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

Marina Storti, CEO of WTA Ventures, front right, and Kevin Foster, head of communications at PIF, front left, at the signing of the sponsorship agreement between the two

PIF to sponsor women’s world tennis rankings

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is giving its name to the women’s world tennis rankings, the latest sponsorship deal in the kingdom’s drive to dominate global sports.  “The PIF WTA Rankings will track players’ journeys, and PIF will work with the WTA to celebrate and support players’ progress,” PIF said, calling the deal “multi-year”.  […]

Egypt's wealthiest man, Nassef Sawiris, who lives in Cairo, has interests in construction, manufacturing and sports

Cairo has most billionaires in Africa, but wealthy are leaving

Cairo is home to more billionaires than any other African city, but Egypt is facing an exodus of its wealthiest citizens. The international wealth advisory firm Henley & Partners said Cairo is home to four billionaires, and 30 centi-millionaires – those worth $100 million or more. Most reside in affluent parts of Greater Cairo, including […]

Dubai has more than 13,000 restaurants and cafes, according to tourism officials

Dubai restaurant scene ‘at risk of hitting saturation point’

Food and beverage operators in Dubai have warned that the emirate’s restaurant market is increasingly saturated as one company calls time on a prominent location. Gates Hospitality, which operates venues across the Middle East, announced this week that two of its restaurants in Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Folly and Publique, would close at the end of […]

This week Jubail Island Investment Company announced the AED4 billion Bada Al Jubail project on Jubail Island

Abu Dhabi real estate deals hit $4bn during first quarter

The value of real estate deals in Abu Dhabi reached almost AED16 billion ($4 billion) during the first quarter of the year as another beachfront community was launched in the emirate. There were over 5,000 sales and mortgage transactions in Abu Dhabi during the first three months of the year, according to data from the […]

An apartment near a beach in Dubai is unlikely to appeal to Brits, according to property experts

What Dubai’s united nations of property buyers want

When purchasing a property in Dubai amenities are important to Brits, while Indian buyers are all about the return on investment, according to real estate experts. Last year Dubai recorded 1.6 million real estate transactions, a record 17 percent year-on-year increase, according to data from the Dubai Land Department. The demand comes from a largely […]

People, Person, Adult

Saudi Arabia gives $800m in Ramadan social security aid

Saudi Arabia has disbursed SAR3 billion ($800 million) to around 500,000 Saudis as a one-off social security payment during the fasting month of Ramadan.  The amounts were deposited directly into bank accounts of beneficiaries of social security by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, on the basis of SAR1,000 ($270) per head of […]

A spa room in Clinique La Prairie's latest Longevity Hub in Dubai, it's fifth in the emirate Video length: 03:32

The Dubai spa charging AED90,000 to increase ‘healthspan’

Clinique La Prairie opened its fifth Longevity Hub-branded spa in Dubai last month and is preparing to open a $300 million health resort in Saudi Arabia’s Amaala giga-project next year.  The “medical spa” receives 60,000 clients each year from the Middle East to its luxury facility in Montreux, Switzerland for longevity and preventative medicine treatments. […]

Construction cranes tower over the Grand Mosque in Mecca, as a pilgrim kneels in prayer

Super-rich Muslims seek homes in Saudi holy cities

Wealthy Muslims are keen to take advantage of golden residency visas in Saudi Arabia to buy nearly $2 billion of property in Mecca, Medina and Riyadh, according to new research.  Just over 500 high-net-worth individuals from nine countries with a sizeable Muslim population – Algeria, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore and Turkey – […]

The Saudi fitness sector has growth potential as currently gym members make up only 3.7 percent of the population

Fitness brands shape up for Saudi expansion plans

GymNation, founded in Dubai, has revealed plans to open 50 new fitness centres in Saudi Arabia as it seeks to capitalise on the kingdom’s billion-dollar fitness industry. The mid-market brand was set up six years ago and currently operates 11 gyms in the emirate, with a further six set to open before the summer. Founder […]

These workers at a factory in Manama, Bahrain, could soon be enjoying a three-day weekend if the government goes ahead with proposed changes

Kuwait and Bahrain propose changes to working week

Lawmakers in Kuwait and Bahrain are pushing for major amendments to the working week, aiming to improve workers’ rights and boost the work-life balance in the two Gulf states. In Bahrain, the focus is on extending the weekend to three days: Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  “There is an urgent need to keep pace with global […]

Saudi Arabia's first alcohol shop will be located in the diplomatic quarter in Riyadh

Saudi to open alcohol store for non-Muslim diplomats

Saudi Arabia will open its first alcohol store in Riyadh that will be available exclusively to non-Muslim diplomats, according to several media reports. Customers will have to register through a mobile app, get a clearance code from the foreign ministry, and respect monthly purchase quotas, Reuters reported, citing a document. The foreign affairs ministry is […]