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UAE passports

UAE passports gain most visa-free access since 2013

The UAE’s passport has recorded the biggest improvement over the last decade in access to global markets, as the Gulf state develops international tourism and trade. Figures from the Henley Passport Index show that Emirati passport holders enjoy access to 179 out of 226 countries and territories without requiring a visa in advance. This places […]

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Private vaults fill the gap as banks abandon deposit boxes

Private vaults in Dubai are emerging to take the place of the safety deposit boxes once provided by traditional banks. Costs, concerns over legal liability and the rise of online banking have made providing safety deposit boxes less appealing for banking giants. Capital One, HSBC, Barclays and JPMorgan Chase have all withdrawn from the market. […]

A street in Manama, Bahrain. The kingdom's real GDP is forecast to rise by 2.9 percent this year

Non-oil sector propels Q1 growth in Bahrain

Bahrain’s economy expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2023, driven by a 3.5 percent rise in real GDP for the non-oil sector, the finance ministry said in its quarterly economic report. The oil sector recorded a 5.9 percent drop in real GDP, as seasonal maintenance led to a downturn in production. Nominal […]

personal security opening car door for client

Personal security grows as wealthy expats flock to GCC

As more and more high net worth individuals choose to call the states of the GCC home, the private personal security sector has become big business, and some providers are reporting surging demand for their services. Last year 5,200 more HNWIs relocated to the UAE than left. The Gulf state had the highest net inflow […]

The souq at Bab al Bahrain in Manama, Bahrain. The country's trade with its GCC neighbours has dropped by 5%

Bahrain named best country in Middle East for expats

Bahrain is ranked among the top 10 countries in the world and number one in the Middle East for expatriates to live and work, according to the latest Expat Insider Survey by InterNations. The survey ranked countries in 56 categories including quality of life, ease of settling in, working abroad, personal finance and expat essentials. […]

Arada Sharjah Masaar

Sharjah real estate sales surge from Dubai spillover

The loosening of buying rules and a steady spillover of tenants from Dubai has boosted real estate sales in its neighbouring emirate Sharjah. Arada, a master developer in the emirate, has reported a 186 percent increase in sales during the first half of this year. It sold a total of 1,616 homes worth a total […]

Luxury Skyscraper In Dubai

UAE changes bank rules for Emirati mortgage holders

The Central Bank of the UAE has introduced new mortgage repayment rules for citizens this week as a response to rising interest rates. Customers who have a monthly income of AED40,000 ($10,890) or more will now have their mortgage repayments capped at 60 percent of their present salary. Banks were previously only allowed to deduct […]

Meteora, towers, Dubai

Indian buyers flock to Dubai for higher rental yields

With more wealthy Indians moving to the UAE and rental yields in the Gulf state more than twice the size of those in India, interest in purchasing real estate is set to continue to rise. Indians were the top foreign buyers in Dubai last year, spending more than those from Russia, China, Pakistan and the […]

Dubai, Skyros project, apartments

Affordable homes warning for Dubai private developers

Private developers in Dubai must build enough affordable housing or the government may be forced to step in, a prominent business leader has warned. Nasser al Shaikh, who served as director-general of Dubai’s Department of Finance until 2009 and held senior roles at real estate finance firm Amlak Finance and property developer Deyaar Development, said […]

Tech executives

Skills shortage pushes up Gulf tech leaders’ salaries

Technology chiefs working in the Gulf are typically earning $528,000, according to a new survey, as leadership talent remains “scarce” in the region. That figure is the median salary calculated by the first annual Middle East Technology Officers Compensation Survey from US advisory firm Heidrick & Struggles. The report said strong GDP growth in the […]

Dubai International Chamber opens London office

Dubai Chambers London hub opens to grow trade

Dubai Chambers has opened an office in London aimed at boosting bilateral trade with the UK, as the number of British companies setting up in the emirate grew by a quarter in the last year. “We are opening this office for three main reasons,” Khalid al Shamsi, vice president of operations at Dubai Chambers, told […]

UAE talent living costs

UAE talent drive continues despite rising living costs

The UAE’s talent drive continues to record strong growth despite the Gulf state’s rising cost of living. Industry executives say that the number of overseas companies and candidates looking to join the labour market is at a record high. “Dubai is becoming increasingly more attractive for people to move here, with record levels of new […]

Bahrain oil gas

Bahrain reboots oil and gas to reduce debt and CO2

Bahrain is taking steps to address economic challenges by relaunching its oil and gas holding company as Bapco Energies, with a focus on greater efficiencies and a low-carbon future. The island kingdom’s sovereign rating is one of only two sub-investment grade ratings in the Gulf – with challenges ranging from ageing domestic oil fields to […]

The Middle East placed behind the US, Europe and Asia for the number of billionaires

Saudi Arabia tops regional billionaires list

Saudi Arabia’s growing community of billionaires is the biggest in the Middle East, despite a drop in the number of super-rich across the region as a whole, the latest industry data shows. There are 71 billionaires living in the kingdom, with a combined wealth of $205 billion, a year-on-year increase of 6.6 percent, according to […]

Some 60% percent of doctors working in Saudi Arabia are expats

Saudi ‘needs to recruit 175,000 medics by 2030’

Saudi Arabia needs to recruit an additional 175,000 medical professionals to care for its growing population by 2030, research has found. The kingdom requires an extra 69,000 doctors, 64,000 nurses and 42,000 allied health professionals such as paramedics and osteopaths, according to a report published on May 30 by consultancy Colliers Middle East. Mansoor Ahmed, […]

Renewing an existing tenancy in Dubai is proving more attractive as rents rise

Dubai tenants staying put as rents continue to soar

More Dubai renters are opting to renew their existing tenancies than move to a different property altogether, to avoid being hit by soaring rental rates in a “very strong” property market, according to CBRE.  The number of rental renewals in Dubai’s residential market grew by 29.7 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2023, compared […]

Manama Bahrain

Rising cost of credit squeezes Bahrain luxury property

The increased cost of credit due to higher interest rates is starting to dent demand for luxury property in Bahrain, with apartments experiencing the most impact.  High-end apartment prices in Bahrain dropped by 1.3 percent quarter on quarter in the first three months of 2023, according to a report published this week by Savills. Luxury […]

Covid-19 appointment in Kabul

Gulf insurers paid out only $80m in Covid death claims

Gulf insurance firms paid out only around $80 million in Covid-19 death-related claims over the last three years, according to AGBI calculations based on industry data. The low amount in the Gulf reflects the low uptake of life insurance policies in the region, where the average life insurance penetration is only 0.1 percent compared with […]

Adult, Female, Person, Gulf, Champagne

Champagne sales in the Gulf fizz by 91%

World Cup fans and wealthy expats led to Champagne imports to the Gulf almost doubling in 2022. After a strong marketing push by French producers helped luxury bubbly become more mainstream, the number of bottles of Champagne shipped to the region surged 91 percent last year. Comité Champagne, the industry body representing French producers, told […]

Kuwait real estate

Kuwait to let expats buy property to boost market

Real estate activity in Kuwait has fallen over the past year, but the government is hoping to turn that around by allowing expats to buy property for the first time.  A ministerial committee has lodged a proposal to the cabinet to allow non-Kuwaitis to own investment residential properties, according to a local media report this […]

Bahrain digital

Bahrain’s Beyon puts $250m into digital infrastructure 

Tech company Beyon Group is investing more than $250 million in new infrastructure to support Bahrain’s digital transformation. The parent company of telecoms operator Batelco said it has joined the Southeast Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 6 (SEA-ME-WE 6) consortium, which is building a 21,700km-long undersea telecommunications cable from Marseille in France to Singapore. The cable will […]