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Shane McGinley

News Editor

An award-winning editor with over 20 years of experience in the media industry, across newspapers, magazines, digital, TV and radio. A resident of Dubai since 2008, Shane has held senior roles at some of the Gulf’s biggest media outlets, including Head of News at Expo 2020 Dubai, Editorial Director of Arabian Business, and Head of Editorial Content for Emerging Businesses at Thomson Reuters Middle East. He attended the International Journalists Seminar at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City as one of the winners of the Citi Journalistic Excellence Awards 2015, representing the UAE

Shane McGinley
An artist's impression of part of the Diriyah Square development

Diriyah Square planned for historic Riyadh district

A public space featuring 400 retail outlets and 100 restaurants and cafes is planned for the historic Riyadh district of Diriyah. Diriyah Square will be announced next week at the World Retail Congress in Paris and aims to attract a combination of international retail brands and local artisans.  Diriyah Gate Development Authority group CEO Jerry […]

A coffee farmer in Addayer, Jazan. The southwest Saudi province has 54,000 coffee trees

$16m pumped into coffee farms as Riyadh chases lofty target

Saudi Arabia has invested millions of dollars in the development of the local coffee sector over the past four years, but it is still 80 percent off its production target for 2026. The Sustainable Agricultural Rural Development Program (known as Reef Saudi) has allocated a total of SAR61 million ($16 million) to support over 3,700 […]

A cashier rings up products at a Walmart store in San Marcos, Texas. Gulf wealth funds invest in US household names such as Walmart and Starbucks

UAE invests $2.5 trillion overseas, with US the top recipient

The UAE has invested an estimated $2.5 trillion overseas as of early 2024, with the United States the prime destination.  “The UAE has strengthened its position in the global economy,” Jamal bin Saif Al Jarwan, secretary-general of the UAE International Investors Council, was quoted as saying by the state-owned Wam news agency. “It ranked first […]

Muscat waterfront. Oman's budget surplus was down to an 'increase in government investments', said the state news agency

Oman posts $220m budget surplus in January 

Oman’s budget surplus reached nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in January, helped by public income from state investments, according to its state-owned news agency.  The surplus was OR85 million ($220 million) by the end of January, down just over 40 percent on the OR145 million surplus registered in the same month of 2023, […]

A Starbucks cafe in Beirut, Lebanon. Jobs are being cut due to 'continually challenging trading conditions' in the Mena region

Kuwait’s Alshaya lays off Mena Starbucks staff

Kuwait’s Alshaya Group, one of the Gulf’s largest franchise owners, is cutting jobs at its Starbucks outlets.   The coffee brand has suffered from calls for a boycott since the start of the Gaza conflict. “As a result of the continually challenging trading conditions over the last six months, we have taken the sad and very […]

KFC, Pizza Hut and Hardee's at Americana Plaza Mall in Cairo. All three fast food brands experienced a regional drop-off in Q4 2023

UAE diners eat local as global fast food faces boycott

Homegrown restaurants in the UAE are reporting a lift in sales since the start of the Israel-Gaza conflict, as diners opt for local brands over international fast-food outlets. Steve Flawith, founder of UAE-based Yolk Brands that operates the Pickl and BonBird chains, said its sales have increased by 15 to 20 percent since the start […]

Hospitality sales often drop off at the start of the year but Drink Dry says Dry January helps its sales

Dubai drinks supplier raises a glass to Dry January

Drink Dry, a Dubai-based supplier of non-alcoholic beverages, has reported a 20 percent bump in sales during Dry January, defying a traditional post-festive period slump in the hospitality sector. Dry January is an initiative launched in the UK by Alcohol Change in 2013. It involves consumers abstaining from alcohol for the first month of the […]

A property model in Dubai. Properties in the emirate are becoming smaller but remain more afforable than other global cities

Dubai’s smaller homes more affordable than global rivals

Dubai homes for sale today are about a quarter smaller than their equivalents four years ago, despite average prices growing by more than half, industry data shows. But experts claim this is a result of the rise in demand for smaller units, which are still substantially bigger and more affordable than those in rival global […]

Architecture, Building, ShopAlyshaya, which operates brands including Victoria's Secret in Dubai, will close 60 stores in Egypt this year

Kuwait’s Alshaya scales back operations in Egypt

Kuwait’s Alshaya Group, one of the Gulf’s largest franchise owners, is scaling back its operations in Egypt due to “the difficulties faced by overseas businesses” in the North African country. “As a result of the economic situation over the last three years and the difficulties faced by overseas businesses trading in Egypt, we have taken […]

There are around 210,000 small businesses in Oman and the sultanate is keen to fund more startups

Oman pushes $5.2bn plan to boost small business growth

Oman has launched a OR2 billion ($5.2 billion) fund to encourage more investment in local small and medium-sized enterprises, as the sultanate looks to capitalise on a growth in support for startup businesses. The funding plan by the Oman Investment Authority follows on from the announcement of the Future Fund Oman last May, which aimed […]

The Abba Voyage holographic concert has proved the viability of the concept and Saudi Arabia will be hoping its new stadium can deliver similar success

Saudi Arabia plans stadium for holographic concerts

Saudi Arabia has announced plans to build a new stadium featuring holographic technology that will be able to stage virtual interactions with celebrities and artists. The Prince Mohammed bin Salman Stadium will be built in Qiddiya City, located 40 minutes from Riyadh and part of the kingdom’s new entertainment city, the state-run Saudi Press Agency […]

A rebound in Q4 is 'enough to dispel the idea that VC funding dried up', says one expert on the Saudi market

Banks and VCs pour cash into Saudi small businesses

Funding for small companies in Saudi Arabia from banks, financial institutions and venture capitalists rose sharply in 2023, bucking regional and global trends. Figures released in December by Sama, the kingdom’s central bank, show that the total value of loans to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) rose 17.8 percent year on year to SAR268.6 […]

Emirates says that it served about 450,000 plant-based meals last year and plans to increase its offering

Vegan meals take off on Emirates

Dubai’s Emirates reported a 40 percent increase in demand for vegan meals across its network of 140 routes in 2023, and has plans to add more plant-based catering options in 2024. The airline served 450,000 plant-based meals on board last year, up from 280,000 in 2022. The biggest rise in demand was on routes to […]

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, attending the Arab Strategy Forum 2024

Dubai unveils $56bn plan to improve standard of living

Dubai has unveiled a AED208 billion ($56.64 billion) ten-year strategy aimed at making the city one of the top three in the world for standard of living. There are also plans to double the number of Emirati families and triple the number of citizens working in the private sector by 2033. “We aim to double […]

Adult, Male, Man

AD Ports to build and operate Red Sea ports

The UAE’s AD Ports Group has signed an agreement to build, develop, operate and maintain terminals for passengers and cruise lines at the Egyptian Red Sea ports of Hurghada, Safaga and Sharm El Sheikh. “This contract will contribute to operating cruise lines between Zayed Port and Safaga, Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh and, later, Arabian […]

Duty free shopping at Dubai Airport. Perfume accounted for 17% of sales

Perfume helps Dubai Duty Free hit record sales in 2023

Dubai Duty Free (DDF) recorded record sales of AED7.885 billion ($2.15 billion) in 2023, a year-on-year increase of 24 percent, and 6 percent above 2019, with perfume retaining its title as the top-selling sector. DDF celebrated its 40th anniversary in December, and the holiday month finished the year with sales of AED807.6 million, an 8 […]

Queen Mary 2 cruise ship southern Red Sea

PIF-backed Cruise Saudi unveils first ship

Aroya Cruises has unveiled its first ship as global demand continues to rise. The company, which is operated by state-backed Cruise Saudi, said the 335-metre-long vessel is undergoing refurbishment before it makes its maiden voyage from Jeddah in 2024. It will include 19 decks and 1,682 cabins. “We are delighted to sail into the new […]

Emaar Dubai Hills

Rising supply softens Dubai’s short-term housing market

Short-term rents in Dubai’s housing market have fallen this year as the rapid rise in supply begins to outstrip demand. Vinayak Mahtani, CEO of bnbme holiday homes, told AGBI that over the past three years, he had seen 100 percent growth in the short-term rental market. “It’s become a buzzword in Dubai, a trendy business,” […]

South Korea GCC

GCC and South Korea sign free trade agreement

South Korea and the GCC have signed a free trade agreement as the region continues to pivot eastwards for growth. The agreement will cover trade in goods, services and government procurement, as well as cooperation among small and medium-sized enterprises, customs procedures and intellectual property, among other areas, according to a statement. Trade between the […]

Arabic women shopping Video length: 06:37

Margins tighten for UAE retailers ahead of holiday season

In the run-up to the holiday season, the UAE’s retailers are enjoying a healthy rise in new business and stocking up on inventory to meet demand. While a busy period is expected, costs continue to increase. To remain competitive, businesses are not increasing prices, meaning margins are being squeezed even further. The latest S&P Global […]