Issue  No.152
04 December 2017

This report is designed to give you a snapshot about the MENA region tackling multiple issues:


        63.28 USD         1,275 USD


Economic Outlook
  • Egypt will keep its customs exchange rate steady at 16 EGP per dollar. It is worthy to mention that Egypt began setting a monthly fixed customs exchange rate in January following the flotation of its pound currency in November 2016.
  • Gold and jewelry shops in Saudi that employ foreigners will have to pay a fine of 20,000 SAR for each expat worker after 3rd of December when 100% Saudization of the sector comes into force.
  • Saudi-based Acwa Power has announced the launch of the 1 BN USD Kirikkale Combined Cycle Power Plant in Turkey which has a 1,000 MW capacity, enough to meet 3% of the country's total electricity demand.
  • Assets of Islamic banks operating in the UAE amounted to 535 BN AED by the end of October, around 6% growth since the beginning of the year, accounting for 20.2% of total banking assets in the country, valued at around 2.639 TR AED during the first 10 months of the year.
  • Hotels in the Middle East saw an overall decline in performance across occupancy and average daily rate (ADR) parameters, resulting in a revenue per available room (RevPAR) performance drop across most of the international branded four and five star hotels during September. Kuwait achieved the highest year-on-year increase in occupancy with 10.7%, while Cairo witnessed an increase of 69.4% in ADR and 77.7% in RevPAR during September 2017.
  • Data consumption in Bahrain has increased by 53% to more than 296.5 million gigabytes on broadband packages during 2016.
Political Events
  • Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has ordered his military command to use all force necessary to secure the Sinai peninsula within the next three months following a militant attack on Rawda mosque that killed more than 300 people. In addition, the Egyptian security forces have killed 11 suspected militants in a shootout near Sinai.
  • According to a poll conducted by SMT studies center, 94.4% of Saudis are satisfied with the performance of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman. Some 88% view him as someone with great leadership capabilities. It is worthy to mention that the poll was conducted through a face to face interview with participants who are equally women and men aged 18 years and above from various regions of the Kingdom.
  • Israel plans to appoint a new ambassador to Jordan in a bid to calm Amman's anger over the current envoy handling of a shooting by an embassy guard in July that has strained relations.
Major Companies Transaction
  • Petrochemical producer Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) plans to spend between 3 and 10 BN USD on acquisitions over the next five years in specialties and agri-nutrients.
  • Egypt state-owned construction firm Arab Contractors (AC) announced that it is maintaining and improving the efficiency of Zahraa Maadi tunnel, in coordination with Roads and Transportation Directorate in Cairo governorate. The company is planning to complete the works by 17th December 2017.
  • The giant Qatar Petroleum merger of liquefied natural gas (LNG) producers Qatargas and RasGas will take effect on 1st of January when the combined entity will commence operations.
  • The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and Shobak Wind Energy PSC (project company) have signed facility agreements worth 26 MM USD Shariah-compliant senior financing to partially fund the construction of a 45 MW wind farm in Jordan near the Shobak town municipality, 160 km south of Amman.
  • Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) is planning to float a tender for 100 megawatt (MW) solar project in multiple locations by the end of this year as the company begins its gradual transition to a full-fledged energy company.
Sports and Culture
  • Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, Emir of Makkah region and Adviser to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, has opened Jeddah's new waterfront. The 4.2-kilometer-long waterfront covering an area of 700,000 square meters has been built at a cost of 800 MM SAR.
  • Saudi women account for 39% of the total number of entrepreneurs in the Kingdom, up 35% over the past 10 years.
  • According to the World Obesity Federation, Child obesity cases will continue to rise in the UAE, affecting 14.62% of its '20 years and under' population by 2020, up from 12.40% in 2013. It is worthy to mention that the childhood obesity in UAE is higher than the international level in the developed countries like United States and United Kingdom.
Cairo Office:
Z epter Office Building  S5-6 ,  Area 5, District 1, 5th Settlement,  New Cairo, Egypt.  P.O. Box:  1147
Dubai Office:
Office No. N 415, North Tower, Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC, P.O Box 506726, Dubai, UAE.
Tel:  +97142820301

     Like us on Facebook  View our profile on LinkedIn Find us on Google+ Follow us on Twitter View our videos on YouTube View on Instagram