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Middle East

Expat employees in the UAE traditionally leave with a "golden goodbye" bonus. But this is starting to change

Expats in UAE get ready to leave ‘golden goodbye’ behind

The “golden goodbye” has long been a staple of UAE office life. Expat staff are handed a lump sum by their employer when they leave, based on a percentage of their salary and length of service.  But the practice is starting to change. More Emirati companies are looking to set up workplace pension and saving plans […]

Metito desalination project in Port Ghalib Egypt

Alpha Dhabi takes over water specialist Metito

Investment company Alpha Dhabi announced on Monday the acquisition of a majority stake in Metito Holdings, a company involved in the water and wastewater industry worldwide.  Pending regulatory approvals, the deal marks Abu Dhabi-based Alpha Dhabi’s entry into the water and wastewater sector, with its CEO saying the need for sustainable water solutions “has never […]

Corn harvest season in Zhangye, Gansu Province. China has trained 10,000 agricultural officials and staff from 22 Arab League member countries

China and Arab states sign $471m worth of agri deals

A total of 34 deals worth AED1.73 billion ($471 million) were signed at the China-Arab States Expo, promoting cooperation and development in the agricultural sector. Agriculture has become an important part of China-Arab cooperation, and trade in agricultural products has recorded steady growth, the UAE state-run Wam news agency reported, citing the China Economic Net […]

Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Cop28 president-designate, opened trading on Wall Street at the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday

Fossil fuel phase-down ‘inevitable’ says Al Jaber

Cop28 president-designate Sultan Al Jaber this week implored world leaders to cut reliance on fossil fuels to meet carbon reduction targets.  Addressing the UN Climate Ambition Summit in New York, Al Jaber – who is also group chief executive of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company – urged nations to fast track the transition to a […]

aviation offsets

Aviation offset rules face shake-up as doubts persist

An imminent change to rules governing aviation carbon offsets ahead of the Cop28 climate conference may not be enough to convince airlines and others they have a meaningful effect, it has emerged. Aviation, like steel- and cement-making, is a hard-to-abate industry. It is difficult for companies within the sector to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide […]

A Bako electric car in Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia. Clean transport is one of the many sectors that can benefit from HSBC's $1bn fund

Mena companies can tap $1bn HSBC climate tech fund

HSBC has set aside $1 billion to help finance early-stage climate tech companies around the world, and “transformative investment opportunities” exist in the Middle East and Turkey, according to its regional chief.  “The Middle East has a key role to play in the transition to a net zero global economy,” said Patricia Gomes, regional head […]

Cuisine in India and the Middle East is ‘incomplete without spices’, said Indian minister Piyush Goyal

India-Middle East-Europe corridor to revive spice route

Indian spices and spice products are likely to be the first commercial products to find their way through the new India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (Imec), an Indian minister has said. Imec, announced last month at the G20 summit in New Delhi, India, aims to integrate railway routes and link ports along a route from India […]

A 'Made in the Gulf' brand has potential 'if it is built upon the genuine strengths of the region', says one expert

The time could be right for a ‘Made in the Gulf’ brand

Creating a “Made in the Gulf” brand for the region’s manufacturing sector would not be easy – but such an initiative has potential, according to industry experts. Plans to establish a unified definition and standards for such a brand were discussed by trade and industry ministry representatives at a meeting of the Industrial Cooperation Committee […]

oil $100 oil price

$100 a barrel oil raises global inflation fears

Oil has risen to its highest level since November, reigniting fears over inflationary pressures on the global economy as it approaches $100 a barrel. Brent crude hit $95 barrel this week, before reducing gains, as the extension of Opec+ supply cuts tightened the markets. In a sign of a massive uptick in the energy markets, […]

The Fuze team, from left: CTO Srijan Shetty, CEO Mohammed Ali Yusuf and COO Arpit Mehta

Digital assets startup Fuze raises $14m in seed round

UAE digital assets provider Fuze has raised $14 million in a funding round, in what it claims is the “largest” seed investment in a digital assets startup in the Middle East and North Africa.  The investment was led by Abu Dhabi-based Further Ventures, with participation by US-based Liberty City Ventures.  The startup enables banks, fintechs […]

Saudi Arabia advertising - digital growth

Middle East to be world’s fastest-growing ad market

The Middle East’s advertising market is on track to be the world’s fastest growing over the next two years, driven by Saudi Arabia’s ongoing transformation. The regional market, worth $5.9 billion last year, is forecast to grow 10 percent in 2023 and a further 6.2 percent in 2024, when its value will reach $6.9 billion. […]

PFL fighters in action in New York. PFL Middle East organisers hope to attract more investment from the region

Saudi-backed martial arts league aims for $1bn business

The Middle East arm of the Professional Fighters League will be a billion-dollar entity within the next decade, according to its founder. Mixed martial arts (MMA) organisation PFL Middle East is set to launch in the second quarter of 2024, spurred by a reported $100 million cash injection from Saudi Arabia’s SRJ Sports Investments. It […]

Dubai VC funding SMEs

Dubai SMEs turn to banks as VC funding declines

Small businesses in Dubai are turning to traditional banks for financing as the global slowdown in venture capital funding continues. Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest bank by assets, reported that it funded 34 percent more small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) over the opening seven months of 2023 compared to the same period last year. Lucy Chow, […]

AtkinsRéalis says Saudi Arabia is 'super competitive, particularly from a salary progression perspective'

Saudi construction workers spoilt for choice

Saudi Arabia’s trillion-dollar construction industry is providing rich pickings for professionals as companies increasingly struggle to retain talent. The kingdom has projects worth over $1.3 trillion underway and a further $64 billion in contracts forecast to be awarded this year. But while that places pressure on companies to recruit the necessary talent, employees are enjoying […]

Northern Ireland Gulf trade

Northern Ireland keen to deepen trade ties with Gulf

The recent Brexit deal for Northern Ireland places it in a strong position to deepen trade links with the Middle East and North Africa (Mena), especially in manufacturing and life sciences, according to the regional head of Invest Northern Ireland.  The economic development agency aims to grow the number of Northern Irish businesses active in […]

Standard Chartered bank in Singapore, from which the bank received 14% of its income in H1 2023

Standard Chartered still attractive to possible buyers

Standard Chartered will remain in the sights of cash-rich potential buyers thanks to the bank’s relatively cheap valuation and hard-to-replicate footprint, analysts told AGBI. It is listed and headquartered in London, yet 87 percent of its half-year income was derived from Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Over the past decade, Standard Chartered has sold […]

'Such narratives set the global energy system up to fail spectacularly,' said Opec secretary general Haitham Al Ghais, referring to IEA views on peak oil demand

Opec pours cold water on IEA’s ‘peak’ for oil demand

Opec, the group of oil-producing countries, has taken issue with assumptions by the International Energy Agency that demand for fossil fuels would peak before 2030, saying they present a danger to economies and billions of people.  “Such narratives only set the global energy system up to fail spectacularly. It would lead to energy chaos on […]