Issue  No. 216
04 March 2019

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


       67.01 USD         1,291 USD


Economic Outlook
  • According to the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, the number of Umrah visas issued in 2019 has reached more than 4.33 million.There are 443,560 pilgrims still in the country, with 304,897 of them in Makkah and 138,663 in Madinah.
  • Saudi Arabia has been ranked the 9th in the US News and World Report rankings on the list of world's most powerful countries. The ranking examines the country political and financial influence as well as its international alliances, military strength and how it acts an international leader.
  • Egypt subsidy bill for staple foods increased by 4.8% to 24.3 BN EGP (1.39 BN USD) in H1-2018/2019. Egypt subsidies basic food products include sugar, cooking oil and rice.
  • Egypt is building a hydroelectricity power plant, a nuclear power plant, a wind farm, and solar power plants aiming to increase its use of renewable energy to 22% by 2020 in order to be a regional energy hub.
  • Egypt is currently exporting 800 million cubic feet of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per day from its Idku export plant. The gas is exported from Idku by Malaysia Petronas, Royal Dutch Shell, and Egypt two main state oil and gas companies.
  • The contribution of the SME sector to the UAE GDP of the country is estimated at 53% in 2019, up from 49% in 2018. Federal government aims to increase this rate to around 60% in 2021.
  • Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced that the ridership of public transit means in Dubai, comprising the metro, tram, buses and marine transit modes as well as e-hail vehicles, smart rental cars and taxis, have increased about 589 million riders in 2018 compared to 569 million riders in 2017.
  • In Qatar, the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute (SWFI) is seeking a stake of at least 5% in Deutsche Bank. The Qatari royal family already holds a 6.1% stake in Deutsche Bank.
Political Events
  • The embassy of India announced that Indian citizens in Oman who wish to renew or apply for new passports will only be accessed online from next month.
  • Egypt transport minister resigned on Wednesday 27th of February 2019 following a deadly train crash in Cairo that killed at least 25. The prime minister accepted Hisham Arafat's resignation.
Major Companies Transaction
  • Microsoft Corporation and Telecom Egypt announced their collaboration to extend Microsoft's cloud network to Egypt. Network collaboration will further enhance delivery of services to customers in Egypt, North Africa and the Middle East.
  • Egypt top cigarette maker Eastern Company SAE obtained approval from Egypt Financial Regulatory Authority to offer an additional 4.5% of its shares on the Egyptian stock exchange.
  • In Egypt, the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) reported 2 BN EGP (34.2 MM KWD) net profits in 2017/2018 up 33.22% compared to 1.5 BN EGP (26 MM KWD) in 2016/2017.
  • In UAE, Visa and PayMate, a leader in India Business-to-Business (B2B) payments landscape, announced an expanded collaboration to provide Visa issuing financial institution clients in the Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) region.
  • Medcare has recently launched a new Medical Centre in Al Barsha, to add to their network of Hospitals and Medical Centers throughout Dubai and Sharjah.
  • Maire Tecnimont announced that its subsidiary has been awarded a 65 MM USD Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract for the re-establishment of the existing polypropylene plant located in Yanbu Industrial City on the west coast of Saudi Arabia.
  • In Saudi Arabia, Jacobs has received a contract from Rabigh Refining & Petrochemical Company (Petro Rabigh) to provide FEED and Project Management Consultancy (PMC) services on the company's fuel oil upgrade project bottom of the barrel.
  • L'azurde Company for Jewelry approved the signing of a Sharia Consultations Services Agreement with Al Sayari Law and Sharia Consultations Firm (Al Sayari).
  • Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil announced that they have made a significant natural gas discovery on the Glaucus-1 prospect, located in Block 10 in the Eastern Mediterranean, approximately 180 km south west from Limassol port, offshore Cyprus.
Sports and Culture
  • Roger Federer claimed the 100th ATP title of his career by beating 20-year-old Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 6-4 in the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. The 20-times Grand Slam champion became the 2nd man in the Open Era to win 100 titles, after American Jimmy Connors who won 109.
  • Emirati cuisine was a star attraction at a week-long International Food and Fashion Festival. Fifteen countries, supported by their embassies in New Delhi, are taking part in the festival which has been fully booked fascinated by the variety of the cuisines ranging from the UAE and France to Tunisia and Japan.
Subscribe for  "Insights Africa "

Dubai Office:
Office No. N 415, North Tower, Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC, P.O Box 506726, Dubai, UAE.
Tel:  +97142820301

Cairo Office:
Z epter Office Building  S5-6 ,  Area 5, District 1, 5th Settlement,  New Cairo, Egypt.  P.O. Box:  1147

Kenya Office:
Block C, Ground Floor, Fortis Office Park Muthangari Dr Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 20 5148174
P.O. Box: 66488-00800

     Like us on Facebook  View our profile on LinkedIn  Follow us on Twitter View our videos on YouTube