Issue  No.162
12 February 2018

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


        63.98 USD         1,323 USD


Economic Outlook
  • According to the Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry, the volume of investments by UAE in Egypt reached 6.2 BN USD. About 868 companies invested in Egypt in several sectors such as real estate, telecommunications, banking, tourism and Information & communication technology (ICT).
  • Egypt Central Bank announced the increase of foreign reserves from 37.020 BN USD in December 2017 to 38.209 BN USD in January 2018. It has been recorded that Egypt foreign reserves have been declining before the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan where it reached 19 BN USD. After the IMF loan, Egypt noticed a gradual increase in the foreign reserves.
  • Bahrain expects the new social reforms taking place in Saudi Arabia to have a great impact on tourism in Bahrain. The CEO of Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority believes that the openness that has been taking place in Saudi Arabia such as letting women drive, will lead to more women and families traveling between the two countries and reviving the tourism in Bahrain.
  • Saudi Arabia non-oil economy witnessed a drop in January 2018 with the falling down of the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) from 57.3 in December 2017 to 53 in January 2018. This economic slowdown is attributed with weakening business activity rates and softer demand, all following the introduction of the Value-added tax (VAT) in January 2018.
  • Expatriate population has dropped in eight governorates in Oman since November 2017. According to the National Centre for Statistics and Information, about 9,808 expats left Muscat from November to December 2017. Also, about 7,113 expats left Dhofar governorate.
  • Abu Dhabi launched Investment week in India that announced that the non-oil trade between Abu Dhabi and India reached 4 BN AED in the first three quarters of 2017. The Chairman of the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi stressed the importance of Abu Dhabi week in India and how it will contribute in building strong relations between the two countries.
  • The Ministry of Interior in Kuwait decides to replace 150 expat employees with Kuwaiti citizens. The Assistant Undersecretary for Citizenship and Passports Affairs informed the Civil Service Commission (CSC) of their need for 1,000 Kuwaiti citizens that will be employed in different sectors in the country. 
Political Events
  • The Antonov An-148 aircraft had crashed into snow terrain near Moscow. The plane was carrying 65 passengers and six crew members. It is worthy to mention that the plan didn't report any problems before the crash.
  • Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal, the Saudi Arabian Billionaire took back his job as the Chairman of global investment firm Kingdom Holding after being detained for three months with other officials and business men in an anti-corruption campaign. It has been recorded that in the first few days of his detention the Kingdom Holding's shares dropped by 23%.
  • King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) signed 12 contracts with the aim of alleviating the sufferings of displaced Syrians in Ghouta and Daraa. The contracts provide food and health support in hospitals. It also includes providing education and security systems that will raise the living standards of the affected people.
  • A spokesman from the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) in Saudi Arabia stated that Saudi Arabia didn't grant the permission to Indian planes to fly to Israel using Saudi Arabia airspace.
  • Both UAE Romanian ambassador and Minister for Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship of Romania met to discuss potential relations between the two countries, UAE and Romania. 
Major Companies Transaction
  • Uber launches its expansion global food delivery app in Saudi Arabia. Uber eats app is an on-demand food delivery application that has contracts with more than 80,000 restaurants in more than 200 cities around the world. The app collaborated with around 100 restaurants in Riyadh to provide citizens with the chance to order different types of food.
  • A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between ASTAD, Qatar leading project management consultancy and PDO (Petroleum Development Oman), the leading exploration and production company in Oman aiming to support Oman achieve its vision 2020. This MoU is a strategic partnership that will lead to future collaborations between the two countries.
  • Qatar Petroleum signed an agreement with TOTAL, the French oil and gas company in order for Qatar Petroleum to obtain about 25% of the shares in an exploration block that will take place in offshore South Africa. The new ownership structure for the exploration block will be 45% for TOTAL company, 25% for Qatar Petroleum, 20% for CNR International (Canadian Natural Resources) and 10% for Main Street company.
  • The Irish airline Ryanair expands its operations in the Middle East and is expected to begin flying from Jordan next month. It will begin its first route from Amman to Paphos in Cyprus until it reaches 14 routes from Amman and Aqaba in winter. Ryanair is expected to fly about 430,000 passengers to and from Jordan per year.
  • Al Rajhi Bank in Jordan has signed a cooperation agreement with Middle East Payment Services (MEPS), a leading payment service provider in the Middle East. This agreement will enable Jordanian citizens to access a wide range of services from MEPS related to card management, anti-fraud management and control systems across the region. 
Sports and Culture
  • Doha Festival City announces the opening of new shops, outlets and dining restaurants as it approaches its first anniversary. For the past year visitors have been enjoying more than 50 dining restaurants, two food courts and a variety of well-known international brands shops.
  • The Oman Cancer Association has announced that the number of cancer patients in Oman is increasing and is expected to double by 2025. The most common increasing types of cancer are breast cancer, colorectal cancer, thyroid and lung cancer. The Oman Cancer Association is planning to hold many awareness events to mark World Cancer day.
  • As a result of the heavy fog that faced Abu Dhabi last week, an accident that involved 44 vehicles took place in Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Street in Abu Dhabi causing injuries to more than 22 people
_____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________
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

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