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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
A worker at Al Faw Grand Port. The Development Road project aims to connect the port with Turkey

Gulf to collaborate on $17bn Suez Canal road and rail rival

The $17 billion “Development Road” project is moving ahead after the UAE, Iraq, Qatar and Turkey signed a quadrilateral cooperation agreement.  The road and rail collaboration aims to tie the Al-Faw Grand Port in Iraq’s oil-rich south to Turkey, thereby shortening travel time between Asia and Europe in a bid to rival the Suez Canal. […]

farmoing robotics UAE

Agricultural robotics centre planned for the UAE

Khalifa University of Science and Technology and agri-food giant Silal plan to create a centre of excellence for farming robotics in the UAE. The proposed research centre, to be located at Silal’s Innovation Oasis site in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, will feature a dedicated autonomous greenhouse equipped with various robotic platforms, sensors and Internet of […]

UAE Oman trade

Oman’s sultan in UAE to push for rebound in trade

Sultan Haitham bin Tariq of Oman will arrive in the UAE on Monday for a state visit as he looks to cement ties with his country’s biggest trade partner. During the visit the Omani ruler will meet UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to discuss bilateral relations which were worth more than $14 […]

An Acwa Power solar facility in Saudi Arabia. The Bank Of China loan will help finance its solar projects in Uzbekistan

Acwa Power takes China bank loan in first for Saudi Arabia

Saudi energy major Acwa Power has secured an $80 million loan from the Bank of China as the appeal of the Chinese Renminbi as a trade currency gains traction in the GCC. Acwa Power, the world’s largest private water desalination company and a first mover into green hydrogen, has received the equity bridge loan to […]

The Emirates Global Aluminium plant at Al Taweelah. New projects in collaboration with Masdar could be powered by renewable energy

Aluminium decarbonisation alliance takes shape in UAE

Emirates Global Aluminium, the UAE’s largest non-oil industrial company, has formed an alliance with state renewable energy company Masdar to work on decarbonisation projects. The two companies will explore the joint development of renewable energy projects such as battery storage and the production and storage of green hydrogen. They will also work together internationally to […]

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 […]

The Khazna facility will raise utility Ewec’s total installed solar PV capacity to 5.5 gigawatts

Developers sought for Abu Dhabi’s Khazna solar plant

Emirates Water and Electricity Company (Ewec) is seeking developers to build a 1,500 megawatt solar power facility in Abu Dhabi as the emirate ramps up its green energy drive. The utility has issued a request for proposals to qualified companies that have expressed interest in developing the Khazna Solar Photovoltaic project. A total of 27 […]

Residents in Muscat. Oman's government is taking steps to increase the size of its debt market

Sukuk takes bigger slice of Oman’s shrinking debt market

Oman’s total debt capital market contracted by 7 percent to $44 billion last year as the government took advantage of its budget surplus from higher oil and gas prices to make early payments. The energy boon helped its budget surplus total $2.4 billion. Despite the shrinking debt market Fitch Ratings said sukuk issuance in Oman […]

The under-construction Zayed National Museum in Abu Dhabi

UAE wealth fund ADQ buys stake in Abu Dhabi builder

UAE sovereign wealth fund ADQ is acquiring a stake in the construction company building the Guggenheim and Zayed National museums in Abu Dhabi. Alpha Dhabi Holding (ADH), an investment holding company, announced in a filing to the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange on Tuesday that it will divest 49 percent of its subsidiary Alpha Dhabi Construction […]

A container vessel passes through the Suez Canal. Global supply chain volatility is falling, according to the latest data

Transportation costs fall as Suez disruption eases

Global transportation costs fell last month to their lowest level since December as the diminishing impact of Suez Canal disruption led container rates to decline.  Latest data shows no discernible impact on supplies from either the Red Sea attacks or from reduced capacity on the Panama Canal, with businesses adjusting to longer delivery schedules. The […]

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 […]

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 […]

'We consider it a top priority to enable the growth of the UAE,' says EDB chief Ahmed Al Naqbi

Fitch affirms AA rating for Emirates Development Bank

Fitch has affirmed the credit rating of Emirates Development Bank after the lender’s contribution to the UAE’s economy rose by 80 percent to more than AED4 billion ($1.1 billion) last year. The agency’s AA rating came with a stable outlook, indicating confidence in the bank’s long-term ability to maintain its financial stability. In its report, […]

Cenomi will reduce its number of stores from 1,000 to 367 following last year's losses

Cenomi Retail to divest more brands in turnaround plan

Franchiser Cenomi Retail has announced another round of brand divestments as it seeks to tackle rising losses. The Saudi company closed more than 200 stores last year and sold 16 brands in the first quarter of 2024. On Wednesday Cenomi Retail said its board of directors had approved the third phase of the sell-off. The […]

UAE president Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Abu Dhabi's overall economy showed 3% growth last year compared with 2022

Abu Dhabi’s non-oil growth spurred by manufacturing

Abu Dhabi’s non-oil sector expanded by more than 9 percent last year with manufacturing and construction leading the way, according to new figures. The Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi issued preliminary GDP estimates for 2023, revealing non-oil growth of 9.1 percent – slightly down from 9.2 percent in 2022 – as the emirate’s overall economy improved […]

Passengers queue to check in at Antalya airport, Turkey's second busiest

Turkey secures more funds for Antalya airport expansion

An additional $463 million financing has been secured to help upgrade and expand Turkey’s second busiest airport, Antalya.  Antalya served more than 35 million passengers in 2023 which went some way towards Turkey recording record tourism receipts. The first phase of development will include the expansion of Terminal 2 and the construction of new general […]

Rumo predicts the port expansion with DP World will cost $500 million

DP World teams up with Rumo for new Brazilian port terminal

DP World and the Brazilian railway operator Rumo are to build a new terminal at the port of Santos in São Paulo, to handle 12.5 million tonnes of grain and fertiliser a year. The project is intended to make the port Brazil’s primary gateway, and central to trade for South America. Rumo estimates the total […]

The UAE and Saudi Arabia in particular are investing heavily in life sciences and longevity

Abu Dhabi puts together global life sciences contender

A new company to help establish Abu Dhabi as a major global player in life sciences has been announced by the emirate’s sovereign wealth fund ADQ. The new concern, called Arcera, will act as an umbrella entity for ADQ’s shareholdings in the Swiss pharmaceutical company Acino, Birgi Mefar Group of Turkey and Egypt’s Amoun. Arcera […]

Strong demand for Inditex brands such as Zara increased international earnings to SAR1.1 billion

Saudi retailer Cenomi reveals major brand sale

Saudi-based franchiser Cenomi Retail has announced the sale of 16 brands in the first quarter of 2024 as part of a turnaround strategy to stem mounting losses. Cenomi transferred 226 stores in Saudi Arabia to Abdullah Al Othaim Fashion Company. This follows the retailer’s exit from some international markets and the net closure of an […]

Saudi Arabia's Red Sea International Airport will be the gateway to an area with 50 resorts

Red Sea airport prepares for first international visitors

Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea International Airport will record its first international visitors this month when a flight from Dubai arrives on April 18. Red Sea Global, the developer behind regenerative tourism destinations The Red Sea and Amaala, said the flight, operated by Flydubai, marks the start of a new twice-weekly route.  Regular domestic flights operated […]

Bahrain titanium

Bahrain enters $27bn titanium market

A $200 million manufacturing plant is planned in Bahrain to produce titanium products as part of the kingdom’s ambitions to expand its industrial sector. Edamah, the real estate arm of the sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat, has signed a 25-year lease agreement with Bahrain Titanium, a subsidiary of the Swiss company Interlink Metals & Chemicals, for […]

Angola uae

Angola project demonstrates GCC’s growing Africa interest

Dubai Investments has appointed a Chinese construction company as the main contractor on its flagship project in Angola as GCC investments in Africa rise. China Harbour Engineering Company will undertake the first phase of Dubai Investments Park Angola, covering 2,000 hectares of residential, commercial and industrial property in the West African country. The award of […]