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Development news from the Middle East. All the important stories, exclusive interviews, plus authoritative opinion and analysis

Egypt will use the US funding across a range of sectors including agriculture

US allocates $130m development funding to Egypt

The US has allocated funding of $130 million for a range of developmental projects in Egypt, it was announced on Thursday. In a press release published by the US Embassy in Cairo, ambassador Herro Mustafa Garg said that the money would go towards “advancing Egyptian efforts to achieve a brighter, healthier, and more prosperous future […]

Dr Fuad Alsheikh Mubarak, CEO, NWC and Severino Ramos Aparici, general manager of Aguas de Valencia sign the contract for the Saudi water projects

Saudi Arabia seeks private investment for 113 water projects

The Saudi government-backed National Water Company (NWC) is seeking private investment in projects to upgrade 113 existing water and sewage treatment plants this year. These plants will have a total capacity of 2.4 million cubic metres per day. No estimate was given on the expected private sector investment. As part of its long-term operation and […]

The timeline for the $35 billion Ras El Hekma project on Egypt's Mediterranean coast is still uncertain

Egypt and UAE still in talks over $35bn Ras El Hekma deal

Egypt and the UAE are holding talks on issuing contracts for the $35 billion Ras El Hekma development project, according to a news report. “It’s still extremely premature. We are now in the stage of finalising contracts,” Nader El Biblawi, chairman of the Egyptian Travel Agents Association, told Reuters. While no details were given on […]

The UAE has bucked the trend of working-from-home that emerged in the pandemic

UAE offices in demand – in contrast to the West

Offices in the UAE are outperforming Western equivalents, with a steady influx of foreign businesses and local developers’ preference for residential projects. “The need for more Grade A office space is becoming increasingly urgent,” Behnam Bargh, managing director at real estate agency CRC, told AGBI. “Addressing this issue will be crucial for maintaining the country’s […]

Last year, there was a 29 percent increase in international tourist arrivals to the GCC compared to 2022

Why ‘over-tourism’ offers an opportunity for the GCC

The GCC region and its North African neighbour Egypt can reap the rewards of over-tourism across the globe, according to industry experts, with affordability playing a key role in fuelling the sector’s growth. The number of hotel rooms in the six countries of the GCC – Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE […]

Garden, Nature, Outdoors

UAE commits $50m to development fund

The UAE has committed $50 million to the second phase of the Lives and Livelihoods Fund 2.0 (LLF 2.0), a multi-donor initiative targeting sustainable economic development in the Islamic Development Bank’s (ISDB) 57 member countries. The funding will be deployed by LLF 2.0 to support critical projects in health and infectious diseases, agriculture, and social infrastructure in low […]

Abu Dhabi's Advanced Technology Research Council announced its $200m tech fund at the World Governments Summit in Dubai

Abu Dhabi launches tech fund for developing countries

Abu Dhabi has launched a $200 million tech investment platform that it hopes will help developing countries catch up with wealthier nations. The emirate’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), which unveiled the initiative at the World Government Summit in Dubai, will fund “resource and research costs” in six sectors, transport, healthcare, aerospace and space, food […]

Person, Architecture, Building Flags were barely raised before countries reached their first deal on the climate damage fund

UAE’s $100m leads climate disaster fund Cop28 pledges

Negotiators at Cop28 in Dubai struck the first deal of the summit on Thursday evening, officially agreeing to set up a fund to help vulnerable countries recover from damage caused by climate change.  The plan to create a United Nations-led “loss and damage” fund was hailed as a breakthrough for negotiations at Cop27 in Egypt […]

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 […]

Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammed al-Jadaan Video length: 06:55

Foreign investment flows to Saudi Arabia suffer drop

Foreign direct investment to Saudi Arabia in the second quarter of 2023 stood at SAR6.2 billion ($1.65 billion), 21 percent down from the previous year and at a three-year low, a report said this week.  The figures, published by Saudi business news site Argaam and based on ministry of investment data, showed investment down from […]

Saudi Arabia's new development fund was involved in supporting more than 400 projects related to water, roads and schools

Saudi Arabia to invest $500m in African development

Saudi Arabia is to sign agreements worth more than SAR2 billion ($533 million) with African nations to invest in development projects and help boost “Africa’s voice” in international affairs.  “Today we’ll witness the signing of agreements between the Saudi Fund for Development and a number of African countries for projects exceeding 2 billion riyals,” the […]

CDB's cash injection is to help finance projects agreed upon with Egypt during the third Belt and Road Initiative summit

China injects $956m into Egypt’s central bank

The China Development Bank (CDB) has injected ¥7 billion ($956 million) into Egypt’s central bank to help finance projects agreed upon during the third Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) summit last month.  The funds are part of a loan agreement signed during the summit in Beijing, as well as the nine programmes outlined in 2021’s […]

Accumulated losses for DSI, constructor of the Cayan Tower, Dubai, increased to AED5.3 billion in the first half of 2023 Cayan Tower Dubai Marina skyline blue sky

Appeal court green lights Drake & Scull restructure

Dubai’s court of appeal  has approved a plan to restructure the troubled Dubai construction contractor Drake & Scull International (DSI). In what has been a lengthy battle through the courts, a previous verdict had called for the company to be placed into liquidation. This has now been overruled, and the court has given DSI one […]

Ray Dalio, the billionaire founder of Bridgewater Associates, spoke on the opening day of the UN Conference on Trade and Development's World Investment Forum in Abu Dhabi

Rich nations can’t pay for entire world, says hedge fund guru

The founder of the world’s largest hedge fund has told a UN investment conference that the governments of developed countries cannot be expected to take care of the rest of the world. Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates, the US-based fund with $124 billion of assets under management, said those nations’ financial burdens were too big […]

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has announced plans for Vision 2040

Saudi Arabia to begin preparing Vision 2040

Saudi Arabia is to begin working on the next phase of its economic diversification plan known as Vision 2030 and hopes to unveil its Vision 2040 as early as 2027, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in an interview this week.  “Today we’re trying to close a few things, we’re aiming to close in the […]

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud at the 2023 Brics Summit. The country will join the bloc in 2024

New Middle East members expand Brics reach

Four Middle East countries are to join the Brics bloc of developing countries, bridging regional political divides and signaling increased Chinese influence around the world. The new memberships of Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, as well as those of Argentina and Ethiopia, will be effective from 2024.  The decision to add […]

Russia Brics expansion

Russia says expansion will strengthen Brics

Russia said on Thursday that the Brics group of countries would be strengthened by adding new members, in its most explicit endorsement yet of the idea of expansion. The Brics group of emerging economies currently comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Moscow sees the group as an increasingly important and influential counterweight in […]

The Ooredoo board will recommend a cash dividend of QAR0.55 per share at the annual general meeting in March

Qatar’s Ooredoo profit rises 26% to $228m in Q2

Qatari telecom company Ooredoo reported a net profit of QAR831 million ($228 million) in the second quarter of 2023. This is an increase of 26 percent compared to a year earlier.   Revenue for the second quarter rose four percent year on year to QAR5.77 billion, the telecom company said in a statement. The net profit […]

Vale Base Metals is North America’s largest integrated nickel producer and the largest copper business globally

Saudi venture buys 10% of world’s largest copper maker

Manara Minerals, a joint venture between Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma’aden) and the sovereign Public Investment Fund (PIF), will acquire a stake in Brazilian miner Vale’s subsidiary. Manara Minerals will buy 10 percent of Vale Base Metals Limited (VBM), while US investment firm Engine No. 1 will acquire three percent. The two agreements are worth […]

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with Oman's deputy prime minister Assad bin Tariq Al Said. The two countries plan to increase investment and cooperation

PIF seeks $5bn investments in Oman

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, PIF, has signed a memorandum of understanding with its Omani counterpart to seek out investments in Oman worth $5 billion. The agreement aims to support the expansion of investment and cooperation between PIF and its portfolio companies with the Oman Investment Authority (OIA), said a PIF announcement on Thursday.  The […]