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Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah: the UAE’s sustainable tourism destination

Early in 2022 US hotel operator Wynn Resorts announced it was partnering with the Ras Al Khaimah property developer Marjan and RAK Hospitality Holding to build a multibillion dollar integrated luxury resort in the northern emirate. Critically, this includes a gaming area, a first for the UAE, which inevitably captured the headlines. But RAK isn’t intent […]

People, Person, Man

Middle East stock markets set to continue strong run of IPOs

The stock markets in the Middle East and North Africa are preparing for a strong pipeline of initial public offerings (IPOs) in the coming months. Bourses across the region are looking to build on the success of 2022 when it saw a record number of 51 IPOs and combined proceeds of $22 billion. Abu Dhabi […]

People, Person, Human

Tech and startups will drive future UAE and India trade growth

Growing opportunities in manufacturing, agtech, food processing, healthtech and fintech will support future growth in bilateral trade between the UAE and India. While petroleum products and jewellery remain the most exported goods from India to Dubai as trade is set to touch $88 billion for the current fiscal year, the relationship is changing, with officials […]

Head, Person, Face

Bargain buys and law reforms tipped to drive deal-making

When Oman Qatar Insurance and Vision Insurance signed a merger pact in December, it rounded off a busy year of M&A activity in the Middle East. The proposal, which is still subject to approval from regulators and shareholders, was one of hundreds of deals struck across the region.  Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright predicts […]

Rishi Sunak, the UK's prime minister, greets President Abdel Fattah El Sisi of Egypt at Cop27 in Sharm el-Sheikh. Trade between the two countries rose by a third last year

UK seeks North Africa trade boost after Cairo deal

The British export credit agency has signed a deal with Egyptian engineering and construction company Hassan Allam Holding to increase cooperation on projects across the Middle East and North Africa. The agreement, signed at the British embassy in Cairo, aims to secure inward investment into the UK and promote cooperation on financing projects and encourage […]

Tech industries are growing swiftly across the Gulf, so coders and programmers are in high demand

Mena tech firms can plug skills gap by scooping up global talent

Technology companies in the Middle East are in prime position to attract top talent from around the world as some of Silicon Valley’s biggest names make massive job cuts, according to recruitment consultants. Google’s parent company Alphabet, Microsoft and Amazon have all unveiled large-scale redundancy programmes since the start of January. About 40,000 jobs will […]

South Korea UAE visit

Korea prospects high as President Yoon courts GCC free trade deal

Negotiations are continuing on a free trade deal with GCC countries which will make “enormous contributions” to expanding relations, South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol has said. “I hope that the Korea-GCC FTA will become a forward-looking agreement that contributes to our two countries’ joint endeavours of responding to new challenges including climate change, supply […]

Exempt offer sukuks have become more popular in the past five years

Saudi SMEs look to sharia funding to balance cash flow

In Saudi Arabia, small to medium-sized companies are increasingly turning to sharia-compliant funding to raise money for their businesses. But rather than borrow from banks, these SMEs instead rely on the kingdom’s nascent fintech sector to obtain bridging loans, invoice financing and other kinds of niche financial support. “SMEs are underserved by the banking sector, […]

Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, minister of state for foreign trade of the UAE

Economic success for Menap hinges on greater regional trade

Many countries in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan (Menap) region are enjoying growth, but new research has found that intra-regional exports account for only 2.9 percent of total gross domestic product.  This compares to a global average of 7.9 percent, and 22 percent across the European Union (EU), Norway, Switzerland and the […]

Manchester City's Erling Haaland celebrates his second goal against Wolves at the Etihad stadium on January 22

Middle East continues to dominate football’s rich list

Nine of the top 20 clubs in football’s rich list have investment links to the Middle East – and analysts are predicting that Gulf ties will increase in the next few years. Abu Dhabi’s Manchester City retained the No 1 spot in the latest edition of the Deloitte Football Money League, with revenue of €731 […]

Abu Dhabi seaward

Middle East on a roll as fastest growing theme park market

The Middle East and North Africa is set to be the fastest-growing region for investment in amusement parks, as developing economies create attractions to lure visitors.  Consumer spending at theme parks and related destinations in the Mena region is projected to grow at an annual rate of 10.9 percent, from $282 million in 2019 to […]

Glove, Clothing, Portrait

Diamonds (from a lab) are the Gulf’s best friend

Basma Chaieri began her business after watching the season two finale of Netflix’s hit series Explained. The November 2019 episode, which explored the growing popularity of lab-grown diamonds, prompted the Dubai resident to quit her travel job and enrol in gemology school to study the trade. “I thought why would anyone buy a real diamond […]

IPOs, Mena, Stock, Exchange

Rising global interest sets Dubai IPOs on course for strong 2023

Global stock markets may have suffered heavy losses but bourses in the Middle East and North Africa are thriving, recording 42 listings in 2022 and with a healthy pipeline of activity planned for the year ahead.  According to Bloomberg data, Mena initial public offerings (IPOs) raised over $18 billion in 2022. This represents 47 percent […]

Amazon is partnering with Lulu Group to deliver an online grocery offering for customers in the UAE

E-commerce delivers the goods for region’s retailers

A Dubai free zone has set up an e-commerce platform to help drive growth in the Mena market, as new data reveals 91 percent of regional consumers bought products online in the past year. One in five shoppers said they purchased more online in the past 12 months compared to the year before, with fashion […]

An estimated 155 million Chinese tourists spent more than $250bn on foreign travel in 2019

Resurgence in Chinese travellers is boon for Gulf tourist traps

Gulf markets closed lower on Wednesday over concerns that China’s 2022 economic growth slowed sharply to 3 percent, its second-worst performance since 1976, and its population fell for the first time since 1961. However, the recent easing of travel restrictions by Chinese authorities is expected to result in an influx of tourists from the country […]

Tenants hit Dubai’s suburbs as prime property rents soar

Rising property rents in prime areas of Dubai are increasingly causing tenants to move to more affordable suburban communities, leading to a growing demand in the mid-market residential segment. Dubai rents increased by an average of 36 percent in 2022, according to a new report by real estate firm Betterhomes. Average apartment rents increased by […]

Morocco

Four Seasons reveals new hotel as Morocco’s tourism sector recovers

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has announced plans to transform a former military hospital in Rabat as Morocco’s tourism revenues continue to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The luxury hospitality company is partnering with Atlantic Coast Hospitality, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi-based real estate development firm Q Holding, to create Four Seasons […]

Foundations UAE

Rise of UAE foundations as wealth management sector matures

The UAE’s richest people are increasingly setting up foundations to structure and preserve their wealth for the future. Regional wealth managers told AGBI they have noticed a “significant increase” in the number of foundations being established in the UAE, and in the volume of enquiries they are receiving about setting one up. Bradley Moran, an […]

Restaurant, Indoors, Screen

Lattes and logistics drive growth in UAE-Canada trade

Tim Hortons coffee shops are the most visible symbol of the trade relationship between the UAE and Canada. The chain has just opened its 250th café in the Gulf – in City Centre Mirdif, Dubai – halfway to its target of 500 outlets in the region. “This milestone is representative of the UAE’s position as […]

Solar panels power the International Space Station. Governments and space agencies are now studying the feasibility of providing Earth with clean energy from space

UK and Saudi eye investments in space-based solar power

The UK and Saudi governments are exploring closer collaboration to invest in what could be the next era of renewable energy: space-based solar power. Grant Shapps, Britain’s business and energy secretary, met Abdullah Al Swaha, chairman of the Saudi Space Commission and minister of communications and information technology, for talks last week. A potential collaboration […]

green hydrogen

GCC poised for starring role in global hydrogen market

The GCC is set to play a key role in the global hydrogen market, with the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman looking to become leaders in the export of clean fuel. As industry experts come together in Abu Dhabi this week for the World Future Energy Summit, a report from Frost & Sullivan paints a […]