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Tuesday, 3 May 2016 This newsletter reaches 155,909 readers, to advertise click here

Saudi Binladin Group tells staff to 'quit or wait'

Construction firm that sacked 77,000 staff has 'lost billions since Makkah crane crash'

Saudi to loosen foreign ownership restrictions for stocks

Each investor under Saudi Arabia's Qualified Foreign Institutions scheme will be allowed to own a stake of just under 10 percent of a single company

Rotana eyes UAE for new hotel brand launch

Group targeting second half of 2016 for first ‘Centro Resorts’ deal

US woman who insulted the UAE to undergo psychological evaluation

Woman was arrested and charged with verbally insulting the UAE and its leaders while waiting for a taxi at Abu Dhabi airport.

Rihanna, Chemical Brothers to perform live at Abu Dhabi F1 after-race concerts

Rihanna and The Chemical Brothers to perform live at Abu Dhabi F1 after-race concerts on Yas Island, November 25-27

New Saudi women-only business park to create 21,000 jobs

Riyadh-based park includes start-up incubators, day-care centres and a one-stop coordination centre for government transactions

Sir Rocco Forte sees potential in Oman for hotel development

Hotel tycoon still unsure about opening a property in Dubai

Qatar’s public hospitals to cut back on junk food, says ministry

Ministry of Public Health also considering a local menu in the future

Saudi minister confirms warning on proposed US law on 9/11

Riyadh government threatened to sell up to $750bn worth of American assets should the US Congress pass a bill that would take away immunity from foreign governments in cases arising from a "terrorist attack that kills an American on American soil"

UAE to pilot teacher licensing system in 2017

Teachers will be subject to licensing and have to pass a national exam under the proposals

Apple CEO hints next iPhone will be 'game-changing'

Tim Cook reveals new iPhones will have "things you don't know you need today"

PwC acquires MidEast construction firm

‘Big Four’ firm snaps up HLP Consulting as regional construction disputes rise


Why Saudi Arabia will struggle to kick its addiction to oil

Transforming the economy is an enormously ambitious undertaking fraught with considerable risks, says Reuters analyst John Kemp

How Etihad's partnership strategy is paying off

A strong set of results posted today shows that the Abu Dhabi airline’s much-discussed strategy is starting to bear fruit

Room for improvement?

With Dubai’s hotel market reaching maturity, the question of standards has moved to the forefront, says Courtney Trenwith

Saudi Arabia turns oil weapon on Iran

Gulf kingdom's decision to scupper negotiations on a coordinated oil output freeze is significant shift in policy, says Reuters analyst John Kemp

Arab Youth Survey: A generation in transition

Amidst fears of unemployment, ongoing conflicts, the re-emergence of Iran and the new desire for stability over democracy, Arab youth are finding glimpses of optimism.

Give young Arabs opportunity to create a better future for themselves

Arab youth have made one thing clear: give them the chance to create a better future for themselves and the region will instinctively re-stabilise.

Why Saudi Arabia's new transparency is a breath of fresh air

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman's announcement of his plans to diversify the kingdom’s economy away from oil has left questions as well as answers, says Ed Attwood

What SMEs really need in the UAE

A decision by local lenders to help some at-risk small businesses is commendable but far more support is required to create a bustling entrepreneurship environment, says Courtney Trenwith


In Pictures: Ancient spring festival Sham el-Nessim celebrate in Egypt

Egyptians celebrate Sham el-Nessim, a Pharaonic feast that marks the start of spring.

In photos: Saudi, US Heads of State discuss Syria conflict in Geneva

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir talks next to US Secretary of State John Kerry during a meeting on Syria

In photos: Leicester City fans celebrate after winning Premier League title

Tottenham Hotspur were held to a draw by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, handing the title to the rank outsiders from the midlands

In Pictures: First US cruise ship to Cuba in 50 years

The first US cruise ship bound for Cuba in half a century, the Adonia - a vessel from the Carnival cruise's Fathom line - set sail from Florida on Sunday, marking a new milestone in the rapprochement between Washington and Havana.


Video: Mr Bitcoin - "I don't want money, I don't want fame!"

Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright has publicly identified himself as Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

Video: Russia will not ask Syria to halt air strikes on Aleppo

Media reports claim Russia will not try to persuade Bashar al-Assad to call a halt to air strikes on Aleppo.

Video: Zika 'more dangerous than thought'

Scientists in Brazil say the Zika virus may be more dangerous than previously thought.

Video: US marks fifth anniversary of Bin Laden killing

Five years ago the US announced that Navy Seals had found and killed Osama bin Laden during a raid on a compound in Pakistan.

Latest Reader Comments

Basra's plan to build the world's next tallest tower: Is this the MidEast's most ambitious or most foolhardy project?
Mohammed : Good read! This project could very well be the saviour, not only to the investments in Basra but to whole of Iraq as well as this could very well be the ticket to a flourishing economy thanks to the recognition and the investments it will get considering its the first of its kind. ...
Iraq - Tuesday, 3 May 2016 1:18 PM

Bahrain needs $795m to complete stalled real estate projects
Chris : Can a 6-year-old project that has been left to the elements be restarted? What is the long-term impact of weather/sun/wind neglect likely to be on a project like Marina West? I hope this comes to fruition as these projects are giant eyesores and certainly project a message to visitors and investors ...
Bahrain - Tuesday, 3 May 2016 9:19 AM

Saudi white land tax 'could lead to 50% slump in property prices'
khalid : I hope the Saudi government implements the white land tax asap. It will help increase government revenuers and (help) push land owners to sell cheaper or develop....
uae - Tuesday, 3 May 2016 9:19 AM

Saudi builder Binladin cuts 77,000 jobs, to lay off Saudis
khalid : its astonishing to read articles like this. a major company like SBL, which has the lion's share of major construction projects in Saudi Arabia. It has $30 billion worth of debts. where does all the money go to? (would be interesting how much do they have outstanding in the 'market') ...
uae - Tuesday, 3 May 2016 9:18 AM

UAE to finish drafting corporate tax, VAT laws in Q3
Govind Prasad Madhopuria Advocate : When oil prices are falling rapidly and the revenue of the State is squeezing regularly, it is pertinent to consider alternative source of revenue for the State. To begin with, the Government's commitment to have a transparent taxation system is laudable. I have been associated with taxation system ...
India - Tuesday, 3 May 2016 9:07 AM




No penalties for negative comments on economy, says Dubai's DED

Dubai’s Department of Economic Development dispels rumours people will be fined


Saudi Binladin Group workers 'set fire to buses' in latest protest

Staff claim not to have been paid for six months, 50,000 reportedly laid off last week


Renewed call for Kuwait impose 5% tax on expat remittances

Kuwaiti MP Faysal Al Kandari said the new tax could bring in up to $66.5 million annually


Entrepreneur of the Week: Myles Bush, CEO of PH Real Estate

Myles Bush, CEO of PH Real Estate, on how he climbed the ladder to lead a firm that competes with Dubai's biggest


Dubai property prices slump by most in five years in Q1

Cluttons says 2.2% decline is biggest quarterly decrease in average residential values in five years


Ferrari World Abu Dhabi plans phase 3 of expansion

Three major rides and attractions that 'the world has never seen before' will be added by early 2017


Oman's 2040 tourism plan 'will cost $35bn', says senior official

Omani gov't is seeking upwards of $28bn from private sector to help it achieve aim of doubling visitor numbers by 2040


Pure Gold Group announces $326m GCC expansion plan

Group founded by Firoz Merchant to double its Pure Gold Jewellers retail outlets and grow the La Moda Sunglasses chain to 150 by 2030


Sobha Group, Umm Al Quwain to build $6.8bn island resort

Firdous Sobha’ will position Umm Al Quwain as new UAE tourist destination, according to Sheikh Rashid, Crown Prince of Umm Al Quwain


'Flurry of IPOs' expected in Saudi Arabia

Experts say kingdom could become one of the region’s most active IPO markets following the unveiling of the Vision 2030 economic reform plan


Can Abu Dhabi's new financial free zone compete?

Cities across the Gulf are creating financial centres to propel themselves onto the international stage, raising the question of which will survive. But a senior official at the newest, Abu Dhabi Global Market, insists it will prove to be stiff competition

Luxury prevails in Dubai's retail space

Global luxury retail sales have nosedived along with foreign currencies and oil prices in the past two years. But the continued development of high-end retail space and increased rent renewals in Dubai show brands remain confident in the emirate

Risky business: Lloyd’s of London's John Nelson

For more than three centuries, Lloyd’s of London has been at the forefront of minimising risk while simultaneously earning billions of dollars annually from underwriting it. Chairman John Nelson explains why the Middle East is one of the historic institution’s new frontiers

Saudi riyal peg pressure eases, but not gone

Volatile energy swings mean the currency remains vulnerable, especially if Riyadh fails to deliver fast on its reform plans

Saudi reform plans flirt with social change

Ruling family has preferred gradual liberalisation * Saudi reform plan avoided overt social change * Prince's ideas point towards reforms

From bricks to clicks: Rashid and Salama Alabbar

Rashid and Salama Alabbar, the next generation of one of Dubai’s most famous families, are taking their father’s retail legacy and going online, building up a portfolio of fast-growing e-commerce sites. And with a $113m deal with one of the industry’s biggest players signed off last week, they are now looking to go global

Pressure is on for Dubai's hoteliers

Dubai has long dominated tourism in the region, and its hotels have largely benefitted as a result. Seven months of consecutive declines in revenue and occupancy, however, are putting the emirate’s hoteliers under pressure. But they are not alone, with the symptoms spreading across the region

Lighting up the night: Mazen El Zein

Mazen El Zein was a bored Lebanese financier serving his compulsory year in the army when he launched a business that would see him create an ever-lasting reputation in Dubai’s nightlife scene

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