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Andy Sambidge

International Editor

UK-based journalist covering all regions and sectors in the Gulf. Andy has worked for local, regional and international media for over 35 years, including more than a decade covering the Middle East. He won the 1991 Press Gazette Campaigning Journalist of the Year

Andy Sambidge
Bahrain digital

Bahrain’s Beyon puts $250m into digital infrastructure 

Tech company Beyon Group is investing more than $250 million in new infrastructure to support Bahrain’s digital transformation. The parent company of telecoms operator Batelco said it has joined the Southeast Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 6 (SEA-ME-WE 6) consortium, which is building a 21,700km-long undersea telecommunications cable from Marseille in France to Singapore. The cable will […]

The Dubai Health Authority is making strides to give tourists better and quicker medical access

Healthcare tourism gives Dubai a shot in the arm

Medical tourism brought nearly AED1 billion ($272 million) to Dubai last year, up by more than a quarter, as the emirate aims to build its reputation as a destination for international patients.  Dubai welcomed 674,000 medical tourists in 2022, up from 630,000 the previous year, with 39 percent arriving from Asian countries, 22 percent from […]

Vodafone Group CEO Margherita Della Valle

Vodafone cuts 11,000 jobs after securing deal with e&

Vodafone Group announced it will cut thousands of jobs just days after it agreed plans for closer commercial ties with UAE-based e&. Margherita Della Valle, Vodafone’s new group chief executive, admitted the company’s performance “has not been good enough” after reporting a small rise in full year sales to nearly $50 billion and a fall […]

Maaden mining surveying

Ma’aden buys $126m stake in US mining firm

Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma’aden) has bought a 9.9 percent stake in US minerals exploration company Ivanhoe Electric as part of a joint venture exploring an area in the kingdom that’s larger than Denmark. The $126 million deal includes a $66 million joint venture where Ma’aden will use Ivanhoe’s Typhoon geophysical surveying technology to mine […]

Masdar Airbus deal

Masdar and Airbus combine on aviation decarbonisation

Masdar will collaborate with Airbus on sustainable aviation fuels as the UAE clean energy giant and Europe’s largest airplane maker aim to decarbonise the industry. The companies have signed an agreement to work on green hydrogen and direct air capture technologies which, when combined, can produce synthetic sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). SAF remains limited in […]

Ahmed Bin Sulayem DMCC Dubai Multi Commodities Centre

DMCC opens Mumbai office as trade grows

A Dubai-based free zone has opened a new representative office in Mumbai. Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre (DMCC) is host to 3,700 Indian businesses and is seeking to capitalise on a rise of trade between the UAE and India since the signing of a bilateral agreement last year. It announced the opening on Monday after concluding its […]


Gulf is ‘ideal playground’ for surging French investment

France aims to boost its investment relationship with the GCC region by hosting an inaugural Vision Gulf event in Paris next month. The flagship conference organised by Business France, the country’s national trade agency, aims to promote increased collaboration between Middle East-based investors and French corporates. Taking place on June 13-14 at the French Ministry […]

UAE South Africa energy trade talks

UAE in position to plug South Africa’s energy crisis

Energy is likely to drive a new era in trade relations between the UAE and South Africa as the latter’s power supply crisis will dominate debate at next year’s general election. Experts say UAE energy powerhouses Masdar and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) could be attracted to South Africa in light of the crippling […]

Six companies in Saudi Arabia have announced plans to list on its stock exchange, Tadawul, as experts say the IPO pipeline is "healthy" for the rest of 2023

Mena IPO pipeline ‘healthy’ after fall in Q1 listings

A “healthy pipeline” of initial public offerings lies ahead for the remainder of this year, experts have told AGBI, despite a fall in Middle East and North African listings in the first quarter. According to the EY Mena IPO Eye Q1 2023 report, the quarter saw 10 stock market listings with combined proceeds of $3.4 […]

Workers on a construction site in Riyadh GCC

GCC construction dilemma as Saudi ‘sucking up’ skilled talent

Saudi Arabia’s huge construction projects are luring workers out of neighbouring countries in the GCC and resulting in skills shortages, say experts and builders. Construction executives in the UAE and Oman in particular have voiced concerns about the overall resource demands of the region as Saudi Arabia’s market continued to show strong growth during the […]

UAE finance minister Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri held talks with Moroccan officials including investment minister Mohcine Jazouli

UAE and Morocco form taskforce to double trade by 2030

The UAE and Morocco are aiming to double bilateral trade and investment volumes over the next seven years. The two countries are forming a taskforce to build on their AED3.6 billion ($991 million) non-oil foreign trade last year, which was up 16 percent from 2021 and more than two-thirds higher than 2020. The UAE is […]

Desalination plant

Firms vie for $3bn Egyptian desalination deals

International companies are vying for lucrative contracts in Egypt as the country embarks on a multi-billion dollar plan to develop desalination plants to help offset a looming water crisis. The Sovereign Fund of Egypt has pre-qualified 17 consortia – comprising a mix of local and global firms – to be invited to tender for developing […]

Cenomi Said retail

Saudi firms in talks to create retail powerhouse

Talks are under way for a potential merger between Saudi Arabia’s largest franchise retailer and shopping mall developer and operator. Cenomi Retail, formerly known as Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Company, said in a filing to the Saudi Stock Exchange that it is in discussions with Cenomi Centers, also known as Arabian Centres Company, to create a […]

UAE air taxis

UAE air taxis and drones set for take-off with China deal

A Chinese company has signed a deal to build and operate electric powered air taxis and cargo drones in the UAE as the Gulf country seeks early adopter advantage in the vertical take-off and landing transport market. Monarch Holding in Abu Dhabi is partnering with EHang Holdings, an autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) company, to establish […]

Visa open banking

Visa makes first Mena open banking investment

Payments giant Visa has made its first investment into open banking in the Middle East and North Africa as the region seeks to develop its fintech sector. Open banking allows customers to share their financial data securely with a third-party provider to take advantage of new services and products. Tarabut Gateway, an open banking platform, […]

Tourism continues to rise in Saudi Arabia, aiding employment opportunities

Saudi private sector activity makes up for exports dip

New orders for non-oil private sector companies in Saudi Arabia rose at their fastest rate for over eight years in April. The latest data from the Riyad Bank Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) showed stronger domestic demand more than offset a slight drop in export sales, which fell last month for the first time […]

Crowd, Person, Adult

AD Ports in talks with Congo over trade hub

Abu Dhabi Ports Group is in talks to invest in a new trade hub in the Republic of Congo as the UAE seeks to ramp up non-oil partnerships with the Central African country. President Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo held discussions last week with Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, managing director and CEO of AD Ports, […]

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi

Mubadala secures $500m stake in US broadband firm

Brightspeed, a US-based broadband and telecommunications services company, has received a $500 million investment from Mubadala Investment Company, the sovereign investor of Abu Dhabi. Mubadala will become a minority shareholder, joining investment funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, a statement said. Brightspeed, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, says it has the capability to […]

Rotana is planning up to 1,500 keys over London sites

Rotana checks in to London’s business hotel market

Hospitality company Rotana has unveiled a $1 billion-plus plan to enter the London business hotel market, and to expand its offerings in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The UAE-based business – which has more than 100 properties in the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe – will begin its UK operation by opening two serviced apartment […]

Lootah Biofuels CEO Yousif bin Saeed Lootah and Ahmed Saeed, CEO of Fenaka, at the deal signing

Lootah Biofuels turns gaze to Asia after Maldives deal

Lootah Biofuels has signed an agreement with state-owned Fenaka Corporation, a company serving the island communities of the Maldives, to establish its first biofuel plant outside the UAE. Lootah, which is based in Dubai, said the deal underscored its commitment to expand its reach internationally to meet long-term energy needs through clean alternatives. For the […]

An electronics retailer. There are 54 eXtra stores across Saudi, Oman and Bahrain

Electronics retailer eXtra pulls plug on Egypt plans

United Electronics, the Saudi company behind tech retailer eXtra, has abandoned its plan to expand into Egypt as analysts predict that soaring inflation in the North African country will dampen consumer spending. The company said in a filing to the Saudi Stock Exchange on Monday that the decision followed a feasibility review, but did not […]

Architecture, Building, Cityscape

Construction titan to cement its place in the GCC

Construction company Besix Group has revealed plans to further expand across the GCC as the region embraces public-private partnerships for key projects. The Belgian-French group, which is based in Brussels, is one of the world’s leading international contractors and announced on Wednesday a 20-year high in turnover of over $3.7 billion in 2022. Bexis said […]