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Divsha Bhat

Technology Editor

Divsha is based in Dubai and writes about cutting-edge technology. She used to be technology editor at Gulf Business

Divsha Bhat
Maroc Telecom fine

UAE telco e& loses appeal in Moroccan antitrust case

UAE telco e& (formerly Etisalat) has lost its appeal against an anti-competitive practices compensation payment in a Moroccan court. Maroc Telecom, which is 53 percent owned by e&, is now required to pay AED2.3 billion ($626 million) to Casablanca’s Wana Corporate (Inwi). It was first ordered to pay the compensation by the Commercial Court of […]

BNPL uae saudi gulf

Buy now, pay later growing fast in UAE and Saudi Arabia

A tech-savvy society, an expanding e-commerce market and the appeal of flexible financing options is fuelling the UAE and Saudi Arabia’s buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) sector, according to industry experts. BNPL – when people can make immediate online purchases and spread payments over interest-free instalments – has grown in popularity in the Gulf since the Covid-19 pandemic. […]

UAE saudi microchip computer chip semiconductor

Water shortage and talent hole hinder Gulf chips ambition

Plans by the UAE and Saudi Arabia to become centres of computer chip manufacturing are threatened by everything from shortages of engineering talent to a lack of water, experts have warned. The ambitions of the two countries will fail unless they invest in training and form partnerships, they say. The demand for high-end semiconductors, otherwise […]

Globalfoundries says the gallium nitride technology will boost power in electric vehicles, among other applications

Mubadala-backed GlobalFoundries buys new semiconductor tech

Chipmaker GlobalFoundries, backed by Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company, has bought the rights to a new technology to boost power in electric vehicles, artificial intelligence and data centres. It bought the gallium nitride (GaN) technology from semiconductor company Tagore Technology for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition includes a team of Tagore engineers with expertise in […]

The UAE's regulations are designed to exclude fraudulent crypto companies and attract legitimate businesses

UAE introduces regulations to clean up crypto market

The UAE has taken steps towards regulating its payments sector with the introduction of Payment Token Services Regulation in an attempt to push out fraudulent crypto companies and attract legitimate businesses. The new regulations introduced by the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) focus heavily on stablecoins – digital currencies pegged to a real-world asset […]

Moammar Riyadh

Riyadh IT company wins $10m project with Saudi AI authority

Al Moammar Information Systems, a Riyadh-based technology company, has secured a SAR39 million ($10 million) project with the Saudi Data and AI Authority (SDAIA). Al Moammar, a listed company formed in 1996, invested $5 million in the giant American artificial intelligence research company OpenAI earlier this year. OpenAI is known for its large language AI […]

The e& stand at World Mobile Congress. The GlassHouse acquisition is its latest, following ventures in Egypt and Saudi Arabia

UAE’s e& buys Turkish cloud provider GlassHouse

The UAE telecom operator e&, formerly Emirates Telecommunications Group company and Etisalat, has acquired the Turkish cloud services provider GlassHouse through its wholly owned subsidiary e& enterprise. A binding agreement has been signed between e& enterprise and Mediterra Capital, a private equity firm that provides investments in Turkey, to take over 100 percent of GlassHouse […]

RAK Cement

UltraTech of India scales back bid for RAK Cement

India’s UltraTech Cement, one of the largest cement makers in the world, has scaled back its offer to acquire a larger stake in an Abu Dhabi-listed, Ras al-Khaimah-based company. UltraTech was initially looking to acquire an extra 31.6 percent stake (158 million shares) in RAK Cement Co for White Cement and Construction Materials (RAKWCT). However, […]

Omar Sultan Al Olama, the minister of state for AI, says the UAE has 'proven to be a strategic partner with the US'

US scores geopolitical win with Abu Dhabi-Microsoft tie-up

Microsoft’s $1.5 billion investment in Abu Dhabi’s artificial intelligence company has received a significant vote of confidence from US authorities.  Tarun Chhabra, a senior White House adviser on technology, said on Monday that the US government has raised no objections to the Silicon Valley giant’s partnership because G42 had severed ties with the Chinese tech […]

Ooredoo ad in Doha. The company is investing $1bn to increase its data centre capacity

Qatar’s Ooredoo signs AI deal with chipmaker Nvidia

US chipmaker Nvidia has signed a deal with Qatari telecommunications provider Ooredoo Group to bring its artificial intelligence technology to five countries in the Middle East, the companies announced on Sunday.  Ooredoo will be the first company in the region to offer direct access to Nvidia’s AI and computer chips to its customers in Qatar, […]

A worker at a currency exchange in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The IMF said central bank digital currencies will lower the cost of financial services

IMF endorses Middle East interest in digital currencies

Countries in the Middle East can promote financial inclusion and boost cross-border payments by adopting central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), the International Monetary Fund has said. A CBDC is a form of digital money, similar to cryptocurrency except that its value is fixed by a central bank and is equivalent to the country’s fiat currency.  […]

The purchase of Careem by Uber is the most high-profile startup exit in the UAE, but the number of startups successfully exiting in the emirates is increasing

Rise in startup exits a sign of UAE’s ‘market maturity’

Startup exits – when a new company sells its ownership or stock, for profit or at a loss – are rising sharply in the Gulf, which observers say is proof of a maturing ecosystem. Across the Middle East and North Africa, 43 startup exits were recorded in 2023, up from 15 in 2015, according to […]

Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio. A US VC fund backed by him plans to invest $50m in Mena climate tech startups

US firm to invest $50m in Mena climate tech

A US venture capital firm backed by Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio plans to invest $50 million in Mena climate tech startups over the next five years. Princeville Capital is targeting mature startups with strong growth potential, facilitating quick exits and a clear path to profitability, its co-founder Joaquin Rodriguez Torres told AGBI. The firm has […]

Savvy Games woman at computer

Saudi gaming company courts giants of Japan and South Korea

Japanese and South Korean gaming companies such as Nintendo and Kakao are being targeted by Saudi Arabia’s Savvy Games Group, which wants them to set up in the kingdom to make products aimed at local consumers. Brian Ward, CEO of Savvy, told AGBI: “If locally made Arabic games tap into the ancient lore and history […]

The UAE is determined to cut the number of nuisance telephone calls by bringing in strict rules for telemarketing companies

Social media warning after UAE telemarketing crackdown

The days of persistent cold calls in the UAE may be numbered, thanks to a government crackdown. However, industry experts told AGBI that the telemarketers may migrate to alternative channels such as social media platforms and WhatsApp. The Ministry of Economy and the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority have announced new regulations to curb […]

Analysts say consumers believe that wearable technology can help improve their health and quality of life

Wearable tech shoppers track price as well as health

Gulf consumers who are interested in wearable tech – smart watches, rings, glasses and implants – are opting for mid-range gadgets rather than premium devices, industry experts have told AGBI. Dubai retailer Jumbo Electronics reported 50 percent year-on-year growth in the AED600-1,000 (about $163-$272) price segment in the first four months of 2024. The AED1,000-1,500 […]

Workers at a semiconductor factory. Saudi Arabia wants global semiconductor design companies to set up in the kingdom

Saudi Arabia campaign aims to attract chipmakers

Saudi Arabia has launched a National Semiconductor Hub in a bid to attract international chipmakers. The kingdom is targeting at least 50 semiconductor design companies to set up business by 2030, aiming to cut its reliance on imported computer chips. The global semiconductor industry, once plagued by shortages, is now showing signs of recovery and […]

Elon Musk launched xAI last year. It will use the new funding to bring products to market and research technologies

Prince Alwaleed part of Elon Musk’s $6bn AI funding round

Elon Musk’s artificial intelligence startup xAI has secured $6 billion in a series B funding round led by investors including Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal and his investment firm Kingdom Holding Company. The round, which also included investments from Dubai-based Vy Capital and US companies Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital, will assist the commercial […]

Chinese smartphone

Middle East phone users turn to Chinese budget brands

Middle East consumers are embracing budget-friendly Chinese smartphone brands, as global favourites such as iPhone and Samsung suffer a slump in sales. The Middle East’s smartphone market is flourishing, with shipments excluding Turkey reaching more than 12 million units in the first quarter of 2024, a year on year increase of 39 percent, a report […]

Mubadala Investment Company CEO Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak. The Abu Dhabi wealth fund is selling some GlobalFoundaries shares two years after the US company went public

Mubadala trims stake in US chipmaker GlobalFoundries

Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company is offloading some of its holdings in chipmaker GlobalFoundries.  A Mubadala subsidiary is offering to sell $950 million worth of GlobalFoundries shares, two years after the US semiconductor manufacturer went public on Nasdaq. Mubadala Technology Investment Company will receive the funds from the secondary public offering, which […]

Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) director Dr Esam bin Abdullah Al-Wagait

IBM to help Saudi Arabia train AI models in Arabic

Saudi Arabia has signed a deal with US tech giant IBM to develop the kingdom’s generative artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. The Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) said on Tuesday that its Arabic language AI model, ALLaM, will be trained on IBM’s platform to run more efficiently. This will also add new language skills […]

Investment app Sarwa had more than 180,000 registered users by the first quarter of 2023

Investment app Sarwa fined by Dubai and Abu Dhabi regulators

Investment platform Sarwa Digital Wealth has been fined AED1,151,000 ($313,500) by regulators in Dubai and Abu Dhabi for offering shares and securities without an approved prospectus. The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) said on Tuesday that it had imposed a penalty of AED701,815 on the fintech.  On the same day, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority […]