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Kuwait parliament allows foreign firms to operate without local sponsors

Kuwait’s parliament has approved a proposal to abolish local sponsorship for foreign companies that open branches in the Gulf state.

The move by parliament’s financial and economic affairs committee is seen by analysts as a step towards encouraging foreign investment and diversifying the economy, The New Arab’s Arabic-language sister service Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.

The proposal allows companies to operate directly without a local agent, including those bidding for government contracts.

“[This] opens the door wide for competition and reflects positively on improving the quality of services in the state, whether provided in commercial work or through government contracts,” said economic affairs committee rapporteur Abdulwahab Al-Issa.

Over 90,000 Indian firms registered with Dubai chamber of commerce

Dubai Chamber of Commerce, one of the three chambers operating under the umbrella of Dubai Chambers, has revealed that Indian investors topped the list of nationalities behind new companies joining the chamber during the first half of 2023. A total of 6,717 new Indian-owned companies signed up for membership in H1 2023, compared to 4,845 in H1 2022, representing year-over-year growth of 39 percent. In total, Indian companies accounted for 22.3 percent of the 30,146 new companies that joined the chamber in H1 2023.

The number of Indian companies registered by the end of June 2023 increased to 90,118, reflecting the important role Indian firms play in supporting the sustainable growth of Dubai’s economy. The UAE ranked second in the number of new companies joining the chamber during the first half of this year, with 4,445 new companies registered.

UAE economy to grow by 3.5pc in 2023

The UAE’s gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to grow by 3.5 percent in 2023, rising to 3.9 percent next year, according to UBS estimates.

Growth is supported by an increase in non-oil activities and strong demand for oil and the country’s energy investments, Michael Bolliger, chief investment officer, emerging markets at UBS Global Wealth Management said in a statement to WAM. The country’s non-oil economy is projected to grow by a robust 4.5 percent this year. Bolliger said the introduction of a 9 percent corporate tax this year, following the adoption of a 5 percent value-added tax (VAT) in 2018, contributes to bolstering public finances. These measures along with other initiatives to further reduce the economy’s dependence on the hydrocarbon sector will further diversify the economy.

Abu Dhabi’s G42 teams up with Microsoft to boost cloud infrastructure in the UAE

G42, the Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence and cloud computing company, and the US technology giant Microsoft have announced the next phase of their strategic partnership to boost the cloud and technology infrastructure in the UAE. They will co-innovate and deliver advanced artificial intelligence capabilities and expand the existing data centre infrastructure in the Emirates. “This strategic collaboration with Microsoft is not just about technology … it’s about creating a holistic ecosystem for societal resilience and growth,” Peng Xiao, group chief executive of G42, said.

Qatar economy grows 2.7pc in q1

The Qatari economy achieved a real growth rate of 2.7 percent during the first quarter of the current year compared to the same period in 2022, according to official figures. Data from the Planning and Statistics Authority indicates that the quarterly Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates at constant prices reached around QR170.1bn in the first quarter of 2023, compared to the revised first quarter estimate for 2022, which stood at QR165.6bn. This resulted in a 2.7 percent increase. When compared to the revised estimates for the fourth quarter of 2022, which were QR177.02bn, a decrease of 3.9 percent was observed. Similarly, Qatar’s quarterly GDP estimates at current prices for the same period in 2023 amounted to approximately QR198.74bn, reflecting a 1 percent increase compared to the estimates for the same quarter in 2022, which were QR196.81bn.

The impact of entertainment ventures on Saudi Arabia’s economy

Saudi Arabia is reaping the rewards of its substantial investments in diversifying its economy, with a key focus on the entertainment and tourism sectors. These investments have not only improved the nation’s income potential but have also paved the way for a departure from its reliance on hydrocarbons. The results of these efforts are evident in the figures published by the Saudi Central Bank for July, which revealed a surplus of $17.7 billion in the Kingdom’s current account balance during the first quarter of 2023. This reflects a significant revenue boost from tourism, reaching $9.8 billion in the first quarter compared to $3 billion in the same period the previous year.

The OECD Tourism Trends and Policies 2022 report validates Saudi Arabia’s commitment to developing its tourism industry as one of the Kingdom’s fastest-growing sectors, significantly contributing to the national economy while creating a substantial number of jobs.

Adel Noueihed, managing director of Imagination Middle East, a global creative agency, highlighted that on a global scale, entertainment contributes to 4 percent of gross domestic product, while tourism accounts for 7 percent.

Oman’s tourism industry sees 47.3pc surge to hit $4.93bn

Amid attempts to diversify its economy, Oman’s tourism industry recorded a 47.3 percent year-on-year surge at the end of 2022 to stand at 1.9 billion Omani rials ($4.93 billion).

This figure reflects an increase of 600 million rials compared to 1.3 billion rials recorded toward the end of 2021, as reported by the Oman News Agency.

This falls in line with the country’s goal of further opening up tourism and encouraging international travelers to visit the country.