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Megha Merani

Senior editor

Megha Merani is a Dubai-based journalist covering the Middle East. Bylines include Reuters, Bloomberg Middle East and Arab News. Member of the Oxford Climate Journalism Network

Megha Merani
Thailand's consul general Kitinai Nutakul visits the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jeddah

Thailand opens investment office in Saudi Arabia

Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI) is opening its first Middle East office in Saudi Arabia, signaling a deepening of economic ties between the nations after a longstanding diplomatic spat. The office will focus on attracting Saudi investment into Thailand’s targeted industries and supporting Thai entrepreneurs looking to invest in the region, the BOI said in […]

AI's applications in sectors such as coding are gaining attention but regional variations in regulation are making investment difficult

AI regulations double investment costs, says Mashreq Bank

Differing rules surrounding artificial intelligence and the lack of a global regulatory environment is doubling the cost of new investments and complicating business expansion, a leading UAE financial institution has revealed. Amith Rajan, executive vice-president at Mashreq Bank, told AGBI that a “patchwork” AI regulatory landscape has prevented the bank from entering some countries, and […]

Iraqi Airways will run two direct flights to and from China a week

Iraqi Airways resumes direct flights to Beijing

Iraqi Airways has resumed direct flights from Baghdad to Beijing, ending a hiatus that lasted several years, with hopes of increased business travel and tourism. The Ministry of Transport announced that the first flight departed from Baghdad International Airport in Iraq to Beijing Daxing International Airport in China this week. “In line with the directives […]

Workers in the Middle East in construction, oil and gas and agriculture face significant risks from extreme summer heat, which often exceeds 50°C

Heat-health warning system planned for Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is to develop an official heat-stress index and a national heat-health warning system as rising temperatures threaten public health and businesses. The Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre has issued a tender for an index tailored to the UAE’s unique climate conditions, occupational settings, and the physiological differences among its diverse population.  The UAE […]

A group of tourists sees Petra for the first time. Visitor numbers from Europe and North America are down sharply

Investors to build 1,400 hotel rooms in Petra despite tourism slump

Local investors are proceeding with plans to build 1,400 hotel rooms in Petra, a tourism official has said, as Jordan grapples with the impact of the Gaza conflict. Petra’s hotel occupancy rates tumbled to a record low of 3 percent last November and have remained in the single or the low double digits since then. […]

Animoca subsidiary The Sandbox has partnerships in Saudi Arabia and with Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority

Hong Kong’s Animoca considers Gulf bourses

Animoca Brands, a major Web3 and crypto gaming company valued at nearly $6 billion, is considering a public listing in 2025, with the Gulf and Hong Kong as potential venues. The company’s investors include heavyweights such as Singapore’s Temasek Holdings and the Saudi Arabia government’s Neom project, which injected $50 million into it last year. […]

Old merchant houses in Basra, Iraq. A Japanese company will provide construction machinery for a project there

Japan to increase investment in Iraq

Japanese companies are set to expand their investments in Iraq, launching critical infrastructure projects to aid the country’s economic recovery and development. Futoshi Matsumoto, the Japanese ambassador, told Iraq state news agency that companies like Komatsu, a construction equipment supplier, are “eager” to enter the Iraqi market. A delegation from the company recently visited Basra, […]

A pilgrim pushes his mother on a wheelchair, ahead of the annual haj pilgrimage, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, June 9, 2024. REUTERS/Saleh Salem

Hajj company to float in Saudi – with London listing to follow

Saudi Arabia’s Ithraa Alkhair Company for Pilgrims Services, a licensed provider of Hajj services for non-Arab African pilgrims, is preparing to launch the first IPO in the kingdom’s religious tourism sector.  The company, part of the Ithraa Group, will float an 11 percent stake to institutional investors on the Nomu parallel market, chairman Dr Ahmed […]

Office workers and other professionals in Oman are among those who may soon be paying income tax but the sultanate is expected to keep rates comparatively low Video length: 08:38

Omani lower house approves income tax

Oman is on the verge of becoming the first Gulf nation to introduce a personal income tax, as it seeks to diversify revenue streams beyond oil in line with its Vision 2040 plan. The Majlis al-Shura, the lower house of the Omani parliament, approved a draft law last week, forwarding it to the State Council, […]

The Zero Bureaucracy initative aims to streamline processes and reduce administrive burdens on companies and individuals

UAE to axe 2,000 procedures in ‘Zero Bureaucracy’ drive

The Central Bank of the UAE has announced plans to eliminate at least 2,000 bureaucratic procedures as part of a sweeping “Zero Bureaucracy” plan to enhance efficiency in the country’s financial sector.  The change is aimed at reducing administrative burdens on businesses and individuals, according to state news agency Wam. The bank, in collaboration with […]

Traders shaking hands at the Israel Diamond Exchange. Diamonds are among the items that have not been greatly affected by the conflict in Gaza

Trade flourishes between Israel and Arab states

Israel’s trade with Middle Eastern countries including Egypt, Morocco and Bahrain grew in the year to the end of May despite regional tensions and the Gaza war, a think tank report has revealed. The figures, compiled by the Abraham Accords Peace Institute (AAPI), rely on data from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics. Israel’s trade with […]

An engineer works on electricity turbines partially powered by green hydrogen in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt

BP joins Masdar in Egyptian green hydrogen project

BP, the British oil and gas company, has agreed to join a consortium including Masdar, the UAE’s state renewable energy company, and others to develop a multi-phase green hydrogen project in Egypt.  ​​The plans come as Reuters reports suggest that BP has frozen new offshore wind projects, as it renews emphasis on oil and gas […]

Passengers on a cruise ship watch activities in Jeddah port, Saudi Arabia

Saudi shipping line to link Jeddah with Chinese ports

The Saudi Ports Authority has launched a new shipping service, CBS, at Jeddah Islamic Port in partnership with China’s NewNew Shipping Line, strengthening trade links between the two nations. The arrangement also aims to improve Saudi Arabia’s position on the Liner Shipping Connectivity Index, increase operational efficiency at ports, and strengthen the country’s connectivity with […]

Demand for properties from the former president's Trump Organization remains high in the Middle East

Dar Global to launch luxury Trump Tower in Jeddah

London-listed real estate developer Dar Global and The Trump Organization have announced a new luxury real estate project in Saudi Arabia. The company partnered with the Trump Organisation in 2022 to use the former president’s name for its $4 billion master development in Muscat, a joint venture with Oman Tourism Development Company. Ziad El Chaar, […]

Yahsat satellite SpaceX launch

Yahsat taps Musk’s SpaceX for next satellite launches

The UAE’s satellite provider Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat) has chosen Elon Musk’s company SpaceX to launch its next-generation geostationary satellites, Al Yah 4 and Al Yah 5. The two communications satellites are due to be launched into orbit in 2027 and 2028 respectively. Under the deal – part of an AED3.9 billion ($1.1 […]

Dr Manar Al Moneef said, 'our job is not only to identify the opportunity, but to make them bankable'

Neom offers financial guarantees to lure private investors

Neom is adopting stabilisation guarantees and varied financial arrangements to encourage private sector investments, according to a senior executive. The $1.5 trillion giga-project, owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), is a linchpin in Saudi Arabia’s move away from oil dependency. Dr Manar Al Moneef, chief investment officer at Neom, said it plans to offer […]

Saudi Arabia hydrogen

Saudi Arabia ‘is and will remain the kingdom of energy’

Saudi Arabia will sustain its status as a global leader in oil and gas while spearheading green energy initiatives, the country’s minister of investment Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al Falih has said. The country “is and will remain the kingdom of energy,” Al Falih, who was previously CEO and president of state oil giant Aramco, told […]

The WakeCap system being used on a construction site

Aramco adopts heat-sensing construction helmets

Saudi Aramco is deploying advanced safety helmets equipped with heat stress sensors to protect workers on some of its construction sites, a critical concern in the Gulf region’s scorching climate. The helmets, developed by Dubai and Saudi Arabia-based construction tech startup WakeCap, utilise internet-of-things (IoT) technology that monitors worker attendance, location, and safety incidents in […]

KBR Iraq

US firm wins $46m contract to boost Iraq infrastructure 

US engineering giant KBR has won a five-year $46 million contract to support Iraq’s infrastructure development and future energy projects, including mega-projects. The company is expanding its presence in Iraq, establishing a new office in Baghdad and said it is also considering the creation of a design centre to enhance local engineering skills. Under the […]

People walk through the souk in Manama, Bahrain; FDI has been encouraged by the golden licence programme for investors

Bahrain attracts a record $6.8bn in foreign investment

Bahrain has set a new record by attracting $6.8 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2023. This is a 148 percent increase from the previous year’s $2.8 billion, according to the latest World Investment Report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development. Kuwait emerged as the top contributor, accounting for 36 percent of […]

UAE AI tech major G42 said it was 'doubling down on Cerebras' after trying its CG1 supercomputer

Abu Dhabi-backed chipmaker Cerebras plans IPO

Cerebras Systems, an Abu Dhabi-backed chipmaker looking to compete with Nvidia, the world’s top chip company by market value, has confidentially filed for an initial public offering, according to reports. Based in California’s Silicon Valley, Cerebras is also planning to offer preferred shares at a significant discount, aiming to attract private investors before the IPO, […]

Residents use kayaks to evacuate their flooded residential complex in Dubai following the April storm

Floods prompt Abu Dhabi to issue urban planning tender

Abu Dhabi’s Department of Municipalities and Transport has issued a tender for studies to aid the city’s urban planning efforts, including infrastructure resilience during storms. The tender for consultancy services opened last month and closes on July 4. It emerges after UAE president Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan ordered an urgent review of the […]