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Speculation on Saudi's role in global oil crisis still stirring. Why is Saudi holding its ground on its oil output? (Image Courtesy Lurie's News Cartoon)
15:34 GMT
Saudi minister dismisses conspiracy theories on oil price, but the world's still speculating.
With around one third of GDP coming from oil until the recent price collapse, the non-oil sector in the UAE is just not growing fast enough to prevent a recession in 2015 (File Archive/ AFP).
14:00 GMT
The recent oil price collapse may bring on a recession for the UAE in 2015.
The World Islamic Travel Summit will focus on the theme of  "driving the Halal tourism revolution" (File Archive/ AFP).
13:00 GMT
Halal tourism now represents 13% of the global market and will be showcased at the World Islamic Travel Summit in Abu Dhabi next year.
A glut of wheat for the throngs of Egyptians (Image courtesy of oregonstate.edu)
11:26 GMT
Egypt signed contracts for 240,000 tonnes of French wheat and 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat, at an average price of $273.94 per tonne to be delivered in January, the minister of supply and internal trade, Khaled Hanafi, said Sunday.
Microsoft will offer a direct operator billing facility with Du that will negate the need for customers to use their credit cards online (Shutterstock).
10:00 GMT
Microsoft has parternered with Du to offer a direct operator billing facility that will avoid the need for customers to use their credit cards online.
The lines get blurred for many workers who might be out of the office for the holidays but are very much on call or online and staying on the grind from a different location. (Photo: woman working outdoors, Shutterstock)
09:57 GMT
Up to 86.5 per cent of employees in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region say they continue working even during holidays, according to a new survey by job site Bayt.com.
Mohammed Mubarak Al-Shikely (right), GM Marketing, Oman Air and Jamal Al Azki (left), UK Country Manager of Oman Air holding the Skytrax award (Photo courtesy of World Airline Awards).
08:36 GMT
Oman Air won the title of World´s Leading Airline for Economy Class in 2014 in a ceremony in Anguilla.
The new visa system would garner huge revenues for the regional tourism sector and help facilitate financial and administrative procedures.
04:55 GMT
Foreign expatriates residing in the GCC states should be allowed to travel within the six Gulf nations without requiring visas, a senior official has said.
Samsung Note4 was considered the best phone in terms of size and complexity.
04:55 GMT
Hint: it's not the iphone 6
The figure does not include the cost of services and infrastructure borne to accommodate refugees in the hosting countries.
01:51 GMT
The amount is equal to Syria’s GDP in 2007, according to the World Bank.

December 21, 2014

The big threat to the market is that lower oil revenues in the Gulf could slash the amount of money available to buy Dubai property
17:47 GMT
The plunge in oil prices may take more of the froth off Dubai's booming real estate market, but broad-based demand for property is likely to prevent any crash, said a report.
Citadel confirmed that aid from Gulf stated could be affected by the decline in oil prices over time.
17:43 GMT
The declining oil prices are positive for the Egyptian economy, according to a statement issued by Egypt’s Citadel (Qalaa) Holding on Thursday.
Israel has repeatedly refused to compensate Lebanon, despite the many calls by the General Assembly.
17:37 GMT
The U.N. General Assembly Friday asked Israel to pay Lebanon $856.4 million as compensation for the oil slick the Jewish state caused during the July 2006 war.
This drive has seen NYU collaborate with Abu Dhabi, for an educational a programme designed to find the leaders of tomorrow.
13:58 GMT
John Sexton, the president of one the world’s top universities, explains why he decided to expand to Abu Dhabi.
The long-awaited contract, announced late Friday by the US Department of Defense, includes spare parts and is due to be completed by April 30, 2019.
13:48 GMT
US weapons maker Raytheon has won a contract valued at $2.4 billion to supply 10 Patriot missile defence systems to Qatar,
Economists are warning that even with the huge reserves many have built up, a prolonged drop in oil prices will hit Gulf states hard.
04:55 GMT
Gulf countries could lose at least half their oil revenues or around $350 billion a year as crude prices plunge, according to senior analysts.
The market is expected to continue to grow fast driven by a large number of mall openings throughout the GCC region the coming five years.
04:44 GMT
The Middle East ranks in the top 10 list of global luxury markets, a report said, adding that regional consumption increased by 11 per cent in 2014,

December 19, 2014

For 45 per cent of respondents, taking a job is a means to broaden their perspectives on life.
14:05 GMT
Almost three quarters (72 per cent) of Mena respondents state that they are employed in a mixed gender workplace.
According to the report, there were 998,100 government employees in the Kingdom consisting of 991,000 Saudi men and women.
13:51 GMT
A total of 5,298 expatriate government employees were sacked in 2011 while 4,380 Saudi female government employees left their jobs in the same year, a study revealed.
The Dreamliner has been delayed by “one to two weeks” due to “certification issues,” Hogan said.
13:45 GMT
Etihad Airways is not interested in ordering any more Airbus A380s, while the launch of its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner into service has been delayed.
Implementation of the government’s development plan has been picking up, and momentum is expected to improve further in 2015 and 2016.
00:38 GMT
The consumer has been and remains a key driver of growth in Kuwait, even as growth in the sector has moderated somewhat.
No details were given in the report on how much gas Bahrain could potentially import.
00:29 GMT
Bahrain could start importing gas from Russia in 2017, Russia’s ambassador to the Gulf Arab kingdom told a local newspaper.
He added that JIC will cover the entire Kingdom through specialised employees with offices in the governorates.
00:24 GMT
The "investment window" will officially be launched in mid-April 2015, Jordan Investment Commission (JIC) President Montaser Okla said Thursday
The report also found that the poverty rate among Israelis past retirement age was declining, compared with a rise in the incidence of poverty in the general population
00:16 GMT
High housing prices are preventing an average Israeli family from making ends meet.
The rating comes as brent crude price dropped below $60 per barrel on Tuesday
00:07 GMT
Fitch Ratings has issued a stable outlook for all banks in the GCC in 2015, largely driven by the probability of sovereign support in times of trouble.

December 18, 2014


Kuwait Energy holds a 49.5 per cent revenue interest in the East Ras Qattara development lease
23:58 GMT
This is a very important discovery as this is the first time that the Jurassic formation is proven to be a hydrocarbon producer in the East
Bassil reiterated that the size of trade between Lebanon and Latin America, which has about 12 million Lebanese and their descendants, has not exceeded $14 million per year during the last five years.
04:55 GMT
Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil signed a free-trade agreement with the Mercosur countries of Latin America, stressing the importance of maintaining good relations with the bloc.
he Gulf stock market losses came on top of over $200 billion of value already destroyed since the end of October
04:55 GMT
Qatar’s index tumbled 3.5 percent and Kuwait lost 2.1 percent.
The kingdom is the largest economy in the Arab world, and OPEC’s biggest crude producer.
04:55 GMT
Saudi Arabia will continue massive public spending despite a 50 percent drop in the price of oil which provides the bulk of the kingdom’s revenue.

December 17, 2014

He also said OPEC would need to see how badly the market was oversupplied and for signs of demand picking up.
18:18 GMT
Core Gulf OPEC oil producers signalled this week they are prepared to wait as long as six months to a year to see the market stabilise,
‘I’ve always said the realistic price for out-of-ground: $70. Should never, ever have been above that.
18:11 GMT
The airline industry is set to reap the benefits of lower oil prices, which could fall to as low as $30-a-barrel.
Three quarters of attacks targeting users’ money were carried out using banking malware but these are not the only financial threats.
18:04 GMT
A total of 6.2 billon malicious attacks on user computers and mobile devices were blocked by Kaspersky Lab antivirus products in 2014,
Globally, the most trending search topics were about Robin Williams, World Cup, Ebola, Malaysian Airlines and ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
17:57 GMT
The most searched queries in Google in the UAE were World Cup 2014, iPhone 6 and Malaysian Airlines.
The Egyptian government has finished upgrading the airport in the resort town of Hurghada,
17:39 GMT
The airport in Hurghada, a major tourist hub on the coast of the red sea, will now be able to accommodate 13 million passengers annually.
Dubai’s real estate scene has also seen a number of new property launches over the year.
15:17 GMT
Dubai’s residential rents have stabilised in the second half of 2014, growing seven per cent year-on-year in 2014.
Last week, both 95-octane and 98-octane gasoline fell by LL800 and are now priced at LL26,400 and LL27,100 (17 USD and 18 USD).
14:26 GMT
The decline in fuel prices comes against the background of Brent oil falling to a new five-year low.
Travel is one area of opportunity; Muslim consumers spent an estimated $140 billion on travel and tourism in 2013.
13:57 GMT
From travel guides to shopping portals, new Internet ventures aim to capitalise on the growing "Muslim lifestyle" market.
The lira's tumble comes amid concerns about wider emerging-market weakness
04:55 GMT
The lira weakened to a record low of 2.4140 against the dollar on Tuesday after a fall in the value of the ruble in Russia
ASELSAN, established by the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation at the end of 1975, is a Turkish corporation that produces tactical military radios and defense electronic systems for the Turkish army.
04:55 GMT
Turkish military electronic defense systems corporation ASELSAN launched a production plant via a joint partnership between the Turkish firm and a Jordanian company.
Alarab will feature expert opinion from renowned guests and never-before-seen social media interaction with its viewers, it said.
04:55 GMT
Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), and owner of Alarab News Channel.
Oil prices have been falling – and plummeting, spiraling, nose-diving and just generally heading downwards – over the past few months.
04:55 GMT
Here is a look at three of the Middle East’s most affected economies – some of which are already on the brink of a serious crisis.
The EIU predicts China will be the largest export market for the GCC by 2020.
02:27 GMT
Developing countries in Asia - particularly China and India - are rapidly becoming the biggest trading partners with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries ahead of other regions
Abdel Nour is expected to hold the council’s first meeting tomorrow to review future plans and the most important proposals for developing bilateral relations.
01:36 GMT
Minister of Industry and Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour issued a decree Monday stipulating the formation of the Egyptian-Chinese Business Council
The GCC currencies are pegged or linked to the dollar, yet with local inflation rates that are five to eight times higher than the two per cent US CPI rate,
00:56 GMT
Matein Khalid warns on the effects of a strengthening US dollar to other currencies

December 16, 2014

Oil prices have been going down since June due to weak demand and oversupply benefiting the airline industry in procuring cheaper jet fuel.
23:12 GMT
“It will be a positive effect starting from next year. We will see a drop in ticket prices,”
However, the Syrian civil war exposed deep splits within the Opec, notably between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
15:45 GMT
The world assumed that, despite a surge in US shale oil, Saudi Arabia world cut output to keep prices above $100 Brent.
Dana warned the KRG could face sanctions if the autonomous region failed to pay the money to its consortium,
15:29 GMT
Kurdistan’s Regional Government (KRG) has failed to pay $100 million to a Dana Gas consortium as instructed by a London arbitration court
An FBI official did not provide further details, but said the agency routinely provides private industry with advisories to help it fend off cyber threats.
15:20 GMT
The FBI has warned US businesses to be on the alert for a sophisticated Iranian hacking operation.
Even at current oil prices, analysts estimate Qatar’s state budget might break even next year; it has huge fiscal reserves to cover any deficits.
04:55 GMT
Qatar predicted its economy would grow 7.7 percent next year, signalling the world’s top exporter of liquefied natural gas expects very little disruption to its finances
Companies in the region are struggling to identify future leaders and lacking strong and deep leadership pipelines,
04:55 GMT
Businesses and organisations in the Middle are failing to create professionals equipped with the necessary skills to head industry.

December 15, 2014

OPEC’s 12 members pumped 30.56 million barrels a day in November, exceeding their collective target.
06:55 GMT
OPEC will stand by its decision not to cut crude output even if oil prices fall as low as $40 a barrel.
Prices are set to remain under $100 oil a barrel
06:55 GMT
Zawaneh told The Jordan Times the “government should play it smart” and build the law based on an average price, “not to go for $30 and not to keep it exaggerated as $100”.
Iran is considered one of the world's most corrupt places.
04:55 GMT
Iranian authorities have arrested 12 people for syphoning off more than $4.5 billion (3.6 billion euros) from one of the country's main banks over several years.
There are several factors ranging from global exposure to availability of the desired course that prompt students to choose foreign universities over local ones.
04:55 GMT
Every year, nearly 250,000 students from the Mena flock to universities overseas to pursue higher education.
Their expansion reflects the determination of the energy-rich Gulf states to develop new sources of income to reduce their dependence on oil.
04:55 GMT
With deep pockets and hundreds of new planes on order, Qatar Airways is one of a trio of fast-growing Gulf carriers seeking to further muscle into European markets.
“We have a real problem with growth. There has been a real slowdown in the economy."
04:55 GMT
"It is a strategic threat to the country; not only poverty, but also wage gaps."
The company had been producing around 200,000 barrels a day.
03:26 GMT
Libya's eastern Es Sider oil export port, the country's biggest, has been shut due to fighting nearby between forces representing the country's competing governments.
Dubai’s stock market was the world’s best performing this year until it was caught up in a regional sell off amid tumbling oil prices.
03:16 GMT
The Dubai index wiped off gains registered in 2014, since it fell another 7 per cent for a second straight session.
Going forward, the impact of declining oil prices on Egypt's economy is less clear.
03:05 GMT
Egypt's stock market plunged by 22 billion Egyptian pounds (just over $3 billion) in a single day of trading Sunday as low oil prices dragged down regional economies.

December 14, 2014

"We're putting $550 billion into fossil fuel subsidies," per year, she said. "Use this opportunity to phase them out!", she added.
18:28 GMT
World leaders have a "golden opportunity" with plunging oil prices to put a price on carbon emissions since cheaper fuel makes the move less risky politically, said the International Energy Agency (IEA).
On Wednesday, Naimi shrugged off suggestions that Saudi Arabia might cut production to reverse the deepest price slump in years.
18:17 GMT
Crude oil supplies from Saudi Arabia inched up in November from a month earlier, an industry source said, signalling no change in the kingdom's supply
The summit adopted other resolutions with economic implications, notably continuing the work of unified guiding principles for the Gulf’s financial markets
17:56 GMT
Following repeated delays, it was generally understood that full completion of the project would take place in 2015.
More than a million claimants have been paid and nearly all the $52.4-billion reparations bill has been met.
05:55 GMT
Iraq is seeking to postpone a final $4.6 billion installment of reparations for its 1990-91 occupation of Kuwait,

With $60 mark already there, some others too are now saying that $50 is in sight
05:55 GMT
Thw carnage continues! Markets are in free fall
Herve Falciani gave prosecutors in France and Spain data on thousands of Swiss bank accounts.
05:55 GMT
Switzerland has charged a former computer analyst at HSBC’s private bank in Geneva with industrial espionage and breaching the country’s secrecy laws.
Corruption has a negative impact on development, creating obstacles to growth and causing particular harm to the poorest.
05:55 GMT
In 19% of cases, civil servants caught accepting bribes were left uninvestigated, with another 41 % of investigations opened but not concluded, according to a World Bank statement issued Friday.
The world’s top airlines are increasingly falling out of favour with their premium product and replacing it with extra business and economy class seats.
04:55 GMT
“There has not been a full return to pre-global financial crisis premium traffic share."
The 1.85 million euro EU-funded project aimed at enhancing Lebanon’s tax collection process both quantitatively and qualitatively.
04:55 GMT
The European Union announced Friday the completion of a project to modernize Lebanon’s tax administration after nearly two years of cooperation between the French and Lebanese Finance departments.

December 12, 2014

Strong economic growth across the region has also led to an increase in demand for human resources professionals
20:06 GMT
Average salaries in the UAE for professional roles rose by just two per cent over the last 12 months.
Wasl Asset Management plans to open four three-star hotels in the emirate next year.
19:56 GMT
A company owned by Dubai’s government plans to open four hotels in the emirate next year to expand the supply of mid-priced rooms in a market dominated by luxury accommodation.

December 11, 2014

On the topic of remedies for the income gap, the OECD says redistribution efforts should focus on families with children and youth,
17:10 GMT
The gap between rich and poor in Turkey is at the second highest level among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries,
“I am not particularly happy as you can imagine,” Clark said in a telephone interview.
17:05 GMT
The head of Dubai-based airline Emirates has reacted angrily to a suggestion by Airbus that it might stop making its A380 superjumbo airliner.
Saudi Arabia will stop buying domestically-grown wheat in two years' time and rely completely on imports of the grain
16:56 GMT
By investing tens of billions of dollars, the desert nation's output grew through the 1980s until it ironically became one of the world's largest wheat exporters.

Riyadh has said its oil policy is based on economic principles.
16:40 GMT
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has blamed unnamed countries of plotting to bring down crude prices.
The Ministry of Labor has taken penal action against as many as 707 companies and establishments, which failed to implement a mandatory Wage Protection Program.
16:28 GMT
Abdullah Abu Thunain, deputy minister for inspection and work environment development, said that the punitive measures were taken following raids carried out by inspectors
Firstly, do some research on the market rate for your prospective position.
16:19 GMT
“If you master salary negotiation, you can get a sneak peek into what your employer’s “reservation price” is and use it to your advantage.”
The deal is expected to complete by the end of the first quarter of 2015, with the proceeds going toward general corporate purchases.
10:37 GMT
Constellation Hotels, part of the Qatar Holding investment vehicle, has reached an agreement with InterContinental Hotels Group to buy its iconic InterContinental Paris Le Grand hotel for €330 million ($405 million).
Bayoumi said that Egypt and the EU have implicitly agreed to resume the technical committees of the partnership’s work.
10:30 GMT
The European Union (EU) proposed a new trade agreement for countries participating in partnership agreements with Europe last week.
In its World Economic Outlook report in October, the IMF estimated Iraq's gross domestic product would shrink 2.7 percent this year.
04:55 GMT
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday said Iraq's oil-dependent economy was expected to contract much less than previously thought this year due to rising oil production.
“A St. Kitts passport will also allow investors to travel to over 130 countries globally, including UK, Europe, Hong Kong and most Commonwealth countries.
04:55 GMT
Middle Eastern nationalities, along with the Chinese, are the top takers for St. Kitts and Nevis’ citizenship by investment program, an industry source told Gulf Business.

December 10, 2014

"I can't accept having my history stigmatised with approving a deal that might harm Jordan and Jordanians. The government is here to serve the country and its interests," the premier said.
21:32 GMT
Lawmakers on Wednesday recommended that the government shelve a planned natural gas deal with Israel following two long sessions dedicated to discussing the controversial issue.
"The weaker the family, the more members in a family, the greater the savings will be," he said.
20:13 GMT
That is higher than a poll conducted before the last election in January 2013, when 43 per cent cited economic issues and the cost of living as the biggest concern.
The Gulf carrier is one of Airbus's biggest clients, albeit a very demanding one.
20:01 GMT
"We want everything to be absolutely perfect," chief executive Akbar al Baker said in June after postponing the delivery of 13 A380 super jumbo planes, eventually received in September.
The scholarships have been granted for the Introduction to Clinical Research Training programme (ICRT).
19:27 GMT
The Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) Medical Education Department, in association with Harvard Medical School, has granted 15 scholarships to DHA medical professionals.
The Saudi market’s drop in the last few weeks has nearly wiped out the benchmark’s year-to-date gains, which now stand at just 1.1 percent.
19:15 GMT
Most stock markets in the Gulf fell sharply Tuesday after oil prices hit five-year lows, triggering a fresh wave of panic selling of shares by local retail investors
Qatar’s drive to promote itself as a tourism destination for Arab and Muslim families has led to the introduction of a ban on alcohol.
18:41 GMT
Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are the only Gulf countries where the sale and consumption of alcohol is totally banned.
Jordan currently imports 97% of its energy, paying at least double what it would pay for Israeli gas.
18:01 GMT
Buying Israeli gas will save the Jordanian economy $1.5 billion a year.
Oil prices will stay at about $65 a barrel for at least half a year until OPEC changes its collective production
17:36 GMT
A breakdown in OPEC solidarity or a price war among producers for market share will lead to an “enormous price-dive shock.”
BP is one of the largest foreign investors in Egypt, which wants foreign companies to help ease one of its worst energy crises in decades.
15:53 GMT
British oil major BP plans to invest more than $12 billion in Egypt over the next five years.
While the six sovereign states in the GCC can withstand the pressure of oil prices averaging around Moody's estimate of $80 to $85 a barrel in 2015.
15:38 GMT
Bahrain and Oman will be more adversely affected by the lower oil prices because they have the highest fiscal break-even prices and the lowest reserve buffers in the GCC.
 In addition to winning ‘World’s Leading Airline’, Etihad Airways scooped up a further two awards ‘World’s Leading First Class’ and ‘World’s Leading Cabin Crew’.
06:45 GMT
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has been awarded the highly coveted title of ‘World’s Leading Airline’ for the sixth straight year.
“This represent about 30 percent of the country’s gross domestic product,” the study said.
05:55 GMT
The Shoura Council is currently debating a new law to fight tasattur or illegal business activities conducted by expatriates in the name of Saudis.
A common trap for consumers is size.
04:55 GMT
Buyers beware: the choices are fewer than they seem.
The 271,051 sqft development will comprise 72 luxury apartments, a restaurant and health and fitness facilities and is slated for completion in 2017.
04:55 GMT
Marketed as ‘Ten Broadway’, the 600,000 sqft site, home to the London Metropolitan Police since the 1960s, is located in prime central London, and will be redeveloped into a multi-use development.
Qatar doesn’t produce enough chicken meat to feed its population, with imports set to rise 11 per cent next year.
04:55 GMT
A chicken farm backed by Qatari investors will have capacity to produce 45 million kgs of chicken meat by 2018.
In addition to the inventory situation, the move in oil prices is related to developments in currency markets.
02:16 GMT
Oil prices dropped nearly 10 percent following the decision by OPEC not to cut production from current levels of about 30 million barrels per day.

December 9, 2014

Taxis will be provided with the most advanced communication technology, so passengers can call a taxi company to arrange a pickup
23:10 GMT
Under new laws for public taxis that come into effect in 45 days, commuters in the Kingdom will no longer hail cabs on the streets.
 “The railway will increase trade and economic exchange between the member states,”
22:59 GMT
The GCC railway link project, which has been given top priority by the bloc’s leaders, would be completed by 2018
The Shoura Council also declared this year that Arabic be used as the lingua franca in international conferences and official forums inside the Kingdom.
18:18 GMT
The Ministry of Education ordered the closure of 17 international schools and issued warnings to 32 others last year for violating local laws.
Moody’s observed that Bahrain and Oman are likely to finance any increase in fiscal deficits in 2015 through sovereign debt issuance in 2015.
18:11 GMT
The introduction of new taxes — most likely indirect — will be a last resort for GCC governments, which are coming under mounting pressures consequent to plunging oil prices,