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Adult, Female, Person

Private jets to flamingos: the personal shopping lists of the super rich

The luxury e-commerce retailer Pastor & Co, which boasts it can supply clients with everything from Picasso paintings to swans, is aiming to pass $10 million in profits this year, buoyed by strong interest from the rich and famous across the Mena region. The personalised shopping service gets requests to source anything from a rare Fendi […]

‘It’s survival of the fittest’, says Oman Air CEO

Oman Air is continuing to reduce its losses and increase revenue, but its new CEO believes that adding more airlines to the market would not be sustainable. “There’s certainly a huge amount of aircraft coming to this region,” said Con Korfiatis, CEO of Oman Air, speaking at Arabian Travel Market in Dubai in May a […]

Hopes high for Egypt’s shariah-compliant index

The Egyptian stock exchange has announced the launch of a long-awaited shariah-compliant index, a move observers say is likely to attract new investors and boost the North African country’s latent Islamic banking sector. Gulf investors are said to be particularly interested. The chairman of the Egyptian Exchange (EGX), Ahmed el Sheikh, announced that the new […]

Qatar’s mortgage market buoyed by law reforms

Qatar’s mortgage market has been given a lift by a package of regulatory reforms, industry experts told AGBI after transactions rose sharply despite high interest rates. In the first quarter of 2024, the value of Qatari mortgage transactions was nearly 90 percent higher than in the previous three months, according to ValuStrat research. It was […]

Global hedge funds expand presence in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Thirteen of the world’s top 100 hedge funds have offices in the Dubai International Finance Centre, research shows, as more of the specialist asset managers set up operations in the UAE. It is a similar story in the newer-established Abu Dhabi Global Market, where Brevan Howard – the world’s 13th-largest hedge fund by assets under […]

UAE latest

2KEY8G1 Emirates Airline Airbus A380 aircraft landing. Aerial view of Emirates Airlines A380-800 airplane. An Emirates plane coming in to land at LAX; a spokesperson for Emirates said the contraventions were for safety reasons

US fines Emirates for operating in prohibited airspace

Emirates has been fined $1.5 million by the US Transportation Department for operating flights carrying JetBlue Airways’ JBLU.O designator code in prohibited airspace. The transportation department said that between December 2021 and August 2022, Emirates operated a significant number of flights carrying the JetBlue Airways code between the United Arab Emirates and the United States […]

DXB airport

The future of DXB: airport could be turned into a city

The $35 billion plan to turn Al Maktoum International into the busiest airport in the world has everyone talking about the remaking of Dubai South. Perhaps a bigger challenge is the redevelopment of the city’s main airport – Dubai International, or DXB. DXB is near some of the city’s most densely populated neighbourhoods and the […]

Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio. A US VC fund backed by him plans to invest $50m in Mena climate tech startups

US firm to invest $50m in Mena climate tech

A US venture capital firm backed by Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio plans to invest $50 million in Mena climate tech startups over the next five years. Princeville Capital is targeting mature startups with strong growth potential, facilitating quick exits and a clear path to profitability, its co-founder Joaquin Rodriguez Torres told AGBI. The firm has […]

Bank customers in Dubai. Deposits by UAE residents eached AED2.4 trillion ($664 billion) as of March 31

UAE bank deposits soar as higher rates attract savers

Deposits at banks in the UAE have surged as account holders take advantage of higher interest rates to earn bigger returns on their savings, data from the country’s central bank shows. Resident deposits totalled AED2.4 trillion ($664 billion) as of March 31, up 16 percent versus 12 months earlier. Non-resident deposits – those held by […]

Saudi Arabia latest

Rothschild Saudi

Edmond de Rothschild to run funding vehicle for Saudi projects

The Edmond de Rothschild Group is establishing a funding vehicle for infrastructure projects in Saudi Arabia along with the local firm SNB Capital, as part of a deal in which the Swiss investment bank will set up offices in the country.  Saudi Arabia’s massive economic diversification programme has run into financial obstacles as it faces […]

A pilgrim prays on Mount Arafat, Mecca. Saudi Arabia has been enforcing a strict crackdown on performing Hajj without a permit

Hajj pilgrims feel the pinch as costs rise

The costs of Hajj are getting ever higher for pilgrims coming from around the world to perform the annual rites, which are a duty for every able-bodied Muslim to perform once in a lifetime.  Even pilgrims coming from within Saudi Arabia, for whom the costs are cheaper, are paying around SAR23,500 ($6,266) for up to […]

Adult, Male, Man

Aramco signs 20-year LNG supply deal with NextDecade

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil producer, has signed a non-binding agreement with US energy company NextDecade to purchase liquefied natural gas (LNG) for 20 years. The Saudi-listed energy company will purchase 1.2 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG from the Rio Grande facility in the US. “We look forward to finalising the terms of […]

People, Person, Adult

Saudi trials unmanned air taxis for Hajj pilgrims

Saudi Arabia has completed the first unmanned air taxi trial in Mecca as part of its plan to move pilgrims faster between key locations during the Hajj pilgrimage. Saudi-owned Front End conducted the air taxi trial using Chinese drone maker EHang’s EH216-S, a pilotless electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle. Held in a low-risk […]

Saudi foreign debt flags

Tax on foreigners may be axed to boost Saudi bond market

The tax on foreign investment in Saudi corporate bonds may be scrapped in an effort to boost the market. Saudi Arabia’s Capital Markets Authority has issued a report describing the 5 percent withholding tax on interest payments to corporate bondholders as “unattractive and discouraging for foreign institutional investors”. It called for “easing tax requirements for […]

Around the Middle East

Computer, Electronics, Hardware

Mena IT spending to grow more slowly 2024

The pace of IT spending in the Mena region is expected to slow in 2024 as a result of heightened economic risks and supply chain issues. IT spending is forecast to increase 5.5 percent this year, down from 6.6 percent in 2023, to $193.7 billion, technology research firm Gartner said.   Mena organisations continue to face challenges […]

Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio. A US VC fund backed by him plans to invest $50m in Mena climate tech startups

US firm to invest $50m in Mena climate tech

A US venture capital firm backed by Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio plans to invest $50 million in Mena climate tech startups over the next five years. Princeville Capital is targeting mature startups with strong growth potential, facilitating quick exits and a clear path to profitability, its co-founder Joaquin Rodriguez Torres told AGBI. The firm has […]

The total value of Qatari mortgage transactions has risen by 110 percent in two years. New regulations came into force in 2023

Qatar’s mortgage market buoyed by law reforms

Qatar’s mortgage market has been given a lift by a package of regulatory reforms, industry experts told AGBI after transactions rose sharply despite high interest rates. In the first quarter of 2024, the value of Qatari mortgage transactions was nearly 90 percent higher than in the previous three months, according to ValuStrat research. It was […]

UK company to work on Iraq’s $10bn gas project

London-listed UK contractor John Wood Group, commonly known as Wood, has won a $46 million contract from French oil major TotalEnergies to build a gas development project in southern Iraq. The three-year contract entails front-end engineering design (Feed), detailed design, procurement support and construction and commissioning assistance for the first phase of the associated gas upstream […]

Visitors at the Bimmah Sinkhole in Oman. The number of Russian tourists reached more than 53,000 last year

Oman records 300% surge in Russian tourists

The number of Russian tourists visiting Oman jumped 300 percent year on year in 2023, a senior government official has said. Russian tourists reached 53,145 last year, compared with 13,000 in 2022, said Azzan Al Busaidi, undersecretary of tourism in the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism. “Oman is a multi-seasonal destination famous for its natural […]

Hotel franchising is a well established model in the West and is becoming more popular in the Gulf Video length: 07:12

Hotel franchising model takes off in the Gulf

Global hospitality brands are aggressively expanding across the Gulf, stepping up competition and giving disgruntled owners unprecedented freedom to choose how and by whom their hotels should be run. Some hotel owners are opting for franchising agreements and third-party management arrangements. “Operators have become more flexible when offering their brands under a franchise than they […]

Casablanca water

Project to ease Casablanca water crisis begins

Construction has begun on a $653 million seawater desalination plant to combat water shortages in Casablanca, the largest city in Morocco. The plant, one of the biggest in Africa, will have an annual production capacity of 300 million cubic metres, serving an estimated 7.5 million people, Morocco World News reported. The project will be developed […]

Iraq oil pipeline The Iraq-Turkey pipeline has been an essential source of revenue for the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region

Deal for Iraq oil via Turkish pipeline coming ‘soon’

A deal is expected soon for Iraq to resume oil exports via a pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean coast. The Iraqi oil ministry, Kurdistan’s Ministry of Natural Resources and international oil companies met on Sunday in Baghdad to discuss resuming production and exports, said Iraq’s oil minister, Hayan Abdul Ghani. […]

Topics:

Turkey Latest

Turkey foreign property sales

Foreigners turning back on Turkish real estate

Foreign buyers are increasingly shunning the Turkish property market, wary of high prices, the expensive cost of living and a less welcoming environment for overseas real estate investors. There were only 2,064 residential units sold to foreign buyers in May, 35 percent down on the same month last year, data issued by the state statistics […]

Technicians work on a military vehicle at the Otokar factory in Arifiye. Industrial production fell sharply in April

Unemployment rate falls in Turkey but warnings persist

Turkish unemployment levels fell to their lowest rate in more than 11 years in April, helped by strong first-quarter growth.  However, troubling longer-term prospects could mean job queues lengthen again.  Turkey’s headline unemployment rate, covering those aged 15 and over, fell to 8.5 percent in April, the lowest since November 2012 and down from 10 […]

Iraq oil pipeline The Iraq-Turkey pipeline has been an essential source of revenue for the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region

Deal for Iraq oil via Turkish pipeline coming ‘soon’

A deal is expected soon for Iraq to resume oil exports via a pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean coast. The Iraqi oil ministry, Kurdistan’s Ministry of Natural Resources and international oil companies met on Sunday in Baghdad to discuss resuming production and exports, said Iraq’s oil minister, Hayan Abdul Ghani. […]

Turkey's decision to increase tariffs on Chinese vehicles such as EV maker BYD considers the current account deficit targets and encourages domestic investment and production

Turkey hikes customs duty on Chinese vehicles by 40% 

Turkey will start imposing an additional 40 percent customs duty on vehicles imported from China next month, in an attempt to lower its current account deficit and protect domestic car manufacturers. The extra tariff will be set at a minimum of $7,000 per vehicle or 40 percent of the import value, whichever is higher, according to […]

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has sacked the governor of the central bank five times in as many years

Turkish court rules president cannot sack central bank chief

A ruling by Turkey’s highest court striking down the president’s authority to dismiss the head of the central bank is being downplayed by Turkish officials. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has sacked the governor of the central bank five times in the past five years. Turkey’s justice minister has insisted the Constitutional Court’s decision did not invalidate […]

Egypt Latest

Egypt will use the US funding across a range of sectors including agriculture

US allocates $130m development funding to Egypt

The US has allocated funding of $130 million for a range of developmental projects in Egypt, it was announced on Thursday. In a press release published by the US Embassy in Cairo, ambassador Herro Mustafa Garg said that the money would go towards “advancing Egyptian efforts to achieve a brighter, healthier, and more prosperous future […]

Egypt's new Shariah Index says it has received strong interest from a large number of local, regional, and international investors

Hopes high for Egypt’s shariah-compliant index

The Egyptian stock exchange has announced the launch of a long-awaited shariah-compliant index, a move observers say is likely to attract new investors and boost the North African country’s latent Islamic banking sector. Gulf investors are said to be particularly interested. The chairman of the Egyptian Exchange (EGX), Ahmed el Sheikh, announced that the new […]

A vendor at a vegetable market in Cairo. The IMF is encouraging the Egyptian government to continue selling stakes in state assets

Egypt confronts sell-off of more state assets

More sales of Egyptian state assets from petrol stations to wind farms are likely to be announced in the financial year to June 2025, according to people familiar with the negotiations. A deal with the UAE worth $35 billion to develop a resort at Ras El Hekma on the Mediterranean has eased the pressure on […]

A woman buys cooking oil at a market in downtown Cairo. Falling food prices contributed to the drop in inflation in Egypt

Egypt inflation drops below 30% for first time in 15 months

Egypt’s inflation rate dropped below 30 percent in May for the first time in 15 months, slowing at a faster rate than most had predicted. Urban consumer price inflation was 28.1 percent year on year for May, a drop from 32.5 percent in April, the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics announced on Monday. […]

A cargo ship passes through the Suez Canal

Suez Canal revenues and traffic fell in May

Suez Canal revenues continued to decline in May because of instability in the Red Sea, according to Egyptian media. Revenues fell 64.3 percent year on year to $337.8 million. Last month 1,111 individual ships passed through the canal – down 54 percent on the May 2023 figure of 2,396.  Finance minister Mohamed Maait said last […]

Features

Citrus produce helps Egypt agricultural exports rise

The value of Egypt’s agricultural exports in the first five months of 2024 rose 24 percent year on year, following greater land allocation for produce such as oranges and potatoes. The minister of agriculture and land reclamation, Mohamed Al Sayed Al Quseir, told reporters on Thursday that more than 4.5 million tonnes of agricultural produce, […]

642 million votes counted … now India can get back to business

Narendra Modi has claimed victory in India’s election – and many in the Gulf will be delighted at the prospect of a third Modi term. The prime minister’s pro-business credentials and economically liberalising tendencies remain credible, if battered, after 10 years in office.  His Bharatiya Janata Party did not perform as well as expected, however, […]

Diplomacy and trade to fore as China woos GCC leaders

It’s quite a coup. Hu Jintao (still with us) must be feeling vindicated. The heads of four Arab states are in Beijing to attend the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, which Hu founded in 2004 to bring together China and the Arab League.  Xi Jinping, Hu’s successor as leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), will […]

Pressure on Saudi tourism exposes mixed feelings about AI

Saudi Arabia is trying to limit the use of artificial intelligence technology in its expanding tourism industry in an effort to boost job numbers, despite strides being made elsewhere in the sector to make the kingdom a leader in digitalisation.  Speaking at an economic forum in Doha last week, tourism minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb expressed concerns […]

People & Lifestyle

Hotel franchising is a well established model in the West and is becoming more popular in the Gulf Video length: 07:12

Hotel franchising model takes off in the Gulf

Global hospitality brands are aggressively expanding across the Gulf, stepping up competition and giving disgruntled owners unprecedented freedom to choose how and by whom their hotels should be run. Some hotel owners are opting for franchising agreements and third-party management arrangements. “Operators have become more flexible when offering their brands under a franchise than they […]

The UAE is determined to cut the number of nuisance telephone calls by bringing in strict rules for telemarketing companies

Social media warning after UAE telemarketing crackdown

The days of persistent cold calls in the UAE may be numbered, thanks to a government crackdown. However, industry experts told AGBI that the telemarketers may migrate to alternative channels such as social media platforms and WhatsApp. The Ministry of Economy and the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority have announced new regulations to curb […]

Analysts say consumers believe that wearable technology can help improve their health and quality of life

Wearable tech shoppers track price as well as health

Gulf consumers who are interested in wearable tech – smart watches, rings, glasses and implants – are opting for mid-range gadgets rather than premium devices, industry experts have told AGBI. Dubai retailer Jumbo Electronics reported 50 percent year-on-year growth in the AED600-1,000 (about $163-$272) price segment in the first four months of 2024. The AED1,000-1,500 […]

Almost a quarter of Qatar's population is under 25, adding to the need for more schools

Qatar’s rising population increases demand for schools

Qatar’s growing population is fuelling demand for new schools as investors seek to capitalise on double-digit returns. The Gulf state’s population grew from about 1.45 million in 2008 to roughly 2.9 million last year and is forecast to reach 3.2 million by the end of the decade. That translates into a need for an additional […]

UAE tourism

UAE in top 10 global tourism earners

UAE tourism revenues reached nearly $52 billion in 2023, catapulting the Gulf state up seven places to sixth position on the list of top 10 global tourism earners, a new UN report reveals. The United States is the top earner in the latest UN world tourism barometer, with $176 billion last year, followed by Spain […]

Around the world

The Port of Djibouti's position on the Red Sea makes the country important for Saudi exports to Africa

Saudi Arabia to set up logistics centre in Djibouti

A delegation of 100 Saudi investors visited Djibouti this week to sign a contract for a logistics centre in the country’s free zone, the latest development in Saudi Arabia’s efforts to extend trade ties with Africa. Saudi Logistics City will cover 120,000 sq m in the first phase on a 92-year lease, and will include […]

QIA is looking to invest in Japan's real estate, manufacturing and semiconductor sectors

Qatari wealth fund targets expansion in Japan 

Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the country’s sovereign wealth fund, is exploring new opportunities in Japan, according to a media report. “It’s a key market for us,” Abdulla Ali Al-Kuwari told Nikkei, a financial daily in Japan. The fund’s investments in Japan have “more than doubled” after it opened an office in Singapore in 2021, he […]