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Middle East

A UBS report shows wealthy Latin American families are more likely to invest in the Middle East than US or European counterparts

Wealthy Latin Americans more likely to invest in Middle East

Wealthy Latin American families were more present as investors in the Middle East than those from other parts of the world in 2023, a global banking report says, but overall numbers are low and down from 2022.  UBS bank’s Global Family Office Report for 2024 showed that Latin American families had placed 2 percent of […]

Chinese smartphone

Middle East phone users turn to Chinese budget brands

Middle East consumers are embracing budget-friendly Chinese smartphone brands, as global favourites such as iPhone and Samsung suffer a slump in sales. The Middle East’s smartphone market is flourishing, with shipments excluding Turkey reaching more than 12 million units in the first quarter of 2024, a year on year increase of 39 percent, a report […]

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 […]

Oil workers in Venezuela, a founder member of Opec. The IEA predicts slower demand growth

IEA and Opec move further apart on global oil demand

The division between the International Energy Agency and oil producers’ group Opec has deepened as the Paris-based energy watchdog once again curtailed its oil demand outlook for 2024, amid softer macro sentiment. In its monthly report, the IEA forecast on Wednesday that world fuel demand will grow by 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) this […]

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 […]

A woman using a Bitcoin ATM in Hong Kong. The Mena region accounts for 7% of global cryptocurrency volumes

Gulf asset managers remain wary of resurgent bitcoin

Gulf asset managers and institutional investors remain reluctant to invest in bitcoin, despite the cryptocurrency’s resurgence over the past year. The Middle East and North Africa accounted for 7 percent – or $390 million – of global crypto volumes in the 12 months to June 30, 2023, according to Chainalysis. Turkey made up nearly half, […]

Opec predicts global crude demand will rise by around 2 million barrels a day in both 2024 and 2025

Opec maintains stance on oil demand predictions

Opec has kept its global oil demand prediction unchanged for this year as the global economy showed resilience, surpassing initial projections in some instances. The oil producers block said in its monthly report on Tuesday that it believed global crude demand would increase by 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2024 and by 1.8 […]

The five-star Barceló Al Jaddaf in Dubai, formerly Occidental Al Jaddaf, will open in the fourth quarter of 2024

Spain’s Barceló expands reach in Middle East and Turkey

Spain’s Barceló Hotel Group is intensifying its focus on the Middle East, Africa and Turkey this year with plans to invest more than $400 million as part of its global expansion strategy. The move includes opening hotels in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Turkey. The company will expand its portfolio in the Middle East by […]

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 […]

Family boards an aeroplane. There are 213 airlines operating in the Middle East, says the OAG report

Qatar dazzles as Middle East aviation picks up pace

The Middle East’s aviation sector is growing at twice the global rate and is expected to offer 257 million passenger seats this year, according to a new report. Not so long ago major airlines viewed the Middle East as a place to get cheap fuel on their way from Europe to South East Asia. Now […]

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 […]

A KFC outlet in a Dubai mall. It accounts for about two-thirds of Americana's sales, but has been hit by boycotts

Americana profit tumbles as Gaza boycotts hit sales

Americana Restaurants International’s revenue and profit fell again in the first quarter of this year as Mena diners continue to shun western brands in protest at the conflict in Gaza. Americana, which runs 2,456 fast-food outlets across the region, reported a 16.3 percent reduction in revenues year on year, to $493.5 million.  Net profit fell […]

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 […]

Core countries account for the majority of Islamic finance – the GCC accounted for 86 percent of growth in 2023

Growth doubts over Islamic finance despite trillions in assets

Islamic finance assets grew to about $3.3 trillion worldwide last year, but credit ratings agency S&P has warned that a planned industry standard could drive down sukuk issuance in 2025 and beyond.  S&P is predicting high single-digit growth in total assets in 2024-25 after an increase of 8 percent last year.  The agency expects the […]

Teenage students use a laptop and tablet. One cybersecurity expert said pupils' personal devices could increase the risk of data breaches

Cybercrooks have their eyes on Gulf schools, experts warn

The education sector in the GCC has emerged as a prime target for cybercriminals because of budgetary constraints and a lack of expertise, tech experts have told AGBI. “Schools, in particular, are vulnerable due to their extensive storage of sensitive personal information and comparatively lower investments in cybersecurity,” said Ram Narayanan, country manager at Check […]