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Conversions of conventional banks into Islamic ones are rare but not unprecedented.
17:41 GMT
The Council of Senior Scholars, said investing in NCB's share offer was not permissible because too much of its business was non-Islamic.
A lack of coordination on air traffic control among GCC states has been blamed for the region’s increasing congestion problems.
04:55 GMT
Failure to solve the GCC’s airspace congestion issues will negatively impact the Dubai economy.
Iran is normally among the first members of the oil producers’ group to call for supply cuts to support prices.
04:55 GMT
Iran’s dependence on oil revenue is putting the Islamic Republic’s economy at the mercy of major powers,

October 22, 2014

One-year dollar/Saudi riyal forwards jumped to 90.0 points, their highest level since a peak of 91.50 points hit in March 2011.
11:44 GMT
The dollar demand had pushed the Saudi riyal’s spot rate unusually far beyond its peg of 3.75 against the dollar.
Work on the dome, which consists of 85 super-sized steel elements and weighs 7,000 tonnes, began in December 2013.
04:55 GMT
The construction of all the galleries has also been completed structurally, along with the concrete work for the museum’s basement levels and the security screening facility.
People often – also because of the economic crisis – prefer to buy a single device which acts both as smartphone and a bit as a small tablet.
04:55 GMT
The tablet world has a newcomer in the form of Apple’s new iPad Air 2, which includes a fingerprint sensor to provide increased personal security
The housing challenges in the region are profound.
04:55 GMT
The young demographic structure of the GCC region is creating a surge in demand for housing.

October 21, 2014

Fuel prices in Jordan are “expensive” and do not match the average income of the majority of people, Majali said.
22:47 GMT
The drop in international oil prices is good news for Jordanians, if it is reflected “fairly” on domestic fuel prices.
can cover the country’s needs for around 275 years, according to Khaled Shraideh.
22:29 GMT
The Kingdom’s oil shale reserves rank fifth worldwide in terms of quantity.
The government has begun taking steps to convert Egypt into a global logistics centre for the handling and storage of grain and food commodities according
22:10 GMT
Mehleb says the project is as important as the Suez Canal expansion
Shoukry believes that, besides the GCC, Jordan represents approximately 80% of total Arab tourism to Egypt.
21:47 GMT
The Ministry of Tourism is aiming for regional tourism to account for 20% of the total inbound tourism to Egypt, according
Christophe de Margerie, chief executive of French oil giant Total, died on Monday in a business jet that collided with a snow plough during takeoff in Russia.
21:12 GMT
With his unique bushy mustache and outspoken manner, De Margerie was one of the most respected figures among the top oil executives in the world
Those affected by Standard Chartered's exit have an annual sales turnover of between $1 million and $35 million, it added.
11:16 GMT
Standard Chartered has notified thousands of UAE small and medium enterprise customers it is closing their accounts as it responds to pressure from US regulators

Boeing forecasts that airlines in the Middle East will require 2,610 new airplanes over the next 20 years, worth an estimated $550 billion.
04:55 GMT
Boeing, a leading aircraft manufacturer, said today that commercial financial institutions in the Middle East are increasingly funding the region’s record number of airplane deliveries.
On 31 January 2011, Moody’s downgraded the government bond rating for Egypt from BA2 to BA1, and changed the outlook from stable to negative
04:55 GMT
International rating agency Moody’s has changed Egypt’s outlook from negative to stable, attributing the upgrade to the stabilised political and security situation.

October 20, 2014

 North America's shale boom has started to squeeze Saudi oil out of the US market,
23:21 GMT
Saudi crude exports fell in August for the fourth month in a row to their lowest levels in three years.
Employers do not recognise the importance of job security as a key retention driver for employees.
23:08 GMT
Organisations in the Middle East are facing greater challenges than employers elsewhere in the world with 70 per cent of the firms admitting difficulty in attracting and retaining critical skill.
The best way to end terrorist violence is to make sure that the twisted calls of terrorist leaders fall on deaf ears.
20:47 GMT
Military might alone won’t defeat Islamic State and its ilk. The US needs to promote economic empowerment
For the MENA region, economic dynamics are increasingly diverging between the GCC countries and the rest of the region.
04:55 GMT
The decline in oil prices will provide significant boost to the oil importing countries in the Middle East.
The two governments signed the neutral zone agreement almost 50 years ago.
04:55 GMT
A Kuwaiti oil trade union on Sunday condemned the unilateral closure by Saudi Arabia of an offshore oilfield jointly operated by the Arab neighbours
Average apartment and villa rental rates dropped by two per cent and three per cent respectively compared to second quarter figures.
04:55 GMT
Dubai’s real estate sector registered a slowdown in rents and sales prices during the third quarter of the year.
The two-week trip sets back each participant at least £9,000 ($14,333) and some as much as £25,000 including.
00:51 GMT
The train may carry more wealth than the annual economic output of some of the places it crosses.
Shiraz will become the airline's third Iranian destination supplementing existing operations to Tehran.
00:22 GMT
Gulf Air, the national carrier of Bahrain, yesterday (October 18) announced the relaunch of flights to Shiraz, the capital of Fars Province in Iran.

October 19, 2014

The company, which saw annual revenues of over $4.5 billion in 2013, employs 130,000 people and conducts operations across the Middle East, Africa, Asia and North Americ
23:08 GMT
CCC, one of the largest construction companies in the Middle East, was founded by Khoury in 1952 along with his cousin Hasib Sabbagh and Kamel Abdul-Rahman.
On receipt of the funds from refiners, the RBI would buy dollars from authorized dealers.
13:01 GMT
Indian refiners together owe about $6 billion to Iran.
 “To return iPad to high growth, form factor innovation will be required. We’ll have to wait until 2015 to see if Apple addresses this issue.”
12:49 GMT
Apple Inc’s faster, slimmer iPads come with modest improvements, such as a fingerprint sensor, but some analysts say it offers few other features to wow consumers ahead of a holiday shopping season
Saudi Arabia will make sure it will sell its oil first, regardless of the state of the oil markets.
12:31 GMT
If Saudi Arabia no longer has the same influence on the markets it once had, what can explain the slumping prices observed today, at a rate that exceeds the relative downturn in the oil markets felt usually in autumn?
ICT experts downplayed the impact of Yahoo’s decision to close its office in Amman, but urged authorities to do more to make Jordan more attractive for international ICT companies.
12:18 GMT
They said the US Internet giant’s decision to shut down its office in Amman before the end of the year — thus terminating 80 jobs and relocating some staff — is part of Yahoo’s efforts to cut down costs in its international operations.
Four banks were also listed as being owned or controlled by the Syrian government and sanctioned.
12:08 GMT
he United States blacklisted Lebanese company DK Group for arranging to ship Syrian pound banknotes from Russia to the Syrian central bank, an allegation strongly denied by the company’s general manager.
“The main terminal is fairly lackluster. It isn’t overly clean, crowds can be a problem, and the services for travelers are in short supply."
12:02 GMT
An international website specializing in airport services has ranked King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah among the worst airports in the world with regard to services
The high percentage increases are indicative of the depths to which occupancy and RevPAR had plunged.
11:46 GMT
The number of tourists arriving in Egypt increased by 15.8% in July compared with the same month a year ago.
“There are a huge number of macro trends which have driven London, from the Arab Spring, through to exchange rates, through to Argentina defaulting and Ukrainian money coming in.”
04:55 GMT
“A lot of the Middle Eastern buyers are next generation. They went to university in the US and the UK....They don’t want to stay in dad’s house in Knightsbridge."
Kuwait has boasted a budget surplus in each of the past 15 fiscal years, helping to increase its sovereign wealth fund to more than $500 billion, according to unofficial estimates.
04:55 GMT
Oil-rich Kuwait tripled the prices of diesel and kerosene on Wednesday, ending decades of heavy subsidies, while putting off a similar decision on electricity and water charges.
Citigroup announced that it intends to exit its consumer business in Egypt, along with its businesses in other 10 countries.
04:55 GMT
It said that these steps will focus on the markets that have the “greatest scale and growth potential”.
Becoming a parent is a joyous experience but being financially prepared is an absolute must.
04:55 GMT
Pregnancy and motherhood bring many changes — including some major ones to your bank account.

October 17, 2014

Euro Disney has a debt of about 1.7 billion euros
01:44 GMT
Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal will join a financial bailout of the money-losing Euro Disney theme park, his Kingdom Holding Co said Tuesday.
The mall was opened by Prime Minister Wael al-Halaqi on October 9. It includes "seven restaurants, a playroom for children and shops."
01:38 GMT
Even for some of the Syrian regime's staunchest supporters, this month's launch of a glitzy new shopping mall and tourism projects seems to have been a step too far.
This is the fourth time (2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013), that Generation’s annual report has seen the airport operator nudge ahead to first place position.
01:24 GMT
Dubai Duty Free has regained its position as the largest single airport retail operation in the world, based on sales figures of $1.8 billion in 2013.
The government intends to organise the summit on 21-22 February 2015 in Sharm El-Sheikh,
01:11 GMT
Tourism Ministry books 600 hotel rooms in Sharm El-Sheikh for participants, Finance Ministry offers 9 PPP projects
The value of investments of Jordanians in Turkey is around 500 million euros (JD450 million), in Egypt over JD350 million and over JD50 million in London’s real estate market
01:00 GMT
The UAE is the biggest market for Jordanian property investors, he said, indicating that the drive behind Jordanian investments in other markets is the incentives they are offered abroad.
Key government agencies will present a snapshot of opportunities across Oman’s high growth sectors as well as the strategic roadmaps for the development of each sector.
00:52 GMT
As much as $145 billion worth of projects are currently under way or will be awarded in Oman, according to MEED projects, the region’s leading projects tracker.
The majority of these children were Egyptians, Syrians, Burmese and from the African continent.
00:46 GMT
The member said education authorities needed to find a solution to the problem because “education is a basic human right for everyone, whether they are a citizen or foreigner living in the Kingdom.”
 The slump represented a wipe-off in market value of about $255 billion for European stocks listed on the broad STOXX Europe 600 index
00:41 GMT
A sell-off in European stocks accelerated on Wednesday, with a key index suffering its biggest one-day slide in nearly three years as investors slashed exposure to risky assets on mounting worries about global growth
The shale revolution has been driven by hundreds of disparate U.S. companies drilling thousands of new wells.
00:29 GMT
Saudi Arabia effectively started a global oil price war this month aimed at quickly denting U.S. oil output.

October 16, 2014

Turkey’s economy has grown by 6 percent on average since 2010.
04:55 GMT
Istanbul’s Crystal Tower is a 35-story symbol of diverging fortunes. Due for completion next year,
"Nevertheless, further oil price drops would likely be needed for supply to take a hit — or for demand growth to get a lift," the agency said in its October report.
04:55 GMT
The IEA again cut its forecasts for growth of global oil demand for the third month in a row.

October 15, 2014

Labourers are expected to work long hours with little benefit or days off (File/AFP)
12:40 GMT
Hundreds of migrant workers in the UAE face dire conditions and are being denied days off and overtime benefits, according to an XPRESS investigation.
Kuwait is home to 2.8 million foreigners, with Asian labourers making up more than two-thirds of the population (File/AFP)
12:27 GMT
A lawmaker in Kuwait has insisted that expats in "unskilled and semi-skilled" occupations should only be allowed to reside in Kuwait until the age of 50.
The joint venture will see a range of branded hotels opening in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Jeddah and Istanbul (File)
12:15 GMT
Leading Dubai developer Damac Properties has joined forces with Paramount Hotels and Resorts to open luxury hotels across Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Jeddah and Istanbul.
The startup will be looking to invest primarily in the UAE and Saudi Arabia (File/AFP)
12:04 GMT
UAE-based startup Amanat Holdings will invest in up to six businesses over the next two years. The firm is looking at the GCC's healthcare and education sectors.
Commercial and residential properties will be available after the multi-million dollar city is completed (Image: Seidco)
11:34 GMT
The UAE's government will commence work on the $381 million Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed residential city in Fujairah, according to a report.
A Saudi woman films an Islamic ceremony on her phone (File/AFP)
11:24 GMT
Saudis love using their phones! The kingdom's market is the largest in the Middle East with 53 million subscriptions in 2013 alone.
Around 85 percent of UAE households own a computer (File/AFP)
10:57 GMT
The UAE's IT market, which was worth an estimated $4.1 billion in 2013, is expected to grow by 8.47 percent until 2018.
Phase 3 will include an additional 24 new gates attached to the terminal (Image: Aasarchitecture)
09:15 GMT
Qatar is due to enter phase 3 of the newly opened $15.5-billion Hamad international airport with plans to accommodate over 50 million passengers by 2020.

October 14, 2014

Contracts will be worth $38 billon by the year's end (File/AFP)
15:07 GMT
Kuwait's government awarded over $20.7 billion worth of contracts by the end of August, almost doubling the amount compared to 2013.
To finance the 2015 budget, the government will need a total of 8 billion dinars ($4.5 billion) of which 5 billion dinars will come from foreign sources.
14:46 GMT
His comments underlined the obstacles still faced by many economies in the region three years after the Arab Spring.
The continuous and impressive climb by the dollar expresses a substantial change in the trend in the dollar in 2014."
14:24 GMT
"The shekel-dollar rate has risen for the tenth successive week, reaching a peak of NIS 3.738/$ last week."
Saudi and Dubai stocks plunged by 6.5 percent but are now recovering (File/AFP)
14:04 GMT
After a rocky Monday, most stock markets in the Middle East recovered with Saudi Arabia and Dubai leading the figures.
The budget allocated Dh1.8 billion (3.7 per cent) to the infrastructure and economic sector, Dh1.6 billion (3.2 per cent) to financial assets and Dh 1 billion (2.1 per cent) to federal spending.
14:03 GMT
Sheikh Mohammed also said that the federal budget for 2015 will go towards health, education and social services.
A Saudi woman talks on her phone in a shopping mall (File/AFP)
13:52 GMT
Around 53 per cent of the Mena region's population subscribed to a mobile phone in 2013. This year, that number got even higher.
Egypt’s real GDP in FY 2013/2014 reached 2.2 percent, almost the same as in the preceding fiscal year.
13:47 GMT
The Egyptian Finance Ministry expects gross domestic product (GDP) to climb steadily and to reach 6 percent in FY 2017/18 as private sector investment rises to 15 percent of GDP.
Key issues are due to be discussed at the delegation in Kuwait, namely how to boost tourism in the region (File/AFP)
13:15 GMT
GCC ministers will meet Tuesday to discuss how to boost tourism in the region. The delegation is due to be lead by Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities President Prince Sultan bin Salman.
Hotels in close proximity to theme parks are not as common as they should be, according to the report (File/AFP)
12:54 GMT
With around 45 theme park attractions and waterparks across the GCC, there's no shortage of these entertainment centres. However, hotels and adequate lodging are lacking according to a recent report.
Etihad profits rose by 29 per cent in Q3 (File/AFP)
12:36 GMT
The UAE's national airline, Etihad, reported profits of $1.8 billion in the third quarter of 2014, an increase of 29 per cent year-on-year.
Defending and winning share in Asia's still growing markets has become the primary focus.
05:55 GMT
Last week, Saudi Arabia sharply cut its official oil prices for Asian customers in November, in the clearest sign yet that it is competing harder for crude market share.
The new Dubai Tram that is slated to be launched in November could add significant value to the properties around this new mode of transport
04:55 GMT
After the success of Dubai Metro, now the Dubai Tram project could further change the dynamics of the real estate sector,
The Central Bank chief also explained that he requested the IMF send a delegation to Lebanon "to evaluate the cost borne by the country as a result of receiving displaced Syrians."
00:14 GMT
“The IMF does not have any reservations about the performance of Lebanon, and it understands what the region is going through and its impact on us.”

October 13, 2014

Bourses in the region posted their biggest losses in years on Sunday as global markets' decline at the end of last week served as a trigger for aggressive profit-taking.
23:53 GMT
Stock markets in the Middle East appeared to be stabilising in early trade on Monday after falling sharply in the previous session in a broad sell-off.
Despite mixed results across sectors in 201, the GCC Islamic Finance industry is expected to maintain its rapid growth over the coming years.
22:58 GMT
The global ratings agency said banking credit stock in the GCC is also expected to climb by around 10 in 2014 and 2015.
Eligible patients can call Abu Dhabi Telemedicine Centre’s UAE toll free number 800-4959 any time of the day or night for a teleconsultation.
22:24 GMT
Abu Dhabi Telemedicine Centre joins Mubadala’s network of specialist healthcare facilities and is the first in the UAE to offer a 24/7 medical teleconsultation service, run by medical professionals.
The signs are everywhere: US oil imports are shrinking much faster than expected while oil production climbs to a thirty-year high.
13:22 GMT
A long-anticipated fundamental shift in the market may now be under way, ending a four-year stretch when $100-plus prices were the norm
Kuwaiti logistics firm Agility said on Monday that a wholly owned unit had won an $82.5 million contract from Britain’s Ministry of Defence.
13:16 GMT
The contract, secured by Agility Defense and Government Services, will run from October 2014 to April 2016.
Saudi Arabia has privately told oil market participants it can accept oil prices between $80 and $90 a barrel, sources briefed by OPEC’s biggest producer have told Reuters.
12:59 GMT
“$100 is no longer the ideal market price,” he said. “It’s good for producers but too high for consumers, leading to oversupply.”
In August, the capital market rose to the 9,000 points for the first time since 2008.
04:55 GMT
Discussing the trade behaviour, EGX noted that foreign and Arab investors were directed towards selling while Egyptian sought to buy
The pull back then snowballed due to panic selling and, possibly, margin calls, according to market players.
00:55 GMT
Stock markets in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates fell sharply on Sunday as declines on global bourses sparked a broad sell-off in the Gulf region.
The expected visit will also involve forming a joint expert group from the four countries.
00:36 GMT
Egypt’s agricultural exports to Russia have significantly increased and will increase further in the coming period.
The rise in Gulf nation cash is “definitely good news for the kingdom."
00:25 GMT
Beyond the walls of a palace outside Casablanca owned by Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, Moroccans are buying housing plots that one of the Middle East’s biggest construction firms will fold into a new mini-city
Media, academics and the general public generally focus on the issues which have already become popular magazine topics, such as YouTube and Twitter bans.
00:06 GMT
Turkey and her Internet Law are still far away from what could make Turkey achieve its ambitions in the 100th anniversary of the Republic in 2023.

October 12, 2014

The consortium is led by Faiz Al-Abideen, a prominent Saudi businessman and adviser to members of the royal family, whose group has built 17 power plants in Saudi Arabia and abroad.
23:44 GMT
The proposed power plant, which would cost anywhere between $3 billion and $4.5 billion, will generate between 2,500 and 3,500 megawatts (MW) of power.
The upgradation of key elements of the terminal forms part of the first phase of the Airport Modernization Program.
04:55 GMT
Bahrain Airport Company (BAC) said it has started the installation of new state-of-the-art passenger boarding bridges at the Bahrain International Airport (BIA).
The government was “taking a diverse” approach to funding the infrastructure demands of Expo 2020 but declined to state specific details.
04:55 GMT
As part of its bid the emirate has earmarked billions of dollars of infrastructure investment including an extension of the metro rail link, new hotels and roads.
The programs for tackling unemployment have contributed to creating a parallel crisis in the labor market and disrupting the market.
04:55 GMT
At least one million vacancies must be created to tackle unemployment among Saudis and 300,000 jobs are needed annually to absorb new graduates entering the labor market,
Most of the property belongs to locals who have fled and had their property confiscated by the IS group as a result or those who have been forced out.
04:55 GMT
The Sunni Muslim extremist group that has taken over the northern city of Mosul has a new source of income: real estate.

October 10, 2014

With the World Cup just eight years away, the likelihood is that the market is only going to become bigger, it added.
01:15 GMT
With the World Cup just eight years away, the likelihood is that the market is only going to become bigger.
The intensification of the civil war in Syria and the continued influx of refugees have adversely affected Lebanon’s economy.
00:59 GMT
Growth in the Middle East and North Africa is forecasted to average 4.2 percent in 2015, the World Bank reported in its latest Middle East and North Africa Economic Monitor.
The level of interest mirrors widespread investor confidence in the markets of the UAE, with Dubai's index more than tripling in value since the start of 2013.
00:49 GMT
The feeding frenzy driving a flurry of new stock listings in the United Arab Emirates could scupper the market's nascent revival if companies float too soon and expose the fragility of overstretched investors.
It was the sixth consecutive slip in the index, which FAO said was the longest period of continuous falls since the late 1990s.
00:39 GMT
It was the sixth consecutive slip in the index, which FAO said was the longest period of continuous falls since the late 1990s.
The Europe-Iran Forum is being held at a politically sensitive moment as world powers try to reach a deal with Iran on its nuclear program before a Nov. 24 deadline.
00:34 GMT
The Oct. 15-16 conference, the largest gathering of Iranian commercial officials in London for years, aims to attract capital which the country badly needs due to its isolation under international sanctions.