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Leisure & Hospitality

Israeli Muslims could visit Saudi holy sites

Israel expects religious tourism to Saudi holy cities

Israel sees religious tourism among its Muslim population as a major benefit of a peace deal with Saudi Arabia, Israeli minister of tourism Haim Katz said in Riyadh this week.  “Twenty percent of Israel is Muslim, two million, and they will come to Mecca easily,” Katz told AGBI on September 27 at a gala dinner […]

Talks with PIF and DP World progressing says PGA Tour

PGA Tour said its planned merger with Saudi-backed LIV Golf and DP World Tour has garnered unsolicited interest from investors as it continues to finalise an agreement with the Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and the DP World Tour. The PGA said that while it did not solicit additional investment interest, it has a […]

Qiddiya tourism

$1bn tourism school to open in Saudi’s Qiddiya

Saudi Arabia plans to build a $1 billion tourism school in the Qiddiya sports, culture and entertainment city giga-project.  The Riyadh School for Tourism and Hospitality will train workers from around the world, not only Saudi Arabia, tourism minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb told a UN World Tourism Organization gathering in the capital. The training headquarters at […]

Tourism visa encourages GCC visitors

UAE announces new visa for GCC in tourism push

The UAE minister of economy has announced plans for a new visa to allow travel within the GCC countries, in a bid to boost local and regional tourism. The GCC visa being considered will allow those residing in the bloc to travel easily among the six members states – the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, […]

Haim Katz is the first Israeli minister to make an official visit to Saudi Arabia

Israeli minister makes historic visit to Saudi Arabia

Israeli tourism minister Haim Katz made the first ever public visit by a member of the Israeli government to Saudi Arabia this week, attending a World Tourism Day event in Riyadh.  The Israeli ministry of tourism said Katz was leading a delegation on a two-day stay in the Saudi capital as part of the United […]

PIF-backed Asfar to open new mountain resort in 2025

Construction has commenced this month on the Saudi sovereign wealth fund-backed Gamra mountain resort project in Al Baha, the kingdom’s southwest region. The project is due to open in the first half of 2025. Saudi Tourism Investment Company (Asfar) will develop the project in partnership with Ebda, an adventure, sport and entertainment company, as the […]

Lottoland's David von Rosen-von Hoewel says Dubai is "perfectly suited" for his new project after the launch of its new gaming authority

Lottoland founder sets sights on $1bn Dubai lottery

The founder of the global lottery betting platform Lottoland has revealed plans to launch the world’s first $1 billion overnight jackpot in Dubai. David von Rosen-von Hoewel told AGBI he is set to hold talks with the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA). The UAE’s new industry watchdog was established earlier this month, which will lay […]

Mountain, Mountain Range, Nature

Tourism masterplan unveiled for Saudi’s highest peak

The first of three phases of Soudah Peaks, a luxury mountain tourism destination set 3,015 metres above sea level on Saudi Arabia’s highest peak, will be completed in 2027. The phase will have 940 hotel rooms, 391 residential units and 32,000 square metres of retail space, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported. Crown Prince and […]

Investcorp co-CEO Rishi Kapoor. The Bahraini investment company has more than $50 billion in assets under management across three continents

Bahrain’s Investcorp completes first IPO in Indonesia

Investcorp has successfully listed its Indonesian franchisee of the Mothercare brand as its focus on Asia continues to grow. The listing of PT Multitrend Indo is the Bahrain alternative investment company’s first IPO on the Indonesian stock exchange and the 26th in its 40-year history. Mothercare is one of Indonesia’s leading baby and kids retailers, […]

Marriott's W Hotel in Lake Village, part of Saudi Arabia's Neom giga-project, will have 236 rooms, including 47 suites

Marriott to open two luxury hotels in Neom’s Trojena

Global hotel chain Marriott International will open two luxury properties in Trojena, a year-round mountain destination in the $500 million Neom development. The deal with the US hotelier includes Saudi Arabia’s first W Hotel and a JW Marriott property. “We are excited to work with Neom to develop these two properties in one of the […]

Spinneys Dubai invited banks this week to pitch for roles in the offering, expected to be up to 30 percent of the company

Supermarket chain Spinneys Dubai plans IPO next year

Spinneys Dubai, the franchisee of the supermarket chain in the UAE and Oman, is planning an initial public offering (IPO) of the business in the second quarter of 2024, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. Albwardy Investment, the franchise’s 100 percent owner, hired Rothschild & Co to advise on the planned IPO, […]

Adnoc to expand its branded service stations across Egypt

Adnoc Distribution, a subsidiary of state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, plans to open six new service stations in Egypt by the end of the year. The UAE company announced the opening of three Adnoc branded service stations on Saturday after acquiring a 50 percent stake in TotalEnergies Marketing Egypt earlier this year. The newly opened […]

RAK film tourism

Lights, camera, action: RAK seeks leading role in film tourism

The UAE is no stranger to the silver screen, whether it be Tom Cruise dangling perilously from Dubai’s Burj Khalifa in Mission Impossible blockbuster Ghost Protocol, or Vin Diesel powering his $3 million supercar from one Etihad Tower in Abu Dhabi to the next in the seventh iteration of the Fast and Furious franchise. Ras […]

Riyadh Fashion Week Saudi fashion

First Riyadh Fashion Week aims for global impact

The inaugural Riyadh Fashion Week will take place in the Saudi capital next month with a line-up of 30 of the kingdom’s brands taking over the runway.  Celebrities, VIPs, buyers and key industry figures from the global fashion community are expected in Riyadh to celebrate Saudi’s rapidly emerging fashion scene. The inaugural event will also […]

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 […]

Dubai luxury hotel tourism

Dubai and Qatar expand luxury hotel portfolios

Thousands of luxury hotel rooms are set to open in Dubai and Qatar over the next few years as the hospitality sector bounces back from the pandemic. In Dubai, about 9,200 hotel rooms will be completed by the end of 2023, according to real estate consultancy Knight Frank. More than two-thirds of the supply will […]

Former MLB star Hanley Ramirez is one of the investors in Baseball United

Baseball stars line up to invest in Dubai league

Baseball United, the first professional baseball league focused on the Middle East and Indian subcontinent, has amassed a roster of investors before the Dubai league’s launch in November. Between them the investors boast a combined 222 Major League Baseball (MLB) seasons, 70 All-Star games and 14 World Series Championships. The line-up of former MLB stars […]

The General Authority of Civil Aviation says passenger protections are vital for a robust aviation sector

Saudi airlines issue $15m refunds to passengers

Refunds of SAR58 million ($15.5 million) for flight cancellations, delays and loss of luggage have been issued by Saudi airlines over the past two years, it was revealed on Monday. The figures were announced by the General Authority of Civil Aviation (Gaca). Enhanced passenger rights protection regulations, which come into force in November, will result […]

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 […]

NMC shareholder gets court nod to restructure

A plan to restructure Abu Dhabi investment firm KBBO Group and its hospital unit received court approval on Friday following months of negotiations, said Deloitte, which is acting as trustee of the group. KBBO Group was one of the biggest shareholders of collapsed firm NMC Health. KBBO’s founder Khalifa Bin Butti Al Muhairi filed for […]

Moshiri Everton

British-Iranian businessman sells stake in Everton FC

British-Iranian businessman Farhad Moshiri has sold his stake in English Premier League club Everton to Miami investment fund 777 Partners. It has signed a deal to acquire the former accountant’s 94 percent of the club’s shares. Monaco-based Moshiri invested in Everton in 2016 before taking a majority stake two years later. However, his time in […]