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Gavin Gibbon

Senior 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
GCC Western brands boycott

Boycott of western brands hurts GCC workers, Apparel chief warns

Boycotts of western brands by Gulf consumers in protest against the Gaza conflict only hurts local workers in the region, the founder of the fashion and lifestyle retail conglomerate Apparel Group has warned. The company, which is based in the UAE and handles more than 80 brands from the US, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia […]

The Omani government has plans for development in Muscat, as does the Al Fayha United Development

Oman real estate ‘in good health despite drop in deals’

Higher interest rates are hitting Oman’s real estate industry, but economists are confident that a drop in transactions in January does not signal the start of a downturn in the sector. The value of real estate deals in the sultanate fell by more than 20 percent to OR208 million ($540 million) in January, compared to […]

Dubai has more than 13,000 restaurants and cafes, according to tourism officials

Dubai restaurant scene ‘at risk of hitting saturation point’

Food and beverage operators in Dubai have warned that the emirate’s restaurant market is increasingly saturated as one company calls time on a prominent location. Gates Hospitality, which operates venues across the Middle East, announced this week that two of its restaurants in Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Folly and Publique, would close at the end of […]

2BYN5A4 Mall of the Emirates is a shopping mall in the Al Barsha district of Dubai.. Image shot 04/2014. Exact date unknown.

The pros and pitfalls of pop-up shops

Pop-up shops are appearing in more shopping malls, hotels and even beach clubs. Whether they are for new brands looking to build a name or more established companies opting for a more experiential way to market and test their products, pop-ups are largely temporary affairs designed to create a buzz. They are also considered a […]

The total value of housing benefits disbursed since the Abu Dhabi Housing Authority was established in 2012 is more than AED149 billion

Housing benefit for Abu Dhabi citizens tops $500m

Abu Dhabi has handed out over AED2 billion ($500 million) worth of housing benefits to citizens across the emirate. The first benefits package of the year, to coincide with the Eid Al Fitr celebrations, includes housing loans, ready-built houses and residential land grants. Thety will help 1,400 Emiratis. Additionally, senior citizens, retirees with low incomes, […]

City, Architecture, Building Abu Dhabi alternative investment fund Lunate and Saudi Arabia-based Olayan will each own 24.5 percent equity interest in ICDBP ICD Brookfield Place Dubai

Lunate and Olayan buy into Dubai’s ICD Brookfield Place

Dubai’s sovereign wealth fund Investment Corporation of Dubai and Brookfield Corporation have sold a 49 percent stake in ICD Brookfield Place (ICDBP), the emirates’ largest office tower. Abu Dhabi alternative investment fund Lunate and Saudi Arabia-based Olayan will each own 24.5 percent equity interest in ICDBP. It is the largest institutional third-party single-asset real estate […]

Ryanair Morocco

Morocco denies subsidising Ryanair domestic flights

Morocco’s Ministry of Tourism has denied claims that it is subsidising the Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair’s expansion across the country. Ryanair will open domestic flights throughout Morocco from the summer as part of its $1.4 billion investment in the North African country. It had been reported that the Moroccan National Tourism Office would be providing […]

Travelers at Beijing Daxing International Airport. China Southern Airlines (CZ) is making its debut in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia and China strengthen ties with extra flights

Saudi Arabia is strengthening its ties with China with the launch of new passenger and cargo flights between the two countries. Beginning on April 16, China Southern Airlines (CZ) will operate four commercial passenger flights and three cargo flights connecting Beijing Daxing and Riyadh, according to a report on the Saudi Press Agency website. This […]

Riyadh women's tennis Iga Swiatek

Riyadh secures three years of women’s world tennis finals

Riyadh is to host the Women’s Tennis Association finals for the next three years, with record prize money for participants. The top eight singles players and doubles teams in the annual Race to the WTA Finals will play for a prize pot of $15 million, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) said in a statement. The […]

Alexandria train station. Egypt's Green Line will connect the city to the Mediterranean coast, the Gulf of Suez and the Red Sea

Egypt chooses British Steel for Green Line rail track

British Steel, the UK steel products producer, has secured a multi-million-pound deal to supply parts for a new rail route stretching across Egypt. In total 9,500 tonnes of track will be delivered for Egypt’s Green Line, its first fully electrified mainline and freight network from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean. The exact value of […]

The six new mining opportunities revealed by Saudi Arabia include gold, copper, zinc, lead and silver

Saudi Arabia invites bids for six mining licences

Local and international investors are being invited to bid for the latest round of mining licences in Saudi Arabia as the kingdom ramps up operations across its minerals sector. The six mining opportunities revealed by the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources include gold, copper, zinc, lead and silver ore and cover a total area […]

This week Jubail Island Investment Company announced the AED4 billion Bada Al Jubail project on Jubail Island

Abu Dhabi real estate deals hit $4bn during first quarter

The value of real estate deals in Abu Dhabi reached almost AED16 billion ($4 billion) during the first quarter of the year as another beachfront community was launched in the emirate. There were over 5,000 sales and mortgage transactions in Abu Dhabi during the first three months of the year, according to data from the […]

Kuwait growth inflation bagpipe player PMI

Kuwait’s record performance tempered by costs

Rising inflation and increasing staffing costs are weighing heavily on Kuwait’s non-oil business sector despite growth, the latest business sentiment survey has revealed. The seasonally adjusted S&P Global Kuwait purchasing managers’ index (PMI) revealed strong growth, with competitive pricing by businesses helping to attract new customers. The index was up at 53.2 for March from […]

UAE Red Sea Houthi helicopter

Red Sea disruptions hit UAE business activity

Backlogs of work in the UAE are at their highest levels in 15 years because of supply chain disruptions caused by the Red Sea shipping crisis. As a result growth in the country’s non-oil business sector eased slightly in March, the seasonally adjusted S&P Global UAE purchasing managers’ index shows. The latest PMI dropped marginally […]

Souq Waqif in Qatar. The country's tourism plans including shopping festivals as part of plans to reach increase visitor numbers to 6 million by 2030

Qatar visitors increase by half in February

Qatar reported a 53 percent increase in international visitors in February, according to official figures from the country’s tourism authority. It follows a 106 percent rise in international arrivals in January as Qatar builds towards its ambitious target to welcome six million visitors in 2030. Last year Qatar’s visitor numbers passed four million. In February […]

Oman Air revenue people boarding aircraft

Revenue up at Oman Air but pressure still on, say experts

Oman Air has posted increased revenues for the past year but the sultanate’s flag carrier still faces difficult times ahead, aviation industry experts say. The heavily indebted airline launched a restructuring process last August in an attempt to balance the books within the next four years.  Oman Air’s net losses in 2023 fell by 36 […]

SMEs account for 94 percent of businesses in the UAE and contribute more than 60 percent of GDP

RAKBank reveals 10% attrition rate for SMEs

Ras Al Khaimah’s RAKBank has revealed a 10 percent annual churn rate of startups funded in the UAE – an amount it says is well below the global average. The lender has almost 50,000 small and medium-sized enterprises on its books and last year handed out AED2.5 billion ($680 million) worth of loans to more than […]

Drake & Scull's projects include Louvre Abu Dhabi. Its revenues grew AED13 million in 2023

Auditors raise concerns over Drake & Scull as losses mount

Auditors reviewing the finances of Drake & Scull International have issued a heavily qualified disclaimer in which they appear to distance themselves from the UAE construction contractor. A filing on Dubai Financial Market for Drake & Scull revealed revenues of AED94 million ($26 million) for the year to December 31 2023, up from AED81 million […]

UAE schools operator Taaleem said student numbers across its portfolio of 32 schools rose to almost 38,000

Taaleem profits rise with surge in UAE student numbers

An increase in student enrolments by more than one-third helped UAE schools operator Taaleem achieve a 53 percent increase in annual profits for the first half of the 2023-24 academic year. Taaleem, which operates schools on behalf of the Abu Dhabi, Dubai and UAE federal governments, said student numbers across its portfolio of 32 UAE […]

Alec IPO SeaWorld Abu Dhabi

Alec IPO could start listings rush in construction sector

A listing by Dubai’s Alec Engineering and Contracting could open the gates for more construction-related companies to go public as they take advantage of the country’s buoyant property market, according to a business expert. Alec, which is backed by the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), the emirate’s sovereign wealth fund, is behind some of the […]

Visitors shop in the souq in Manama, Bahrain. The government wants to encourage more youth into work

Bahrain launches minimum wage fund to bolster youth

Lawmakers in Bahrain are to spend over BD200 million ($500 million) to lift the minimum wage of the kingdom’s citizens.  The government hopes it will encourage more youth into the working world and stimulate the country’s economy. The initiative, run by Bahrain’s Labour Fund, which is also known as Tamkeen, received unanimous approval from the […]

second-hand EV Tesla

UAE motorists fuelling demand for second-hand EVs

Demand for second-hand electric vehicles in the UAE may be in its infancy but it is accelerating fast as more people turn to the environmentally friendly option. Electric vehicles (EVs) now account for around 1 percent of the UAE’s used car market and a little over 1 percent of all cars in the country, according […]