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Gavin Gibbon

Deputy Middle East Editor

Gavin is a journalist with over 23 years of experience in the industry, working on daily and weekly titles in the UK before moving to magazines and digital in the UAE in 2013. He specialises in business reporting, covering all countries across the Middle East and North Africa

Gavin Gibbon
The Fed has announced 11 rate hikes since March 2022, but decided to hold its benchmark rate steady

Fed interest rate pause will help GCC non-oil sector

The decision by the US Federal Reserve to leave policy rates unchanged will have a positive impact on the non-oil sectors of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, according to leading economists. The Fed has announced 11 rate hikes since March 2022, but on Wednesday decided to hold its benchmark rate steady, albeit at a 22-year […]

A 'Made in the Gulf' brand has potential 'if it is built upon the genuine strengths of the region', says one expert

The time could be right for a ‘Made in the Gulf’ brand

Creating a “Made in the Gulf” brand for the region’s manufacturing sector would not be easy – but such an initiative has potential, according to industry experts. Plans to establish a unified definition and standards for such a brand were discussed by trade and industry ministry representatives at a meeting of the Industrial Cooperation Committee […]

Dubai luxury hotel tourism

Dubai and Qatar expand luxury hotel portfolios

Thousands of luxury hotel rooms are set to open in Dubai and Qatar over the next few years as the hospitality sector bounces back from the pandemic. In Dubai, about 9,200 hotel rooms will be completed by the end of 2023, according to real estate consultancy Knight Frank. More than two-thirds of the supply will […]

“Climate change is already dramatically affecting us,” says IMF head Kristalina Georgieva

IMF lends Morocco $1.3bn to fight climate change

The International Monetary Fund is to lend Morocco $1.3 billion to help the country guard against climate-related risks. The staff-level agreement was confirmed by Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF, who said the funding would be used to build resilience against future climate disasters. “Climate change is already dramatically affecting us,” Georgieva said in […]

UAE minister of state for financial affairs Mohamed bin Hadi Al Hussaini has hailed the 'strong results' of the bond offering

UAE’s $1.5bn bond issue oversubscribed five-fold

The order book for the UAE government’s US dollar-denominated $1.5 billion bond issue exceeded $7.4 billion, representing strong demand from domestic, regional and international investors, the finance ministry said in a statement. The 10-year bond, maturing on September 2033, was issued with a yield of 4.91 percent. This represented a spread of 60 basis points […]

A woman shops at a fruit and vegetable market in Tunis. In June Tunisia was given a rating of CCC-, which is seven levels below investment grade

Tunisia repays 74% of debt to ease default fears

Tunisia has repaid 74 percent of its cumulative external debt due this year, defying predictions that the country is heading towards a default. As of September 10, the amount of debt repaid was TND6.6 billion ($2 billion), compared with TND8.9 billion forecast for the year in the 2023 budget, as reported by Agence Tunis Afrique […]

Palm Jebel Ali will add 91km to Dubai's coastline and provide homes for about 35,000 families

Dubai developer releases first Palm Jebel Ali villas

The first villas available to buy on Dubai’s billion-dollar Palm Jebel Ali man-made island project have been released by developer Nakheel. The 13.4 sq km mega-project – twice the size of Palm Jumeirah – will add 91km of coastline to the emirate and provide homes for about 35,000 families. The inaugural properties for purchase are […]

Former MLB star Hanley Ramirez is one of the investors in Baseball United

Baseball stars line up to invest in Dubai league

Baseball United, the first professional baseball league focused on the Middle East and Indian subcontinent, has amassed a roster of investors before the Dubai league’s launch in November. Between them the investors boast a combined 222 Major League Baseball (MLB) seasons, 70 All-Star games and 14 World Series Championships. The line-up of former MLB stars […]

PFL fighters in action in New York. PFL Middle East organisers hope to attract more investment from the region

Saudi-backed martial arts league aims for $1bn business

The Middle East arm of the Professional Fighters League will be a billion-dollar entity within the next decade, according to its founder. Mixed martial arts (MMA) organisation PFL Middle East is set to launch in the second quarter of 2024, spurred by a reported $100 million cash injection from Saudi Arabia’s SRJ Sports Investments. It […]

Dubai VC funding SMEs

Dubai SMEs turn to banks as VC funding declines

Small businesses in Dubai are turning to traditional banks for financing as the global slowdown in venture capital funding continues. Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest bank by assets, reported that it funded 34 percent more small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) over the opening seven months of 2023 compared to the same period last year. Lucy Chow, […]

AtkinsRéalis says Saudi Arabia is 'super competitive, particularly from a salary progression perspective'

Saudi construction workers spoilt for choice

Saudi Arabia’s trillion-dollar construction industry is providing rich pickings for professionals as companies increasingly struggle to retain talent. The kingdom has projects worth over $1.3 trillion underway and a further $64 billion in contracts forecast to be awarded this year. But while that places pressure on companies to recruit the necessary talent, employees are enjoying […]

Moshiri Everton

British-Iranian businessman sells stake in Everton FC

British-Iranian businessman Farhad Moshiri has sold his stake in English Premier League club Everton to Miami investment fund 777 Partners. It has signed a deal to acquire the former accountant’s 94 percent of the club’s shares. Monaco-based Moshiri invested in Everton in 2016 before taking a majority stake two years later. However, his time in […]

Georgetown University students

Georgetown launch a sign of growing US presence in Dubai

Georgetown University has launched its business programme in Dubai as more US companies set up shop in the UAE. The Washington DC-based university’s McDonagh School of Business this week welcomed its first cohort of 53 students to its new Executive MBA. Located in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Academy, the 19-month programme covers business […]

Brands For Less has 60 stores in the UAE and is planning 75 for Saudi Arabia alone by the end of 2026

UAE’s Brands For Less sets sights on Asia and Africa

UAE retail group Brands for Less (BFL Group) has revealed plans for international expansion including a $20 million distribution centre in Saudi Arabia. The 38,000 square metre facility in Sudan City for Industry and Businesses close to Riyadh will employ 350 people and be able to store three million products. BFL Group plans to increase […]

The Blinx headquarters in Dubai Media City

Blinx launches to cater to ‘tech-savvy youth’

A new digital media centre has launched in the Middle East focusing on Gen Z and millennial content creation, storytelling and reporting. Dubai-headquartered Blinx (spelt as “blinx”) wants to capitalise on the region’s burgeoning media and entertainment industry, expected to be worth over $61 billion by 2028, according to research from Mordor Intelligence. Blinx will […]

Philippines minister of finance Benjamin Diokno

Philippines reveals plan to issue first sovereign sukuk

The Philippines government intends to issue its first sovereign sukuk before the end of the year, as it ramps up investment and trade opportunities in the Gulf. Discussions are ongoing about the sukuk’s potential structure, Rosalia de Leon, national treasurer, told reporters during the 2023 Philippine Economic Briefing in Dubai on Tuesday. She said it […]

Families at Dubai Mall. The PMI figures on discounts come despite the Summer Surprises shopping festival held in August

Dubai businesses ease up on discounting as costs climb

Dubai’s appetite for discounting waned in August as more companies opted to pass on increased costs to customers, a survey of non-oil businesses has found. The S&P Global Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for August found that the impact of rising input costs on margins made companies “less inclined to offer discounts on their products and […]

Mohammed Al Jadaan, Saudi minister of finance and NCP chairman. The NCP has approved 200 projects across 17 sectors worth more than $50 billion

Amanat and Mada to develop Saudi health PPPs

Amanat Holdings has partnered with Mada International Holding to develop public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the healthcare industry across Saudi Arabia. Amanat, a Dubai-listed healthcare and education investment company, and Saudi developer Mada are already considering a tender for the 900-bed PPP post-acute care facilities in Riyadh and Dammam. The tie-up is expected to fuel Amanat’s […]

The UAE government's head of cybersecurity Dr Mohammed Al Kuwaiti. The organisation says it is foiling 50,000 cyber attacks a day

Logistics companies targeted in latest global cyber fraud

Logistics companies in the Middle East and Africa are being targeted by a worldwide scam that impersonates businesses’ websites in order to defraud consumers. According to Group-IB, a global cybersecurity company based in Singapore, the fraud – known as Classiscam – has targeted 251 brands in 79 countries. This includes 15 countries across Middle East […]

UAE salmon farm

UAE fish farm angles for $200m to produce Atlantic salmon

A fish farming company in the UAE aims to raise $200 million to produce Atlantic salmon locally. Ocean Harvest needs the investment to build a 100,000 square metre facility in Ras Al Khaimah. Jawad Jamil, co-founder and CEO of Ocean Harvest, said they were appealing to sovereign wealth funds across the Mena region, impact and […]

People, Person, Adult

GCC retail industry concern as shoppers move online

The Gulf’s retail industry remains an area of concern amid ongoing changes in consumer spending habits. The Q2 2023 edition of the Middle East Turnaround and Restructuring Survey, published by professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal, found more than two-thirds of respondents anticipated continued pressures in the sector as consumers increasingly turn to digital shopping […]

Qatar has surpassed its 2023 surplus forecast

Qatar’s budget surplus nears $3bn despite higher capex

Qatar reported a budget surplus of 10 billion riyals ($2.74 billion) in the second quarter of 2023, as oil prices remained higher than estimated, the finance ministry said. The Gulf nation has surpassed its 2023 surplus forecast of 29 billion riyals for the year. The first quarter reported a fiscal surplus of 19.7 billion riyals, […]