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April 27, 2017

Follow Al Bawaba Business on Twitter and Facebook for breaking business news, photos and reports on topics that move the Middle East. (Al Bawaba)
19:59 GMT
Did you miss this week's top business stories in the Middle East? Don't worry, we got you covered.
Bahrain is a regional hub for tourism, with over 300 million people within two hours flight, of which the majority are regional visitors traveling from within the GCC, notably Saudi Arabia. (Pixabay)
18:00 GMT
Bahrain plans to establish 15 new hotels and beachfront resorts over the next five years.
Lamia Zribi, Tunisian Minister of Finance (L) and Angel Gurria, Secretary-General of the OECD. (OECD/ Michael Dean)
17:00 GMT
Tunisia said tax revenues in the first quarter of 2017 increased by 15 percent year-on-year.
Iran’s Ghadir electricity and energy company and Greece’s Metka engineering firm cooperated over the project that took seven months to complete through an investment of around $15 million. (File photo)
14:40 GMT
Iran has inaugurated a major solar plant near the central city of Isfahan.
The project will give women workers all the needed facilities and services allowing them to bring their infants and keep them at the site while they work. (AFP/ Fayez Nureldine)
12:27 GMT
250 Saudi women will be able to work in manufacturing jobs under a new Saudi-Japanese joint venture.
A customer looks at products displayed during the opening day of an Apple store at the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai on October 29, 2015. (AFP/ File)
12:12 GMT
Apple’s second store in Dubai is set to open to the public at the Dubai Mall today.
Uber has already partnered with helicopter manufacturers to develop the vehicles and with a Silicon Valley startup to create a reliable infrastructure for the flying taxis. (Uber)
12:08 GMT
Uber announced their plans for a fully-operational flying taxi service in Dubai.
Credit card misuse can cost you up to Dh2 million ($0.5 million) of fine in UAE. (Pixabay)
12:03 GMT
Credit card misuse can cost you a lot of money under UAE laws.
The solar project seeks to harness renewable energy and build a local manufacturing industry that can boost Saudi Arabia's exports, and ultimately generate 7,000 jobs by 2020. (File photo)
11:56 GMT
A massive renewable energy program in Saudi Arabia is expected to generate thousands of jobs.
Chinese producers, which account for around half of global supply, have been blamed for a slump in global steel prices after flooding export markets. (File photo)
11:26 GMT
The investigation follows an anti-dumping law proposal from the UAE’s government advisory council in January.
On Wednesday, SAAB and Alawwal Bank topped the hikes of the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) after their possible merger announcement. (AFP/ Fayez Nureldine)
11:02 GMT
The merger is expected to create the third biggest bank in Saudi Arabia.
Emirates chairman and CEO, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, said the airline will look elsewhere for new business. (File photo)
09:52 GMT
Emirates is considering some radical solutions in what it called a “challenging” time for the aviation industry.

April 26, 2017

Saudi Arabia believes that the decision to restore allowances to public sector employees is broadly positive for equities and is likely to boost consumption. (AFP/ Amer Hilabi)
18:00 GMT
Saudi Arabia claims that its decision to restore public allowances is likely to boost the economy.
The mother of Mohammed Allaan, a Palestinian prisoner who was on a long-term hunger strike, holds a portrait of her son during a rally calling for his release on August 9, 2015. (AFP/ Ahmad Gharabli)
13:58 GMT
The national committee in support of the striking Palestinian prisoners called for a boycott of Israeli products.
Jeremy Cape (right) and Scott Hutton talk about the implications of the VAT on the GCC's construction and property sector. (YouTube)
12:37 GMT
Legal experts share their views on the implications of VAT for GCC businesses.
Just a gram (about half a teaspoon) of the fine dust found in AC vents can contain up to 1,000 dust mites. Yuk. (Pixabay)
12:31 GMT
Increased dust and humidity from poorly maintained air conditioning systems can lead to the development of many diseases.
The project will help Iraq expand port facilities for the Persian Gulf. (AFP/ Haidar Mohammed Ali)
12:23 GMT
British energy company Petrofac has secured a multimillion-dollar oil contract in Iraq.
The cost of living certainly is going to go up with the introduction of VAT in the GCC, so you have to get ready. (Pixabay)
11:56 GMT
GCC is launching a new VAT in 2018 and now is the time to ask for a pay raise.
The Saudia app now allows the possibility of retrieval and review of previous reservations, in addition to saving the data of the passenger on his mobile phone, and sharing the booking with friends. The Hijri calendar may be used in the booking too, the airline said. (Pixabay)
11:49 GMT
The new Saudia app is available on App Store and Google Play.
Qassim and Hail airports become the 16th, 17th airport run by the Turkish company both in Turkey and abroad. (AFP photo)
11:39 GMT
The company will be operating four airports in Saudi Arabia.
Egypt announced a new strategy in the way the country invests in education, with new sources of funding that would allow partnerships with the private sector. (AFP photo)
10:15 GMT
The Egyptian minister of planning said the country will increase education spending by 10 percent in the fiscal year 2017/2018.
Almarai's total net sales figure has been negatively impacted in Egypt by the devaluation of the Egyptian pound, and the significant decline in exports to Iraq due to border closures. (Almarai)
09:55 GMT
For the first quarter of 2017, Almarai net revenue grew by 4.7% in Saudi Arabia but much less in other countries.
The new ban will take effect from May 15, 2017, as unacceptable levels of pesticides were found in food imports from five Arab countries. (AFP/ Omar Salem)
09:05 GMT
The ban covers certain produce from Egypt, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen.

April 25, 2017

A protester holds a poster depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin and reading “Putin, killer!” during a demonstration in Istanbul, on November 27, 2015. (AFP/ Cagdas Erdogan)
16:28 GMT
Growing Russian engagement in the Middle East have led many to speculate over the Russian agenda.
The deal will create hundreds of jobs and will help save up to $2 billion in gas that can be made available for sale in international markets. (GE)
15:07 GMT
Algerian utility Sonelgaz has signed a $3 billion gas deal with GE Power, a unit of General Electric.
The bodies of two Indian workers belonging to a now defunct construction company have been lying in a mortuary in Riyadh for months as their employer refused to bear the cost of repatriation. (Shutterstock)
14:27 GMT
The cancellation of visas and transportation cost are prime reasons behind the delay in repatriation of the dead bodies.
Some of the over-used and much-hated buzzwords include: creative, motivated, multinational, responsible, experimental, effective, specialized and analytical. (Pexels)
13:18 GMT
Many people try to avoid using buzzwords in the workplace, and so should you.
The UAE has one of the highest social media penetration rates in the world. (Pexels)
12:53 GMT
UAE professionals have an average of 211 connections making them the most connected globally, according to LinkedIn.
Some banks in the UAE are offering residents a chance to borrow money at less than 3 percent annual interest. (File photo)
12:43 GMT
Some UAE banks have slashed rates to stimulate borrowing.
New study finds link between diet soda consumption and rates of dementia and stroke. (Pixabay)
12:36 GMT
A new research suggests that artificially sweetened drinks, like diet soda, may be increasing the risk of dementia and stroke.
Egypt said it will launch a petrochemical complex, an oil refinery, an industrial complex for solar cells and another for wind turbines, as well as factories for textiles, foodstuffs, electrical appliances and motorcycles. (AFP/ Mohamed El-Shahed)
11:00 GMT
Egypt announced it will soon launch 30 projects in the Suez Canal Economic Zone worth $20 billion.
Ooredoo will list its shares on the Maldives Stock Exchange on April 30 with 40 percent of the shares available for subscription. (Ooredoo)
10:00 GMT
It looks like the Maldives have a stock exchange and Ooredoo plans to get listed there.
Turkish airport staff welcome Russian tourists at Antalya airport on July 9, 2016, a few months after the two countries clashed over a Russian warplane crash in Syria. (AFP/File)
09:25 GMT
Turkey will increase the length of visa-free stay for Russians to 90 days.
Egypt is set to finalize tenders for the mega project next month and award the contract to the winner in September this year. (File photo)
08:45 GMT
Global technology giants are in the race for a $1.6-billion power project being jointly developed by Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

April 24, 2017

The fashion footwear brand saw double-digit growth in Asia in 2016. (Facebook)
15:16 GMT
The company announced it is for sale.
The outrageous ‘Win a maid’ ad. (Twitter)
14:49 GMT
The recruitment agency lost its licence after it ran a competition to 'Win a maid’ in Bahrain.
On Saturday, Saudi King Salman made a rare reversal in cuts to financial allowances for civil servants. (AFP/ File)
14:20 GMT
Saudi Arabia posted a significantly smaller budget deficit in the first quarter than projected, according to reports.
One thing is obvious: in today's technology-driven world, the best bets would be companies that are involved in the tech sector. (Pixabay)
12:20 GMT
A good strategy is to look for technologies that clearly affect the user experience.
A recent report predicted that inpatient spending in the GCC would grow from $16.4 billion in 2015 to $28.9 billion in 2020. (Pixabay)
12:08 GMT
Here are five reasons why inpatient costs in GCC are out of control, and four ways to fix it.
An employment background check program is a way to gain confidence that the people you’re thinking about hiring really do have all the great qualifications they claim to have. (Pixabay)
11:39 GMT
Here are our top tips to get your employment checks right.
Nearly 20-year-old McDonald's sauce sells for $14,700 USD. (Shutterstock)
11:32 GMT
A packet of McDonald’s Szechuan dipping sauce from 1998 sold in an online auction after a $14,700 bid.
The reported ban might have been put in place due to increasing levels of chemical pesticide residues in Jordan's agricultural products. (AFP/ Menahem Kahana)
11:22 GMT
News reports have indicated that the UAE took a decision to indefinitely ban the import of Jordanian vegetables.
Oman has now made it easier for tourists from Iran, India, China and Russia to visit the country with a new e-Visa system. (Pixabay)
10:14 GMT
Oman has raised its short stay tourist visa from $13 to almost $52.
Last year, thousands of migrant workers in Saudi Arabia were stuck without a job or pay. The issue was particularly felt in construction companies such as Saudi Oger and Saudi Binladin. (AFP/ File)
09:41 GMT
Saudi Arabia announced the launch of a plan to open bank accounts for domestic workers to guarantee they get their wages.
The French private equity firm will invest $1.75 billion to acquire a majority stake in an existing $2.5 billion Mubadala equity portfolio (AFP/ File)
06:00 GMT
UAE-based Mubadala has announced a $2.5 billion investment deal with a French private equity firm.

April 23, 2017

In April 2017, Tunisia announced a new investment law that aims to ensure equity between domestic and foreign investors. (File photo)
20:00 GMT
Foreign direct investment in Tunisia grew by 16.6 percent in the first quarter of 2017.
The cost of renting an accommodation in Dubai is among the highest in the world, knocking off rents in Zurich, which has a reputation for having high living costs, as well as in London, Miami, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Paris and Melbourne. (Pexels)
18:01 GMT
Dubai consistently ranks in top priciest cities worldwide for expats.
Workplace rules are different from anywhere else. A playful comment on a friend’s appearance may be acceptable in a social setting. At work, it could risk a sexual harassment charge. (Pexels)
17:40 GMT
What are the drawbacks of getting too comfortable with coworkers? There are a few.
Instagram has confirmed that it has already started testing offline features and most of them are now in place in the Android app. (Pexels)
17:18 GMT
Instagram has been busy bringing updates for the past week.
Bebe lost $13 million in the first half of its fiscal year. (Shutterstock)
16:59 GMT
Fashion retailer Bebe said it plans to close all its stores by the end of May.
The new plant is expected to contribute to solving the problem of transmission bottlenecks in Al-Baqair and Soba industrial zones. (File photo)
16:43 GMT
Sudan signed a $200 million loan agreement to build a new power station in the suburbs of Khartoum.
The current balance of trade is not in Lebanon’s favor. (Shutterstock)
16:15 GMT
Lebanon has signed a new agreement with Russia to facilitate the entry of more Lebanese-made goods.
A fresco at Quseir Amra desert castle near the capital Amman. (Pixabay)
15:34 GMT
Jordan announced that its tourism revenues rose by 14 percent in the first quarter of 2017.
The gold mine is owned by the Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) and will be joining other operating gold mines owned by the company. (Shutterstock)
14:43 GMT
Saudi Arabia is launching its biggest gold mine ever.
The French will go to the polls today to pick their new president. (AFP/ Joël Saget)
13:38 GMT
Hollande has failed on so many fronts, but his inability to revive the economy must have been his biggest failure ever.
King Salman has sacked key officials, including the head of the army embroiled in Yemen's conflict. He's also scrapped cuts made last year to state employees' pay, prompted by oil revenue falls. (AFP/ File)
13:01 GMT
King Salman initiated wide-ranging shake-ups via royal decrees late Saturday.
GCC IPOs witnessed in 2016 were the lowest registered in the last decade as a result of declining oil prices and heightened economic uncertainty. (Shutterstock)
12:11 GMT
Experts expect to see more GCC IPOs going forward as the global economy stabilizes.
There are about 60 Turkish companies working in Qatar, participating in 35 projects with a turnover of about $14 billion at the end of 2016. (AFP/ Marwan Naamani)
11:35 GMT
Turkish companies want larger involvement in Qatar's mega projects ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Not being a producer of oil, Ras Al Khaimah has focused on developing its industrial sector, particularly mining and exporting iron ore. (AFP/ Christian Sprogoe)
10:17 GMT
Foreign trade in Ras Al Khaimah grew by 11.8 per cent in 2016 compared to 2015, according to a new report.
OPEC and non-OPEC countries signed a deal last November aimed at cutting production by 1.8 million barrels a day. (AFP/ Joe Klamar)
06:00 GMT
Oil prices have stabilized after Saudi Arabia and Kuwait signaled that a deal to extend oil production curbs was in the pipeline.

April 22, 2017

Early marriage, child recruitment and prostitution levels are on the rise in Yemen as a direct result of poverty caused by war. (AFP/ File)
21:43 GMT
In Yemen, people are not able to pay their rent, utilities and hospital bills or for groceries.
The Sudanese pound has lost 100% of its value since South Sudan’s secession in 2011, pushing inflation rates to record levels given that the country imports most of its food. (AFP/File)
21:26 GMT
Inflation in Sudan jumped to almost 35 percent in March, its highest level since South Sudan's secession in 2011.
Transferring money in and out of Iran became complicated as a result of years of restrictions as well as US primary sanctions. (Pixabay)
20:15 GMT
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could be used to send funds in and out of Iran.
Iraqis evacuate a body from the site of a suicide car bombing claimed by the Islamic State on July 3, 2016 in Baghdad's central Karrada district. (AFP/ File)
19:57 GMT
The average Iraqi civil servant worked only six months in 2016 with the rest of the year off.

April 20, 2017

Mall of Arabia in Jeddah. (Twitter)
15:01 GMT
Saudi Arabia's labor minister issued an order on Thursday to restrict employment in shopping malls to Saudi nationals.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. (AFP/File)
14:25 GMT
The IMF has raised its global growth forecast for this year but also warned protectionist policies could undermine a recovery.
The Turkish-made torpedo can be used for defense against submarines. (File photo)
14:06 GMT
A Turkish-made torpedo will be unveiled at next month’s International Defense Industry Fair in Istanbul.
The UAE is among the top nations in per capita waste generation in the world, and reportedly has some of the highest electricity and water consumption rates globally. (Pixabay)
13:54 GMT
The UAE is among the top nations in per capita waste generation in the world.
The right colors can help boost the productivity of employees. (Pixabay)
13:51 GMT
There are quite a few ways to revamp your office space, thus making the ambiance interesting and people high-spirited.
Villas on Amwaj Islands are currently considered the most expensive in the kingdom, though residential values held steady in other parts of the country, remaining unchanged for six consecutive quarters. (Shutterstock)
12:04 GMT
Rents in Bahrain are in free fall this year as a result of weaker economic conditions and real estate oversupply.
Tunisian women harvest grapes in the wine-producing region of Grombalia as the country looks to branch out into wine tourism. (AFP/ Fethi Belaid)
09:09 GMT
A new Tunisian-Libyan Bank agency with a capital of 100 million dinars ($43.4 million) was inaugurated in Monastir in Tunisia.

April 19, 2017

Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan during a press conference in Riyadh on December 22, 2016, to announce the country's national budget for 2017. (AFP)
14:43 GMT
The Arab Monetary Fund has released the April edition of the Arab Economic Outlook report.
Tyson will reveal more details at an international press conference at the Burj Khalifa, Dubai, on May 4. (AFP/Stan Honda)
12:50 GMT
Mike Tyson has announced that he has chosen Dubai for the official announcement of his new business venture.
Convincing a future hiring manager that you’re the perfect candidate will require you to write a cover letter. (Pexels)
12:47 GMT
When applying for jobs in an ever-competitive professional world, setting yourself apart from other job seekers can be a hard thing to achieve.
Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi. (Aldar Properties)
12:06 GMT
Prices are expected to decline even further in 2017.
Smart TVs are great: They’ve got internet access, a multitude of fancy apps, can play games, and seamlessly stream media from pretty much any device you may have handy. (Pixabay)
11:29 GMT
There are ways you can make your regular TV just as great as the latest smart TVs out there.
With 2018 fast approaching, it is critical for businesses in the GCC to start planning now for the impending arrival of the new tax regime. (Pexels)
11:16 GMT
The experts have some pointers to get businesses in the GCC ready for VAT.
Somalia has declared a state of emergency over severe drought and 2.9 million of its population face a food crisis that could lead to famine, according to the UN. (AFP)
10:19 GMT
The Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation said it has completed the largest concrete dam construction project in Somalia.
The Kingdom has announced the launch of more than 30 solar and wind projects as part of a plan to reduce its dependence on oil. (Pixabay)
09:10 GMT
Saudi Arabia has announced it will launch over 30 solar and wind projects as part of a plan to cut its dependence on oil.

April 18, 2017

Both sides are developing a shared field in the Persian Gulf, from which Iran has started to produce oil. (File photo)
20:00 GMT
Iran has vowed to match Qatar in terms of overall energy production.
Saudi Oger has attracted significant media attention lately as tens of thousands of foreign workers were left destitute and stranded, unpaid for months before being laid off. (AFP)
18:25 GMT
Saudi Oger has sold a 2.8 percent stake in Saudi Investment Bank to an unidentified buyer.
Egypt expects the first oil shipment from Iraq to reach on May 1, 2017. (File photo)
18:14 GMT
Egypt will soon start to import one million barrels of Iraqi oil a month.
Supporters of Algerian President Abdelazziz Bouteflika gather during a political meeting ahead of the country's presidential election in 2014. (AFP/Farouk Batiche)
17:59 GMT
Algeria's electoral politics have been rocked by corruption and scandalous revelations.
Saudi Arabia hopes to see at least 1 million foreign workers leave the country during this year's three-month grace period. (AFP/File)
17:31 GMT
A Saudi campaign targeting residency and labor violators has facilitated the departure of more that 5.5 million illegal expats since 2013.
The new owner, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corporation, will move 'The National' to its new headquarters in twoFour54 starting from July 1, 2017. (Facebook)
17:06 GMT
Abu Dhabi-based newspaper The National has cut several jobs as part of a restructuring.
With these projects, Tunisia says it will generate 472 jobs in different regions of the country for the unemployed university graduates. (AFP/File)
16:24 GMT
Tunisia has announced agreements for the creation of 93 projects in the field of green economy and sustainable development.
Statistics show that electricity demand in the MENA region has been growing rapidly, driven by population growth and urbanization, industrialization, and low electricity prices. (Pixabay)
15:53 GMT
The MENA region will need to invest $302 billion in the next five years to feed the rapidly rising demand for electricity.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan owes his success largely to the growth of the Turkish economy in the past decade, but he must keep in mind that more direct investment requires political stability and a reliable legal framework. (AFP/File)
15:34 GMT
Sunday's referendum win will usher in the introduction of a presidential system. But what will that mean for the economy?
Since the 25 January Revolution, Egypt's economy encountered many challenges, from political unrest and declining tourism to currency fluctuations and fuel shortages. (AFP/Khaled Desouki)
14:34 GMT
Egypt car sales dropped 40 percent in the first half of 2017 as a result of the recession.
Hamas security forces stand guard at Erez border crossing with Israel on March 26, 2017. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)
14:01 GMT
Gaza said it would increase tariffs on certain goods imported from Israel in an effort to support local production.
Banks in UAE can now reject your loan requests if they decide that your credit score is too low. (Pixabay)
13:41 GMT
UAE residents can now obtain their credit scores by visiting the Credit Bureau’s centers in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Qatar revamps its work visa rules for expats amid accusations that some sectors, especially construction, are rife with abuse of migrant workers. (AFP/Karim Jaafar)
13:33 GMT
Qatar has announced it has made some changes on work visa rules for expats.
Women in Saudi Arabia are prevented from occupying some positions. (File photo)
12:55 GMT
Women represent over 80 percent of job seekers in Saudi Arabia, according to a report, but they still can't find jobs.
The introduction of a value-added tax in the GCC region may see inflation soar by as much as 1.4 per cent, but it is expected to generate $25 billion in annual tax revenue. (Pixabay)
12:36 GMT
Even if gold, silver, and platinum investments remain tax exempt, the introduction of VAT will still impact the commodities markets.
A Tesla charging station. (Pixabay)
11:52 GMT
The UAE has increased the number of Tesla charging locations to 25.
Prices at the new project will start from $122,500 (AED450,000), with eight different unit types available, including studios, and one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. (Aldar Properties)
11:42 GMT
Abu Dhabi-based developer Aldar Properties has announced the launch of an affordable residential project on Reem Island.

April 17, 2017

Egypt has faced some 10 or so accidents that highly affected tourism over the last year. (AFP/File)
19:00 GMT
Egypt said the number of tourists during the first quarter of 2017 was 10-15 percent higher than the targeted rate.