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

UAE agtech startup aims to disrupt $500bn fodder industry

A UAE agtech startup is aiming to disrupt the $500 billion livestock feed industry, as prices rise on the back of supply chain disruptions caused by the Ukraine war. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations reported last week that, while the FAO Food Price Index declined 8.6 percent month-on-month in July […]

Smiling until he sees the bill: mobile data does not come cheap in Dubai

Dubai ranks as most expensive city for mobile data

Dubai has taken the unenviable top spot as the most expensive city for affordability of mobile data, with the average cost of 1GB equating to 0.55 percent of personal disposable income, said a new study. In second place is Auckland with 0.37 percent, followed by Seoul (0.32 percent), Buenos Aires (0.32 percent) and Manila with 0.31 […]

Snap eyes Qatar office to support local creators

US social media firm Snap Inc. has signed a memorandum of understanding with Qatar’s Government Communications Office (GCO) to open a new office in Doha, expanding its footprint across the Middle East. This move is part of Snap’s efforts to work closely with local partners and businesses to grow the country’s digital landscape, GCO said […]

Dubai ranks 18th in new index of top digital cities

Dubai is the only Middle Eastern city to be highlighted in the Digital Cities Index (DCI) 2022 – a new ranking of 30 global cities across four key pillars: connectivity, services, culture and sustainability. Ranked 18th with an overall score of 63.8, the city’s position highlights its forward-thinking approach to the digitised economy, underpinned by […]

US to resupply Saudi and UAE missile defence systems

The US State Department approved the potential sale of Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile interceptors to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Patriot missile interceptors to Saudi Arabia in separate deals worth as much as $5.3 billion, the Pentagon said on Tuesday. The potential deals, which would resupply key missile defence systems for […]

  • Analysis

The billion-dollar question: what does it take to make a unicorn?

Can the UAE meet its target of being home to 20 unicorns by 2031? Only if entrepreneurs, venture capital and the government work together to build companies that can truly “translate across borders”, according to experts. Today the UAE has just three startups valued at $1 billion: Vista Global, Emerging Market Property Group and Kitopi. […]

Airplane, Aircraft, Vehicle

Dubai lessor asks Indian regulator to de-register 3 SpiceJet planes

A Dubai-based lessor of SpiceJet Ltd has asked India’s aviation regulator to deregister three of the budget airline’s planes as SpiceJet struggles with high costs and maintenance challenges. The United Arab Emirates aeronautics firm AWAS did not specify why it was seeking to deregister the three Boeing 737s in Friday’s notification, published by India’s aviation […]

  • Exclusive

New $800m ‘ultra app’ aims to shake up crowded Gulf market

A Dubai-based serial entrepreneur has raised hundreds of millions of dollars to set up a new digital platform that he claims will disrupt the way people communicate, shop, pay, and transact, when it launches later this year. Abdallah Abu Sheikh, founder of Dubai-headquartered Astra Tech, calls his product, which is as yet unnamed, an ultra […]

Virtual reality headsets are becoming more affordable, allowing more people to meet in the metaverse
  • Analysis

Inside Dubai’s big $4bn metaverse push

The UAE is punting big on the next iteration of reality. Crown prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed announced the launch of the Dubai Metaverse Strategy earlier this month, with an aim to place the emirate among the top 10 metaverse economies in the world. Many observers may have been sceptical but there are already early […]

Shoe, Footwear, Clothing
  • Analysis

MENA startup funding poised to recover in second half of 2022

Last year was a standout for Middle East and North African startups in which many notable records were broken, including the largest funding round to date and the highest number of deals. The total amount of investment raised by regional startups was pushed to $2.8 billion across 639 deals. This constituted a quadrupling of investment, […]

Machine, Atm, Cash Machine

Kuwait sovereign wealth fund invests in Italian ATM operator

Italian fund FSI, the main investors in which include state lender CDP and the sovereign wealth funds of Kuwait and Singapore, has signed a preliminary deal for an investment in payments card and cash machine operator BANCOMAT. FSI and BANCOMAT have agreed the terms under which FSI is set to invest in BANCOMAT “to sustain […]

  • Analysis

The Surpluss aims to be ‘Airbnb of business’ in Dubai

Just like Airbnb offered an alternative to hotels and Uber challenged the taxi market, Dubai-based Rana Hajirasouli says she wants to “instigate a paradigm shift” to disrupt how companies manage their business resources, while playing a key role in the circular economy. Hajirasouli plans to launch The Surpluss next month, and the best way to […]

Rami Darwish, CEO Arrow Labs
  • Exclusive

UAE tech firm Arrow Labs plans major European expansion

Arrow Labs is planning a major expansion into Europe as more companies seek to improve remote working practices. The UAE-based technology company which offers digital workflow solutions, has announced its entry into the Greek market after securing a “significant” new contract with one of the world’s largest industrial gas manufacturing companies. Having attracted renowned Silicon […]

Airplane, Vehicle, Aircraft

US approves $980m sale of C-17 aircraft support to UAE

The US State Department has approved the potential sale of C-17 aircraft sustainment and related equipment to the United Arab Emirates for an estimated cost of $980.4 million, the Pentagon said on Tuesday. Despite approval by the State Department, the notification does not indicate that a contract has been signed or that negotiations have concluded. […]

Person, Human, Military

Israeli general makes first visit to Morocco to explore defence deals

The chief of Israel’s armed forces is visiting Morocco in the highest-profile military engagement between the countries, which upgraded ties in 2020 under a US diplomatic drive. Lieutenant-General Aviv Kochavi’s trip on Monday has been presented by Israel as part of emerging defence cooperation with the North African country, but Rabat has also been trying […]