains.  AlUla is the site of the pre-Islamic Nabataean kingdom that was based in Jordan’s Petra. The resort, called Sharaan, will include 38 suites “carved into sandstone […]

Pezeshkian has a strong mandate – and a slew of problems

It was not supposed to be this way. Masoud Pezeshkian, the sole reformist candidate, has won the second round of Iranian presidential elections to replace Ebrahim Raisi, and the fears of conservatives in the Iranian regime have come to pass.   Conventionally, conservative candidates withdraw at the last minute ahead of a first round of voting, […]

Gulf IPOs: what companies must do to go public

Owners of private Gulf companies mulling going public should ensure their businesses have a compelling narrative to tell investors and clear separation between shareholders and management, according to the chief financial officer of Dubai-based retailer Spinneys. In May the supermarket chain became the first company registered in the offshore Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) to […]

Weather and politics keep pressure on price of rice

The status of rice as a global food staple means that it is also a political minefield for producer nations. So all eyes are on India as rice prices fluctuate at around a 15-year high.  Different varietals and markets command different prices, but trading on “contracts for difference”, which track benchmark prices, saw the cost of […]

Adnoc, Emirates Global Aluminium and the outlook for net zero

It is a tall order. The UAE is striving to develop its industrial capacity while also decarbonising in a world that needs a 40 percent-plus reduction in emissions by the end of the decade to avoid devastating climate change. Two of the country’s biggest state-owned enterprises – Adnoc and Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) – are […]

People & Lifestyle

Dubai Humanitarian hosts a community of around 80 members comprised of UN organisations, non-profits and NGOs Video length: 03:25

Dubai Humanitarian and the Mena aid challenge

The Mena region requires nearly $14 billion in humanitarian aid, according to the UN. Dubai Humanitarian, formerly known as International Humanitarian City, plays a vital role in bringing together aid organisations and mobilising both funds and relief to countries affected by conflicts and climate emergencies. Dubai Humanitarian sends 1,300 dispatches of aid worth up to […]

Patients from the GCC are travelling to India, Thailand or Egypt for cheaper medical treatment

Affordable healthcare in the GCC: a prescription for profit

The GCC’s affordable healthcare market is ripe for investment, research suggests, as patients are forced to travel to India, Thailand or Egypt to find cheap treatment. Low-income inhabitants make up about 38 percent of the Gulf’s total population, according to Mansoor Ahmed, executive director for healthcare at Colliers Middle East in Dubai. The proportion ranges […]

A cinema in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Demand for non-English and Arabic content is growing rapidly in the Middle East

Arabic films gain star status in Middle East cinema

An Emirati family’s life spirals out of control when the behaviour of their son Ahmed, a once softly spoken, confident young boy changes – with terrifying consequences. As his actions become increasingly unpredictable, the lives of those around him are placed in serious danger. Some counsel medical intervention, but the boy’s mother Maryam is convinced […]

Middle East carriers have hundreds of aircraft on order – and need pilots to fly them

Middle East airlines in race to recruit as pilot shortage bites

A shortage of pilots is threatening the ambitions of the Middle East’s growing aviation industry, analysts have warned, forcing airlines to bolster their recruitment efforts. The global industry will be short nearly 80,000 pilots by 2032, according to management consultancy Oliver Wyman. The Middle East is projected to account for up to 18,000 of that […]

A miner inside a tunnel of the Parrilla silver mine, Mexico. Mexico is the world's biggest producer of mined silver.

Silver is riding high but the market remains volatile

With a gain in its spot price of nearly one-third since the start of the year, silver is now 2024’s best-performing precious metal.  It is a major industrial material with an important role in the green energy transition. Yet, while these factors are combining to give silver a moment, analysts are quick to warn of […]

Around the world

renewables target dam

World is off track to meet Cop28 renewables goal

The world is far from reaching its 2030 renewables target, the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) said on Thursday. Countries committed at the Cop28 summit in Dubai last year to treble renewables capacity in order to limit global warming to 1.5C. To stay on course global capacity growth needs to accelerate to a minimum rate […]