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A security guard at newly constructed housing in Riyadh. Increasing homeownership is a Vision 2030 target

Saudi mortgage lending rises despite GDP slowdown

Saudi banks’ mortgage lending to individuals and businesses rose in the third quarter, up 13 percent on 2022, despite a slowdown caused by lower oil prices and oil output cuts.  A bulletin released this week by the central bank reported loans of SAR591.7 billion ($158 billion) to individuals and SAR155.5 billion to companies in Q3. […]

Businesses will benefit 'when their female directors have the numbers to build influence,' says Maliha Jilani

More women join UAE boards, but progress ‘still slow’

When Maha Abdul Majeed Ismail Ali Al Fahim joined the board of Islamic Arab Insurance Company this year, she became part of a growing trend. Women made up 23 percent of appointments to UAE boards in 2022, from just 12 percent in 2020, according to executive search company Heidrick & Struggles. But campaigners in the Gulf […]

Bill Gates speaks to Rima al Mokarrab at the Catalytic Philanthropy Forum

Bill Gates hails UAE president’s action on Covid and polio

Bill Gates has praised his foundation’s partnership with Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE’s president, for its progress in tackling Covid-19 and polio.  The philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder told an event in Abu Dhabi on Sunday: “We’ve worked with the [UAE] president on a number of things – he has been very generous […]

Sheikh Mohammed launched phase 2 of the Dubai 2040 plan on Monday

Sheikh Mohammed reveals phase 2 of Dubai 2040 plan

Agricultural industry, heritage preservation and the “20-minute city” concept are key planks of the second phase of the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, the government said on Monday. The plan – whose first phase was published in March 2021 – sets out a strategy for Dubai’s urban development over the next two decades. It is […]

Talent-starved technology firms woo ex-Twitter staff

Put off by Elon Musk’s muscular management style? Move to us! That’s the pitch being used by talent-starved technology firms trying to lure thousands of former Twitter Inc employees laid off by the social media company under its new owner. Twitter has fired top executives and enforced steep job cuts with little warning following Musk’s […]

A beer bar at the Fifa fan festival in Doha

No alcohol sales at World Cup stadiums after Fifa u-turn

Alcohol will not be sold at Qatar’s World Cup stadiums, Fifa has announced, in a reversal of its previous policy. The statement comes two days before the tournament begins on Sunday. It is the first to be held in a conservative Muslim country with strict controls on alcohol, the consumption of which is banned in […]

Musk’s Twitter ownership starts with firing of top executives

Elon Musk became Twitter Inc’s owner on Thursday, firing top executives and providing little clarity over how he will achieve the lofty ambitions he has outlined for the influential social media platform. “The bird is freed,” he tweeted, referencing Twitter’s bird logo in an apparent nod to his desire to see the company have fewer […]

Credit Suisse seeks billions from investors in make-or-break deal

Credit Suisse plans to raise 4 billion Swiss francs ($4 billion) from investors, cut thousands of jobs and shift its focus from investment banking towards rich clients as the bank attempts to put years of scandals behind it, sending its shares sliding. Chairman Axel Lehmann dubbed the plan a “blueprint for success”, but it fell […]

US firm Safanad to co-invest $200m in Mena education

Safanad, a New York-based private investment firm, will co-invest with Global School Management (GSM) $200 million in the education sector in the Middle East and North Africa, they said on Wednesday. They committed “to invest significantly beyond this to acquire, manage and develop multiple charter, online, early learning, and K-12 private schools independently and in […]

The final price for MBC Group shares will be disclosed at the end of the book-building period on December 6

Saudi MBC Group signs deals with Turkish production companies

Saudi-owned MBC Group, the Middle East’s largest broadcaster, said on Wednesday it had signed a five-year partnership with two Turkish production houses, signalling an end to an unofficial boycott imposed on Turkey by Saudi Arabia as the two countries work to improve ties. MBC, which in March 2018 scrapped Turkish programmes including soap operas popular […]

Flurry of funds bet on bruised bitcoin and ether allure

A growing number of funds are betting on the long-term appeal of bitcoin and ether, a gritty gambit in the depths of a crypto winter. Unfazed by a collapse in prices over the past 11 months, investment firms have unleashed a flurry of exchange-traded funds, anticipating that elite cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology will eventually […]

Real Madrid renews sponsorship deal with Emirates until 2026

Spanish soccer club Real Madrid has renewed a sponsorship deal with the airline Emirates until 2026, the team said on Friday. While the parties did not disclose financial details, Spanish sports newspaper Marca reported the contract’s value at about €70 million per year plus variables. The United Arab Emirates flag carrier’s logo has been emblazoned […]

Qatar Airways to hire 10,000 staff amid World Cup preparations

Qatar Airways is boosting its workforce by 10,000 to handle an influx of passengers flying into Doha for the soccer World Cup and in line with a broader post-pandemic expansion, the airline told Reuters. The Doha-based carrier is in the midst of a recruitment drive which will lift its total workforce to more than 55,000 […]

India’s Nykaa and Dubai’s Apparel Group forge Gulf alliance

Indian cosmetics and fashion retailer Nykaa and Dubai-based lifestyle and fashion conglomerate Apparel Group have struck an alliance to expand in the Gulf region, the companies said on Thursday. With the agreement, Nykaa hopes to grow in a region where it sees high demand for beauty products, months after inflationary pressures in India led it […]

Kim Kardashian pays $1.26m fine for paid Instagram crypto post

Kim Kardashian has promoted everything from appetite-suppressing lollipops to melon-flavoured liqueur to toilet paper, but it was her foray into the murky world of cryptocurrencies that got her into hot water. The reality television star and influencer has agreed to settle charges of unlawfully touting a crypto security and to pay $1.26 million in penalties […]

French cities to ban Qatar World Cup fan zones

Several major French cities including Lille, Strasbourg and Bordeaux said they will not organise fan zones or put up giant outdoor screens to show Qatar World Cup soccer matches in protest against ecological and humanitarian issues. Leftist and ecologist mayors in those cities said the loss of immigrant workers’ lives during construction of the stadia […] adds safety advisory for West Bank properties

Online travel agency has added safety labels to listings in the occupied West Bank, which Israel, having initially opposed the move, welcomed for not singling out Jewish settlements. The move was rebuked by Palestinian officials, who said the advisory should only be used for Israeli settlements. The company now posts an advisory on its […]

Egypt’s import squeeze hobbles economy as US dollars run short

Christeen Aiad from eastern Cairo had been hoping to buy a small automatic car this year, but rules preventing importers trading in scarce dollars put paid to that and she is having to get around on her bicycle instead. The war in Ukraine has deepened Egypt’s economic woes. It sent the import-reliant nation’s bill for […]