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Electronics, Headphones, Adult Foreign investment in esports has been slowing but experts remain upbeat about the future of the market esports game gaming Saudi Arabia

World Cup’s brimming prize pot to revive Saudi esports

Saudi Arabia will offer a record-breaking $60 million prize pool for its upcoming Esports World Cup, at a time when the kingdom is facing challenges attracting foreign investments to the sector. The amount of prize money for this summer’s event breaks the previous record of $45 million set by esports festival Gamer8 in 2023. Saudi […]

The Line at Neom

Saudi Arabia strives to counter giga-project doubts

As Saudi Arabia ramps up its global tour to attract more giga-project investment, doubts have begun to set in over costs and whether they will meet the imminent 2030 deadline. The kingdom’s officials put on a big show at an international real estate event in Cannes in March and this week Neom kicked off the […]

Erbil Iraq

Iraq shapes up as a destination for UAE investors

Emirati investors may be increasingly tempted to look at Iraq after additional safeguards are introduced under a new bilateral investment treaty, observers believe. The treaty between Iraq and the UAE was signed in October 2021 and ratified by both states last year. All that is left now is for the instruments of ratification to be […]

Prices for apartments in Dubai – with or without enviable views – have risen by as much as 30% year on year

Rising prices risk making Dubai homes ‘unattainable’

Escalating home prices in Dubai’s affordable communities are making it even more difficult for residents to get on the property ladder, real estate experts have warned. February data from property consultancy ValuStrat shows the highest annual growth in apartment values was recorded in the emirate’s more budget-friendly neighbourhoods.  Prices in Discovery Gardens and The Greens […]

saudi space debris

Space trash offers Saudi Arabia a new revenue source

Saudi Arabia is targeting lucrative and environmentally critical opportunities in the rubbish removal sector – in outer space. More than 27,000 man-made objects larger than 10 centimetres, such as defunct satellites and spent rocket stages, orbit Earth, according to Nasa. This space debris puts at stake billions of dollars of assets such as spacecraft and […]

A closed Bank of Beirut branch in Beirut, Lebanon. Some private banks could be forced into liquidation by the government's debt plan

The banking blame game stifling Lebanon’s IMF deal

Lebanon’s proposed International Monetary Fund deal, agreed two years ago and designed to put the country on the road to recovery, seems no closer to realisation. One of the key stumbling points is reform of the banking sector. The combined liabilities of the country’s banks amount to more than three times the size of Lebanon’s […]

Dubai rendered in the metaverse. Prices of virtual land plots peaked in 2022

The Mena metaverse: moving beyond the hype

Two years ago, the concept of metaverse lands transformed from an interesting subculture into a thriving multi-billion-dollar market, capturing the interest of major investors both regionally in the Middle East and globally.  Metaverse lands, made of pixels and digital images, refer to buildings and plots within a virtual environment, offering spaces for gaming, socialising, business […]

US company Albemarle controls 20% of the world's lithium market but Gulf companies have their sights set on production too

Lithium’s highs and lows – and what they mean for the Gulf

For one of the world’s most critical minerals, the past two years have been the best of times and the worst of times. First, lithium prices shot skywards, hitting around $80,000 per metric tonne in 2022 amid fears that global supply would not meet demand. Then, in just a year, the soft, silvery-white metal lost […]

President Sisi, a former field marshal, inspects a military academy. Egypt's armed forces are significant players in several economic sectors

Military’s role in economy muddies Egypt’s debt plan

The military’s role in the Egyptian economy makes it unlikely the country will meet International Monetary Fund targets to increase tax revenue as a proportion of GDP, which could spell trouble for the hugely indebted nation. Egypt’s public external debt – money borrowed in foreign currencies – was $165 billion in September 2023, having more […]

Dubai has more than 13,000 restaurants and cafes, according to tourism officials

Dubai restaurant scene ‘at risk of hitting saturation point’

Food and beverage operators in Dubai have warned that the emirate’s restaurant market is increasingly saturated as one company calls time on a prominent location. Gates Hospitality, which operates venues across the Middle East, announced this week that two of its restaurants in Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Folly and Publique, would close at the end of […]

2BYN5A4 Mall of the Emirates is a shopping mall in the Al Barsha district of Dubai.. Image shot 04/2014. Exact date unknown.

The pros and pitfalls of pop-up shops

Pop-up shops are appearing in more shopping malls, hotels and even beach clubs. Whether they are for new brands looking to build a name or more established companies opting for a more experiential way to market and test their products, pop-ups are largely temporary affairs designed to create a buzz. They are also considered a […]

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan poses with his supporters as he leaves a polling station during the local elections in Istanbul, Turkey March 31, 2024. Murat Kulu/PPO/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

US rate cuts to ease Turkey’s debt and benefit exports

For Turkey, long-anticipated US interest rate cuts could be more significant in terms of stimulating growth in its major export markets than easing the costs of servicing its spiralling foreign currency debt. Turks have faced a deepening cost of living crisis as veteran president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s unorthodox economic policies exacerbated a collapse in the […]

The US interest rate cuts may affect commodity prices but beyond that Lebanon citizens will not see a difference, says one observer

Lebanon needs more than US rate cuts to turn its economy around

Probable US interest rate cuts could help Jordan and Morocco attract additional foreign investments as well as easing their already manageable loan repayment commitments, experts predict, but Lebanon’s financial problems remain so acute that a reduced debt burden will make little difference. US 10-year treasury yields – the most important determinant of government borrowing conditions […]

A worker at Shams Solar Power Station in Abu Dhabi. Solar's share of renewable energy in the Middle East has soared over the last decade

Middle East renewable capacity doubles but the region is lagging

Renewable energy capacity in the Middle East has more than doubled in the past decade, with Iran and the UAE leading the way – but the region remains a bit-part player globally. New figures released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) show that regional capacity rose from just under 16 gigawatts to more than […]

Box, Ball, Baseball 2RD2M3G Young arab man smiling confident unpacking cardboard box at new home globe off-plan developers payment plan Dubai

Dubai developers tempt off-plan buyers with 1% payment

Dubai developers are offering 1 percent payment plans in an attempt to maintain interest in an increasingly crowded off-plan sales market and to delay an anticipated slowdown after years of record growth. Yet experts warn that this tactic carries significant risks, drawing parallels to the precedents set before the 2008 housing crash. Ziad Hinnawi, sales […]

Egypt rates Sisi

Egypt will still feel the heat despite US rate cuts

Likely US interest rate cuts will lower Egypt’s interest repayment costs on its vast public debts. But this will do little to ease pressure on the country to sell national assets in order to reduce its overall borrowings. Egypt’s public external debt – money borrowed in foreign currencies – was $110 billion in 2022, having […]

People, Person, Adult

China and US vie for FDI supremacy in Gulf’s biggest economies

China and the United States invested more than $23 billion in projects in the Gulf’s two biggest economies last year. The US more than doubled its “greenfield” foreign direct investment in the UAE to nearly $4 billion, while China’s commitment to Saudi Arabia rose 10-fold to almost $17 billion. Greenfield FDI involves a foreign entity […]

Iran gas

Iran’s gas ambitions under pressure

Iran has trebled its natural gas production in 10 years, becoming the largest producer in the Middle East. But Qatar’s expansion of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) production in the world’s largest natural gas field, shared by the two nations, is likely to undermine Tehran’s output ambitions, analysts say. Iran holds the world’s second-largest gas […]

Plots of land on Dubia's coveted Palm Jumeirah are selling for as much as AED 1 billion

Dubai land shortages push property prices even higher

A shortage of undeveloped land in Dubai has caused an unprecedented rise in the cost of plots, setting the stage for further increases in the city’s already high property prices.  Experts note that in some areas land prices have nearly quadrupled over the past year, compelling developers to rethink their strategies to capitalise on this […]

Banks in Egypt provide returns on equity of 30% and more, which analysts say is high for the region

Reasons to be cheerful for UAE banks with Egyptian subsidiaries

Despite the plunge in the value of the Egyptian pound, UAE banks’ subsidiaries in the country remain a strong long-term asset, analysts have told AGBI. Three Emirati banks – Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank and Dubai’s Emirates NBD – have acquired Egyptian lenders. The pound-to-dollar exchange rate stood at about EGP31 at […]

The DIFC's Gate building. The centre's law came into force on March 8

DIFC’s law tipped to help digital assets go mainstream

The Dubai International Financial Centre has introduced a law to define and regulate digital assets – a move that should herald their integration into more parts of the economy, lawyers have told AGBI.   The DIFC legislation came into effect on March 8 and classifies the assets as property. Digitally tracked items such as cryptocurrencies, non-fungible […]