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Saudi PIF US firms

Saudi fund buys into US gaming and e-payments firms

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has bought shares in gaming, electronic payment and alternative energy companies, increasing the value of its US holdings by 14 percent in the first three months of this year. The total value of holdings held by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) in US listed companies was $35.52 billion as of […]

India’s JioCinema in pricing fight with Netflix and Disney

Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s streaming platform JioCinema announced premium pricing of INR999 ($12) a year, its first step to move away from a free content model to fight global rivals such as Netflix and Disney in the country. The move comes weeks after Reliance’s Viacom18 struck a content deal with Warner Bros, that will make […]

Large screens and rumble seats enchant moviegoers

Jason Stark’s two young sons talked excitedly for months about seeing the “The Super Mario Bros. Movie”. When the film debuted this month, he decided to make the experience a special outing. Stark took a day off from work and drove his boys, ages nine and six, about a half-hour from their Connecticut home to […]

Woman, Adult, Female, Male

UK companies set their sights on $22bn Saudi events sector

Major UK firms are targeting the Saudi events sector for growth as the Gulf kingdom continues to build its reputation as a global destination. Saudi’s Ministry of Investment recently welcomed a delegation of 25 British sports events companies to explore investment opportunities. The ministry, together with the Ministry of Sports, signed cooperation agreements with ES […]

An exterior view Wynn hotel-casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.

UAE’s first casino resort in Ras Al Khaimah appoints builder

Construction preparation work has begun on the UAE’s first casino resort project, it was confirmed on Wednesday. Wynn Resorts, which is based in Las Vegas, announced plans last year to build a casino within its multi-billion-dollar resort on Ras Al Khaimah’s Marjan Island. Set to open its doors in early 2027, the development will be […]

People, Person, Adult

When brands go geek: The business of Comic Con

As the Middle East Film and Comic Con, the largest popular culture festival in the region, takes place this weekend, it is not just cosplay and comic fans who will be in attendance. This year big brands are upping their pop culture marketing in a bid to stay relevant to the region’s growing young geek […]

Clothing, Glove, Adult

UAE firms on recruitment drive to support Saudi events boom

British boxer Tommy Fury achieved a close victory over American rival Jake Paul in Riyadh on Sunday, in front of celebrities such as Mike Tyson and Cristiano Ronaldo. The bout was the latest footnote in Saudi Arabia’s goal to become a global hub for entertainment and sporting events. With the kingdom launching the Events Investment […]

Record surge in films at Berlin festival marks post-Covid revival

This year’s Berlin International Film Festival marks a resurgence for the global film industry after years in the doldrums due to the Covid-19 pandemic, industry expert Scott Roxborough said on the eve of the event. While the stars who will appear on the red carpet this year – including China’s Fan Bingbing, Sean Penn, Steven […]

Person, Woman, Adult

Fever meets growing demand for live entertainment in Gulf

Fever, the live entertainment platform, is planning to expand across the Middle East after making its debut in Dubai. The company, headquartered in New York, is targeting growth in the region after raising $227 million in a funding round led by Goldman Sachs last year. It reached unicorn status with a billion-dollar valuation. Rachid Laurent […]

UAE’s centre stage in Bollywood blockbusters

The UAE is set to become a major post-production and financing hub for the Bollywood film industry. Acclaimed filmmaker Shekhar Kapur told AGBI: “Infrastructure for filmmaking is coming up in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and more Indian filmmakers will come to the UAE to make their films. There are very good studio facilities in Dubai […]

The 10th Sharjah Light Festival, held in February 2020. The emirate's government is expanding its cultural offerings

In cultural capital Sharjah, selling homes is an art form

Sharjah is investing big in culture, building up its education and arts offerings to tempt Emiratis and others to buy into a lifestyle said to be “unmatched” elsewhere in the UAE. The emirate “is referred to as the cultural capital of the Middle East”, said Professor Peter Barlow, executive director of the Sharjah Performing Arts […]

man, stage, clapping

Bollywood filmmaker trains camera on Gulf locations

Shekhar Kapur, the filmmaker behind Elizabeth and Bandit Queen, has partly “shifted base” to Dubai and is scouting locations in the Gulf for future projects. The Indian director, who attended the Red Sea Film Festival in Jeddah last December, told AGBI that the nascent film industries of Saudi Arabia and the UAE had huge potential […]

Esports and gaming is big business across the world

Egyptian gaming startup acquires Tunisian rival Galactech

Egyptian startup GBarena, an esports platform operating across the Middle East, has acquired Tunisian rival Galactech in a share swap valued at $15 million. The deal comes as GBarena prepares to close its Series A funding later this year, with participation from investors in the US, Singapore and the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) […]


Dubai startup aims to disrupt Mena theme park sector

Traditional, ride-based theme parks are being challenged by Dubai-based startup HyperSpace’s “physical parks for a digital world”, including AYA and House of Hype.  HyperSpace opened the 40,000sq ft AYA, a digitally immersive experience park with interactive gardens, observatories and other spaces in Dubai’s Wafi Mall in December, bringing a metaverse dimension to the emirate’s entertainment […]

Abu Dhabi seaward

Middle East on a roll as fastest growing theme park market

The Middle East and North Africa is set to be the fastest-growing region for investment in amusement parks, as developing economies create attractions to lure visitors.  Consumer spending at theme parks and related destinations in the Mena region is projected to grow at an annual rate of 10.9 percent, from $282 million in 2019 to […]

Worker, Person, Solar Panels

Tunisia steps up solar ambitions with launch of new tenders

Tunisia has released tenders for two solar power projects as the North African country seeks to deliver 35 percent of its energy needs through renewables by the end of the decade. The Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy is seeking companies to implement the solar photovoltaic (PV) independent power projects (IPPs). Both will have capacity […]

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Saudi sets up fund targeting global events sector

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has launched a fund that aims to position the kingdom as a global hub for cultural, tourism, entertainment and sports events. The Events Investment Fund (EIF) will conceptualise, finance and oversee the development of more than 35 venues by 2030, diversifying the Saudi economy and “increasing its share of […]

Dubai conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim replaces CEO Bejjani

Alain Bejjani has been replaced at the helm of Dubai-based retail and property conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim (MAF). The Lebanese business executive had been CEO of the company since 2015. During his eight year tenure in charge, Bejjaini led the digital transformation of the company and spearheaded its drive towards sustainability. MAF also completed major […]

A Muvi cinema in Riyadh

‘Entertainment is the new retail’ for Riyadh malls

More than half the new retail space being developed in Riyadh is dedicated to entertainment venues, research has found, as Saudi Arabia seeks to attract younger people to malls. At the Mall of Saudi, being developed by Majid Al Futtaim in north Riyadh, large areas will be allocated to dining, leisure and entertainment – and […]

Qatar reviews London investments after transport advert ban

Qatar has launched a review of its investments in London after the city’s transport authority this week banned the Gulf state’s tourism advertisements on the capital’s buses, taxis and Underground train system, Saturday’s Financial Times reported. The paper said the move by Transport for London (TfL) was triggered by concerns over the soccer World Cup […]

MassiveMusic worked with Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority to capture authentic sounds of the city

MassiveMusic is making some noise with Middle East move

“Sonic branding” is not a term many people outside the marketing industry are familiar with, especially in the Gulf region. But they may become more so, as companies increasingly adopt music strategies to reach their customers.     “We know the effect that successful music can have on communication, and it is fast becoming a point of […]