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hasan al fardan

Fintechs having ‘no impact’, says remittances CEO

Fintechs are no threat to the UAE-based remittances company Al Fardan Exchange, its CEO Hasan Al Fardan has declared. Al Fardan said there was no intention to drop fees to compete with finance technology startups. To date, he said, fintechs have had “no material impact on our business or our operations. We are hitting record […]

Dubai Humanitarian hosts a community of around 80 members comprised of UN organisations, non-profits and NGOs Video length: 03:25

Dubai Humanitarian and the Mena aid challenge

The Mena region requires nearly $14 billion in humanitarian aid, according to the UN. Dubai Humanitarian, formerly known as International Humanitarian City, plays a vital role in bringing together aid organisations and mobilising both funds and relief to countries affected by conflicts and climate emergencies. Dubai Humanitarian sends 1,300 dispatches of aid worth up to […]

Investors need to know the full picture of a company so 'investor education' is key

Gulf IPOs: what companies must do to go public

Owners of private Gulf companies mulling going public should ensure their businesses have a compelling narrative to tell investors and clear separation between shareholders and management, according to the chief financial officer of Dubai-based retailer Spinneys. In May the supermarket chain became the first company registered in the offshore Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) to […]

An EGA employee looks out over its Al Taweelah facility in Abu Dhabi. The electricity used in aluminium smelting makes up 60% of its carbon footprint

Adnoc, Emirates Global Aluminium and the outlook for net zero

It is a tall order. The UAE is striving to develop its industrial capacity while also decarbonising in a world that needs a 40 percent-plus reduction in emissions by the end of the decade to avoid devastating climate change. Two of the country’s biggest state-owned enterprises – Adnoc and Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) – are […]

Saudi Rotana Dakar Senegal

Rotana reveals plans to reflag hotels in Saudi Arabia

Rotana, the Abu Dhabi-based hospitality company, is looking at aggressive expansion in Saudi Arabia, including taking over already operational hotels, its chief executive has revealed to AGBI. At this month’s Arabian Travel Market, Rotana outlined plans to launch nine new properties in Saudi Arabia within four years, aiming to double its rooms to more than […]

Tawfik Alzaidi

Saudi director’s labour of love takes the kingdom to Cannes

For the first time a Saudi film has been selected to compete in the Cannes film festival, catapulting its little-known self-taught director into the limelight. Tawfik Alzaidi was so surprised that he’d managed to break through to the big time that he kept the news that his film Norah had been accepted for the ‘Un […]

Sunil Kumar, CEO of the supermarket chain, says private-label sales account for 42% of its revenue

Spinneys bets big on sales growth for own-label goods

Supermarket operator Spinneys is betting big on strong sales of its private-label products as it prepares to go public next month, CEO Sunil Kumar told AGBI on Tuesday. Its private label – or own-brand – ranges cover food, toiletries and household goods. The retailer also has exclusive rights to sell Waitrose-branded products from the UK […]

saudi space debris

Space trash offers Saudi Arabia a new revenue source

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]