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

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently met President Erdogan in New York while the Turkish leader was visiting the UN

Elon Musk’s Starlink applies for Turkey licence  

SpaceX’s satellite internet venture Starlink has applied for a licence in Turkey after a meeting in the US between its founder Elon Musk and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Ömer Fatih Sayan, Turkey’s deputy transport and infrastructure minister, confirmed that the application has been filed. “Starlink, which offers low Earth orbit satellite services, expressed their desire to operate […]

Yahsat's contracted future revenue now rises to AED25.7 billion, over 16 times its 2022 annual revenues

Yahsat bags $5.1bn contract from UAE government

Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat) has won an AED18.7 billion ($5.1 billion) contract from the UAE government to provide satellite capacity and managed services for 17 years. The contract, for its government services arm, Yahsat Government Solutions, includes related operations, maintenance and technology management services of ground segment satellite systems and terminals currently provided […]

A Bako electric car in Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia. Clean transport is one of the many sectors that can benefit from HSBC's $1bn fund

Mena companies can tap $1bn HSBC climate tech fund

HSBC has set aside $1 billion to help finance early-stage climate tech companies around the world, and “transformative investment opportunities” exist in the Middle East and Turkey, according to its regional chief.  “The Middle East has a key role to play in the transition to a net zero global economy,” said Patricia Gomes, regional head […]

The Fuze team, from left: CTO Srijan Shetty, CEO Mohammed Ali Yusuf and COO Arpit Mehta

Digital assets startup Fuze raises $14m in seed round

UAE digital assets provider Fuze has raised $14 million in a funding round, in what it claims is the “largest” seed investment in a digital assets startup in the Middle East and North Africa.  The investment was led by Abu Dhabi-based Further Ventures, with participation by US-based Liberty City Ventures.  The startup enables banks, fintechs […]

The private funding round values Israeli cybersecurity startup Cato Networks at $3 billion

Israeli cybersecurity startup Cato Networks raises $238m

Israeli cybersecurity company Cato Networks said on Tuesday it had raised $238 million in a private funding round that valued the company at $3 billion. The round, one of Israel’s largest this year and Cato’s biggest, was led by LightSpeed Venture Partners, with the participation of Adams Street Partners, Softbank Vision Fund 2, Sixty Degree […]

Dubai VC funding SMEs

Dubai SMEs turn to banks as VC funding declines

Small businesses in Dubai are turning to traditional banks for financing as the global slowdown in venture capital funding continues. Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest bank by assets, reported that it funded 34 percent more small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) over the opening seven months of 2023 compared to the same period last year. Lucy Chow, […]

TASC Towers will continue to operate independently with a board of non-Zain majority members

Kuwait’s Zain ups stake in UAE’s telco tower company

Kuwaiti telco Zain Group has increased its share in the UAE-based TASC Towers from 83.47 percent to 92.87 percent. The company will continue to operate independently with a board of non-Zain majority members, Zain Group vice-chairman and CEO Bader Nasser Al-Kharafi said in a statement to Boursa Kuwait. “Given the nature of Zain’s shareholding and […]

Northern Ireland Gulf trade

Northern Ireland keen to deepen trade ties with Gulf

The recent Brexit deal for Northern Ireland places it in a strong position to deepen trade links with the Middle East and North Africa (Mena), especially in manufacturing and life sciences, according to the regional head of Invest Northern Ireland.  The economic development agency aims to grow the number of Northern Irish businesses active in […]

Botim owner plans buyouts in Egypt and India

UAE technology firm AstraTech plans to expand across India, Pakistan and Egypt as part of its strategy to expand into international markets. “Last month, we acquired a banking company in the Philippines as part of our global expansion, and now we are looking at the Indian, Pakistani, and Egyptian markets,” Abdallah Abu Sheikh, founder of […]

Hala manages 21,000 drivers on its platform with a fleet of 12,000 cars provided by franchise partners

Dubai’s Hala reports 36% rise in trips as user numbers up

Hala, Dubai’s e-hailing taxi service on the Careem app, has reported a 36 percent annual growth in trips in the first six months of 2023 and a 21 percent rise in new users year on year. Khaled Nuseibeh, CEO at Hala, said that the performance has been “tremendous” this year so far, with March 2023 […]

China’s Alibaba to open ‘free’ AI model

Alibaba said on Wednesday it would open its artificial intelligence (AI) model Tongyi Qianwen to the public, in a sign it has gained Chinese regulatory approval to mass-market the model. Authorities in China have recently accelerated efforts to support companies developing AI as the technology increasingly becomes a focus of competition with the United States. […]

NYSE-listed Blue Owl is an alternative investment manager with $150bn in assets under management

Mubadala commits $1bn to US tech lending platform

Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala Investment Company has committed $1 billion to US-based Blue Owl Capital’s credit platform to initially focus on financing technology and software companies. New York Stock Exchange-listed Blue Owl is an alternative investment manager with $150 billion in assets under management. “Private credit has become an integral part of the financing […]

Pen, Adult, Male

Russians bulk buying iPhones in UAE to sell back home

Last year Apple officially stopped all product sales on its Apple store in Russia in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Despite this, Russian telecom operator MTS and Russian e-commerce sites are already accepting pre-orders for the iPhone 15 – to be unveiled by Apple CEO Tim Cook on Tuesday – and some of […]

A Rolls-Royce aircraft engine on display in Dubai in 2019. The British manufacturer will provide technical expertise to Qatar's Project Oryx

Qatar plans $5bn UK-Doha green tech centre

The not-for-profit Qatar Foundation, which supports education, research and community development projects, is to invest in a £4 billion ($5 billion) green energy research and development centre spanning the UK and Qatar.  The project has been dubbed the “MIT for UK energy transition” by organisers at management consultancy McKinsey & Co, The Sunday Times reported, […]

India AMD

India’s Reliance explores chipmaking foray

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries has begun exploring a foray into semiconductor manufacturing, a move that could address its supply chain needs and cater to growing chip demand in India, two people familiar with its strategy said. The telecoms-to-energy conglomerate, encouraged by the Indian government, has held early-stage talks with foreign chipmakers that have the […]

Dubai AI film

Dubai embraces AI to disrupt the film sector

Are robot writers and CGI actors about to steal our jobs? That’s one of the core fears at the centre of Hollywood’s largest strike by actors and writers in over 60 years. From ChatGPT generating scripts and AI-generated actors replacing extras in crowd scenes, to computers automatically editing scenes and creating stunning visual effects (VFX) […]

The UAE government's head of cybersecurity Dr Mohammed Al Kuwaiti. The organisation says it is foiling 50,000 cyber attacks a day

Logistics companies targeted in latest global cyber fraud

Logistics companies in the Middle East and Africa are being targeted by a worldwide scam that impersonates businesses’ websites in order to defraud consumers. According to Group-IB, a global cybersecurity company based in Singapore, the fraud – known as Classiscam – has targeted 251 brands in 79 countries. This includes 15 countries across Middle East […]

Bahrain Israeli tech net zero

Bahrain to use Israeli tech to achieve net zero goals

Bahrain aims to collaborate more with Israel on technologies that help it manage water and cope with climate change, as part of a broader boost in relations between the two countries, its ambassador to Israel said on Thursday. Along with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain in September 2020 signed an agreement to establish formal […]

Illegal fishing boats can be detected by satellite

Radar satellite deal to spot oil spills and illegal fishing

A partnership between Finnish radar satellite company Iceye and two Emirati space industry operators could be used for a range of services, such as preventing oil slicks, clamping down on illegal fishing and monitoring coastal changes. Iceye in May signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi satellite operator Yahsat and artificial intelligence and cloud computing company […]


TruDoc’s new owner seeks to expand virtual health provider

Virtual healthcare provider TruDoc has been bought by a private equity company that aims to accelerate its growth across south Asia, the GCC and Africa. Pulsar Capital bought a minority stake in TruDoc last year and has increased its investment to take a controlling interest. TruDoc serves markets including the UAE, Saudi Arabia as well […]


Dubai bullish on metaverse as hype fades

The metaverse has been seen as the silver bullet that would revive businesses in Dubai and the wider Gulf region in the post-pandemic era.  The UAE is still bullish about its potential, but Mohammad AlBlooshi, CEO of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Innovation Hub, told an event on Monday that enthusiasm for the nascent […]

Saudi Arabia STC Telefonica

STC buys 9.9% of Spain’s Telefonica for $2.25bn

Saudi telecoms conglomerate STC Group has acquired a 9.9 percent stake in Spain’s Telefonica for SAR8.5 billion ($2.25 billion) as part of its global expansion drive. The investment makes the Saudi listed company the top shareholder in the Spanish telecom major after Spanish bank BBVA’s 4.9 percent holding. The holding comprises 4.9 percent of Telefonica’s […]