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Saudi construction delay Video length: 06:07

Big events take priority for stretched Saudi builders

There will be delays in delivering Saudi Arabia’s massive construction pipeline in time for 2030, but projects directly linked to specific international events such as the Asian Winter Games in 2029 will take priority, industry players told AGBI at the Big5 conference in Riyadh last week. About $1 trillion in giga-projects are under way across […]

Head, Person, Face Deyaar's CEO, Saeed Al Qatami, says there has been 'phenomenal growth' in the commercial space Video length: 04:50

Dubai luxury real estate has stabilised, says Deyaar CEO

Demand for mid-segment and affordable properties will increase in the coming months as luxury real estate prices start to stabilise, according to Saeed Al Qatami, CEO of the Dubai master developer Deyaar Development.  “This is a segment that will see more demand and an increase in prices. Luxury has stabilised,” Al Qatami said. Last month […]

saudi space debris

Saudi Arabia warns of space debris threat

Saudi Arabia is targeting lucrative and environmentally critical opportunities in the rubbish removal sector – in outer space. More than 27,000 man-made objects larger than 10 centimetres, such as defunct satellites and spent rocket stages, orbit Earth, according to Nasa. This space debris puts at stake billions of dollars of assets such as spacecraft and […]

Crescent Petroleum CEO Majid Jafar

UAE’s Crescent can help Iraq meet its energy needs, says CEO

Iraq’s energy needs offer great potential for growth for Crescent Petroleum, the oldest private oil and gas company in the UAE, its group chief executive Majid Jafar has told AGBI.  The Sharjah-headquartered company has built an important presence in Iraq, where it has invested nearly $4 billion, mainly in the Kurdistan region. “We operate the […]

shared rental Dubai apartment

Hope at last for Dubai expats seeking a shared rental home

Shared rental accommodation for expats in Dubai, something previously difficult to offer because of rules against subletting, is being developed by a company called Co-Living Legends, working with developers and landlords. Co-Living Legends was set up in 2021 to help female expats find house-share rental options in Dubai.  House sharing is well established in markets […]

Quantum dot technology could be transformative for drones, robots and autonomous vehicles

Saudi startup’s infrared tech has ‘game-changing’ potential

A Saudi Arabian startup’s pioneering research will slash the cost of infrared sensors, enabling them to be used in a myriad of day-to-day applications and accelerating the development of fully autonomous vehicles, its founder told AGBI. Osman Bakr, founder and chairman of Quantum Solutions, is also head of the functional nanomaterials laboratory at Kaust (King […]

An investor in the Dubai Financial Market. 'Whether you’ve $10,000 or $1 billion to invest, you should have the same opportunities,' said Sarwa's CEO

Fintech Sarwa beefs up investment platform

Sarwa Digital Wealth, an Abu Dhabi-based fintech, will this year add several new asset classes including private equity and real estate to its robo-advisory platform, the company’s CEO told AGBI. This development is indicative of a broader trend among fintech companies in the region, which are evolving from addressing isolated banking challenges to diversifying their […]

Wego co-founder and WegoPro CEO Prashant Kirtane and Wego co-founder and CEO Ross Veitch

Saudi will top Gulf business travel chart, says Wego boss

Business travel to and from Saudi Arabia is expected to surpass neighbouring UAE, according to the CEO and co-founder of online travel marketplace Wego. As of the start of this month, foreign companies hoping to gain access to billions of dollars worth of government contracts must have their regional headquarters in Riyadh. The regional HQ […]

An actor in the process of creating a synthetic facial reanimation video, or deepfake

Reality still beats deepfake technology … for now

Technology experts are confident that artificial intelligence-generated deepfakes will not dominate or replace human talent. “It sounds tremendously fake, even when it sounds ‘real’,” Ahmad Haffar, the voice behind Dubai Metro and managing partner at Mindloop Studios, told AGBI. Deepfakes are manipulated videos, images or audio recordings created using AI. They are increasingly commonplace in […]

Model Natalia Vodianova says the Russian diaspora in the Gulf forms a 'network' that works together easily

Angel investor Natalia Vodianova opts for GCC

Russian supermodel and angel investor Natalia Vodianova, nicknamed “Supernova”, is eyeing further investments in the GCC through her Paris-registered company, after backing the UAE café chain Angel Cakes this month. In an interview with AGBI, Vodianova said she and business partner Timon Afinsky, a London-based digital media professional with whom she runs the investment vehicle […]

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - DECEMBER 02: Greg Silverman, Charlene Deleon-Jones and Jessika Borsiczky pose in the portrait studio during the Red Sea International Film Festival 2023 on December 02, 2023 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for The Red Sea International Film Festival)

Coming to a movie theatre near you … AlUla

It would make the perfect setting for Star Wars or Indiana Jones, but AlUla is developing production facilities that will expand its reach beyond sci-fi and desert adventure movies, making it one of the region’s prime locations for international shoots.  The tourist location in northwest Saudi Arabia is fast developing into a mini-city with an […]

Saudi artist Manal AlDowayan will represent her country at the 2024 Venice Biennale

Saudi art blooms with the kingdom’s transformation

The arts have undergone profound changes in Saudi Arabia over the past decade as the country has enacted wide-ranging reforms, according to a leading Saudi artist.  Once silenced by religious forces and a conservative culture, female artists in particular have come to the fore through a raft of government and private sector initiatives to encourage […]

Talal Al Dhiyebi, Group Chief Executive Officer, Aldar Properties

Aldar ‘confident’ of doubling market cap within five years 

Abu Dhabi developer Aldar Properties is ramping up an international expansion drive that, alongside plans to grow its UAE portfolio, will help to double its market cap, its group chief executive said.  Aldar’s market cap is currently $12 billion, and group CEO Tilal Al Dhiyebi foresees “doubling that in five years,” he told AGBI in […]

Abu Dhabi's Jubail Mangrove National Park features several kilometres of walkways

Why the UAE is focusing on mangrove conservation

A crab scuttles across the mud, side-stepping exposed mangrove roots until it dips into a hole, as a western reef heron perches between sprouting seedlings.  Another comes along and the scene is repeated across Abu Dhabi’s Jubail Mangrove National Park, where people are meandering along a 2km boardwalk on a December morning.  An hour away, […]

Conversation, Person, Adult

New certification to swell sharia-compliant funds

A London-based fund manager hopes a pioneering Islamic finance certification can boost sharia-compliant equity investments worldwide and help ensure Muslim clients’ wealth is deployed to meet both their religious ideals and benefit society. Most sharia-compliant equity funds focus on excluding haram industries such as alcohol, tobacco, weapons, pork and gambling. Yet such a methodology has […]

Construction project delays in the Middle East average more than 22 months

Project overruns remain but payment issues improving

Delays in construction project timelines and payments remain a concern in the Gulf. However, things seem to be on the up on the payment side at least, multiple industry professionals said during the Big 5 Global conference in Dubai this week. The larger Middle East region suffers from some of the worst project overruns in […]

Crowd, Person, Press Conference Video length: 06:23

Nuclear ‘arrives too late’ to halt climate emergency

Nuclear energy will not help the world meet its urgent target to limit global warming, according to the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency.  Francesco La Camera, director-general of Abu Dhabi-based Irena, told AGBI the significance of nuclear power in fighting climate change had been overstated. “Nuclear does not serve the climate change agenda […]

'National emissions trading systems are essential to create a global carbon price,' said the European Energy Exchange

Carbon capture and storage not a ‘miracle’ climate cure

A new study has strongly criticised fossil fuel-producing states for incorporating carbon capture and storage (CCS) in their climate strategies, claiming the technology is being used to extend the shelf life of oil companies rather than as a climate action tool. As Cop28 kicked off in Dubai, analysis by US-based non-profit environmentalist organisation Oil Change […]

Smart contact lens creators Valentyn Volkov and Roman Axelrod

The Dubai startup with smart contact lenses in its sights

In 1508, Leonardo Da Vinci sketched the concept of contact lenses in his Codex of the Eye, laying the groundwork for enhancing human sight.  Fast forward a few centuries, and this early idea has evolved dramatically. Today’s contact lenses are on the brink of another step forward. New technology goes beyond correcting vision to display […]

Harvesting wheat in Sharkia, Egypt. The Opec Fund is backing food security projects in Egypt and Jordan – both big importers of grain

Opec Fund piles up financing for wheat, wind and water

The Opec Fund for International Development is on track to meet its pledges to increase grants and loans to climate-related projects, its Middle East and North Africa head has told AGBI.  Musab Alomar, the fund’s director of public sector operations for Mena, said climate financing made up 33 percent of all Opec Fund approvals in […]