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Tax-free days ending for Saudis after crude oil slump
(AFP - 31/01/2017)

Tax-free living will soon be a thing of the past for Saudis after cabinet on Monday approved an IMF-backed value-added tax to be imposed across the Gulf following an oil slump. Tax-free living will soon be a thing of the past for Saudis after cabinet on

Saudi Public Investment Fund set to become a world leader
(Saudi Gazette - 31/01/2017)

The publically owned Saudi Public Investment Fund is looking set to become one of the world’s most powerful sovereign funds after a sudden burst deal making, Al Arabiya English reported Monday citing a report from UK daily the Financial Times. The PIF

Omani budget airline SalamAir takes off
(AFP - 31/01/2017)

Omani budget carrier SalamAir launched operations on Monday, becoming the latest Gulf airline competing for the region’s low-cost travel market. The airline said it began operations with a domestic flight from the southwestern city of Salalah to the

ITFC signs MoU with ZIU to raise awareness on Islamic trade finance
(Saudi Gazette - 31/01/2017)

The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), the multilateral trade financing institution and a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Istanbul Zaim University (ZIU), an

Engie wins $1.2bn Saudi greenfield power plant contract
(Trade Arabia - 31/01/2017)

Engie (formerly GDF Suez), a leading global energy group, has been awarded the contract and achieved financial closing for the greenfield Fadhili independent power project (IPP) in Saudi Arabia, the most efficient cogeneration plant in the country.

VAT implementation: key challenges facing businesses
(Trade Arabia - 31/01/2017)

A number of challenges are before the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to meet the deadline for introducing value added tax (VAT), says an expert. Craig Richardson, partner and head of tax and corporate services at KPMG in Bahrain, explained that

Dubai world's 7th most popular city destination
(Trade Arabia - 31/01/2017)

Dubai has been ranked as world's seventh most popular city destination by Euromonitor International for 2015 with a total of 14.3 million international visitors. International arrivals include visitors from abroad who are in the city under review as

Akar completes key UAE eco-tourism project
(Trade Arabia - 31/01/2017)

Leading landscaping contractor Akar said it has completed the Dh14-million ($3.8 million) Al Wadi Park Project, a major eco-tourism development spread over a sprawling 28,000-sq-m area on the Dubai-Oman border. The project, which is positively

Saudi Arabia gives final approval to VAT
(AFP - 31/01/2017)

Saudi Arabia is ready to implement a region-wide value added tax, the cabinet said on Monday, giving final approval to the measure which will take effect next year. Cabinet “decided to approve the Unified Agreement for Value Added Tax” to be implemented

Bloom Holding is optimistic about its growth this year
(Gulf News - 31/01/2017)

Bloom Holding has tripled its revenue and quadrupled its property sales volume last year, chief executive officer of the company told reporters in Abu Dhabi on Monday. “Our strategy is 10 per cent growth year on year in our sales in real estate and we

DED launches Buyer Protection Programme to promote trade with India
(WAM - 31/01/2017)

To improve Dubai’s bilateral trade relations with India and protect the interests of traders who import products from Dubai, the Department of Economic Development (DED) has launched a ‘Buyer Protection Programme’. Dubai Exports, the department’s

Doha conference looks to lure Qatar investments into the Philippines
(Gulf Times - 31/01/2017)

Plans are underway for the staging of an investment conference in Doha aimed at attracting Qatari investments into the Philippines, it was announced. A high-level Philippine delegation led by Charito Plaza, the director general of the Philippine Economic

Key Saudi money rate drops as funding squeeze due to cheap oil eases
(Reuters - 31/01/2017)

A key Saudi Arabian money market rate dropped below the central bank’s repo rate yesterday for the first time since last April, in a sign that a liquidity crunch due to low oil prices is easing. The three-month interbank offered rate fell to 1.999% from

Dh11 billion worth of Expo 2020 contracts to support Dubai’s growth
(The National - 31/01/2017)

The award of Dh11 billion worth of construction contracts at the Expo 2020 site this year has reinforced economists’ existing expectations of growth in the UAE this year, but is not expected to significantly change them. The Expo 2020 Bureau in charge of

'GCC countries could save $165 billion in capital expenditures by 2021
(Times of Oman - 31/01/2017)

If GCC countries increase the involvement of private sector in their economies, they can avoid $165 billion in capital expenditure by 2021, says a recent study by management consultancy Strategy&. The Gulf states could also generate $114 billion in

Khalifa issues law regulating Abu Dhabi Government financial system
(CPI Financial - 30/01/2017)

President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler of Abu Dhabi, has issued a law designed to revamp the Abu Dhabi Governments financial system and set a comprehensive regulatory framework for public financial resources. This law is

Moody's: Omani banks face profitability pressures
(CPI Financial - 30/01/2017)

The three largest Omani banks–BankMuscat, Bank Dhofar, and National Bank of Oman–are facing dual profitability pressures from slowing economic growth and the rapid penetration of Islamic finance, which is intensifying competition for financial products.

IRTI-IDB and BCEAO organize first regional consultation on Sukuk Model
(CPI Financial - 30/01/2017)

This was the first of four regional consultations that are an integral part of the Sukuk Model Law Project currently under execution by the IDB. The Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Legal Department

Loan growth slows but Islamic loans see increase in applicants
(CPI Financial - 30/01/2017)

Fewer people in the UAE applied for personal loans during 2016 than in 2015, but those who did apply for personal finance made numerous applications to different banks, according to an analysis from compareit4me.com, the Middle East’s financial

Etihad Airways expands B787 network
(Saudi Gazette - 30/01/2017)

ETIHAD Airways unveiled Sunday plans for the deployment of its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners to key Levant and Far East markets in 2017. With a phased delivery of nine Boeing 787-9s this year, they will gradually be introduced on a number of routes from

UAE credit demand eased slightly in Q4
(Reuters - 30/01/2017)

Total demand for business and personal loans in the UAE eased slightly in the October-December quarter but demand now seems to have stabilized, reflecting higher oil prices, a central bank survey showed on Sunday. The net balance measure for business

QFCRA, CIPD in deal to promote HR excellence
(Gulf Times - 30/01/2017)

The Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) have entered into an agreement to promote human resource (HR) development and create access to the highest levels of accreditation for

Jafza records 10pc growth in healthcare, pharma sector
(Trade Arabia - 30/01/2017)

The healthcare and pharmaceutical sector in Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), the UAE’s flagship trade and logistics hub for the Middle East, grew by 10 per cent to 314 companies in 2016 compared to 284 during the previous year. The healthcare and

UAE airlines' passengers hit by Trump order
(Trade Arabia - 30/01/2017)

UAE's major airlines Emirates and Etihad have been forced to turn away some US-bound passengers due to the new order from President Donald Trump restricting people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US, a report said. A very small

Abu Dhabi Global Market launches 50 SPVs
(Trade Arabia - 30/01/2017)

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), an international financial centre, has registered more than 50 Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) with continuous strong interests from local and international business communities. The innovative ADGM SPV regime ,

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