The Finance World Magazine| Edition: October 2022

The October edition of The Finance World Magazine (TFW) is out now! During the first nine months of 2022, the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) welcomed new IPOs worth AED 208.20 billion. Our cover story focuses on the IPOs' journey and their goal to support Dubai's financial industry and advance its growth trajectory in order to realize more successes that solidify the emirate's position as one of the major capital and business markets worldwide. Through this edition, we also provide you with information on a number of important financial sector-related topics such as the future of digital banking in the UAE, guidelines for attracting angel investment, the effect of corporate tax on UAE business, and many other interesting topics. We firmly believe in offering our readers content that is truly valuable, and we will continue to do so.

The October edition of The Finance World Magazine (TFW) is out now! During the first nine months of 2022, the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) welcomed new IPOs worth AED 208.20 billion. Our cover story focuses on the IPOs' journey and their goal to support Dubai's financial industry and advance its growth trajectory in order to realize more successes that solidify the emirate's position as one of the major capital and business markets worldwide.

Through this edition, we also provide you with information on a number of important financial sector-related topics such as the future of digital banking in the UAE, guidelines for attracting angel investment, the effect of corporate tax on UAE business, and many other interesting topics.

We firmly believe in offering our readers content that is truly valuable, and we will continue to do so.


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UAE real estate continues to draw foreign investment

Guidelines for attracting angel investment

Ethereum upgrade ‘Merge’ reducing energy emission in crypto world

User-Experience guide for CBUAE’s recent digital portal

October 2022

UAE - AED 30 | USA - USD 8.5 | KSA - SR

60 | Qatar - QAR 30 | Oman - OMR 3.5

| Bahrain - BD 3.5 | Kuwait - KWD 2.5

| UK - £6.5 | EU - €7.5

Dubai Financial Market on a bull run

Dubai's AED 3 trillion stock market target

gets closer through 3 significant DFM IPOs






We make Short / Long Term

Investments in Growing Businessess


October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 3

Blockchain and its importance in virtual asset world

Air Taxis: From fantasy to reality in Dubai

The government’s assistance has

accelerated the development of

EdTech startups.

UAE - AED 30 | USA - USD 8.5 | KSA - SR

60 | Qatar - QAR 30 | Oman - OMR 3.5

| Bahrain - BD 3.5 | Kuwait - KWD 2.5

| UK - £6.5 | EU - €7.5

DeFi modernizing crypto lending routes

September 2022

Golden visa holders in the

UAE can purchase specialized

health insurance plans.




Masdar: Global Leader of clean energy

Are NFTs the next revenue generation stream?

UAE - AED 30 | USA - USD 8.5 | KSA - SR

60 | Qatar - QAR 30 | Oman - OMR 3.5

| Bahrain - BD 3.5 | Kuwait - KWD 2.5

| UK - £6.5 | EU - €7.5

BNPL: A new replacement for credit cards?

Guidelines to keep in mind for CT

August 2022



















Regulation of NFT trading in the UAE:

Why It Matters?


JULY 2022


Contact us at:

+971 58 591 8580

4 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022



Editor’s Note


+971 58 591 8580

Reaching a visionary goal requires

one percent vision and 99 percent alignment.

Advertisement queries:


Press Release

For News

For Partnerships

Public Relations

For Printed Copy

Published By:



Approved and Licensed By:

National Media Council,UAE


The Finance World (TFW) has taken constant

efforts to make sure that content is accurate as

on the date of publication. The published articles,

editorials, material, adverts and all other content

is published in a good faith and opinions and

views are not necessarily those of the publishers.

We regret that we cannot guarantee and accept no

liability for any loss or damage of any kind caused

by this magazine and errors and for the accuracy

of claims in any forms by any advertisers or

readers. We advise the readers to seek the advice

of specialists before acting on information

published in the magazine. The trademarks,

logos, pictures, domain names and service marks

(collectively the “Trademarks”) displayed on

this magazine are registered and unregistered

Trademarks of The Finance World and its content

providers. All rights reserved and nothing can be

partially or in whole be reprinted or reproduced

or stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in

any form without a written consent.

Dubai is likewise aligning itself to achieve its visionary goals

under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin

Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of

the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai.

The economy of Dubai, the commercial, financial and trading

centre of the Middle East, has rebounded strongly from the pandemicdriven

slowdown. Dubai aims to increase the total volume of its stock

markets to AED 3 trillion as part of the vision of Vice President and

Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and we can see it achieving the

goal by successfully aligning three major IPOs so far in 2022. Our cover

story in this edition highlights the journey of these 3 IPO listings and

how the transformation of the Dubai Financial Market is taking place.

This edition also includes the latest trends and updates from the

finance sector, such as corporate tax, startups, banking, funding

and investment, fintech, digital banking, and topics such as Fintech

fostering new business ventures in UAE, UAE conservation efforts to

attract green financing growth, Ethereum ‘Merge’ update, and many


The world of finance revolves around money and how to use that

money to invest and fund projects and companies. The ongoing flow

of investment and putting it into the right sectors is what makes the

UAE an evolving attraction in today’s world and the future. Our vision

similarly is to provide our readers with important informational stories

and to keep them up to date on ongoing financial movements that

affect the economy as a whole.

- Ambrish Agarwal, Editor in Chief

Advertisers advertised in this guide are included on a sponsored basis.

Details are correct at the time of going to press, but offers and prices

may change.

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 5

September 2022 3

Contents OCTOBER


P07 | Global News


P08 | How to hedge portfolio

risk using stable assets?


P10 | Future of Digital Banking

in the UAE

P12 | UAE Banking News

Central Bank of UAE

P15 | User-Experience guide

for CBUAE’s recent digital



P17 | Fintech fostering new

business ventures in the UAE

P20 | Fintech News


P22 | How UAE maintains

economic growth in current


P24 | Business News


P26 | Imran Kannuti VP and

Head PMO - Banque Misr UAE

Cover Story

P28 | DFM thrusting its horns

up into the air

6 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022


P34 | Fintech sector remains

top in start-up industry

P36 | Start-up News


P38 | UAE conservation efforts

attract green financing growth

P41 | Energy News


P43 | Prospect for healthcare

investments in UAE

P46 | Healthcare News


P48 | World Cloud Show

redefining the future of Cloud

Computing in Dubai

P50 | World Cloud Show

redefining the future of Cloud

Computing in Dubai

P33 | SMEs & Startup

Fundraising 2022 Sets New

Funding Horizons



P52 | UAE M&A markets most

targeted industries

P54| Mergers & Acquisitions



P56 Ethereum upgrade ‘Merge’

reducing energy emission in

crypto world

P59 | Cryptocurrency News


P60 | UAE real estate continues

to draw foreign investment

P62 | Real Estate News


P64 | Guidelines for attracting

angel investment

P66 | Funding & Investment



P68 | Top 10 Investment Firms

in UAE


P72 | The latest trends of where

to put the digital assets today


P75 | Effect of corporate tax on

UAE business

P76 | Corporate Results


P78 | Aviation sector catching

up with global financial crisis

P80 | Travel News

For $20

billion, Adobe



Adobe announced through

press release that it was

planning to acquire the

online collaborative design

software startup Figma, timing the

announcement to coincide with the

release of its quarterly results report.

The acquisition will broaden Adobe’s

collaboration-focused solutions as

it tries to gain market dominance in

the age of remote and hybrid work,

according to reports that it is worth

$20 billion in cash and stock. In a

news release, Adobe stated that

the partnership with Figma would

“reimagine the future of creativity

and productivity, accelerate creativity

on the web, promote product design,

and inspire global communities of

creators, designers, and developers”.



risk in 2023


Abu Dhabi Commercial

Bank (ADCB), the thirdlargest

lender in the

UAE, has set the price

for its first $500 million green bond,

allowing it to finance projects that

follow environmental, social, and

governance (ESG) standards. ADCB

stated in a statement that the fiveyear

bond has a 4.5 percent coupon

rate and is priced 115 basis points

higher than treasuries. The deal

received $1.9 billion in orders from

domestic, international, and local

investors, resulting in a 3.8 times

oversubscription of the offering.

Volkswagen’s aims to sell

Porsche IPO for $75 billion

Volkswagen’s (VOWG p.DE)

stock traded near breakeven

showing the conflicting

reactions of investors to

the automaker’s intentions to float

sports car maker Porsche AG in what

could be the third largest IPO in

European history. Volkswagen stated

that it aimed to value Porsche AG

at between 70 and 75 billion euros,

which is considerably higher than the

49 billion euros rival BMW (BMWG.

DE) and Mercedes-Benz (MBGn.DE)

were asking for the company. This is

slightly below some estimates of up to

85 billion euros.

Global News

Gautam Adani surpasses Jeff

Bezos as second-richest person

in the world

According to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index, Indian business tycoon

Gautam Adani has passed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to claim the

second-richest position in the world with an estimated $146.8 billion

wealth. When Adani moved up to third place in the index last month,

he became the first individual from Asia to hold that position. With an estimated

$263.9 billion in wealth, Elon Musk continues to hold the top spot. This year,

the founder and chairman of the Indian industrial behemoth Adani Group saw

a substantial and quick increase in his fortune, outpacing other businessmen

Mukesh Ambani, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet on the index. The business mogul

started the year 2022 in position 14 on the leader board, moving up to position 2 in

just a few short months.

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 7

Personal Finance

How to hedge portfolio risk using stable


An efficient hedging

approach repositions

your portfolio as a safe

haven that you can rely

on and fall back on

amid market crises, in

addition to lowering the

danger of experiencing

unintended losses.

We frequently hear the

term “risk cover” and

link it to insurance.

Managing market-linked

financial instruments also calls for

safeguarding them against potential

global crises that might send stock

markets throughout the world into

frenzy. Risks need to be carefully

minimized before unforeseen events

like the most recent Russia-Ukraine

war or the global pandemic, where

the death rate was more than a million

people in 2020, occur.

Investors must park their money in

a variety of investment options with

various correlations, a practice known

as “hedging” in conventional financial

terminology. Hedging merely reduces

the severity of negative effects,

contrary to the popular misconception

that it prevents losses. In investments

such as shares, stocks, indices, and

other financial instruments, the

majority of investors use hedging.

There are other investors whose

money generates gains in foreign

currencies that are vulnerable to

currency risk and volatility.

Multiple hedging techniques

Three categories of hedging are

frequently used, and each will help

8 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

investors make money by trading

various commodities, currencies, or


Forward contract

It is a non-standard contract

between two independent parties

to buy or sell the underlying assets

at a given price on a specific date.

Contracts that are considered forward

transactions include currency,

commodity, and other forward

exchange contracts.

Future Contract

It is a standardized agreement

between two parties to acquire or sell

underlying assets, at a predetermined

price at a certain date and amount. A

future contract includes a variety of

contracts such as commodities and

currency future contracts.

Money Markets

It is a key component of financial

markets that involves short-term

lending, borrowing, purchasing, and

selling with a maturity of one year

or less. It encompasses a wide range

of financial transactions such as

currency trading market operations

for interest and calls on stocks where

short-term loans, borrowing, selling

and lending occur with maturities of

one year or more.

Common hedging methods

Given the unstable state of the

market and the ensuing abrupt losses,

which result from some equities’

prices falling below 30% from their

52-week highs, hedging is a need.

Planning asset allocation in a way

that enables room for diversification

is one efficient strategy. You need to

be willing to diversify your portfolio

by including different asset classes

rather than just one type of asset.

You can use your cash, for example,

while investing in stocks as wells,

to purchase stable asset classes like

debt securities, gold, and others.

The portfolio can be rebalanced by

doing this. Protecting your capital

can be much improved by using a

portfolio with a different structure.

To achieve this, you can use a portion

of your funds for debt instruments

and dispose of the remainder

through derivatives. Your portfolio is

protected from unforeseen dangers

because derivatives’ value is reliant

on a financial asset, such as stocks or

indexes, as its underlying source.

Another effective strategy for

staying in the market without

exposing yourself to unanticipated

difficulties is to exercise the call and

put options. For instance, if you are

bullish on a certain stock and intend

to buy it at a certain price within a

certain time frame, you would use

the call option. You can purchase the

put option to profit from the market,

but if you’re cautious of unexpected


Types of financial risk involved in


There are various risks and

returns associated with each saving

and investing decision. In general,

systematic risk and unsystematic

risk are the two categories into

which investment hazards that affect

asset values fall. Both systematic

and random risks are a concern

for investors. Risks that have the

potential to negatively impact a

sizable portion of the market as a

whole are referred to as systematic

risks, also known as market risks.

Unsystematic risk, sometimes referred

to as unique risk or idiosyncratic risk,

is a type of risk that solely impacts

a certain sector of the economy or a

certain business.

• Business Risk

Business risk is the possibility that

a company won’t be able to make

enough sales or generate enough

revenue to pay its bills and turn a

profit. This is known as the basic

viability of a business. Business risk,

in contrast to financial risk, which is

concerned with financing costs, is all

the additional charges that a business

must pay to continue operating.

• Foreign-Exchange Risk

Currency exchange rates must

be taken into account when making

investments in foreign nations

because they can affect the asset’s

pricing. All financial instruments that

are denominated in a currency other

than your home currency are subject

to foreign exchange risk (also known

as exchange rate risk).

For instance, even if you invest

in a Canadian stock using Canadian

dollars and you reside in the United

States, you could lose money if the

value of the Canadian dollar falls

relative to the value of the American


• Interest Rate Risk

Interest rate risk refers to the

possibility that the value of an

investment will alter as a result of

a change in interest rates’ absolute

level, the difference between two

rates, the yield curve’s form, or any

other aspect of their connection. All

bondholders face a large risk from

this form of risk, which has a more

direct impact on the value of bonds

than equities.

Investment in different types of


• Cryptocurrency

Cash and its substitutes are not

the same as cryptocurrencies.

Digital assets that are tradable on

exchanges through a platform include

cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and

Ethereum. They can be traded through

other exchange-traded instruments,

such as ETNs. Public businesses that

mine bitcoin can also be traded.

• Commodities trading

A few examples of commodities

are cereals, gold, beef, and oil. These

are the common, essential items that

industries and households utilize

every day. An excellent method

to diversify a portfolio is to use

commodities, which are known

to move differently from stocks.

Although they produce lesser returns

on investing, commodities are less

volatile than the market.

• Forex trading

A marketplace where investors

can purchase and sell currencies is

referred to as a “foreign exchange”

or “forex” market. With any of the

available currencies, you can use

your own to purchase dollars from

the United States and then exchange

those dollars for others by selling


• Fixed Income investing

An income that is fixed over

time is consistent. Fixed refers to

a predetermined periodic payout,

and income denotes earnings.

Fixed income securities operate

on a straightforward principle, you

lend money to a company or the

government in exchange for recurring

interest payments. Money market

products like treasury bills and

notes from federal agencies serve as

excellent illustrations.

• Investing in Stocks

Stocks, also known as equities,

are listed on a public stock exchange

like the London Stock Exchange and

are defined as cash flow-producing

businesses that build value over time.

Shares of equity in a firm are issued.

Each share is a contractual right to

a portion of a company’s operations.

The benefit of public markets is

that anyone can acquire stock in a


Why asset hedging is crucial?

This is equivalent to questioning

why your home’s doors must always

be locked. The desire for security

extends to investments as well,

which is why you must protect

your investments by redistributing

your assets regularly or making

investments based on your risk

tolerance. Trading and investing alike

might find some relief from market

risk and volatility from hedging

strategies. An efficient hedging

approach repositions your portfolio

as a safe haven that you can rely on

and fall back on amid market crises,

in addition to lowering the danger of

experiencing unintended losses.

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 9

UAE Banking

Future of Digital Banking in the UAE

Traditional banks are being

forced to adopt digital

transformation swiftly to

remain competitive by the

introduction of new banking solutions

based on mobile apps and rivalry

from non-banking firms. Since the

introduction of ATMs, followed by

internet banking, mobile banking, and

most recently, non-banks entering the

market to provide digital-only banking

services, digital banking services in

the UAE have kept pace with changes

around the world. In the waning years

of the previous decade, UAE banks

started to recognize the opportunities

and challenges a financial technology

revolution was creating throughout

the industry. As a result, several banks

launched digital banking initiatives,

refocusing staff on value-added

services rather than repetitive and

less-profitable branch operations.

Features can be added to the

digital banking system considerably

more quickly than to traditional

systems because banks can leverage

cutting-edge technologies, including

distributed ledger (blockchain)

technology, to automate several

processes, including client and

counterparty verification. Some

10 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

of the elements of digital banking

include process automation, webbased

services, and APIs (application

programming interfaces). APIs

are software bridges that enable

communication between two

programs. These new technologies

are affordable while also giving banks

flexibility, efficiency, and security.

With the use of real-time analytics and

data, a customer journey in digital

banking is digital and automated.

Additionally, it offers difficult

domestic and international money

transfer services

In the UAE’s banking industry,

the current digital transformation is

growing. What we are seeing now

goes well beyond merely moving

from a traditional to a digital

environment; it is a fundamental

shift in how we conduct business.

The assessment, communication,

and meeting of the needs of banks

and other financial institutions

developing and demanding clients

are all fundamental components of

the digital transformation strategy in

banking. When it comes to emerging

banking trends and technology, the

Middle East and the UAE in particular

are expanding and blooming

marketplaces. In terms of unrealized

potential, the MENA area is in a good

position to develop and become the

next large region for digital banking

innovation. Only a few of the East’s

nations, including UAE, Saudi Arabia,

Bahrain, Iraq, Turkey, and Egypt, have

more than 20 established neobanks

that serve about 15 million customers.

In terms of unrealized

potential, the MENA area is

in a good position to develop

and become the next large

region for digital banking

innovation. Only a few of

the East’s nations, including

UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain,

Iraq, Turkey, and Egypt, have

more than 20 established

neobanks that serve about

15 million customers.

According to a report by the Milken

Institute, the FinTech industry in the

Middle East has expanded at a 30

percent compound annual growth

rate (CAGR) over the past year, with

capital funding anticipated to reach

two billion dollars by the end of 2022.

The UAE has been following global

trends in banking digitalization closely

and quickly. The installation of ATMs

was the initial step towards this, and

all major banks in the nation then

introduced internet banking and

mobile banking. Already-existing

banks today provide only-digital

services, and non-bank newcomers

have only recently entered the field

of digital banking. One of the highest

smartphone penetration rates in

the world is found in this area, at

97 percent. The convenience with

which online account openings are

made possible and the perception

with which mobile banking apps are

developed will eventually influence

the rate at which digital banking is

accepted in the UAE. UAE banks

began to recognize the difficulties

and possibilities presented by the

financial technology revolution in the

latter half of the preceding decade.

This has caused the nation to press

several banks to start digital banking

initiatives, ranging from developing

unique digital-only banking platforms

to strengthening existing mobile

banking platforms, moving away from

branch-based services, and refocusing

staff on value-added services rather

than repetitive and less-profitable


A new digital banking platform

supported by the state holding

company ADQ has received

preliminary authorization from the

CBUAE to begin operations, ADQ

announced. The action follows the

creation of a neobank last year

that was supported by the Dubaibased

YAP, the first independent

digital banking platform in the UAE.

Recently, certain banks in the UAE

have introduced their digital banking

services geared toward younger, techsavvy

customers. Examples include

Mashreq Neo by Mashreq Bank and

LIV by Emirates NBD.

Together, ADQ and investment

holding company Alpha Dhabi

(ALPHADHABI.AD) will own 65%

of the “Wio” bank. According to the

statement, First Abu Dhabi Bank

(FAB.AD) and UAE telecom company

Etilasat (ETISALAT.AD), each of

which would own a 10% stake, are

the other shareholders. In addition

to in-kind contributions, Wio has 2.3

billion dirhams ($626.26 million) in

total invested capital. According to

ADQ, a beta version of Wio will soon

be released, first catering to small

and medium-sized organizations.

With the ability to handle all of their

finances and investments digitally

from their phones, digital banks also

give many people the chance to invest

in stocks, foreign exchange, and

gold from a single digital platform.

Additionally, customers can use a

variety of millennial-friendly products

and services, creating a new market

for young people, including insurance,

transactional and goal-based savings

accounts, and customized digital

credit cards. These services can

also provide a young individual with

banking options, which has generated

exceptional customer support and


Investment holding company Alpha

Dhabi, which together with ADQ

owns a combined interest of 65%, also

supports Wio. Etisalat, a multinational

telecom and technology company,

owns a 25% ownership, and First

Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), 10%. Wio

has AED 2.3 billion ($626 million) in

invested capital total, plus in-kind

donations. The digital bank, whose

name is pronounced “wee-oh,” will

have its main office in Abu Dhabi and

provide consumers with “a fully digital

banking choice with customized

products and services to match their

lifestyles and demands.”

The digital bank will initially serve

the SMEs in the nation when it beta

launches in the UAE in Q1 2022. The

digital bank is a component of the

company’s attempts to “future-proof”

Abu Dhabi’s economy, according

to ADQ CEO Mohamed Hassan

Alsuwaidi. Alsuwaidi continues, “Wio’s

distinctive business model will further

boost the UAE’s digital economy,

which is already underpinned by

strong infrastructure and forwardthinking

policies. Hana Al Rostamani,

the group CEO of FAB, claims that the

introduction of Wio marks a “major

step” in establishing Abu Dhabi’s

digital agenda and introduces a “new

and innovative approach to banking.”

With the help of its ready-made

and modular BaaS solutions, Wio

will work with digital enterprises

to help them offer their consumers

banking goods and services. “Wio

Bank announces the coming of nextgeneration

banking in the region that

will enable clients to access banking

services effortlessly while also

allowing them to accomplish more

in their business and personal life,”

said Salem Al Noaimi, Chairman of

the board of Wio Bank. While Jayesh

Patel, CEO of Wio Bank, continued:

“We believe that platform banking will

be the next step in banking evolution,

replacing traditional internet banking

and pure-play digital banks. We

are thrilled to introduce Wio as the

region’s first platform bank. “Wio

will concentrate on creating cuttingedge

digital banking apps for users

and integrating financial services

with popular digital enterprises.

Additionally, to speed up the

development of cutting-edge end-toend

customer solutions, we will offer

fintech and non-financial companies

a top-notch platform for banking as a


Salem Al Noaimi,

Chairman of Wio Bank

Additionally, Wio Bank has unveiled

its first online banking program. Wio

Business offers small and mediumsized

businesses (SMEs), freelancers,

and startups smooth access to

banking services as well as cuttingedge

beyond-banking services. The

solution was created in partnership

with customers and is designed to

help SMEs operate more efficiently by

giving them access to straightforward

banking tools. According to Patel,

the Wio Business app will make it

possible for the start-up and SME

communities in the UAE, which is

essential to the country’s economic

growth, to access banking and

business support services in a quick,

simple, and digital manner.

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 11

UAE Banking News

ENOC deploys new payment

system with Emirates NBD

Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) has announced

the installation of a new payment solutions system in

collaboration with Emirates NBD. The bank and the

Group’s ERP (enterprise resource planning) may exchange

files securely and automatically thanks to the new Host to Host

(H2H) platform, according to ENOC. The use of H2H integration by

ENOC to streamline payment processes is in line with the business’

ongoing dedication to innovation in order to boost operational

effectiveness. The H2H installation would also make it possible to

automate treasury cycles and reconciliation procedures through

planned transmissions of the Group.

Digital bank Wio begins

operations with a focus on SMEs

The first digital lender in the UAE, Wio Bank, with headquarters in Abu

Dhabi, started doing business. Wio Bank plans to concentrate on small

and medium-sized enterprises in its first year of operation. In order to

become a full-service digital bank, the bank will expand its operations to

serve retail customers. This was announced by the bank’s chief executive, Jayesh

Patel, at the launch in Abu Dhabi. Mr. Patel, said “We are investing a lot of effort

trying to make sure our experience with our consumer is right.”

Jayesh Patel, CEO of Wio Bank

First paperless

Direct Debit


launched in


Direct Debit Marketplace,

the first paperless direct

debit marketplace in the

UAE, has launched. The

platform offers payers and merchants

a simple, all-in-one method to handle

recurring payments for things like

gym dues, rent, insurance, and other

subscription-based services like

school fees. The platform is bank

agnostic, so it has no impact on how

businesses interact with their banking

services provider. The platform’s

direct debits are integrated with

and subject to regulation by the

UAE Central Bank. Direct Debit is

an Alumni of the MBRIF Innovation

Accelerator programme, an initiative

launched by the UAE Ministry of

Finance to support nationwide


12 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022



Bank provides

$1 billion


financing to 9


The Islamic Development

Bank (IsDB), which has

its headquarters in Saudi

Arabia, approved a total

of $1.12 billion for development

project financing in a number of

sectors across nine of its member

countries, as well as a $1.79 million

grant for several other projects in a

number of different crucial fields like

food security, health, transportation,

energy, urban development,

education, water, and sanitation.

The financing of $100 million, which

is a portion of the Islamic tranche,

will allow the Republic of Uganda to

access its oil reserves and export oil

to foreign markets via a cross-border

pipeline for buried-heated crude oil.

Beehive and Gulf International

Bank extend their partnership

Gulf International Bank

– Saudi Arabia (GIB)

announced that it will

extend its partnership

with Beehive, a pioneer in regional

fintech Beehive, in order to continue

assisting micro and small-to-medium

enterprises (MSMEs) throughout

the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The

collaborative cooperation, which

started in 2020, developed and

launched a new digital GIB financing

platform leveraging Beehive to

provide quick and effective access

to financing for this significant and

quickly expanding company category.

CBUAE: Gross bank assets will

reach $939 billion by the end of

June 2022.

The CBUAE reports a 0.2% growth in total bank assets, including bankers’

acceptances, from AED 3,442.7 billion at the end of May 2022 to AED

3,449.2 billion at the end of June 2022.The apex bank stated in its report

on the financial and banking developments in June 2022 that gross

credit increased by 0.03% from AED 1,865.5 billion at the end of May 2022 to AED

1,866.1 billion at the end of June 2022. The 5.6% rise in foreign credit offset the

0.6% decline in domestic credit to cause a gain in gross credit.

ADCB releases its first green bond to raise $500


Abu Dhabi Commercial

Bank (ADCB), the thirdlargest

lender in the

UAE, has set the price

for its first $500 million green bond,

allowing it to finance projects that

follow environmental, social, and

governance (ESG) standards. ADCB

stated in a statement that the fiveyear

bond has a 4.5 percent coupon

rate and is priced 115 basis points

higher than treasuries. The deal

received $1.9 billion in orders from

domestic, international, and local

investors, resulting in a 3.8 times

oversubscription of the offering.

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 13

UAE Banking News

In H1 2022,

the UAE

hired 34,330

more bank



he country’s banking sector

employed 34,332 people

at the end of the first half

of 2022, up 841 from the

33,491 people employed at the end

of the previous year, according to

the CBUAE’s statistical report from

June 2022. According to CBUAE, the

number of employees in the banking

sector increased by 2.51 percent in

the first quarter of 2022. 27,545 people

work for national banks and 6,787 for

international banks with operations

in the nation. The Central Bank also

stated that at the conclusion of the

first half of this year, there were 60

licenced commercial banks, including

23 national banks, two digital banks,

and 37 foreign banks.

Top 10 Saudi banks’ combined

Q2 net profit grew 2.7%

The ten largest Saudi Arabian banks’ total net profit increased 2.7%

quarter over quarter, according to professional services firm Alvarez

& Marsal, thanks to a rise in net interest income. According to the

consultancy’s most recent Saudi Arabia Banking Pulse report, the total

net income for the three months ending in June increased to 15.1 billion Saudi

riyals ($4.02bn). At the conclusion of the April–June period, total net interest

income for the lenders—that is, what banks get from their lending activities minus

the interest they pay to depositors—rose 16.2 percent quarterly.

Ajman Bank to issue a

MasterCard “touch” card for

people with vision impairments

MasterCard claims that

by adding a “series of

notches” to the card’s

side, it hopes to ease the

difficulty that persons with impaired

eyesight have in differentiating their

cards. The process of choosing the

right card for customers who are

visually impaired can frequently be

challenging, according to Mohamed

Amiri, CEO of Ajman Bank. Users

of the touch card can instantly

identify which card they are using,

thanks to its three distinct notches.

MasterCard’s credit card will have a

square notch, debit cards will have a

rounded notch, and prepaid cards will

have a triangle notch in an effort to

make their cards more accessible.

Mohamed Amiri,

CEO of Ajman Bank

ADCB intends

to sell bad

debt worth $1


In order to restore a balance

sheet decimated by a spate

of high-profile business

bankruptcies, Abu Dhabi

Commercial Bank (ADCB) is in talks

to sell roughly $1 billion in bad debt.

In the press announcement, it is stated

that the sale will help “ADCB move

on from several business collapses

such as those of hospital group NMC

Health Plc, payments provider Finablr

Plc, and building company Arabtec

Holding.” The second-largest lender in

the UAE is “tied up” in restructuring

negotiations and needs to reduce the

value of several loans.

14 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

Central Bank of UAE

User-Experience guide for CBUAE’s

recent digital portal

A nation’s central bank issues and controls virtual currency known as “digital currency.” It can be seen

as a digital representation of the nation’s fiat money and is accepted as legal tender for the exchange

of goods and services. With a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in place, nations can eliminate

traditional forms of payment like banknotes and coins and transition to a cashless society with full

government support.

The launch of a new

corporate website with

a variety of interactive

digital services has been

announced by the Central Bank of

the UAE (CBUAE). The regulator’s

efforts to realize its objective of

being “among the top central banks

globally in fostering monetary and

financial stability” are in line with

the launch of the new website,

according to a statement from WAM.

Visitors will have access to a range

of digital services, including the

ability to arrange museum visits, buy

commemorative coins, and use other

interactive platforms. Additionally, the

website will offer readers the most

recent financial and monetary news,

analysis, and statistics regarding UAE

and CBUAE rules.

According to a statement

from WAM, “it reflects CBUAE’s

commitment to the next fifty

years’ development plan, which

includes digital transformation and

the adoption of modern financial

technologies, and promotes its

regulatory and supervisory role

that will increase confidence in the

financial services sector in the UAE.

The most recent website has parts

specifically created for the Museum

of Coins and Notes, the Cyber

Security Center of Excellence, which

is building a safe infrastructure for

the UAE’s financial industry, and the

Consumer Education Center, which

encourages financial literacy”

Potential Benefits of Adopting


CBDCs have many characteristics

that make implementing this currency

format immensely beneficial.

• They have reduced transaction costs

and hence are more effective than

physical currency.

It reflects CBUAE’s

commitment to the next

fifty years’ development

plan, which includes

digital transformation and

the adoption of modern

financial technologies, and

promotes its regulatory and

supervisory role that will

increase confidence in the

financial services sector in

the UAE.

• Since they are legal currencies, they

provide safety against cyber-attacks

and threats.

• They support financial inclusion

making it easy and convenient for

everyone to access money on their

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 15

Central Bank of UAE

phone with or without bank accounts.

• They can make monetary policy flow

swift and easy.

• They enhance the efficiency of

digital payment systems with fast and

low-cost exchange mediums.

• They improve transparency in

transaction tracking making it easy to

limit illicit activities.

Cryptocurrencies operate on

decentralised blockchain technology,

which implies that numerous global

hubs rather than a single central hub

regulate them. This indicates that

owners have direct access to the

coins, whereas CBDCs are governed

by the central bank. Owners can

therefore access it via a centralised

authority. When transacting with wellknown

cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin,

you must utilise a wallet address.

This entails that you are not required

to give any personal information

and can stay anonymous. However,

with CBDCs, this anonymity is not

achievable because your personal

information is linked to your CBDC

asset. In contrast to CBDCs, where

only the sender, receiver, and bank

have access to the transaction data,

all crypto transactions are open to the


Due to the numerous disadvantages

the concept presents, some nations,

including Ecuador and Denmark,

have abandoned their ambitions to

introduce CBDCs. The following

are some typical issues that nations

may encounter when implementing


• It can have a significant impact on

a nation’s whole financial system and

result in significant changes to things

like investments, interest rates, banks

reserves, etc.

• Concerns about privacy are

significant when it comes to digital

currency. To prevent system intrusion,

thefts, etc., the authorities will need to

adopt rigorous security measures and

monitor continually.

• Because there is a potential that

deposits will move from commercial

banks to central banks, a nation’s

banking system may be disrupted.

With the help of cryptocurrencies

and initiatives on CBDC development,

UAE has supported the development

of digital currencies since the

beginning. The UAE Central Bank

released a statement on CBDC

development that reads, “Besides

seeking to develop cutting-edge and

secure cloud infrastructure to operate

financial and insurance services, the

strategy aims to support the UAE’s

green economy efforts and continue

work to develop more innovative

financial infrastructure to boost the

UAE’s competitiveness in this field.”

The UAE Central Bank (CBUAE)

is preparing to introduce its digital

currency as part of its 2023–2026

agenda. The action is anticipated to

support CBUAE’s effort to rank among

the top ten central banks globally. In

2019, the CBUAE also worked with a

partner organisation in Saudi Arabia

on a blockchain-based cross-border

payment project dubbed Project Aber.

The project came to the conclusion

that cross-border transactions can be

successfully facilitated via distributed

ledger technology. Up until February

2022, CBDCs had been introduced

in 9 nations. 78 additional nations

are actively pursuing their CBDC

programmes. UAE, India, Jamaica,

Sweden, and other nations are among

them. CBDCs present the financial

sector with a variety of options

despite their ongoing evolution.

CBDCs will be the financial system of

the future because central banks are

willing to incorporate cutting-edge


Types of CBDCs

Retail (or general-purpose) CBDC

CBDC circulation and access are, in

theory, available to all agents within a

particular jurisdiction and elsewhere.

The latter is the case if CBDC is made

available to non-resident individuals

and entities. Retail CBDC structures

can be direct, indirect (synthetic/twotier),

or hybrid. Account- or tokenbased

access is supported by all three


Direct Retail CBDC

In the direct CBDC model, the

central bank handles all payments in

real-time and thus keeps a record of

all retail holdings.

Hybrid CBDC

It is a middle-ground solution that

allows for direct claims against the

central bank while real-time payments

are handled by intermediaries. The

central bank keeps a copy of all retail

CBDC holdings in this architecture,

allowing it to transfer holdings from

one payment service provider to

another in the event of a technical


Synthetic CBDC

Allowing electronic money

providers to hold central bank

reserves. The central bank would

merely provide e-money providers

with settlement services, including

access to the central bank. The

major CBDC operators are central

banks, which are in charge of many

of the following steps: performing

customer due diligence, offering

or vetting wallets, developing or

selecting the underlying technology,

offering a settlement platform,

managing customer data, monitoring

transactions, and interacting with

customer requests, complaints, and

questions. Under regulation, all other

functions would be the responsibility

of private e-money providers.

The CBUAE stated in 2021 that it

was collaborating on cross-border

transaction testing with three central

banks from China, Hongkong, and

Thailand. It was also rumoured

that the Bank of International

Settlements will participate in the

project. The use of distributed

ledger technology for foreign

currency payments is anticipated to

be tested via this “Multiple Central

Bank Digital Currency (m-CBDC)

Bridge.” Along with CBDC, the UAE

central bank wants to support digital

transformation throughout the whole

finance industry in the 2023–2036

roadmaps. It intends to implement

policies including the use of digital

IDs, AI, and ML to enhance inspection

and monitoring in order to promote

financial inclusion.

Customer service, you see, has a

direct bearing on how your customers

interact with your business, making

it an essential part of a successful

customer experience. Failures in

customer service, such as a negative

interaction with a live support agent

or a failure to respond to a client’s

urgent demand, can quickly damage

a customer’s perception of your

bank and ruin the entire customer

experience. In order to do this, it is

essential that you not only look for

ways to enhance customer service in

banks but also go above and beyond

what is expected of you.

16 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

Fintech fostering new business ventures

in the UAE

The UAE, home to more than 400 fintech businesses, is a significant centre for fintech innovation in the

Middle East and North Africa (MENA) area. As part of its goal to rank among the top global fintech centres

by 2023, the government has launched several fintech initiatives that have spurred the industry’s rapid


The rapid and widespread

support of digital

payments, mobile banking,

block chain technology,

cryptocurrencies, digital lending

and credit, banking as a service

(BaaS), and other trends helped

the UAE’s fintech sector maintain

its maturity while also registering

notable changes in the country’s

financial landscape. The industry’s

transition to digital strategies has

accelerated a fundamental expansion.

A development that is crucial for the

area to establish itself as a hub for

digital financial inclusion globally.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic,

consumer behaviour and payment

preferences changed. According

to an estimated two-thirds of UAE

respondents, they now prefer using

new digital payment methods they had

never thought of before.

With nearly 20 neobanks operating

to serve more than 15 million

users, the MENA region as a whole,

including the UAE, experienced rapid

development in the field of digital

banking. The UAE fintech report

focuses on some of the most well-


known digital banking platforms

that were introduced from within

the region itself, including CBD by

Dubai’s Commercial Bank, Mashreq

Neo by Mashreq Bank, Liv and E20 by

Emirates NBD, and Mashreq Neo.

Given that MENA has one of the

largest and most developed fintech

ecosystems in the world, it is not

surprising that some of the region’s

most well-known fintech accelerator

programs are now located in the

country. Here are a few accelerators

that are advancing the fintech


October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 17


FinTech.TV opens its studio in

AGDM for expansion

The international financial centre

(IFC) of the capital city of the UAE,

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), is

now home to FINTECH.TV is the top

media technology platform for digital

and impact investment programming.

Starting in September, FINTECH.TV

will expand its daily global coverage

by including broadcasts from the

financial centre of ADGM. The

announcement comes after FINTECH.

TV’s brand-new studio, located on the

New York Stock Exchange, was just


“We congratulate FINTECH.

TV on opening its studio in ADGM

and are confident that this will

allow them to expand their reach

on a regional and global level by

leveraging ADGM’s world-class

facilities, vibrant ecosystem, and

welcoming community”, said

Dhaher bin Dhaher Al Mheiri, CEO

of ADGM Registration Authority in

response to this announcement. The

fact that FINTECH.TV is present

in this area further demonstrates

Abu Dhabi’s status as a prominent

global Fintech hub for a variety of

international organizations, including

top broadcasters. Additionally, it

gives the media outlet access to a

large number of Fintech start-ups

with the most funding in MENA. We

are excited to assist FINTECH.TV in

securing their continued growth and

expansion as ADGM has shown to be

the most dependable and forwardthinking

financial hub in the area

over the years. “We are really pleased

about a number of content projects

that ADGM is working on, in addition

to the possibility to go live from Abu

Dhabi. According to Troy McGuire,

co-founder and head of programming

& news at FINTECH.TV, the global

financial markets are changing, and

Abu Dhabi is leading the way.

Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation

Fund (MBRIF) Accelerator

The UAE Ministry of Finance came

up with the idea and launched the

Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation

Fund (MBRIF), a federal initiative.

The initiative aims to find and support

high-potential innovations both

domestically and internationally. It

aims to improve the growth potential

of creative businesses and mold the

economy of the UAE in the future. The

MBRIF currently has two programs:

the Innovation Accelerator and the

Guarantee Scheme.

The MBRIF Accelerator focuses

on finding, outfitting, and offering

specialized services to the most

promising innovators for them to

succeed. The program sets itself apart

from competitors in the market by

providing a tailored journey tailored

to entrepreneurs’ most urgent needs.

Program of the DIFC Fintech Hive


The Fintech Hive Accelerator

Program of the DIFC (Dubai

International Financial Centre)

provides access to the region’s

Dhaher bin Dhaher Al Mheiri, CEO

of ADGM Registration Authority

18 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

The rapid and widespread support of

digital payments, mobile banking, block

chain technology, cryptocurrencies, digital

lending and credit, banking as a service

(BaaS), and other trends helped the UAE’s

fintech sector maintain its maturity while

also registering notable changes in the

country’s financial landscape.

largest financial industry banks and

insurance companies for partnership

opportunities, exposure to investors,

and marketing exposure for the most

innovative start-ups in the fields

of fintech, insurtech, regtech, and

Islamic fintech.

Throughout the year, the program

pairs companies with partners in two

different sprints. Each sprint has a

unique selection procedure where

the team assesses how well the

technologies of the chosen companies

align with the strategic goals of

the partners for the year. These

companies then have the opportunity

to present their company to senior

executives of the top Middle Eastern

finance partners.

Fintech Hive Scale Up Program at


A financial accelerator for Series

A+ and fundraising entrepreneurs, the

DIFC Fintech Hive Scale-Up Program

is supported by venture capital (VC)

firms, family offices, corporate and

public funds, private equity firms, and

investment banks.

Through strategic alliances

and the financial resources of the

DIFC Fintech Hive ecosystem, this

program aims to scale these firms

throughout the MENA area. Startups

are exposed to VC panel interviews

and direct introductions to investment

committees of interested VCs during

the program.

Joining the DIFC Fintech Hive

Scale-Up Program has advantages

such as the potential to speed up

funding rounds, gain access to the

area’s top investor network, and use

partners’ resources.

StartAD Corporate Sprint


StartAD is an international

accelerator with a base in Abu Dhabi

that helps seed-stage technology

startups launch, grow, and scale their

businesses. While corporates can

innovate with startups disrupting

their core businesses, the accelerator

allows startups to pilot solutions with

industry leaders.

With its origins at NYU Abu

Dhabi and backing from Tamkeen,

a government-owned company

in Abu Dhabi, StartAD provides

UAE-based startups with access to

a worldwide network of mentors,

investors, and business experts in

addition to managing a seed fund.

Participating startups have secured

numerous pilot projects, raised $8

million in investment since startAD’s

2016 launch, and won numerous

international design and product


Through a combination of training,

mentoring, one-on-one meetings with

corporate partners, and investor

pitches, the startAD Corporate Sprint

Accelerator program immerses

startups in robust local customer

discovery and validation activities.

Startups are prepared to test products

with industry leaders in four weeks,

and corporations are allowed to

innovate with startups that are

disrupting their core businesses.

The program ultimately results

in a top-notch market access day

and investor demo day where the

participating startups can present

themselves to local business and

investment decision-makers for

possible business and investment


Startupbootcamp Fintech Dubai

Launched in 2018 in collaboration

with the DIFC, Visa, Mashreq Bank,

and HSBC, Startupbootcamp Fintech

Dubai aims to assist Dubai in its quest

to become a global leader in financial

services innovation and technology.

The three-month program’s

main objective is to assist business

owners in growing their disruptive

technology ventures. Startups

working in the fields of identity,

anti-money laundering (AML), knowyour-customer

(KYC), payments,

mobile, cybersecurity, data modeling,

distributed ledger technology (DLT),

and artificial intelligence (AI), as well

as fraud prevention, are welcome to


A global network of mentors,

corporate partners, industry experts,

and alumni from more than 40

countries, hands-on support, tailored

mentorship, free coworking space,

investor access, perks, and discounts,

as well as EUR 15,000 in cash per

company to cover living expenses

are all available to selected startups.

They can also work with leading

corporations in their industry to

secure customers, pilot projects, and


Through the implementation of

these important initiatives, the UAE

was able to establish its position as a

premier fintech and technology hub

both locally and internationally. A new

lineage of financial sovereignty will

emerge as a result of the UAE Fintech

Office, the National Innovation

Strategy, and the National Artificial

Intelligence Strategy 2031.

Fintech growth is expected

to continue in the coming years,

building on existing initiatives, the

fight against financial exclusion, and

large government-led infrastructure

investments. Some of the most

significant upcoming initiatives

in the region revolve around the

development of fast/instant payments.

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 19

Fintech News

UAE announces

first paperless

tax refund

service for


The Federal Tax Authority

(FTA) of the United Arab

Emirates on Wednesday

unveiled the first paperless

tax refund programme for travellers.

Khalid Ali Al Bustani, director-general

of the Federal Tax Authority (FTA),

said the system has been linked with

the retailers hence all the receipts

will be generated electronically and

tourists will not have to carry paper

receipts of their purchases in order

to claim VAT refunds. The UAE

introduced a five per cent value-added

tax (VAT) in 2018 and tourists in the

country can claim VAT refunds on

the purchases made at the outlets on

leaving the country.

UAE Fintech




to reach


Bassim Haidar, Founder and CEO of


Optasia, a company located

in the United Arab

Emirates, intends to expand

its financial services

operations in Africa, Southeast Asia,

and Latin America over the next three

years in order to tap into a wider

market of unbanked consumers.

The business now has operations in

more than 40 countries and provides

services like microloans, airtime,

data, and real-time credit scoring.

According to founder and CEO

Bassim Haidar, the company is now

thinking about expanding to Malaysia,

Thailand, Colombia, Mexico, and



continues to

receive most

funding in

new venture


MAccording to a recent

Magnitt research, the

financial technology

market continued to

receive the most funding among

emerging venture markets in the

first half of 2022, more than tripling

to approximately $1.68 billion from

the same period the previous year.

While around two-thirds of the capital

deployed was raised in the first

quarter of the year, the start-up data

platform said in the study that funding

fell by 52% and the number of deals

fell by 44% in the second quarter.

Gulf International Bank and

Beehive extend their partnership

Gulf International Bank

– Saudi Arabia (GIB)

announced that it will

extend its partnership with

Beehive, a pioneer in regional fintech,

in order to continue assisting micro

and small-to-medium enterprises

(MSMEs) throughout the Kingdom

of Saudi Arabia. The collaborative

cooperation, which started in 2020,

developed and launched a new digital

20 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

GIB financing platform leveraging

Beehive to provide quick and effective

access to financing for this significant

and quickly expanding company

category. The platform is entirely

digital and has an advanced online

lending and decision-making process

to offer quicker and more accessible


Verity launches banking app in


Start-up in FinTech situated in Dubai the Verity family banking and financial

literacy app promises to give kids between the ages of 8 and 18 the skills

they need to work for money, save it, donate to charities, and spend it

wisely in the real world. According to the founders of Verity, the platform

enables parents to manage the family’s total account and aids in the development

of a solid basis for money management abilities. According to Dina Shoman,

co-founder of Verity, “We’re witnessing a true digital shift here in the region,

and financial services are taking the lead, with 69 percent of Mena transactions

predicted to be cashless by 2023.”

Dina Shoman,

Co-founder of Verity


and Noqodi

join forces

for seamless



MasterCard and UAE

fintech company Noqodi,

owned by Emaratech

Group, have partnered to

offer seamless contactless payments.

Noqodi’s digital omni-channel

payments, including Tap on Phone,

will be powered by Mastercard

Payment Gateway Services (MPGS).

Enabled by MPGS technology,

customers can simply tap their card

or device to make payments through

a merchant’s phone. Noqodi provides

fully automated payment services

to merchants, promoting a cashless

society. Mastercard will become a

trusted partner to Noqodi, helping to

strengthen its payment capabilities.

Network International launches

Emiratization programme for

fintech positions

Fintechs in the UAE are

beginning their own

Emiratisation programmes,

following banks and

insurers. The payments processing

business Network International is

introducing “Al Mostaqbal Al Emirati,”

which is aimed at fresh graduates

who are considering a career in

the financial services. The CEO of

ADQ-backed Further Ventures

launches $200m fund for start-ups

ADQ-backed investment

company Further Ventures

has launched a $200 million

fund that will co-create

and support business ventures.

The fund, anchored by Abu Dhabi

holding company ADQ, will focus

on building digital assets, FinTech

and supply chain sector start-ups.

It is a “unique offering” out of Abu

Dhabi for founders looking to build

ventures in “frontier or regulated

industries”, the company said in a

statement. Further currently has four

start-ups in its portfolio — UAE-based

FinTech companies AUrem and Floos,

businesses-to-business supply chain

venture Right Farm and digital assets

company Stealth, according to its


Network International states that not

all of them must be for fintech-specific

positions. Nandan Mer stated, “We’re

not simply seeking for folks who come

in with education linked to the fintech

business, such majors in mathematics

or computer science”.

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 21


How UAE maintains economic growth in

current inflation


ue to Dubai’s diverse supply

chain, the continued attraction

of talent from around

the world, and favourable

performance on cost-of-living indexes,

the emirate has not been majorly

impacted by growing global inflation

rates as much as other markets.

However, the International Monetary

Fund projects 2.2% inflation in

UAE from 0.6% in 2021.

Meanwhile, the US Federal Reserve

chose to increase its benchmark interest

rates to reduce inflation, which has

already reached a 40-year high in the

world’s largest economy. In response,

the Central Bank of the UAE followed

suit and increased its benchmark

interest rate.

Dubai’s economy enables access in

ease to numerous supply chains due

to its size and convenient location. As

asserted by Helal Al Marri, Director

General of Dubai’s Department of

Economy and Tourism, the UAE and

Dubai would not slowdown in their

delivery and can keep up with the

steady demand for the commodity

even if oil prices rise to $100 per


H.E. Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director

General of Dubai’s Department of

Economy and Tourism

Key points to note

On account of rising oil production,

the oil and gas industries are

anticipated to grow by double digits

this year, and in 2022, the UAE’s

headline gross domestic product is

projected to grow at its fastest rate in

ten years; this is based from the 16th

edition of the Arab Economic Outlook

Report released by the Arab Monetary

Fund (AMF).

months, rising 28.8% in April and

making up over half of total inflation.

95-octane gasoline cost more than

Dh4 ($1.08) per litre in June, up by

13.5% and roughly 80% over the same

month last year.

Consumers don’t appear to be

getting much comfort on this front,

as crude oil prices remain high and

shipping and refining costs are also


Aside from higher freight costs,

food prices have also increased

significantly, rising 8.6% year over

year in April. This increase is largely

attributable to developments in global

markets as a result of the conflict

in Ukraine disrupting the supply of

important agricultural commodities.

However, rising inflation is starting

to have an impact on consumers.

Dubai recently issued consumer

inflation data after rebasing the index

and changing the weights of the main

elements in the consumer basket,

covering the period from January

through April 2022.

Inflation jumped to 4.6% in April

from 1.1% in December 2021.

Transport costs have been the main

driver of inflation in Dubai in recent

Housing and utilities were the

only part of the CPI basket in Dubai

that decreased on an annual basis

in April. Since not everyone renews

their leases at the same time and not

all areas and units experience the

same rate of rental price increases, it

can take 12 to 18 months for changes

in the market to be reflected in the

official CPI survey. This may seem

counterintuitive given the evidence of

higher residential rents across Dubai’s

freehold areas, but it takes this long

for changes to become apparent.

22 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

Consumer inflation in Kuwait and

Qatar was 4.7% annually in April,

while it increased to 3.5% in Bahrain

in April, however, this is mostly

attributable to a higher VAT rate

that went into effect in January. In

comparison to the UAE, other GCC

nations’ petrol price restrictions

undoubtedly have the potential to

keep inflation under control this year.

Businesses’ future actions

Although a third of businesses

anticipate cost rises of more than 6 %

in the future year due to the quick rise

in labor and production expenses, 31%

of businesses have not raised prices

or do not plan to do so in response

to rising costs and inflation rates.

Meanwhile, a price increase or future

price increase is planned by about

half of businesses (52%), according to

the global study, which polled 3,000

businesses in 20 countries, including

the UAE.Report released by the Arab

Monetary Fund (AMF). Although the

inflation in UAE may have measuredly

climbed over the past year, by 458

points from a rate of -2.08% in 2020, it

is still considered to be below average

for the world (2.5% vs 5.1% in the

Eurozone and 7% in the USA).

Inflation jumped to 4.6% in April from

1.1% in December 2021. Transport

costs have been the main driver of

inflation in Dubai in recent months,

rising 28.8% in April and making up

over half of total inflation.

Increase in UAE

UAE businesses are ahead of the

rest of the world in terms of price

rise implementation, with 67% of

businesses appearing to have already

raised prices recently compared to a

global average of 56%.

Moderate and slow-paced inflation

is usually an indication of a healthy

economy and can be a sign of

rising demand. Along with this, the

European Central Bank has a 2%

inflation target for the medium term.

Preventive measures are necessary

as a key control in managing price

and cost hikes which will give ease

for the households, businesses, and

government. It is also necessary

that these measures are potential

expansionary policies in the future, as

was the case during the pandemic.

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 23

Business News



$1.83 billion




he Abu Dhabi National

Oil Company (ADNOC)

announced the five largest

framework agreements

for directional drilling and drillingrelated

logging, totaling $1.83 billion

(AED 6.72 billion) (LWD). These

will aid ADNOC’s initiatives to raise

the rate at which its low-carbon oil

and gas resources can be produced

in order to meet the rising global

demand for energy. ADNOC is

streamlining its procurement strategy

to take into account market realities,

concentrating on long-term contracts

with the ideal number of suppliers

who offer solid and consistent

delivery at incredibly low prices.

Fuel price

drop favours

UAE private


With the welcome relief

of lower fuel prices,

the UAE’s private

sector experienced an

additional uptick in business activity.

According to the most recent PMI data

from S&P Global, businesses are now

better able to offer discounted selling

prices, which has helped them draw in

more clients. As businesses use freedup

costs to increase workforces, this

is also reflected in rising employment

rates. Businesses in the UAE are now

registering a reasonably significant

decrease in their costs for the first

time since January 2021.

Jafza trade in Dubai grows by

19% to AED 454.7 billion

Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza),

despite problems with global

supply chains, saw a 19%

rise in trade in 2021. The

flagship free zone affiliate of global

port operator DP World produced

more than AED454.7 billion ($123.8

billion) in commerce last year, up

from AED382.8 billion the year

before. Additionally, almost 9,000 new

firms were founded in the free zone

during the same period, an increase

of 18.6%. Abdulla bin Damithan, CEO

and Managing Director of DP World

UAE and Jafza, stated that they are

delighted with the results.

Mubadala Petroleum changes its

name to Mubadala Energy

Mubadala Energy is now

known as Mubadala

Petroleum. According to

the new branding strategy,

Mubadala Energy will investigate

emerging energy markets like

carbon capture and blue hydrogen in

addition to growing its gas-weighted

portfolio in industries like LNG. The

strategy places a strategic emphasis

on decarbonizing the business in

addition to encouraging innovation

and technology across all operations.

In order to reach the important

production milestone of 500,000

barrels of oil equivalent per day

(boed) for the first time in its history,

Mubadala Energy also increased

production by 22% from 2021.

Abdulla bin Damithan , CEO &

Managing Director DP World UAE

& Jafza

Dubai’s BNPL Tabby expands

business in Egypt

In an effort to capitalise on the region’s most populous country, Tabby, buy

now, pay later (BNPL) company with headquarters in Dubai, has started in

Egypt. The Dubai start-up hopes to ride the wave of e-commerce in Egypt,

which generated $5.2 billion in revenue last year. It is backed by top regional

and international investors and has $275 million in its war chest. Ahmed Khalil,

Tabby’s general manager in Egypt, stated in a release that he was “delighted to be

a development partner for our retail clients by helping them get into millions of

active shoppers.”

24 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

DIFC: 11% more businesses

entered financial centres in H1-22

Significant financial hub, the

Dubai International Financial

Centre welcomed 537 new

businesses in the first half

of this year, an 11% increase over the

same period last year. According to

the Dubai Media Office, the number

of registered firms increased from

3,297 at the beginning of the year to

4,031 during the course of the sixmonth

period. The overall number

Saudi Arabia to launch its third

International Airport at NEOM

Saudi Arabia’s $500 billion megaproject NEOM is considering launching its

own international airline. With direct flights to locations in Europe and

Asia, the airline would promote the stunning location as a hub for foreign

travellers. After Saudia and the soon-to-launched RIA, it would be the

third Saudi carrier. The Kingdom is reportedly eager to market NEOM as a standalone

destination with its own dedicated aircraft, though preparations are still

in the early stages. The mega-city will stretch 170 kilometres along the Red Sea’s

coast and have a total area of 26,500 square kilometres.

Etihad’s Tony

Douglas to

head up Saudi

Arabia’s new

airline RIA

Tony Douglas, CEO of Etihad,

will lead Saudi Arabia’s

new international airline

RIA, according to Arabian

Business, which cited unnamed

industry sources. Douglas has agreed

to join the new airline after leading

the national airline of the UAE since

2018, in addition to holding senior

positions with the British Airport

Authority and serving as CEO of Abu

Dhabi Ports Co. between 2013 and


of businesses based in the DIFC

increased by 22% yearly. Sheikh

Maktoum bin Mohammed, Deputy

Prime Minister and Minister of

Finance and head of the DIFC, said,

“DIFC’s first-half performance is a

tribute to Dubai’s ability to accelerate

knowledge and innovation-driven

growth, supported by its strong and

stable economy.”

Saudi Arabia to

establish $30

billion “RIA”


Saudi Arabia’s announced

that it will open its airspace

to all airlines, allowing for

more overflights to and from

Israel, is another sign of how well

relations between the two countries

are doing. The multi-billion dollar

new international airline run by

Saudi Arabia is almost finished, and

it will apparently be dubbed “RIA,” as

per sources. The Public Investment

Fund of Saudi Arabia is helping the

new company, which has been under

development for the past 12 months

in the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia hopes

to see a 30 million increase in the

current four million foreign transit

travellers by the year 2030. For the

new airline to run more than 150

flights throughout Europe, North

America, South America, Africa, and

Asia, it will reportedly take a $30

billion investment.

Sheikh Maktoum launches the

“Thabat” programme to support

family-owned business

In order to create a comprehensive

business plan to support the

expansion of family-owned

businesses in the United Arab

Emirates, Sheikh Maktoum bin

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,

Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime

Minister, and Minister of Finance of

the United Arab Emirates, launched

“Thabat,” a programme intended to

foster the growth, sustainability, and

continuity of family-owned businesses.

Family companies are among the top

priority on the nation’s development

agenda and one of the main foundations

of the UAE’s economic vision and

strategy. “These enterprises comprise a

crucial engine of growth and are a vital

component of our efforts to foster

development driven by knowledge,

innovation, and creativity,” Sheikh

Maktoum bin Mohammed stated. The

“Thabat” programme aims to aid and

facilitate family.

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 25


Imran Kannuti

VP and Head PMO - Banque Misr UAE

Imran Kannuti has more than 22 years of experience in the

financial sector, with a focus on extensive project management

and technology experience in the GCC, banking, and insurance

sectors. He is currently the Vice President and Head PMO

of Banque Misr UAE and International Business, where he is

in charge of the implementation of TEMENOS Transact core

banking for the company’s international branches as well as

PMO governance and digital initiatives.

Exclusive to The Finance World Magazine

What is the most important factor

for any bank to successfully

conduct digital transformation?

A strategy must come first in a

digital transformation. If a suitable

strategy for any business is aligned,

agreed upon, and approved, then

digital transformation will be the first

aspect to result from this approved

strategy. For any organization to

successfully go through a digital

transformation, there are a few

points that must be kept in mind.

First and foremost, we must clearly

understand the digital transformation

vision we intend to carry out. Have

we adopted the latest technological

innovations? How agile are we in

adapting to these changes, and how

flexible are we in managing them?

Finally, we must enlist capable digital

leadership. Therefore, adopting an

agile culture, having access to the

most cutting-edge technologies

available, having the right skill set,

and having the right digital leadership

are just a few essential elements for

any successful digital transformation.

Furthermore, we must consider how

secure our clients’ data should be

kept, and, more importantly, we must

continue to prioritize our client’s

needs in our efforts to implement

digital transformation; customers

must remain at the center of our

excellence. Considering all of these

factors, any bank or organization that

incorporates this way of thinking

into its strategy program has a

better chance of successful digital


What are the major benefits of

clouds for small scale projects and

large ones?

Small, medium and large businesses

all benefit from the idea of cloud

computing, which is now present

in every organization, regardless

of size. I can confidently state that

it will be a viable alternative for

smaller businesses or projects. They

will have more opportunities to plan

their budget. Budget will almost

always be a significant barrier for

small businesses or modest projects;

as a result, adopting a cloud model

reduces your chances of increasing

your infrastructure investment. Cloud

computing will undoubtedly assist

you in developing your pay as you

go plans. Additionally, it provides

greater benefits for large projects.

The two greatest benefits, in my

opinion, are operational efficiency and

favorable effects on apex activities

when planning projects. If you’ve

adopted cloud technology for larger

products, you’ll be quicker to market,

have a better chance of overcoming

challenges and providing quick

solutions, and most importantly, it

will grow your operational efficiency.

Therefore, cloud computing is

unquestionably an affordable solution,

regardless of small, medium, or large


Where do you see the traditional

banking system heading?

Traditional banking’s main objective

was to establish a physical presence

where staff members could interact

with customers and provide financial

services because, at that time,

clients only relied on direct faceto-face

interactions. But to answer

your question, given the course

that traditional banking is currently

traveling, I can say that it has already

undergone a sizable transition in

its execution. The reason I say

this is because of how customers’

expectations are changing and how

they perceive how everything has

changed in terms of technology

over the past few decades. When

comparing how banking was 25 years

ago and how it is now, there has been

a significant change in how customers

think as a result of the introduction

of numerous new technologies. As a

result, traditional banking is currently

undergoing several significant

changes. Much like they have reduced

the number of physical branches

in favor of digital ones, many of

26 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

the services they once provided in

branches are now accessible through

mobile apps and software solutions.

I can therefore state that traditional

banking has changed o digital

banking. Given how quickly things

are changing, it shouldn’t come as a

surprise that traditional banks won’t

exist in the traditional sense in the

years to come.

Adopting an agile culture,

having access to the

most cutting-edge

technologies available,

having the right skill set,

and having the right digital

leadership are just a few

essential elements for

any successful digital


other half are in the cloud. Another major issue in the area is the lack of a proper

cloud strategy; therefore, if you have an effective cloud strategy, it will reveal

exactly what happens on the cloud and what happens in print. These are some

of the most important issues at hand right now, so if they are handled well, cloud

implementation will undoubtedly be a success story for everyone.

Lastly, what message do you have for our readers?

One is that we need to be adaptable if we want our bank to be futuristic, which

is what everyone is thinking about right now. To implement the new, developing

business models, we need to be adaptable. The customer should always be at the

heart of all we do. It will benefit every back end if we use the agile process and

constantly adopt new technological breakthroughs.

What are some of the challenges

that face cloud computing in the

banking industry?

According to market statistics,

most businesses worldwide have

already made the switch to the cloud.

Additionally, the companies said that

switching to the cloud significantly

improved their operational efficiency.

All of these figures are reassuring

and provide a wealth of useful

information. We do face some

difficulties, such as the fact that a

large portion of our institutions’

infrastructure is still based on

outdated technology. Moving them to

on-premises poses a greater challenge.

The resource skillset comes in

second. As a result, moving them from

print to on-premises presents a bigger

problem. The skillset for resources

comes in second. We now rely more

on vendors because there is a growing

need for cloud resources with the

required skill set. Another significant

challenge we currently face is

managing multi-cloud environments,

such as when, for example, half of

your assets are on-premises and the

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 27

Cover Story

DFM thrusting its horns up into the air

Almost a year since His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of

Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Finance of the UAE, announced the listing of 10 government

and state-owned companies on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM). This tactic is a part of a larger effort

to hasten new listings across a range of industries, including retail, logistics, and energy. As part of the

vision of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed

bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai aims to increase the total volume of its stock markets to AED 3 trillion. So

far the total bids for three major IPOs in the DFM have attracted AED 534 billion.


37x oversubscribed

Bids: AED315 billion

21x oversubscribed

Bids: AED35 billion

50x oversubscribed

Bids: AED184 billion

28 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

DEWA starts trading on the

Dubai Financial Market

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority

(DEWA) in April 2022 announced the

completion of the book building and

subscription process for its Initial

Public Offering (IPO), it had set the

final offered price for its IPO at AED2.

48 per shared.

H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,

Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime

Minister, Minister of Finance, and

Chair of the Securities and Exchange

Higher Committee, stressed that the

high international demand for DEWA’s

IPO reflected the trust and confidence

in Dubai’s entities as quality

investment opportunities.

He asserted that the vision of His

Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin

Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President,

Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, of

building the most active, diversified,

and distinguished economy was

now reaping global confidence and

sustainable growth in all sectors.

The strong demand for DEWA

shares from international and local

investors, including some of the

world’s largest asset managers,

underlined the strength of DEWA as

an issuer as well as Dubai’s growing

recognition as an increasingly vibrant

capital market.

H.E. Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer,

Managing Director & Chief Executive

Officer of DEWA, said, “we were

delighted to have seen incredibly

H.E. Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer,

Managing Director & CEO of DEWA

strong demand for DEWA shares from

local and international investors.

This level of interest was not only

indicative of DEWA’s status as a

world-class provider of utilities but

also underlines the attractiveness

of Dubai as a global capital market.

As we looked ahead, DEWA would

remain focused on creating value for

all its stakeholders by meeting the

increasing demand for electricity and

water in Dubai and by supporting the

emirate’s energy transition to net zero

by 2050. “

Having received overwhelming

demand from investors, the final

offer price was set at AED2.48 by the

Government of Dubai in its capacity

as the selling shareholder.

A total of 9 billion ordinary shares,

representing 18% of DEWA’s issued

share capital, were offered, which

will generate approximately AED22.3

billion (US$6.1 billion) of gross

proceeds for the selling shareholder

upon settlement. This included

commitments from cornerstone

and strategic investors amounting

to approximately AED13.8 billion

(US$3.8 billion). The Government

of Dubai continued to own 82% of

DEWA’s share capital after the DEWA

IPO was finished.

The offering saw strong investor

demand and oversubscription for both

the Qualified Investor Offering and the

UAE Retail Offering. Total demand for

DEWA shares amounted to AED315

billion (US$85.7 billion). Excluding

cornerstone and strategic investors,

the order book for the IPO was 37

times oversubscribed.

DEWA started trading on the Dubai

Financial Market (“DFM”) under the

ticker symbol “DEWA” on 12th April

The strong demand

for DEWA shares from

international and local

investors, including

some of the world’s

largest asset managers,

underlined the strength

of DEWA as an issuer

as well as Dubai’s

growing recognition as

an increasingly vibrant

capital market.

2022. It opened the day’s trading as

the largest company on the DFM, with

a market capitalization of AED 124

billion (US$ 33.8 billion).

Dubai Electricity and Water

Authority (DEWA) has scheduled its

first general assembly meeting since

going public on 10th October 2022,

where the shareholders will vote on

the recommendation of the Board

of Directors to issue a cash dividend

distribution of AED3.1 billion ($840

million) for the first half of 2022.

TECOM Group commences

trading on the Dubai

Financial Market

On July 5, 2022, TECOM Group

PJSC successfully listed on the Dubai

Financial Market (“DFM”), starting its

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 29

Cover Story

first day of trading under the ticker

symbol “TECOM.” TECOM Group

PJSC is the manager and operator of

10 strategic, sector-focused business

districts throughout Dubai and a

significant contributor to the quick

growth of Dubai’s knowledge- and

innovation-based sectors.

Malek Al Malek, Chairman of


The TECOM Group was successful

in raising about AED 1.7 billion

through its initial public offering

(IPO). At the final offer price of AED

2.67 per ordinary share in the global

offering, the company floated 625

million (625,000,000) ordinary shares,

or 12.5% of its issued share capital.

The total gross demand for the shares

exceeded AED35 billion. The UAE

Retail Offer achieved a remarkable

oversubscription multiple of almost 40

times in aggregate, exceeding any IPO

on the DFM to that date. The Global

Offering attracted significant demand

and was oversubscribed by a little

over 21 times overall. International

investors showed a lot of interest in

the IPO, and as a result, about 30% of

the Qualified Institutional Offer was

allocated to them. With an 86.5% stake

DHAM LLC will continue to hold the

30 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

majority of TECOM Group’s shares.

Malek Al Malek, Chairman of

TECOM Group, rang the market

opening bell at an official listing

ceremony in the presence of Amit

Kaushal, Group CEO of Dubai

Holding, Abdulla Belhoul, CEO of

TECOM Group, and Hamed Ali, CEO

of DFM and Nasdaq Dubai as well as

several other officials.

The Global Offering

attracted significant

demand and was

oversubscribed by a

little over 21 times

overall. International

investors showed a lot

of interest in the IPO,

and as a result, about

30% of the Qualified

Institutional Offer was

allocated to them.

Abdulla Belhoul, CEO of TECOM


Salik begins trading

its shares on the Dubai

Financial Market

• IPO raised over USD 1.0 billion

marking another significant milestone

for the Government of Dubai and


• Overwhelming demand with IPO

oversubscribed more than 49x across

all tranches highlighting strong

confidence in Salik’s story.

• Offering attracted tremendous

interest amongst the international

and local investor community with

the Qualified Investor Offering

oversubscribed by 52x (excluding

cornerstone investors).

• Exceptional retail demand which

saw unparalleled oversubscription

levels at 119x (First and Third

Tranches combined).

• Stock rises to a high of Dh2.40

before shedding some of its gains to

close at Dh2.22, up 11% from its IPO


• The DFM applied no price limits

on the shares during the first day of


The toll gate operator in Dubai,

Salik Company PJSC, announced

the successful conclusion of the

bookbuild and public subscription

processes for its initial public offering

(IPO) on the Dubai Financial Market


The Offering saw significant

interest with total gross demand for

the IPO over AED 184.2 billion ($50.2

billion), implying an oversubscription

level of 49 times, for all tranches

combined. The Qualified Investor

tranche attracted demand across

the globe of AED 149.5 billion

implying an oversubscription level

of 43x (excluding cornerstone, the

oversubscription level stands at 52x).

The retail offering saw tremendous

appetite from the local investors with

demand collecting more than AED34.7

billion implying oversubscription

levels of 119x. The overwhelming

investor demand for Salik shares

underlines the Company’s compelling

investment proposition as the

exclusive toll operator of Dubai.

The Company’s shares began

trading under the symbol “SALIK”,

culminating in its successful public

offering. The strong demand for the

issuance prompted the Company

to raise the offered shares to

1,867,500,000 shares representing

24.9% of its share capital at a price

of 2 Dirhams instead of 20% as

initially planned. The offering was

oversubscribed by 49 times as it has

attracted orders with a total value of

AED 184.2 billion, a clear indication of

the strong demand for Salik’s shares

from various investor categories.

His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer,

Chairman of Salik’s Board of

Directors, expressed his pleasure

with the strong investor interest in the

offering and said: “This reflects the

trust and confidence from the global

investor community in Dubai’s capital

markets and the strong position of the

company as Dubai’s exclusive tollgate

operator, in addition to its effective

regulatory framework and robust

business model, which will enable

the Company to continue to remain

at the heart of expansion plans in the

road and transport sector, in support

of the Emirate’s economic growth.”

H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of

Salik’s Board of Directors

Al Tayer added: “The IPO represents

an important milestone in Salik’s

journey and provides an opportunity

to solidify the company’s success

as an exclusive toll gate operator

for the road network in Dubai and

will contribute to improving the

experiences of road users through its

pivotal role in managing traffic and

the future of mobility in the Emirate.”

Ibrahim Sultan Al Haddad, Chief

Executive Officer of Salik, said:

“This listing is a key step in Dubai’s

privatisation programme and its

broader plans to attract foreign

investment. Having kept Dubai

The strong demand for

the issuance prompted

the Company to raise

the offered shares to


representing 24.9%

of its share capital at

a price of 2 Dirhams

instead of 20% as

initially planned.

moving for 15 years, Salik is at

the heart of the city’s economic

expansion plans. The IPO builds on

the Company’s legacy, and we are

pleased to have seen strong demand

for Salik shares both from local and

international investors.”

Ibrahim Sultan Al Haddad, Chief

Executive Officer of Salik

Following the completion of

the Salik IPO, the Government of

Dubai will continue to own 75.1% of

Salik’s share capital. UAE Strategic

Investment Fund (through Emirates

NBD AM SPC), Dubai Holding,

Shamal Holding, and the Abu Dhabi

Pension Fund (ADPF) (together, the

“Cornerstone Investors”), collectively

subscribed for 16.2% of the final Offer

Size. Subject to certain customary

exceptions, the Cornerstone

Investors’ shares are subject to a 180-

day lock-up arrangement, following

listing. Furthermore, as part of the

offering to professional investors and

other investors in several countries,

including in the UAE, outside the

United States of America in reliance

on Regulation S (the “Qualified

Investor Offering”), and by both

the Companies Law and the Dubai

Law, five percent of the Offering was

reserved for the offer to the Emirates

Investment Authority (the “EIA”),

and five percent of the Offering was

reserved for the offer to the Pensions

and Social Security Fund of Local

Military Personnel (the “Fund”).

Emirates NBD Capital PSC was

appointed as Financial Advisor to

Salik while Moelis & Company UK

LLP DIFC Branch was appointed as

the Independent Financial Advisor to


Emirates NBD Capital PSC,

Goldman Sachs International,

and Merrill Lynch International

were appointed as Joint Global

Coordinators and Joint Bookrunners.

Citigroup Global Markets Limited,

EFG Hermes UAE Limited (acting

jointly with EFG Hermes UAE LLC),

and HSBC Bank Middle East Limited

were appointed as Joint Bookrunners.

Emirates NBD Bank PJSC has been

appointed as the Lead Receiving

Bank. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

PJSC, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank PJSC,

Ajman Bank, Commercial Bank of

Dubai, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates

Islamic Bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank,

Mashreq Bank, MBank, and Sharjah

Islamic Bank were also appointed as

Receiving Banks.

The Internal Sharia Supervision

Committee of Emirates NBD

Bank PJSC has issued a Shariah

pronouncement confirming that, in

its view, the Offering is compliant

with Shariah principles. Investors

should undertake their due diligence

to ensure that the Offering is Shariah

compliant for their purposes.

The third state-linked organization

to apply for a listing this year as

part of a scheme to pique investor

interest in the domestic stock

exchange is Dubai’s Salik, which

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 31

Cover Story

operates the country’s road tolls.

Except for Aramex, DFM does not

have a significant representation of

companies related to transportation.

Thus, the sub-index would be

immediately widened by Salik’s

entry. Sameer Lakhani, Managing

Director of Global Capital Partners,

compared Salik to Transurban, a toll

operator listed in Australia. “Despite

the challenges in the worldwide

markets, the company has functioned

successfully. As investors look at

more cash-generating companies, it is

anticipated that the monetization of

infrastructure assets would increase

globally. In the first half of 2022, Salik

had an EBITDA (Earnings before

Interest, Tax, Depreciation, and

Amortization) of Dh800.06 million as

toll uses reached 267 million trips.

In contrast, 227 million trips and

Dh637.41 million were made during

the same period last year. An analyst

stated that the “use and figures appear

strong,” indicating that there are

more vehicles on the road and more

economic activity taking place in

Dubai as a result of the post Covid

boom the city has been experiencing.

In terms of investment opportunities,

this is a stable business. Similar to

DEWA, Salik has a direct connection

to the broader economic hum in

Dubai. The assessment is accurate,

and the data from 2020 will give it

further context. The total number of

trips decreased by 400 million from

571 million in 2019, and EBITDA

decreased significantly from Dh1.65

billion to Dh1.11 billion.

These IPOs aim to support Dubai’s

financial sector and accelerate its

growth trajectory, allowing the

emirate to cement its position as one

of the world’s most important capital

and business markets.

Scan to view news update

32 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022


SMEs & Startup Fundraising 2022 Sets

New Funding Horizons

On 11 October 2022, Dubai,

the SMEs & Startup

Fundraising 2022 event will

offer SMEs and Startups

great opportunities in Radisson Blu

Hotel, Dubai Canal View, bringing

together industry experts, institutional

and retail investors, banks and

financial institutions, HNIs, credible

SMEs and startups to build long-term

business and investment relationships.

Powered by The Finance World

Magazine and supported by WASAYA

Investments, the event will help

SMEs and startups to raise short-term

and long-term equity/debt for their

businesses growth, allowing them to

learn key points of fundraising from

industry experts.

The event will be featuring

speakers, SME/Startup investment

pitches, panel discussions,

product demonstration, and VIP

networking over breakfast, hosting

numerous attendees from Abu

Dhabi Commercial Bank, Al Masraf,

Emirates NBD Bank and other

financial institutions.

It aims for providing SMEs and

Startups with a chance to forge new

business opportunities and form long-

standing relationships with potential

investors, as it is bringing together

business owners and decision-makers

to build new business relationships


For those who are looking to raise

funding (investment or loan) for their

SEMs and startup business now,

this event gives them the chance to

present their business in front of

international and retail investors,

banks and financial institutions, and

family offices.

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 33


Fintech sector remains top in start-up


For some time, the Middle

East and North Africa

region’s entrepreneurial

ecosystem has been on the

rise, with technology-based sectors

beginning to dominate the economic

landscape. The figures speak for

themselves. Start-up funding climbed

540 percent in the first quarter of

2022 compared to the same period

last year, according to Dubai-based

MAGNiTT, a start-up research

platform. Financial technology, or

fintech, has been a promising field for

both business people and investors,

with firms entering and exiting the

industry at a rate never seen before.

Dubai has steadily strengthened

its Fintech sector, thanks to thriving

startup culture and ongoing efforts

to attract worldwide expertise.

Experts say the sector has entered

the next phase of expansion, with

Dubai checking all the appropriate

boxes as it attempts to establish

itself as the global center for startups

through a variety of ambitious,

forward-thinking strategic steps. The

recent inauguration of a $ 100.73

million Venture Capital Fund by H.E.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin

Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince

of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai

Executive Council, encourages

experts to make such an assumption.

“We have positioned Dubai as a

metropolis of entrepreneurs and risk-

taking investors. “We have a flexible

legislative framework, strong funding

tools, and an efficient regulatory

environment. More importantly, we

have dynamic public and private

sectors,” says Sheikh Hamdan,

expressing Dubai’s commitment to

take the lead in providing tech-driven

solutions to modern-day concerns.

“We have a flexible

legislative framework,

strong funding tools,

and an efficient

regulatory environment.

More importantly, we

have dynamic public

and private sectors,”

says Sheikh Hamdan,

expressing Dubai’s

commitment to take

the lead in providing

tech-driven solutions to

modern-day concerns.

“chances to foster excellence,”

Sheikh Hamdan adds. In a nutshell,

that is how the emirate is assisting

its entrepreneurial community in

achieving big goals. H.E. Omar

Sultan Al Olama, UAE Minister of

State for Artificial Intelligence and

Remote Work Applications had also

dropped indications that numerous

new programs aimed at attracting 300

digital companies to the emirate over

the next two years were in the works.

“The overall goal is to bring global

digital enterprises to our shores,” Al

Olama explained.

Meanwhile, real estate brokerage

Savills named Dubai the third greatest

location in the world for digital

nomads. The Savills analysis selected

15 prime residential markets based on

their desirability to long-term remote

employees. The $ 100 million fund set

out for startups is expected to bolster

the emirate’s digital agenda.

The UAE has a strong economy

and is home to the global centers

of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The

UAE’s National Vision 2021, which

calls for the country to become

the economic and commercial

capital for two billion people by

‘transitioning to a knowledgebased

economy and becoming

‘among the best in the world in

entrepreneurship,’ demonstrates the

country’s commitment to broader

digital transformation. According to

IMD’s World Digital Competitiveness

Ranking 2020 Report, the UAE

ranks first in the Arab region and

13th globally in terms of digital

competitiveness. Two significant UAE

financial free zones, Abu Dhabi Global

Market and Dubai International

Financial Centre are key examples

of the UAE’s financial services and

fintech success.

According to the World Bank, it is

the easiest place to do business in the

Middle East and Africa. Furthermore,

it is the third most populous country

in MEA (especially in the more

digitally advanced economies, such

34 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

as Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda).

Covid-19 has accelerated the use of

e-payments and the expansion of local

fintech firms. The market is predicted

to expand by 12% every year (CAGR

2021-2026). The Covid-19 outbreak

and the associated health measures

have drastically altered customer

behavior. As individuals seek to

avoid physical contact, demand

for contactless payment systems

increased significantly in 2020. As a

result of the country’s sophisticated

economy in terms of economic

development, as well as its strong

and developing ecosystem for the

area, with Dubai and increasingly Abu

Dhabi serving as regional hubs for it,

its reputation as a major global fintech

hub is clear.

It is worth noting that the UAE has

produced a significant number of

startups, albeit in a modest proportion

to the global share. At the moment,

the UAE is home to only one unicorn:

Emerging Markets Property Group

(EMPG), which is sponsored by OLX

Group, KCK Group, and Exor Seeds.

The number of FinTech start-ups in

the UAE is 400 out of a total of 2300.

Fintech is a significant and expanding

element of Islamic finance, which will

continue to expand. The UAE has a

significant impact on an industry with

a value of more than USD 2.1 trillion.

The top five nations with the most

Islamic fintech include MEA-specific

UAE and UAE with Islamic fintech.

Islamic finance and fintech are closely

related because of their significance to

the majority of the Muslim population

in the world, especially in the UAE

region. Partnerships, inventions, and

collaborations within the industry will


The UAE government recently

reaffirmed its commitment to

supporting the development of

new and emerging businesses by

announcing the inauguration of the

DIFC Innovation Hub, a welcome

addition to the region’s fintech

infrastructure. Huge sums of money

have been invested in this market

segment by businesses all over the

world. Numerous companies are

competing for small market shares in

the UAE’s FinTech market. Among the

FinTech Companies are Tabby, Yalla

Compare, Sehteq, Beehive FinTech,

Souqalmal, Sarwa, Mamo Pay, and

Now Money.

Some examples of fintech startups:

• Beehive- SME-focused peer2peer

lending platform

In the UAE, SMEs make up 95%1

of all enterprises, but only 4%2 of

bank loans go to them.Peer-to-peer

(P2P) lending platform Beehive has

received Dh30 million ($8.17 million)

from an institutional investor in

the UAE Emirates Development

Bank (EDB) to increase its funding

alternatives for small and mediumsized

businesses (SMEs). The first P2P

lending platform in the UAE, Beehive,

will make business loans available to

creditworthy SMEs who want to grow

their operations or increase working

capital in the nation. The transaction

is a part of the EDB’s strategic goal

to lend up to Dh30 billion to Emirati

UAE-owned businesses over the next

five years, increasing their share of

the UAE’s non-oil GDP to over 70% by

2021. The manufacturing, healthcare,

infrastructure, food security, and

technology industries are given top

priority in the EDB’s loans.

• Souqalmal.com- Financial

products comparison site

The Dubai-based firm for financial

comparison Souqalmal.com has

secured $10 million in Series B

funding. GoCompare, a UK-based

financial comparison website,

UAE Exchange Group, and Riyad

TAQNIA Fund all contributed to the

investment. The most money has ever

been invested in a MENA comparison

website. By allowing consumers to

compare 3,200 banking, insurance,

and educational products in the

UAE and Saudi Arabia, Souqalmal.

com, founded by Ambareen Musa in

2012, enables users to make better

purchasing decisions. According to

the business, the UAE’s largest car

insurance aggregator. The startup’s

comparison portal offers 115 SME

financial products, 280 schools, and

234 nurseries, 100+ automobile deals,

360 credit cards, 450 bank accounts,

147 personal loans, 100 car loans,

105 mortgages, 1143 mobile phone

contracts, and 150 internet plans.

• Guideline

The guideline, a top supplier of

simple, cost-effective retirement plan

solutions for small- and medium-sized

businesses (SMBs), said today that

it has raised $200 million in fresh

capital, led by General Atlantic, a

renowned global growth equity firm.

Existing investors Greyhound Capital,

Felicis Ventures, Propel Ventures, and

Generation Investment Management

took part as well. As well as

expanding its selection of full-service

401(k) plans, Guideline intends to

use the cash to launch additional

retirement plan solution products.

• PayTabs- Online payment

processing solutions

Since almost a decade ago, PayTabs

has been a powerful player in the

payments ecosystem, providing banks,

super merchants, SMEs, freelancers,

and freelancers with improved

payment processing services and

technology to process and orchestrate

integrated payments. PayTabs has

operations in several MEASA markets

and intends to further its reach into

the frontier and emerging regions.

Security is a top concern for PayTabs

because it is a payment services


• Eureeca- Crowdfunding platform

A new business needs more money

than most startups have to grow.

Funding gives entrepreneurs and

businesses the chance to demonstrate

the viability of their goods or services

and assists them in gaining enough

traction to scale independently.

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 35

Start-ups News

Group 42 becomes the latest start-up in UAE to

achieve unicorn status

Abu Dhabi, Group 42, is

another unicorn this year,

surpassing the $1 billion

value threshold to join the

Hurun list of unicorns in the first half

of 2022. Hurun International’s global

list of unicorns, or firms valued at

$1 billion or more but not yet listed,

now includes the UAE at position 23,

thanks to Group 42’s inclusion. The

number of unicorns in the UAE has

increased to four with the addition

of Group 42. Another first was the

inclusion of two GCC nations, Bahrain

and Kuwait, with one firm each in

the January-June 2022 index, on the

Hurun list of Gazelles, or businesses

with valuations between $500 and $1

billion that are projected to become

unicorns in the following three years.

Bedu launches

its first

metaverse in

Dubai to mirror

the proposed

UAE Mars trip


he Dubai-based start-up

for the metaverse Bedu

has unveiled its brand-new

virtual environment, the first

to simulate the UAE’s planned trip to

Mars and centre on the nation’s space

research goals. According to Bedu, the

Metaverse Project 2117 virtual world

aspires to house 100 million users

in the next ten years while utilising

blockchain and decentralised hosting

strategies to provide high-quality

aesthetics. The UAE’s Mars 2117

initiative, which seeks to construct

the first habitable human settlement

on the Red Planet by the year 2117, is

in accordance with it.

Saudi start-up Jahez records

85% increase in net profit

In comparison to the same

period in 2021, the Saudi food

delivery service Jahez (Jahez

International Company for

Information System Technology)

reported an increase in net profit of

about 85%. Jahez’s net profit for the

first half of 2022 was SR53.2 million

($14.15 million) after zakat and

taxes. Its net profit for the first half

of 2021 was SR28.7 million. Despite

a 52.6 percent increase in the cost

of revenue, gross profit also rose 90

percent. On a year-over-year (YoY)

basis, an increase in delivery fees (SR

159.5 million) and commission income

(SR 81.8 million) resulted in a 59.9

percent rise in revenue. Jahez became

the first Saudi tech business to be

listed on a public exchange earlier this


36 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022


launches on

the market

with a raise

of over $70


Lunding for start-ups in the

Middle East and North Africa

region increased by 260

percent compared to the

previous month. Despite a decline

in the number of agreements, the

industry raised $378 million over

33 deals in August 2022. In the first

eight months, the region’s funding

amount increased by 29% to $2.2

billion from $1.7 billion during the

same period last year. Due in large

part to two massive fintech deals,

Tabby’s $150 million loan raise and

Tamara’s $100 million series B round,

the amount raised in August increased

significantly. Egypt raised $38 million

in funding and tied the UAE in terms

of deal count, while Saudi Arabia’s

start-ups received the second most

money, totalling $103 million over six


Ibtissam Ouassif, Co-founder

of Cashew Payments

Jordan welcomes UAE-based


Ziina, a start-up with offices

in the UAE with YC backing,

is travelling to Jordan with

the goal of bringing financial

freedom to everyone in the Middle

East. The fintech company’s entry

into Jordan is the most recent

development after the debut of their

digital wallet in February 2022 and

their own payment keyboard, the

Ziiboard, just this month. Ziina’s first

foreign venture serves as a sort of

homecoming for Co-Founders Faisal

and Sarah Toukan. Their ambition to

improve and strengthen their native

UAE start-up Urbie is the

first firm to incorporate

blockchain technology into

sustainably designed smart

home devices. While purifying their

interior air, individuals can earn green

cryptocurrency coins. The coins can

be used to plant trees, construct water

wells, and take other actions to lessen

climate change’s detrimental effects

on rural populations. The start-up’s

Biological Air Purifiers and Green Wall

Purifiers have automated self-watering

systems connected to a mobile app

where users can check the quality of

country by enhancing access to

financial services led them to choose

Jordan before any other Middle

Eastern nation.

Urbie combines blockchain

technology with green technology

their indoor air as well as how many

green cryptocurrency coins they have


MENA start-ups receive 260%

more funding

Funding for start-ups in the

Middle East and North Africa

region increased by 260

percent compared to the

previous month. Despite a decline

in the number of agreements, the

industry raised $378 million over

33 deals in August 2022. In the first

eight months, the region’s funding

amount increased by 29% to $2.2

billion from $1.7 billion during the

same period last year. Due in large

part to two massive fintech deals,

Tabby’s $150 million loan raise and

Tamara’s $100 million series B round,

the amount raised in August increased

significantly. Egypt raised $38 million

in funding and tied the UAE in terms

of deal count, while Saudi Arabia’s

start-ups received the second most

money, totalling $103 million over six


October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 37


UAE conservation efforts attract green

financing growth

Green Economy for

Sustainable Development

was a long-term

environmental initiative

launched in January 2012 by His

Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin

Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President

and Prime Minister of the United

Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai.

Its goal was to position the UAE as

a global leader in sustainability and

make Dubai a hub for the export

and re-export of green goods and

technologies. Dubai is motivating

a fresh round of sustainable

investments. The Emirate keeps

raising the bar by launching new green

initiatives, accomplishing ambitious

clean energy goals, and organizing

world-class sustainable events. In

the UAE’s strategic commitment to

reach net-zero emissions by 2050,

which aims to promote sustainable

economic growth and ensure a better

future for all people, Dubai is setting

the pace.

Dubai created the Dubai Green

Zone in an effort to draw cutting-edge

enterprises working in alternative

energy. Inspiring a greener economy

Dubai, which aims to

transform its economy

to one that is more

environmentally friendly and

produces 75% of its energy

from clean sources by the

year 2050, is now ranked

third among Global Cities

of the Future and second

internationally in terms of

greenfield FDI capital flows.

38 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

and making Dubai the most soughtafter

location for clean energy

investors, Dubai Carbon is a private

joint stock corporation.

More than US$1.3 billion has

reportedly been pledged by the UAE

to renewable energy projects in 65

nations. UAE-Pacific Partnership

Fund, UAE-Caribbean Renewable

Energy Fund, and US$4.5 million to

green energy projects overseen by the

Global Green Growth Institute. Dubai,

which aims to transform its economy

to one that is more environmentally

friendly and produces 75% of its

energy from clean sources by the

year 2050, is now ranked third among

Global Cities of the Future and second

internationally in terms of greenfield

FDI capital flows.

Dubai’s sustainability policy relies

heavily on private investment, with a

target investment in renewable energy

of $182.3 billion by 2025. Additionally,

Dubai’s objectives for the “Green

Economy” are quickly transforming

the Emirate into an investment

magnet for global businesses with

similarly ambitious expansion plans.

Additionally, it is demonstrated to

be the ideal environment for startups

to investigate the commercial

potential in the green energy

sector. International investors are

expressing a great deal of interest

in projects supported by the Dubai

Government as a result of Dubai’s

strong commitment to setting the

green standard. The green technology

industry in Dubai will soon have one

of the fastest growth rates.

The flaring of natural gas as a

by-product of oil production wastes

contributes to severe air pollution

and GHG emissions. The UAE has

succeeded in reducing flaring of

natural gas from the oil and gas

industry since the 1990’s and its policy

is shifting from minimal flaring to


Dubai Can initiative

The use of more than 3.5 million

500 ml single-use plastic water bottles

has decreased since the launch of

Dubai Can, a citywide sustainability

initiative, according to His Highness

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin

Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of

Dubai and Chairman of The Executive

Council of Dubai.

According to the amount of

water drank from Dubai Can water

fountains located all around the city,

the initiative has experienced amazing

success. With the assistance of the

initiative’s stakeholders, sponsors,

and partners, 46 fountains have been

constructed over the past six months

in various sites throughout the city,

including public parks, beaches, and

tourist attractions.

The fountains can be found in

several Dubai neighbourhoods,

including Kite Beach, Dubai Marina,

JLT, Downtown Dubai, Dubai Harbour,

Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai Festival City,

Khawaneej, and others.

On-going focus on green


For each marine animal experience

taken part in by a visitor over the

previous 12 months, Atlantis, The

Palm has collected $1. This has led

to a $120,000 investment fund for

the project, which aims to support

conservation and sustainability

projects based in the UAE to

help safeguard the ocean and our

environment, according to Atlantis,

The Palm.

Organizations headquartered in

the UAE were encouraged to apply

for financing, following which

submissions were requested and

evaluated for their contributions

to sustainability, conservation, and

scientific advancement.

The Atlantis Atlas Project is

currently focused on two major

dangers to the ocean, plastic

pollution, and unsustainable seafood,

as well as four important categories

of wildlife, including sharks, rays,

dolphins, and corals. In light of

this, projects were chosen based

on how well they supported these

conservation objectives.

The resort has boosted the amount

of locally sourced and sustainable

meals on the menus of all nine of its

signature restaurants by over 70%

since the Atlantis Atlas Project’s

sustainable dining program was

successfully introduced.

Zooming in on the sustainable

initiatives of social enterprises

By June 2022, every restaurant, as

well as in-room and outdoor dining,

will offer at least five to six meals

from both the adult and children’s

menus, each of which has been

meticulously prepared from 100

different ingredients that are acquired

locally and sustainably. Atlantis has

sold 38,751 earth-friendly dishes so

far. The three most popular dishes

are the Uns Farm Caesar Salad from

Bread Street Kitchen, the locally

produced Burrata from WHITE Beach,

and the sustainably farmed Fish Tacos

from The Shore.

Atlantis Dubai’s staff will be actively

involved in this effort by volunteering

to clean up trash and gather debris in

the area so that Goumbook and their

partners may recycle it.

A year’s worth of financing will

also be provided by the project to

the UAE-based Seafood Souq, which

will support the creation of a digital

platform to improve the efficiency,

sustainability, transparency, and

traceability of the seafood trade.

Led and driven by green

investments towards a much more

sustainable city

Yousuf Lootah, Executive Director –

Tourism Development & Investments

Dubai’s Department of Tourism &

Commerce Marketing, said: “In line

with the vision of His Highness Sheikh

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,

Vice President and Prime Minister

of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make

Dubai a sustainability champion,

the Dubai Can movement has made

remarkable progress during the

last six months. We could not be

prouder of this achievement. While

encouraging residents and visitors to

commit to a paradigm shift in their

lifestyles, this initiative has a larger

goal: creating a city that is the world’s

most visited and the best place to

live and work in, as envisaged by the

Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan.

“The strength of the city’s publicprivate

partnership is essential to

realizing the Dubai Sustainability

Strategy. As we look forward to the

campaign’s continued success, this

excellent collaboration model will

propel Dubai Can to greater heights

Yousuf Lootah, Executive Director

– Tourism Development &

Investments at Dubai’s Department

of Tourism & Commerce Marketing

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 39


as we strive to achieve every single

sustainability goal of Dubai,” said


Strong stakeholder support

Over the last six months, the

Dubai Can initiative has received

support from over 750 stakeholders,

sponsors, and partners from both

the government and private sectors

including Accor, Adventure HQ, Al

Serkal, Dell Technologies, Atlantis,

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority

(DEWA), Dubai International

Financial Centre, Dollar Car Rental,

Dubai Islamic Bank, DMCC, Dubai

Holding, Dubai Festival City, Dubai

Municipality, Dubai World Trade

Centre, Electrolux, Emirates NBD,

Emaar, Etisalat, Goumbook, Gulf

Marketing Group, Grundfos, Huawei,

Majid Al Futtaim, Merex Investment,

Nakheel, Pepsico, PWC, Radisson,

Roads & Transport Authority, Shamal,

Talabat; and media partner Arabian

Radio Network.

The World Green Economy


The development of investment

partnerships in green projects and

financing will be the main focus of

the eighth World Green Economy

Summit (WGES), which will take

place in Dubai. It will support the

green economy’s employment and

investment prospects. Promising

opportunities and investments for

the public and private sectors will be

discussed at the Summit by several

prominent local and international

participants, including heads of

state and government, well-known

speakers from around the world,

official dignitaries from government

organizations, academia, experts, and

the media.

WGES will be hosted at Dubai’s

World Trade Center on September 28

and 29, 2022, under the patronage of

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al

Maktoum, Vice President and Prime

Minister of the United Arab Emirates

and Ruler of Dubai.

The WGES 2022 conference will

emphasize how investors from

around the world are becoming more

interested in the renewable energy

industry and how to take advantage

of the surge in funding for the

environment, society, and governance.

“The goal of this is green growth.”

The UAE has set an ambitious

strategy to support economic

diversification and the development

of new economic sectors in industries

that are most beneficial to our path

toward sustainable development. Our

program places a strong emphasis on

the green economy, and the nation is

making significant strides to develop

its potential in this field.

Looking forward to Green

Financing Strategy

By 2030, it is anticipated to have a

5,000 MW production capacity, with

investments totaling AED50 billion

($13.61 billion). This strengthens the

UAE’s and Dubai’s position as an

effective sustainability model for the

entire world.

The Dubai Green Fund was

established to offer creative financing

options for green projects as part of

the UAE’s commitment to boosting

green financing and as the third pillar

of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy


40 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

Ongoing UAE

power sector


exceed $26


The MENA is currently

investing more than $250

billion in the power sector,

and in 2022, the area is

predicted to add 5.6 GW of installed

renewable capacity, nearly doubling

the 3.0 GW that went online in 2021.

Nine of the top 25 power projects in

the MENA area currently are located

in the UAE, according to information

provided by industry experts at the

MENA Power Projects Forum. With

electricity projects worth $26 billion

in planning and development, the

UAE ranks third in terms of project

value. The UAE is leading the energy

transition away from fossil fuels and

toward renewable energy sources and

a sustainable hydrogen ecosystem.

Abu Dhabi seeks Israeli

collaboration in renewable energy

The Department of Energy of

Abu Dhabi is in discussions

with Israel to increase

collaboration in the field of

clean and renewable energy. During

his conversation with Amir Hayek,

the Israeli Ambassador to the UAE,

Engineer Ahmed Mohammed Belajer

Al Rumaithi, Undersecretary of the

Department of Energy, emphasised

the value of establishing bridges

of cooperation in a number of

energy sectors, particularly water,

electricity, wastewater treatment,

and district cooling. He emphasised

the abundance of prospects for

mutual benefit in the energy

sector. The Department of Energy

highlighted to the Ambassador the

scope of its activities and the areas

it hopes to advance through its

strategic initiatives. Engineer Ahmed

Mohammed Belajer Al Rumaithi, the

According to a “landmark”

sale agreement, UAE’s

largest energy company

ADNOC will provide

natural gas to Dubai Supply Authority

(DUSUP). As a result, natural gas

will be used to generate electricity

at DEWA’s Hassyan Power Complex

rather than clean coal, “further

reducing carbon emissions from the

power generation process.” The UAE

Undersecretary of the Department of

Energy, highlighted the importance

of building bridges of cooperation

in various energy sectors, especially

water, electricity, wastewater

treatment and district cooling, during

his discussion with Amir Hayek, the

Ambassador of Israel to the UAE.

The scope of the work of the

Department of Energy and the areas

that DoE seeks to develop through its

strategic initiatives was presented to

the Ambassador.

Energy News

ADNOC to deliver natural gas to

DEWA’s Hassyan Power Complex

Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative

and its aims to produce power from

cleaner energy sources are thus

supported by the ADNOC-DUSUP

agreement. President Highness Sheikh

Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and

Vice-President, Prime Minister, and

Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

were present during the agreement

signing at Qasr Al Watan.


sells 18%

stake in Iraqi


For $155 million, the French

oil company TotalEnergies

sold ShaMaran Petroleum

Corporation, which is listed

in Sweden and Canada, its 18 percent

stake in the Sarsang onshore oilfield

in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

Depending on production and oil

prices, an extra contingent payment of

$15 million will be paid at a later date,

according to a statement released by

TotalEnergies. 2011 saw the discovery

of the Sarsang field, which is currently

62% operated by HKN and 20% owned

by KRG. In 2021, the output share of

TotalEnergies, formerly Total, was

3,500 barrels per day.

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 41

Energy News

Mubadala and Taqa plan

privatisation of two power plants

in Uzbekistan

According to a “landmark” sale agreement, UAE’s largest energy company

ADNOC will provide natural gas to Dubai Supply Authority (DUSUP).

As a result, natural gas will be used to generate electricity at DEWA’s

Hassyan Power Complex rather than clean coal, “further reducing

carbon emissions from the power generation process.” The UAE Net Zero by 2050

Strategic Initiative and its aims to produce power from cleaner energy sources

are thus supported by the ADNOC-DUSUP agreement. President Highness Sheikh

Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Vice-President, Prime Minister, and Ruler

of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum were present

during the agreement signing at Qasr Al Watan.

Dubai reduces


emissions by

21% in 2021

The Dubai Supreme Council of

Energy reports that in 2021,

Dubai’s carbon emissions

decreased by 21%. The

accomplishment is a testament to the

success of the emirate’s initiatives,

which include recycling waste in

the production of water and power,

industry, ground transportation,

and waste management, as well

as increasing the share of solar

energy and improving operational

efficiency at factories and facilities.

The Supreme Council addressed a

proposal from Emirates Gas Company

to replace its present gas cylinders

with more modern ones that are safer

and lighter for the foreseeable future

at its 72nd meeting, which was held

virtually and presided over by its

chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al


MoEI, GHD, and


Gesellschaft to

design national


strategy in UAE

In partnership with the German

research organisation Fraunhofer

Gesellschaft, the Ministry of

Energy and Infrastructure

(MoEI) has contracted with GHD

Group to develop its National

Hydrogen Strategy. The UAE’s

national hydrogen strategy will assist

in developing its hydrogen vision and

guiding its policy choices as one of its

strategies for diversifying its energy

mix and achieving net zero by 2050.

Minister of Energy and Infrastructure

Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei

stated, “We remain focused on our

target of securing 25% of the most

significant hydrogen market.”

DEWA receives

four bids for

solar park

Dubai Media Office (DMO)

reported that the Dubai

Electricity and Water

Authority (DEWA) had

received 4 proposals from foreign

firms for the consultant contract for

the sixth phase of the Mohammed bin

Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. Using

the Independent Power Producer

(IPP) model, the single-site solar park

is the biggest of its kind in the world,

with a production capacity of 5,000

megawatts by 2030. The solar park’s

sixth phase will have a 900 MW output

capacity. DEWA has a 14,117 MW

overall energy production capacity.

According to Saeed Mohammed Al

Tayer, managing director and chief

executive officer of DEWA, the solar

park’s current output capacity using

photovoltaic solar panels is 1,627 MW.

UAE increases

crude exports

to Japan

As a result of US-led

sanctions against Russia,

the Middle East is moving

quickly to increase its

efforts to minimise supply disruptions

of crude oil, with the UAE alone

meeting 42% of Japan’s crude oil

needs in July. The Tokyo-based

Agency for Natural Resources and

Energy estimates that the UAE

provided as many as 33.99 million

barrels of petroleum to Japan in

July. The next-best supplier, Saudi

Arabia, supplied 28.47 million barrels,

or 35.1% of Japan’s oil demand. In

order to finalise long-term deals for

additional supply, many European

nations, including the UK, have also

been negotiating with the UAE, Saudi

Arabia, and other significant Middle

Eastern oil producers.

42 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

Prospect for healthcare investments in



The advancement of healthcare, according to the experts at the Advance Health forum, will be the main

driver of growth in the UAE over the ensuing ten years. A forum was held to discuss the future of biotech

innovation and research in the UAE. It was organized by Dubai Science Park (DSP), a member of the TECOM

Group, in collaboration with Synapse Medical Services, a healthcare administration firm, and with the

support of several significant industry stakeholders. As part of the Centennial 2071 project, which was

started by the UAE Cabinet and aims to make the UAE the best country in the world by 2071, the UAE has

prioritized growing the healthcare industry.

The goal of Advance Health,

according to Marwan

Abdulaziz Janahi, Managing

Director of Dubai Science

Park, “is to bring our sector together

to face hard subjects — exciting

topics — and discover new answers.

Business partners at Dubai Science

Park are advancing discussions about

potential applications for medicines,

medical technology, therapies, and

more. To set the groundwork for an

effective healthcare ecosystem that

improves the lives of people living in

the UAE, the region, and the world,

it is crucial to create a space where

this community can come together,

participate, share experiences, and

suggest new ideas. The future of

our industry depends on increasing

biotech R&D, and this session offers

a venue to start the dialogue with a

larger audience that can offer useful


Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, Managing

Director of Dubai Science Park

The next ten years of growth will

be driven by healthcare, according to

Dr. Aaron Han, Chief Medical Officer

at Alliance Care Technologies and

Adjunct Professor at Mohamed bin

Rashid University. He elaborated,

using the pandemic as a catalyst,

that the rise in research money and

the concentration on education were

placing healthcare as a crucial sector

ready for impact. Dr. Han cited the

expression “Data is the new oil” as

the key to conducting research at a

reasonable cost. According to him,

“the creation of enterprises will allow

for the development of medication

and therapies that can deliver the

greatest potential outcome to wider

audiences while increasing cost

over time.” Advance Health is a

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 43


special opportunity ,we can explore

possibilities when we start stepping

outside of our typical workspaces

and what makes up our formal titles,

that’s when some value-add occurs, he


The Advance Health sessions

are held at Dubai Science Park to

foster information sharing, fostering

networking opportunities, and

enhancing patient outcomes in the

UAE. Healthcare and community

protection received 8.09 percent

(AED4.766 billion) of the government

budget for 2022, which will increase

investment and possibilities in the


The UAE government wants

to increase the number of people

traveling there for medical treatment.

Additionally, the pandemic’s

disruption of travel significantly

reduced international patient care,

a crucial aspect of the U.S.-UAE

relationship, and strengthened the

UAE’s resolve to strengthen its

domestic healthcare system.

Arab Health, the region’s leading

healthcare conference and trade

show, which is held yearly in Dubai,

continues to be a catalyst for new

concepts, alliances, innovations, and

teamwork.The UAE government has

designated healthcare as a priority

sector in its Vision 2040, and the

nation will continue to be a desirable

location for the establishment of

a regional distribution hub for

healthcare services.

Al-Noor Medical Company, VPS

Healthcare, Tumbay Group, Al-Zahra

Group, Belhoul Lifecare, Emirates

Healthcare, Mediclinic Middle East,

Aster DM Healthcare, Gulf Healthcare

International, Gulf Medical Projects

Company, Zulekha Hospital, Saudi

German Hospital Group, and Aster

DM Healthcare are some of the

major players in the UAE’s private

healthcare market.

Almost 70% of more than 4,000

facilities, including hospitals,

ambulatory services, clinics,

polyclinics, and primary care

centers, have received international

accreditation. In the upcoming years,

it is anticipated that this will continue

to rise.

Leading Sub-Sectors


The UAE’s pharmaceutical market

is rapidly growing. Although the

UAE imports most of its drugs, this

is beginning to change, and some

international pharmaceutical giants

have partnered with UAE companies

to locally manufacture products. The

COVID-19 pandemic sharpened the

UAE’s focus on investing in the life

sciences, both in the UAE and abroad.

Medical Equipment

The projected growth of the UAE’s

medical equipment market broadly

mirrors that of other sectors. Given

that the UAE produces relatively little

medical equipment domestically,

this means significant business

opportunities for international

companies. That said, the pandemic

has led the UAE to explore local

production of certain medical

equipment. Diagnostic imaging

equipment comprises a large

percentage of the UAE medical device


Healthcare Information


The UAE’s Healthcare Information

Technology market is expected

to grow swiftly in coming years.

The pandemic continues to create

opportunities for the tele health/

medicine sector expansion, driven by

remote healthcare services through

technology platforms. The Ministry of

Health is working with an Emirates

Integrated Telecommunication

Company PJSC (“Du”) to enhance

options for tele-based healthcare.

These included “Virtual Hospital”

where doctors and nurses can provide

remote care to patients using AI and

smart devices and monitoring.

Education and Research

To meet its ever-increasing need

for qualified medical professionals,

the UAE has sought to grow its

nascent medical education and

training capacity. It also strives to

make the country a regional hub for

medical research and events. Early

researchers concentrated on the

connection between investments in

human capital (including population

health, education, and infrastructure)

and long-term economic expansion.

Fisher cited a “Report on the Health

of the Nation” sent to the U.S.

Congress that stated that health

is a national asset and that higher

investment in health lowers the rate

of disease and promotes economic

growth. He did not, however,

elaborate on the precise methods

by which economic development

44 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

is boosted by health spending.

The idea of human capital, created

through investments in immigration,

health care, and education, was first

proposed by Schultz in 1961. This

is a creative examination of human

capital in healthcare. Mushkin first

put up the idea of “healthy human

capital,” which included health as a

factor in determining human capital.

Health and education were seen as

the two outcomes of human capital.

Since then, a sizable number of

theoretical and empirical researches

on the connection between health

investment and economic growth

have been conducted by academics.

Segments of the healthcare


• Health care services and facilities.

• Medical devices, equipment, and

hospital supplies manufacturers.

• Medical insurance, medical services,

and managed care.

• Pharmaceuticals & related


There are numerous subsectors within

the health care services and facilities

subsector. The broad category



Hospitals offer some outpatient and

some inpatient medical, diagnostic,

and treatment services. General

medical and surgical hospitals,

psychiatric and drug treatment

facilities, specialty hospitals

(excluding such establishments),

family planning and abortion clinics,

hospices and palliative care facilities,

emergency and other outpatient care

facilities, sleep disorder clinics, dental

laboratories, and blood and organ

banks are all included in this category.

Nursing and residential care


When necessary, they offer

residential care together with nursing,

administrative, or other sorts of care.

In-home senior care, community care

facilities for the elderly, nursing care

facilities, urgent care centers, mental

health, residential developmental

handicap institutions, and other

residential care facilities are included

in this category.

Ambulatory care facilities:

Hospitals offer ambulatory patients

direct and indirect medical care

services. This category comprises

ambulatory health care services such

as ambulance services, outpatient

treatment facilities, and medical and

diagnostic laboratories.

Medical practitioners and

healthcare professionals:

Dermatologists, nutritionists &

dietitians, optometrists, physical

therapists, homeopaths, psychologists,

social workers & marriage counselors,

chiropractors, and other alternative

healthcare providers are included in

this category.


Numerous hospital construction

and renovation projects are currently

in progress. There is competition

among the seven Emirates to draw

medical tourism, which is driving up

demand for contemporary facilities

with the newest medical technology.

In order to prevent and treat the

rising incidence of non-communicable

diseases, particularly cardiovascular

disease, cancer, and diabetes, the

Ministry of Health keeps updating

the nation’s hospitals with the

newest technology. The Dubai Health

Authority will keep coordinating

medical technology with efforts to

plan and implement smart cities.

In order to prevent and

treat the rising incidence

of non-communicable

diseases, particularly

cardiovascular disease,

cancer, and diabetes, the

Ministry of Health keeps

updating the nation’s

hospitals with the

newest technology. The

Dubai Health Authority

will keep coordinating

medical technology

with efforts to plan and

implement smart cities.

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 45

Healthcare News

Tabreed to supply district

cooling to Egypt’s CapitalMed

Egypt is a market that Tabreed, a district cooling company based

in the UAE, views as essential to its goals of international

expansion. The business will offer its services to “CapitalMed,”

an Egyptian-built “city” that focuses on healthcare in Badr City.

Through a majority ownership share in the premium developer Sodic,

Aldar and ADQ have recently increased their presence in Egypt’s real

estate market. For the new project’s cooling and heating needs, Tabreed

will finance, build, and run a “bespoke” district energy plant. For Phase

1, a sizeable 19,500 RT (refrigerated tonnes) of district cooling will be

required (and between 28,000-30,000 RT for the entire project).

Abu Dhabi


to hold title

of most



Deep Knowledge Analytics

has once again named Abu

Dhabi the world’s most

pandemic-resilient city as

a result of Abu Dhabi’s response to

Covid-19 and the effectiveness of its

policies to combat the deadly virus

(DKA). DKA is a DeepTech analytical

division of Deep Knowledge Group

with offices in London (DKG). Abu

Dhabi maintained its ranking as

the world’s leading city in response

to Covid-19 from a research that

was issued in the first half of 2021.

Since then, 28 more cities have been

looked at and included in the ranking,

bringing the total number of places it

evaluates to 100.

UAE to increase biomedical

research funding by Dh14 million

The UAE-NIH-CRI will

support ongoing and

new deserving scientific

collaboration between

the UAE and the US. It will promote

collaborative research between

researchers in the UAE and the

US with interests in infectious,

immunologic, and allergy illnesses.

Through opportunities for scientific

training, the initiative will also

increase the UAE’s capacity for

biomedical research. The partner

organisations have committed a

total funding of almost Dh14 million

over a three-year period. Up to six

outstanding grants could be funded

over a three-year period by the UAE-


SCAI & Lean collaborate on AIpowered

healthcare solutions for

Saudi Arabia

Acontract was signed by the Saudi Company for Artificial Intelligence

(SCAI), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund

(PIF), and Lean, a top supplier of cutting-edge healthcare management

solutions, to investigate the creation of AI-powered solutions for the

Saudi healthcare industry. The two parties will cooperate under the terms of the

agreement to advance AI-driven technology and provide cutting-edge healthcare

solutions. CEO of SCAI Ayman AlRashed remarked, “We are thrilled to cooperate

with Lean to improve public health indicators in Saudi Arabia.”

46 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

Burjeel intends

to invest $1

billion in Saudi


Hospital chain Burjeel

Holdings, located in the

UAE, is growing into

Saudi Arabia and plans

to invest up to $1 billion there. To

begin the development plans, the

business signed a contract with the

Saudi Arabian Ministry of Investment.

Shamsheer Vayalil, the founder and

CEO of Burjeel, said in a statement

that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is

a key focus market for his company.

“We are proud to commit to this MoU

with the Ministry of Investment,

which is a significant step in our

entry into the Kingdom. Burjeel also

intends to collaborate with the Saudi

government on worldwide healthcare

volunteerism and humanitarian help.

The healthcare business reportedly

planned to raise $750 million by going

public in Abu Dhabi.

Shah Rukh Khan appointed as

brand ambassador for Burjeel


Shah Rukh Khan has joined

Burjeel Holdings as its new

brand ambassador. Burjeel

Holdings is a major private

healthcare services provider in the

MENA region and one of the biggest

in the UAE. In a ceremony conducted

in Abu Dhabi earlier this week, the

actor’s partnership with Burjeel

Holdings, a company controlled by the

Indian businessman Dr. Shamsheer

Vayalil, who is based in the UAE,

was officially announced. Khan

will take part in a multi-platform,

regional advertising campaign for the

healthcare organisation that will be

presented in the upcoming weeks. The

company had recently announced its

planned expansion into the Kingdom

Arcensus GmbH

acquired in

partnership led

by Dammam


Arcensus GmbH, a German

provider of genomic testing

and preventive healthcare

services, has been acquired

by a consortium led by Dammam

Valley in Saudi Arabia. The share

acquisition is a part of the Kingdom’s

initiatives to speed up international

efforts to introduce genomic testing

for early diagnosis of genetic diseases,

including cancer and rare genetic

disorders. Arcensus will be able to

quickly penetrate global markets with

its cutting-edge solutions, thanks to

the financial investment spearheaded

by Dammam Valley, in addition to

building a comprehensive multicentric


of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and has signed

a Memorandum of Understanding

(MoU) with its Ministry of Investment,

which will see it seek opportunities

to invest up to USD $1 billion in the

Kingdom by 2030.

Pure Health


$500 million to

Ardent USA

According to a statement

released, Pure Health, the

largest integrated healthcare

platform in the UAE, has

signed a legally binding deal to buy a

$500 million minority equity stake in

Ardent Health Services (Ardent). In

Nashville, Tennessee, Ardent is one of

the top US healthcare organisations.

Pure Health’s efforts to increase

its presence in the nation of North

America are reflected in the agreement.

The investment made by the Alpha

Dhabi Holding subsidiary is subject to

the usual closing requirements and will

only be completed once all required

US regulatory approvals have been


India and UAE

collaborate on

health projects

in Kenya and


In the I2U2 framework, which

also includes the US and Israel,

India and UAE are advancing

cooperation in food security

and collaborating on a collaborative

plan to create health programmes

in Kenya and Tanzania. The summit

also discussed collaboration in many

industries, including energy and

investments. To find potential for

collaborative projects in the health

sector, the external affairs ministry

recently sent a team to Kenya and

Tanzania that included members of

the Indian and UAE ministries. Both

ministers expressed satisfaction with

the progress made in the collaboration

between healthcare and education.

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 47


World Cloud Show redefining the future

of Cloud Computing in Dubai

Dubai has made exceptional

progress in cloud adoption

and is well on its way to

emerging as a role model

for the entire world. Keeping up with

this pace, the 17th global edition of

the World Cloud Show took place

at The Address Mall on September

27- 28, 2022 – to discuss, deliberate,

and share insights within this forward-moving


The event explored best practices

in establishing, developing, and

documenting an organizationwide

approach to integrating

cloud and related emerging tech

across the country. The conference

brought together over 200 C-level

tech decision-makers, along with

CMOs, CDOs, CXOs, and industry


The focus on advancing the digital

economy through local initiatives and

innovations is the primary driver of

the adoption of cloud & data center

solutions in the UAE, a vital pillar

of the initiatives to drive the UAE’s

National Vision 2030.

“Agile Infrastructure modernization

is driven by policy initiatives that

transform the ecosystem of business

and the change agent becomes the

catalyst for execution,” stated Adam

Roosevelt, U.S. Representative &

Board Member at The Private Office

of Sheikh Saqer Bin Mohammed Al


Dr. Abdulaziz Batli, Senior Advisor

to the Deputy Governor of IT and

ET, Saudi Communications and

48 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

Watch the event video!

Information Technology Commission

Founding Board Member, Saudi Cloud

Computing Association reflects on

rapid cloud adoption and remarks,

“The stakes for Cloud Computing are

high and opportunities are endless.

It plays a pivotal role as a facilitator

and an enabler for digital economies,

across the three tiers. The added

value of hyperscale service providers

is enormous as markets get created

around their presence. This is the

right time for regulators globally to

walk the talk and apply the “innovate

then regulate” approach so economies

can be diversified.”

The Dubai edition also featured

the World Cloud Awards to recognize

business owners, trailblazers, and

solution providers for their continued

work in the field of cloud and data

center infrastructure.

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 49


Digital Workforce Summit

The 2nd annual Digital Workforce Summit – UAE

Edition hosted a renowned line-up of IT, HR and digital

transformation from Dubai Electronic Security Centre

(DESC), Ministry of Finance, Gargash, Emirates National

Oil Company (ENOC), Enate Ltd., NEOM, Ministry of

Education, Zoho, Kissflow, Emirates NBD, Al Yousuf Group,

Iron Mountain and more to discuss on topics like Digital

Economy, Technologies Adoption, Digital Talent, Employee

Experience and much more while shaping UAE’s Digital


In line with His Highness

Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid Al

Maktoum’s directives, Dubai has

become the digital capital of the

region and we are working towards

becoming the main a global digital

capital in the near future. At the

Digital Dubai our strategic roles are

to maintaining information security

across government, develop skills and

build capacities, promoting a secure

digital economy in Dubai and leading

the digital transformation,” said Dr.

Bushra Al Blooshi, Deputy Director of

the Information Services Department

at Dubai Electronic Security Centre,

Digital Dubai.

The event took place on 6-7

September 2022 at Conrad Hotel in

Dubai, UAE, the two-day agenda was

filled with a wide range of learning

and knowledge driven conversations

Empowering the Digital Workforce

in 2022, Creating a Single Platform

Watch the event video!

50 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

for Every Team, Women in HR

Leadership, Equipping the future

generations with the scientific, ethical,

and professional tools for economic

development among others.

“A digital enablement strategy will

only be successful if your customers

are placed at the heart of it” quoted

Eng. Meshal Abdulla BinHussain,

Information Technology Director,

Ministry of Finance

This event hosted dignitaries like

Dr Bushra AlBlooshi from Dubai

Electronic Security Centre (DESC),

Meshal Abdulla BinHussain from

Ministry of Finance, Faisal Ali from

Gargash, Wail Saleh from Du, Dr. Lt.

Col Hamad Khalifa Swuidan Al Nuaimi

from Abu Dhabi Police General

Headquarters, Uday Jose from Enate

Ltd.,Vaishnavi Soundarrajan from

Zoho, Rakesh N from Kissflow, Tino

Jiftajian from Iron Mountain and many


A digital enablement strategy will only be successful if your

customers are placed at the heart of it

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 51

Mergers & Acquisitions

UAE M&A markets most targeted


UAE continues to be one of the Middle East’s most active public M&A market’s. The oil and gas

industry was the most active, followed by the finance, technology, and energy industries. The

consumer discretionary industry experienced substantial changes in the UAE as well.

The largest energy sector

transactions in the region

in 2019 occurred in the

UAE market, with DP

World acquiring Topaz Energy and

Marine and the Abu Dhabi National

Oil Company (ADNOC) raising

over USD10 billion by selling a

stake in its oil refinery and pipeline

businesses. Along with these historic

deals, the UAE continued to be the

region’s most active M&A market

for foreign investment. The volume

of deals involving foreign investors

buying (stakes in) companies with

headquarters in the UAE increased

by 28% from 2018. Additionally, the

UAE was the primary target of 78%

of foreign acquisitions in the Gulf

Cooperation Council (GCC) member

states, which include Bahrain, Kuwait,

Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the


During the first half of 2022, 359

mergers and acquisition (M&A)

transactions totaling $42.6 billion

were recorded in the MENA region.

The increase in M&A activity is

due to the region’s continued postpandemic

economic growth, which is

supported by high oil prices and rising

corporate boardroom confidence. This

growth represents a 12% year-overyear

increase in deal volume.

Oil and Gas

The purchase of a share in the oil

refinery division of ADNOC by Italy’s

Eni and Austria’s MV was the biggest

deal in the UAE’s oil and gas industry

in 2019. To create a new trading

partnership between the three parties,

Eni and MV each purchased a stake in

the company and invested a total of

USD5.8 billion in it.

In a different transaction, ADNOC

sold a stake in its oil pipeline business

to generate USD 4.9 billion from

investors, including KKR & Co.,

BlackRock, the GIC (Singapore’s

sovereign wealth fund), and the

Abu Dhabi Retirement Pensions and

Benefits Fund.

In the crude oil and natural gas (O&G)

sector, the year 2021 was unexpected

for two key reasons: First, against

even the bulliest predictions, oil

prices increased by 75% year over

year, reaching $75/bln by the end

of the year. Second, despite the

steep increase in oil prices, O&G

businesses showed unusually high

levels of capital restraint, with

CAPEX only rising by 17%. The O&G

M&A playbook has been completely

rewritten as a result of these two

factors, as aggressive tactical or

cyclical purchases have been replaced

in 2021 by cautious, strategic, and

environment-focused purchasing.

The majority of executives in the

oil and gas sector are very positive

about the strategic changes that their

companies made in the previous year

and believe that there will be more to

look forward to in terms of strategic

adjustments in 2022.


Due to the over-banking of several

Middle Eastern countries, deals in

52 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

the financial sector are mostly driven

by ongoing industry consolidation

initiatives. Although Bahrain, which

has 382 financial institutions serving

its 1.7 million population, has a less

fragmented financial industry than

the UAE, which has 50 banks, the

domestic market in the UAE is still

relatively small, with just over ten

million people.

The union of Abu Dhabi Commercial

Bank, Union National Bank, and Al

Hilal Bank, which created the ADCB

Group and is estimated to be worth

USD115 billion, was the most notable

deal in the banking sector of the

United Arab Emirates.

The $2.25 billion sale of NMC

Healthcare, a hospital operator in the

United Arab Emirates, to its creditors,

is the largest MENA target M&A

transaction of the year so far. With

$2.3 billion in deals or one-fourth of

M&A activity in 2022, the healthcare

industry led MENA in transaction



The largest transaction in the energy

sector involved Dubai-based DP World

buying out Renaissance Services and

Standard Chartered Private Equity,

who had recently acquired a stake

in the target from Affirma Capital, to

acquire 100% of the shares in Topaz

Energy and Marine for a total of USD

1.1 billion.

The MENA region is currently

investing more than $250 billion in the

power sector, and in 2022, the area is

predicted to add 5.6 GW of installed

renewable capacity, nearly doubling

the 3.0 GW that went online in 2021.

Nine of the top 25 power projects in

the MENA area currently are located

in the UAE, according to information

provided by industry experts at

the MENA Power Projects Forum.

With electricity projects worth $26

billion in planning and development,

the UAE ranks third in terms of the

project value. The UAE is leading the

energy transition away from fossil

fuels and toward renewable energy

sources and a sustainable hydrogen

ecosystem. The UAE Energy Strategy

2050 includes three distinct goals:

decreasing the carbon footprint of

power generation by 70%, raising

consumption efficiency across the

board by 40%, and increasing the

amount of clean energy in the whole

energy mix to 50% by the year 2050.

Top five MENA target countries in

terms of the contract value

UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco,

and Oman were the top five MENA

target countries in terms of the

contract value. With 105 agreements

worth $14.2 billion signed, the UAE

topped the list of the top five target

nations in the MENA area. Egypt

came in second with 65 deals totaling

US$3.2 billion, followed by Saudi

Arabia with 39 deals totaling US$2.8

billion, Morocco with 18 deals totaling

US$1.8 billion, and Oman with 10

deals worth US$0.7 billion.

The top five target subsectors in

the MENA region overall, ordered by

transaction value, were: consumer

goods, telecommunications, real

estate, and electricity & utilities.

The GCC region maintained

diversifying from its oil and gas

sectors despite the fluctuation in

commodity prices and inflationary

pressures. The majority of

investments, therefore, continued to

flow into sectors like transportation,

consumer goods, telecommunications,

real estate, and power & utilities.

Different business sectors

In the first half of 2022, 173 domestic

transactions totaling $13.9 billion

In the first half of

2022, 173 domestic

transactions totaling

$13.9 billion were

completed. Three

transactions made

up almost 41% of the

value of domestic


were completed. Three transactions

made up almost 41% of the value of

domestic M&A.

Ghitha Holding PJSC agreed to pay

$2.4 billion for Tamween Management

LLC, Q Holding paid $1.6 billion for

Reem Investments PJSC, and Saudi

Arabia’s Public Investment Fund paid

$1.5 billion for Kingdom Holding

Company (16.8% stake).

Real estate ($3.3 billion), consumer

products ($2.9 billion), banking and

financial markets ($2.4 billion), asset

management ($1.5 billion), and other

transportation ($0.8 billion) made up

the top five domestic subsectors by

deal value.

With 51 deals totaling $7.4 billion

in the first half of 2022, the UAE

remained the preferred investment

location. This was facilitated by

reforms aimed at improving the

business environment, luring

foreign investment, and encouraging

businesses to establish or expand

their operations.

With deal activity increasing three

times in 6M 2022 YoY due to favorable

government actions, including the

granting of a special license to foreign

investors, Egypt has also emerged as a

significant investment destination.

Saudi Arabia drew the greatest

M&A funds, totaling $47.4 billion,

while the UAE saw the biggest deal

activity in terms of volume, with 303


A recent World Bank analysis

predicts that MENA economies would

expand by 5.2% in 2022, the fastest

rate since 2016, thanks to increased

oil prices. Crude exporters are

anticipated to gain the most from the

current oil price rebound, although

the recovery is anticipated to be


While outbound M&A increased by

two times from the prior year to $8.8

billion, inward M&A dropped by 42%

to $1.9 billion in the first quarter of

this year.

Egypt came in second with $163.3m,

followed by Saudi Arabia with $3.5bn

in revenues. The largest listing in the

MENA region was the $1.3 billion

Nahdi Medical IPO.

The MENA region had a 94%

increase in investment banking fees to

$430 million, the biggest year-to-date

total since records began in 2000.

A record $184 million in completed

M&A fees, or 43% of the total

investment banking fee pool, was also

set, soaring by 569%.

Over half of the fees collected in

MENA came from contributions from

governments and organizations.

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 53

Mergers & Acquisitions News

E& strengthens

its relationship



Aglobal leader in the

development of digital

peer-to-peer (P2P)

payments, MoneyGram

International, and e& (formerly

known as Etisalat Group), one of

the world’s largest technology and

investment conglomerates, announced

an expansion of their strategic

partnership. This will allow e &’s 160

million strong and rapidly expanding

customer base to send and receive

money through mobile wallets across

its footprint in almost real-time. For

international remittance services in

the UAE, MoneyGram has partnered

with e& money, the fintech division of

e& life. This collaboration reinforces

edesire &’s to provide consumers with

the most inclusive financial services

supported by a seamless experience

throughout its various markets.

Aldar Properties plans to make

new purchases in Egypt

After failing to buy Madinet Nasr Housing and Development (MNHD),

Aldar Properties has a plan to grow in Egypt that involves additional

acquisitions, according to Magued Sherif, CEO of Six of October

Development and Investment (SODIC). Due to the low offer price, the

MNHD ordinary general meeting (OGM), an Egyptian developer in which the

Egyptian government owns a 15% stake, refused to permit SODIC, a subsidiary of

Aldar, to perform the due diligence. Earlier, the board of MNHD made the decision

to turn down the offer made by UAE-based Aldar through its subsidiary, SODIC, to

purchase up to 100% of MNHD for a maximum price of EGP 3.40 per share.

IHC purchases

15% stake

of Burjeel


Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, Founder and

Chairman of Burjeel Holdings

AD Ports


majority stakes

in Transmar

and Transcargo


IHC to purchase

31.25% share in

Grupo Nutresa

International Holding Company

(IHC), afghanistan -based

conglomerate, is attempting

to buy up to 31.25% of the

huge Grupo Nutresa, a Colombian

manufacturer of packaged foods.

According to a report on the Abu

Dhabi Securities Exchange, the

company’s subsidiary, IHC Capital

Holding, submitted a request to start a

tender offer to buy between 25% and

31.25% of the Colombian company’s

common shares (ADX). The share

price for the offer is set at $15. For

the first half of the year, the holding

company’s revenue increased by 121%.

During the same time period, its net

profit increased 137% to over AED10.3

billion ($2.8 billion).

54 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

In one of the largest transactions

in the Gulf’s healthcare sector

in recent years, International

Holding Company (IHC),

the diverse Abu Dhabi-based

conglomerate, announced a direct

acquisition of a 15% share in Burjeel

Holdings, the top regional private

healthcare firm. The acquisition

seeks to scale and diversify IHC’s

involvement in the healthcare

industry locally and regionally, which

will foster the development of a

vibrant business environment for the

healthcare sector to the advantage

of shareholders and the larger


AD Ports Group completed

the acquisition of a 70

percent equity stake in

Transmar International

Shipping Company (Transmar)

and Transcargo International

S.A.E. (TCI).The total purchase

consideration (Enterprise Value) for

70% shareholding amounts to AED 514

million (US $140 million). It is the first

international acquisition realised by

AD Ports Group. The value-accretive

acquisitions of the two Egypt-based

maritime companies – the first

international acquisitions by the

company – provide AD Ports Group

with a market-leading platform for

further growth in container, cargo and

port operations in Egypt, North Africa

and Gulf regions, and along the entire

Red Sea.

Saudi Arabia’s TAQA to acquire

Al Mansoori Petroleum Services

The Industrialization and

Energy Services Company

(TAQA) of Saudi Arabia

will entirely acquire Al

Mansoori Petroleum Services (AMPS)

as part of its effort to strengthen

its position in the Middle East and

North Africa (MENA) region. The

transaction, which is anticipated to

finalise in the fourth quarter of 2022,

has recently seen the two companies

sign a definitive agreement. Due to its

existing relationships with significant

oil and gas companies in the region,

AMPS is expected to increase TAQA’s

portfolio. In addition, it offers

slicklines, well testing services, early

production facilities, multipurpose

vessels, and marine stimulation

vessels among other products and


ADQ makes Taqa’s minority ownership profitable

Aldar acquires

Spark Security


By fully acquiring Spark

Security Services, a firm that

provides manned guarding

security services in the UAE,

Aldar Properties (Aldar) has enhanced

its platform for managing properties

and integrated facilities. Established

in 1974, Spark Security employs more

than 5,000 security specialists that

provide services to large corporations

in a variety of industries, including

infrastructure, finance, healthcare,

and hospitality. A number of highprofile

events have also enlisted the

company’s security services, including

the 2019 Special Olympics World

Games in Abu Dhabi, the Red Bull Air

Race, the Papal Visit to the UAE, the

Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi

Grand Prix, the Qasr Al Hosn Festival,

and the Formula 1 Etihad Airways

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The holding company of Abu

Dhabi, ADQ, has agreed to

sell an 8.6% ownership in

Abu Dhabi National Energy

Company, often known as Taqa, in

order to achieve its goal of building

a varied and well-balanced portfolio.

The minority stake was monetized to

Multiply Group, Abu Dhabi Pension

Fund, and other investors, according

to ADQ, which did not disclose the

transaction’s total value. However,

Multiply Group announced to the Abu

Dhabi Securities Exchange that it has

purchased a 7.3 percent share in Taqa

for Dh10 billion ($2.72 billion) in a


October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 55


Ethereum upgrade ‘Merge’ reducing

energy emission in crypto world

Digital currency systems known as cryptocurrencies allow users to send money directly to

one another online. Cryptocurrencies are not controlled from a single location, like a central

bank, like traditional currencies, are instead, they are controlled by a worldwide, decentralized

network of powerful computers known as a “blockchain.” The term “miners” refers to

these machines. The majority of cryptocurrencies employ this technique, which is known as

“proof-of-work mining.”

56 56 www.thefinanceworld.com

October 2022

The effort, dubbed “the merge” would cause

Ethereum to convert to a new, less energyintensive

method of authenticating cryptographic

transactions as its underlying technology.

Once finished, the merging will eliminate the

“miners” function in the Ethereum ecosystem,

significantly lowering the need for electricity.

The utilization of calculations,

which take a lot of computer

time and electricity to

complete, is the main design

element. Around 150 terawatt-hours

of electricity are used annually only

by bitcoin. About 65 million tonnes

of carbon dioxide are released into

the atmosphere each year from the

production of that energy, which is

comparable to Greece’s emissions.

According to research, emissions from

bitcoin last year were likely to cause

19,000 more fatalities in the future.

Ethereum, the primary

cryptocurrency trading platform,

has recently undergone renovation.

The largest and most ambitious

software upgrade in the history of

cryptocurrencies has now been

completed on the blockchain network.

Known as the Merge, it used large

amounts of the network’s native

token, Ether, that were positioned in

specialized, so-called staking wallets

to replace power-guzzling computers

that were used to order transactions

on the network with a more energyefficient

setup. As a result, it is

predicted that Ethereum will use 99%

less energy.

Such a revolution has never

been attempted in the history of

cryptocurrency, much less on

Ethereum, which is home to about

3,500 active decentralized apps,

ranging from exchanges to games and

managing billions of dollars’ worth

of cryptocurrency. The Merge, which

has been in the works for years,

doesn’t alter how Ethereum works

for end users, but it is a crucial first

step toward more upgrades that will

make the network faster and less

expensive and should further boost its

reputation and usage.

The merge is an upgrade to

Ethereum that switches the proofof-work

approach for transaction

validation to a proof-of-stake

method. Advocates claim that this

will significantly increase the energy

efficiency of confirming transactions

on Ethereum, which has been widely

awaited by the cryptocurrency

community. Ethereum makes it

possible for programmers to create

apps on top of it. The native coin used

by Ethereum is called Ether.

The effort, dubbed “the merge,”

would cause Ethereum to convert to

a new, less energy-intensive method

of authenticating cryptographic

transactions as its underlying

technology. Once finished, the

merging will eliminate the “miners’”

function in the Ethereum ecosystem,

significantly lowering the need for

electricity. These users continuously

run massive amounts of potent,

purpose-built machinery to produce

random numbers that have an impact

on the network’s overall security.

purpose-built machinery to produce

random numbers that have an impact

on the network’s overall security.

Ether has decreased after the

integration was finalized, in the same

time frame Bitcoin has decreased

by about 3%. Before the network

upgrade, the price of ether had

nearly doubled from the year’s low

point in June, exceeding bitcoin’s

gains by a significant margin.

The merger was already “priced

in” for Ether, according to Vijay

Ayyar, vice president of corporate

development and international at the

cryptocurrency exchange Luno, and

the “real event was a ‘sell the news


An upheaval of this magnitude

had never been tried in the history

of cryptocurrency, much less on

Ethereum, which is home to around

3,500 active decentralized apps,

ranging from exchanges to games

and processing billions of dollars’

worth of cryptocurrency. The Merge,

which has been in the works for years,

doesn’t alter the end-user experience

on the second-largest blockchain, but

it is an important first step toward

future upgrades that will make the

network faster and less expensive and

should boost its stature and usage.

The reason the software upgrade is

known as the Merge is that it will join

the current Ethereum blockchain

with a parallel network that has

been operating for almost two years

to test the proof-of-stake idea. The

renovation has generally been under

discussion for more than seven years.

Ether’s characteristics were also

altered by the Merge, making it more

similar to yield-bearing securities.

After the Merge, the staking rewards

tracker predicts that Ethereum will

yield a return of roughly 5.2%. That

should increase the coin’s appeal

to investors, especially given the

anticipated net fall in the amount of

Ether tokens immediately after the

update. After the merger, Ether fell

1.2 percent to $1,584. Due in part

to anticipation around the Merge,

the token has increased more than

fivefold in 2021, beating Bitcoin by

a significant margin. Since reaching

record highs in November, both

cryptocurrencies have been in trouble,

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 57


with Ether down more than 50% this


Instead, Ethereum will employ

a “proof of stake” method, in

which users “stake” amounts of

cryptocurrency to promise to behave

honestly even at the risk of losing it.

The majority of electricity demand

would be eliminated, according to

crypto critic Alex de Vries. They may

reduce their energy consumption

significantly. The reduction should

be at least 99% (possibly even 99.9%),

however, Ethereum is still working

on quantifying it more precisely.

This amount to something like a

sudden disappearance of a fourth of

the world’s data centers’ combined

electricity consumption in a country

like Portugal. On an experimental

“beacon” blockchain, the proof-ofstake

approach is now being used.

Here, it has been examined to see

if the theoretical security it offers

is adequate for the multibilliondollar

economy that runs on top of

the Ethereum network. The main

network’s operations will now be

transferred to the experimental


Since other networks, such as

Cardano and Solana, have tested

the technology on a smaller scale,

Ethereum won’t be the first to adopt

proof of stake. However, as a result

of its switchover, bitcoin, the most

popular cryptocurrency, will now

face fresh criticism for its prolonged

reliance on proof of work. De Vries

calculates that the bitcoin network

consumes 130TWh of electricity

annually, a figure that will become

harder to defend if the Ethereum

blockchain proves that the same

capabilities can be attained in an

environmentally benign way.

Based on what happened after

previous Ethereum software updates,

the Merge could be followed by days

or even weeks of hiccups. Concerned

about bugs and hacks, cryptocurrency

exchanges such as Coinbase Global

Inc. halted Ethereum-related

withdrawals and deposits during

the software upgrade. Aave, a

cryptocurrency lender, had suspended

Ether borrowing ahead of the Merge.

58 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

Jamie Dimon refers to

cryptocurrency tokens as

“Decentralized Ponzi Schemes”

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie

Dimon likened crypto tokens

to Ponzi schemes before a U.S.

House Committee Oversight,

reiterating his well-known criticism

of cryptocurrencies.“I’m a major

skeptic on crypto tokens, which you

call currency like Bitcoin. They are

decentralized Ponzi schemes,” he

said, pointing to the billions of dollars

lost each year through crypto-related

hacks and how cryptocurrencies are

used in crimes such as ransomware

payments and money laundering.“And

the notion that it is good for anybody

is unbelievable,” Dimon added.

Company has been concentrating

on adopting blockchain for financial

services even though Dimon has been

a loud opponent of Bitcoin.


taken from

“Axie Infinity”


According to blockchain

firm Chainalysis, US

officials have confiscated

more than $30 million in

cryptocurrency that North Korean

hacking gangs had obtained from the

smartphone game Axie Infinity. This is

the first time that criminals connected

to the isolated nation have had their

stolen property taken. The New Yorkbased

company’s actions taken in

coordination with law enforcement

and using tracking technologies that

might track stolen money led to the

development. It came after a cyber

heist in March in which more than

$600 million was taken from Ronin

Network, a sidechain created for the

play-to-earn game. A sidechain is a

different blockchain network that

connects to another blockchain.

Jamie Dimon , CEO of JPMorgan



secures license

to Operate in


The biggest cryptocurrency

exchange in the world,

Binance, has obtained a

Minimal Viable Product (MVP)

License that enables it to function in

Dubai. Binance successfully obtained

a provisional license in March, and

now the Virtual Asset Regulatory

Authority (VARA) of Dubai has granted

it an MVP License. Binance is now

able to provide qualified retail and

institutional investors in Dubai with an

approved range of virtual asset-related

services, including custody, transfer,

and management. The business can

also offer trading services, virtual asset

payments, remittance services, and

virtual token offerings.

Dubai grants Blockchain.com

provisional clearance

Blockchain.com, a

cryptocurrency business

with offices in London, has

been granted a temporary

operating permit in Dubai. This

makes it the most recent in a string

of firms dealing in digital assets to do

so in the Gulf as the area works to

establish itself as a hub for blockchain

technology. The business, which

also operates a cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency News

exchange, announced that it has

reached an agreement with Dubai’s

Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority

(VARA), which will allow it to create

an office there and start employing. As

economic competition in the Gulf area

intensifies, the UAE has been pushing

for the creation of virtual asset

regulations to draw new business


October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 59

Real Estate

UAE real estate continues to draw

foreign investment

Global investors boosted their

participation in the real

estate market, particularly

in the luxury segment,

which drew large investment, in the

confidence that the emirate would

successfully combat the Covid-19

pandemic and implement consistent

economic policies, good infrastructure,

and corporate reforms. As a result, this

year saw a spectacular expansion of

the UAE real estate industry.

Rates shift over the last few years.

Despite the government’s attempts

to calm down the sector, the market

has received more than AED 170

billion in investments in the real estate

sector throughout the first seven

months of this year. The demand for

luxury villas, as well as apartments

and townhouses in good locations, is

projected to increase in the coming

months, fuelling Dubai’s real estate

sector’s ongoing upward trend.

Foreign buyers of real estate in

Dubai, which has grown to be one of

the most alluring investment places

in the world, have shown a strong

interest in the 10-year residency

program, Golden Visa.

Zoom Property Insights estimates

that Dubai will attract a significant

chunk of the $100 billion global

citizenship-by-investment market,

which is expected to grow five times

by 2025. Golden and silver visas will

attract significant investment in the

real estate industry since the emirate

adopted visa reforms at the ideal time.

Reports from the consulting

company Cluttons, showed the price

of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building

in the world and one of Dubai,

increased by 25% in 2013. Since 2010,

the average price of real estate has

climbed 13.6% worldwide.

According to Mohamed Alabbar, the

Chairman of the Board of Directors

of the Investment Company Emaar

Properties, the price of real estate

per square foot in 2008 was 10,000

dirhams ($2,700). Prices in 2009–2010

fell to 2400 dirhams per square foot as

a result of the world economic crisis.

Currently, the price per square foot

is 3750 dirhams, which is 50% more

expensive than it was in 2009.

Increased Indian investment

In addition, the recent relaxation of

limits on investor visas has increased

foreign investment in Dubai, with

Indians leading the charge. Anyone

Mohamed Alabbar, Founder &

Managing Director of Emaar


The market has received more than AED 170 billion in

investments in the real estate sector throughout the first

seven months of this year. The demand for luxury villas, as

well as apartments and townhouses in good locations, is

projected to increase in the coming months, fuelling Dubai’s

real estate sector’s ongoing upward trend.

60 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

willing to invest at least Dh2 million

in Dubai’s real estate industry is

currently eligible for Golden Visas

from reputable real estate developers.

According to Zoom Property

Insights, Indians in particular have

shown a great deal of interest in

the emirate’s rising popular market

because of the golden visa as

well as Dubai’s robust economy,

infrastructure, expatriate-friendly

policies, and safe environment.

Expo 2020 Dubai has also drawn

attention to the emirate’s potential,

not only in terms of hosting major

events in the midst of a worldwide

crisis, but also in terms of enhancing

its potential as a hub for both

enterprises and inhabitants.

Real estate growth in UAE due to


Over 24 million people visited

the world’s fair during its six-month

run, and the Dubai government has

been very clear about its long-term


The pandemic had a stronger

impact on commercial real estate

because tenants were compelled to

make difficult business decisions

and because they accelerated their

digitalization efforts to keep up

with what seemed to be a customer

exodus to virtual retail venues. As the

pandemic recovery process moves

forward, astute analysts are closely

monitoring the sector to find more

prognostic data.

Over 43,000 transactions of Dh115

billion took place in the Dubai real

estate market during the first half of

2022. When compared to the first half

of the previous year, these stunning

data show an increase of up to 87%.

June 2022 in particular reached a

record high with almost 8,900 sales

transactions with a recorded value of

Dh22.75 billion.

Similarly, the Abu Dhabi real estate

market made up lost ground during

the first half of 2022 and responded

by recording 7,474 real estate

transactions totalling Dh22.38 billion

between January and June 2022,

marking a significant gain over 2021.

Ata Shobeiry, CEO at Zoom

Property, said, “The golden visa of

the UAE brings along several benefits

with it. The fact that it’s a selfsponsored

visa that comes without

any limitations pertaining to moving in

and out of the region makes it feasible

for property investors. I believe with

relaxed regulations, there will be more

people getting this visa and foraying

into the Dubai property market.”

Since its debut in 2019, the UAE

golden visa has been granted to

more than 65,000 people working

in a variety of fields, including

entrepreneurship, science, and the

medical field, to name a few.

Even if e-commerce predominated

consumer spending, at least in the

UAE, physical shopping has largely

recovered from its low point in 2020

and is still an important part of both

locals’ and visitors’ everyday lives. In

the upcoming years, innovation—not

just “regular creativity,” but innovation

that can outperform the promises of

cutting-edge, lifelike innovations that

cater to people’s innate yearning for

comfort and ease—will define the

commercial real estate industry.

Operators and leaders in the real

estate industry are poised to usher in

a new lifestyle age marked by modern

and contemporary methods for people

to live, work, shop, and play. The

stats in the UAE appear to be on our

side, but maintaining that trajectory

and eventually securing the industry’s

future are the true obstacles.

According to statistics, the top

countries investing in the real estate

markets of Dubai and Abu Dhabi

are Russia, Ukraine, and the UK. In

addition, investors from Italy, France,

Canada, Pakistan, India, and Pakistan

have all made major investments in

both of these emirates.

Two key factors that draw HNWIs

and foreign investors to these

real estate markets are policies

that are welcoming to investors

and expatriates as well as strong

resistance to the global recession.

Investors are also eager to land bids

on luxury residences.

Dubai alone witnessed 82 deals for

ultra-prime residences in the first half,

paving the way for a record year for

such transactions.

According to Moody’s Investors

Service, the UAE property businesses’

credit quality will stay stable over the

next 12 to 18 months as increased oil

prices and a recovery in the services

industry underpin the nation’s robust

economic growth. The operational

climate in the second-largest economy

in the Arab world has greatly

improved, further enhancing the

credit profile of real estate firms with

Moody’s ratings. The rating agency

stated that this occurred despite the

dangers of growing inflation and

interest rates.

The economy expanded by 8.4% in

the first quarter of this year thanks

to rising oil prices and effective

Covid-19 mitigation measures, and it

is expected to rise at its best yearly

rate since 2011. According to data

from the Central Bank of the UAE, the

GDP, which grew by 3.8% in 2021, is

projected to rise by 5.4% and 4.2% in

2022 and 2023, respectively.

The UAE economy is expected to

expand by 5.7%, according to Emirates

NBD, and by 6%, according to Abu

Dhabi Commercial Bank, with the oil

sector playing a major role in both

projections. According to Moody’s,

the economy would grow by 6 to 7

percent in 2022, compared to the

IMF’s prediction of 4.2 percent for this


According to Property Finder,

Dubai also had the most sales

transactions in July in the previous

12 years. In the first half of the year,

Abu Dhabi registered 7,474 real estate

sales totaling more than Dh22.51

billion ($6.12 billion). According to

Moody’s analysts, “we anticipate

homebuilders will announce new

development projects to capitalise

on the favourable investor sentiment

and market momentum.” There is

sometimes a shortage of high-quality

master community developments.

One of the biggest alternative

investment managers in the world,

Apollo Global Management,

purchased a $400 million equity

holding in Aldar Investment

Properties in August. The acquisition

by Apollo is a component of its

$1.4 billion investment in Aldar’s

transformational growth ambitions

that was previously announced.

Retail property owners like Emaar

Malls Management will gain from the

reopening of international borders

and the improvement in tourism in

the UAE. In the upcoming 12 to 18

months, Moody’s anticipates that

average rents will remain constant.

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 61

Real Estate News




purchase of

Dubai Creek


At the company’s annual

meeting on September

1, the shareholders

of Emaar Properties

authorised the purchase of Dubai

Creek Harbour from Dubai Holding

and the sale of Namshi Holding to

Noon AD Holdings. In August, Emaar

Properties announced it would fully

acquire Dubai Creek Harbour from

Dubai Holding for a consideration

of Dhs7.5bn.According to a

statement released by the company,

“shareholders approved a motion to

acquire assets from Dubai Holding

and the issuance of a mandatory

convertible bond with an aggregate

value of Dhs3,750,000,000 to Dubai



Bay in Dubai

raises the bar

for recordbreaking


Jumeira Bay is one of

Dubai’s most well-known

neighbourhoods, and a home

there recently sold for Dh35.5

million, reflecting the real estate

investor’s sustained interest in the

area. The townhouse may have

become the most costly one ever sold

in the city as a result. The home is a

part of the Villa Amalfi development

on Jumeira Bay, which has been

establishing quite a few eye-popping

deals, including the sale of a plot for

Dh70 million and the price per square

foot of a three-bedroom apartment at

the Bulgari Resort and Residencies.

According to a senior executive at

Driven Properties, that makes it the

“highest recorded price per square

foot in the history of Dubai.”


rebrands for


stage of growth

For its upcoming phase of

growth, master developer

Nakheel has unveiled a

compelling positioning and

new brand promise. Nakheel will

support the Dubai 2040 Urban Master

Plan and position the emirate as the

best place to live in the world by

enhancing its appeal as a global travel

destination. The statement continued,

“The developer will further support

the Plan’s objectives of providing

the best urban infrastructure and

facilities, creating vibrant and

inclusive communities, promoting

greater economic activity, and

positioning Dubai as an aspirational

city to visit, live in, and thrive in.”

DLD and Dubai Chambers partner

for real estate sector

Amemorandum of

understanding (MoU)

between Dubai Chambers

and the Dubai Land

Department (DLD) aims to promote

transparency in the rental market in

Dubai and strengthen the investment

ecosystem in the emirate. The MoU

will allow business councils and

groups under the umbrella of Dubai

Chambers to own and rent real

62 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

estate and offices in the emirate,

offering an “ideal work environment”

for the business community. Abdul

Aziz Al Ghurair, chairman of Dubai

Chambers, said the agreement

establishes a strategic partnership

that complements the chambers’

2022-2024 strategy and ongoing efforts

to boost confidence in the real estate


Real estate sales in Dubai

reached $6.6 billion in August

According to Property Finder, the leading MENAT proptech

business, there were 9,720 total transactions in the Dubai real

estate market for AED24.3 billion in August, making it the best

performing month in terms of volume and value in 12 years. The

month of August had a monthly growth rate of roughly 37.1 percent and

69.6 percent compared to the prior year when comparing growth from one

period to the next. Value-wise, August increased by 16.1% from month to

month (MoM) and by around 63.6 percent from year to year (YoY). The

off-plan market saw the highest monthly volume in the preceding 12 years

with 4,392 properties worth AED8.5 billion exchanged.

Saudi Arabia’s


and real

estate projects

surpass $1.1


The enormous Saudi Arabian

Vision 2030 plan was unveiled

in 2016, and since then,

numerous infrastructure

and real estate projects have been

initiated, costing a combined total of

more than $1.1 trillion, according to

real estate consultancy Knight Frank.

Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia’s reform

programme, intends to transform the

nation’s economic system and prepare

it for the post-hydrocarbon age. A

number of “giga-projects” have been

launched by the monarchy as part of

the plan, including the development

of the Red Sea and the planned city of


Saudi Arabia PIF launches

digital portal for registering real


The UAE-NIH-CRI will support

ongoing and new deserving

scientific collaboration

between the UAE and the

US. It will promote collaborative

research between researchers in the

UAE and the US with interests in

infectious, immunologic, and allergy

illnesses. Through opportunities for

scientific training, the initiative will

also increase the UAE’s capacity for

biomedical research. The partner

organisations have committed a

total funding of almost Dh14 million

over a three-year period. Up to six

outstanding grants could be funded

over a three-year period by the UAE-


Unique Properties reports a surge

in the construction of artificial

lagoons in the UAE

An increasing interest in the country’s crystal lagoon area of real estate

developments has been noted by Unique Properties, one of Dubai’s

top real estate firms. In 2020, around 70% of customers in the MENA

region thought that the pandemic will severely alter their way of life.

Buyers now place a larger priority on purchasing sustainably built developments

in walkable communities that offer a higher standard of living and access to open

spaces. Residential constructions around man-made lagoons are nothing new.

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 63

Funding & Investment

Guidelines for attracting angel


Aperson or organization that

provides early financial

support to businesses

or entrepreneurs with

little access to cash is known as

an angel investor or angel donor.

Usually, the ownership interest is

required in exchange for this. The

offered angel cash could be a onetime

sum or a steady stream of

financial assistance. Angel investors

fund start-up companies when the

likelihood of failure is greatest. An

angel investment serves to support

companies that have great potential

but might not have easy access to

conventional financing. For example,

many new enterprises may not be

eligible for bank loans because they

lack a history of good credit. An angel

investor may decide to invest for

reasons other than money, such as:

• a new generation of entrepreneurs

with mentoring

• to support innovation in an area and

stay up to date with advancements

• allowing others to benefit from the

investor’s resources and contacts

Angel investment is distinct in a

number of ways due to the substantial

risk of failure involved with investing

64 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

Angel investment is

distinct in a number

of ways due to the

substantial risk of failure

involved with investing

in start-up businesses.

Compared to traditional

investors, angel

investors want greater

internal rates of return-in

some cases, 10 times

their initial investment.

in start-up businesses.

Compared to traditional investors,

angel investors want greater internal

rates of return—in some cases, 10

times their initial investment.

Angel investors contribute money

from their funds that they can afford

to invest.

Due to this, angels typically

limit the percentage of their whole

investment portfolio that is made up

of angel investments to no more than


Angel investors fund start-ups

in their very early stages and are

essential to the local business

environment. According to Ramesh

Jagannathan, executive director of

the innovation and entrepreneurship

platform StartAD, “one way to look

at them is that they offer significant

assistance in helping the start-ups

bridge the valley of debt.” “They fill

that void”.

For investors and company owners

in the UAE looking for business

partners, seed cash to start a business

and private finance to expand their

firm, the Middle Eastern division of

Angel Investment Network is a great

online resource. Through a quick

registration process on this network,

you can establish connections within

the city, nation, or area of your

choice. The Middle East Investment

Network is certain to have a UAE

entrepreneur with a proposed plan of

business in your selected market of

business, no matter what it may be.

You can choose to view only pertinent

postings from business people who

are interested in the same kinds of

investment opportunities as you are

by using the selective filters on our

network, regardless of the place you

are concentrating on.

Angel investment growth in

Middle East

About half of the investor

community in the MENA are earlystage

investors, according to a report

published by Arabnet that questioned

150 investors. Unfortunately, there

are still not enough angels for the

UAE and the rest of the region. “There

are 300,000 angel investors in the

US, and there are 400 of these angel

associations. We need additional

organizations like VentureSouq, Wain,

and Womena, which are already

operating here, according to Najla Al

Midfa, general manager of Sheraa,

the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center.

A lot of investors are still interested

in participating because the rewards

they might expect to gain should

the company they back succeed can

be enormous. The next unicorn, or

a start-up with a valuation of more

than $1 billion, is what many angel

investors are aiming for.

In 2013, Sonia Weymuller, a 33-yearold

Frenchwoman, and her friends

Tammer Qaddumi, Sonia Gokhale,

and Suneel Gokhale all developed an

interest in angel investing. She was

seeking to do something fascinating

with the money she had to invest,

but it soon turned into something far

more. With the original four partners

plus a fifth headquartered in Saudi

Arabia, it is now a company named

VentureSouq. If they have the financial

means to invest, it promises to turn

everyone into an angel. It is a platform

for early-stage equity finance with

an investing and education aspect,

according to Ms. Weymuller. Since

2013, it has completed 20 fundraising

rounds into 14 businesses, including

Knot Standard, an online retailer

of tailored suits, and the financial

comparison website Souqalmal. It

offers access to 750 investors in the

GCC, however, the majority are from

the UAE. But not everyone makes

investments. The majority of the

quarterly investor round-ups have an

average attendance of roughly 100


A new financial product that

complies with Shariah will be

launched in Muslim markets after

an Islamic Fintech business, IMAN,

secured USD 1 million in seed

funding. With the help of technology,

the new platform democratizes

financial access while respecting

local beliefs and religions. Rustam

Rahmatov and Mark Zubov founded

IMAN intending to become one of the

top halal fintech firms in the Muslim

world. IMAN Pay, a halal BNPL (buynow-pay-later)

solution, and IMAN

Invest, an investing platform, are two

of the company’s products. IMAN

Invest manages over $1.2 million

users from over 1,000 retail investors

across 60 countries, with 30,000 active

users. Additionally, Halal BNPL has

connections to over 100 businesses

that provide goods and services in the

fields of consumer electronics, home

appliances, sports, healthcare, and


Eight venture capital and

institutional investment funds,

including Battery Road Digital

Holdings, Tesla Capital, UZCARD

Ventures, MyAsiaVC, Le Mercier’s

Capital, Block0, Vector Crypto

Capital, and IT-Park Investments,

completed the $1 million round. The

company’s intentions to make halal

BNPL and investments accessible

to everyone, initially in Uzbekistan

and later globally, have also received

support from a number of angel

investors from the UAE, the United

States, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and

Singapore. Battery Road’s Ed Simnett

said, “The first investment BRDH has

made in Central Asia is IMAN. We

are incredibly enthusiastic about the

team, the industry, and the market.

Super app enterprises were involved

in a number of our success stories.

The prospect for the IMAN team to

develop a halal superapp is fascinating

because of the interaction between

a quickly expanding economy and

customers’ growing comfort with


Don’t give up if your expanding firm

needs financing but you have used all

of your resources. The angel investors

are trustworthy. The Angel Capital

Association estimates that each year,

angel investors fund $25 billion in

70,000 businesses. Investments are

made in start-ups or very early-stage

businesses frequently. Angels come

in many different forms, but they are

not necessarily prevalent. Selling your

company’s stock door to door would

be a mistake. Selling stock in a private

firm to angel investors is subject to

severe regulations from the Securities

and Exchange Commission (SEC).

It’s easier than you may imagine

gaining access to a variety of DeFi

platforms, from crypto to NFTs and

beyond. You can trade and store

assets. Angel investors are a crucial

source of funding for early-stage

businesses created by women. These

are folks whose lifestyles wouldn’t be

affected if they lost their investment

due to financial constraints.

Beyond contacting venture capital

firms and seeking bank loans, there

is a new and successful means of

fundraising. Larger businesses are

utilizing the innovative concepts

and nimbleness of start-ups to foster

corporate innovation in their pursuit

of progress and novel solutions.

You will not only receive greater

financial assistance for your company

if you establish more long-term

working partnerships with bigger

organizations, but you can also

demonstrate to decision-makers the

market leadership and competitive

edge you can give them.

Over the past few years, there has

been more financing made available

to start-ups. It’s critical to focus on

funding sources that are right for

you, your company’s beliefs, and

your strategic direction. Options

range from private organizations

to a growing network of VCs, angel

investors, and chances for corporate

innovation. It’s not only about the

money when it comes to building the

correct networks and relationships

for funding, it’s also a means to obtain

priceless market and business insights

that will help your firm last much


October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 65

Funding & Investment News

Saudi startup

Elevatus raises

$10.5 million

in a Series A

funding round

Elevatus, a software business

based in Saudi Arabia,

has raised $10.5 million

after a Series A investment

round. Wa’ed Ventures, the venture

capital division of Aramco, and the

venture capital firm Global Ventures

jointly led the funding round. Jasoor

Ventures was an additional investor.

The company, which provides video

interviewing and recruitment software

to the HR industry, hopes to extend its

market share and speed up business

growth with the help of this cash

infusion. In order to improve the

entire employment process, it is also

considering expanding into other

areas and investing in goods with

cutting-edge AI technology.


Arabia signs

agreements for


projects worth

$6.66 billion

The Ministry of Finance signed

several financing agreements

totaling SR25 billion with

several local banks to speed

up the completion of a number of

infrastructure projects scheduled to

start in 2023 and 2024. The National

Debt Management Center arranged

the aforementioned financings in

order to facilitate and assist important

infrastructure projects that are

consistent with the Kingdom’s Vision

2030. In line with Saudi Vision 2030,

the Kingdom has been constructing its

way toward being the largest building

site in the world since the National

Transformation Plan was introduced

in 2016.

Reddit co-founder plans new

cryptocurrency fund for $177 million

The Information revealed

that Alex Ohanian’s venture

capital company, Seven Seven

Six, is launching Kryptós, a

new cryptocurrency-focused fund.

The fund plans to expand through

what they refer to as “discount

investments” when it launches in

October. During a market downturn,

the fund will purchase cryptocurrency

dips to construct assets at supposedly

“discounted rates.” A 2.5 percent

management fee per investor will

be added to the profits, which will

initially be distributed to investors

at a rate of 25%. Notably, the returns

could increase to 35% if Kryptós is

successful in achieving returns of five

times or higher.




first utilityscale

wind farm

Masdar, one of the world’s

leading renewable energy

companies, announced

that it has achieved

financial close on the 500-megawatt

(MW) Zarafshan wind project –

Uzbekistan’s first utility-scale wind

farm. The declaration was made after

a ceremony in Tashkent, the capital

of Uzbekistan, to commemorate

the event. The keynote address at

the event was delivered by Jamshid

Khodjayev, Deputy Prime Minister and

Minister of Investments and Foreign

Trade for the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Niall Hannigan, Chief Financial Officer

for Masdar, also spoke. Additionally

present were Sherzod Khodjaev,

Uzbekistan’s Deputy Minister

of Energy, and Shukhrat Vafaev,

Uzbekistan’s Deputy Minister of

Investments and Foreign Trade.

Alexis Ohanian Sr. – Founder of

Seven Seven Six

66 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

Investcorp provides $100 million

in pre-IPO capital to Trukker

Hazem Ben-Gacem, Co-CEO of


Investcorp Saudi Pre-IPO Growth Fund LP headed the pre-IPO financing,

according to the privately held TruKKer Holding, which has a substantial

digital freight network covering Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and

surrounding nations. Investcorp supported the initial close of this transaction

with a $51 million investment. Investcorp led the initial close of the round

with a $51m investment alongside new and existing investors. “Saudi Arabia is

increasingly rich in highly investible companies, from fast-growing technology

companies like TruKKer to long-established family businesses that have grown

consistently and are now looking for capital to implement more aggressive

expansion plans,” said Hazem Ben-Gacem, co-CEO of Investcorp.


and UAE sign

$900 million



The Kazakh PM met with UAE

President Sheikh Mohamed

bin Zayed Al Nahyan in

Abu Dhabi, as the two

countries mark the 30th anniversary

of diplomatic relations. Emphasizing

the increased number of joint projects

and the friendly ties between the two

states, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed

Al Nahyan expressed his full support

for all areas of bilateral cooperation

with Kazakhstan. During the visit,

the Kazakh delegation presented

the Emirati companies with 40

investment projects worth $6.5 billion

in mining, agriculture, oil and gas, and


Dubai FDI receives UN

recognition for its foreign


The “Dubai FDI Monitor”,

an open data initiative of

the agency, which is part of

the emirate’s Department

of Economy and Tourism, was

recognized as best practice among

investment promotion agencies

for monitoring and evaluation by

the United Nations Economic and

Social Commission for Asia and

Emaar’s Dubai Creek Tower used

as recruiting tool for foreign


Despite the Dubai Creek

Tower project being put

on indefinite hold, real

estate agents in Dubai

have kept using rendered renderings

of the building. Although the project

has been inactive for more than two

years, advertisements for it claim

“panoramic” and “theatrical” views

of the skyscraper. The real estate

sector in Dubai attracts a significant

portion of foreign investors, many of

whom use online portals to check for

property in the emirate.

the Pacific. The first city-level FDI

reporting system in the world, Dubai

FDI Monitor tracks, and records five

different types of foreign investment

flows in real-time, including greenfield

FDI and new forms of investments,

using the advanced methodology and

smart features, Dubai FDI said.

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 67

Special Feature

Top 10

Investment Firms in UAE

Dubai Investment Fund (DIF)

01 www.dif.ae | Dubai, UAE


Established in 2001, the Dubai Investment

Fund (DIF) is one of the world’s largest private

independent investment funds founded to

effectively manage financial resources through

diversification into new asset classes and

growth-oriented investments. DIF seeks socially,

economically and environmentally attractive

investment opportunities and goes beyond

short-term returns as DIF seeks balanced and

sustainable growth to maximize long-term


KAMCO Investment Company

www.kamcoinvest.com | Kuwait City, Kuwait

Established in Kuwait in 1998 and listed on Bursa

Kuwait in 2003, KAMCO is a truly enormous

financial services provider. Although they are

headquartered in Kuwait, they have built a

significant presence in the UAE since they opened

a branch in the Dubai International Finance

Centre in 2016.Over their 24 years of operation,

they have built an extensive track record in

multiple sections of the financial markets

– wealth management, asset management,

investment banking, brokerage, and even equity


68 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022


SHUAA Capital

www.shuaa.com | Dubai, UAE


Mubadala Development

www.mubadala.com | Abu Dhabi, UAE


Established in 1979 as the Arabian General

Investment Corporation, SHUAA capital is the

oldest surviving fund on this list. The firm has

kept going through several periods of financial

turmoil, especially the Asian crisis of 1997 and

the financial crisis of 2008. More importantly, it

has been here for almost all of the development

of the modern UAE, contributing, where possible,

to the country’s growth.

Emirates NBD Asset Management

www.emiratesnbd.com | Dubai, UAE


Mudabala is classified as a global pioneering

investor that deploys capital with ingenuity and

integrity for accelerating economic growth for the

benefit of Abu Dhabi in the long-run. Being the

leading strategic investment corporation in Abu

Dhabi, it is currently active in around 13 sectors

and above 30 countries across the globe, forming

a lasting value for their shareholder, the Abu

Dhabi government.

Wasaya Investments

www.wasayainvestments.com | Dubai, UAE


Established in 2006, EMBD has grown into

becoming one of the top 5 asset managers in the

Dubai International Financial Centre. Although

it’s a subsidiary of the giant Emirates NBD bank,

it has enough independence to be nimble as

required in the fast-moving world of investment,

while retaining enough oversight from the parent

bank to keep everything in line.

Alkhair Capital

www.alkhaircapital.ae | Dubai, UAE


Headquartered in Dubai, UAE, Wasaya

Investments works across projects in MENA,

Indian subcontinent and APEC, where it has a

significant impact on helping SMEs & corporates

to achieve growth. Its vision is to support

entrepreneurs who have amazing business

models and innovation zeal, guiding them through

the way and helping them to make the right


Gulf Capital

www.gulfcapital.com | Dubai, UAE


Founded in 2014, the firm is dedicated to

providing Sharia-compliant Islamic investment

services to a burgeoning clientele in the Middle

East; who want to stay true to their concept while

participating in the financial markets. Located

in the lofty Emirates Financial Towers in Dubai

International Financial Centre, Alkhair is another

one of the biggest investments in the UAE.

Waha Capital

www.wahacapital.com | Abu Dhabi, UAE


Gulf Capital is a leading thematically driven and

socially conscious alternative investment firm

with over sixteen years of investment experience

in Growth Markets across Private Equity, Private

Debt and Real Estate. Gulf Capital partners

with dynamic entrepreneurs and exceptional

management teams to provide them with growth

capital, strategic advice and operational expertise

to build market leading global businesses.

Ithmar Capital

www.ithmar.com | Dubai, UAE

Waha Capital is an Abu Dhabi-listed investment

management company with a diversified and

balanced portfolio of local and international

assets that delivers sustainable income and

long-term value creation to its stakeholders. The

company operates in a wide variety of sectors

that include public securities and credit markets,

healthcare, industrial real estate, infrastructure,

energy, financial services, travel and fintech.

Founded in 2005, Ithmar Capital is yet another

one of the UAE’s largest investment funds. Like

most of the others on this list, it is headquartered

in the Dubai International Financial Centre.

The firm offers a multi-asset class investment

platform, with alternative investment strategies

focused on absolute returns and targeting

investment opportunities primarily operating in

the MENA region.

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 69


Investment Firms in UAE

Wasaya Investments

leading the investments

into SMEs business

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) always look for opportunities to stay competitive

and remain ahead of current trends. In the shadow of the current global economic and energy

crisis, many great global economies are fighting to keep inflation under control and avoid

recession, which means that many SMEs and startups are suffering the main part of the

crisis. This followed the pressures of the COVID-19 Pandemic, which led to lockdowns and

restrictions that burdened most SMEs and startups around the globe. SMEs and startups need

to make the right decision when it comes to fundraising be it equity or debt.

70 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

Wasaya Investments, headquartered

in Dubai, UAE,

works across projects

in MENA, the Indian

subcontinent, and APEC, where it has

a significant impact on helping SMEs

and start-ups to achieve growth. Its vision

is to support entrepreneurs who

have amazing business models and

innovation zeal, guiding them through

the way and helping them to make the

right growth decisions.

Dubai offers all that an SME or a

startup needs to achieve success and

thrive, for it has become one of the

most attractive business hubs in the

world, thanks to the government’s

endeavor to promote innovation and

support creative ideas which have

the potential to generate innovative

projects that would contribute to

the growth of the nation’s economy

and intensify its position as one of

the most innovative hubs around the


Wasaya Investments views any

business in terms of its scalability

and help SMEs and startup reach

the required level of expandability.

According to the company, any

business should be scalable, which is

tremendously important for achieving

growth, all in all with financial


Mentoring SMEs and startups

In line with its vision to help

entrepreneurs and guide SMEs and

startups throughout the way, Wasaya

Investments conducts numerous case

studies, including case studies on

fintech, trading, and manufacturing.

In addition to that, its mentors have

always been a great source for

entrepreneurs to get more insights

about the industry and the company

itself and all updates related to it.

The investment firm offers righttime

investments and growth advice

to SMEs and startups to help them

stay in constant growth and great

ideas. The Company advises each

entrepreneur to conduct a market

study to have an opportunity to

turn their ideas into successful

businesses. Knowing the market

and the competition enables SMEs

and startups to collect data on their

prospective clients and companies

already active in their region, allowing

them to use this data to identify

competitive advantages for their


Competitive analyses, on the

other hand, help startups and SMEs

make their businesses unique, while

combining these analyses allow them

to find competitive advantages for

their small businesses.

Moreover, the company urges SMEs

and startups to have clear a business

plan, which will form the foundation

of their businesses and be a roadmap

for how to structure, run, and grow


The investment

firm offers



and growth

advice to SMEs

and startups to

help them stay

in constant

growth and

great ideas.

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 71

Digital Assets

The latest trends of where to put the

digital assets today

Digital assets are gaining

popularity and awareness,

particularly among start-ups

and the younger generation

of investors. Due to the highly volatile

nature of virtual currencies, the

almost complete lack of government

oversight of digital assets could lead

to fragile assets. Investors should

be aware that it is encouraging to

see the UAE taking a keen interest

in the virtual asset market. This

demonstrates the nation’s steadfast

intention to acknowledge, formalize,

and reduce investment risks in virtual


The UAE government has taken the

initiative to speed up the adoption of

virtual assets and is creating new legal

frameworks to protect investors from

undue vulnerability and encryption

flaws. Digital assets present the

UAE with another chance to further

establish itself as a secure and alluring

investment location on a global scale.

What is Digital Assets?

In general, everything that is

created and saved digitally can be

identified and found and has or offers

value is considered a digital asset. As

technology continues to permeate

both our personal and professional

lives, digital assets have grown in

popularity and worth. Digital assets

can be in any format with ownership

rights, including data, photographs,

movies, written content, and more.

The majority of digital items, like

a business’s brand, can be given a

value—either monetary or intangible.

A family photo on your phone that

was shot at a gathering can be one

of those digital assets that only have

value to the originator or one person.

Others may be useful to a much

broader audience.

Organizations used to own and

exploit digital assets like data or

scanned documents to create value.

Digital assets were, however, once

more redefined in 2009 with the

advent of blockchain technology and

cryptocurrencies. Tokenization on a

block chain transformed everything in

digital form into something that could

be utilized to generate value.

The words, photographs, videos,

music, and documents we typically

identify with the term “digital

asset” have evolved into more. The

72 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

blockchain, a distributed public ledger

protected by a consensus mechanism,

was released together with Bitcoin

in 2009. Since data had grown to be a

priceless digital asset that needed to

be protected, managed, and stored,

the idea was not new. There had been

distributed ledgers and the data they

held for some time.

Nevertheless, it was unfamiliar to

the majority of individuals who lived

and work in fields other than data

science, management, analysis, or any

other that called for vast, distributed

data networks.

A digital asset must first have the

ability to produce value, meaning that

it can be used in a way that benefits

the owner, to be regarded as an

asset. The digital asset should then

be capable of passing ownership by

purchase, gifting, or other means of

granting the rights to someone else,

along with the value the thing can add.

Additionally, it needs to be findable or

stored in an accessible location.

Guide and adoption of digital


Over the past several years, there

have been plenty of changes in the

wealth and investment environment,

and new technologies have emerged

as a big factor, with digital assets

being the most significant. The

ecology brings both opportunities and

concerns as it ages.

Across all markets, demand for

digital assets is rising quickly. A

leading financial services company

found that traditional investors like

hedge funds and family offices have

increased their exposure to digital

assets across all major markets. The

vast majority of investors view digital

assets favourably.

International private banks,

both large and small, have varying

degrees of commitment to the world

of digital assets. Some are outright

opposed to it, while others have

given it serious consideration. The

trend line, however, is unmistakable:

increased investor demand and

alluring commissions in this

industry are strong incentives to

participate. Even if they are only

facilitating participation rather than

actively promoting or encouraging

investment, the majority of banks

and other businesses claim that they

must be involved in order to avoid

disappointing clients. Some claim

that their participation is fostering

knowledge and expertise within

their banks and advisory firms. They

all prefer to steer clients toward

professionally structured active or

passive funds rather than self-directed

trading, and all tend to advise caution

rather than exuberance.

They all point out the expanding

ecosystem and infrastructure, and

some of the bigger banks are actually

making indirect investments in

companies or technologies connected

to the digital asset revolution,

including not just cryptocurrencies

but also a wider variety of tokens.

The development of more skilled

and reliable crypto/digital asset

wallet infrastructure and custody, as

well as the expansion of authorized

exchanges and intermediaries, were

all mentioned by respondents.

Upcoming trends in digital assets

The topic of investing in digital

assets has been the focus of numerous

discussions over the past few years.

Although the effects of the technology

are still largely unknown to the

general public, many experts believe

that it presents an interesting new

investment opportunity. Investment

companies and buyers of virtual

assets are increasingly examining

market trends to decide whether this

is a profitable industry to invest in.

But recent developments have also

made it abundantly evident that while

virtual assets have the potential to

bring huge gains, the market is also

very unpredictable, and the bubble

might pop at any time.

Basically, digital assets can be

utilised as a means of exchange in

place of traditional money. Strong

cryptography is used to secure

the ledger, which contains the

transactional details, so that it can

be saved as a digital database. Digital

technology appeals to investors due to

a variety of benefits it offers. Investors

are particularly drawn to processes

that are streamlined and quick to

process data, improve delivery times,

are less difficult, are less expensive,

etc. Asset management companies

express concern about the use of

virtual assets, though, citing their

volatility and lack of regulation.

Investors are wary of digital assets’

current level of security and technical

capabilities despite the general

consensus that they will undoubtedly

be of enormous use in the future.

The three biggest crypto trends in


The cryptosphere is advancing at

the speed of light. Layer 2 solutions

like Polygon and Arbitrum, which

enable the scalability of the Ethereum

ecosystem, have taken off in 2021,

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 73

Digital Assets

Investment companies and

buyers of virtual assets are

increasingly examining market

trends to decide whether this is

a profitable industry to invest

in. But recent developments

have also made it abundantly

evident that while virtual

assets have the potential to

bring huge gains, on the other

hand the market is also very

unpredictable, and the bubble

might pop at any time.

as have a number of Ethereum rivals

including Solana and Avalanche.

Bitcoin and DeFi

The Bitcoin network, in the

opinion of many Bitcoiners, is the

most secure blockchain, making it

the most difficult form of payment

ever. Therefore, it seems to make

sense that they would request DeFi

services on the safest chain using

the most difficult money. These are

made possible by Bitcoin sidechains,

and a completely new ecosystem

is currently emerging. Even if they

follow different strategies, sidechains

like RSK, Stacks, Liquid, and

Mintlayer are making great strides

toward their common objective of

offering the greatest DeFi and smart

contract solutions for Bitcoin.

Demand for interoperability is


Anyone who has previously

used services and apps on various

74 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

blockchains and layers is familiar with

the challenges this might bring up.

Investors need many cryptocurrency

wallets, and moving money from

one blockchain to another can be

complicated and call for in-depth

knowledge. The same holds true for

money that needs to be transferred

from one layer to another, as from

the Ethereum blockchain (layer 1) to

Polygon (layer 2). Additionally, it is

currently very expensive to transact

using Ethereum. Independent of the

amount moved, the transaction costs

for moving money from Ethereum to a

second layer protocol can easily range

from $50 to $100.

The future of the Internet:

Metaverse, NFTs, and GameFi

The term “metaverse” has gained

popularity since Facebook changed

its name to Meta. A virtual and

enhanced reality can be experienced

in the metaverse, a futuristic

digital environment. It combines

a vision for the internet’s future

with some present developments

in online infrastructure, such as

the development of 3D worlds,

and it appears to be closely related

to the world of cryptocurrencies,

particularly NFTs.

The popularity of crypto initiatives,

especially gaming tokens, that are

pursuing some form of metaverse

vision has also increased. They can

design, distribute, and sell in-game

assets in the form of NFTs in their

virtual worlds. Such initiatives are

particularly intriguing because they

unite the endless universe of virtual

worlds, also known as metaverses,

with the advantages that NFTs offer

in terms of money. This enables users

to be paid in real money for their ingame

innovation and expertise.

Corporate Tax

Effect of corporate tax on UAE business

A direct tax imposed on the profits of business entities is known as corporate tax. Business owners

who were subject to the tax would effectively have to pay taxes on the firm’s income as well as

taxes on production, personnel, property, and environmental impact.

From June of next year,

non-residents who conduct

business in the UAE through

a permanent establishment

will be charged corporate tax.

According to the UAE government,

this is neither a tax on people nor

their income. This indicates that

an individual’s salary and other

work income will not be subject to

company tax.

As is the case in several GCC

nations, corporate tax will also be

paid by entrepreneurs or business

owners in a variety of industries, most

notably oil and finance. As a result,

the region as a whole has a wide range

of government fees and levies placed

on all industry sectors.

Over the minimal threshold of

Dh375,000 in annual earnings, income

from operations carried out under a

freelance license or licence will be

liable to tax. Individuals who invest in

real estate in their personal capacity

should not be subject to restrictions

if they are not required to seek a

business license or authorization to

do so.

In order to draw in foreign

investors and business owners, Gulf

economies like the UAE have long

maintained low or no taxes. Due to

its favorable tax policies compared

to those of most other nations in

the area, the UAE continues to be a

desirable location for international

investment. However, a number of

reforms have been implemented

to diversify the region’s economic

sources while lowering its reliance

on them. Value-added taxes have

already been announced in a number

of Gulf nations, including the UAE,

while other nations are introducing

alternative types of taxes.

When it comes to the corporate

tax laws of the UAE, there are a few

exceptions, including those for the

extraction of natural resources, real

estate income, investment returns,

investment returns from foreign

investors, and income people make in

their individual capacities outside of

the UAE trade or business network,

and many more.

Corporate tax is very significant and

can have a very positive impact on the

economy of the UAE. All of the money

it generates serves as a source of

revenue for the country, and it can be

very beneficial for businesses to avoid

paying additional income taxes.

“With the help of double tax treaty

networks, UAE will be at a much

better position in the corporate tax

rate, alongside it will also strengthen

the entire position in terms of

transparency and tax structure,” said

Vikas Arora, chief executive of Dubaibased

service provider CXO.

Additionally, he continued,

“corporate tax would also boost

UAE’s position in terms of

openness, adoption of Organization

for Economic Cooperation and

Development guidelines to ensure

firms operate with the proper

governance and tax structure.

Taxes are the primary source of

income for governments worldwide;

they aid in their operations and

provide additional funding, but

there is a significant difference

between corporate tax and VAT,

which is typically an indirect tax.

Businesses collect VAT on behalf of

the government with the intention of

taxing consumers. Corporate taxes,

on the other hand, will simplify

operations and encourage foreign


October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 75

Corporate Results

Apex results in H1-22

Net Profits: AED 103.69


Apex Investment Company, formerly

known as Ras Al Khaimah Cement

(RAK Cement), has turned to net

profits worth AED 103.69 million in

the first half (H1) of 2022, against net

losses of AED 7.18 million in H1-21.

The sales jumped to AED 440.99

million in the first six months (6M) of

2022, compared to AED 76.97 million

during the same period a year earlier,

according to a bourse disclosure.

Meanwhile, the basic earnings per

share (EPS) stood at AED 0.041 in

H1-22, versus a loss per share of AED

0.014 in the year-ago period. The

company’s revenues amounted to

AED 277.47 million in the January-

March 2022 period, higher than AED

29.65 million in Q2-21.

Dubai Financial Market

results in H1-22

Net profit: AED 63.4


The Dubai Financial Market (DFM)

has announced its consolidated

financial results for the first half of

the year ending June 30. It recorded

a 63 percent increase in its net profit

to Dhs63.4m compared to Dhs38.8m

during the corresponding period of

2021. The net profit of the second

quarter of 2022 increased by 134

percent to Dhs35.9m compared

to Q2 2021’s level of Dhs15.3m.

The company’s total consolidated

revenue reached Dhs163.8m in H1

2022 compared to Dhs136.6m during

H1 2021. The revenue comprised

Dhs121.4m of operating income and

Dhs42.4m of investment income and


76 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

Dubai Investments results

in H1-22

Net profit: AED 364 million

Dubai Investments PJSC, the leading,

diversified investment company

listed on the Dubai Financial Market

(DFM), has reported a 20.5% rise in

net profits to AED 364 million for the

six months ended June 30, 2022, as

compared to AED 302 million during

the corresponding period of 2021.

The growth in the profit by AED

62.01 million is mainly driven by the

continued strong performance of the

Group’s manufacturing, contracting

& services segments. Total assets for

the Group remained stable at AED 22

billion. Total equity increased to AED

12.1 billion compared to AED 11.98

billion during the same period last


Anghami results in H1-22

Net Revenue: $21.1


Emirates Group invites all UAE-based

computer workers to a web-based

info session where it will announce

its hiring initiative. In the coming

months, more than 800 positions

for IT professionals will become

available. Software engineering,

DevOps, hybrid cloud, Agile delivery,

technical product management, the

digital workplace, cybersecurity,

IT architecture, innovation, and

service management are among the

disciplines that require professionals.

The IT department of Emirates Group

works on B2C, B2B, support, and

operational projects for more than 40

brands and businesses in Dubai and

other parts of the world.

Majid Al Futtaim results in


EBITDA: 18% increase

One of the major private sector

companies in Dubai and the largest

mall operator in the Middle East,

Majid Al Futtaim Holding, announced

an 18% increase in first-half earnings

as revenue was lifted by a boosted

resurgence in the retail and leisure

sectors amid a solid economic

recovery. Earnings before interest,

taxes, depreciation, and amortization

(Ebitda) for the six months to the

end of June climbed to Dh1.9 billion

($517.71 million), the privately-held

conglomerate said in a statement.

Revenue for the first six months of

the year climbed 15 percent yearon-year

to Dh18bn, underpinned by

strong operational performance,

diversification efforts, and cost


AUB Egypt results in H1-22

Net Profit: EGP 915.84


Ahli United Bank – Egypt (AUBEgypt)

has posted a hike in consolidated net

profit after tax to EGP 915.84 million

in the first half (H1) of 2022, versus

EGP 586.89 million in H1-21. The net

interest income amounted to EGP

1.28 billion in the January-June 2022

period, higher than EGP 1.01 billion

in the year-ago period, according to

the financial results. Additionally,

the net fees and commission income

totaled EGP 218.66 million in the first

six months (6M) of 2022, compared to

EGP 159.11 million in H1-21.

Borouge results in H1-22

Net Income: $853 million

UAE’s petrochemical company

Borouge, announced strong financial

results for the first six months of

2022, with a 16.4 percent increase

in revenue to $3,460m for H1 2022,

versus the same period last year,

driven by sales volume growth of 8.6

percent and average price per tonne

growth of 4.1 percent. In its first

earnings as a listed company, Borouge

reported that the adjusted earnings

before interest, taxes, depreciation

and amortization (EBITDA) increased

1.7 percent to $1,512m, whilst net

income increased 2.5 percent to


ADNOC Drilling results in


Net Profit: $379 million

International Holding Company results in H1-22

Net Profit: AED 10.35 billion

Abu Dhabi-based conglomerate International Holding Company (IHC) has

reported robust profits for H1 2022. International Holding Company’s revenue

grew by 121 percent to Dhs21.93bn in the first six months of 2022, compared

to the same period last year, while net profit rose 137 percent to Dhs10.35bn as

compared to H1 2021. The holding company’s strategic acquisition of companies

in H1 2022 boosted the organization’s net worth, as the total assets exceeded the

company liabilities increasing from Dhs88.98bn by the end of December 31, 2021,

to Dhs163.69bn at the end of June 30, 2022, reflecting an 84% growth.

DIFC results in H1-22

New entities: 537

increase of 11%

Dubai International Financial Centre

(DIFC), a global financial center in

the Middle East, Africa, and South

Asia (MEASA) region registered

robust growth in the first half (H1) of

2022. The strong performance came

in line with DIFC’s Strategy 2030 to

strengthen the future of finance and

boost its economic contribution to

Dubai, according to a recent press

release. DIFC posted an 11% year-todate

rise in the total number of new

entities to 537 in H1-22. Meanwhile,

the number of enterprises operating

in the financial hub amounted to 4,031

in the first six months (6M) of 2022, an

annual jump of 22% from 3,297.

Emirates Global Aluminium

results in H1-22

Net Profit: AED 5.9 billion

Emirates Global Aluminium, the major

industrial player in the UAE, has had

its best half-year ever, and its H1-2022

net profit is already higher than its

full-year 2021 total. A net profit of

Dh5.9 billion, as opposed to Dh1.7

billion a year earlier, was achieved

thanks to “strong operational

performance.” (The total for the

entire 2021 year was Dh5.5 billion.)

A 600 million dollar interim dividend

has been proposed by EGA. With the

record total, a corporate debt of Dh2.9

billion was also paid off ahead of


ADNOC Drilling Company announced

its financial results for the half year

and second quarter ending 30th June

2022. The company’s net profit for

H1 significantly grew by 34% to $379

million, while revenue increased

13% to $1.27 billion compared to

the same period last year. The first

half of EBITDA was $580 million,

up 16% year-on-year, with a marketleading

margin of 45.7%, as the

company made exceptional progress

in delivering further cost savings.

Year-on-year revenue growth was led

by the Onshore segment, as ADNOC

Drilling continues to enable ADNOC’s

program to significantly grow

production capacity. The company’s

Oilfield Services (OFS) segment also

achieved strong year-on-year gains.

Arab African International Bank results in H1-22

Net Profit: $90.49 million

Arab African International Bank

(AAIB) has posted a hike in

standalone net profit after tax to

$90.49 million in the first half (H1)

of 2022, compared to $70.66 million

in H1-21. The earnings per share

(EPS) stood at $0.82 in the January-

June 2022 period, higher than $0.64

during the same period a year earlier,

according to the financial results.

Furthermore, the net interest income

reached $192.56 million in H1-22,

versus $163.51 million in H1-21. In

the first six months (6M) of 2022, the

lender registered net income from

fees and commissions worth $28.80

million, down from $30.95 million in


October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 77


Aviation sector catching up with global

financial crisis

Airlines were grounded and air travel was halted worldwide due to the COVID-19 situation, with

far-reaching economic repercussions. Here are the points that illustrate the primary issues that

airlines are currently facing as well as the significant changes that could occur in this crucial

sector in the future in addition to how the aviation sector has strong comeback in the region.

Despite easing travel

restrictions, the global

economic downturn

and travelers’ fear of

contracting the virus are expected

to continue to have an impact on

passenger numbers. With businesses

recognizing the financial benefits

of video meetings and online

conferences, business travel is also

anticipated to remain subdued. In a

challenging economic environment,

such savings will be especially


At a compound annual growth

rate (CAGR) of 5.31%, the market for

business jets worldwide is projected

to increase from $19.96 billion in

2021 to $21.02 billion in 2022. With

a compound annual growth rate

(CAGR) of 5.85%, the market for

business jets is predicted to reach

$26.38 billion in 2026.

The sales of aircraft in the

78 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

commercial, military, and general

aviation markets in the Middle

Eastern region are collectively

referred to as the Middle Eastern

aviation market. The market provides

an overview of regional aviation

investments by country as well as air

passenger traffic, aircraft orders and

deliveries, defense spending analysis,

the introduction of new routes, and

aircraft orders and deliveries. The

commercial aircraft, military aircraft,

and general aviation categories

make up the Middle Eastern aviation

market. Passenger and freighter

aircraft are further divided into the

commercial aircraft segment. Combat

and non-combat aircraft make up the

second division of military aircraft.

While business jets, helicopters,

turboprops, and piston fixed-wing

aircraft make up the general aviation

market, it is further divided into these


Qatar’s economy will benefit from

the FIFA World Cup

Travel and tourism, hospitality,

and infrastructure development have

all intensified as a result of Qatar’s

successful bid to host the FIFA World

Cup. According to the majority of

forecasts, more than a million tourists

would travel to Qatar for the event,

bringing in an estimated QAR 66

billion by 2025. The occasion will also

serve as a spur to support Qatar’s

National Vision 2030.

For many of the tourists coming

to the country for the games, it will

be their first time visiting Doha and

possibly even the Middle East; as a

result, it is a huge chance for Qatar

to promote its culture, hospitality,

and everything it has to offer as a

tourist destination. Long term, Qatar’s

international profile will increase due

to the FIFA World Cup, giving it a

platform to develop and enhance its

leisure and tourism industry.

With an average annual growth rate

of 29.8%, the economy’s fastest-growing

sector has been hotel and food

services, which reflects the rising

demand the economy will encounter

as tourism expands. Hotels, restaurants,

and entertainment venues are in

high demand now that the World Cup

is concluded. As Qatar capitalizes, this

pattern will persist.

A gradual restoration of trade

relations between Qatar and the UAE

will be aided by the reopening of

their borders. Football fans from the

UAE will be able to go to Qatar once

the air, sea, and land channels. GCC

nationals will also receive an on-arrival

visa. The UAE can provide supporters

with a different location to base

themselves for the length of the event,

while Qatar will benefit from the extra


The GCC region will experience

greater economic stability as a result

of the two countries’ renewed cooperation,

“Qatar is witnessing significant

economic transformation right now.

There are a variety of different investment

options in the region”.

The aviation industry in the region

has benefited as a result of tourism is

one of the GCC countries’ key sectors

for diversification. One of the initial

steps taken by nations all around the

world to stop the spread of COVID-19

was border closures and travel restrictions.

The aviation sector had been

paralyzed by these regulations.

The Gulf Cooperation Council

(GCC) region serves as a key center

for global aviation. Before the coronavirus

pandemic struck the aviation

industry in 2020, Doha National Airport

in Qatar and Dubai International

Airport were the two busiest airports

in the world, especially in terms

of passengers in 2019. Due to the

region’s large oil reserves, GCC-based

companies benefit from lower fuel

prices than those in other operating


Several full-service carriers in the

area have either postponed or canceled

their aircraft purchases because

it is anticipated that domestic travel

will recover faster than international

passenger traffic. The demand for new

narrow-body aircraft is anticipated

to increase in the future due to the

entry of new low-cost carriers like Air

Arabia Abu Dhabi and Wizz Air Abu


However, because there is such a

great demand for private transport in

the area, the general aviation industry

is recovering swiftly. Due to the

significant concentration of high-networth

persons in the area, business

jet and helicopter travel have seen an

increase in popularity throughout the


Since governments are moving

forward with their acquisition plans

without delays, the region’s need for

military aviation has not been significantly


The market is anticipated to be

dominated by Saudi Arabia and


Nearly 80% of regional passenger

traffic currently passes via the major

airports in Saudi Arabia and the

United Arab Emirates. In addition, the

two nations’ airport infrastructure and

amenities account for an estimated

81% of the GCC countries’ total aviation

infrastructure. With roughly USD

136.1 billion in projected investments

for the aviation sector between 2011

and 2021, the United Arab Emirates is

the top investor among the six GCC

nations. Investments have been temporarily

paused due to the COVID-19

epidemic, and the airports are now

concentrating on strengthening the

vital global supply lines.

Along with the development of

international airports in both nations,

new airport projects are also in the

works. For instance, a brand-new

airport is being constructed in Abha,

Saudi Arabia, to accommodate five

million people annually, and a second

brand-new airport has been proposed

for Jizan. During the projected period,

it is anticipated that these developments

will increase Saudi Arabia’s and

United Arab Emirates’ market shares.

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 79

Travel News

United Airlines and Emirates

sign a code-sharing arrangement

with UAE

According to the Government

of Dubai Media Office,

codesharing has been

agreed upon between

United Airlines of the US and

Emirates of Dubai. In accordance

with the agreement, United will begin

operating a direct route from New

York to Dubai in March 2023. From

Dubai to other places, passengers

can fly on Emirates or its sibling

airline fly Dubai. Additionally, both

airlines’ passengers will soon be able

to reserve these connecting flights

on a single ticket. According to data

from the global aviation analytics

organisation OAG, Etihad Airways

was among the most punctual airlines

in the Middle East and the world

during the busiest summer travel

season, according to a report by

Emirates News Agency.

New route

to Kuwait

announced by

Air Arabia Abu


The opening of a new route

connecting Kuwait City

and Abu Dhabi has been

announced by Air Arabia Abu

Dhabi. Beginning on October 31, 2022,

new daily direct flights will operate

between Kuwait International Airport

and Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Air Arabia’s Group Chief Executive

Officer, Adel Al Ali, said: “From Abu

Dhabi International Airport, we are

pleased to welcome Kuwait to our

expanding network. With Kuwait City

becoming a part of Air Arabia Abu

Dhabi’s network, we are continuing

to promote Abu Dhabi’s travel and

tourism industry while giving our

clients a fresh, inexpensive way to

travel between the two cities”.

Twice weekly direct service from Jeddah to Tashkent

introduced by Flynas

In the presence of representatives

from Flynas and the Jeddah

Airports Company, Flynas,

the premier low-cost airline in

the Middle East, celebrates at King

Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah the

beginning of direct flights between

Jeddah and the capital of Uzbekistan,

Tashkent. Flynas and the Uzbek

Ministry of Transportation last

month signed a memorandum of

understanding outside of the Saudi-

Uzbek Business Council meeting in

Jeddah, which led to the beginning

of direct flights between Jeddah and

Tashkent. Aiming to simplify the

movement of citizens between the two

nations for investment and tourism

purposes as well as the transportation

of pilgrims and Umrah performers,

the pact improves ties in the aviation

industry between Saudi Arabia and


80 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

International visitors tripled in

Dubai more than 8.1 million in


The number of foreign visitors

coming to Dubai has almost

tripled and is getting close

to pre-COVID-19 levels, with

traffic from the UK, Australia, and

Italy increasing the highest. According

to data from Dubai’s Department

of Economy and Tourism, the city

welcomed 8.1 million foreign tourists

from January to July, an increase

of 184% from 2.85 million visitors

a year earlier and around 84% of

the city’s traffic for the entire year.

All significant source markets saw

increases in traffic; however, the UK,

Australia, and Italy saw the largest

increases in arrivals, with increases

of 780%, 730%, and 329%, respectively,

year over year.

During the busiest summer time,

Etihad was one of the world’s

most reliable airlines


AG, a global aviation analytics company, ranked Etihad Airways among

the most punctual airlines in the Middle East and the world during the

busiest summer travel season. Since April, the UAE flag airline has

maintained an on-time performance rate of 83 percent within 15 minutes

of the scheduled arrival time. This standard measure used by the airline industry

takes into account the variety of variable factors that can have an impact on





drive to hire

over 800


Emirates Group invites

all UAE-based computer

workers to a web-based

info session where it

will announce its hiring initiative.

In the coming months, more than

800 positions for IT professionals

will become available. Software

engineering, DevOps, hybrid cloud,

Agile delivery, technical product

management, the digital workplace,

cybersecurity, IT architecture,

innovation, and service management

are among the disciplines that require

professionals. The IT department of

Emirates Group works on B2C, B2B,

support, and operational projects for

more than 40 brands and businesses

in Dubai and other parts of the world.

October 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 81

Travel News

New route from Dh149 announced by Wizz Air Abu


The second most populous

city in Turkey and capital,

Ankara, is now served by

the incredibly low-cost

national airline of the UAE, Wizz Air

Abu Dhabi. Beginning on January 19,

2023, a flight will go to Ankara every

Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Wizzair.com and the airline’s mobile

app already have tickets for sale, with

prices starting at Dh149. With the

help of the new routes, Wizz Air Abu

Dhabi will be able to provide hasslefree,

inexpensive travel to visitors

and locals in the UAE as well as the

rest of the region. Since its start in

January 2021, the national airline

has expanded its service to over 36

locations that are accessible by air

within a five-hour window from Abu


Emirates will

add a weekly

service to

Algiers to



Emirates is planning to

increase the number of

weekly flights it offers to

Algiers. Starting on October

7, 2022, there will be an additional

frequency to Algeria’s capital.

Emirates will fly its Boeing 777-300ER

between Algiers and Dubai, and the

most recent service will run on days.

Emirates will commemorate ten years

of service to Algeria early in 2019.

Emirates started operating there in

2013. A new direct flight service to

Namangan, Uzbekistan, will begin on

September 24 according to flydubai, a

low-cost airline based in Dubai.

UAE citizens will no longer need

a visa to visit Japan

Acollaboration that was

signed with the objective

of enhancing bilateral ties

will allow Emirati people

to visit Japan without requiring a visa.

The strategic agreement intends to

promote more commerce, investment,

and diplomatic, economic, and

political participation between the

two nations. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, the

UAE’s special envoy to Japan and

minister of industry and advanced

technology, and Yoshimasa Hayashi,

the Japanese minister of foreign

affairs, signed it in Tokyo. During a

meeting with Japanese Prime Minister

Fumio Kishida, a delegation from

the UAE led by Sheikh Khaled bin

Mohamed, a member of the Abu Dhabi

Executive Council and chairman

of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office,

officially launched their partnership.

When Shinzo Abe, the prime leader

at the time, travelled to Abu Dhabi in

2018, the agreement’s specifics were


82 www.thefinanceworld.com October 2022

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