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The UAE's small and medium businesses are key to the country's economy (File/AFP)
17:21 GMT
Small and medium businesses (SMEs) play a vital role in the UAE's economy. Giving them easy access to finance may help boost the UAE's economy, according to a report.
The investment will boost Saudi's economy and generate 15,000 jobs (File/AFP)
16:50 GMT
The Kingdom has begun the first phase of the $7.2 billion project, which will create 15,000 jobs.
The two luxury four and five star hotels will offer over 1,000 rooms (File/AFP)
16:36 GMT
Muscat will award contracts shortly for construction to take place on two hotels, according to Oman Daily Observer.
Relaxed visa requirements, creative marketing and infrastructure investments from GCC nations have helped the cruise industry rise above the water again (File/AFP)
16:16 GMT
The decline of the GCC's cruise sector may have been down to the Arab Spring and economic downturn, but is now floating upwards, due to major redevelopment in the industry.
The airline is using #EtihadSuggests to invite Facebook and Twitter users to get up-to-date travel tips (File/AFP)
15:56 GMT
Etihad Airways launched a new social media strategy in the form of a hashtag in an attempt to engage more with customers.
The issue of affordability is at the forefront of Dubai's property market (File/AFP)
15:39 GMT
As the media speculates about Dubai's real estate industry, affordable housing vs profits is the debate in the limelight.
The World Bank warned that Lebanon may not have the capacity to cope with the influx of Syrian refugees (File/AFP)
15:20 GMT
Political uncertainty, the neighboring Syrian conflict and security issues were a few reasons given by the World Bank on Wednesday in regards to Lebanon's economic challenges.
India's government has requested for all payments to be made by mid-May to Tehran (File/AFP)
14:59 GMT
India is due to pay $1.65 billion to Iran within the next three months as part of a nuclear agreement with the world's six powers and Tehran to release an outstanding balance of frozen Iranian funds, thought to be over $4 billion.
Cairo no longer wields the same leverage it once did when upriver sub-Saharan countries were too poor to build such huge projects themselves.
14:21 GMT
Egypt, which has claimed exclusive right to control the river’s waters for generations, is fuming. Cairo worries the dam will reduce the flow on which it has depended for drinking water and irrigation for thousands of years.
Around 67 percent of DI’s total asset base is in the property sector which positions DI as a major real estate player in the UAE.
03:55 GMT
Dubai Investments, the largest investment company listed on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), has raised the foreign ownership limit in the company from the existing 20 percent to 35 percent.

The company will soon unveil some of its new partnerships, particularly in Turkey where numerous investors are planning of buying and investing in the country’s real estate secto
03:55 GMT
Best Choice Real Estate Development, a leading Saudi Arabian real estate investment and development firm based in Riyadh, has said that many investors from the GCC region are now keen on purchasing high-value overseas properties based on the number of inquiries it has been receiving.
The JEC seeks to achieve new world records using latest technologies for foundation works of high rise buildings.
03:55 GMT
The foundation and piling works, one of the most important and difficult stages of the project, took 12 months to complete, the JEC said.The JEC seeks to achieve new world records using latest technologies for foundation works of high rise buildings.

April 23, 2014

Bank Mellat, which has been in Turkey since 1982, faced restrictions in 2012 which led to a decline in its growth due to economic sanctions imposed against Iran.
23:36 GMT
Earlier this year, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he considered Iran to be “his second home” during a visit to Tehran aimed at strengthening economic ties between the neighboring countries.
That being said, MENA workers prefer face-to-face communication over technology. Although 76% admit technology makes them more efficient, their preferred method of communication is “in person”.
23:25 GMT
For example, Google Street View-cars are coming to the Middle East, with Dubai being the first city in the region to have street views added to Google’s online mapping service. Some members of the public have already spotted them. Have you?
The base expansion has been hailed as one of the biggest British Navy investments on foreign soil, costing $16.6 million (File/AFP)
14:49 GMT
Construction work has started on the expansion of the UK Maritime Component Command complex in Bahrain, creating a bigger partnership between British authorities and their Bahraini counterparts.
Israel's economy minister Naftali Bennet said the Jewish state will take steps towards a free trade agreement with India and China (File/AFP)
13:49 GMT
Asian countries including the world's fastest growing superpowers, India and China will overtake America's position as the biggest exporters to Israel in 2014.
Occidental Petroleum Corporation expects its capital program to increase by $10.2 billion (Fabio Bucciarelli/AFP)
13:11 GMT
Occidental Petroleum Corporation (Oxy) will invest further in Oman to help boost production in 2014.
Midwest Tower Hotel is one of Dubai's biggest landmarks and will undergo a makeover (Image: Booking.com)
12:50 GMT
The Grand Midwest Tower will be getting a makeover in preparation for World Expo 2020, which is expected to welcome millions of tourists.
The move will also create over 10,000 new jobs according to the Industry and Commerce Ministry (File/AFP)
12:08 GMT
Companies from across the globe are set to invest $1.8 billion at the Bahrain International Investment Park, with 58 new projects already in the pipeline, providing over 3,500 people with jobs.
Saudi Arabia's hospitality sector is currently worth $1.3 billion in 2014 (File/AFP)
11:37 GMT
As Hotel Saudi 2014 exhibited on Tuesday in Jeddah, good news followed. The Kingdom expects the hospitality industry to grow by 2.5 percent between now and 2017.
Abu Dhabi's rental prices rose by 17 percent in 2013 (File/AFP)
11:11 GMT
It can be a tough choice, but sometimes, one is easier than the other. Renting or buying have their pros and cons but how do they benefit each other?
Communication hub: Viva Bahrain and BT announce a global partnership (File/AFP)
10:54 GMT
BT and Viva Bahrain have teamed together to build a Global IP Exchange interoperability hub in the micro-state.
Projects in the pipeline include the 300-acre Titanic Quarter in Belfast, Northern Ireland, consisting of a boutique hotel, financial services centre, new retail development, film and media hub and office space, at a total development cost of Dhs6 billion.
03:55 GMT
UK Trade and Investment’s (UKTI) Regeneration Investment Office (RIO) said that Gulf investors have the opportunity to participate in projects leading to the development of 27 million square metres of new prime floor space and 220,000 homes.
Earlier this month, Egypt's cabinet approved a new investment law that includes a clause preventing third parties from challenging contracts made between the government and investors
03:55 GMT
Egypt’s government has faced 37 cases worth LE100 billion ($14.3 billion) brought by investors in both international and domestic arbitration centres in the three years since the 2011 uprising,
In order to incentivise more Jordanian companies to join the programme, Jordan Customs is introducing new mechanisms that include revised and less stringent requirements and more benefits.
03:55 GMT
“This revised form will enable Jordanian trading companies to strengthen their competitive edge in both domestic and international markets,” the statement said.

April 22, 2014

However, solving these issues won’t have a significant impact until the basic product is modified to resolve the psychological barriers that have impeded its success.
23:14 GMT
This can again be linked to the fight-or-flight response: imagine the feeling of being watched, unable to know whether you’re being recorded, filmed, or investigated.
Shopping malls and retail made up over 38 per cent of total revenue at Dhs863 million.
22:44 GMT
Total sales reached Dhs5.917 billion (1.611 billion), 94 per cent higher than the Dhs3.043 billion ($828 million) reached during the same period last year.
Food imports account for around 90 percent of GCC food consumption while the demand for food is set to grow (File/AFP)
14:35 GMT
While food imports are high in GCC states, agriculture is low, creating a dependancy on foreign countries.
The airport was scheduled to open in 2009 but suffered many drawbacks since then
14:19 GMT
As of May 27, all airlines will operate from Qatar's newly built and much anticipated Hamad International Airport.
The Saudi government is aiming to invest long-term in the country's health infrastructure (File/AFP)
13:48 GMT
Huge potential: The Kingdom's health insurance market could be the biggest in the region according to a medical insurance health insurance expert.
The Kingdom generates over 15 million tons of solid waste each year, requiring a greater investment in recycling and waste management (File/AFP)
13:15 GMT
Saudi Arabia will host a two-day waste management summit starting on Wednesday to push for a "green era" in the Kingdom.
Spending on electronic goods went up by $1,361 per household (File/AFP)
12:52 GMT
Household spending on electronic items has jumped by over 62 percent, according to a consumer survey.
Careers UAE 2014 will also offer a range of training and education programs (File/AFP)
12:29 GMT
The three-day Careers UAE 2014 fair will secure hundreds of private and public sector jobs with over 160 companies participating in the event.
Bassam Hage, Mena markets leader said growth "remains robust" but diversity should remain in the economy (File)
12:07 GMT
It may be a promising year ahead for GCC states with the rise in economic growth in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE.
The brand's communication director Craig Smith said the store opening was "a fantastic opportunity." (Image via Tedbakerblog)
11:11 GMT
One of the biggest British "high street" brands Ted Baker, celebrated opening its first store in Africa on Monday in Cario Festival City Mall.
Meanwhile, in March, Dimian described the energy subsidies system as “high and unreasonable”, adding that it would not continue “in the current form”
03:55 GMT
Mehleb pointed out that the government would not suspend its commodities and services subsidies; instead it is working on “redistributing and offering it to those who deserve help”.

April 21, 2014

International rating agency Standard & Poor’s has raised its outlook for Lebanon-based Bank Audi, BankMed and BLOM Bank to stable from negative, just a week after upgrading the outlook of Lebanon from negative to stable.
22:47 GMT
S&P attributed this revision to the ability of Lebanese banks to finance the public debt thanks to the steady flow of deposits the lenders receive each year.
“At the forefront of these projects came the multi-billion dollar clean fuel project, the new Al Zour refinery, the fifth natural gas plant and the construction of new liquefied natural gas import facilities,”
22:38 GMT
The new multi-billion dollar Al Zour refinery will be one of the largest oil refining plants worldwide.
Saudi Arabia plans to invest $109 billion to produce 41 gigawatts (GW) of solar energy by 2032, which is almost 30 percent of its total energy requirement by that time
20:53 GMT
These initiatives aims to boost the Kingdom’s potential for becoming the largest producer of solar energy in the world
Qatar also came under fire by the international human rights community after reports of migrant workers being ill-treated in the country
20:37 GMT
The Gulf state is embroiled in a number of corruption allegations regarding the event, including being accused of buying the right to host the World Cup.
Saudi will produce 41 gigawatts of solar energy by 2032 (File Archive)
14:00 GMT
Saudi Arabia is planning to invest $109 billion in its solar energy sector by 2032, which will provide a third of the country's overall energy requirement by that time.
Since 2001, S&P has only seen 20 international sukuk from issuers outside of Malaysia or the GCC (File Archive/Shutterstock)
13:00 GMT
Islamic finance is increasingly labeled as the future of finance, but the sukuk market largely remains outside of mainstream markets globally.
The new law is supposed to ensure in part that workers are not victims of corrupt-or inactive-recruitment agencies (File Archive)
12:00 GMT
Bahrain has recently passed a new law to regulate labor recruitment in the Gulf country. The new regulations aim to "safeguard the rights of skilled and semi-skilled expatriates," say authorities.
The country's GDP in 2013 was $202.38 billion, according to government data (File Archive)
12:00 GMT
Qatar is expected to have a GDP of $230 billion by this fiscal year's end.
A total of 2.25 million passengers used Sharjah Airport from January to March 2014 (File Archive/Shutterstock)
10:00 GMT
Sharjah Airport recorded the highest level of passenger traffic on record during the first quarter this year.
Iraq announced plans for four new oil refineries, but the country has failed to attract investment from the private sector in such ventures since 2009 (Courtesy of NPR)
08:30 GMT
Iraq must reconsider its expenditure and production of various energy sources if it wants to stabilize the country's energy situation overall and save much needed resources.
Egypt's government will allegedly make a "bigger push" to distribute smart cards for fuel to subsidize the price of gasoline for citizens (File Archive)
08:02 GMT
Egypt is attempting to restructure its energy subsidies "without affecting poor and low income segments," but can the new strategy work if the government is still undecided on whether or not they will raise petrol and fuel prices?
Egypt's tourism sector contributes 11 percent to the country's GDP (File Archive)
08:00 GMT
At least 26,000 tourists came to Egypt for the Easter holiday weekend in what was welcomed as a much-needed spike for the country's ailing tourism sector.
 
By holding 157 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil reserves, Iran possesses the world’s fourth largest reserves of crude oil.
03:55 GMT
On April 12, Iranian MP Ali Marvi quoted Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh as saying that Iran will increase its crude oil output to 5.7 million barrels per day by the end of Iranian calendar year 1397 (March 2019).
The National Insurance Consortium will provide “construction all risks” and “third-party liability” insurance to Phase 1 of Doha Metro Project.
03:55 GMT
Qatar Rail has awarded one of the largest-ever “single project tunnelling and rail construction insurance” policies to a six-member consortium of Qatari national insurance companies,
In the tourism segment, basically everything is needed, most of all, hotels and related leisure facilities, together with appropriate infrastructure.
03:55 GMT
Tourism receipts were also skyrocketing and reached $926mn in 2013 against some $400mn in 2012, according to official government figures.
GCC governments are targeting greater diversification so that the non-oil private sector starts to play a more significant role in supporting the economy, according to the Q1 review.
03:55 GMT
Economic growth in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region will remain largely influenced by oil prices and supply dynamics in the oil industry

April 20, 2014

Singapore's education system is ranked second best in Asia (Shutterstock)
13:00 GMT
Singapore's National Institute of Education is set to train 3,000 Saudi school principals over the next few years.
Saudi Arabia-based companies awarded $10.59 billion in contracts in Q1 of 2014 (File Archive)
12:00 GMT
Saudi Arabia's construction industry witnessed a record year for contracting in 2013, and 2014 promises even brighter prospects for this developing sector.
Jordan recently launched a religious tourism campaign to encourage travelers to visit sites such as the alleged baptism site of Jesus (Courtesy of Wikipedia)
11:00 GMT
As tourists continue to flock to Jordan en masse, the Hashemite Kingdom is recording higher revenue profits than ever before.
Despite world forecast revisions, oil production in OPEC countries is on the rise due to Iraqi output (File Archive/Shutterstock)
10:00 GMT
The International Energy Agency revised its forecast for global oil demand in 2014 to 1.5 per cent which may impact further developments and investment in the sector in consequence.
BLOM Bank, Bank Med and Bank Audi all were upgraded from "negative" to "stable" under Standard & Poor's ratings (File Archive)
09:17 GMT
Standard & Poor's has raised its outlook for several Lebanese banks in what may be the latest sign of a recovering economy in this MENA country.
Saudi Arabia surpassed the United Kingdom, Japan and France in military spending in 2013 (Shutterstock)
09:00 GMT
Saudi Arabia ranks in the top four countries for military spending globally, according to a new report released out of Stockholm this week.
Along with the UAE, another Gulf country that is actively pursuing a nuclear programme is Saudi Arabia.
03:55 GMT
Fuelled by rising energy demand and depleting oil and gas resources, nuclear energy has gained strong momentum in the GCC, particularly in countries like the UAE.
other topics to be discussed by the Kingdom’s real estate leadership at the Summit include project funding, off-plan sales, ways to support the mortgage law, and the Kingdom’s construction labor shortage.
03:55 GMT
The Kingdom’s Western Region is experiencing an unprecedented real estate boom, with billions of riyals earmarked for mega projects.
Although experts have indicated that regulations such as the doubling of property transfer fees and the mortgage law have helped curb flipping, the emirate has been seeing a rise in off plan sales in the market.
02:55 GMT
“We are not yet back to 2008 prices but in some individual projects we are. So we certainly need to monitor them carefully.”
Libya plans to limit the costly subsidies its citizens enjoy when buying fuel – much of which is smuggled into Tunisia for resale at higher prices – by introducing a “smart card” system like one newly implemented in neighboring Egypt.
01:10 GMT
Fuel smuggling is common across North Africa and its extent has increased in the chaotic aftermath of the Arab Spring.

April 18, 2014

Though Samsung did not offer any sales target for the S5, the company sold more than 10m S4s in the first month of the phone’s launch.
11:14 GMT
The world’s biggest smartphone maker has slashed prices of the S5, which rolled out globally on Friday, and offered a gift pack worth $600,.
The 36-story, 382,500 square-foot (35,535 square-meter) building is located on the Fifth Avenue in New York.
08:32 GMT
The US government says it is going to sell an Iranian skyscraper in New York City in favor of anti-Tehran plaintiffs.
The survey also revealed that the main reason for obtaining a loan is to a buy a car
08:26 GMT
About 34 per cent of national household heads reported that they continuously changed their mobile phones.

April 17, 2014

Iran shares oil and gas fields with most of its neighbors, including Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, as well as Oman and Turkmenistan.
22:53 GMT
Iran shares oil and gas fields with most of its neighbors, including Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, as well as Oman and Turkmenistan.
Ensour stressed that the Kingdom is in need of support from all Arab states to be able to continue its pan-Arab nationalist role.
22:37 GMT
Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour said this week that Jordan's economy is recovering and moving steadily forward despite the global financial crisis and the Syrian infighting.
“We understand the need for this upgrading work to be done, and we support it wholeheartedly," added Clark.
22:21 GMT
Emirates Airline said on Thursday that runway upgrades at Dubai International would cut its revenues by Dh1 billion ($272 million) this year as it has to reduce flights to 41 destinations worldwide.
The issue of Saudi's SMEs has been debated over the last few years (File/AFP)
17:39 GMT
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are set to contribute 37 percent to Saudi Arabia's GDP but should the Kingdom look elsewhere for investment?
Islamic lenders Masraf al Rayan and Qatar Islamic Bank were the main reasons for the index's increase (File/AFP)
17:07 GMT
Qatar's main index rose 1.1 percent, making it the highest close since June 2008.
Hard at work: Saudi workers say they are hitting a "productivity wall" (Fayez Nureldine/AFP)
16:50 GMT
Six out of ten Saudi workers felt they didn't have the necessary tools or recourses to be productive according to a Global Workforce Survey.
Hotel guests can now be charged a minor fee as of March 31, 2014 (Karim Shaib/AFP)
16:34 GMT
Positive reaction: Dubai's recently imposed fee on hotel guests had no negative feedback according to the head of the city's tourism authority.
Around 34 percent of households said they continuously upgraded their mobile phones (File/AFP)
16:09 GMT
Families in Abu Dhabi households reportedly spend an average of $1,498 on landlines and mobile phones while $1,004 is spent on education.
The increase of house prices was a key factor (Getty/AFP)
15:28 GMT
Inflation climbed to its highest since 2010, according to data released by National Bureau of Statistics. Housing, utilities and food all contributed to the rise.
Dubai welcomed 11 million hotel guests in 2013 (File/AFP)
15:09 GMT
According to a STR Global Construction Pipeline Report, 573 hotels are expected to open across the Middle East and Africa.
More than $40 billion worth of new contracts were awarded in the GCC during the first quarter of 2014 alone (File Archive)
07:40 GMT
2014 is promising to be a record-breaking year for the GCC's construction industry.
Saudi Weddings 2014, is the perfect one-stop wedding festival for future weds to see, touch, hear, compare wedding jewelry, dresses, cosmetics and fragrances according to the latest trends.
03:55 GMT
The exhibition considered the biggest family gathering in the field of weddings and fashion as it involves more than 80 companies around the world
Dimian noted that the annual meeting between Egypt and the IMF will be scheduled after the presidential elections, slated to take place in May.
03:55 GMT
The interim government is currently preparing a new economic stimulus package that will focus on the industrial, housing and construction, communication and tourism sectors.
"Some Arab countries are still going through radical transformations, accompanied by negative economic development,” he said at the conference that discusses strategies for the advancement of Arab economies.
03:55 GMT
Arab bankers on Wednesday blamed "Arab Spring" for the deterioration in the region's economies.

April 16, 2014

If realised, this would not only revive output at Idku but also mean that Israel's first LNG exports would take place from an Egyptian plant.
23:02 GMT
"Ultimately Egypt and Turkey need energy, and the fact that we have it is creating a regional convergence of interests," an Israeli diplomatic source told Reuters.
Since the military’s return to the top political table in July 2013, it seems to have accelerated its economic activities and intensified its hold on the country.
22:45 GMT
Egypt's generals the economy to develop along lines of their choosing and have taken the opportunity not just to entrench their business activities even further, but upscale and expand them.
 The kingdom's banking sector remains very resilient and requirements to enhance the liquidity and reserves under Basel III will further bolster it, Rasheed Al Maraj was quoted as saying.
21:07 GMT
Bahraini banks will be fully ready to implement the Basel III international banking standards on new capital requirements by next year, the governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) said
The growth rate is more than double a recent estimate from the International Air Transport Association, or Iata, that passenger demand will increase 5.8 per cent this year on a global basis
17:34 GMT
The national airline of the UAE racked up $1.4 billion in revenues as it transported 3.2 million passengers, higher by over 14 per cent year-on-year
Within four years an estimated 65 new housing units will be built in Dubai to keep up with demand (File/AFP)
14:28 GMT
Is flat hunting in Dubai as expensive as it seems? Around 17,000 new homes are due to be built this year, with more affordable price tags attached.
Economic situation improving: Confidence grows as lifestyle and family life gets better in Abu Dhabi (File/AFP)
13:23 GMT
Consumer Confidence grew by 10 percent in 2013 according to the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development.
The rise in green building will see an increase in demand for materials in Qatar (File/AFP)
12:55 GMT
The Qatari government has pledged an estimated $182 billion into infrastructure, focussing on eco-friendly green building over next five years.
Healthcare spending will increase over 16 percent in 2014 (File/AFP)
12:14 GMT
Healthcare spending reached just under $17 billion in 2013 and is expected to grow, says a new report by the U.S.-UAE Business Council.
Talks are due to take place after Egypt's upcoming elections (File/AFP)
11:41 GMT
Relations with the IMF soured when Egypt suspended negotiations over a loan worth billions in 2013, but this may improve with upcoming discussions.
In 2012, over 485 Pakistanis were deported from Oman for illegally entering the country (File/AFP)
11:27 GMT
The six-month ban on expat workers, which was due to expire as been extended according to a source at the Ministry of Manpower.
The World Bank aims to promote better use of public resources in Lebanon (File/AFP)
11:11 GMT
The World Bank has agreed to support Lebanon's Finance Ministry with a $5.2 million loan.
The next two years will see a surge in car sales with a 75 percent hike (File/AFP)
10:39 GMT
A new study by consumer group Nielson says that car sales in the Middle East will go up in the next two years.
The Iranian official also pointed to nuclear negotiations between Tehran and the major powers and said that the talks will not threaten the interests of any countr
03:55 GMT
The expansion of relations with the Islamic Republic, which enjoys high status in the region, is one of the UAE’s priorities, said Sheikh Mohammad.
However, despite the sanction relief, the country may have to deal with pressurized external and fiscal balances, double-digit inflation, and shrunk economy since 2011 amounting to USD 270 billion.
03:55 GMT
Iran’s economy could grow between 6% and 8% in an optimistic scenario, according to a global information company report.
On average the emirate recorded 7 percent quarter-on-quarter growth for apartment rentals, and a strong year-on-year figure of 38 percent
03:55 GMT
“Budget-conscious Dubai residents are now relocating to Sharjah in a flight to affordability,” said John Stevens, managing director, Asteco.
Renewed exports will restore much-needed revenue stream for Libya's weak central government following the 2011 overthrow of Moamer Kadhafi.
03:04 GMT
Libya prepared to resume oil exports Tuesday following a break of more than eight months, after autonomy-seeking rebels agreed to lift their blockade of ports in the country's east.

April 15, 2014

Egypt has been experiencing power cuts since 2008 and faces bigger energy problems due to political unrest (File/AFP)
14:00 GMT
Political unrest has seen gas exports fall in Egypt while electricity consumption went up by almost a third. Will it be an expensive summer?
High demand: Halal food imports alone are set to increase to $53.1 billion by 2020 (File/AFP)
13:00 GMT
Food, lifestyle and products manufactured under Islamic law are expected to be worth $2.48 trillion in the next four years due to increasing demand and a growing Muslim population.
One hundred charging stations will be installed initially across Dubai in 2014 (File/AFP)
11:28 GMT
Charging stations for electric cars will soon pop up all over Dubai to enhance grid efficiency.
Big move: Oman government and BP in a joint collaboration (FIle/AFP)
11:14 GMT
Oman's government and BP signed a contract to develop the Khazzan gas field of Block 61 and will be completed by 2017.
Dubai welcomed over 11 millions guests in 2013 (File/AFP)
10:57 GMT
Not part of the strategy: Tourism chief says hotels being built in Dubai are not specifically for the World Expo in 2020.