Gulf In Focus

Kuwait records lowest drop among GCC in active oil refining projects from Feb 2020:

According to a report of MEED magazine, the value of active refining projects in the Middle East and North Africa has declined amid the shift of ongoing global energy away from fossil fuels, in addition to the spread of the COVID- 19 pandemic in the region since mid-February 2020 until now, reports Al-Anba daily.

An analysis of the refining projects in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Egypt, Libya, Algeria and Iraq revealed that Kuwait witnessed the largest drop in active oil refining projects during the analyzed period, according to data released by MEED Projects, which tracks regional project activity. MEED explained that in February 2019, the total value of the country’s active refining products amounted to $35.3 billion.

However, it is currently less than $100 million. This decline is partly attributed to the completion of several major giant refining projects in the country. These projects include environmental fuel projects at a cost of $16 billion, the final units of which began operating in September this year. They also include the Al-Zour refinery project worth USD 16 billion, which was mechanically completed and is currently in operation. There were no new projects worth mentioning or being talked about in the refining sector, or any other sector of the oil and gas sectors in Kuwait over the past few years. It should be noted that the ongoing issues related to the local political situation in Kuwait have increased the dual impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global shift towards clean energy.

UAE’s in-country value programme to create up to 120,000 jobs by 2031

The UAE’s national in-country value programme will create up to 120,000 jobs, localise supply chains, attract more investment and raise the private sector’s contribution to local gross domestic product, government officials said.

It is expected to create between 90,000 and 120,000 jobs in the UAE and contribute an additional Dh51 to Dh54 billion to local GDP by 2031, Abdallah Al Shamsi, assistant undersecretary for the Industrial Growth Sector at the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, said at a press conference in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

The programme aims to redirect Dh55bn of government spending on goods and services into the local economy by 2025, up from Dh39bn in 2020 when the unified ICV certification was created, he said.

Greek, UAE FMs discuss economic cooperation, investments

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias met on Wednesday with United Arab Emirates Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber.

Talks focused on the excellent relations between the strategic partners, Greece and the UAE, and the creation of new prospects of economic cooperation and investments, the Foreign Ministry posted on Twitter.

Nominal GDP grows 12.7pc

Oman’s nominal GDP – the gross domestic product at current market prices – recorded a robust 12.7 percent growth during the first nine months of 2021, surpassing the pre-pandemic level.

Supported by the government’s economic stimulus packages, reopening of economic activities and higher oil and gas prices, the sultanate’s nominal GDP grew at a solid rate from January to September this year in another sign that the economy is on a sustained path of recovery from the pandemic recession.

Nominal GDP surged to RO24.2bn in the first nine months of 2021 compared to RO21.5bn in the same period of 2020, according to data released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).

‘As a result of the economic stimulus and economic diversification efforts, the Omani economy continues its growth trend, recording a 12.7 percent growth by the end of the third quarter of 2021. The manufacturing industries recorded the highest growth rate this year of 25.8 percent,’ Oman’s Ministry of Economy stated in a tweet on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia ends the year with local sukuk issuance of $110.5m

The Saudi government offered denominated sukuk in Saudi riyals worth SR415 million ($110.5 million) for the December issuance, the National Debt Management Center announced on Tuesday.

The issuance comes under the Kingdom’s riyal-denominated sukuk program.

The first tranche had a size of SR200 million and matures in 2029 while the second tranche was valued at SR215 million and matures in 2031.

The Kingdom collected a total amount of SR74.8 billion of sukuk in monthly issuances for the previous 11 months. Now, it obtained a total value of SR75.2 billion financing from Sukuk.

The Saudi Finance Ministry established the sukuk program throough the NDMC in July 2017.

The Kingdom’s public debt stood at SR948.3 billion at the end of this year’s third quarter, according to the ministry’s latest quarterly budget report. Domestic debt accounted for 59.1 percent while external debt made up 40.9 percent of the debt.

Sheikh approves new structure of Dubai integrated economic zones authority

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed, Chairman of Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority, has approved the organisation’s new structure, aimed at enhancing free zone integration in the emirate and providing comprehensive solutions to investors and free zones companies.

The authority’s structure conforms to Law No 16 of 2021 issued by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

The legislation aims to strengthen Dubai’s economy by integrating three different free zones, which will enable the emirate to provide an “exceptional investment and business experience and high-quality solutions and services to businesses”, the DIEZ said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The approval of DIEZ’s organisational structure is a testament to our commitment to enhancing our leading role in advancing Dubai’s sustainable economic development and realising its ambitious vision across sectors through innovation, technology and knowledge driven by DIEZ’s free zones,” Sheikh Ahmed said.

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