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Indian prime minister Narendra Modi (left) completed a visit to the UAE in February to sign deals on trade cooperation

Indian investment in GCC falls despite increased trade

Investment from India into Gulf countries has dropped considerably despite growth in bilateral trade due to the country adopting a more protectionist approach. Trade between India and the group of six GCC countries – Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE – reached almost 16 percent of the country’s total in the last […]

Gulf bank rates

Gulf banks face margin squeeze as funding costs rise

Gulf banks are likely to offer more attractive rates on savings accounts to woo depositors, putting more pressure on lenders’ already tight net interest margins, a report suggests. The move towards higher interest rates for savers is predicted to become more pronounced as expectations of imminent rate cuts by the US Federal Reserve fade. Benchmark interest […]

Heidi Kunkel, senior VP at Hyatt, says high-end customers are less sensitive to price increases Video length: 4:19

GCC hoteliers unfazed by rising costs

As global inflationary pressures continue to vex businesses, hospitality chains are faced with a choice: increase room rates or sacrifice profit margins.  GCC hoteliers seem to be opting for squeezing profit margins rather than increase room rates, even as geopolitical tensions and supply chain challenges threaten to push up costs.  Average daily rates (ADR) in […]

A Geely Galaxy E8 electric vehicle at Auto China 2024. Geely is one of the most popular Chinese car brands in the Gulf

Chinese carmakers ‘taking Gulf by storm’

Chinese carmakers now claim a sizeable chunk of new car sales in the Gulf and it is likely they will increase their market share further by wooing regional consumers through their vehicles’ innovative designs and perceived value for money. That is the prediction of Amir Khurshid, CEO of Saudi Arabia’s ThinkDirect Automotive Consulting and an […]

Tourists visit the tombs of the Nabatean civilisation in AlUla. Saudi Arabia's goal is for tourism to make up 10 percent of GDP by 2030

Affluent tourists around the globe on Saudi Arabia’s radar

Saudi Arabia will invest more than $800 billion in its main giga-projects by the next decade as part of a tourism expansion strategy focused on affluent tourists in China, India and Europe.  The kingdom’s tourism minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb, speaking at the Qatar Investment Forum, said: “We’re building and investing in major destinations like Neom, Red […]

Dual-fuel container ship Ane Maersk leaves Hamburg on its maiden voyage Video length: 03:53

Shipping needs cheaper green methanol for its route to net zero

Higher costs and undersupply remain the biggest concerns for shipping companies seeking to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by switching to green methanol.  Danish logistics company Maersk has ordered 25 vessels that can run on sustainably produced e-methanol. Its first large methanol container ship, Ane Maersk, arrived at Jebel Ali port in Dubai last week. […]

Airport, Adult, Female The Middle East served 422 million air passengers in 2023 and is expected to serve 466 million in 2024

Airport chiefs size up ways to meet GCC airspace demand

The annual number of air travellers to and from the Middle East is projected to pass the half-billion mark next year, meaning aviation authorities need to both expand and streamline use of available airspace, senior GCC airport chiefs have told AGBI. Oman is in talks with a neighbouring Gulf state to unlock a new air […]

Prime minister of Qatar Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said GCC states need to coordinate their efforts in sectors such as AI

Qatar calls for greater GCC cooperation as it diversifies economy

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund will continue a policy of diversification, investing in Central Asia and Africa, but Gulf countries need to do more to unify their economic growth plans to face rising geopolitical risks, Qatar’s prime minister said on Tuesday.  “Our focus in terms of the sovereign wealth fund and investment continues following the strategy […]

Fitch expects Saudi Arabia to be one of the most active sukuk issuers this year

GCC debt market on way to trillion-dollar milestone

The total debt capital market in the GCC is likely to cross $1 trillion this year, after reaching $940 billion in the first quarter of 2024. New research from Fitch Ratings shows that more than a third of GCC debt issued last year was in the form of sukuk, also known as an Islamic bond.  […]

Europe provides a large source of Dubai's tourists

GCC-EU trade drops by $8bn as talks pause

Trade between the GCC and the European Union fell by 4 percent last year to $180 billion, as the two trading blocs struggled to agree terms for a free trade agreement. Figures shared exclusively with AGBI by Eurostat, the EU’s statistics authority, show Saudi Arabia was the bloc’s biggest trade partner from the GCC, with […]

Waleed bin Ibrahim Al Ibrahim, CEO of MBC Group, which raised $222 million with its IPO

Saudi Arabia dominates Mena Q1 public listings

Saudi Arabia dominated public listings in the region in the first quarter of the year and maintains a “healthy pipeline” of IPOs for the remainder of 2024. Nine companies were brought to market in Saudi Arabia during the opening three months, according to the latest report from global consultants EY. The kingdom’s largest, and the […]

A Diwali celebration held during Expo 2020 in Dubai. GCC officials want to work together to prevent event clashes

Tourism chiefs call for GCC-wide events calendar

Gulf Cooperation Council nations should co-ordinate their event schedules to avoid overlaps and entice tourists to make multiple stops in the region, officials have said at the Arabian Travel Market conference. The six GCC governments – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE – are exploring ways to co-operate on tourism, including a […]

SJP's chief investment officer Justin Onuekwusi, second from right, at the event in Dubai. Other speakers included, from left, Ben Powell of the BlackRock Investment Institute, Angelina Lai of SJP Asia and Middle East, and Robert Willock of the Economist Intelligence Unit

Wealth manager seeks Gulf growth despite setbacks in UK

St James’s Place, the UK’s largest wealth manager, plans to target local customers to expand its one-year-old Gulf operation as it seeks to brush off reputational setbacks in its home market. In February SJP disclosed that it had set aside more than $500 million for potential client refunds after an increase in complaints about its […]

Maersk CEO Vincent Clerc. The company said its vessels are now using 40 percent more fuel per journey

Red Sea disruption to hit capacity by 20% says Maersk

Danish shipping major Maersk expects Red Sea disruption to lead to a 15 to 20 percent industry-wide capacity loss on the Asia to North Europe and Mediterranean routes in the second quarter of 2024. The complexity of the situation in the Red Sea has intensified over the last few months, the company said in an […]

The Ceyhan oil terminal in Turkey. Turkish Petroleum made the country's biggest ever onshore oil discovery last year with the Sehit Aybuke Yalcin well

Lack of discoveries pushes up oil and gas exploration costs

Oil and gas exploration costs doubled last year as global discoveries fell to a record low. The total volume of discovered gas and liquids dropped by more than 50 percent last year to around 5 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe), according to the 2024 annual report by the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF). The […]