Gulf In Focus

Bahrain’s growth continues

The Kingdom of Bahrain has ambitious plans for post-pandemic growth. After a peak in May and June, Covid-19 cases declined and at time of writing, life is returning to normal with 65 percent of the population fully vaccinated and programs underway for children and adolescents. However, the Kingdom paid a high price: Lockdown measures drove down revenue in several sectors, including hotels and restaurants, resulting in a 36 percent decrease in their contributions to GDP. To put itself in a better position, Bahrain, like many GCC governments, is striving to diversify its economy. Its Economic Development Board is one of the region’s most aggressive FDI promotion agencies, with an innovation hub in Manama for the exchange of ideas.

Masdar and Iraq agree to implement first phase of 2gw project

Masdar, a subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company, and Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity and National Investment Commission signed an agreement on Wednesday that implements the first phase of solar projects that will boost the country’s goal of generating 20-25 percent of its energy from renewables, equivalent to 10-12 gigawatts by 2030. The agreement, a sign of strengthening ties with the UAE under the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi, will build power stations in five locations across Iraq that will generate 1GW. The second phase of the agreement will add another 1GW of capacity.

SA, Qatar strengthen political, economic relations

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister, Candith Mashego-Dlamini, and her Qatar counterpart, Dr Ahmed Hassen Al-Hammadi, are set to strengthen bilateral political and economic relations when they meet on Thursday. According to the department, the two leaders will explore several areas of mutual interest. The discussions between Mashego-Dlamini and Al-Hammadi will also focus on current and potential areas of cooperation that exist between South Africa and Qatar.

UAE businesses see revenue surge on horizon

UAE companies expect revenues to surge by up to 50 percent in the next year, and hiring and investment in staff is also forecast to get a boost as Covid-19 recovery continues, according to new research from HSBC Bank found. Three out of four companies in the UAE expect to hire staff in the coming 12 months, the HSBC survey of more than 2,000 global businesses found. Those surveyed rank the anticipated ‘battle for talent’ as crucial to delivering on ambitious growth plans. “The companies involved in our research in the UAE are targeting roughly 25 percent revenue growth on average over the next 12 months and eight in 10 of them are already making significant investments in hiring, upskilling, or training,” said Daniel Howlett, regional head of Commercial Banking for HSBC in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey.

UAE issues first sovereign bonds

The UAE, the Arab world’s second-largest economy, issued multi-tranche sovereign bonds for the first time as a federation as the country looks to raise fresh funding amid low interest rates globally. The bond package denominated in US dollars includes conventional medium and long-term 10 and 20-year tranches, as well as 40-year dual-listed formosa bonds, the UAE’s Ministry of Finance said in a statement. Formosa bonds refer to debt issued in Taiwan by foreign borrowers in currencies other than the Taiwanese dollar. The Ministry of Finance, however, did not provide details on the total amount it plans to raise through the issuance of bonds.

Dubai’s Emirates offers special A380 fares

Dubai carrier Emirates is expanding its A380 network to 27 cities, and offering customers special fares to several destinations. The offer is valid for bookings made from October 5 until October 18, 2021, for travel until June 2022, subject to terms and conditions. Passengers can enjoy fares to Cairo from Dhs1,395 in economy class and Dhs4,995 in business class; Istanbul from Dhs1,875 in economy class and Dhs10,380 in business class; Moscow from Dhs2,205 in economy class and Dhs7,815 in business class; and to Los Angeles from Dhs3,335 in economy class and Dhs19,035 in business class. Economy and business class fares to New York start from Dhs3,255 and Dhs14,655 respectively. Fares to Amman begin from Dhs1,735 in economy class and Dhs5,775 in business class.

Dubai: car showroom fined for misleading sales promotion

The Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector in Dubai Economy has fined a car showroom for conducting a misleading campaign by offering cars with special specifications, benefits and gifts for consumers buying cars through a social media influencer. The showroom director was summoned to Dubai Economy and told to stop the unlawful promotion, said a press statement issued by Dubai Economy on Wednesday.

“Dubai Economy holds the trader responsible for any misleading campaign found on the social media account of the company or conducted through a social media promoter. All business owners are therefore directed to ensure the accuracy of such campaign content and obtain the appropriate permit beforehand,” said the statement.

Abu Dhabi chamber, udmurt republic discuss enhancing increasing economic cooperation

Mohamed Helal Al Mheiri, Director General of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the Abu Dhabi Chamber is completely ready to boost trade and investment relations with Udmurt Republic to better serve businesses and investors in both countries. This came during the visit of Mikhail Khomich, Permanent Representative of the Head of the Udmurt Republic to the Russian President, to the Chamber’s tower in Abu Dhabi, where he discussed the best methods of developing joint economic cooperation with Abu Dhabi and enhancing the mechanisms of communication between the business communities of both countries.

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