Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

North Africa

A woman using a Bitcoin ATM in Hong Kong. The Mena region accounts for 7% of global cryptocurrency volumes

Gulf asset managers remain wary of resurgent bitcoin

Gulf asset managers and institutional investors remain reluctant to invest in bitcoin, despite the cryptocurrency’s resurgence over the past year. The Middle East and North Africa accounted for 7 percent – or $390 million – of global crypto volumes in the 12 months to June 30, 2023, according to Chainalysis. Turkey made up nearly half, […]

The five-star Barceló Al Jaddaf in Dubai, formerly Occidental Al Jaddaf, will open in the fourth quarter of 2024

Spain’s Barceló expands reach in Middle East and Turkey

Spain’s Barceló Hotel Group is intensifying its focus on the Middle East, Africa and Turkey this year with plans to invest more than $400 million as part of its global expansion strategy. The move includes opening hotels in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Turkey. The company will expand its portfolio in the Middle East by […]

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi at a meeting last year to discuss the country's healthcare system. It is estimated that one fifth of Egypt's adult population has diabetes

Egypt misses healthcare targets as population ails

Egypt is failing to meet its healthcare spending targets, exacerbating deteriorating living standards that are leading to a rising number of illnesses and health problems. Egypt’s parliament approved legislation in 2018 to achieve universal health coverage by 2030, pledging to expand provision to include the 50 percent of Egyptians lacking insurance, according to a 2023 […]

Construction work at Egypt's new administrative capital. Real estate 'is a very strong inflation hedge', says Aldar's Faisal Falaknaz

Aldar’s Egyptian sales unhindered by war and economic risk

Real estate developer Aldar says geopolitical and economic volatility is not affecting its expansion in Egypt. The Abu Dhabi-listed company acquired its Egyptian subsidiary Sodic in December 2021. Since then, sales have risen by more than 50 percent on a dollar-basis, Faisal Falaknaz, Aldar’s chief finance and sustainability officer, told reporters on Monday.  “What has […]

Tunisair passenger numbers were up slightly in the first quarter of 2024

Tunisair reports ‘steady’ revenue rise in first quarter

Tunisian national flag carrier Tunisair has reported a “steady” start to the year with a 5.6 percent increase in revenue for the first quarter. The airline is attempting to restructure in order to resolve legacy financial difficulties and refresh its fleet. Revenues rose to TND 316 million ($100 million) at the end of March, according […]

Spinneys currently operates 27 stores across Egypt

Spinneys Egypt expands with 10 new stores

Supermarket operator Spinneys will open 10 new stores in Egypt as part of its expansion drive in the North African country.  Four new stores will be opened before June 2024, while six more will be opened in fiscal year 2024/2025, which starts in July, Daily News Egypt reported. Spinneys Egypt operates 27 stores across the […]

Migrants attempting to reach Italy from Tunisia. About 270,000 so-called irregular migrants arrived in the EU via sea crossings last year

EU reveals total aid to North Africa to combat migration 

The European Union provided €673 million ($718 million) in funding to four North African countries from 2021-23 to help the quartet reduce what it calls irregular migration to the 27-member bloc, official data shows. Last year about 270,000 “irregular migrants” arrived in the EU via sea crossings, 64 percent more than in 2022. Crossings from […]

Sodic general manager Ayman Amer and Robert De Niro, Nobu Hospitality Co-Founder, at the launch of their third venture in Egypt

Aldar-owned Sodic to build third Nobu hotel in Egypt

Sodic, the Egyptian real estate subsidiary of the UAE’s Aldar Properties and Nobu, the US-headquartered luxury lifestyle brand, have signed up to develop their third hospitality project in Egypt. The Nobu Hotel and Restaurant, which will come up in east Cairo, will open next year, the developer said in a statement. The cost of the […]

Egypt's wealthiest man, Nassef Sawiris, who lives in Cairo, has interests in construction, manufacturing and sports

Cairo has most billionaires in Africa, but wealthy are leaving

Cairo is home to more billionaires than any other African city, but Egypt is facing an exodus of its wealthiest citizens. The international wealth advisory firm Henley & Partners said Cairo is home to four billionaires, and 30 centi-millionaires – those worth $100 million or more. Most reside in affluent parts of Greater Cairo, including […]

Dubai rendered in the metaverse. Prices of virtual land plots peaked in 2022

The Mena metaverse: moving beyond the hype

Two years ago, the concept of metaverse lands transformed from an interesting subculture into a thriving multi-billion-dollar market, capturing the interest of major investors both regionally in the Middle East and globally.  Metaverse lands, made of pixels and digital images, refer to buildings and plots within a virtual environment, offering spaces for gaming, socialising, business […]

The Saudi Contractors Authority put the total value of ongoing projects in the kingdom at $1.5 trillion by the end of October 2023

Mena steel demand to rise over next two years

Steel demand in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region is expected to accelerate in 2024 and 2025 after a significant slowdown in the past two years, the World Steel Association (WSA) said in a report. Demand is forecast to rise by just over 4 percent and 2.6 percent year on year to 57 […]

Taaleem has doubled its investment in edtech over the past five years but says it is selective with its use

Mena reaches for tech to upgrade results in education

Demand for education technology, or edtech, is growing in the Middle East and North Africa as countries seek to bolster learning to drive economic growth.  However, experts warned against excessive use of technology in classrooms, saying it could affect the attainment of basic skills such as reading and writing.  Examples of edtech include interactive whiteboards, […]

Egypt rates Sisi

Egypt will still feel the heat despite US rate cuts

Likely US interest rate cuts will lower Egypt’s interest repayment costs on its vast public debts. But this will do little to ease pressure on the country to sell national assets in order to reduce its overall borrowings. Egypt’s public external debt – money borrowed in foreign currencies – was $110 billion in 2022, having […]

Graderco's annual grain business represents over 25% of Morocco’s imports

UAE’s Invictus buys 60% of Moroccan grain trader 

Invictus Investment Company has acquired a 60 percent stake in Morocco’s largest grain trader, Graderco, and its subsidiaries from Zalar Holding.  The deal will lead to 20 percent growth in consolidated revenues over the nine-month post-acquisition period, said the Abu Dhabi-listed company. Invictus reported revenue of AED8.1 billion ($2.2 billion) and 5.4 million metric tonnes in […]

Banks in Egypt provide returns on equity of 30% and more, which analysts say is high for the region

Reasons to be cheerful for UAE banks with Egyptian subsidiaries

Despite the plunge in the value of the Egyptian pound, UAE banks’ subsidiaries in the country remain a strong long-term asset, analysts have told AGBI. Three Emirati banks – Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank and Dubai’s Emirates NBD – have acquired Egyptian lenders. The pound-to-dollar exchange rate stood at about EGP31 at […]

An Al Boraq high-speed train at Tangier-Ville station. The line opened in 2018 and runs to Casablanca

Morocco issues tender for high-speed rail to Marrakech

Morocco has issued a tender for a high-speed rail link as part of its $37 billion strategy to connect more of its cities, ports and airports by train. The national rail operator ONCF is seeking companies to build a 375km line, which will stretch from Kenitra on the northwest coast to Marrakech in the south.  […]

Orascom is working on a number of transport projects in Egypt, including lines 3 and 4 of the Greater Cairo Metro

Egyptian builder blames currency turmoil for revenue slump

Egyptian construction giant Orascom has reported a 19 percent decline in revenue to about $3.4 billion last year, attributing most of the drop to the devaluation of the Egyptian pound. Orascom said that without the country’s foreign exchange issues, it would have reported a 5.5 percent increase in revenue compared to 2022, after completing a […]

People, Person, Adult Formula One F1 - Saudi Arabian Grand Prix - Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - March 9, 2024 Chairman of Aramco's Board of Directors HE Yasir O. Al-Rumayyan is pictured on the grid before the race REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Saudi Arabia to create $40bn AI fund

Saudi Arabia plans to create a $40 billion fund to invest in artificial intelligence, The New York Times reported on March 19, citing three sources briefed on the plans. Officials of the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund – the Public Investment Fund – have discussed a potential partnership with US venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and […]

People visit the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai. Majid Al Futtaim Properties revenue grew by 20%

Currency concerns hit Majid Al Futtaim’s retail revenue

Dubai conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim recorded a slight increase in revenues over the past year but the company’s retail business was hamstrung by geopolitical tensions and currency concerns across several countries. Overall revenue was up by a single percentage point to AED34.5 billion ($9.4 billion) for 2023, with profit rising 12 percent to AED2.7 billion.  […]