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UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Jordan's King Abdullah II talk during a meeting in Abu Dhabi in March

UAE’s ADQ to invest $5bn in Jordan’s economy

Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund ADQ has completed plans to invest $5 billion in infrastructure and other projects in Jordan. ADQ has completed the formalities to set up the infrastructure investment fund company, Jordan’s ministry of investment said in a statement. This initiative is part of the agreement signed with the UAE during last year’s visit to […]

An agricultural engineer checks green peppers on a farm in Jordan. Vegetables and fertilisers are among its main exports

Jordan’s exports rise 15% in Q1 despite regional unrest

Jordan’s exports increased by more than 15 percent in the first quarter of the year despite the conflict between Israel and Hamas and the disruptions to maritime trade in the Red Sea. The country recorded “remarkable” growth in export value from January to March, according to the Amman Chamber of Industry.  Export value rose to […]

The number of customers playing digital games in Jordan expanded to just under 6 million in 2023

Jordan’s digital game spend at $82m in 2023

The total amount spent on digital games in Jordan reached $82.5 million in 2023, official data has revealed. Nearly $17 million was allocated to paid games while $7.3 million was spent on live in-game purchases, state-run Jordan News Agency said, quoting the Information and Communications Technology Association of Jordan (Intaj). Mobile games commanded the largest […]

The US interest rate cuts may affect commodity prices but beyond that Lebanon citizens will not see a difference, says one observer

Lebanon needs more than US rate cuts to turn its economy around

Probable US interest rate cuts could help Jordan and Morocco attract additional foreign investments as well as easing their already manageable loan repayment commitments, experts predict, but Lebanon’s financial problems remain so acute that a reduced debt burden will make little difference. US 10-year treasury yields – the most important determinant of government borrowing conditions […]

Taaleem has doubled its investment in edtech over the past five years but says it is selective with its use

Mena reaches for tech to upgrade results in education

Demand for education technology, or edtech, is growing in the Middle East and North Africa as countries seek to bolster learning to drive economic growth.  However, experts warned against excessive use of technology in classrooms, saying it could affect the attainment of basic skills such as reading and writing.  Examples of edtech include interactive whiteboards, […]

The free trade agreement was signed in May 2022 by the two countries' economy ministers: Orna Barbivai of Israel and the UAE's Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri

Israel’s trade with Arab countries up 16% in 2023

Trade between Israel and the seven Arab countries that have normalised relations with the Jewish state broke records in 2023, exceeding $4 billion, up 16 percent from 2022, according to a report. Bilateral trade among the nations decreased by only 4 percent following the outbreak of the war in Gaza in October, from $937 million […]

The Temple of Hercules in Jordan. Tourism contributed about 15% to GDP in 2023

Jordan’s economic growth to slow on lower tourist arrivals

Jordan’s economic growth will ease to 2.1 percent in 2024 from 2.6 percent in 2023, as tourism arrivals are likely to be lower than record-breaking levels seen last year, S&P Global Ratings said in a report. “Our GDP growth forecast reflects fiscal drag and an expected increase in precautionary savings amid rising regional tensions,” it […]

After its stake acquisition, Foursan will hold two of five board seats at date supplier and exporter Medjool Village

Jordan’s Foursan acquires 33% stake in dates exporter

A fund managed by Jordanian private equity company Foursan Group has acquired a minority stake in Medjool Village, a local producer and exporter of Medjool dates. Foursan Capital Partners (FCP) II fund acquired 33 percent in Medjool Village, which is the fund’s seventh investment. The value of the deal was not disclosed. Founded in 2012, Medjool […]

UAE president Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan meets with Jordan's King Hussein in Amman

AD Ports deal to transform Jordan’s Aqaba

Abu Dhabi is to play a key role in transforming operations at Aqaba Port, Jordan’s primary trade hub.  A joint venture company comprising a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Ports Group and the Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC) aims to “revolutionise” the port by digitalising operations within a year. The UAE wants to build on bilateral trade […]

Morocco joins the Industrial Partnership for Sustainable Economic Growth at a signing ceremony in Bahrain

Morocco joins Mena industrial partnership

Morocco has become the fifth country to join a partnership that aims to strengthen industrial integration in the Middle East and North Africa. At a meeting held in Manama, Morocco’s entry into the Industrial Partnership for Sustainable Economic Growth was announced, joining the UAE, Jordan, Egypt and Bahrain. During the meeting $2.2 billion worth of […]

IMF Jordan loan Petra The Treasury

IMF approves $1.2bn loan to support Jordan’s reforms

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a $1.2 billion, four-year loan programme to support Jordan’s economic and financial reforms. The new arrangement replaces the previous extended fund facility arrangement, which was approved in March 2020 and was set to expire in March 2024. Jordan will get immediate access to about $190 million of the […]

Man watching tv and eating popcorn at home on a couch, back view

In the streaming age, the TV stays on after Ramadan

YouTube creators and streaming services are changing the face of television all over the world – but particularly in Arab countries, according to executives who attended the Red Sea Film Festival in Jeddah this month. The entertainment industry in the Middle East traditionally focused on the fasting month, when TV shows could find a captive […]

Masked and socially distanced pupils at a Saudi school in 2021. The OECD's Pisa tests show the impact of the pandemic on education

Saudi schools ‘doing better at maths but still lagging behind’

Saudi Arabia’s schools have improved in the past few years, but are still below the international average and a long way behind the best performers, according to the OECD. Teenagers from 81 countries were tested for the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa), which published its 2022 report on Tuesday. The tests measured the […]

Bader Al-Kharafi and Aziz Aluthman Fakhroo

Gulf telcos sign deal to create $2bn tower company

Telecom operators Ooredoo and Zain Group on Tuesday said agreements have been signed to create the largest tower company in the Middle East and North Africa. The cash and share deal, which also involves Dubai-based Tasc Towers Holding, will establish a company comprising 30,000 telecom towers in Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq, Algeria and Tunisia, with […]

Harvesting wheat in Sharkia, Egypt. The Opec Fund is backing food security projects in Egypt and Jordan – both big importers of grain

Opec Fund piles up financing for wheat, wind and water

The Opec Fund for International Development is on track to meet its pledges to increase grants and loans to climate-related projects, its Middle East and North Africa head has told AGBI.  Musab Alomar, the fund’s director of public sector operations for Mena, said climate financing made up 33 percent of all Opec Fund approvals in […]

A tourist at Petra. Jordan's budget deficit was expected to fall to 2.1% of GDP next year from 2.6% this year

Jordan spending forecast at $17.5bn in draft budget

Jordan’s state spending is forecast at 12.4 billion dinars ($17.5 billion) in its draft 2024 budget, finance minister Mohamad Al-Ississ said on Wednesday, supported by a strong showing in International Monetary Fund (IMF) backed reforms. Al-Ississ said growth was expected to be around 2.6 percent in 2024, the same level forecast for this year, as […]

E-commerce accounts for a comparatively small amount of sales in Jordan, but the sector is attracting venture capital funding

E-commerce beats fintech to Jordan VC funding top spot

The e-commerce sector accounts for the biggest share of Jordan’s venture capital funding, bucking the dominance of fintechs across the wider Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region. E-commerce/retail has attracted 20 percent of Jordan’s total funding, and 17 percent of deals, between 2018 and 2022, according to a report by Jordan’s Ministry of Digital […]

Phosphate mining in Morocco

Future is rosy for Mena phosphate producers

With Morocco and Saudi Arabia now holding the bulk of the world’s high-quality, accessible phosphate rock reserves, the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region is a major centre for the phosphate mining industry’s future growth, analysts say. Morocco alone holds around 70 percent of the world’s total reserves of phosphate rock, the raw material […]

IMF Jordan loan Petra The Treasury

Jordan agrees with IMF on new $1.2bn reform plan  

Jordan agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a new $1.2 billion four-year reform programme that was a signal of confidence to investors and will help cushion the economy from the adverse impact of regional conflict, finance minister Mohamad Al Ississ told Reuters on Thursday. The new extended fund facility (EFF) arrangement will replace […]

A tourist enjoys a view of Petra's most elaborate ruin, Al Khazneh (the Treasury), from the mountain above. On Thursday, February 8, 2019, in Petra, Ma'an Governorate, Jordan.

Gaza conflict puts pressure on neighbours’ economies

A prolonged conflict in Gaza and Israel is likely to lead to a significant contraction in GDP and loss of foreign exchange receipts across Middle East and North Africa, according to S&P Global Ratings. The month-long conflict leaves the tourism sectors of Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan “most exposed” due to their geographical proximity to the […]