The Finance World Magazine| Edition: March 2023

The March edition of The Finance World Magazine (TFW) delves into the Zayed Ambition 2 project, which strives to investigate the feasibility of leveraging the UAE's burgeoning space economy for sustainable development. This initiative showcases the country's commitment to diversifying its economy and reducing its reliance on oil. In a featured interview, CEO Shaaista Khan Osman and Managing Director Osman Osman of Blu Blood share their insights about the event management industry in the UAE. This issue also includes insights from Sridhar Vembu, CEO of Zoho Corporation, on emerging AI tools, along with some advice for SMEs and startups. Through this edition, we also bring you insights on topics like the UAE's steadfast dedication to sustainable growth and development, Dubai surpassing global and regional tourism recovery levels, the sports industry emerging as a promising sector magnetizing international investors, and many more key informational articles in the finance sector. Keep yourself up to date with all financial sector news with our current news segments. Each person can find something unique from us. We believe our readers deserve real value from what we have to offer.

The March edition of The Finance World Magazine (TFW) delves into the Zayed Ambition 2 project, which strives to investigate the feasibility of leveraging the UAE's burgeoning space economy for sustainable development. This initiative showcases the country's commitment to diversifying its economy and reducing its reliance on oil.
In a featured interview, CEO Shaaista Khan Osman and Managing Director Osman Osman of Blu Blood share their insights about the event management industry in the UAE. This issue also includes insights from Sridhar Vembu, CEO of Zoho Corporation, on emerging AI tools, along with some advice for SMEs and startups.

Through this edition, we also bring you insights on topics like the UAE's steadfast dedication to sustainable growth and development, Dubai surpassing global and regional tourism recovery levels, the sports industry emerging as a promising sector magnetizing international investors, and many more key informational articles in the finance sector.

Keep yourself up to date with all financial sector news with our current news segments. Each person can find something unique from us. We believe our readers deserve real value from what we have to offer.


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<strong>The</strong> UAE Promotes Future Solutions to Global Climate Challenges<br />

Middle East M&A Deals Surge Amidst Global Decline<br />

UAE Ranks First for Best Business Climate and Issues New Rules<br />

Sharjah Investment Forum Boosts Investment Opportunities<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />

Zayed Ambition 2:<br />

A New Dawn of Space Economy<br />

and Sustainable Growth<br />

UAE - AED 30 | USA - USD 16.5 KSA - SR<br />

61 | Qatar - QAR 60 Oman - OMR 6.3 |<br />

Bahrain - BD 6.2 Kuwait - KWD 5 | UK -<br />

£12 | EU - €14<br />

P48 | <strong>The</strong> UAE’s Healthcare P104 | Dubai Surpasses Global<br />

Sector Sets the Ground for and Regional Tourism Recovery<br />

COP28<br />

Levels<br />




www.evonith.com<br />

Alferon Management Private Limited

4 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

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Reaching a visionary goal requires<br />

one percent vision and 99 percent alignment.<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE has garnered attention for its manifold initiatives that<br />

seek to foster sustainable growth and entice international<br />

investors. In this issue, our cover story delves into the Zayed<br />

Ambition 2 project, which strives to investigate the feasibility<br />

of leveraging the UAE’s burgeoning space economy for sustainable<br />

development. This initiative showcases the country’s commitment to<br />

diversifying its economy and reducing its reliance on oil. <strong>The</strong> UAE’s<br />

efforts to explore new opportunities demonstrate its potential to<br />

become a major player in the global space industry.<br />

We present to you a compiled collection of the most exciting<br />

developments in the finance world. We have meticulously sifted through<br />

the latest trends and updates, spanning an array of pertinent topics<br />

such as corporate results, corporate tax, startups, banking, funding,<br />

investment, fintech, digital assets, events, and beyond.<br />

This issue also features several stories highlighting the UAE’s<br />

steadfast dedication to sustainable growth and development. Dubai,<br />

for instance, has surpassed global and regional tourism recovery levels,<br />

demonstrating its resilience in facing the pandemic. Furthermore, the<br />

sports industry has also emerged as a promising sector, magnetizing<br />

international investors and cultivating novel business prospects.<br />

<strong>The</strong> event management industry is also bouncing back from the<br />

pandemic with renewed energy; in a featured interview, CEO Shaaista<br />

Khan Osman and Managing Director Osman Osman of Blu Blood<br />

share their insights about the event management industry in the<br />

UAE. This issue also includes insights from Sridhar Vembu, CEO of<br />

Zoho Corporation, on emerging AI tools, along with some advice for<br />

SMEs and startups.<br />

We aim to espouse the vision of the UAE’s wise leadership on the<br />

nation’s development path, highlighting the social, economic, and<br />

developmental aspects shaping this dynamic nation. To that end, we<br />

tirelessly curate the latest and most credible finance news for our<br />

readers, with the aim of advancing financial literacy and contributing<br />

to Dubai’s journey to becoming one of the world’s most pioneering<br />

economies.<br />

- Ambrish Agarwal, Editor in Chief<br />

- Ambrish Agarwal, Editor in Chief<br />

Editor’s Note<br />

Advertisers advertised in this guide are included on a sponsored basis.<br />

Details are correct at the time of going to press, but offers and prices<br />

may change.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 5<br />

September 2022 3

Contents <strong>March</strong><br />

<strong>2023</strong><br />


P08 | How to Get Rid of Debt and<br />

start Saving and Investing<br />



ENERGY<br />

P10 | First Abu Dhabi Bank<br />

declares a Group Net Profit of AED<br />

13.4 billion<br />

P13 | UAE Banking News<br />


P15 | UAE Set to Revolutionize<br />

Payment Systems with Launch<br />

of Digital Currency<br />


P18 | UAE Fintech and e-Commerce<br />

Platforms Founded by Successful<br />

Women<br />

P20 | Fintech News<br />

P22 | Fintech Application<br />

6 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />

P24 | UAE Ranks First for Best<br />

Business Climate and Issues New<br />

Rules for Family Businesses<br />

P26 | Business News<br />


P30 | Zayed Ambition 2: Exploring<br />

the Potential of UAE’s Space<br />

Economy for Sustainable Growth<br />

START-UP<br />

P36 | Promising Startups<br />

transforming the Market in the<br />

UAE<br />

P38 | Start-up News<br />

P40 | <strong>The</strong> UAE promotes Future<br />

Solutions to Global Climate<br />

Challenges<br />

P44 | Energy News<br />


P48 | <strong>The</strong> UAE’s Healthcare Sector<br />

Sets the Ground for COP28<br />

P51 | Healthcare News<br />



P54 | Middle East M&A Deals Surge<br />

Amidst Global Decline<br />

P56 | Mergers & Acquisitions News<br />


P58 | How to set up a Crypto<br />

Business in Dubai<br />

P62 | Cryptocurrency News




P64 | Reasons to Invest in Dubai<br />

Real Estate Market in <strong>2023</strong><br />

P67 | Real Estate News<br />


P80 | How and Why to Invest in<br />

the UAE Stock Market<br />


P92 | Sridhar Vembu, CEO of Zoho<br />

Corporation<br />

TRAVEL<br />

P70 | CEO Shaaista Khan Osman<br />

and Managing Director Osman<br />

Osman of Blu Blood<br />


P74 | Sharjah Investment Forum<br />

Boosts Investment Opportunities<br />

in the Emirate<br />

P76 | Funding & Investment News<br />


P78 | Dubai Announces Guidelines<br />

for Virtual Asset Industry and<br />

Ranks the <strong>World</strong>’s Second Most<br />

Crypto-Ready City<br />

P84 | How UAE Corporate Tax<br />

Law Treats Unrealised Gains and<br />

Losses<br />

P86 | Corporate Results<br />

EVENTS<br />

P88 | <strong>The</strong> Annual International<br />

Seminar of ICAI Abu Dhabi Chapter<br />

Concludes its 34th <strong>Edition</strong><br />

P94 | Six places to visit in <strong>March</strong><br />

<strong>2023</strong><br />

P97 | Travel News<br />


P100 | Sport as a Business in Dubai<br />

Attracts Global Investors<br />

P102 | Sports News<br />

P104 | Tourism<br />

P108 | Investing in Art<br />

P114 | Investing in Tourism<br />

P110 | Global News<br />

P23 | 35 | 61 | 107 |<br />

Launch Express<br />

P28 | P46 | P83 | P112 | Wheels<br />

P69 | P117 | Tech My Money<br />

P118 | Local News<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 7

Personal <strong>Finance</strong><br />

How to Get Rid of Debt and start Saving<br />

and Investing<br />

Saving money is crucial for building financial security and achieving longterm<br />

financial goals. It involves spending less than you earn and investing the<br />

difference wisely, but in order to that, you have to be debt free. In this article, we<br />

provide you with strategies that help you eliminate your debt and begin saving<br />

and investing.<br />

Being debt-free is crucial for<br />

achieving financial stability<br />

and security, as debt repayment<br />

reduces financial stress, allowing<br />

you to focus on achieving long-term<br />

financial goals. Paying off high-interest<br />

debt can save you money in the long<br />

run and enable you to free up funds for<br />

more important things like saving for<br />

retirement or investing in your future.<br />

Although becoming debt-free requires<br />

discipline, planning, and time, it may<br />

happen faster than you think once you<br />

comprehend your spending habits,<br />

establish a plan to address them, and<br />

execute the plan. To accelerate debt<br />

repayment and free up funds for more<br />

important purposes, you may consider<br />

these five tactics:<br />

Establish a budget and adhere to it:<br />

Curbing unnecessary spending is crucial<br />

in preventing debt from snowballing.<br />

Identifying essential monthly expenses<br />

will assist you in making wise spending<br />

choices.<br />

Begin with the highest-interest<br />

debt: Compile a list of all of your debts,<br />

including credit cards, student loans,<br />

car loans, personal loans, and so on,<br />

to obtain a comprehensive overview of<br />

your situation. Pay at least the minimum<br />

amount on all debts on or before their<br />

due dates, with any extra money going<br />

toward the debt with the highest interest<br />

rate, usually a credit card. This strategy<br />

allows you to become debt-free faster while<br />

also saving you money over time. Some<br />

financial experts recommend paying off<br />

the smallest-balance debts first. Crossing<br />

them off your list can motivate you to<br />

stick with the plan. Determine which<br />

approach is most effective for you.<br />

8 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Consolidate your debts: If you have<br />

a good credit rating, you can combine<br />

your debts at a bank or obtain a line of<br />

credit. This immediately pays off all of<br />

your debts and leaves you with only one<br />

monthly payment, typically at a lower<br />

interest rate. It also simplifies your<br />

situation, which might help alleviate stress.<br />

Find ways to earn additional money:<br />

If feasible, consider obtaining a second<br />

job until your debts are under control<br />

or eliminated. Selling an item you don’t<br />

require is another way to generate more<br />

cash to assist in debt reduction.<br />

Communicate with your creditors:<br />

Some creditors are flexible and may offer<br />

you more time to pay or lower your interest<br />

rate. In certain cases, your credit card<br />

company may even transfer your debt<br />

to a card with a lower interest rate. Be<br />

honest about your situation to see what<br />

alternatives are available to you.<br />

Once you clear your debt, you have to<br />

begin saving and considering investing<br />

for you the future. You may have financial<br />

objectives that are both immediate and<br />

distant in nature. <strong>The</strong> amount of time<br />

you have to accomplish these objectives<br />

can determine the manner in which you<br />

save and invest your funds.<br />

If you’re saving for a short-term<br />

objective, it’s recommended by financial<br />

experts to store your funds in a low-risk<br />

account, such as a savings account, to<br />

ensure that it maintains its value since<br />

you’ll need to withdraw it within the<br />

next few years.<br />

For a long-term goal, investing your<br />

money may provide it with the opportunity<br />

to grow. When you have a longer time<br />

frame before you require your funds,<br />

you may be more willing to purchase<br />

investments with higher potential risk<br />

and reward. As you approach your goal,<br />

however, you may want to reduce your<br />

exposure to risk.<br />

Consider your savings account as an<br />

instance. You might desire your funds to<br />

be accessible for immediate use, implying<br />

a super short-term plan. Hence, you may<br />

accept a low interest rate on a savings<br />

account because you know the value it<br />

will hold when you require it. Conversely,<br />

your retirement savings fall on the other<br />

end of the spectrum. If you still have<br />

numerous years before retirement, you<br />

might be inclined to assume some risk with<br />

your investment approach in anticipation<br />

that it will increase over time.<br />

Investing for the short term:<br />

If you have a near-term objective in<br />

mind, your investment strategy may also<br />

need to be short-term. As the market<br />

can experience sudden and significant<br />

fluctuations over brief periods, you wouldn’t<br />

want to undertake a high level of risk in<br />

your short-term investment approach.<br />

Rather, you may opt to invest in funds<br />

with lower levels of risk and a history<br />

of consistent returns, such as money<br />

market funds and guaranteed investment<br />

certificates. If your employer provides<br />

a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), it<br />

can be an effective method to save for<br />

short-term goals, such as buying a new<br />

car, planning a significant vacation, or<br />

amassing a down payment for a house.<br />

Investing for the long term:<br />

To potentially earn greater rewards, you<br />

may choose to take on some risk when<br />

Experts<br />

recommend<br />

investing in a<br />

variety of funds to<br />

spread out your risk<br />

and reward over<br />

different types<br />

of investments<br />

and diversify your<br />

portfolio.<br />

investing over a long period. However,<br />

the stock market can be volatile in the<br />

short term. Thus, investment experts<br />

recommend gradually shifting towards<br />

more stable investments as you approach<br />

your goal.<br />

If you have more than five years to save,<br />

it is suggested that you consider investing<br />

in a variety of funds to diversify your<br />

risk and reward across different types<br />

of investments. This approach can help<br />

balance out fluctuations in the market,<br />

resulting in smoother returns over time.<br />

In conclusion, you may have various<br />

financial objectives, such as covering<br />

your monthly expenses, taking a big<br />

trip, or saving for your retirement.<br />

To align your financial goals with the<br />

appropriate strategy, seeking guidance<br />

from a financial advisor can be beneficial.<br />

Some employer-sponsored plans even<br />

offer financial advice, so you can inquire<br />

with your employer about the availability<br />

of such services.<br />

Regardless of whether you seek<br />

professional assistance or not, the<br />

fundamental principle remains the<br />

same, which is to take into account the<br />

time frame required to accomplish your<br />

objective when selecting an investment<br />

plan, which entails depositing funds for<br />

immediate financial necessities in a bank<br />

account, investing in low-risk funds for<br />

short-term objectives, and considering<br />

slightly riskier investments for longterm<br />

goals.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 9

UAE Banking<br />

First Abu Dhabi Bank declares a Group<br />

Net Profit of AED 13.4 billion<br />

<strong>The</strong> profitability of the UAE banking sector witnessed a substantial enhancement<br />

due to the upward trend in interest rates, driven by the growth in margins<br />

and net interest income. Despite the robust loan growth observed this year, it<br />

is projected to decelerate in <strong>2023</strong> as the pace of GDP growth decreases. <strong>The</strong><br />

favourable impact of higher oil prices on deposit inflows is anticipated to persist,<br />

as liquidity conditions remain robust and abundant.<br />

First Abu Dhabi Bank has<br />

recently announced a Group<br />

Net Profit of AED 13.4B for<br />

the fiscal year 2022. <strong>The</strong><br />

announced net profit was up 7% year<br />

on year, with earnings per share of<br />

AED 1.18. Net profit in Q4’22 was AED<br />

2.5B, down from AED 2.9 billion in<br />

Q3’22, due to judicious provisioning<br />

and conservative asset assessments.<br />

Total income was AED 23.9B, up 10%<br />

year on year, led by a 23% increase in<br />

net interest income and a gain on the<br />

sale of the majority stake in Magnati;<br />

increased regional revenue diversity,<br />

with a bigger contribution from MENA,<br />

according to FAB’s press release.<br />

Operating costs were AED 6.7B, up<br />

15% year on year, due to the integration<br />

of operations in Egypt (FABMisr), the<br />

write-off of legacy systems in Q4’22 as<br />

part of FAB’s continuous technological<br />

transformation plan, and sustained<br />

business investments.<br />

<strong>The</strong> released report states that<br />

the Group’s foundation is still solid<br />

across all important parameters; in<br />

10 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

contrast to the industry average of<br />

5.5%2, loans, advances, and Islamic<br />

finance increased by 12% to AED 460B.<br />

Despite rising interest rates, customer<br />

deposits increased 14% to AED 701B,<br />

while CASA balances increased 3%<br />

year over year.<br />

A 154% Liquidity Coverage Ratio<br />

(LCR) indicates a robust financing and<br />

liquidity profile, in addition to 3.9%<br />

NPL ratio with a 98% coverage of the<br />

provision. Due to increased profits and<br />

RWA optimization, Common Equity<br />

Tier 1 (CET1) increased 19bps year<br />

over year to 12.6% following proposed<br />

dividends.<br />

In contrast to the 49 fils cash<br />

dividends given in the preceding<br />

year, the Board of Directors of FAB<br />

recommends cash dividends per share<br />

of 52 fils, or AED 5.7B, for FY’22. “2022<br />

was a year of continued strategic<br />

diversification and expansion for the<br />

UAE and regional economies, which<br />

posted their fastest economic growth<br />

in a decade. By capitalising on the<br />

favourable macroeconomic conditions,<br />

FAB has been laying foundations for<br />

the future. <strong>The</strong> bank has also been at<br />

the forefront of the UAE’s progress<br />

in driving sustainable growth amid a<br />

turbulent global backdrop, supported<br />

by structural reforms, high oil prices<br />

and a recovery across non-oil economic<br />

sectors,” said His Highness Sheikh<br />

Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman<br />

of FAB.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> year’s achievements emphasise<br />

FAB’s continuing role as an engine for the<br />

region’s economic prosperity, acting as<br />

an enabler to unlock new opportunities<br />

for clients and stakeholders across our<br />

franchise. We have made solid progress<br />

against this vision over the course of the<br />

year. In achieving the Group’s highest<br />

annual revenue and net profit to-date,<br />

FAB has strengthened its strategic<br />

position to build a future-proof bank,<br />

<strong>The</strong> rise in interest rates was the<br />

primary factor behind the substantial<br />

enhancement in profitability in the UAE<br />

banking sector, leading to a growth in<br />

margins and net interest income.<br />

and to advance the interests of our<br />

customers, community, and all our<br />

stakeholders,” continued His Highness.<br />

“In line with our firm commitment<br />

to create long term sustainable value<br />

for our shareholders, FAB’s Board of<br />

Directors is recommending a cash<br />

dividend per share of 52 fils for the<br />

full year ended 31 December 2022,<br />

compared to 49 fils in 2021. As the<br />

region continues to push forward with<br />

ambitious sustainability targets, and<br />

with the UAE due to host COP28 in<br />

<strong>2023</strong>, we now share a responsibility<br />

to work together to unlock the<br />

nation’s full potential, and to shape a<br />

more prosperous future for all. FAB<br />

recognises this and has made a clear<br />

commitment to being a pacesetter<br />

for the regional energy transition,” he<br />

added. “I remain confident that FAB<br />

will continue to play an integral role<br />

in furthering economic prosperity and<br />

sustainability efforts, and we look<br />

forward to the opportunities that lie<br />

ahead for the Group as we continue<br />

to pursue our growth journey,” he<br />

concluded.<br />

On the other hand, Hana Al Rostamani,<br />

Group Chief Executive Officer of FAB,<br />

said that “FAB has achieved another<br />

record performance in 2022, highlighting<br />

solid growth, while demonstrating the<br />

strength of our core businesses, with<br />

achievements that are in line with<br />

our medium-term strategy. Group net<br />

profit improved 7% year-on-year to<br />

AED 13.4 billion, a historic high for our<br />

bank. Strong business volumes have<br />

underlined healthy pipeline execution<br />

across our diversified business model,<br />

while the fundamental strength of our<br />

balance sheet, underpinned by a strong<br />

liquidity profile and efficient capital<br />

management, allowed us to drive<br />

improvements in Common Equity Tier<br />

1 (CET1) despite market and regulatory<br />

headwinds.”<br />

“In line with our strategy to diversify<br />

sources of income and expand<br />

internationally, we continued to<br />

consolidate and build our presence<br />

in priority markets, including in Egypt<br />

through FABMisr. Underlying operating<br />

performance across our core businesses<br />

was sustained during the fourth quarter<br />

despite a more challenging global<br />

macroeconomic outlook. This has<br />

provided us headroom to further build<br />

provision buffers, take a conservative<br />

stance on asset valuations, and to<br />

continue to invest in our technology<br />

platform,” added Al Rostamani.<br />

“I am proud of the progress we<br />

have made in 2022 in several strategic<br />

areas, including advancing customer<br />

experience, expanding our specialised<br />

offerings, and leveraging strategic<br />

partnerships to drive value creation<br />

across the business. This has led to<br />

significant outcomes that have resulted<br />

in FAB being the #1 UAE bank in MENA<br />

DCM and ECM League tables and the<br />

#1 loan agent in MENA by volume of<br />

deals, as well as delivering double-digit<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 11

UAE Banking<br />

FAB foresees a<br />

relatively moderate<br />

inflation forecast in<br />

<strong>2023</strong>, which should<br />

provide welcome<br />

stability given the<br />

macroeconomic<br />

backdrop.<br />

growth in our international revenue. We<br />

are also proud to see our achievements<br />

being recognised externally, having<br />

recently been awarded Best Consumer<br />

Digital Bank in the UAE, Most Innovative<br />

Bank, and Best User Experience Design<br />

at the Global <strong>Finance</strong> Awards,” she<br />

continued.<br />

“As the UAE enters the Year of<br />

Sustainability, we continued to play<br />

a crucial role in helping to deliver the<br />

region’s sustainable finance agenda,<br />

with FAB facilitating over $9B worth<br />

of sustainable projects, in line with<br />

our $75B target by 2030. We also<br />

made steady progress in rolling out<br />

sustainability-linked products across<br />

all customer groups and reaffirmed our<br />

leadership position in the Green Bond<br />

market, with around half of our 2022<br />

issuances executed in a green format<br />

across several different currencies,”<br />

she added. “We remain confident in<br />

the resilience of this region and are<br />

very well placed to capitalise on the<br />

opportunities to drive superior and<br />

sustainable shareholder returns in <strong>2023</strong><br />

and beyond,” she concluded.<br />

On the other hand, Global markets<br />

experienced a particularly difficult year<br />

in 2022, with strong downward pressure<br />

brought on by inflation that reached<br />

levels unseen in decades, increasing<br />

interest rates, tighter liquidity, and<br />

escalating geopolitical tensions. Bond<br />

rates spiked as a result, and equities<br />

experienced a bear market that lasted<br />

through the end of the year. <strong>The</strong> picture<br />

for <strong>2023</strong> is still uncertain, especially<br />

because continued worries about a<br />

decline in the global economy still exist.<br />

In contrast, the UAE economy<br />

experienced its highest expected real<br />

GDP growth in more than a decade<br />

(+6.7%), owing to higher oil output,<br />

relatively moderate inflation, targeted<br />

structural reforms to drive economic<br />

growth and diversification, and a<br />

recovery across key economic sectors<br />

such as real estate and tourism. This was<br />

clearly reflected in the strength of the<br />

PMI, which remained in growth territory<br />

throughout the year, highlighting the<br />

UAE’s solid economic performance.<br />

As a result of increasing interest<br />

rates, according to the bank’s press<br />

release, the UAE banking sector saw a<br />

significant improvement in profitability,<br />

driven by an increase in margins and net<br />

interest income. Although loan growth<br />

has been high this year, it is expected to<br />

slow in <strong>2023</strong> as GDP growth moderates.<br />

Higher oil prices bode favourably for<br />

deposit inflows, as liquidity remains<br />

plentiful and strong.<br />

Sectoral asset quality remains strong,<br />

while capital balances at UAE banks<br />

remain strong, aided by conservative<br />

regulatory standards compared to<br />

global counterparts. Overall, UAE<br />

banks are well positioned to benefit<br />

from the tailwinds of rising interest<br />

rates and solid regional economic<br />

development, while also being able to<br />

handle any turbulence and obstacles<br />

that may arise in the future.<br />

In comparison to many other regions<br />

of the world, FAB foresees a relatively<br />

moderate inflation forecast in <strong>2023</strong>,<br />

which should provide welcome stability<br />

given the macroeconomic backdrop.<br />

<strong>The</strong> area, however, will not be immune to<br />

global price pressures and an economic<br />

slump. As a result, the bank predicts a<br />

relatively modest real GDP growth rate<br />

of roughly 5.0% for the UAE in FY’23,<br />

albeit this growth should be more<br />

sustainable as economic diversification<br />

continues.<br />

12 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Investopia Partners with Emirates Development Bank for a Brighter<br />

Investment Future<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE government’s global<br />

investment platform, Investopia,<br />

has signed a Memorandum of<br />

Understanding with Emirates<br />

Development Bank as part of a new<br />

partnership. <strong>The</strong> agreement was signed<br />

at a ceremony in Dubai on February<br />

6th, <strong>2023</strong> and was witnessed by H.E.<br />

Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of<br />

Economy and Chairman of Investopia.<br />

This partnership will allow both Investopia<br />

and Emirates Development Bank to<br />

collaborate and utilize their strengths to<br />

promote economic growth, diversification,<br />

and industrial transformation in new<br />

economies. Investopia serves as a global<br />

investment platform connecting capital<br />

with opportunities, while Emirates<br />

Development Bank is a leading financial<br />

institution.<br />

UAE Banking News<br />

GCC Central Banks Follow<br />

US Fed’s Lead with Interest<br />

Rate Hikes<br />

<strong>The</strong> Central Bank of UAE and<br />

other central banks in the GCC<br />

raised their interest rates after<br />

the US Federal Open Market<br />

Committee (FOMC) announced a 25<br />

basis points increase as part of its<br />

efforts to manage inflation. <strong>The</strong> GCC<br />

central banks, whose currencies are tied<br />

to the US dollar, generally follow the<br />

Federal Reserve’s policy rate changes.<br />

Inflation in the GCC has been around<br />

5-6% in 2022, higher than in the past<br />

ten years but still lower compared to<br />

western nations. <strong>The</strong> Saudi Central<br />

Bank, also known as SAMA, increased<br />

its repo and reverse repo rates to 5.25%<br />

and 4.75% respectively. <strong>The</strong> central bank<br />

of Bahrain also raised its benchmark<br />

interest rates by 25 basis points, with<br />

the overnight deposit rate at 5.25%<br />

and the one-week deposit facility rate<br />

at 5.50%.<br />

Iris Health Services Loses UAE Central Bank License<br />

for Non-Compliance<br />

<strong>The</strong> Central Bank of the UAE<br />

(CBUAE) announced that<br />

it has revoked the license<br />

of Iris Health Services for<br />

failing to follow relevant guidelines.<br />

<strong>The</strong> regulator stated that the license<br />

revocation was in accordance with<br />

the procedures and regulations for<br />

licensing health insurance third-party<br />

administrators. Iris Health Services is a<br />

company that provides medical benefit<br />

and claims administration services.<br />

<strong>The</strong> CBUAE is closely monitoring the<br />

insurance sector to ensure that all<br />

companies comply with local laws. In<br />

<strong>The</strong> Abu Dhabi Commercial<br />

Bank (ADCB) is seeing success<br />

in its efforts to adopt digital<br />

innovation and maintain high<br />

standards in ESG, as the bank reported<br />

AED 6.434B ($1.75B) in net profits for<br />

the 2022 fiscal year, a 23% increase<br />

from the previous year. <strong>The</strong> bank<br />

also experienced a rise in net interest<br />

income to AED 10.194B ($2.77B), up<br />

15% from the previous year, while noninterest<br />

income increased by 22% to<br />

June 2022, it imposed penalties on two<br />

insurance companies for not meeting<br />

regulatory requirements, with one of<br />

them banned from selling insurance<br />

to new customers for a year.<br />

ADCB Achieves Record Net Profit with Boost from<br />

Digital Innovations<br />

AED 4.151B ($1.13B). During the fourth<br />

quarter, the bank saw a 23% increase in<br />

net profit to AED 1.784B ($0.48B), with<br />

a 30% increase in net interest income<br />

to AED 2.918B and a 19% increase in<br />

net fees and commission income to<br />

AED 620M.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 13

UAE Banking News<br />

Central Bank Governor<br />

Dismissed in Saudi<br />

Arabia<br />

King Salman bin Abdulaziz<br />

Al Saud of Saudi Arabia<br />

has abruptly replaced the<br />

governor of the country’s<br />

central bank. Fahad Al Mubarak was<br />

dismissed from his role through a royal<br />

decree, according to the state-run<br />

press agency. A new governor, Ayman<br />

Alsayari, has been appointed with<br />

immediate effect through another royal<br />

decree. Last year, Saudi Arabia saw a<br />

budget surplus of SAR 102B ($27.13B)<br />

that was higher by SAR 12B($3.2B) due<br />

to better than anticipated economic<br />

results. <strong>The</strong> Central Bank Governor<br />

has recently been assigned, with the<br />

kingdom setting a budget estimating<br />

revenue of SAR 1.234T ($328B) and<br />

expenditures of SAR 1.32T($352B). To<br />

maintain its currency’s peg to the US<br />

dollar and align with the US Federal<br />

Reserve’s interest rate hikes, the Saudi<br />

Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA)<br />

has been increasing interest rates.<br />

<strong>Finance</strong> Company Hit with AED 1.8M Penalty by<br />

UAE Central Bank<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE Central Bank has<br />

fined a finance company AED<br />

1.8M for failing to follow antimoney<br />

laundering and antiterror<br />

financing laws. <strong>The</strong> central bank<br />

conducted a review with a third-party<br />

consultant and found repeated highrisk<br />

violations by the finance company<br />

along with operational shortcomings<br />

by its board of directors. <strong>The</strong> company<br />

has been instructed to address the<br />

violations and the board of directors<br />

has been asked to meet and resolve<br />

issues regarding its composition. <strong>The</strong><br />

sanctions reflect the weak compliance<br />

culture of the finance company in<br />

regards to AML/CFT policies and<br />

procedures.<br />

Emirates NBD and Dubai Islamic Bank Named<br />

SICO’s Top H1 Picks<br />

SICO, a Bahrain-based financial<br />

services company, has reported<br />

that Dubai-based banks<br />

Emirates NBD and Dubai<br />

Islamic Bank are well-positioned in<br />

the first half of <strong>2023</strong> due to elevated<br />

net interest margins, given the current<br />

high-interest rate environment. <strong>The</strong><br />

brokerage views equities as a less<br />

attractive asset class and suggests a<br />

bottom-up stock picking strategy over<br />

top-down or passive investing this<br />

year. In the second half of <strong>2023</strong>, SICO<br />

predicts that Qatari National Bank<br />

and Commercial Bank of Qatar will<br />

benefit from government spendingrelated<br />

borrowing demand. Among<br />

Saudi Arabian banks, the report favors<br />

Saudi National Bank and SABB due<br />

to their strong current account and<br />

savings account books, a cheap source<br />

of funds for banks.<br />

Orient Insurance & Mashreq Unveil Guaranteed Return Savings Plan<br />

Orient Insurance, part of Al-<br />

Futtaim Group, has teamed<br />

up with Mashreq, a leading<br />

financial institution in the<br />

UAE, to introduce Orient Educare,<br />

a low-risk savings, investment, and<br />

insurance plan with guaranteed returns.<br />

<strong>The</strong> plan aims to offer financial security<br />

for life events such as education and<br />

retirement. Orient Educare will provide<br />

customers with investment growth,<br />

insurance coverage, and a guaranteed<br />

maturity. This partnership will expand<br />

Orient’s solutions and provide growth<br />

opportunities for both companies<br />

through Mashreq’s extensive network.<br />

<strong>The</strong> new product is centered around the<br />

customer’s needs and will complement<br />

Mashreq’s existing offerings, helping<br />

their customers to build a strong<br />

financial plan.<br />

14 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

UAE Reforms<br />

UAE Set to Revolutionize Payment Systems<br />

with Launch of Digital Currency<br />

<strong>The</strong> Central Bank of the UAE<br />

(CBUAE) has announced<br />

its plans to roll out a digital<br />

currency for domestic and<br />

cross-border payments as part of its<br />

Financial Infrastructure Transformation<br />

Programme (FIT programme). <strong>The</strong><br />

programme is designed to accelerate the<br />

digital transformation of the financial<br />

services sector and consists of nine<br />

key initiatives.<br />

<strong>The</strong> first stage of the FIT programme<br />

will involve the launch of digital<br />

payment infrastructures and services,<br />

including a Card Domestic Scheme,<br />

an Instant Payments Platform, and<br />

the issuance of Central Bank Digital<br />

Currency (CBDC) for cross-border and<br />

domestic uses. <strong>The</strong> FIT programme<br />

aims to promote payment innovation,<br />

security, and efficiency, and drive the<br />

Emirates towards a cashless society.<br />

<strong>The</strong> FIT programme aligns with the<br />

country’s “We the UAE 2031” vision<br />

and National Digital Economy Strategy,<br />

with a full integration set for 2026.<br />

<strong>The</strong> central bank hopes to establish<br />

the Emirates as a financial and digital<br />

payment hub, as well as a centre of<br />

excellence for innovation and digital<br />

transformation. Central bank governor<br />

Khaled Mohamed Balama expressed his<br />

pride in building an infrastructure that<br />

will support a thriving UAE financial<br />

ecosystem and its future growth; “<strong>The</strong><br />

FIT Programme embodies the directions<br />

and aspirations of our wise leadership<br />

towards digitising the economy and<br />

developing the financial sector. We are<br />

proud to be building an infrastructure<br />

that will support a thriving UAE financial<br />

ecosystem and its future growth.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> launch of a CBDC will facilitate<br />

the UAE’s transition to a cashless<br />

society, a trend that has been gaining<br />

traction around the world in recent<br />

years. CBDCs are digital versions of<br />

traditional fiat currencies, backed by a<br />

central bank and designed to function<br />

as a means of payment. <strong>The</strong> use of<br />

CBDCs can bring several benefits to<br />

the financial system, such as increasing<br />

financial inclusion and reducing the<br />

cost and time required for international<br />

payments. Moreover, CBDCs can help<br />

combat money laundering and terrorist<br />

financing by enabling authorities to<br />

monitor transactions more closely.<br />

<strong>The</strong> launch of the FIT programme<br />

and the introduction of a CBDC mark<br />

a significant step forward for the UAE<br />

in its digital transformation journey.<br />

<strong>The</strong> initiatives will promote financial<br />

innovation and inclusion, increase<br />

efficiency and security in payments, and<br />

establish the Emirates as a leader in<br />

the digital economy. More information<br />

and updates on the FIT Programme’s<br />

pillars will be announced in due course.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 15

UAE Reforms<br />

Ministry of Economy Unveils Six New<br />

Initiatives for UAE Innovation Month <strong>2023</strong><br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE Innovation Month is an<br />

annual event that encourages<br />

individuals and institutions<br />

to embrace innovation and<br />

creativity. <strong>The</strong> Ministry of Economy’s<br />

launch of six new and diverse initiatives<br />

is a testament to the country’s<br />

commitment to establish a culture<br />

of innovation across all segments of<br />

society. <strong>The</strong>se efforts align with the<br />

objectives of the national strategies for<br />

innovation and advanced innovation,<br />

and the UAE’s transition to a knowledgebased,<br />

competitive economy.<br />

<strong>The</strong> first initiative, the Minister<br />

of Economy Award for Innovation,<br />

raises awareness on the importance<br />

of innovation and promotes<br />

competitiveness among the Ministry’s<br />

employees and customers. <strong>The</strong> award<br />

is set to attract extensive participation<br />

and will serve the Ministry’s fields of<br />

work by proposing innovative projects<br />

that have the potential to address<br />

challenges. It encourages employees to<br />

develop online and smart services for<br />

the public, thus catalyzing innovation<br />

within the work environment and taking<br />

advantage of in-house talent.<br />

<strong>The</strong> second initiative, a strategic<br />

retreat for innovative transformational<br />

projects, is aimed at attracting ideas<br />

16 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />

for transformational projects for the<br />

<strong>World</strong> Futures Day. This retreat is set<br />

to increase the number of innovative<br />

projects in the country’s priority sectors,<br />

promoting the culture of innovation,<br />

and transferring skills and innovative<br />

knowledge to the community.<br />

<strong>The</strong> third initiative, a digital platform<br />

for startups and business incubators<br />

in the country, targets several sectors,<br />

including artificial intelligence and<br />

advanced technology. It is designed<br />

to facilitate access for investors and<br />

businessmen to an integrated database<br />

that can help them identify investment<br />

opportunities in startups.<br />

<strong>The</strong> fourth initiative, the Ministry<br />

of Economy’s participation in the<br />

sixth edition of the UAE Hackathon,<br />

is aimed at promoting unique and<br />

practical solutions and innovative<br />

projects in digital and technological<br />

sectors. This initiative features the<br />

participation of school and university<br />

students, in addition to entrepreneurs<br />

and researchers, and applications for<br />

participation in the UAE Hackathon<br />

<strong>2023</strong> are being accepted from the<br />

beginning of the Innovation Month.<br />

<strong>The</strong> fifth initiative, aimed at<br />

expanding the network of partnerships<br />

under the NextGenFDI initiative, is to<br />

forge new partnerships with targeted<br />

international companies in fields<br />

related to innovation, technology,<br />

and the new economy. This initiative<br />

will enable the country to benefit<br />

from the expertise and experience of<br />

international companies in the fields<br />

of innovation and technology.<br />

<strong>The</strong> sixth initiative is a dialogue<br />

session with the owners of innovative<br />

projects to support them and help them<br />

overcome the obstacles and challenges<br />

they face. <strong>The</strong> initiative will enable<br />

them to share their success stories,<br />

experiences, and expertise in the fields<br />

of entrepreneurship, innovation, and<br />

creativity with the Ministry employees.<br />

Apart from these initiatives, the<br />

Ministry of Economy will organize a<br />

series of visits for its employees to<br />

the Museum of the Future to motivate<br />

them to innovate and create. It will<br />

also award cash prizes to innovative<br />

employees. <strong>The</strong>se initiatives are<br />

designed to strengthen the UAE’s<br />

government innovation ecosystem,<br />

empower national talent in the fields<br />

of innovation and creativity, encourage<br />

individuals and institutions to think out<br />

of the box, and increase the number<br />

of new business ventures.

Visa Reforms: 15 Updated Services Now<br />

Available for Residents and Visitors<br />

<strong>The</strong> United Arab Emirates has<br />

recently announced 15 new<br />

visa services that are now<br />

available for residents and<br />

visitors. <strong>The</strong>se visa reforms are aimed<br />

at simplifying the visa application<br />

process and enhancing the experience<br />

of travelers to the country.<br />

One of the key changes is the<br />

extension of the tourist visa, which<br />

can now be extended for up to 30 days.<br />

This will be particularly beneficial for<br />

those who wish to stay in the country<br />

for a longer period or those who have<br />

unforeseen circumstances that require<br />

them to extend their stay.<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE has also introduced a<br />

new multiple-entry visa, which allows<br />

visitors to enter the country multiple<br />

times within a six-month period. This<br />

is particularly useful for those who<br />

have business interests in the UAE<br />

and need to travel frequently.<br />

In addition, the UAE has introduced a<br />

new transit visa, which allows travelers<br />

to stay in the country for up to 96<br />

hours (four days) if they are transiting<br />

through one of the UAE’s airports. This<br />

is a great option for those who want to<br />

explore the city or do some shopping<br />

during their layover.<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE has also made it easier for<br />

cruise ship passengers to obtain visas.<br />

Cruise passengers who arrive at any<br />

UAE port can now obtain a multipleentry<br />

visa, which allows them to enter<br />

the country multiple times during the<br />

cruise.<br />

Furthermore, the UAE has introduced<br />

a new visa for medical treatment. This<br />

visa is available to those who need to<br />

travel to the UAE for medical treatment<br />

and their companions. This will make<br />

it easier for those seeking medical<br />

treatment to travel to the UAE and<br />

receive the necessary care.<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE has also introduced a new<br />

visa for people who wish to participate<br />

in cultural and sporting events in<br />

the country. This visa is available to<br />

participants, their companions, and<br />

the organizers of the events.<br />

Other new visa services include a visa<br />

for investors, a visa for entrepreneurs,<br />

and a visa for students. <strong>The</strong>se visas<br />

are aimed at attracting investors,<br />

entrepreneurs, and students to the<br />

country and supporting their endeavors.<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE has also made it easier for<br />

families to visit their relatives in the<br />

country. <strong>The</strong> new visa services include<br />

a visa for family visits, which allows<br />

family members to visit their relatives<br />

in the UAE for up to 90 days. Finally,<br />

the UAE has introduced a new visa for<br />

those who wish to retire in the country.<br />

This visa is available to those who are<br />

55 years or older and meet certain<br />

financial requirements.<br />

<strong>The</strong> new visa services introduced by<br />

the UAE are a welcome development<br />

for residents and visitors to the country.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se reforms will make it easier for<br />

people to travel to the UAE for business,<br />

tourism, medical treatment, and other<br />

purposes. <strong>The</strong> extension of the tourist<br />

visa, the new multiple-entry visa, and the<br />

transit visa are particularly noteworthy<br />

and will make the UAE an even more<br />

attractive destination for travelers.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 17

Fintech<br />

UAE Fintech and e-Commerce Platforms<br />

Founded by Successful Women<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE has been witnessing a boom in the fintech and e-commerce industries, and women<br />

entrepreneurs are playing an increasingly important role in this expansion. Women-led fintech<br />

and e-commerce platforms are disrupting the traditional business landscape in the country,<br />

providing innovative solutions to cater to the specific needs. In this article, we will delve into<br />

four of the successful women-led fintech and e-commerce platforms in the UAE, their impact<br />

on the industry, and the changes they made in this highly competitive market.<br />

Souqalmal<br />

Ambareen Musa,<br />

Founder of Souqalmal<br />

Ambareen Musa founded Souqalmal,<br />

a financial comparison website<br />

launched in 2012, and has been<br />

changing the way people in<br />

the United Arab Emirates and Saudi<br />

Arabia manage their finances. Through<br />

Souqalmal, users can access information<br />

on over 3,200 financial products and<br />

services, including loans, insurance,<br />

and accounts management.<br />

<strong>The</strong> platform is an excellent resource<br />

for people who want to better understand<br />

their finances and make informed<br />

decisions and improve their financial<br />

literacy. Souqalmal has attracted<br />

investments from some of the most<br />

prominent players in the financial industry,<br />

including GoCompare, Hummingbird,<br />

VentureSouq, U.A.E. Exchange, NNS<br />

Capital, and the Riyad Taqnia Fund.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se investments have helped the<br />

company raise an impressive $15.2M<br />

in funding.<br />

In <strong>March</strong> 2022, Souqalmal reached<br />

another milestone when SHUAA Capital<br />

acquired a major stake in the company.<br />

This acquisition was a testament to<br />

the success of the platform and the<br />

vision of its founder. By providing<br />

access to financial information, Musa<br />

is empowering people to take control<br />

of their finances and make informed<br />

decisions. This is especially crucial in<br />

the current economic climate, where<br />

financial stability is more important<br />

than ever.<br />

Sarwa<br />

Nadine Mezher is a pioneer<br />

in the financial industry. As<br />

the co-founder of Sarwa, a<br />

leading financial advisory<br />

platform, she is changing the way<br />

people invest and manage their finances.<br />

Together with Mark Chahwan and Jad<br />

Sayegh, Mezher established Sarwa in<br />

2017, and it now serves a huge number<br />

of users. <strong>The</strong> company’s revolutionary<br />

approach to financial advisory has<br />

quickly become popular, with clients<br />

benefiting from the platform’s easyto-use<br />

interface and comprehensive<br />

investment options.<br />

Sarwa Trade, the zero-commission,<br />

zero-transfer fee trade podium,<br />

launched in <strong>March</strong> 2021, marked<br />

yet another step in the company’s<br />

development, providing users with<br />

a streamlined approach to trading,<br />

making it more accessible for people<br />

looking to enter the investment arena.<br />

With such impressive growth, it comes<br />

as no surprise that Sarwa has attracted<br />

significant investment from some of<br />

the biggest players in the industry.<br />

In 2021, the company raised $15M in<br />

funding from Mubadala Investment<br />

Company, Hambro Perks Oryx Fund,<br />

HALA Ventures, and Middle East<br />

Venture Partners, bringing the total<br />

funding raised to $25M.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se investments have helped Sarwa<br />

expand its offering, making it even<br />

easier for people to invest and manage<br />

their finances. KIPCO and Californiabased<br />

500 Startups are among the<br />

many investors who have recognized<br />

the potential of Sarwa and supported<br />

Nadine Mezher,<br />

Co-Founder of Sarwa<br />

its vision. By leveraging innovative<br />

technology, the company is making<br />

investment accessible and affordable<br />

to everyone. <strong>The</strong> platform provides<br />

personalized recommendations that<br />

cater to individual needs, taking the<br />

complexity out of investing and making<br />

it an enjoyable and fruitful experience<br />

for users.<br />

18 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Mumzworld<br />

Mona Ataya and Leena Khalil,<br />

Entrepreneurs<br />

Mona Ataya and Leena<br />

Khalil are two inspiring<br />

entrepreneurs who have<br />

created a platform that<br />

has transformed the e-commerce<br />

landscape for parents and children<br />

across the Middle East. <strong>The</strong>ir company,<br />

Mumzworld, has connected over 2.5<br />

million users in the region, making<br />

it the go-to destination for parents<br />

looking for high-quality products for<br />

their families.<br />

Established in 2011, Mumzworld<br />

offers a range of products, including<br />

baby care items, toys, clothes, and<br />

gear, all carefully curated to meet the<br />

needs of parents and children. <strong>The</strong><br />

platform’s commitment to quality,<br />

convenience, and affordability has<br />

made it a favourite among its growing<br />

customer base.<br />

Ataya and Khalil’s vision and hard<br />

work have resulted in six successful<br />

funding rounds, with $50M in funding<br />

secured for the platform. <strong>The</strong> most<br />

significant milestone, however, was<br />

the acquisition of Mumzworld by Tamer<br />

Group in June 2021, a testament to the<br />

platform’s success.<br />

Mumzworld’s highest sales in<br />

2021 were proof of the platform’s<br />

exponential growth, especially in Saudi<br />

Arabia and the GCC. Ataya and Khalil’s<br />

entrepreneurial spirit and dedication<br />

to Mumzworld’s success have not only<br />

transformed the online marketplace for<br />

parents and children but also provided<br />

countless opportunities for small<br />

businesses in the region to showcase<br />

their products and services to a wider<br />

audience. <strong>The</strong> success of Mumzworld<br />

demonstrates the potential of womenled<br />

startups in the region and the<br />

importance of creating platforms<br />

that cater to the specific needs of the<br />

community.<br />

BitOsais<br />

Ola Doudin, the co-founder<br />

and CEO of BitOasis, is one<br />

of the successful women<br />

who entered the world of<br />

cryptocurrency. BitOasis, a crypto<br />

trading platform, has been successful<br />

in attracting investors and users alike,<br />

making it a force to be reckoned with<br />

in the industry.<br />

With a background in finance and<br />

accounting, Doudin has worked for<br />

several prominent companies, including<br />

EY, Fadi Ghandour, and Aramex, before<br />

taking the plunge and co-founding<br />

BitOasis with Daniel Robenek. <strong>The</strong><br />

platform has been a game-changer<br />

in the region, offering a secure and<br />

reliable way to buy, sell, and store<br />

cryptocurrencies. Since its inception,<br />

BitOasis has raised $30M in funding<br />

through six rounds as of October 2021.<br />

In the same year, the platform traded<br />

$1.7B, showing the increasing interest<br />

and acceptance of cryptocurrency in<br />

the Middle East.<br />

Doudin’s leadership has been critical<br />

in establishing BitOasis as a trusted and<br />

respected brand in the industry. Her<br />

vision has helped the platform expand<br />

its offerings, which now include a mobile<br />

app, a cold storage solution, and a fiat<br />

gateway. BitOasis has also partnered<br />

with leading financial institutions to<br />

enable users to deposit and withdraw<br />

funds.<br />

With Doudin at the helm, BitOasis has<br />

not only succeeded in growing its user<br />

base and attracting investments, but it<br />

has also been instrumental in driving the<br />

adoption of cryptocurrency in the region.<br />

In a world where cryptocurrencies are<br />

becoming increasingly popular, Doudin’s<br />

work with BitOasis is a remarkable<br />

example of how female entrepreneurs<br />

can successfully navigate new and<br />

uncharted territory.<br />

Ola Doudin,<br />

Co-founder and CEO of BitOasis<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 19

Fintech News<br />

Saudi Arabia Boosts<br />

Startup with IMPACT46’s<br />

$133.33M Fund Launch<br />

IMPACT46, a Saudi Arabian venture<br />

capital firm, has launched a new<br />

fund worth $133.33M to support<br />

startups in the Middle East and<br />

North Africa (MENA) region. <strong>The</strong> fund<br />

aims to provide early-stage and growthstage<br />

companies with the necessary<br />

resources and expertise to scale their<br />

businesses and succeed in a competitive<br />

market. <strong>The</strong> launch of this fund is in line<br />

with the kingdom’s efforts to diversify<br />

its economy and boost entrepreneurship<br />

in the country. IMPACT46 plans to<br />

invest in a range of industries, including<br />

technology, healthcare, and education,<br />

with a focus on companies that have<br />

a positive impact on society and the<br />

environment. This move is expected to<br />

further enhance the startup ecosystem<br />

in Saudi Arabia and the wider MENA<br />

region.<br />

Bahrain’s Beyon Money Takes a Step Forward with<br />

TerraPay Partnership<br />

Bahrain-based fintech firm,<br />

Beyon Money, has announced<br />

a partnership deal with UKbased<br />

TerraPay, a leading<br />

global mobile payments network.<br />

<strong>The</strong> partnership will allow Beyon<br />

Money to expand its reach and offer its<br />

customers a wider range of services.<br />

Through this deal, TerraPay’s network<br />

of financial institutions and mobile<br />

operators will now be accessible to<br />

Beyon Money’s customers, allowing<br />

for seamless cross-border transactions.<br />

This partnership is a significant step<br />

forward for Beyon Money as it seeks<br />

Oman has launched an accelerator<br />

program aimed at supporting<br />

innovative fintech startups in<br />

the country. <strong>The</strong> program, which<br />

is designed to help early-stage companies<br />

grow and scale, will provide participating<br />

startups with access to resources such<br />

as mentorship, training, and networking<br />

opportunities. <strong>The</strong> program also aims to<br />

help these startups secure funding and<br />

to establish itself as a leading provider<br />

of financial services in the region.<br />

<strong>The</strong> deal will also support TerraPay’s<br />

efforts to expand its footprint in the<br />

Middle East and provide its partners<br />

with access to a growing market.<br />

Oman Boosts Fintech Ecosystem with Launch of<br />

Accelerator Program for Start-ups<br />

connect with potential investors. This move<br />

is in line with the Omani government’s<br />

efforts to diversify its economy and foster<br />

innovation in the country. <strong>The</strong> launch of<br />

this accelerator program is expected to<br />

bring a boost to the fintech ecosystem in<br />

Oman and provide a platform for local<br />

startups to showcase their products and<br />

services to a wider audience.<br />

Dubai Fintech Revolution: Chamber of Digital Economy Addresses<br />

Industry Challenges<br />

<strong>The</strong> Dubai Chamber of Digital<br />

Economy recently held a<br />

discussion addressing the<br />

challenges faced by fintech<br />

companies in the region. <strong>The</strong> event<br />

brought together leaders in finance and<br />

technology to discuss ways to overcome<br />

these hurdles and drive innovation in<br />

the sector. <strong>The</strong> chamber emphasized<br />

the importance of creating a supportive<br />

ecosystem for fintech startups and<br />

discussed potential solutions to issues<br />

such as access to capital, talent retention,<br />

and regulatory barriers. <strong>The</strong> discussion<br />

also touched upon the potential of new<br />

technologies, such as blockchain and<br />

artificial intelligence, to revolutionize<br />

the financial sector and drive economic<br />

growth. <strong>The</strong> chamber’s efforts to address<br />

these challenges and foster innovation<br />

in fintech are further solidifying Dubai’s<br />

position as a leading hub for digital finance<br />

in the Middle East.<br />

20 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Indo-Arab Professionals Pioneer a New Era of <strong>Finance</strong> in Dubai<br />

A<br />

group of Indo-Arab professionals<br />

have come together to launch a<br />

financial vehicle in Dubai, aiming<br />

to bridge the gap between the<br />

Indian and Arab financial markets. <strong>The</strong><br />

new venture aims to provide top-notch<br />

financial services to both individuals and<br />

businesses, with a focus on fostering<br />

economic ties between India and the<br />

Arab world. <strong>The</strong> launch of this financial<br />

vehicle marks a significant step towards<br />

realizing the full potential of the Indo-<br />

Arab economic partnership. <strong>The</strong> team<br />

behind the venture comprises experienced<br />

finance professionals who bring a wealth<br />

of expertise and knowledge to the table.<br />

UAE’s NFT Market Set for Skyrocketing Growth<br />

with Over 45% Annual Increase<br />

<strong>The</strong> non-fungible token (NFT)<br />

industry in the United Arab<br />

Emirates (UAE) is expected<br />

to experience tremendous<br />

growth in the coming years, with<br />

projections of an increase of over<br />

45% annually. This growth is driven<br />

by a surge in demand for unique and<br />

authentic digital assets, such as art,<br />

collectibles, and even real estate. <strong>The</strong><br />

UAE is positioning itself as a leader<br />

in the NFT space, with a number of<br />

initiatives aimed at promoting the use<br />

and adoption of NFTs. From hosting NFT<br />

exhibitions and auctions to launching<br />

NFT marketplaces, the country is<br />

fostering a thriving ecosystem for NFT<br />

enthusiasts and creators.<br />

UAB Joins Forces with UAE Trade Connect to<br />

Revolutionize Trade <strong>Finance</strong> with Blockchain<br />

Technology<br />

<strong>The</strong> United Arab Bank (UAB)<br />

has announced its participation<br />

in the UAE Trade Connect, a<br />

fintech blockchain platform<br />

aimed at revolutionizing trade finance<br />

in the country. <strong>The</strong> platform, which is a<br />

collaboration between the UAE Central<br />

Bank and Emirates Development Bank,<br />

is designed to streamline the trade<br />

finance process and provide increased<br />

efficiency, security, and transparency for<br />

all participants. By joining UAE Trade<br />

Connect, UAB is positioning itself as a<br />

leader in the fintech and blockchain space,<br />

and is committed to providing its clients<br />

with innovative solutions to meet their<br />

trade finance needs. <strong>The</strong> platform will<br />

enable UAB to offer faster, more secure<br />

and cost-effective trade finance services<br />

to its clients, enabling them to grow their<br />

businesses and increase competitiveness<br />

in the global marketplace.<br />

Saudi Arabia Takes a<br />

Giant Leap Forward<br />

in Crowdfunding with<br />

Fintech Licensing<br />

<strong>The</strong> Central Bank of Saudi Arabia<br />

has made history by licensing<br />

two debt-based crowdfunding<br />

fintechs, marking a major<br />

milestone in the kingdom’s journey<br />

towards financial innovation. <strong>The</strong><br />

move is in line with the government’s<br />

vision to transform the country into a<br />

hub for technological advancements<br />

and financial services. <strong>The</strong> licensed<br />

fintechs will now be able to offer<br />

their services to the public, providing<br />

an alternative to traditional lending<br />

options and giving small businesses<br />

access to much-needed funding. This<br />

is a big step forward for the kingdom’s<br />

fintech industry and signals a bright<br />

future for crowdfunding and alternative<br />

financing in Saudi Arabia. <strong>The</strong> licensing<br />

of these fintechs will help drive financial<br />

inclusion and support the growth of<br />

the small business sector, ultimately<br />

contributing to the country’s overall<br />

economic development.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 21

Fintech Application<br />

MyFawry<br />

Date of Establishment: 2019<br />

Owner: Fawry for banking and payment technology services<br />

CEO: Ashraf Sabry<br />

MyFawry allows users to<br />

pay their bills, recharge<br />

their mobiles, reserve bus<br />

tickets, and track their<br />

spending. In 2020, total downloads<br />

surpassed more than 1.6 million. Fawry<br />

for Banking and Payment Technology<br />

Services was listed on the Egyptian<br />

Stock Exchange in 2019, with a market<br />

value of $1.9 billion as of August 5,<br />

2021. <strong>The</strong> company also offers financial<br />

services through multiple channels<br />

such as ATMs and retail points. As of<br />

June 2021, the app had 3.5 million total<br />

downloads and $105 million annualized<br />

throughput.<br />

As Egypt saw the fast adoption of<br />

electronic payments, Fawry saw the<br />

opportunity to develop MyFawry that<br />

would be accessible across the country<br />

and on every device. This is in line with<br />

the vision of the Egyptian government<br />

to push for digital transformation as<br />

it becomes one of the fastest-growing<br />

markets in the Middle East.<br />

According to Fawry- a banking and<br />

payment technology Services Company<br />

in Egypt, their proprietary myfawry<br />

app has nearly 3.5 million downloads<br />

and generated $105 million in annual<br />

revenues for the company as of July<br />

2021.<br />

It is top-rated as the best mobile<br />

payment platform that helps users<br />

to make all payments and transfers<br />

through a single podium. It allows<br />

users to pay utility bills, credit bills,<br />

and bus ticket booking and also helps<br />

in tracking spending.<br />

22 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

ONEPLUS 11 5G<br />

<strong>The</strong> OnePlus 11 is a powerful<br />

and stylish smartphone with<br />

cutting-edge features. Its 6.55-inch<br />

Fluid AMOLED display boasts<br />

a 120Hz refresh rate, making it highly<br />

responsive and visually stunning. <strong>The</strong><br />

Gorilla Glass Victus front and back give<br />

it a rugged design, ensuring it’s ready for<br />

any adventure. Powered by a Qualcomm<br />

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor and up<br />

to 12GB of RAM, the OnePlus 11 is a<br />

reliable and speedy device. Its camera<br />

system features a 50MP primary sensor,<br />

a 50MP ultra-wide sensor, and a 2MP<br />

monochrome sensor capable of recording<br />

up to 8K videos. It runs OxygenOS 12<br />

software based on Android 12, offering<br />

improved customization, privacy, and<br />

security options. With 5G support, Wi-Fi<br />

6, Bluetooth 5.2, and NFC connectivity,<br />

the OnePlus 11 is highly versatile. <strong>The</strong><br />

4500mAh battery supports 65W fast<br />

charging and 50W wireless charging,<br />

providing all-day battery life. Overall,<br />

the OnePlus 11 is an excellent choice for<br />

anyone seeking a premium smartphone<br />

with advanced features.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 23

Business<br />

UAE Ranks First for Best Business Climate<br />

and Issues New Rules for Family Businesses<br />

<strong>The</strong> IMD <strong>World</strong> Competitiveness Ranking for 2022 has revealed that the UAE holds<br />

the top position as the most competitive country in the Arab region. <strong>The</strong> business<br />

fundamentals rankings, which assess the legal, regulatory, and tax systems of<br />

developing countries, once again showed that the GCC nations came out on top,<br />

with the UAE ranking first, while in the 14th annual Agility Emerging Markets<br />

Logistics Index, the UAE was ranked as having the best business climate.<br />

According to the IMD <strong>World</strong><br />

Competitiveness Ranking<br />

for 2022, the UAE is the<br />

most competitive nation in<br />

the Arab world. <strong>The</strong> GCC nations<br />

once again topped the business<br />

fundamentals rankings, which contrast<br />

the legal, regulatory, and tax systems<br />

of developing markets nations, with<br />

the UAE in the top spot.<br />

<strong>The</strong> 14th annual Agility Emerging<br />

Markets Logistics Index ranked the<br />

UAE as having the greatest business<br />

climate, with Qatar coming in second,<br />

Saudi Arabia third, Oman fifth, Bahrain<br />

sixth, and Kuwait eleventh. <strong>The</strong> UAE<br />

is the most competitive nation in<br />

the Arab world, per the 2022 IMD<br />

<strong>World</strong> Competitiveness Ranking. In<br />

Europe, the Middle East, and Africa,<br />

the UAE ranked eighth in terms of<br />

economic competitiveness, only behind<br />

Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, the<br />

Netherlands, Finland, Norway, and<br />

Ireland. <strong>The</strong> majority of the nonoil<br />

economic development for Gulf<br />

nations, which outperformed most<br />

other economies in the index, would<br />

be driven by innovation and support for<br />

small enterprises, according to global<br />

supply chain executives.<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE was placed third overall<br />

in the 50-country Index by Agility,<br />

a leading provider of supply chain<br />

services globally, after China and India.<br />

Saudi Arabia ranked sixth; both nations<br />

were among the top 10 in each of the<br />

four areas of the Index, including local<br />

logistics, global logistics, business<br />

fundamentals, and digital readiness,<br />

with the exception of international<br />

logistics, where it ranked 19th, Qatar<br />

was in the top 10 in every category.<br />

Kuwait (ranked No. 15 overall) made<br />

the most progress in enhancing its<br />

24 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

competitiveness among the six GCC<br />

economies, with gains across the board.<br />

Oman moved up five points to No. 10 in<br />

terms of digital readiness, and Bahrain<br />

moved up six spots to No. 16 among<br />

GCC nations.<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE will draw a significant<br />

portion of the $66B in possible FDI<br />

inflows into the Middle East, North<br />

Africa, and Pakistan in <strong>2023</strong>, according<br />

to Hatem El Safty, CEO of Business<br />

Link, as foreign investors view the<br />

emirates as an appropriate location<br />

for investment. Due to its business and<br />

visa changes, the UAE is anticipated<br />

to bring in $22B in FDI this year, while<br />

the MENAP area is anticipated to bring<br />

in $56B.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Index is a study of global logistics<br />

industry sentiment that Agility conducts<br />

each year. This year’s Index includes<br />

750 executives from around the world,<br />

and Agility has released its annual<br />

rankings of the world’s top emerging<br />

markets. Industry executives were<br />

asked to name the most important<br />

drivers of economic diversification for<br />

GCC countries, all of which are trying<br />

to reduce dependence on oil and gas<br />

by accelerating private-sector growth.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y identified a number of factors,<br />

including access to capital, skilled<br />

labor, and a robust infrastructure.<br />

Respondents identified the key factors<br />

as having well-developed technology<br />

development and innovation; a small<br />

business environment that is conducive<br />

to growth; infrastructure development<br />

that supports economic vitality; regional<br />

and global integration that fosters<br />

trade and business ties; a skilled labor<br />

force that is available and willing to<br />

work; ending energy subsidies that<br />

support high costs; and creating career<br />

opportunities for women.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re was a lot of volatility among<br />

the rankings, with conflict and other<br />

problems hurting some countries more<br />

than others. Countries like Ukraine,<br />

Iran, Russia, and Colombia all saw<br />

their rankings decline, while others<br />

like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Jordan,<br />

Sri Lanka, and Ghana all saw their<br />

rankings improve.<br />

On the other hand, Dubai International<br />

Financial Centre has finalized<br />

regulations to enable more familyowned<br />

businesses to start operating<br />

from its Global Family Business and<br />

Private Wealth Centre which opens in<br />

<strong>March</strong>. <strong>The</strong> centre will provide a range<br />

of services to help these businesses<br />

succeed, including support from experts<br />

Dubai International<br />

Financial Centre<br />

has finalized<br />

regulations to<br />

enable more<br />

family-owned<br />

businesses to<br />

start operating<br />

from its Global<br />

Family Business<br />

and Private Wealth<br />

Centre.<br />

in finance, accounting, and marketing.<br />

<strong>The</strong> new regulatory framework<br />

provides a strong foundation for the<br />

new wealth centre. It will govern<br />

how UAE, regional and global familyowned<br />

businesses, and ultra-high net<br />

worth individuals (UHNWI) and private<br />

wealth offices operate from DIFC. This<br />

framework will help to create a more<br />

stable and prosperous environment for<br />

these businesses, and will support the<br />

growth of DIFC as a leading centre for<br />

wealth management.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> introduction of these new<br />

regulations marks a significant step<br />

forward in our commitment to setting<br />

the standards for excellence in the<br />

industry,” said Jacques Visser, chief<br />

legal officer at DIFC. “With a focus<br />

on transparency, accountability and<br />

stability, these regulations provide<br />

a comprehensive framework that<br />

will allow our clients to operate with<br />

confidence, knowing that their interests<br />

are protected by the highest level of<br />

legal and regulatory oversight.”<br />

Moreover, DIFC Business Incubation<br />

Program is designed to bring family<br />

businesses and ultra-high-net-worth<br />

individuals from the UAE and the<br />

broader MEASA region and beyond to<br />

DIFC. Family-owned businesses are an<br />

important part of the UAE economy,<br />

contributing to a large number of jobs<br />

and helping to drive economic activity.<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir supply chains provide a network<br />

of businesses that help to increase<br />

productivity and efficiency.<br />

In 2021, the UAE Ministry of Economy<br />

announced that it was considering<br />

new policies to help family businesses<br />

grow. <strong>The</strong>se policies could include<br />

providing financial support and training,<br />

developing new marketing strategies,<br />

and promoting family-owned businesses<br />

through public awareness campaigns.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are more than 460 entities in<br />

DIFC with family structures, accounting<br />

for almost 10% of companies in the<br />

financial hub. This indicates the<br />

importance of family ties in the region.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se entities are responsible for<br />

running businesses belonging to some<br />

of the most prominent families in the<br />

UAE, GCC, Middle East, CIS countries,<br />

India, and China.<br />

If you are already a DIFC family office,<br />

you can choose to move to the new<br />

centre, where you can take advantage<br />

of extra privacy benefits and tailored<br />

services. DIFC anticipates that the<br />

number of family-owned businesses in<br />

the region will grow significantly as a<br />

result of the new wealth centre. This is<br />

an important step forward in fostering<br />

entrepreneurship and economic growth<br />

in DIFC.<br />

Growth in the UAE will be driven by<br />

wealthy individuals who are moving<br />

away from European jurisdictions, such<br />

as Switzerland, France, Italy, Portugal<br />

and the UK, to set up in the country.<br />

<strong>The</strong> financial wealth of the UAE is<br />

growing rapidly, and is expected to<br />

grow even faster in the future. This<br />

growth is due to the increasing value<br />

of financial and real assets.<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE’s financial wealth grew<br />

by 20% in 2021, outpacing growth in<br />

global financial wealth, and the country<br />

accounted for 30% of the total financial<br />

wealth in the GCC, according to BCG<br />

estimates. This growth was largely<br />

due to an influx of more than 2,000<br />

millionaires, which helped the UAE<br />

become the region’s leading source of<br />

financial wealth. Furthermore, the new<br />

regulations establish certification and<br />

accreditation programmes to support<br />

the benefits and incentives planned for<br />

family businesses in the UAE under<br />

the UAE Family Business Law. <strong>The</strong><br />

main purpose of the certification and<br />

accreditation regimes is to ensure that<br />

family businesses follow good practices<br />

and are governed properly.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 25

Business News<br />

Burjeel and Leejam Join Forces to Bring Cutting-Edge Sports Medicine<br />

to Saudi Arabia<br />

Burjeel Holdings, a company<br />

located in Abu Dhabi, has<br />

announced its entry into the<br />

Saudi Arabian market through a<br />

partnership with Leejam Sports Company.<br />

This Company operates fitness centers<br />

under the brand “Fitness Time” in both<br />

Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and is one of<br />

the largest fitness center operators in the<br />

region. <strong>The</strong> joint venture between Burjeel<br />

Holdings and Leejam Sports Company<br />

involves the creation and operation of<br />

a network of over 60 physiotherapy,<br />

rehabilitation, and wellness clinics within<br />

Leejam’s fitness centers throughout<br />

Saudi Arabia. <strong>The</strong> clinics will also offer<br />

complementary medical services, with<br />

a special focus on sports medicine and<br />

innovative rehabilitation techniques, and<br />

the treatments will be available within<br />

the next 12 to 18 months.<br />

Dubai Hotel Occupancy<br />

Sets a <strong>World</strong> Record with<br />

73% in 2022<br />

<strong>The</strong> Dubai Department of Economy<br />

and Tourism reported a 97%<br />

increase in international visitors,<br />

reaching 14.36M. This resulted in<br />

a higher hotel occupancy rate in the city,<br />

with an occupancy rate of 73%, which is<br />

higher than the average occupancy rate<br />

of 67% from the previous year. Dubai<br />

has become a popular destination for<br />

international visitors, offering quality and<br />

premium services with the help of partners<br />

such as Emirates Airline, Flydubai and<br />

other hospitality units of the government.<br />

In comparison, hotels in Europe and Asia<br />

recorded a lower occupancy rate of 64.6%<br />

and 52.3% respectively. <strong>The</strong> occupancy<br />

rate in the Middle East and Africa was<br />

63.6% and 54.2%, while North America,<br />

South America, Australia and Oceania<br />

recorded a much lower occupancy rate<br />

at 62.5%, 57%, and 63.9% respectively.<br />

UAE’s Foreign Trade Reaches Record High of AED<br />

2.2T in 2022<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE’s non-oil foreign trade<br />

reached a milestone in 2022,<br />

with a record high of AED<br />

2.233T and a growth rate of<br />

17% compared to the previous year. This<br />

marks the first time that the country’s<br />

non-oil foreign trade has surpassed<br />

the AED 2T threshold. In 2020, the<br />

growth rate was 12% and the total<br />

was AED 1.496T. In 2021, there was a<br />

significant increase of 28%, bringing<br />

the total to AED 1.911T. <strong>The</strong> Cabinet<br />

also approved a plan for the UAE to<br />

host the 28th Conference of the Parties<br />

(COP28) and tasked the Ministry of<br />

Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory<br />

Authority (VARA) recently<br />

released its Virtual Assets<br />

and Related Activities<br />

Regulations <strong>2023</strong>, which establish a<br />

comprehensive framework for virtual<br />

assets (VAs) with a focus on economic<br />

sustainability and financial security.<br />

<strong>The</strong> regulations include seven licensed<br />

VA activities and cover areas such as<br />

advisory services, exchange services,<br />

and payments. VARA will ensure VA<br />

Climate Change and Environment with<br />

coordinating with federal and local<br />

authorities to prepare the country for<br />

the event. <strong>The</strong> Ministry will also ensure<br />

that federal government entities play<br />

a role in organizing this important<br />

global gathering.<br />

Dubai Leads the Way with Specialized Regulations<br />

for Virtual Assets<br />

stability, investor protection, and<br />

jurisdictional resilience through the<br />

regulations. <strong>The</strong> framework provides<br />

regulatory clarity and mandates highstandard<br />

risk assurance and anti-money<br />

laundering measures for licensed<br />

entities in Dubai. <strong>The</strong> regulations also<br />

regulate the issuance of new tokens,<br />

allowing consumers to make informed<br />

decisions about the obligations of<br />

issuers.<br />

26 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

UAE Imposes Fines for Private Companies that do<br />

not meet Emiratisation target by July 1<br />

Private businesses will now be fined<br />

AED 7,000 for each unemployed<br />

UAE national if they don’t meet<br />

new Emiratization targets, which<br />

call for a 1% growth by July 1. <strong>The</strong> fine will<br />

now be assessed every two years. H.E. Dr.<br />

Abdul Rahman Al Awar, Minister of Human<br />

Resources and Emiratisation, announced<br />

changes to the mechanism of reaching<br />

Emiratisation targets in private sector<br />

enterprises with 50 or more employees<br />

during a media briefing regarding the<br />

Drydocks <strong>World</strong> Scores<br />

Big with FPSO Upgrade<br />

Contract from Altera<br />

<strong>The</strong> contract between Drydocks<br />

<strong>World</strong>, Aker Solutions, and Altera<br />

Infrastructure was signed<br />

at DP <strong>World</strong>’s Head Office in<br />

Dubai, with attendees including H.E<br />

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, the Group<br />

Chairman and CEO of DP <strong>World</strong> and<br />

Chairman of Drydocks <strong>World</strong>, Sturla<br />

Magnus from Aker Solutions, and Arne<br />

Hygen Tørnkvist from Altera Infrastructure.<br />

Drydocks <strong>World</strong> and Aker<br />

Solutions have formed a joint venture<br />

to offer comprehensive services to<br />

the global energy industry. Altera Infrastructure<br />

has chosen the JV for the<br />

upgrade of an FPSO vessel in the UK oil<br />

and gas sector. Aker Solutions will manage<br />

equipment design and procurement<br />

in Norway, while Drydocks <strong>World</strong> will<br />

oversee fabrication and construction<br />

in Dubai. <strong>The</strong> JV’s first contract is with<br />

Altera Infrastructure for upgrading,<br />

refurbishing, and electrifying the FPSO<br />

Petrojarl Knarr, which will allow it to operate<br />

efficiently and for a longer period<br />

of time in the Rosebank field.<br />

new schemes for the Emiratisation.<br />

According to the modifications made to<br />

Cabinet Resolution No. 5/19’s provisions<br />

for 2022, this is the case. He clarified that<br />

companies must now raise the number<br />

of competent Emirati employees by 1%<br />

every six months. Starting in July <strong>2023</strong>,<br />

businesses will be subject to fines if<br />

they don’t fulfil the target for the first<br />

half of <strong>2023</strong>, while 2022 noncompliance<br />

contributions will still be collected.<br />

Dubai Metaverse Platform<br />

is Launched by DIFC Amid<br />

$4B Tech Push<br />

Dubai International Financial<br />

Centre (DIFC) announced<br />

the “DIFC Metaverse Platform”<br />

will be going live. <strong>The</strong><br />

metaverse platform created by the<br />

DIFC aims to solidify Dubai’s position<br />

as a worldwide metaverse leader by<br />

luring in and nurturing talent from<br />

around the world in the burgeoning<br />

technology. A studio with an accelerator<br />

programme for metaverse technologies<br />

will be essential to the development.<br />

<strong>The</strong> rising metaverse community in<br />

Dubai will use it as a hub, for identifying<br />

metaverse laws and regulations.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Dubai Metaverse Strategy, which<br />

intends to boost Dubai’s GDP by $4B,<br />

support 40,000 virtual employment<br />

by 2030, and draw in 1,000 firms specialising<br />

in blockchain and metaverse<br />

technologies. <strong>The</strong> platform also supports<br />

the goal of the recently unveiled<br />

Dubai Economic Agenda D33, which is<br />

to annually generate economic value<br />

from digital transformation worth AED<br />

100B ($27B).<br />

Green bond orders for<br />

Saudi Arabia’s PIF totals<br />

more than $12B<br />

According to a bank document,<br />

the sovereign Public Investment<br />

Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia has<br />

received more than $12B in<br />

orders for the sale of dollar-denominated<br />

green bonds made up of tranches with<br />

tenors of seven, twelve, and thirty years.<br />

According to the document, the orders do<br />

not include joint lead managers’ interest<br />

in the debt sale that is anticipated to<br />

price later. According to an investor<br />

presentation for the bonds sold in<br />

October, PIF anticipates investing more<br />

than $10B by 2026 in green projects<br />

that qualify, such as sustainable water<br />

management, clean transportation, and<br />

renewable energy. In contrast, the fund<br />

has stated that through 2025 it will<br />

make domestic investments of around<br />

$40B annually.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 27

Wheels<br />

Ford Everest<br />

<strong>The</strong> Ford Everest is eagerly<br />

anticipated by SUV enthusiasts<br />

in the United Arab Emirates,<br />

with its launch expected to<br />

take place in the last quarter of <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

This means that the car is likely to<br />

be available for purchase anywhere<br />

between October and December of that<br />

year. However, it is expected that the<br />

booking process for the Ford Everest<br />

may commence even before the official<br />

launch date.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Ford Everest that is slated for<br />

release in the United Arab Emirates<br />

will be equipped with a 2.3-litre Turbo<br />

Petrol engine from Ford’s EcoBoost<br />

family. This powerplant is projected<br />

to deliver a robust 300 horsepower<br />

and an impressive 420 Nm of torque,<br />

making it a force to be reckoned with<br />

on the road. <strong>The</strong> transmission duties<br />

will be taken care of by a highly efficient<br />

10-speed torque converter automatic<br />

gearbox, ensuring smooth and seamless<br />

shifting. To tackle the toughest terrain,<br />

the Ford Everest will come with a<br />

full-time four-wheel drive system and<br />

a low-range transfer case, providing<br />

superior traction and stability in all<br />

driving conditions.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Ford Everest will come packed<br />

with an array of advanced features<br />

that will make it a highly capable and<br />

comfortable SUV. Some of its key<br />

features will include a spacious and<br />

well-appointed cabin, a state-of-theart<br />

infotainment system with a large<br />

touchscreen display, a premium audio<br />

system, and seamless smartphone<br />

integration.<br />

28 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Specifications<br />

Horsepower: 300 horsepower<br />

Transmission: 10-speed automatic<br />

Acceleration: 0 - 100 km/h - 10 seconds<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 29

Cover Story<br />

30 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Zayed Ambition 2: Exploring the<br />

Potential of UAE’s Space Economy<br />

for Sustainable Growth<br />

<strong>The</strong> longest Arab space mission in history was launched on Thursday, <strong>March</strong><br />

2, <strong>2023</strong>, carried out by the Emirati astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi, during which<br />

he will spend 6 months aboard the International Space Station. In this article,<br />

we hope to provide insights into the economic opportunities presented by<br />

investing in the UAE’s Space Sector, considering the employment and revenue<br />

generated as a result of the sector’s growth.<br />

Exclusive to <strong>The</strong> <strong>Finance</strong> <strong>World</strong> Magazine<br />

<strong>The</strong> Longest Arab Space Mission<br />

in History:<br />

<strong>The</strong> Crew 6 of SpaceX, carrying<br />

astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi and his<br />

Crew-6 colleagues, has successfully<br />

arrived at the International Space<br />

Station after approximately 24 hours of<br />

launching on Thursday. Sultan AlNeyadi<br />

is now the second Arab to undertake a<br />

prolonged space mission. <strong>The</strong> Dragon<br />

capsule, named Endeavour, was utilized<br />

by Crew 6 and it lifted off from NASA’s<br />

Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 12:34<br />

a.m. EST on <strong>March</strong> 2, <strong>2023</strong>; the initial<br />

effort to launch the crew was called off<br />

on Monday because of an obstruction<br />

in the engine ignition system’s filter,<br />

moments before the launch.<br />

AlNeyadi his Crew-6 colleagues will<br />

substitute a team composed of US-<br />

Russian-Japanese individuals who have<br />

been stationed there since October.<br />

<strong>The</strong> other occupants of the station are<br />

two Russians and an American. <strong>The</strong>ir<br />

six-month stay was extended until<br />

September after their Soyuz capsule<br />

encountered a leak, and a new Soyuz<br />

capsule arrived last weekend. AlNeyadi,<br />

a communications engineer, was the<br />

backup for the first Emirati astronaut,<br />

Hazzaa Al-Mansoori, who travelled to<br />

the space station in 2019 for a one-week<br />

visit on a Russian spacecraft.<br />

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed<br />

bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince<br />

of Dubai, Chairman of the Executive<br />

Council of Dubai, and President of<br />

MBRSC, said “Congratulations to the<br />

UAE and the Arab world for achieving<br />

a historical milestone. Today, we start<br />

a new mission to explore space and<br />

achieve the impossible. We wish Sultan<br />

Al Neyadi success in this new journey.”<br />

During the Post Launch News<br />

Conference, H.E. Salem Humaid<br />

AlMarri, the Director General of MBRSC,<br />

expressed his gratitude towards NASA<br />

and SpaceX for their dedication towards<br />

the successful launch of the mission,<br />

which was made even more special due<br />

to the presence of an Emirati astronaut<br />

on board. AlMarri highlighted that<br />

this was the UAE’s second astronaut<br />

mission, with the first being carried<br />

out by astronaut Hazzaa AlMansoori<br />

in 2019. He emphasized that the UAE<br />

has a long-term strategy and aims to<br />

promote human spaceflight missions<br />

in the region. <strong>The</strong> successful launch<br />

has made the UAE the 11th country<br />

globally to have launched a longduration<br />

astronaut mission to the<br />

International Space Station, and the<br />

MBRSC will continue to work towards<br />

achieving its set goals.<br />

According to Amer AlSayegh, the<br />

Al Neyadi’s space<br />

mission marks<br />

the UAE’s second<br />

human space<br />

flight, following<br />

the eight-day<br />

expedition of<br />

the first Emirati<br />

astronaut, Hazzaa<br />

Al Mansoori, to<br />

ISS in 2019.<br />

Senior Director of the Space Engineering<br />

Department at MBRSC, there will<br />

be continuous communication and<br />

collaboration between the ground<br />

control stations located in both the<br />

UAE and the USA, and the International<br />

Space Station.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 31

Cover Story<br />

Astronauts aboard the International<br />

Space Station spoke to Crew-6 on the<br />

Dragon spacecraft after a successful<br />

docking. Astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi<br />

was greeted in the Arabic language.<br />

He entered the International Space<br />

Station where he will spend the next<br />

6 months on the longest Arab space<br />

mission in history. Adding to this<br />

great achievement, the MBRSC hosted<br />

SpaceOps <strong>2023</strong> in the UAE for the first<br />

time, bringing together key stakeholders<br />

from the space sector at the Dubai<br />

<strong>World</strong> Trade Centre on <strong>March</strong> 6-10,<br />

<strong>2023</strong> under the theme “Invest in Space<br />

to serve Earth and Beyond”.<br />

Taking that recent achievement<br />

made by the UAE, it is worth noting<br />

that the space sector has emerged as a<br />

key contributor to the UAE’s economy,<br />

generating significant employment<br />

opportunities, promoting innovation<br />

and knowledge transfer, and driving<br />

economic growth. <strong>The</strong> UAE’s strategic<br />

investments in the sector have been<br />

focused on developing advanced<br />

satellite technologies, investing in<br />

space research and development,<br />

and fostering partnerships with<br />

32 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />

Zayed Ambition<br />

2, under the<br />

UAE Astronaut<br />

Programme,<br />

adds to UAE’s<br />

scientific<br />

achievements<br />

with 19<br />

experiments by<br />

Al Neyadi.<br />

international space agencies. Sen. Bill<br />

Nelson, NASA Administrator, referred<br />

to the importance of International<br />

Partnerships in the Space Sector,<br />

including NASA’s partnership with<br />

the UAE.<br />

Zayed Ambition 2 – a Crucial<br />

Achievement for the UAE’s Space<br />

Sector:<br />

<strong>The</strong> mission is one of a series of<br />

ambitious Emirati missions, which<br />

include the launch of MBZ-Sat and the<br />

arrival of the Explorer Rashid to the<br />

moon. Zayed Ambition 2, a part of the<br />

UAE Astronaut Programme, is a crucial<br />

addition to the scientific achievements<br />

of the UAE’s space sector and will<br />

see Al Neyadi conduct 19 research<br />

experiments and advanced studies.<br />

Sultan Al Neyadi, undertaking the<br />

UAE Astronaut Mission 2, is the Mission<br />

Specialist of the Crew-6 mission,<br />

along with NASA astronauts Stephen<br />

Bowen (Spacecraft Commander) and<br />

Warren Hoburg (Pilot), and Roscosmos<br />

cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev (Mission<br />

Specialist). Crew-6 is part of Expedition<br />

68/69 to ISS.

During the mission, Sultan Al<br />

Neyadi will collaborate with NASA,<br />

the European Space Agency (ESA), the<br />

Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Japan<br />

Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)<br />

and the National Centre for Space<br />

Studies (CNES) to conduct 19 scientific<br />

studies across a wide range of topics.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se topics will include cardiovascular<br />

and immune system health, back pain,<br />

technical demonstrations, epigenetics,<br />

fluid science, plant biology, material<br />

science, sleep analysis, and radiation.<br />

During the six months that astronaut<br />

Sultan will be spending on the ISS, the<br />

Emirate Literature Foundation will<br />

collaborate with MBRSC to produce a<br />

weekly broadcast filled with interviews,<br />

engaging facts, competitions, activities,<br />

and opportunities for all students in the<br />

UAE to ask the astronaut questions. <strong>The</strong><br />

Centre aims to reach 20,000 students<br />

and children through the initiative,<br />

which is set to become a landmark<br />

in interactive education, bringing the<br />

ground-breaking and exciting work of<br />

the UAE’s space mission to life.<br />

UAE’s Space Economy and Its<br />

Potential for Sustainable Growth:<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE has made space industry<br />

a top priority for the next 50 years,<br />

spending AED 22B on space-related<br />

activities between 2015 and 2020.<br />

Contractual agreements for space<br />

services and applications also increased<br />

by 40% in 2020, as reported by the UAE<br />

Space Agency.<br />

In recent years, the country has<br />

implemented strategies to strengthen<br />

its space sector, including the recent<br />

long-term space mission of Emirati<br />

astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi. <strong>The</strong> UAE<br />

also launched the National Space<br />

Fund, a AED 3B fund to support<br />

innovative programs that encourage<br />

international and local cooperation<br />

in space engineering, sciences, and<br />

research applications.<br />

To support the national space<br />

economy, the UAE Space Agency<br />

created the “Space Economic Zones<br />

Programme” to assist space startups<br />

and SMEs in forming partnerships with<br />

various entities within the country.<br />

<strong>The</strong> program has three primary<br />

components, including Space Economy<br />

Stimulus Packages, Space Labs, and<br />

the establishment of Space Economic<br />

Zones.<br />

<strong>The</strong> objectives of the program are<br />

threefold: to develop an appealing<br />

and integrated business environment<br />

that meets both local and international<br />

needs, to enhance the competitiveness<br />

of companies involved in the space<br />

economy, thus increasing demand for<br />

space applications and services, and<br />

to promote innovation and expand the<br />

sector’s economic contribution to the<br />

non-oil GDP of the country.<br />

In collaboration with the Federal<br />

Competitiveness and Statistics Centre<br />

(FCSC), the UAE Space Agency<br />

conducted the “Space Economic<br />

Survey 2022” last year. <strong>The</strong> survey<br />

included input from various national<br />

entities operating in the space<br />

sector, such as government agencies,<br />

private companies, and academic<br />

and research institutions focused on<br />

space technology and communications<br />

in the UAE. <strong>The</strong> Space Economic<br />

Survey 2022 evaluates the impact of<br />

the space industry on the national<br />

economy, measuring factors such as<br />

the number of companies engaged in<br />

space activities, foreign investment,<br />

and total spending on space projects.<br />

<strong>The</strong> survey also examines investment<br />

in research and development, space<br />

exploration, and the number of people<br />

employed in the sector.<br />

<strong>The</strong> growth of the UAE’s space sector<br />

has the potential for creating new<br />

job opportunities, with estimates<br />

suggesting that the sector currently<br />

employs over 2,000 people in the<br />

country, including highly skilled<br />

engineers, scientists, and technicians<br />

who work across the space industry’s<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 33

Cover Story<br />

various segments, such as satellite<br />

design and development, satellite<br />

operations and maintenance, and<br />

satellite-based services. Moreover, the<br />

UAE’s space sector has also stimulated<br />

the growth of other industries, including<br />

the development of new technologies,<br />

materials, and equipment, which are<br />

utilized in the manufacture and launch<br />

of satellites.<br />

Additionally, the UAE launched<br />

the National Plan for the Promotion<br />

of Space Investment in 2019 with the<br />

objective of increasing domestic and<br />

foreign investment in the country’s<br />

space sector. This initiative aims to<br />

establish the UAE as a regional centre<br />

for commercial space activities and<br />

advanced research and development<br />

while also encouraging local investment<br />

in space-related projects both within<br />

the country and globally.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Space Investment Promotion Plan<br />

aligns with the objectives outlined in the<br />

UAE Vision 2021, UAE 2071, and the UAE<br />

Plan on the 4th Industrial Revolution. Its<br />

primary objectives include diversifying<br />

and ensuring the sustainability of<br />

the UAE economy, promoting a<br />

highly productive knowledge-based<br />

economy, providing incentives for<br />

research and development, encouraging<br />

entrepreneurship, and enhancing the<br />

role and opportunities for SMEs in the<br />

private sector.<br />

According to H.E. Salem Humaid<br />

AlMarri, the Director General of MBRSC,<br />

the UAE has had a long-standing interest<br />

in space that dates back to the 1970s,<br />

with the late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin<br />

Sultan Al Nahyan inspiring the country<br />

to pursue space exploration. During the<br />

opening ceremony of SpaceOps <strong>2023</strong>,<br />

AlMarri further stated that MBRSC has<br />

achieved several significant milestones<br />

in space exploration, including<br />

launching satellites, sending the Hope<br />

Probe to Mars’ orbit, and the Rashid<br />

rover’s mission to the Moon, as well<br />

as participating in astronaut missions.<br />

AlMarri also emphasized that the UAE is<br />

committed to continuing its investments<br />

in space exploration.<br />

From his side, Adnan AlRais, Local<br />

Organising Committee Chair, MBRSC,<br />

said that “Over 560 research papers<br />

will be presented showcasing the latest<br />

developments in mission planning,<br />

astronaut missions, and best practices,<br />

among others.”<br />

Al Marri also added: “I think we’ll be<br />

the 10th or 11th country that does a<br />

long-term space flight to the ISS. And<br />

I think that sends a clear message that<br />

we are here to be active players and<br />

we are here to stay.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE has made remarkable<br />

progress in space exploration, from<br />

being the first Arab nation and fifth<br />

country globally to reach Mars to<br />

launching the first long-term Arab<br />

space mission. Two significant<br />

accomplishments in the country’s<br />

growing space endeavours are the<br />

Emirates Mars Mission, also known<br />

as the “Hope Probe,” and the Emirates<br />

Lunar Mission, also known as the<br />

“Rashid Rover.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE plans to establish a<br />

sustainable astronaut program by<br />

conducting multiple spaceflights in the<br />

future. Additionally, the country is in<br />

talks with NASA regarding participation<br />

in the Artemis program, which aims<br />

to establish a human presence on the<br />

Moon. Given the country’s ambitious<br />

space missions, it is highly likely that<br />

its future astronauts will be part of<br />

upcoming missions to the Moon, Mars,<br />

and other planets.<br />

34<br />

www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>


<strong>The</strong> Apple HomePod 2 is the highly<br />

anticipated follow-up to the<br />

original smart speaker that set<br />

the standard for sound quality.<br />

With rumours of a new release on the<br />

horizon, fans are eagerly awaiting what<br />

Apple has in store for its next-generation<br />

smart speaker. One of the most anticipated<br />

features is the addition of a display, which<br />

would allow for better integration with<br />

other Apple devices and more visual<br />

content. Improved voice recognition,<br />

smarter AI assistants, and expanded<br />

music and home automation integrations<br />

are also expected. Additionally, a more<br />

affordable price point would make the<br />

HomePod 2 more accessible to a wider<br />

range of customers. With the success of<br />

the original HomePod, the possibilities<br />

for the new model are endless, and we<br />

can’t wait to see what Apple has in store<br />

for the next generation of smart speakers.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 35

Start-up<br />

Promising Startups transforming the<br />

Market in the UAE<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE has become a hub for promising startups, with a rapidly growing number of companies<br />

disrupting industries and pioneering new solutions in the region. Its thriving startup ecosystem<br />

is supported by its strategic location, diverse and cosmopolitan population, and a pro-business<br />

environment. From fintech to e-commerce, healthtech to edtech, the UAE is home to a broad range<br />

of innovative startups that are attracting significant investment and gaining global recognition.<br />

In this context, we highlight five of the promising startups emerging from the UAE and the<br />

impact they are making on their respective industries.<br />

Beehive<br />

Based in Dubai, Beehive is<br />

the first peer to peer (P2P)<br />

lending platform in MENA to<br />

be regulated by the DFSA. As<br />

a leading Fintech pioneer, the company<br />

uses innovative technology to directly<br />

connect businesses seeking fast, affordable<br />

finance with investors who can help<br />

fund their growth.<br />

Beehive, which was founded in the<br />

United Arab Emirates in 2014 by Craig<br />

Moore, has taken peer-to-peer lending<br />

to the next level. It specializes in<br />

digital financial solutions for small and<br />

medium-sized businesses (SMEs). By<br />

linking its customers with interested<br />

investors, Beehive has managed to attract<br />

a user base of over 15,500 individuals.<br />

Since the launch, businesses have<br />

borrowed more than AED 1B through<br />

the company’s platform.<br />

Craig Moore,<br />

Founder and CEO<br />

Letswork<br />

Letswork is a co-working start-up<br />

based in the UAE and focused<br />

on providing accessible and<br />

affordable co-working spaces<br />

for freelancers, entrepreneurs and<br />

small businesses. It was established<br />

with the goal of connecting individuals<br />

with spaces. Beginning at their initial<br />

hotel partner in Dubai, the company has<br />

expanded into a worldwide provider<br />

of workspace solutions that emphasize<br />

flexibility, productivity, and community<br />

experiences.<br />

With the growth of the gig economy<br />

and remote work, the demand for<br />

flexible and collaborative workspaces<br />

has skyrocketed. However, traditional<br />

co-working spaces can be expensive<br />

and require long-term commitments,<br />

which can be a barrier to entry for many.<br />

Letswork aims to address this gap by<br />

offering hourly and daily rates, as well<br />

as monthly and annual memberships<br />

that don’t require a deposit or a longterm<br />

contract. <strong>The</strong> start-up has already<br />

expanded to several locations across<br />

the UAE and has plans for further<br />

expansion in the near future.<br />

Letswork prioritizes sustainability<br />

in its business practices; coworking<br />

spaces are naturally sustainable since<br />

they encourage the sharing of resources,<br />

supplies, and spaces, which ultimately<br />

helps reduce waste. <strong>The</strong> company takes<br />

this a step further by not constructing<br />

its own coworking spaces. Instead,<br />

the company utilizes pre-existing<br />

resources and maximizes their usage.<br />

By offering a network of workspaces,<br />

Letswork’s users can work closer to<br />

home, avoiding long commutes and<br />

lowering their carbon emissions.<br />

36 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

PayTabs<br />

Abdulaziz Fahad Al Jouf,<br />

Founder and CEO<br />

PayTabs is a financial technology<br />

company established in 2014<br />

in the United Arab Emirates.<br />

It offers payment solutions<br />

and has branches in the UAE, Saudi<br />

Arabia, and Egypt. It has processed<br />

transactions worth more than US$4B<br />

in both 2021 and 2022.<br />

PayTabs utilizes API plugins to make<br />

online, mobile, and social commerce<br />

transactions easier for merchants and<br />

super merchants. Additionally, it offers<br />

a “plug and play” payment feature for<br />

users to integrate into their websites,<br />

which includes payment options like QR<br />

codes, digital invoicing, and payment<br />

links for social media.<br />

PayTabs was one of the first companies<br />

in the “fintech” space to offer seamless<br />

B2B ecommerce solutions specifically for<br />

SMEs, establishing itself as a pioneering<br />

home-grown business. With financial<br />

support from private Saudi investors,<br />

PayTabs developed and exported a<br />

complete suite of groundbreaking mobile<br />

applications, including solutions for the<br />

hospitality, government, education, airline,<br />

travel, transport, and billing industries,<br />

which allowed for interconnection<br />

between the multi-billion-dollar enterprise<br />

market chain in the MENA region.<br />

By introducing PayTabs SwitchOn, a<br />

fully integrated, real-time, and turnkey<br />

platform, PayTabs has solidified its<br />

position as a dominant player in the<br />

global end-to-end payment solutions<br />

market.<br />

MUNCH:ON<br />

In 2015, Dana Baki launched<br />

MUNCH:ON, a food delivery app.<br />

Initially known as LUNCH:ON,<br />

the startup has since expanded<br />

into a platform that operates in the<br />

UAE and Saudi Arabia. MUNCH:ON<br />

has transformed the food delivery<br />

landscape in the region, providing<br />

customers with high-quality food<br />

and exceptional service. Baki’s<br />

background as a senior manager at<br />

P&G, combined with her education at<br />

Georgetown University’s McDonough<br />

School of Business, has undoubtedly<br />

contributed to her success as an<br />

entrepreneur. Her vision and leadership<br />

have resulted in MUNCH:ON raising<br />

$15M in investments from multiple<br />

sources, including Wamda Capital,<br />

Global Ventures, and B&Y Ventures,<br />

to name a few. With more than 400<br />

restaurants on the platform and<br />

deliveries to over 500 offices across<br />

the UAE, MUNCH:ON has contributed<br />

to the transformation of the food<br />

delivery industry in the region. <strong>The</strong><br />

investments raised also signal a belief<br />

in the platform’s potential to continue<br />

growing and transforming the food<br />

delivery landscape. <strong>The</strong> company was<br />

acquired by Careem in 2022 to expand<br />

its food offering on the Super App.<br />

Dana Baki,<br />

Founder<br />

FODEL<br />

Soumia Benturquia,<br />

Founder and CEO<br />

Soumia Benturquia is the founder<br />

and CEO of FODEL, a parcel pickup<br />

provider for online shoppers.<br />

Founded in 2015, FODEL has<br />

quickly become a prominent player<br />

in the e-commerce logistics space,<br />

providing customers with a seamless<br />

and efficient delivery experience. With<br />

branches across the UAE, Saudi Arabia,<br />

Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman and a team<br />

of over 50 employees, the company has<br />

established itself as a leading parcel<br />

pick-up provider in the region.<br />

One of the key factors contributing<br />

to FODEL’s success is its partnerships<br />

with major players in the industry, such<br />

as Amazon and Landmark. In 2021, the<br />

company announced a new partnership<br />

with DHL, expanding its network<br />

from over 200 active locations to over<br />

2,500 locations in MENA. Benturquia’s<br />

entrepreneurial spirit and drive have<br />

been instrumental in the company’s<br />

growth and success. She has not only<br />

secured over $8M in funding for FODEL<br />

but also has been recognized for her<br />

achievements as a Forbes Middle East 30<br />

under 30 honouree. As the e-commerce<br />

market continues to expand rapidly<br />

in the Middle East, companies like<br />

FODEL will continue to play a crucial<br />

role in meeting the evolving demands<br />

of consumers.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 37

Startup News<br />

Zurich Innovation Championship Paves the Way<br />

for UAE’s Startup Hub Dream<br />

Zurich Innovation Championship<br />

has brought UAE one step<br />

closer to its goal of becoming<br />

the leading startup hub in the<br />

region. <strong>The</strong> championship saw participation<br />

from over 1,000 startups<br />

across 20 countries, with 10 startups<br />

from the UAE making it to the final<br />

round. <strong>The</strong> startups showcased their<br />

innovative solutions in areas such as<br />

healthcare, mobility, and sustainability.<br />

<strong>The</strong> competition offered the opportunity<br />

for UAE’s startups to gain global<br />

recognition and connect with potential<br />

investors, partners, and customers. With<br />

initiatives like the Zurich Innovation<br />

Championship, the UAE government<br />

aims to establish the country as a hub<br />

for startups, fostering innovation, and<br />

contributing to the economic growth<br />

of the region.<br />

IMPACT46 launches<br />

$133M Fund<br />

IMPACT46, a new venture capital<br />

firm, has announced the launch of<br />

its first fund worth $133M. <strong>The</strong> firm<br />

aims to invest in early-stage startups<br />

that are focused on building solutions for<br />

some of the world’s biggest challenges,<br />

such as climate change, healthcare, and<br />

social justice. IMPACT46 was founded by<br />

experienced investors who have previously<br />

invested in some of the most successful<br />

startups in the world, including Airbnb,<br />

Dropbox, and Uber. <strong>The</strong> firm aims to<br />

not only provide financial support but<br />

also to mentor and provide resources to<br />

help their portfolio companies grow and<br />

succeed. With this new fund, IMPACT46<br />

hopes to make a positive impact on the<br />

world while also generating significant<br />

returns for their investors.<br />

Aion Digital Secures $5M<br />

in a Bridge Round<br />

KSA’s Carefer Raises $2.9M Pre-Series A<br />

Riyadh-based startup Carefer has<br />

raised $2.9M in a Pre-Series A<br />

funding round, which was led<br />

by Middle East Venture Partners<br />

(MEVP) and joined by Watar Partners, 500<br />

Startups, and Nazer Group, among others.<br />

Carefer provides an online marketplace<br />

for car buyers and sellers in the Kingdom<br />

of Saudi Arabia (KSA), enabling them<br />

to compare prices, specs, and features<br />

of different car models, and connect<br />

with verified dealers. <strong>The</strong> funds raised<br />

will be used to expand the platform’s<br />

services, including the launch of a new<br />

product that allows customers to test drive<br />

cars at home, and to enhance customer<br />

experience and support.<br />

Aion Digital, a fintech startup<br />

in Bahrain, specializing in<br />

blockchain-based solutions,<br />

has announced the successful<br />

closing of a $5M Bridge funding round.<br />

<strong>The</strong> company aims to leverage the<br />

funding to expand its product offerings<br />

and accelerate its growth trajectory.<br />

Aion Digital’s proprietary technology<br />

provides secure, efficient and low-cost<br />

financial solutions using blockchain,<br />

artificial intelligence and other cutting-edge<br />

technologies. <strong>The</strong> Bridge<br />

round was led by several reputable<br />

investors, including Nogle Capital, R3<br />

Capital and a number of angel investors.<br />

<strong>The</strong> fresh funds will enable Aion Digital<br />

to further its mission of revolutionizing<br />

the global financial ecosystem by<br />

creating innovative solutions that are<br />

accessible to everyone.<br />

38 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Flat6Labs Announces First Close of $20m Startup Seed Fund in Saudi<br />

Arabia<br />

Flat6Labs, a leading startup<br />

accelerator in the Middle East<br />

and North Africa (MENA)<br />

region, has announced the<br />

first close of its $20M seed fund in<br />

Saudi Arabia. <strong>The</strong> fund, launched<br />

in partnership with Saudi-based<br />

investment firm Oqal, will support<br />

early-stage startups across a range of<br />

sectors, including healthcare, fintech,<br />

and e-commerce. Flat6Labs has a<br />

proven track record of supporting and<br />

growing startups in the MENA region,<br />

with over 300 startups in its portfolio<br />

and a presence in multiple countries.<br />

<strong>The</strong> new seed fund will help to further<br />

strengthen the startup ecosystem in<br />

Saudi Arabia, providing much-needed<br />

funding and support to entrepreneurs<br />

with innovative ideas.<br />

Plastus Blasts Past Competition to Win $1M in<br />

LEAP23’s Rocket Fuel Startup Pitch Challenge<br />

Plastus, a Saudi Arabian startup<br />

that is focused on reducing<br />

plastic waste through sustainable<br />

technology, has won the top<br />

prize in LEAP23’s Rocket Fuel Startup<br />

Pitch Challenge. <strong>The</strong> challenge, which<br />

had a total prize pool of $1M, attracted<br />

over 200 applications from start-ups<br />

around the world. Plastus’ innovative<br />

technology converts plastic waste into<br />

high-quality materials that can be used<br />

in various industries. <strong>The</strong> start-up’s win<br />

is a testament to the growing focus on<br />

sustainability in the Middle East and<br />

the world. Plastus plans to use the prize<br />

money to expand its operations and make<br />

a significant impact in reducing plastic<br />

waste globally.<br />

Saudi Arabia’s Thriving Startup Ecosystem Takes a Giant Leap Forward<br />

In recent years, Saudi Arabia’s<br />

startup ecosystem has experienced<br />

tremendous growth and development,<br />

becoming a hotbed of innovation<br />

and entrepreneurship in the region. With<br />

a rapidly expanding pool of tech-savvy<br />

and ambitious young entrepreneurs, the<br />

kingdom is now home to a vibrant and<br />

dynamic startup community. Thanks<br />

to a supportive government, increased<br />

funding opportunities, and a more open<br />

and inclusive business environment, Saudi<br />

Arabia is rapidly establishing itself as a<br />

major player in the global startup scene.<br />

As more and more investors and venture<br />

capitalists look to tap into the country’s<br />

promising startup landscape, the future<br />

looks brighter than ever for Saudi Arabia’s<br />

entrepreneurial visionaries.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 39

Energy<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE promotes Future Solutions to<br />

Global Climate Challenges<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure collaborates closely with its<br />

local and international partners to advance sustainable energy and speed up<br />

the transition to low-carbon fuels. <strong>The</strong> Ministry recently unveiled the National<br />

Sustainable Aviation Fuel Roadmap that aims to establish the UAE as a leading<br />

hub for sustainable aviation fuel in the region and will be instrumental in realizing<br />

the nation’s commitment to carbon neutrality, enhancing fuel efficiency, and<br />

supporting the continued growth of a critical sector that plays a pivotal role in<br />

driving national economies.<br />

40 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

<strong>The</strong> National Sustainable<br />

Aviation Fuel Roadmap<br />

was recently made public<br />

by the Ministry of Energy<br />

and Infrastructure with the goal of<br />

accelerating the decarbonization of<br />

the aviation industry. <strong>The</strong> strategy<br />

helps the UAE become a regional<br />

centre for sustainable aviation fuel<br />

by helping the nation meet its goals<br />

for carbon neutrality, improving fuel<br />

efficiency, and sustaining it in one of<br />

the key industries supporting national<br />

economies.<br />

<strong>The</strong> roadmap was developed based<br />

on a number of key tenets, including<br />

accelerating the aviation sector’s<br />

decarbonization, making the nation a<br />

regional hub for low-carbon aviation<br />

fuel, fostering international cooperation<br />

in this crucial area, and developing<br />

local capabilities to increase local<br />

value in this sector. Through the state’s<br />

membership in ICAO and support of<br />

initiatives pertaining to renewable fuels<br />

and energy in other nations, it also<br />

quickens the transfer of technology<br />

and innovation while aiding in the<br />

worldwide transition to low-carbon<br />

fuels.<br />

H.E. Engineer Youssef Al Ali,<br />

Assistant Undersecretary for the<br />

Electricity, Water, and Future Energy<br />

Sector, H.E. Engineer Sharif Al Olama,<br />

Undersecretary of the Ministry of<br />

Energy and Infrastructure for Energy<br />

and Petroleum Affairs, H.E. Saif Al<br />

Suwaidi, Director General of the General<br />

Authority of Civil Aviation, and other<br />

officials involved in the sector, as<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE plans to achieve net-zero<br />

domestic carbon emissions by 2050,<br />

investing billions in the development<br />

of renewable energy sources that will<br />

meet half of its demands.<br />

well as leaders of the national airlines<br />

and major companies operating, were<br />

present when the announcement was<br />

made.<br />

On this occasion, H.E. Engineer<br />

Sharif Al Olama said: “Thanks to the<br />

directions of the wise leadership led<br />

by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin<br />

Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the State,<br />

and his brother, HH Sheikh Mohamed<br />

bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President,<br />

Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai,<br />

to promote future solutions to global<br />

climate challenges, the latest of which<br />

was the announcement of the UAE<br />

Net Zero 2050 strategic initiative, the<br />

Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure<br />

is keen to cooperate closely with its<br />

partners and proceed according to the<br />

existing plans aimed at expanding the<br />

areas of environmentally friendly energy<br />

use and launching quality initiatives and<br />

ambitious projects, especially those<br />

related to renewable (clean) energy<br />

aimed at supporting the country’s<br />

goals and future vision.” <strong>The</strong> ministry<br />

collaborates closely with its local,<br />

national, and international partners<br />

to advance climate neutrality, achieve<br />

sustainability in the energy sector, and<br />

speed up its transition.<br />

H.E. Saif Mohamed Al Suwaidi,<br />

Director General of the General<br />

Authority of Civil Aviation, said: “<strong>The</strong><br />

civil aviation sector in the UAE supports<br />

all strategic environmental goals set by<br />

ICAO. <strong>The</strong> decisions of the 41 General<br />

Assembly of the organization came<br />

to stress the international aviation<br />

community’s commitment to the<br />

ambitious long-term goal of net zero<br />

2050 strategic initiative. Accordingly,<br />

we must all work hard to prepare the<br />

infrastructure for our sector in order to<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 41

Energy<br />

achieve that goal. For this reason, the<br />

low-carbon and sustainable fuel comes<br />

on our list of priorities with the Ministry<br />

of Energy and Infrastructure. <strong>The</strong><br />

adoption and launch of the sustainable<br />

fuel roadmap are very important in<br />

the path of transition to clean energy,<br />

cutting down international emissions,<br />

and supporting the sector in a balanced<br />

manner so that it continues to grow and<br />

contribute effectively to reducing the<br />

negative effects of climate change.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> National Sustainable Aviation<br />

Fuel Roadmap is one of the ambitious<br />

initiatives that will help the UAE’s<br />

pursuit of global leadership in energy,<br />

particularly clean energy, and the<br />

attainment of its goals for the next fifty<br />

years, according to engineer Youssef Al<br />

Ali. Additionally, it advances the nation’s<br />

goals for sustainable development,<br />

which call for collaboration between<br />

public and private sector organisations<br />

to implement creative solutions and<br />

guarantee the best possible use of<br />

cutting-edge technology in the run-up<br />

to the UAE Centennial in 2071.<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE, a significant oil exporter,<br />

plans to achieve net-zero domestic<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE and<br />

France are<br />

joining efforts<br />

to ensure the<br />

successful<br />

outcome of<br />

COP28 for the<br />

benefit of the<br />

UAE, the wider<br />

region, and the<br />

international<br />

community.<br />

carbon emissions by 2050 by investing<br />

billions in the development of renewable<br />

energy sources that will meet half of its<br />

demands. According to Olivier Bordes,<br />

regional director for France’s EDF<br />

Renewables, the Al Dhafra project,<br />

located in the desert 35 kilometres<br />

south of Abu Dhabi, would supply<br />

enough energy for 160,000 homes in<br />

the country of 10 million people. “It<br />

started producing its first kilowatt<br />

hours of electricity at the end of last<br />

year and should officially go into service<br />

before the summer,” Bordes told AFP.<br />

Once fully operational, the project will<br />

produce up to 2.1 gigawatts, he added.<br />

<strong>The</strong> project, which state-owned<br />

Emirati firms TAQA and Masdar<br />

characterise as the largest singlesite<br />

solar plant in the world, is 60%<br />

controlled by them. A partnership<br />

between EDF Renewables and China’s<br />

Jinko Power Technology owns the<br />

remaining portion. <strong>The</strong> massive, doublesided<br />

solar power facility, which rotates<br />

its panels to face the sun, is located on<br />

a location that is more than 20 square<br />

kilometres in size (nearly 5,000 acres).<br />

France’s <strong>Finance</strong> Minister Bruno Le<br />

42 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Maire commended the “extremely strong<br />

cooperation” between Paris and Abu<br />

Dhabi in the area of renewable energy<br />

when visiting the site recently. Le Maire<br />

stated that he intended to “support”<br />

the Gulf oil-producing nations on their<br />

“decarbonisation” journey while on<br />

a regional visit that included stops<br />

in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Masdar, a<br />

company focused on renewable energy,<br />

said that French and Emirati firms<br />

have “partnered in the development,<br />

investment and operation of over 6.2<br />

gigawatts of clean and renewable<br />

energy programmes across the globe”.<br />

Businesses from both countries have<br />

also “mobilised over $6B in investment,<br />

displacing some 10 million tonnes of<br />

carbon dioxide annually”, Masdar said<br />

in a statement.<br />

<strong>The</strong> two parties will work to provide<br />

“concrete, beneficial benefits” on<br />

biodiversity conservation and climateoriented<br />

project adaption. “This<br />

initiative builds on the long-standing<br />

partnership between the UAE and<br />

France to take advantage of practical,<br />

commercial opportunities for lowcarbon<br />

growth that will accelerate<br />

the energy transition and promote<br />

climate action and sustainable<br />

economic development in both our<br />

countries and across the globe,” said<br />

H.E Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of<br />

Industry and Advanced Technology<br />

and President-Designate for Cop28,<br />

and the UAE’s special envoy on climate<br />

change. “Leveraging our combined<br />

technological and energy expertise,<br />

we will intensify our efforts to promote<br />

renewable and zero carbon energies<br />

to decarbonise economies and, in<br />

particular, hard-to-abate sectors,” he<br />

added.<br />

As the UAE prepares to host Cop28,<br />

“we are intent on making it a Cop of<br />

action and a Cop for all”, said Dr. Al<br />

Jaber, who is also MD and group chief<br />

executive of ADNOC and chairman of<br />

Masdar. “We are extending an open<br />

invitation to the world to join us in<br />

constructive efforts to raise ambition,<br />

move from deliberation to delivery and<br />

achieve the central goal of the Paris<br />

Agreement to keep 1.5[°C above preindustrial<br />

levels target] alive,” he added.<br />

In order to make Cop28 a tremendous<br />

success for the UAE as well as the rest<br />

of the region and the world, the French<br />

government and its business sector<br />

will help the UAE, according to Bruno<br />

Le Maire, Minister of <strong>Finance</strong> and the<br />

Economy of France. “I want to make<br />

very clear to my Emirati friends, you can<br />

count on the support of France,” Mr. Le<br />

Maire, who also met Dr. Al Jaber told<br />

top business executives and investors<br />

at the Abu Dhabi Global Market.<br />

At the Cop28 climate conference,<br />

presidents of state, executives from big<br />

businesses and financial institutions,<br />

and representatives from civil society<br />

will gather to assess progress made<br />

since the 2015 Paris Agreement. <strong>The</strong><br />

newest effort by the UAE and France<br />

expands on their current collaboration<br />

in the field of clean and renewable<br />

energy. Through their activities, the<br />

firms have attracted more than $6B<br />

in investment and eliminated nearly<br />

10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide<br />

yearly. “This targeted programme will<br />

leverage synergies between public and<br />

private sectors from both countries<br />

to accelerate the implementation of<br />

impactful projects of clean energy<br />

development for transportation,” Mr.<br />

Le Maire said. “I am very happy [about]<br />

this new illustration of France-UAE<br />

strategic partnership and our common<br />

objective to raise ambitions towards<br />

Cop28,” he added.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 43

Energy News<br />

Saudi Aramco invests in the future with major<br />

deals at LEAP23<br />

At the recent LEAP23 conference,<br />

Saudi Aramco made a strong<br />

statement about its commitment<br />

to innovation and the future<br />

of technology. <strong>The</strong> oil and gas giant<br />

struck major deals with Zoom, the<br />

popular video conferencing platform,<br />

and Wa’ed Ventures, the investment<br />

arm of the kingdom’s labor ministry.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se deals will help Saudi Aramco<br />

stay at the forefront of technology and<br />

enhance its offerings to customers. <strong>The</strong><br />

Zoom deal will allow the company to<br />

integrate the platform into its existing<br />

communication infrastructure, while<br />

the Wa’ed Ventures deal will provide<br />

access to a network of startups and<br />

tech companies. <strong>The</strong>se investments<br />

demonstrate Saudi Aramco’s willingness<br />

to adapt and evolve in a rapidly changing<br />

business landscape.<br />

Dubai’s Soaring<br />

Population Leads to<br />

5.5% Energy Surge<br />

Dubai’s rapidly growing population<br />

has resulted in a 5.5%<br />

increase in energy consumption,<br />

putting pressure on the<br />

city’s infrastructure and resources.<br />

This trend is expected to continue as<br />

the population continues to grow and<br />

the demand for energy services such<br />

as electricity, water, and gas increases.<br />

<strong>The</strong> government of Dubai has been<br />

proactive in addressing this challenge<br />

and is investing in renewable energy<br />

solutions to meet the growing demand<br />

for energy. <strong>The</strong> city has set a target to<br />

produce 75% of its total energy from<br />

clean sources by 2050, which will help<br />

to reduce its carbon footprint and<br />

ensure a sustainable energy future for<br />

its residents. Dubai is also exploring<br />

innovative solutions such as smart<br />

grid technology and energy-efficient<br />

buildings to maximize energy efficiency<br />

and reduce waste.<br />

Saudi Aramco’s $7.2B<br />

Deals to Revitalize the<br />

Kingdom’s Economy<br />

Saudi Aramco, the state-owned<br />

oil company of Saudi Arabia, has<br />

signed several deals worth $7.2B<br />

to boost the Kingdom’s economy<br />

and diversify its revenue streams. <strong>The</strong><br />

deals include partnerships with leading<br />

international companies in sectors such as<br />

energy, petrochemicals, and technology.<br />

This investment is expected to create job<br />

opportunities, drive economic growth,<br />

and support the country’s wider economic<br />

diversification efforts. <strong>The</strong> Kingdom<br />

is also making significant investments<br />

in renewable energy, with the goal of<br />

reducing its dependence on oil and<br />

transitioning to a more sustainable energy<br />

mix. <strong>The</strong>se deals demonstrate Saudi<br />

Aramco’s commitment to supporting<br />

the development of the Kingdom and its<br />

vision of a sustainable future.<br />

ADNOC Propels UAE’s<br />

Manufacturing Industry<br />

with $4.63B Deals<br />

<strong>The</strong> Abu Dhabi National Oil<br />

Company (ADNOC) has recently<br />

made a significant investment<br />

in the manufacturing sector of<br />

the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with<br />

a series of deals worth $4.63B. <strong>The</strong>se<br />

deals aim to enhance the country’s<br />

manufacturing capabilities and position<br />

it as a global leader in key industries.<br />

This investment is expected to drive<br />

the growth of the local economy, create<br />

jobs, and support the UAE’s wider<br />

economic diversification efforts. <strong>The</strong><br />

deals include partnerships with leading<br />

international companies in areas such as<br />

petrochemical manufacturing, advanced<br />

materials, and technology solutions.<br />

Dubai Powers Up with<br />

$2.2B Investment<br />

in Local Electricity<br />

Projects<br />

Dubai has recently announced<br />

a $2.2B investment in local<br />

electricity projects, aimed at<br />

enhancing the city’s energy<br />

infrastructure and ensuring a reliable<br />

supply of power to its residents. This<br />

investment demonstrates Dubai’s<br />

commitment to maintaining its position<br />

as a leader in sustainable development<br />

and improving the quality of life for<br />

its residents. <strong>The</strong> funds will be used<br />

to upgrade existing power stations,<br />

build new ones, and develop renewable<br />

energy sources such as solar and<br />

wind power. <strong>The</strong> city is also exploring<br />

innovative solutions such as smart<br />

grid technology to optimize energy<br />

efficiency and reduce waste. This<br />

investment is expected to create job<br />

opportunities, drive economic growth,<br />

and support the government’s efforts<br />

to transition to a more sustainable<br />

energy mix.<br />

44 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Dana Gas Overcomes<br />

KRI Field Distractions<br />

to Deliver AED 667M in<br />

2022 Net Profit<br />

Dana Gas has delivered a net<br />

profit of AED 667M in 2022.<br />

<strong>The</strong> company’s strong financial<br />

performance is a testament<br />

to its resilience and ability to overcome<br />

challenges, even in a volatile operating<br />

environment. Dana Gas has been able to<br />

maintain its position as a leading player<br />

in the energy sector, due in part to its<br />

efficient operations and commitment to<br />

delivering value to its shareholders. <strong>The</strong><br />

company is also focused on expanding<br />

its operations, both in the UAE and<br />

overseas, and is actively exploring new<br />

growth opportunities in key markets.<br />

With its strong financial position and<br />

proven track record, Dana Gas is wellpositioned<br />

to continue delivering value<br />

to its stakeholders in the years to come.<br />

AquaChemie Sets Sail with $50M Specialty<br />

Chemicals Terminal at Jebel Ali Port<br />

AquaChemie, a leading provider<br />

of water treatment solutions,<br />

has unveiled its latest venture,<br />

a $50M specialty chemicals<br />

terminal at Jebel Ali Port in Dubai. <strong>The</strong><br />

state-of-the-art facility will serve as a<br />

hub for the import and export of highquality<br />

chemical products, helping to<br />

meet the growing demand for advanced<br />

water treatment solutions in the region.<br />

With its strategic location, cutting-edge<br />

infrastructure, and commitment to<br />

sustainability, the terminal will provide<br />

customers with a reliable and efficient<br />

supply chain for their specialty chemical<br />

needs. <strong>The</strong> launch of this terminal marks<br />

a major milestone for AquaChemie and is<br />

set to revolutionize the water treatment<br />

industry in the Middle East.<br />

Supreme Council of Energy Meeting Emphasizes<br />

Dubai’s Quest for Sustainable Energy<br />

UAE Leads the Charge<br />

for a Sustainable Future<br />

at COP28<br />

<strong>The</strong> United Arab Emirates<br />

is set to make a significant<br />

impact on the global stage as<br />

the president-designate of the<br />

28th Conference of the Parties (COP<br />

28) to the United Nations Framework<br />

Convention on Climate Change<br />

(UNFCCC). <strong>The</strong> country is taking a<br />

proactive approach to engage with<br />

both the global south and the energy<br />

industry, to create a sustainable future<br />

for all. <strong>The</strong> UAE’s vision for COP 28<br />

is to drive international cooperation<br />

and action on climate change, and<br />

to accelerate the transition to a lowcarbon,<br />

resilient and sustainable future.<br />

With its innovative technologies and<br />

commitment to sustainability, the<br />

UAE is poised to be a leader in the<br />

fight against climate change and to<br />

set a positive example for the rest of<br />

the world.<br />

Dubai’s Supreme Council of<br />

Energy recently held its 74th<br />

meeting, showcasing the<br />

emirate’s ongoing commitment<br />

to sustainable energy. <strong>The</strong> council,<br />

which is responsible for guiding Dubai’s<br />

energy policy, took the opportunity to<br />

review progress on a range of initiatives<br />

aimed at reducing energy consumption<br />

and increasing the use of clean energy.<br />

Key topics discussed included energy<br />

efficiency, renewable energy, and smart<br />

energy solutions. <strong>The</strong> meeting emphasized<br />

Dubai’s determination to lead the<br />

way in the transition to a low-carbon,<br />

sustainable future, and to drive innovation<br />

in the energy sector.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 45

Wheels<br />

Lotus Eletre<br />

<strong>The</strong> new Lotus Eletre isn’t a<br />

jacked-up sports car and it<br />

isn’t a boxy high-riding offroader<br />

either. It has a sloping<br />

coupe-like roofline and heavily sculpted<br />

doors, but these are all supported by<br />

giant alloy wheels (up to 23 inches)<br />

that can only belong to a sporty SUV.<br />

Lotus Eletre becomes the entry trim<br />

with 603 HP (450 kW) and 710 Nm of<br />

torque AWD dual-motor system capable<br />

of 0 to 100 km/h sprint in 4.5 seconds.<br />

Thanks to its 112-kWh battery pack<br />

the WLTP range is 600 km or 373 miles<br />

providing the car rides on the smaller<br />

20-inch rims.<br />

<strong>The</strong> generous standard equipment<br />

includes 22-inch wheels, electric seats<br />

up front, and four-zone automatic aircon.<br />

<strong>The</strong> audio system by KEF comes<br />

with 15 speakers and 1,380 watts of<br />

pure quality and is controlled via the<br />

15.1-inch HD centre screen. When it<br />

comes to ADAS the Eletre claims to<br />

have the world’s first deployable LiDAR<br />

sensors that pop out from the wheel<br />

fenders when required.<br />

<strong>The</strong> car supports end-to-end<br />

autonomous driving and OTA upgrade<br />

capability will make sure the system<br />

will stay up to date and will become<br />

user ready once the individual market<br />

regulations change. Lotus is working<br />

on introducing autonomous driving at<br />

the famous Nurburgring - and it won’t<br />

be a leisurely drive but a full-speed<br />

experience.<br />

46 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Specifications<br />

Horsepower: 602 horsepower<br />

Transmission: 1-speed direct-drive<br />

Acceleration: 0 - 100 km/h - 4.5 Sec<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 47

Healthcare<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE’s Healthcare Sector Sets the<br />

Ground for COP28<br />

<strong>The</strong> President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin<br />

Zayed Al Nahyan, has declared <strong>2023</strong> as the “Year of Sustainability” to prepare<br />

for the upcoming COP28 conference in Dubai. Various sectors in the UAE,<br />

including the healthcare sector, are taking steps to align with this vision and<br />

make preparations for the conference.<br />

48 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

EHS, Schneider Electric, and<br />

Microsoft collaborate to improve<br />

patient safety and comfort, energy<br />

efficiency, and sustainable health.<br />

In line with the focus on sustainability<br />

in the UAE, AstraZeneca, a<br />

biopharmaceutical company,<br />

has unveiled its plans to build<br />

sustainable offices at Dubai Science<br />

Park, which is a part of TECOM Group.<br />

<strong>The</strong> new offices are set to open in<br />

Q3 <strong>2023</strong> and will meet the platinum<br />

standards in Leadership in Energy and<br />

Environmental Design (LEED) set out<br />

by the U.S. Green Building Council<br />

(USGBC), which are widely used and<br />

recognized globally.<br />

AstraZeneca’s green offices<br />

demonstrate their support for the<br />

government’s ambition to drive and<br />

accelerate sustainable development<br />

in healthcare, aligning with “We the<br />

UAE 2031” vision. <strong>The</strong> company aims<br />

to eliminate carbon emissions from its<br />

global operations by 2025 as part of its<br />

“Ambition Zero Carbon” strategy, which<br />

aligns with the Sustainable Markets<br />

Initiative (SMI) Health Systems Task<br />

Force, committed to accelerating the<br />

delivery of net-zero healthcare systems.<br />

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin<br />

Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President<br />

and Prime Minister of the UAE and<br />

Ruler of Dubai, formally launched the<br />

Arab Health Exhibition and Congress<br />

<strong>2023</strong>, which is the largest meeting<br />

of healthcare firms, technology, and<br />

products in the MENA area, with the<br />

theme “innovation and sustainability<br />

in healthcare.”<br />

His Highness paid a visit to the<br />

Emirates Health pavilion, which is<br />

being attended by the Dubai Health<br />

Authority, the Abu Dhabi Department<br />

of Health, and the Ministry of Health<br />

and Prevention (MoHAP). As part of an<br />

innovative national initiative to offer<br />

curative and digital health services in<br />

line with the nation’s strategy to establish<br />

a sustainable, adaptable preventive<br />

health system, the three bodies are<br />

showcasing jointly-developed projects.<br />

His Highness was also briefed on the<br />

Revolution Aspire computed tomography<br />

(CT) system from GE Healthcare, which<br />

is slated to make its global debut at Arab<br />

Health <strong>2023</strong>. <strong>The</strong> UAE was selected as the<br />

location for the technology’s worldwide<br />

premiere owing to its healthcare<br />

system’s focus on the future and its<br />

leadership’s commitment to offering<br />

the most cutting-edge patient care,<br />

according to GE Healthcare officials.<br />

<strong>The</strong> participation of GE Healthcare<br />

in the occasion is consistent with<br />

the UAE’s Year of Sustainability and<br />

the company’s dedication to a more<br />

sustainable future.<br />

On the other hand, Emirates Health<br />

Services, Microsoft, and Schneider<br />

Electric have joined forces to introduce<br />

EcoStruxure for Healthcare, a digital<br />

twin solution intended to boost hospital<br />

energy efficiency by up to 30% while also<br />

enhancing operational performance in<br />

the healthcare sector. <strong>The</strong> technology<br />

will offer real-time information on<br />

multiple indicators and is intended<br />

to enhance sustainability, efficiency,<br />

and patient care.<br />

With integrated management reports<br />

and tools, Schneider Electric’s Unified<br />

Operations Center will keep track of<br />

operational performance in a mock<br />

patient room. Debuting in Arab Health<br />

<strong>2023</strong>, Schneider Electric wants to<br />

demonstrate how the digital twin<br />

solution can lessen the environmental<br />

impact of hospitals.<br />

As Emirates Health Services (EHS),<br />

Schneider Electric, and Microsoft are<br />

working together to enhance patient<br />

safety and comfort, boost energy<br />

effectiveness, and advance sustainable<br />

health, the initiative is in line with EHS’s<br />

goal of being a premier destination for<br />

health services as well as the UAE’s<br />

National Strategy for Wellbeing 2031.<br />

Amel Chadli, vice president of<br />

Schneider Electric, sees the partnership<br />

as a means of showcasing the potential<br />

of public-private collaborations in<br />

healthcare innovation and as well as<br />

a means of producing a new digital twin<br />

that will lessen burnout and fatigue<br />

among healthcare workers while<br />

fostering sustainability.<br />

<strong>The</strong> digital twin technology, according<br />

to Tareq Hijazi, Public Sector Director<br />

at Microsoft UAE, will offer thorough<br />

insights into how products and services<br />

may be operated sustainably. <strong>The</strong> goal<br />

is to examine carbon emissions and<br />

identify long-term remedies for the<br />

UAE’s healthcare sector and beyond.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 49

Healthcare<br />

Furthermore, <strong>The</strong> Department of<br />

Health - Abu Dhabi (DoH), which<br />

regulates the healthcare sector<br />

in the Emirate, has revealed Abu<br />

Dhabi’s healthcare sustainability<br />

goals in conjunction with Abu Dhabi<br />

Sustainability Week <strong>2023</strong>. <strong>The</strong>se goals<br />

aim to reduce carbon emissions by 20<br />

percent in 2030 and achieve Net Zero<br />

by 2050.<br />

DoH’s healthcare sustainability agenda<br />

is segmented into long- and short-term<br />

goals and focuses on infrastructure,<br />

operations, and healthcare waste. DoH<br />

will support healthcare facilities to<br />

implement green building methodologies,<br />

transition to clean and renewable energy<br />

sources, and manage healthcare waste<br />

effectively.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Department aims to establish<br />

a solid governance model for Green<br />

Hospitals across the Emirate and work<br />

closely with healthcare facilities to<br />

reassess prescription practices, apply<br />

efficient means of pharmaceutical<br />

waste management, reduce water<br />

consumption and encourage the use<br />

of more environmentally friendly<br />

transportation. In the short term, the<br />

Department will provide training and<br />

<strong>The</strong> objective of<br />

DoH is to create a<br />

strong system of<br />

regulations for green<br />

hospitals throughout<br />

the Emirate and<br />

reassess the way<br />

prescriptions are<br />

handled.<br />

access to international networks to<br />

help the sector learn and delve deeper<br />

into the field of sustainability.<br />

Hence, the healthcare sector in<br />

the UAE is taking bold steps towards<br />

sustainability, with a focus on green<br />

buildings, innovation, and reducing<br />

carbon emissions. AstraZeneca’s plans<br />

to build sustainable offices at Dubai<br />

Science Park and achieve platinum<br />

standards in LEED certification is a<br />

testament to their commitment to the<br />

“Ambition Zero Carbon” strategy and<br />

aligning with the UAE’s 2031 vision for<br />

sustainable development in healthcare.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Arab Health Exhibition and<br />

Congress <strong>2023</strong>, with its theme of<br />

“innovation and sustainability in<br />

healthcare,” provides a platform for<br />

various stakeholders to showcase their<br />

efforts towards sustainability, such as<br />

the EcoStruxure for Healthcare digital<br />

twin solution, which aims to improve<br />

energy efficiency in hospitals.<br />

Moreover, the Department of Health<br />

- Abu Dhabi’s sustainability goals aim<br />

to reduce carbon emissions by 20% in<br />

2030 and achieve Net Zero by 2050, with<br />

a focus on infrastructure, operations,<br />

and healthcare waste. <strong>The</strong> concerted<br />

effort towards sustainability in the<br />

healthcare sector by both public and<br />

private entities is a positive development<br />

towards a more sustainable future for<br />

the UAE and beyond.<br />

50 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Healthcare News<br />

UAE Dental Conference AEEDC Ends with $4.7B of Deals<br />

<strong>The</strong> annual UAE International<br />

Dental Conference and Arab<br />

Dental Exhibition concluded<br />

with a record-breaking $4.7B<br />

worth of deals signed. <strong>The</strong> conference<br />

attracted over 50,000 attendees from<br />

more than 155 countries, including<br />

dental professionals, manufacturers,<br />

and suppliers. <strong>The</strong> three-day event<br />

featured various sessions, workshops,<br />

and exhibitions that focused on the latest<br />

trends, techniques, and technologies<br />

in the dental industry. Among the<br />

deals signed were agreements for the<br />

purchase of dental equipment and<br />

supplies, as well as partnerships for<br />

research and development of new<br />

dental products. <strong>The</strong> success of AEEDC<br />

<strong>2023</strong> reflects the growing demand for<br />

quality dental care and innovative<br />

dental solutions in the region.<br />

SEHA to hosts 17th International Pediatric Conference in Abu Dhabi<br />

SEHA (Abu Dhabi Health Services<br />

Company) hosted the 17th International<br />

Pediatric Conference<br />

in Abu Dhabi, bringing together<br />

healthcare professionals from around<br />

the world to share knowledge, best<br />

practices, and advances in the field of<br />

pediatrics. <strong>The</strong> conference took place<br />

on <strong>March</strong> 4-5, <strong>2023</strong>, and will covered<br />

a range of topics, including pediatric<br />

surgery, infectious diseases, and<br />

developmental pediatrics. <strong>The</strong> event<br />

provided an opportunity for attendees<br />

to network and engage in discussions on<br />

the latest trends and innovations in pediatric<br />

medicine. With its commitment<br />

to providing world-class healthcare,<br />

SEHA’s aim is to continue to elevate<br />

the standard of pediatric care in the<br />

region and beyond.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 51

Healthcare News<br />

Burjeel Holdings Records $96.73M in Net Profit<br />

Burjeel Holdings, a healthcare<br />

provider based in the United<br />

Arab Emirates, has reported a<br />

net profit of $96.73M for the<br />

year 2022. <strong>The</strong> company’s revenue for<br />

the year was $545.32M, an increase of<br />

14.6% from the previous year. Burjeel<br />

Holdings attributes its strong financial<br />

performance to its strategic investments<br />

in infrastructure, technology, and human<br />

capital, as well as its commitment to<br />

delivering high-quality healthcare<br />

services to patients. <strong>The</strong> company<br />

operates a network of hospitals and<br />

clinics across the UAE, offering a wide<br />

range of medical services to both local<br />

and international patients. Burjeel<br />

Holdings’ strong financial results<br />

reflect the growing demand for quality<br />

healthcare services in the region.<br />

Khalifa University opens<br />

Body Museum at College<br />

of Medicine and Health<br />

Sciences<br />

Khalifa University has recently<br />

opened a new Body Museum<br />

at its College of Medicine<br />

and Health Sciences in Abu<br />

Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. <strong>The</strong><br />

museum, which is the first of its kind<br />

in the region, aims to provide a unique<br />

learning experience for students and<br />

visitors by showcasing the anatomy<br />

and physiology of the human body<br />

through preserved specimens and<br />

interactive exhibits. <strong>The</strong> collection<br />

includes over 150 specimens, ranging<br />

from full-body displays to individual<br />

organs and tissues, that have been<br />

meticulously prepared and preserved<br />

using a technique known as plastination.<br />

<strong>The</strong> museum is expected to become a<br />

valuable resource for medical students,<br />

researchers, and the wider community,<br />

promoting a better understanding of<br />

the human body and its functions.<br />

Sukoon and Aster DM Healthcare Join Forces to<br />

Revolutionize health Insurance Coverage<br />

Sukoon, a leading insurance provider,<br />

has recently announced<br />

the launch of their new health<br />

insurance plans in partnership<br />

with Aster DM Healthcare. <strong>The</strong> plans<br />

offer extensive coverage for medical<br />

expenses and healthcare services, including<br />

hospitalization, diagnostic tests,<br />

and outpatient care. <strong>The</strong> partnership<br />

with Aster DM Healthcare, a prominent<br />

healthcare provider in the Middle East,<br />

will ensure that policyholders have<br />

Alpha Dhabi Holding<br />

Doubles Its FY 2022<br />

Net Profit to $2.8B<br />

Alpha Dhabi Holding, a<br />

subsidiary of the International<br />

Holding Company (IHC), has<br />

reported a significant increase<br />

in its net profit for the fiscal year 2022.<br />

<strong>The</strong> company’s net profit doubled to<br />

$2.8B, up from $1.4B in the previous<br />

year, driven by a strong performance<br />

across its various business segments,<br />

including construction, real estate, and<br />

healthcare. Alpha Dhabi Holding has<br />

been actively expanding its portfolio,<br />

with recent acquisitions including<br />

the healthcare provider UEMedical<br />

and a stake in Abu Dhabi-based real<br />

estate firm Aldar Properties. <strong>The</strong><br />

company’s solid financial performance<br />

underscores its strategic vision and its<br />

position as a key player in the region’s<br />

rapidly growing economy.<br />

access to a wide network of top-quality<br />

healthcare facilities and medical<br />

professionals. <strong>The</strong> plans also include<br />

additional benefits such as teleconsultations,<br />

wellness programs, and<br />

discounts on prescription medication.<br />

Sukoon’s new health insurance plans<br />

are designed to provide peace of mind<br />

and financial security to individuals<br />

and families, especially during these<br />

uncertain times.<br />

52 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Burjeel Holdings<br />

Announces a New<br />

Saudi Venture<br />

Burjeel Holdings, a leading<br />

healthcare provider in the<br />

UAE, has announced a new<br />

joint venture with Saudi<br />

Arabia’s Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Medical<br />

Group. <strong>The</strong> new partnership will bring<br />

Burjeel’s world-class healthcare<br />

services to Saudi Arabia, with the<br />

first facility set to open in Riyadh in<br />

<strong>2023</strong>. <strong>The</strong> new hospital will feature<br />

state-of-the-art medical equipment and<br />

technology, and will offer a wide range of<br />

specialized medical services, including<br />

cardiology, neurology, orthopedics, and<br />

more. Burjeel Holdings aims to expand<br />

its presence in the Middle East and offer<br />

patients in Saudi Arabia access to the<br />

same level of care and expertise that<br />

its facilities are known for in the UAE.<br />

GCC Healthcare Spending Set to Surge to $99.6B<br />

by <strong>2023</strong><br />

<strong>The</strong> healthcare sector in the Gulf<br />

Cooperation Council (GCC)<br />

is expected to experience<br />

significant growth over the<br />

next few years. According to a recent<br />

report, healthcare spending in the GCC<br />

region is predicted to reach $99.6B<br />

by <strong>2023</strong>, with an annual growth rate<br />

of 4.9%. Factors contributing to this<br />

growth include increasing populations,<br />

rising incidences of chronic diseases,<br />

and a growing demand for better quality<br />

healthcare services. Additionally, governments<br />

in the region are investing<br />

heavily in the sector by building new<br />

hospitals and clinics, and implementing<br />

advanced technologies to enhance<br />

patient care. Overall, the future looks<br />

bright for the healthcare industry in<br />

the GCC region.<br />

Alveo Technologies Inc Wins Top Prize at Medlab Middle East’s<br />

Labpreneur Competition<br />

Alveo Technologies Inc, a<br />

California-based biotech<br />

company, emerged as the<br />

winner of the first-ever<br />

Labpreneur competition at the Medlab<br />

Middle East <strong>2023</strong>. <strong>The</strong> Labpreneur<br />

competition is a new initiative that<br />

recognizes outstanding innovation and<br />

entrepreneurial spirit in the healthcare<br />

industry. Alveo Technologies Inc won<br />

the competition for their innovative<br />

diagnostic technology that can detect<br />

infectious diseases with high accuracy<br />

and speed, using a small portable<br />

device. <strong>The</strong> technology has the potential<br />

to revolutionize the way infectious<br />

diseases are diagnosed and treated,<br />

especially in low-resource settings.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Labpreneur competition was highly<br />

competitive, with several innovative<br />

companies vying for the top prize,<br />

but Alveo Technologies Inc ultimately<br />

emerged victorious.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 53

Mergers & Acquisitions<br />

Middle East M&A Deals Surge Amidst<br />

Global Decline<br />

Over the past few years, there has been an increase in Mergers and Acquisitions<br />

(M&A) operations in the Middle East, probably due to the region’s improving<br />

economic stability and rising investment in infrastructure in addition to the role<br />

of supportive government policies in promoting such deals. Levels of M&A in the<br />

Middle East remains higher than the global average, and this trend is anticipated<br />

to persist.<br />

In 2018, the international mergers<br />

and acquisitions (M&A) scene was<br />

divided into two halves. In the first<br />

half, global dealmaking activity was<br />

relatively high, but in the second half of<br />

the year, activity decreased significantly.<br />

However, the Middle East continued to<br />

be a hotspot for investment, with deals<br />

totalling $1.8T in 2018.<br />

In the first five months of 2022, there<br />

was a lot of merger and acquisition activity<br />

going on around the world. This was a<br />

big success for the industry, as it showed<br />

that businesses were still interested in<br />

making deals. In the middle of the year,<br />

following several interest rate hikes<br />

by central banks in large economies,<br />

combined with heightened macroeconomic<br />

uncertainty, the deal market entered a<br />

cooler phase. This caused many large<br />

deals to slow down, while smaller deals<br />

stopped happening altogether.<br />

Overall, global deal activity slowed in<br />

2022, settling at $3.8T. This was down from<br />

$5.9T the year before, and deal volume<br />

fell by 12%. However, the Middle East<br />

managed to buck the trend, with deal<br />

activity increasing by 10%.<br />

According to Bain & Company’s<br />

estimates, M&A activity in the region<br />

is on the rise, with activity increasing<br />

by about 39% in 2022. This is likely<br />

due in large part to government-owned<br />

sovereign wealth funds investing in<br />

various companies in the region. For<br />

example, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned<br />

Public Investment Fund invested $1.3B<br />

in four Egyptian companies in August<br />

2022, including Abu Qir Fertilizers and<br />

Alexandria Container and Cargo Handling.<br />

Combined, sovereign wealth funds and<br />

corporations represent 84% of all Middle<br />

East deal value. “But sovereign wealth<br />

funds are where most of the action is,”<br />

stated Grégory Garnier, a deals-focused<br />

54 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

senior partner at Bain in the report’s<br />

chapter dedicated to the Middle East.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Global M&A Report is a valuable<br />

resource for investors, executives, and<br />

others interested in understanding the<br />

current state of the M&A market. <strong>The</strong><br />

report provides detailed information<br />

on sector dynamics, deal activity, and<br />

key trends. <strong>The</strong> report is also a valuable<br />

tool for training and recruiting. Bain &<br />

Company is a strategic consulting firm<br />

with a history of mergers and acquisitions.<br />

<strong>The</strong> firm’s Global M&A Report has been<br />

tracking in-depth sector dynamics for over<br />

a decade, with spin-off reports created<br />

for regions, deal buyer segments (for<br />

example: private equity) and sectors<br />

(for example: healthcare).<br />

According to the firm’s <strong>2023</strong> analysis,<br />

sovereign wealth funds are buying<br />

up assets with the goal of building<br />

local champions, investing in strategic<br />

industries of the future, and expanding<br />

their market share in new verticals. Some<br />

motivations for foreign investments by<br />

state-owned enterprises (SOEs) include<br />

increasing their visibility on the global<br />

stage, acquiring prestigious assets, or<br />

increasing their profits. For example,<br />

Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) bought<br />

the St. Regis hotels in New York City and<br />

Rolls-Royce, an engine maker, as examples<br />

of investments that aim to increase the<br />

SOE’s visibility and prestige.<br />

Corporate deals happen all the time<br />

in the business world. Companies buy<br />

other companies, or form partnerships<br />

to consolidate local markets in strategic<br />

sectors. One recent example is the deal<br />

between Saudi British Bank and HSBC<br />

Saudi Arabia, and the Etihad-Air Arabia<br />

joint venture.<br />

Many regional companies are expanding<br />

internationally through cross-border<br />

M&A or through overseas investments.<br />

For example, First Abu Dhabi Bank<br />

merged its Egyptian operations with<br />

Bank Audi Egypt, creating one of Egypt’s<br />

largest banks. This approach can be very<br />

successful as it allows companies to<br />

tap into new markets and expand their<br />

operations rapidly.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is a growing trend among<br />

corporations to invest in start-ups or<br />

scale-ups as a way to bolster innovation<br />

and rapidly upskill their talent pool. This<br />

strategy has proven to be successful in<br />

many cases, as it has fostered rapid growth<br />

and innovation among these companies.<br />

While the private equity scene accounts<br />

for a major chunk of global deals activity,<br />

in the Middle East, their role is “limited<br />

in the region and has actually dropped<br />

M&A activity in the regional markets increased by<br />

nearly 39% in 2022, largely due to the activity of<br />

government-owned sovereign wealth funds.<br />

significantly in 2022.” This is likely due to<br />

the region’s ongoing economic struggles.<br />

Looking ahead, Bain & Company’s<br />

experts believe that also in <strong>2023</strong>, the Middle<br />

East will demonstrate relatively higher<br />

deal activity than other regions. “<strong>The</strong>se<br />

are good times for the local economies.<br />

Buoyed by strong economies, and ambitious<br />

government-backed mandates to push to<br />

expand beyond hydrocarbons as well as<br />

globalize its companies, the Middle East is<br />

well positioned to rely on M&A to further<br />

advance the region’s long-term agenda,”<br />

said the report’s authors.<br />

In light of recent reports suggesting<br />

that two thirds of Middle East CEOs plan<br />

to pursue M&A as part of their strategic<br />

agenda and roadmap, it’s clear that this<br />

area is of great interest to them. This<br />

suggests that businesses in this region<br />

are optimistic about their future and are<br />

willing to take risks in order to grow.<br />

Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds<br />

are using M&A to expand into new sectors<br />

and build local champions, according to<br />

Bain & Company’s fifth annual Global<br />

Mergers & Acquisitions report. This trend<br />

is likely to continue as Middle Eastern<br />

funds seek to build their portfolios beyond<br />

traditional investment vehicles, such as<br />

equities and bonds.<br />

By investing in innovative businesses and<br />

consolidating their market positions, these<br />

funds are positioning themselves to take<br />

advantage of future growth opportunities<br />

in their regions. This strategy is helping<br />

these funds become nimbler and more<br />

competitive, and is likely to continue<br />

as these funds seek to build long-term<br />

wealth portfolios. In particular, Middle<br />

Eastern funds are increasingly targeting<br />

smaller, early-stage companies, as these<br />

tend to be more profitable and have a<br />

higher potential for growth. <strong>The</strong> move<br />

will strengthen partnerships, invest in<br />

the future, and bolster the region.<br />

M&A activity in the regional markets<br />

increased by nearly 39% in 2022, largely<br />

due to the activity of government-owned<br />

sovereign wealth funds. Together, these<br />

funds and corporate entities represented<br />

84% of all deals during the year, with<br />

private equity investors making relatively<br />

few investments.<br />

“With a strong economy buoyed by<br />

high oil prices, the Middle East is well<br />

positioned to rely on M&A to further<br />

advance the region’s long-term push to<br />

expand beyond hydrocarbons as well as<br />

globalise its companies,” the report noted.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>se are good times for the local<br />

economy, with expected regional GDP<br />

growth of 6.5% (7.6% in Saudi Arabia),<br />

the highest it’s been in more than a<br />

decade. <strong>The</strong> Middle East’s sovereign<br />

wealth funds are growing, too, and with<br />

a new government mandate, they have<br />

become a treasure chest for much of the<br />

M&A activity.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> report cited Saudi Arabia’s Public<br />

Investment Fund (PIF) investing $1.3B<br />

in four Egyptian companies in August<br />

2022. Among these companies was Abu<br />

Qir Fertilizers and Alexandria Container<br />

and Cargo Handling. On one hand,<br />

private equity activity in the region has<br />

decreased by 36% in the first 10 months<br />

of 2022. However, there are some signs<br />

that interest in IPOs is picking up, which<br />

may indicate a possible revival of the<br />

private equity market.<br />

Corporations are buying companies<br />

or forming partnerships to consolidate<br />

local markets in strategic sectors, such<br />

as the deal between Saudi British Bank<br />

and HSBC Saudi Arabia or the Etihad-<br />

Air Arabia joint venture. This trend is<br />

likely to continue as corporations seek<br />

to improve their competitive edge and<br />

gain an advantage in the local market.<br />

“In the years ahead, we expect more<br />

international companies will explore the<br />

cross-border possibilities of partnering<br />

with sovereign wealth funds and local<br />

authorities to create new sectors through<br />

joint ventures,” Bain & Company added.<br />

Manoj Sureka<br />

Managing Partner,<br />

Synergy Fin. Consulting<br />

manoj@consultsynergy.ae<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 55

Merger and Acquisition News<br />

GMG Acquires<br />

Aswaaq Retail Chain<br />

from Investment<br />

Corporation of Dubai<br />

GMG, the Dubai-based retail<br />

and hospitality conglomerate,<br />

has acquired the Aswaaq<br />

retail chain from Investment<br />

Corporation of Dubai (ICD), in a deal that<br />

underscores the growing importance of<br />

e-commerce in the UAE’s retail sector.<br />

<strong>The</strong> acquisition includes Aswaaq’s 17<br />

supermarkets and two community malls<br />

in Dubai, which will be integrated into<br />

GMG’s existing retail portfolio. As part<br />

of the deal, GMG has also acquired the<br />

Aswaaq brand, which it plans to reposition<br />

as a premium e-commerce platform. <strong>The</strong><br />

acquisition is in line with GMG’s strategy<br />

to expand its digital offerings and tap<br />

into the rapidly growing e-commerce<br />

market in the UAE.<br />

Dubai Investment Company<br />

Acquires Virgin Mobile<br />

Middle East and Africa<br />

Dubai-based investment<br />

company, Gulf Capital,<br />

has acquired Virgin Mobile<br />

Middle East and Africa, which<br />

provides mobile services to over 6<br />

million customers across the region.<br />

<strong>The</strong> acquisition was made in partnership<br />

with Virgin Mobile Middle East and<br />

Africa’s management team and marks<br />

Gulf Capital’s first investment in the<br />

telecommunications sector. As part<br />

of the deal, Virgin Mobile Middle East<br />

and Africa will continue to operate<br />

under the Virgin Mobile brand and will<br />

maintain its current management team.<br />

<strong>The</strong> acquisition is expected to help<br />

Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa<br />

expand its market share and enhance<br />

its services, as Gulf Capital brings its<br />

extensive network and expertise to<br />

the table.<br />

Dubai Investments Acquires Stake in a UK Based<br />

Digital Bank<br />

Dubai Investments acquires<br />

25% stake in UK-based<br />

digital bank, Monument<br />

Bank, as part of its strategy<br />

to expand its financial services<br />

portfolio. Monument Bank is focused<br />

on providing bespoke banking services<br />

to high-net-worth clients in the UK<br />

market. This partnership will allow the<br />

bank to leverage Dubai Investments’<br />

network and expertise in the financial<br />

Jumeirah Group, a Dubai-based<br />

luxury hotel company, has<br />

expanded its presence in Europe<br />

by acquiring <strong>The</strong> Carlton Hotel<br />

in Geneva, Switzerland. <strong>The</strong> acquisition<br />

marks the company’s first property<br />

in Switzerland, adding to its growing<br />

portfolio of hotels and resorts across<br />

the continent. <strong>The</strong> Carlton Hotel, which<br />

is set to be rebranded as Jumeirah<br />

Carlton Hotel Geneva, is located in<br />

the heart of the city and features 47<br />

luxurious rooms and suites. Jumeirah<br />

Group aims to enhance its reputation<br />

as a leading luxury hospitality provider<br />

sector to expand its offerings and<br />

enhance its customer experience.<br />

Dubai Investments has been actively<br />

pursuing investment opportunities in<br />

the financial sector, and this acquisition<br />

is in line with its vision to become a key<br />

player in the digital banking space. <strong>The</strong><br />

deal is subject to regulatory approvals<br />

and is expected to close in the coming<br />

months.<br />

Jumeirah Group Expands Presence in Europe with<br />

Key Acquisition in Geneva<br />

in Europe and to offer its guests an<br />

unparalleled experience in one of<br />

the continent’s most sought-after<br />

destinations.<br />

56 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

EGA and NAFIS Join Hands to Boost Emiratisation in Private Sector<br />

Emirates Global Aluminium<br />

(EGA), one of the world’s<br />

largest ‘premium aluminium’<br />

producers, has signed a<br />

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)<br />

with the Emirati Talent Competitiveness<br />

Council (NAFIS) to share best practices<br />

in Emiratisation with the private sector.<br />

<strong>The</strong> agreement will facilitate the<br />

exchange of expertise and knowledge<br />

to help promote the recruitment and<br />

development of Emirati talent in the<br />

private sector. Through this partnership,<br />

EGA aims to support the UAE’s goal of<br />

increasing the participation of Emiratis<br />

in the private sector workforce and<br />

to enhance its own reputation as a<br />

responsible and sustainable employer<br />

in the country.<br />

Airobotics Partners with<br />

SkyGo to Bring Autonomous<br />

Drones to Abu Dhabi<br />

Ondas Holdings’ Airobotics has<br />

announced a joint venture<br />

with SkyGo, a UAE-based<br />

drone service provider, to<br />

deploy autonomous drones in Abu<br />

Dhabi. As part of the deal, SkyGo has<br />

placed a $3.5M order for Airobotics’<br />

drones, which will be integrated with<br />

SkyGo’s drone-in-a-box infrastructure.<br />

<strong>The</strong> partnership aims to enhance the<br />

capabilities of Abu Dhabi’s emergency<br />

services, such as search and rescue, by<br />

providing real-time aerial surveillance<br />

and data analysis. <strong>The</strong> collaboration also<br />

marks Airobotics’ entry into the UAE<br />

market, reflecting the growing demand<br />

for autonomous drone technology in<br />

the region.<br />

M&A in the Middle East builds on active 2022<br />

As the global M&A landscape<br />

continues to heat up, the<br />

Middle East region is no<br />

exception. Following a year<br />

of increased activity in 2022, companies<br />

in the region are now looking to<br />

capitalize on the momentum and further<br />

expand their reach through mergers<br />

and acquisitions. Key sectors driving<br />

M&A in the Middle East include energy,<br />

Abu Dhabi Exports Office and Angola Ink Green<br />

<strong>Finance</strong> Deals Worth AED 445M<br />

Al Hilal players have been<br />

rewarded handsomely for<br />

their Club <strong>World</strong> Cup victory<br />

with a bonus of $267,000<br />

each, thanks to Saudi billionaire and<br />

the club’s owner Prince Al-Waleed<br />

bin Talal. <strong>The</strong> generous bonus is a<br />

reflection of the team’s hard work and<br />

dedication, as they beat out other top<br />

football clubs to claim the prestigious<br />

technology, and healthcare, among<br />

others. Both local and international<br />

players are actively pursuing deals,<br />

including cross-border transactions,<br />

in order to strengthen their positions<br />

in the market. As the competition<br />

intensifies, it will be interesting to<br />

see which companies come out on<br />

top in this dynamic and ever-changing<br />

landscape.<br />

title. <strong>The</strong> players have expressed their<br />

gratitude towards the Prince, stating<br />

that his unwavering support has been<br />

a driving force behind their success.<br />

This bonus not only serves as a financial<br />

reward but also highlights the<br />

importance of recognizing and valuing<br />

the efforts of athletes, especially in the<br />

world of sports.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 57

Cryptocurrency<br />

How to set up a Crypto Business in Dubai<br />

<strong>The</strong> emerging digital economy is expected to heavily rely on digital assets, including<br />

various ventures such as cryptocurrency. <strong>The</strong> UAE is establishing itself as a<br />

prominent destination for crypto entrepreneurs, with specific areas designated for<br />

conducting cryptocurrency-related operations. In this article, we outline essential<br />

recommendations for individuals considering investing in cryptocurrencies in<br />

Dubai.<br />

Obtaining a crypto license in Dubai<br />

opens up a world of opportunities<br />

for investors looking to venture<br />

into the futuristic financial<br />

sector of cryptocurrency. This license<br />

provides access to a thriving market<br />

where innovative business models and<br />

cutting-edge technology converge to<br />

offer promising investment opportunities.<br />

Whether you are an individual or a<br />

business entity, a crypto license in Dubai<br />

provides the necessary legal framework to<br />

participate in the growth and development<br />

of this exciting new industry. With a<br />

supportive regulatory environment and<br />

a commitment to fostering innovation,<br />

Dubai is positioning itself as a leading<br />

hub for the crypto industry, making it an<br />

attractive destination for those looking to<br />

make their mark in this rapidly evolving<br />

sector.<br />

To enter the crypto industry in Dubai,<br />

you can apply for a crypto license in free<br />

zones or via a representative office in<br />

Dubai. <strong>The</strong> permitted business activities<br />

include database management, selfproprietary<br />

investments, consultancy,<br />

and data mining. However, launching an<br />

ICO or registering a crypto exchange must<br />

be regulated by a competent authority.<br />

Starting a crypto business in Dubai can<br />

be a lucrative opportunity, as the city has<br />

become a hub for fintech and innovation<br />

58 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

<strong>The</strong> Dubai government’s strategy is<br />

highly commended for enabling the<br />

expansion of the crypto industry and<br />

openly expressing their backing for<br />

regulation, making this field accessible<br />

to a wider range of people.<br />

in recent years, but it’s crucial to be aware<br />

of the regulations and guidelines in place<br />

to ensure a smooth launch.<br />

Things to take into account before<br />

launching your cryptocurrency<br />

business in Dubai:<br />

Crypto-related ventures, including<br />

representative offices, data mining firms,<br />

and consultancies, are monitored and<br />

regulated by Virtual Assets Regulatory<br />

Authority (VARA) under the Dubai <strong>World</strong><br />

Trade Centre (DWTC). If you want to<br />

understand the legality of your crypto<br />

business in Dubai, it’s best to get in touch<br />

with the regulatory authority.<br />

To establish a cryptocurrency business<br />

in Dubai International Financial Centre<br />

(DIFC), the company must have a<br />

minimum of 5 years of legal experience<br />

in the cryptocurrency field in another<br />

country. <strong>The</strong> best way to incorporate such<br />

a company is through a representative<br />

office in Dubai. Dubai Multi Commodities<br />

Centre (DMCC) offers a unique selfproprietary<br />

cryptocurrency license,<br />

allowing you to invest in Crypto Assets. If<br />

you want to open a data-mining firm for<br />

your crypto-related business in Dubai, you<br />

can do so by applying for an IT company<br />

trading license and obtaining additional<br />

consent for your cryptocurrency business<br />

if needed. Cryptocurrency business<br />

owners can also establish a consultancy<br />

enterprise in Dubai.<br />

and can attract a wider audience to your<br />

products and services. One of the biggest<br />

benefits of blockchain transactions is the<br />

absence of gateway or service charges,<br />

leading to lower transactional costs for<br />

your company.<br />

Additionally, there are no cross-border<br />

barriers when making cryptocurrency<br />

transfers. Blockchain is a decentralized<br />

payment system with advanced encryption<br />

capabilities, allowing for secure crypto<br />

transactions from anywhere in the world<br />

with consistent encryption standards.<br />

Steps to set up Crypto Business in<br />

Dubai:<br />

• Conduct market research: Before<br />

launching your crypto business, it’s<br />

important to have a clear understanding<br />

of the local market and competition.<br />

Conduct thorough research on the<br />

demand for crypto services in Dubai<br />

and the existing players in the market.<br />

• Obtain the necessary licenses: Dubai’s<br />

regulatory authority, Dubai Financial<br />

Services Authority (DFSA), has specific<br />

guidelines in place for crypto businesses.<br />

To operate in the city, you’ll need to<br />

obtain the necessary licenses and<br />

approvals from the DFSA. This can<br />

include a license for the provision of<br />

crypto-asset services, such as trading,<br />

custody, and issuance.<br />

• Develop a compliant business plan:<br />

Your business plan should outline<br />

your company’s goals, strategies,<br />

and the measures you’ll take to<br />

ensure compliance with the DFSA’s<br />

regulations. This can include measures<br />

for safeguarding customer assets, antimoney<br />

laundering (AML) procedures,<br />

and data protection protocols.<br />

• Secure funding: Starting a crypto<br />

business can require significant<br />

capital, so you should secure adequate<br />

funding from investors, either through<br />

venture capital or through an initial<br />

coin offering (ICO).<br />

• Build a strong team: A strong and<br />

experienced team is key to the success<br />

of any crypto business. Consider hiring<br />

professionals with expertise in the<br />

crypto industry, including traders,<br />

developers, and compliance experts.<br />

• Launch your platform: Once you’ve<br />

completed the necessary steps, you can<br />

launch your crypto platform. This can<br />

include developing a website, building<br />

a trading engine, and integrating<br />

various payment gateways to facilitate<br />

transactions.<br />

Benefits of establishing a cryptocurrency<br />

business in Dubai:<br />

Today’s consumers are always seeking<br />

out companies that accept cryptocurrencies<br />

for their transactions. This sets your<br />

business apart from the competition<br />

February <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 59

Cryptocurrency<br />

How to obtain a cryptocurrency<br />

licence in Dubai:<br />

<strong>The</strong> Dubai Financial Services Authority<br />

(DFSA) is responsible for regulating<br />

and supervising the crypto industry in<br />

the Emirate. <strong>The</strong> authority has set out<br />

clear guidelines and requirements for<br />

obtaining a crypto license, including<br />

having a physical presence in Dubai and<br />

meeting specific security and operational<br />

standards.<br />

To apply for a crypto license, you will<br />

need to submit a detailed business plan<br />

that outlines the nature of your business,<br />

the types of crypto assets you will be<br />

dealing with, and the measures you have in<br />

place to secure client assets. You will also<br />

need to provide information about your<br />

company’s management and ownership<br />

structure, as well as information about any<br />

prior experience in the crypto industry.<br />

<strong>The</strong> cost of obtaining a crypto license<br />

in Dubai typically ranges from AED 21,500<br />

to AED 35,000 depending on the nature<br />

of the business and the types of crypto<br />

assets you plan to deal with. However,<br />

it is important to note that these costs<br />

may increase depending on the specific<br />

activities you plan to engage in.<br />

In addition to the initial costs of<br />

obtaining a license, there are also ongoing<br />

Your crypto<br />

business plan<br />

should detail your<br />

organization’s<br />

objectives, tactics,<br />

and the actions<br />

you will undertake<br />

to ensure<br />

adherence to the<br />

DFSA’s regulations.<br />

fees and regulatory requirements that<br />

you will need to comply with. <strong>The</strong>se may<br />

include annual fees, regular reporting<br />

requirements, and regular audits to ensure<br />

that you continue to meet the standards<br />

set out by the DFSA.<br />

UAE has taken “active” steps to<br />

establish itself as a crypto hub:<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE has been supportive of the<br />

crypto industry and has positioned itself<br />

as a crypto hub, as stated by panellists<br />

at the AB UAE Forum. <strong>The</strong> government’s<br />

approach is praised for allowing the<br />

growth of crypto and for being vocal<br />

about their support for regulation, making<br />

the industry accessible to everyone. In<br />

last January, the UAE introduced a new<br />

regulation and regulatory authority,<br />

the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulation Law<br />

and the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory<br />

Authority (VARA), for virtual assets and<br />

service providers at the federal level. <strong>The</strong><br />

purpose of this regulation is to oversee<br />

the growth of the virtual asset business<br />

environment and ensure regulation,<br />

governance, and licensing.<br />

<strong>The</strong> need for regulations in the crypto<br />

market was highlighted due to the FTX<br />

situation, which showed the importance<br />

of regulations for building trust in the<br />

market. <strong>The</strong> crypto market is still young<br />

and considered to be over-sensationalized,<br />

but time is needed for the market to<br />

learn and grow.<br />

60 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>


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Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra.<br />

Samsung introduces the Book3<br />

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display is the largest display feature in<br />

a galaxy book, and the seamless pairing<br />

facility adds up to deliver you all the<br />

best features that Samsung has to offer.<br />

the Galaxy Book3 Ultra delivers power<br />

and speed that is needed for hassle-free<br />

work and pleasure. <strong>The</strong> Galaxy Book3<br />

Ultra is the device you’ve been seeking,<br />

with up to 1TB built-in storage and 2TB<br />

extendable storage. <strong>The</strong> brilliant 16:10<br />

aspect ratio display clarity, together<br />

with the 120Hz refresh rate, allows you<br />

to enjoy an immersive visual experience.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Galaxy Book3 Ultra is a portable<br />

and stylish tablet that combines power,<br />

speed, and style. Whether it’s a business<br />

conversation or a family virtual meeting,<br />

the Galaxy Book3 Ultra’s full-HD webcam<br />

and studio-grade mic work together to<br />

give you the immersive experience you<br />

deserve.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 61

Cryptocurrency News<br />

Investopia Partners with Emirates Development Bank for a Brighter<br />

Investment Future<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE government’s global<br />

investment platform, Investopia,<br />

has signed a Memorandum of<br />

Understanding with Emirates<br />

Development Bank as part of a new<br />

partnership. <strong>The</strong> agreement was signed<br />

at a ceremony in Dubai on February<br />

6th, <strong>2023</strong> and was witnessed by H.E.<br />

Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of<br />

Economy and Chairman of Investopia.<br />

This partnership will allow both Investopia<br />

and Emirates Development Bank to<br />

collaborate and utilize their strengths to<br />

promote economic growth, diversification,<br />

and industrial transformation in new<br />

economies. Investopia serves as a global<br />

investment platform connecting capital<br />

with opportunities, while Emirates<br />

Development Bank is a leading financial<br />

institution.<br />

GCC Central Banks Follow<br />

US Fed’s Lead with Interest<br />

Rate Hikes<br />

<strong>The</strong> Central Bank of UAE and<br />

other central banks in the GCC<br />

raised their interest rates after<br />

the US Federal Open Market<br />

Committee (FOMC) announced a 25<br />

basis points increase as part of its<br />

efforts to manage inflation. <strong>The</strong> GCC<br />

central banks, whose currencies are tied<br />

to the US dollar, generally follow the<br />

Federal Reserve’s policy rate changes.<br />

Inflation in the GCC has been around<br />

5-6% in 2022, higher than in the past<br />

ten years but still lower compared to<br />

western nations. <strong>The</strong> Saudi Central<br />

Bank, also known as SAMA, increased<br />

its repo and reverse repo rates to 5.25%<br />

and 4.75% respectively. <strong>The</strong> central bank<br />

of Bahrain also raised its benchmark<br />

interest rates by 25 basis points, with<br />

the overnight deposit rate at 5.25%<br />

and the one-week deposit facility rate<br />

at 5.50%.<br />

Iris Health Services Loses UAE Central Bank License<br />

for Non-Compliance<br />

<strong>The</strong> Central Bank of the UAE<br />

(CBUAE) announced that<br />

it has revoked the license<br />

of Iris Health Services for<br />

failing to follow relevant guidelines.<br />

<strong>The</strong> regulator stated that the license<br />

revocation was in accordance with<br />

the procedures and regulations for<br />

licensing health insurance third-party<br />

administrators. Iris Health Services is a<br />

company that provides medical benefit<br />

and claims administration services.<br />

<strong>The</strong> CBUAE is closely monitoring the<br />

insurance sector to ensure that all<br />

companies comply with local laws. In<br />

<strong>The</strong> Abu Dhabi Commercial<br />

Bank (ADCB) is seeing success<br />

in its efforts to adopt digital<br />

innovation and maintain high<br />

standards in ESG, as the bank reported<br />

AED 6.434B ($1.75B) in net profits for<br />

the 2022 fiscal year, a 23% increase<br />

from the previous year. <strong>The</strong> bank<br />

also experienced a rise in net interest<br />

income to AED 10.194B ($2.77B), up<br />

15% from the previous year, while noninterest<br />

income increased by 22% to<br />

June 2022, it imposed penalties on two<br />

insurance companies for not meeting<br />

regulatory requirements, with one of<br />

them banned from selling insurance<br />

to new customers for a year.<br />

ADCB Achieves Record Net Profit with Boost from<br />

Digital Innovations<br />

AED 4.151B ($1.13B). During the fourth<br />

quarter, the bank saw a 23% increase in<br />

net profit to AED 1.784B ($0.48B), with<br />

a 30% increase in net interest income<br />

to AED 2.918B and a 19% increase in<br />

net fees and commission income to<br />

AED 620M.<br />

62 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Dubai Leads the Way with New Crypto Regulations<br />

for <strong>2023</strong><br />

Dubai is taking the lead in<br />

the world of cryptocurrency<br />

with the announcement of<br />

new regulations for <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Dubai Virtual Asset Regulatory<br />

Authority (VARA) has released a set<br />

of guidelines aimed at protecting<br />

investors and promoting transparency<br />

in the crypto market. <strong>The</strong> regulations<br />

will cover key areas such as initial<br />

coin offerings, virtual asset service<br />

providers, and anti-money laundering<br />

measures. With these cutting-edge<br />

regulations, Dubai is positioning itself<br />

as a hub for the cryptocurrency industry<br />

and a safe destination for virtual assetrelated<br />

activities. This move is expected<br />

to attract investment, create new jobs<br />

and drive innovation in the field of<br />

blockchain and digital currencies.<br />

Abu Dhabi’s Future Fund<br />

Hunts for Cutting-Edge<br />

Web3 Projects<br />

Abu Dhabi’s Future Fund<br />

is on the hunt for cuttingedge<br />

Web3 projects to invest<br />

in. <strong>The</strong> fund, established to<br />

secure the emirate’s future economic<br />

prosperity, is seeking innovative<br />

start-ups and established companies<br />

working in the decentralized web and<br />

blockchain space. <strong>The</strong> fund’s interest<br />

in Web3 technology is a reflection of<br />

the growing recognition of its potential<br />

to revolutionize the way to interact<br />

and transact online. Web3 projects,<br />

which prioritize user privacy and<br />

security, align with the emirate’s vision<br />

of creating a smart, sustainable, and<br />

secure future. By investing in Web3,<br />

the Future Fund is positioning Abu<br />

Dhabi at the forefront of technological<br />

innovation and positioning itself as a<br />

hub for the digital economy.<br />

Dubai Imposes Licensing for Crypto Firms and<br />

Outlines Regulatory Guidelines<br />

Dubai has taken a major<br />

step towards regulating the<br />

cryptocurrency industry<br />

by mandating licensing for<br />

crypto companies operating within<br />

its jurisdiction. <strong>The</strong> new regulatory<br />

requirements are aimed at protecting<br />

investors and ensuring the stability of<br />

the crypto market in the region. <strong>The</strong><br />

Dubai Rises to 2nd<br />

Place as <strong>World</strong>’s Most<br />

Crypto-Ready City<br />

Dubai has been ranked as<br />

the second-most cryptoready<br />

city in the world,<br />

according to a recent study.<br />

This recognition highlights the city’s<br />

efforts to embrace and support the<br />

growth of the cryptocurrency industry.<br />

<strong>The</strong> study evaluated factors such as<br />

regulatory environment, adoption<br />

rate, and infrastructure to determine<br />

the level of crypto-readiness of cities<br />

around the world. Dubai’s favorable<br />

stance towards digital currencies,<br />

investment in blockchain technology,<br />

and establishment of a clear regulatory<br />

framework all contributed to its high<br />

ranking. This ranking will further<br />

strengthen Dubai’s position as a hub<br />

for fintech innovation and digital<br />

transformation, attracting more<br />

investment and talent to the city.<br />

licensing process will include a thorough<br />

review of a company’s operations<br />

and compliance with anti-money laundering<br />

and counter-terrorism financing<br />

regulations. <strong>The</strong> city-state’s regulatory<br />

framework will provide a level of transparency<br />

and legitimacy to the crypto<br />

industry, making it more appealing to<br />

both local and international investors.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 63

Real Estate<br />

Reasons to Invest in Dubai Real Estate<br />

Market in <strong>2023</strong><br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE’s emphasis on expanding its economy and drawing in overseas<br />

investment has resulted in a flourishing and active commercial atmosphere,<br />

attracting numerous successful multinational corporations. Additionally, Dubai<br />

has emerged as a center for real estate expansion, with new ventures launched<br />

every year to satisfy the increasing need for housing, thereby drawing in more<br />

international investors.<br />

Dubai’s real estate industry is<br />

among the most appealing<br />

globally, offering investors an<br />

exceptional chance to benefit<br />

from the city’s expansion. For several years,<br />

property values have been continuously<br />

increasing due to a scarcity of supply and<br />

a growing populace. <strong>The</strong> construction<br />

of several new developments in Dubai<br />

is ongoing, which will help fulfill the<br />

demand for housing and present new<br />

prospects for real estate investors.<br />

<strong>The</strong> tremendous potential for capital<br />

growth in Dubai’s real estate industry<br />

is another motivation to invest there. In<br />

recent years, the city’s property values have<br />

been rising quickly, and it is anticipated<br />

that this trend will continue. Dubai is<br />

one of the most vibrant and fast-growing<br />

cities in the world, and real estate is a<br />

significant contributor to its economy,<br />

but what are the major reasons that make<br />

investing in Dubai’s real estate market a<br />

smart financial move?<br />

Dubai has strong economic growth, as<br />

its economy is growing rapidly, driven by<br />

factors such as tourism, trade, and finance.<br />

v<br />

64 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

This creates a positive environment for real<br />

estate investments, with property prices<br />

and rental rates rising accordingly. Add<br />

to that the stable political environment;<br />

Dubai is a politically stable city, with<br />

a transparent and investor-friendly<br />

environment, providing investors with<br />

peace of mind, knowing that their<br />

investments are safe and secure.<br />

Moreover, Dubai is characterized by a<br />

tax-friendly environment, with no personal<br />

income tax and a low corporate tax rate.<br />

This makes it an attractive destination<br />

for investors looking to minimize their<br />

tax liabilities. Also, Dubai is home to a<br />

rapidly growing population, driven by<br />

factors such as immigration, employment<br />

opportunities, and a high standard of<br />

living. This creates a strong demand<br />

for housing, which in turn drives up<br />

property prices.<br />

Furthermore, Dubai offers a wide range<br />

of real estate options, from luxurious villas<br />

and apartments to affordable housing. This<br />

diversity makes it easy for investors to find<br />

the right property to suit their budget and<br />

investment goals. Dubai is also investing<br />

heavily in its infrastructure, including<br />

transportation, healthcare, education,<br />

and more, creating new opportunities<br />

for real estate investments. Add to that<br />

the strong rental market in Dubai, driven<br />

by a growing population and a shortage<br />

of housing. This creates opportunities<br />

for real estate investors to earn a steady<br />

income from rental properties.<br />

<strong>The</strong> enhancement<br />

of infrastructure<br />

has played a pivotal<br />

role in making<br />

Dubai an attractive<br />

choice for travelers,<br />

corporations, and<br />

investors.<br />

Tax Benefits:<br />

Investing in Dubai’s real estate market<br />

offers several tax advantages, including<br />

no personal income tax, so all income<br />

earned from an investment property is<br />

yours to keep. <strong>The</strong>re is also no capital<br />

gains tax, so profits from selling a<br />

property are tax-free. Additionally, there<br />

is no VAT on property transactions,<br />

which include the purchase price,<br />

renovations, and improvements. When<br />

renting out a property, expenses such as<br />

maintenance, repair costs, advertising,<br />

and agent commissions can be claimed<br />

as deductions.<br />

Infrastructure Development:<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE, particularly Dubai, has<br />

undergone significant infrastructure<br />

development in recent times due to<br />

factors such as an increase in tourists,<br />

the growth of businesses, and future<br />

plans for expansion. This has resulted<br />

in Dubai having modern and luxurious<br />

hotels, shopping malls, and office towers,<br />

making it an appealing destination for<br />

travelers, businesses, and investors<br />

seeking to benefit from its growth. If<br />

you’re considering investing in Dubai’s<br />

real estate, now is a good time, as ongoing<br />

infrastructure development is expected<br />

to drive property values and provide good<br />

returns for investors.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are various methods you can<br />

use when it comes to investment plans. A<br />

pre-existing property might be purchased<br />

and rented out, or an off-plan property<br />

could be purchased and sold for a profit<br />

after it is finished. Whatever approach<br />

you decide on, be sure to have a clear<br />

exit strategy so you can optimize your<br />

earnings.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are a few considerations to<br />

make if you’re seeking the greatest real<br />

estate investment opportunities in Dubai<br />

for <strong>2023</strong>. <strong>The</strong> Dubai real estate market is<br />

extremely volatile and unpredictable, so<br />

before making any investment decisions,<br />

it’s crucial to complete your research<br />

and speak with a professional. Property<br />

in well-known neighborhoods, such as<br />

Downtown Dubai and Business Bay,<br />

is constantly in high demand and has<br />

a history of steadily increasing value.<br />

Also, because they have such enormous<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 65

Real Estate<br />

potential for capital growth, up-andcoming<br />

regions like Dubai Marina and<br />

Jumeirah Village Circle are also worth<br />

taking into account.<br />

Top Investment Strategies for Dubai’s<br />

Real Estate Market in <strong>2023</strong>:<br />

Be sure to heed these recommendations<br />

if you’re planning to invest in Dubai’s<br />

real estate market. You might get a<br />

tremendous return on your investment in<br />

<strong>2023</strong> if you use the appropriate method.<br />

For individuals looking to buy and resell<br />

property, the present real estate market<br />

in Dubai is rife with possibilities. <strong>The</strong><br />

current period is a fantastic time to invest<br />

in Dubai real estate due to rising prices<br />

and a consistent stream of purchasers<br />

looking for new residences.<br />

First, you should choose a good location<br />

that will appeal to purchasers because<br />

the location is everything. To price your<br />

own house competitively, do some market<br />

research and find out how much comparable<br />

properties are selling for. You also have<br />

to set a reasonable restoration budget;<br />

exceeding it will reduce your revenues.<br />

Property flipping is a terrific choice if<br />

you’re seeking a lucrative real estate<br />

investment in Dubai. By taking advantage<br />

of the current market conditions, you<br />

can generate a solid profit with proper<br />

strategy and execution.<br />

By investing in Dubai’s real estate sector,<br />

one can benefit from several tax advantages,<br />

including no personal income tax.<br />

How to Invest in REITs:<br />

One of the most compelling reasons to<br />

invest in Dubai’s real estate market is the<br />

possibility of receiving significant profits<br />

by purchasing Real Estate Investment<br />

Trusts (REITs). Companies that own<br />

and manage properties that generate<br />

revenue are known as REITs. <strong>The</strong> potential<br />

returns from investing in REITs can be<br />

substantial, despite the numerous risks<br />

involved, including fluctuations in interest<br />

rates and overall economic conditions.<br />

For instance, the MSCI US REIT Index<br />

has performed better than both the S&P<br />

500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial<br />

Average over the past ten years by more<br />

than 2%.<br />

One of the major developers and<br />

operators of integrated master-planned<br />

communities in the Middle East is Emaar<br />

Properties PJSC, which offers investors<br />

exposure to Dubai’s real estate industry.<br />

Including residential, commercial, retail,<br />

hotel, leisure & entertainment, and<br />

educational properties, Emaar Properties<br />

manages a diverse portfolio of top-notch<br />

assets in these important growth areas.<br />

In conclusion, Dubai’s strong economic<br />

growth, stable political environment,<br />

tax-friendly policies, growing population,<br />

diverse real estate options, developing<br />

infrastructure, and strong rental market<br />

all make it an attractive destination for<br />

real estate investments. Whether you<br />

are a seasoned investor or a first-time<br />

buyer, investing in real estate in Dubai<br />

can be a smart financial move.<br />

66 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Real Estate News<br />

Jeddah Set for a $90B<br />

Real Estate Boom<br />

<strong>The</strong> Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah<br />

is poised for a major real<br />

estate boom with an estimated<br />

investment of $90B over the<br />

next decade. This surge in investment<br />

comes as the country looks to diversify<br />

its economy and reduce its dependence<br />

on oil revenues. <strong>The</strong> city’s real estate<br />

sector is expected to see a significant<br />

growth in demand, particularly in the<br />

residential and hospitality sectors. <strong>The</strong><br />

development of new infrastructure<br />

and projects, including a new airport<br />

and several mega-projects such as the<br />

Jeddah Tower, are also set to attract both<br />

domestic and international investors.<br />

This surge in investment is expected<br />

to boost the economy and provide<br />

ample opportunities for job creation<br />

and business growth in the region.<br />

RAK Properties Records $111M Turnover in 2022<br />

RAK Properties, a leading<br />

real estate developer in the<br />

United Arab Emirates, announced<br />

a record-breaking<br />

$111M turnover in 2022. <strong>The</strong> company<br />

attributes its success to a combination<br />

of strategic investments, innovative<br />

property developments, and a focus on<br />

customer satisfaction. RAK Properties<br />

has established itself as a leading player<br />

in the UAE real estate market and<br />

has received numerous awards for its<br />

commitment to quality and excellence.<br />

<strong>The</strong> company’s portfolio includes a<br />

range of residential, commercial, and<br />

hospitality properties, all of which are<br />

designed to meet the changing needs<br />

of its customers.<br />

Sharjah Real Estate<br />

Market Records 3,000<br />

Deals in January<br />

<strong>The</strong> real estate market in Sharjah<br />

has started off the new year<br />

with a great start, recording<br />

over 3,000 deals in January<br />

alone. <strong>The</strong> figures indicate a steady<br />

recovery from the pandemic’s impact on<br />

the industry and the confidence that investors<br />

and buyers have in Sharjah’s real<br />

estate market. Of the total deals, over<br />

2,000 were for residential properties,<br />

while the rest were for commercial and<br />

industrial spaces. This robust demand<br />

for real estate in Sharjah is attributed to<br />

several factors, including the emirate’s<br />

strategic location, affordable prices, and<br />

the government’s supportive policies<br />

that make it an attractive investment<br />

destination.<br />

Dubai Records $2.8B of<br />

Property Deals<br />

Dubai, leading property markets<br />

in the Middle East, announced<br />

$2.8B in real estate<br />

transactions in 2022. Despite<br />

global economic challenges and the<br />

COVID-19 pandemic, Dubai’s property<br />

sector continued to show resilience<br />

and strength, attracting both local and<br />

international investors. <strong>The</strong> market saw<br />

significant interest in luxury properties,<br />

particularly in the Palm Jumeirah and<br />

Downtown Dubai areas. <strong>The</strong> city’s<br />

efforts to boost infrastructure and<br />

create new opportunities for growth,<br />

such as the opening of the Expo 2020<br />

site, have also contributed to the market’s<br />

success.<br />

Indian Expat Family Sets<br />

New Record with AED<br />

90.5M Villa Purchase<br />

in Tilal Al Ghaf<br />

An Indian expat family has<br />

made headlines in Dubai by<br />

purchasing a luxurious villa<br />

in the Tilal Al Ghaf development<br />

for a whopping AED 90.5mn. <strong>The</strong><br />

purchase has set a new record high for<br />

the community, which is known for<br />

its upscale properties and stunning<br />

natural surroundings. <strong>The</strong> six-bedroom<br />

villa boasts a spacious outdoor area, a<br />

private pool, and scenic views of the<br />

lagoon and the Dubai skyline. According<br />

to the developer, the Tilal Al Ghaf<br />

project has seen a surge in demand<br />

from buyers looking for high-end living<br />

spaces that offer both exclusivity and<br />

accessibility.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 67

Real Estate News<br />

Aldar Properties Reports Impressive $845M Profit<br />

in 2022<br />

Abu Dhabi-based Aldar<br />

Properties has announced<br />

a net profit of $845M for the<br />

year 2022, up from $505M the<br />

previous year. <strong>The</strong> company attributed<br />

the strong performance to its diversified<br />

portfolio of assets, which includes<br />

residential, commercial, hospitality, and<br />

retail properties. Aldar’s revenue also<br />

increased by 19% to $2.1B, driven by<br />

higher sales in its development business<br />

and a robust rental income stream. <strong>The</strong><br />

company’s CEO stated that the results<br />

demonstrate Aldar’s resilience and<br />

ability to adapt to market conditions,<br />

and the company will continue to invest<br />

in strategic growth opportunities that<br />

align with its long-term vision.<br />

Saudi Arabia’s Real Estate Market Saw Transaction<br />

Decline in 2022<br />

A<br />

recent<br />

report on Saudi Arabia’s<br />

real estate market has shown<br />

a dip in transactions, but a<br />

rise in prices and persistent<br />

high demand. <strong>The</strong> report, released by<br />

the country’s General Authority for<br />

Statistics, revealed that the total value<br />

of real estate transactions fell by 10.6%<br />

in 2022, while prices for residential<br />

properties increased by 9.6%. However,<br />

despite the decline in transactions,<br />

the market’s overall demand remained<br />

high, fuelled by government initiatives,<br />

population growth, and changing preferences<br />

among homebuyers. <strong>The</strong> report<br />

also highlighted a surge in mortgage<br />

activity, indicating a growing appetite<br />

for home financing in the Kingdom.<br />

Dubai’s Most Expensive<br />

Home Sells at<br />

Record-Breaking<br />

$3,687 Per sq. ft<br />

Dubai’s real estate market has<br />

seen yet another recordbreaking<br />

sale, with the<br />

most expensive home in the<br />

emirate being sold for $3,687 per square<br />

foot. <strong>The</strong> property, located on Palm<br />

Jumeirah, features eight bedrooms,<br />

a private beach, a cinema, and a pool<br />

overlooking the Dubai skyline. <strong>The</strong><br />

buyer, reportedly a high-net-worth<br />

individual, purchased the property<br />

for $30M, making it one of the most<br />

expensive homes in the world. <strong>The</strong> sale<br />

is a testament to the strong demand for<br />

luxury properties in Dubai, which is<br />

known for its extravagant real estate<br />

offerings and vibrant lifestyle.<br />

Aldar Introduces Saadiyat<br />

Development with Homes<br />

Starting at $173k<br />

Abu Dhabi’s leading real estate<br />

developer, Aldar Properties,<br />

has announced the launch<br />

of its newest development<br />

on Saadiyat Island, which features<br />

a range of affordable homes starting<br />

at just $173,000. <strong>The</strong> community,<br />

called “Alreeman II,” offers a variety<br />

of residential plots, townhouses, and<br />

villas, with a wide range of options for<br />

buyers to choose from. <strong>The</strong> development<br />

is designed to cater to the needs of firsttime<br />

buyers and young families, and<br />

it aims to provide a comfortable and<br />

sustainable living environment with<br />

world-class amenities and facilities. <strong>The</strong><br />

project is part of Aldar’s commitment to<br />

developing affordable housing solutions<br />

that support the government’s vision for<br />

sustainable growth and development<br />

in the UAE.<br />

68 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

TECH<br />

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extended gaming sessions, allowing you to<br />

play boldly. <strong>The</strong> Strix G18, which supports<br />

Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, provides<br />

a genuinely immersive experience that<br />

brings your games to life. Overstroke<br />

technology, dedicated hotkeys, and<br />

per-key RGB lighting make it simple to<br />

configure your gaming setup with the fullsize<br />

keyboard. <strong>The</strong> Strix G18 is intended<br />

for both gamers and game creators, and<br />

it can run all of the most recent game<br />

engines, allowing you to unleash your<br />

creativity and try your hand at creating the<br />

next great game. Its strong components,<br />

which include up to an Intel® CoreTM<br />

i9 processor and an NVIDIA® GeForce<br />

RTXTM 40 Series Laptop GPU, make it<br />

ideal for complex operations in popular<br />

development programmes such as Unity<br />

and Autodesk. <strong>The</strong> Strix G18 is built to<br />

last, with a 90Wh battery and USB Type-C<br />

charging capability for convenience on<br />

the move. <strong>The</strong> Strix G18 is available<br />

in two colours, Eclipse Gray and Volt<br />

Green, and its pixel art accents have been<br />

revamped for <strong>2023</strong>, giving it a trendy and<br />

modern appeal.<br />

Operating System: Windows 11 Pro<br />

Processor: Up to 13th Gen Intel® Core i9-13980HX Processor<br />

Graphics: Up to NVIDIA® GeForce RTX 4080 Laptop GPU with Dynamic Boost (Max TGP 175W)<br />

Display: 18-inch QHD 240Hz Nebula Display, 16:10 aspect ratio, 100% DCI-P3 coverage<br />

Cooling System: Tri-Fan Technology, full-surround vents, and Conductonaut Extreme liquid metal<br />

Audio: Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support<br />

Keyboard: Full-size keyboard with overstrike technology, dedicated hotkeys, and per-key RGB lighting<br />

Battery: 90Wh<br />

Available Colours: Eclipse Gray and Volt Green<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 69

Event Industry<br />

CEO Shaaista Khan Osman and<br />

Managing Director Osman Osman of<br />

Blu Blood<br />

70 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Blu Blood, powered by Osman Osman and Shaaista Khan Osman, is a<br />

leading lifestyle and management company that has collaborated with<br />

renowned comedians and artists, created the Kings & Queens of Comedy<br />

franchise, and worked with major companies and brands. Osman and Shaaista<br />

have extensive experience in marketing, communications, hospitality, and<br />

logistics and launched their Middle East base in 2019.<br />

Exclusive to <strong>The</strong> <strong>Finance</strong> <strong>World</strong> Magazine<br />

Q. Shaaista Khan Osman, can you<br />

share your journey and experience<br />

in building a successful event<br />

management company in the UAE?<br />

Shaaista: Building a business in<br />

the UAE has been a great and blessed<br />

experience. <strong>The</strong> structures, processes,<br />

and protocols in the UAE have made it<br />

easier. With patience and time, building<br />

a business in the UAE is a seamless<br />

process, and company development, visa<br />

requirements, and necessary processes<br />

are professionally done.<br />

Q. Osman Osman, please brief<br />

us on your journey in the event<br />

management industry in the UAE?<br />

Osman: Myself and Shaaista have<br />

both been in the events industry for<br />

over 20 years. Despite facing challenges<br />

early on in our journey due to Covid-19,<br />

we were able to organize the first live<br />

show with “COVID consciousness,”<br />

a term coined by Shaaista, in August<br />

2020, bringing together musicians from<br />

across the UAE with Sonu Nigam on<br />

one stage. We have since organized<br />

many events in Dubai with big names<br />

like James Blunt and Atif Aslam. <strong>The</strong><br />

UAE, being the entertainment capital<br />

of the Middle East, attracts big names,<br />

making it a blessing for the industry.<br />

Q. What motivated you to launch<br />

Blu Blood and pursue a career in<br />

event and project management?<br />

Shaaista: Our motivation comes from<br />

our backgrounds. Osman’s company,<br />

Four Corners Entertainment, brought<br />

entertainment from all over the world.<br />

This led to our partnership after we<br />

met, and we fell in love.<br />

Osman: We were doing events<br />

separately, but at some point, we realized<br />

we should merge our companies as we<br />

were supporting each other in corporate<br />

events, project management, and live<br />

shows.<br />

Shaaista: We’re passionate about<br />

our industry and each other’s success.<br />

We work well together and are building<br />

a legacy for our children. Our love for<br />

people and the business of happiness is<br />

what ties us together. Our Blu Blooders<br />

and patrons are what make our shows<br />

possible.<br />

Q. Can you discuss the importance of<br />

networking and building relationships<br />

in the event management industry?<br />

Osman: Networking is part of our<br />

entire industry; you have to network<br />

with individuals that come to your event.<br />

Shaaista: Dubai is the networking<br />

capital of the world where people from<br />

all nationalities come together and open<br />

doors for each other. It’s harmonious<br />

and different from other parts of the<br />

world where people would exclude<br />

someone from a deal.<br />

Osman: In the events industry, your<br />

network is crucial to success because<br />

your reputation and connections are<br />

what bring value to your business. It’s<br />

important to have solid relationships with<br />

artists, service providers, and patrons<br />

to create a fulfilling entrepreneurial<br />

journey. Your reputation opens doors for<br />

you and enables networking, which is<br />

essential in this industry; your reputation<br />

and your network bring you your net<br />

worth.<br />

Q. How do you ensure that your events<br />

meet the needs and expectations<br />

of clients and attendees while also<br />

driving business results?<br />

Shaaista: We prioritize meeting our<br />

patrons’ needs and expectations, which<br />

we refer to as the “Blu Blood Experience”<br />

and the “Blu Blood Way.” Our second<br />

show was our proudest moment. We<br />

have a reel at the end of the show, and<br />

we had our team out there in early 2021.<br />

People were outside, and they removed<br />

their masks; groups of people were<br />

shouting #<strong>The</strong>BluBloodWay.<br />

Osman: When we put on the show, we<br />

want to see more people, but we want<br />

to share that experience with everyone<br />

else. We’re passionate about it, and<br />

our family’s passionate about it too.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 71

Event Industry<br />

Shaaista: Our passion is driven by<br />

the artists we bring and the happiness<br />

they bring to our events. We’re motivated<br />

by the experiences we create and the<br />

joy it brings to others.<br />

Q. Can you share any notable challenges<br />

you faced in your career and how<br />

you overcame them?<br />

Shaaista: COVID was a tough time<br />

globally, and we all went through it.<br />

We accepted the challenge.<br />

Osman: We had to adapt to the<br />

pandemic, especially in the business<br />

we are in. We ran two entities and<br />

had to switch to virtual shows and<br />

develop COVID-conscious floor plans<br />

while ensuring safety for everyone. We<br />

even did a radio interview and a video<br />

to explain how we kept people safe,<br />

which became a TikTok trend.<br />

Shaaista: We were shopping when a<br />

cashier recognized us as “celebrities”<br />

and showed us a TikTok video. It was<br />

actually a video we made inviting people<br />

to our show with COVID precautions in<br />

place, including 1000 seats and a twometer<br />

distance between each person.<br />

Osman: We made a video that showed<br />

the journey from driving to the venue,<br />

highlighting the safety measures taken<br />

by our company and Dubai, before<br />

vaccines were available. Despite<br />

challenges in 2020, we overcame them<br />

by seizing opportunities and adapting<br />

to the situation.<br />

Shaaista: Post-COVID behavior is a<br />

challenge for promoters. People have<br />

forgotten how to behave in public,<br />

and the challenge is to remind them of<br />

common courtesies without offending<br />

them. However, there is hope as people<br />

are slowly getting into a new form of<br />

consciousness and appreciation for<br />

each other.<br />

Q. What would you say are the key<br />

skills required for success in the<br />

event management industry?<br />

Shaaista: I think the key skills for<br />

success in the event management<br />

industry are definitely to remember<br />

to be humble and to build with every<br />

single opportunity that you have.<br />

Osman: In event management, leaving<br />

your ego at home is key as you deal with<br />

multiple personalities. <strong>The</strong> audience<br />

is there for entertainment, and you’re<br />

there to provide the service.<br />

Shaaista: To be successful, you must<br />

be able to quickly change your demeanor<br />

to suit the situation - one minute you<br />

may need to be happy and sad.<br />

Osman: Brining your ego to the party<br />

can lead to challenges and hurdles.<br />

To succeed, you need to be a people’s<br />

person.<br />

Shaaista: Our key to success is<br />

having each other for balance and<br />

support. We feed off each other and<br />

share overwhelming moments together -<br />

both the highest of highs and the lowest<br />

of lows. This has been our greatest<br />

factor of success.<br />

Osman: At our events, people know<br />

us by faith and appreciate that we walk<br />

around to address any small issues that<br />

may arise. We’ve ensured that people<br />

know the people behind the event.<br />

Shaaista: We celebrate with our<br />

patrons and the fans of the artist, as<br />

they are there not only to see the artist<br />

but also to have a great time.<br />

Q. Can you share your thoughts on how<br />

the event management industry has<br />

changed recently and what changes<br />

you see in the future?<br />

Osman: <strong>The</strong> entertainment industry<br />

has changed a lot post-COVID and<br />

people are appreciating live events<br />

more. In the UAE, people are buying<br />

tickets earlier than before. <strong>The</strong>re’s now<br />

a demand, and people know they won’t<br />

get tickets at the last minute.<br />

Shaaista: People are appreciating<br />

live events more now due to the absence<br />

of entertainment during the pandemic.<br />

This trend is supporting the events<br />

industry and companies like Blu Blood.<br />

<strong>The</strong> accessibility of big stars has also<br />

improved thanks to the online community.<br />

Osman: <strong>The</strong> events industry is<br />

evolving with NFTs, the metaverse,<br />

and AI technologies being integrated,<br />

and Blu Blood is eager to embrace and<br />

incorporate these new developments,<br />

despite it being early for full integration.<br />

Q. How do you measure the success<br />

of an event and evaluate its impact<br />

on the attendees and stakeholders<br />

involved?<br />

Osman: Measuring the economic<br />

impact of a live event is about people<br />

coming to watch the show, filling up<br />

arenas, and spending money, which<br />

sustains the economy.<br />

Shaaista: Events and the tourism<br />

industry are interconnected, particularly<br />

in the UAE. People travel for events,<br />

generating a ripple effect for hotels,<br />

restaurants, and shopping malls. <strong>The</strong><br />

happiness factor, measured by full<br />

arenas, sustains the economy.<br />

Q. Can you provide an overview of<br />

your upcoming events for <strong>2023</strong>?<br />

Osman: We have just hosted an<br />

incredible concert with Atif Aslam<br />

and the phenomenal Firdaus Orchestra,<br />

it was definitely a highlight event on<br />

our books. We have a number of other<br />

acts in the pipeline that bridge the<br />

72 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Middle East, comedy, Western culture<br />

and Bollywood.<br />

Shaaista: <strong>The</strong> all-female Firdaus<br />

Orchestra, mentored by A.R. Rahman,<br />

is a beautiful concept that was created<br />

for Expo and has given phenomenal<br />

opportunities to the global music industry.<br />

Osman: <strong>The</strong>re’s a whole line-up for<br />

the Comedy Festival that we’re doing, a<br />

lot of comedians that we’re bringing in.<br />

Shaaista: Follow Blu Blood on social<br />

media for updates on our upcoming<br />

events in <strong>2023</strong>, which promises to be<br />

an exciting and jam-packed year as we<br />

emerge from COVID restrictions. We<br />

hope to see both our loyal patrons and<br />

new attendees join us for our events.<br />

Q. What audiences are you targeting<br />

in your upcoming events, and what<br />

should these audiences look forward<br />

to in these events?<br />

Shaaista: Dubai’s audiences are<br />

diverse, including Indian, Pakistani,<br />

African, Russian, Asian, etc., and come<br />

together under one umbrella to enjoy<br />

their love of music, the entertainment<br />

industry, and the arts.<br />

Q. How do you manage and motivate<br />

your team to deliver high-quality<br />

events?<br />

Osman: Our team is like family,<br />

and they’ve been our biggest support<br />

system in growing our business. <strong>The</strong>y<br />

come from all over the world, and we<br />

have a shared focus on growth and<br />

success. Shaaista’s delicious food is<br />

a great motivator for everyone.<br />

Shaaista: Our Blu Blood team is like<br />

a family, consisting of industry experts<br />

in their respective fields. <strong>The</strong> team<br />

is a beautiful harmony of Shaaista’s<br />

craziness and Osman’s madness, with<br />

woven intelligence providing stability.<br />

Q. Can you discuss your approach<br />

to developing and maintaining<br />

strong relationships with clients<br />

and stakeholders?<br />

Shaaista: Our clients and stakeholders<br />

are crucial to Blu Blood’s success,<br />

and we are grateful for their amazing<br />

support.<br />

Osman: Be honest with stakeholders<br />

and clients about the event’s situation<br />

to address their anxiety, as Blu Blood<br />

takes responsibility for any problems<br />

and keeps them updated.<br />

Q. What strategies do you use to<br />

manage a tight budget while still<br />

delivering a high-quality event?<br />

Osman: Budgets in the entertainment<br />

industry can vary greatly; you can do<br />

an event with AED 100,000 or $24M.<br />

Shaaista: As a privately-owned entity,<br />

Blu Blood has a unique perspective.<br />

Osman and I are solely responsible<br />

for budget decisions, which allows us<br />

to be flexible with our spending. We<br />

once hosted an event on a tight budget,<br />

but with quick thinking, we were able<br />

to provide food for 32 people at an<br />

after-dinner without sacrificing quality.<br />

Q. Can you discuss the role that<br />

innovation and technology play in<br />

the event management industry and<br />

how you leverage them to deliver<br />

high-quality events?<br />

Osman: We adapted to COVID by<br />

moving from in-person to online events.<br />

Technology has changed the entertainment<br />

industry with developments like the<br />

metaverse and NFTs, and we must adapt<br />

to avoid falling behind as new tech<br />

emerges, such as holograms and sound<br />

systems. <strong>The</strong> metaverse has become an<br />

interesting option for concerts.<br />

Shaaista: <strong>The</strong> entertainment industry<br />

is vast and encompasses more than just<br />

shows. Conferences and symposiums<br />

also fall under the events industry,<br />

and there is potential for growth and<br />

development due to its influence on<br />

other industries. NFTs have also found<br />

their place in this industry.<br />

Q. Can you share a particularly<br />

challenging event you’ve managed<br />

and how you overcame difficulties?<br />

Osman: Our industry has had its<br />

challenges, including an artist being<br />

unable to perform due to COVID and a<br />

show being cancelled out of respect for<br />

the late founding father of the UAE, H.<br />

H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.<br />

We’ve also dealt with positive COVID<br />

cases among support staff during the<br />

pandemic.<br />

Shaaista: We are thankful to the<br />

Almighty for our success. It is also due<br />

to the support of our team, stakeholders,<br />

clients, and the UAE leadership, and<br />

we are grateful for it.<br />

Q. Do you have any words for our<br />

readers?<br />

Osman: To succeed in entertainment<br />

and events, plan and pursue your ideas<br />

without fear of failure. Even unsuccessful<br />

pitches can expand your network and<br />

bring you new opportunities.<br />

Shaaista: Try, fail, and try again. Be<br />

mindful of your aspirations and your<br />

place in the world, and take ownership<br />

of it. Claim your stake in this world, no<br />

matter how unconventional it may be.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 73

Funding & Investment<br />

Sharjah Investment Forum Boosts<br />

Investment Opportunities in the Emirate<br />

At the 6th Sharjah Investment Forum, the Ministry of Industry and Advanced<br />

Technology (MoIAT) and the Sharjah Foreign Direct Investment Office (Invest in<br />

Sharjah) signed a Memorandum of Understanding that aims to enhance Sharjah’s<br />

position as a prominent hub for investment, innovation, and entrepreneurship in<br />

the fast-growing industrial sector by leveraging the resources of both parties.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Ministry of Industry and<br />

Advanced Technology (MoIAT)<br />

and the Sharjah Foreign Direct<br />

Investment Office (Invest in Sharjah)<br />

signed a Memorandum of Understanding at<br />

the 6th Sharjah Investment Forum, which<br />

was focused on “Redefining Economies:<br />

Making Significant Strides for a Better<br />

Future.” <strong>The</strong> objective of this agreement<br />

is to promote investment opportunities<br />

and encourage both domestic and foreign<br />

businesses to invest in Sharjah.<br />

<strong>The</strong> memorandum aims to foster<br />

sustainable economic growth by creating<br />

a conducive investment environment<br />

with incentives, enablers, and financial<br />

options, acknowledging the advantages<br />

of collaboration in the support and<br />

promotion of shared objectives, including<br />

promoting a favourable economic climate<br />

and growing trade links and commercial<br />

possibilities. It also describes how the<br />

two organisations will work together,<br />

including information sharing on trade<br />

and investment-related topics, funding<br />

for educational events and community<br />

outreach initiatives, support for trade<br />

and investment missions, and details<br />

on industry sectors of shared interest.<br />

In the presence of H.E. Omar Al<br />

Suwaidi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry<br />

of Industry and Advanced Technology,<br />

and H.E. Ahmed Obaid Yousef Al Qaseer,<br />

Executive Director of the Sharjah<br />

Investment and Development Authority,<br />

the MoU was signed by H.E. Osama Amir<br />

Fadhel, Assistant Undersecretary for<br />

the Industrial Accelerators Sector at the<br />

MoIAT, and H.E. Mohammed Juma Al<br />

Musharrkh, CEO of Sharjah FDI Office.<br />

Through collaboration and partnerships<br />

to promote the Make It in the Emirates<br />

programme, the MoU strengthens<br />

cooperation between MoIAT and the Sharjah<br />

Foreign Direct Investment, improving the<br />

investment climate in Sharjah’s industrial<br />

and advanced technology sector through<br />

promoting investment possibilities and<br />

offering incentives and enablers.<br />

Omar Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary<br />

of the MoIAT, said, “<strong>The</strong> memorandum<br />

of understanding is aligned with the<br />

ministry’s commitment to strengthening<br />

local partnerships, in line with the<br />

objectives of the National Strategy for<br />

Industry and Advanced Technology, which<br />

aims to enhance the UAE’s investment<br />

environment, particularly in priority<br />

sectors through Make it in the Emirates<br />

and National In-Country Value Program.<br />

v<br />

74 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Last year was a significant success. MoIAT<br />

issued 263 industrial production licences<br />

in 2022, 20% more than the previous<br />

year. We also reduced fees for 14 of the<br />

ministry’s services to help boost ease of<br />

doing business and stimulate the growth<br />

of small and medium companies.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> ministry supports efforts to create<br />

an attractive business environment for<br />

investors in the industrial sector to<br />

support the growth and competitiveness<br />

of national products especially in the<br />

priority and advanced technologies<br />

sectors, in line with Make it in the<br />

Emirates and in partnership with federal<br />

and local government entities as well as<br />

the private sector.”<br />

He also mentioned the National In-Country<br />

Value Program’s accomplishments, which<br />

was started as one of the Projects of the<br />

50. In 2022, the initiative brought more<br />

than AED 53B back into the economy,<br />

a 25% increase over 2021. Additionally,<br />

1,987 Emiratis were hired by the private<br />

sector as a result. Large, small, and<br />

medium-sized industrial firms as well<br />

as independent business owners can<br />

flourish thanks to the programme.<br />

According to Omar Al Suwaidi, “In 2022,<br />

the UAE recorded an increase in industrial<br />

exports amounting to about AED 174B,”<br />

which represents “a strong opportunity<br />

for industrial companies keen to leverage<br />

the UAE’s unique value proposition to<br />

achieve growth and expansion.”<br />

Ahmed Obaid Yousef Al Qaseer,<br />

Executive Director of Shurooq said,<br />

“<strong>The</strong> collaboration between Sharjah<br />

FDI Office and the Ministry of Industry<br />

and Advanced Technology represents a<br />

strategic step forward in advancing the<br />

economic growth of the UAE through<br />

investment in the industrial and advanced<br />

technology sectors.”<br />

He added, “By taking advantage of each<br />

of the parties’ resources, the MoU will<br />

strengthen Sharjah’s position as a leading<br />

centre for innovation, entrepreneurship<br />

and investment in the rapidly developing<br />

industrial sector. This in turn contributes<br />

to attracting new investments and<br />

creating a competitive and innovative<br />

environment that attracts the best talents<br />

and companies.”<br />

Mohammed Juma Al Musharrkh,<br />

CEO of Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in<br />

Sharjah), said that MoU “represents<br />

a strong commitment from both sides<br />

to the development of industry and<br />

investment in the UAE,” and added that<br />

it “will expand investment horizons and<br />

enhance the growth of sectors in industry<br />

and advanced technology,” boosting<br />

“Sharjah’s and the UAE’s position as an<br />

ideal destination for international and<br />

local industrial investors.”<br />

Speaking about the strategic investment<br />

partnership with Hong Kong, Al Musharrakh<br />

said, “Hosting representatives from Hong<br />

Signing the MoU will boost Sharjah’s and the<br />

UAE’s position as an ideal destination for<br />

international and local industrial investors.<br />

Kong is an exciting moment for Invest in<br />

Sharjah and underscores our commitment<br />

to building strong partnerships with key<br />

players in the global business community.<br />

We believe that this cooperation will<br />

help us to better understand the needs<br />

of businesses in both regions and provide<br />

tailored support to help succeed mutually.”<br />

Thirty company leaders from Hong Kong<br />

attended SIF <strong>2023</strong>, according to Johann<br />

Wong Chung Yan, acting commissioner<br />

for the Belt and Road. <strong>The</strong>y were there to<br />

look into potential future collaborations.<br />

“With over 9,000 foreign companies<br />

based in Hong Kong, including over<br />

1,500 regional headquarters, the region<br />

is an unrivalled gateway to the Asia and<br />

Pacific region,” he said. “<strong>The</strong> partnership<br />

between Sharjah and Hong Kong has<br />

already delivered impressive results. In<br />

2021, the two regions achieved a bilateral<br />

trade of AED 47B, with 10% of Chinese<br />

trade routed through Hong Kong,” he<br />

added. According to Johann, the new<br />

collaboration will increase investment<br />

via Hong Kong while focusing on crossborder<br />

commerce and market integration<br />

and using the advantages of both areas.<br />

H.E. Mohammed Ahmed Amin Al-Awadi,<br />

SCCI’s Director-General, said: “<strong>The</strong><br />

Chamber’s participation and sponsorship<br />

of the Forum is an objective and part of<br />

its endeavour to promote the Emirate of<br />

Sharjah as a distinctive regional hub for<br />

international companies and investments,<br />

thus enhancing Sharjah’s prominence on<br />

the global investment map and beefing<br />

up trade and investment in the Emirate.”<br />

Al-Awadi also emphasised the benefits of<br />

the SCCI’s participation in the significant<br />

event, as it assisted in developing<br />

strategic alliances with the organisations<br />

and government authorities in order to<br />

exchange ideas and proposals on the<br />

most crucial economic issues that will<br />

improve the emirate’s economy and its<br />

efforts to strengthen integration between<br />

the public and private sectors. Al-Awadi<br />

also highlighted the Forum’s themes and<br />

sessions, which featured 50 speakers<br />

chosen from among eminent international<br />

investors, businesses, and local, Arab,<br />

and international decision-makers.<br />

As a complement to the SCCI’s efforts<br />

to advance the national economy and push<br />

it forward with investment incentives<br />

packaged with the existing and future<br />

projects, Al-Awadi also stressed the<br />

importance of creating innovative plans<br />

and programmes that fulfil the ambitions<br />

of the new Emirati economic scene<br />

and support the targeted vital sectors,<br />

strengthening Sharjah’s position as a key<br />

regional hub for business establishment<br />

and operation.<br />

H.E. Haleema Ali Al-Owais, a chamber<br />

board member who attended the session<br />

on “<strong>The</strong> Future of Family Businesses and<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir Impact in the Region,” attended<br />

the event on behalf of the SCCI. <strong>The</strong><br />

SCCI’s special pavilion did a great job<br />

of showcasing the unique services<br />

and support the chamber offers to the<br />

business community and investors to<br />

help them grow their commercial and<br />

industrial activities, as well as to attract<br />

more industries and investments that<br />

contribute to enhancing the sustainable<br />

economic development in the Emirate of<br />

Sharjah and expanding the investment<br />

base locally and nationally.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 75

Funding and Investment News<br />

Saudi startup Nana raises<br />

$133M to support its<br />

expansion<br />

Saudi start-up Nana has raised a<br />

staggering $133M in funding to<br />

fuel its growth and revolutionize<br />

the shopping experience. Nana<br />

is an online grocery delivery platform<br />

that offers a hassle-free and convenient<br />

shopping experience to customers.<br />

<strong>The</strong> platform has gained immense<br />

popularity in the Kingdom of Saudi<br />

Arabia, and the latest funding round<br />

will help Nana expand its reach to<br />

more cities and offer a wider range of<br />

products. Nana’s innovative technology<br />

and exceptional customer service have<br />

set it apart from its competitors, and<br />

the company’s aim is to make grocery<br />

shopping effortless for everyone. With<br />

this significant funding, Nana is well<br />

on its way to achieving its goal and<br />

becoming the leading name in online<br />

grocery shopping in the region.<br />

UAE Aims to Streamline<br />

Business Operations and<br />

Attract Foreign Investment<br />

<strong>The</strong> United Arab Emirates<br />

(UAE) has announced plans<br />

to further ease doing business<br />

in the country, with the goal<br />

of attracting increased foreign direct<br />

investment (FDI). <strong>The</strong> measures, which<br />

include simplifying procedures for<br />

companies to set up operations and<br />

reducing red tape, are part of the<br />

UAE’s efforts to position itself as a<br />

hub for international businesses. <strong>The</strong><br />

country has already made significant<br />

progress in recent years, rising in international<br />

rankings for ease of doing<br />

business. UAE aims to further cement<br />

its reputation as a business-friendly<br />

destination, attracting companies<br />

from a wide range of industries and<br />

boosting economic growth. <strong>The</strong> move<br />

is expected to have a positive impact<br />

on the country’s economy and create<br />

new job opportunities for its citizens.<br />

Sharjah Asset Management Takes Center Stage<br />

at Investment Forum with Key Project Showcase<br />

<strong>The</strong> Sharjah Investment Forum<br />

was buzzing with excitement<br />

as Sharjah Asset Management<br />

took center stage to showcase<br />

its key investment projects. <strong>The</strong><br />

company, which is a subsidiary of the<br />

Sharjah Investment and Development<br />

Authority (Shurooq), was proud to<br />

highlight its portfolio of investments<br />

in a variety of sectors, including real<br />

estate, hospitality, and tourism. <strong>The</strong><br />

MENA Start-Up Floward<br />

Blooms with $156M in<br />

Pre-IPO Funding Round<br />

Floward, a Middle Eastern<br />

start-up that offers online<br />

flower and gift delivery services,<br />

has raised $156M in a<br />

pre-IPO funding round. <strong>The</strong> company’s<br />

platform allows customers to place<br />

orders for flower arrangements and<br />

gifts, which are then hand-delivered<br />

by local florists. Floward has seen<br />

tremendous growth since its launch,<br />

with a rapidly expanding customer<br />

base and presence in multiple countries<br />

across the Middle East and North Africa<br />

(MENA) region. <strong>The</strong> new funding will<br />

be used to further scale the business,<br />

enhance its technology platform, and<br />

support its expansion into new markets.<br />

Floward is poised to become the go-to<br />

destination for all gift-giving occasions<br />

in the MENA region.<br />

investment projects on display demonstrated<br />

the company’s commitment to<br />

driving economic growth and promoting<br />

sustainable development in the emirate<br />

of Sharjah. This showcase was a<br />

crucial step in the continued growth<br />

and development of Sharjah’s economy,<br />

and a testament to the impact that<br />

Sharjah Asset Management is having<br />

in the region.<br />

APICORP Invests<br />

$335M in in the Future<br />

with Green Project<br />

Allocation<br />

<strong>The</strong> Arab Petroleum Investments<br />

Corporation (APICORP) has<br />

announced the allocation of<br />

$335M towards green projects,<br />

in an effort to support the transition<br />

to a low-carbon economy. <strong>The</strong><br />

investment will be directed towards<br />

renewable energy, energy efficiency,<br />

and sustainable infrastructure projects<br />

across the Middle East and North Africa<br />

(MENA) region. This move aligns with<br />

APICORP’s commitment to promoting<br />

sustainable development and reducing<br />

the carbon footprint of the energy sector.<br />

<strong>The</strong> allocation of funds is expected<br />

to drive the growth of the region’s<br />

green energy market and contribute<br />

to the global effort to tackle climate<br />

change. <strong>The</strong> investment is a significant<br />

step towards a greener future for the<br />

MENA region and a demonstration of<br />

APICORP’s leadership in promoting<br />

sustainable development.<br />

76 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

UAE Commits $500,000 to Iraq’s Water Security<br />

with Nadia Murad’s Initiative<br />

<strong>The</strong> United Arab Emirates has<br />

pledged $500,000 in support of<br />

Iraq’s water security through<br />

a new initiative launched by<br />

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nadia<br />

Murad. <strong>The</strong> initiative aims to address<br />

the ongoing water crisis in Iraq, which<br />

has affected the country’s agriculture,<br />

health, and overall quality of life for its<br />

citizens. <strong>The</strong> UAE’s contribution will<br />

support the installation of new water<br />

treatment facilities and the rehabilitation<br />

of existing ones, helping to ensure<br />

that communities in Iraq have access to<br />

clean and safe water. <strong>The</strong> commitment<br />

is a testament to the UAE’s continued<br />

efforts to support development and<br />

humanitarian initiatives both at home<br />

and abroad. This new initiative, in<br />

partnership with Nadia Murad, will<br />

have a lasting impact on the people of<br />

Iraq and will help to build a brighter<br />

future for the country.<br />

Saudi Startup Marn Secures Investment Boost with<br />

Sukna Ventures Deal<br />

Investcorp Acquires Majority<br />

Stake in Eficode Bahrain<br />

and Expands Reach in<br />

Technology Space<br />

Investcorp, a leading global provider<br />

of alternative investment products,<br />

has announced its agreement<br />

to take a majority stake in<br />

Eficode Bahrain, a leading technology<br />

consulting firm. <strong>The</strong> move signals<br />

Investcorp’s growing presence in the<br />

technology space and its commitment<br />

to supporting the growth of innovative<br />

companies. <strong>The</strong> acquisition will provide<br />

Eficode Bahrain with the resources and<br />

support it needs to continue to scale<br />

its operations and meet the increasing<br />

demands of its customers. Eficode<br />

Bahrain’s expertise in technology<br />

consulting and software development<br />

is highly regarded in the industry, and<br />

Investcorp’s investment will only serve<br />

to enhance its position as a leading<br />

player in the region. This acquisition<br />

is a win-win for both companies, as<br />

Investcorp expands its reach in the<br />

technology sector, and Eficode Bahrain<br />

gains access to Investcorp’s expertise<br />

and resources.<br />

Saudi Arabian startup Marn has<br />

recently secured a funding deal<br />

with Sukna Ventures, providing<br />

a significant boost to the young<br />

company. Marn is a technology-driven<br />

company that provides innovative<br />

solutions in the transportation industry.<br />

<strong>The</strong> exact amount of funding has not<br />

been disclosed, but it is believed to be<br />

a substantial sum that will allow Marn<br />

to expand its operations and reach even<br />

more customers. This investment by<br />

Sukna Ventures is a testament to the<br />

potential and growth of Marn, and<br />

the positive impact it is having in the<br />

region. <strong>The</strong> new funds will be used to<br />

further develop Marn’s technology,<br />

expand its workforce, and bring its<br />

solutions to more communities in need.<br />

This is a thrilling development for both<br />

Marn and the wider tech community<br />

in Saudi Arabia.<br />

Saudi Startup Palm.hr<br />

Secures $5M in Pre-<br />

Series A Round<br />

Saudi Arabian human resources<br />

tech startup, Palm.hr, has raised<br />

$5M in a pre-Series A funding<br />

round, further solidifying its<br />

position as a leader in the HR tech space.<br />

<strong>The</strong> funding round was led by a group<br />

of local and international investors,<br />

who recognized the potential of the<br />

company’s innovative HR solutions.<br />

With the new funds, Palm.hr plans to<br />

expand its product offerings, grow<br />

its customer base, and increase its<br />

footprint in the region. <strong>The</strong> company’s<br />

cloud-based HR platform streamlines<br />

HR processes for businesses of all<br />

sizes, making it easier for companies<br />

to manage their employees and their<br />

HR needs. This latest funding round is<br />

a clear sign that Palm.hr is poised for<br />

growth and success, and the company<br />

is well-positioned to continue making<br />

a positive impact on the HR tech<br />

landscape in the region.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 77

Digital Assets<br />

Dubai Announces Guidelines for Virtual<br />

Asset Industry and Ranks the <strong>World</strong>’s<br />

Second Most Crypto-Ready City<br />

According to a study conducted by Recap, Dubai has been positioned as the top city<br />

in the region and the second globally in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry.<br />

This has resulted in the city emerging as a nucleus of innovation and advancement<br />

in this field. London was ranked as the leading global hub for cryptocurrency, mainly<br />

due to its robust financial infrastructure and thriving start-up ecosystem.<br />

Recap’s study looks at eight key<br />

factors to recognise the level<br />

of crypto readiness in cities<br />

around the world, including<br />

quality of life score, events related to<br />

cryptocurrencies, the number of people<br />

working in crypto-related jobs, the level<br />

of R&D spending as a percentage of<br />

GDP, the number of crypto ATMs, the<br />

capital gains tax rate, and the percentage<br />

of people who own cryptocurrencies.<br />

<strong>The</strong> top 20 cities on Recap’s recent list<br />

are New York, Singapore, Los Angeles,<br />

Zug, Hong Kong, Paris, Vancouver,<br />

Bangkok, Chicago, Berlin, Sapporo,<br />

Lagos, Lisbon, Kuwait City, Tehran,<br />

Sydney, Osaka, and Kuala Lumpur.<br />

Riyadh and Jeddah were ranked 22nd<br />

and 25th.<br />

“Dubai comes in second place as it<br />

pushes to become the leading centre<br />

for cryptocurrency and blockchain<br />

technology in the Middle East, following<br />

a year of multiple new laws for crypto<br />

exchanges to operate in the city,”<br />

Recap said.<br />

Dubai has recently established the<br />

Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority<br />

(VARA) to oversee and regulate the<br />

virtual assets sector across Dubai’s<br />

mainland and the free zone territories,<br />

excluding the Dubai International<br />

Financial Centre (DIFC). Some of<br />

the major cryptocurrency firms have<br />

already established themselves in<br />

the UAE, while others are planning<br />

to move here, including crypto.com,<br />

Bybit, Binance, Deribit and others.<br />

Additionally, a recent survey released<br />

by YouGov found that two-thirds of UAE<br />

adults are interested in cryptocurrency,<br />

and that Dubai has a large number of<br />

crypto-based companies available to<br />

residents. This is a sign of increasing<br />

interest in the sector, and suggests<br />

v<br />

78 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

that it is likely to continue growing<br />

in popularity.<br />

“With zero percent tax, Dubai is<br />

an appealing place to live for crypto<br />

investors – and may be the second<br />

choice for some UK residents... <strong>The</strong><br />

city also has a high quality of life with<br />

a score of 175.84 – the seventh highest<br />

overall,” Recap research said.<br />

“Crypto assets have grown massively<br />

over the past few years, and are<br />

becoming increasingly interlinked with<br />

the regulated financial markets, and the<br />

fact that so many cities are embracing<br />

it is a positive sign. Dubai being the<br />

world’s second largest crypto hub is<br />

good news for the government, who plan<br />

to launch their own digital currency by<br />

2026’,” said Daniel Howitt, co-founder<br />

and CEO at Recap, commenting on<br />

the research.<br />

“At the same time, our research<br />

shows that the world’s least developed<br />

countries are significantly less prepared<br />

to become crypto-hubs. Lack of<br />

infrastructure, foreign investment,<br />

and skilled workforce in the area may<br />

explain why some are lagging behind.<br />

This could cause barriers to trade with<br />

more developed crypto-hubs in future<br />

– so it’s important they’re all given<br />

the opportunity to get up to speed,”<br />

he added.<br />

“While Dubai excels in attracting<br />

crypto companies and jobs as a tax<br />

haven, the city falls behind when it<br />

comes to crypto events on offer and<br />

R&D spend. More investment in these<br />

areas could advance its position as a<br />

global crypto-hub… <strong>The</strong> UAE has spent<br />

a lot of time positioning itself as a<br />

crypto hub, making a play at attracting<br />

entrepreneurs and startups to set-up<br />

shop. This could just be the beginning<br />

for Dubai – it’ll be interesting to see<br />

how crypto grows over the next year,<br />

and whether or not Dubai can step up<br />

to first place,” added Howitt.<br />

On the other hand, Dubai Virtual<br />

Assets Authority announced on Tuesday<br />

07 Feb, <strong>2023</strong> a detailed regulatory<br />

framework for the crypto sector,<br />

which is set to turn the UAE into a<br />

superhighway for the crypto sector.<br />

Dozens of web3 and blockchain ventures<br />

from around the world are expected<br />

to arrive in the coming weeks and<br />

months, thanks to this new regulatory<br />

environment.<br />

<strong>The</strong> new policy and regulatory clarity<br />

are attracting top global industry<br />

talent from around the world, which<br />

is speeding up the country’s march<br />

Approximately 66%<br />

of adults in UAE<br />

show interest in<br />

cryptocurrency, while<br />

many companies<br />

engaged in the crypto<br />

sector are present in<br />

Dubai, making them<br />

within reach of its<br />

residents.<br />

towards becoming the global hub for<br />

Web3. This influx of top talent will<br />

help the country develop new and<br />

innovative technology solutions that<br />

can benefit everyone.<br />

VARA has issued extensive regulatory<br />

norms on compliance and riskmanagement<br />

standards for the sector’s<br />

companies, as well as the requirements<br />

on cyber security norms. <strong>The</strong>se norms<br />

will help protect investors and ensure<br />

that sector’s companies are taking<br />

appropriate measures to protect their<br />

data and assets. <strong>The</strong> authority issued a<br />

separate set of rules governing specific<br />

activities, like issuing and exchanging<br />

currencies, custody services, and<br />

advisory services.<br />

<strong>The</strong> regulatory framework that is<br />

being put in place by the government of<br />

Dubai will make it easier for companies<br />

that are involved in the cryptocurrency<br />

industry to create compliant blockchain<br />

applications. This will help to speed<br />

up the mainstream adoption of this<br />

technology and help to grow the<br />

economy in the region.<br />

Industry insiders say that the UAE is<br />

already a leading hub for the digital asset<br />

industry, because the government there<br />

is supportive of this kind of technology<br />

and is doing a lot to promote it. This<br />

new initiative will make things even<br />

better for the industry in Dubai.<br />

Moreover, the Abu Dhabi-based<br />

Venom Ventures fund has announced<br />

plans to invest $1B in various Web3<br />

projects, including investments in<br />

decentralized applications (dApps),<br />

blockchain technology, and smart<br />

contracts. <strong>The</strong> Venom Ventures fund is<br />

one of the largest blockchain investment<br />

funds in the world, and its investment<br />

will help to further develop and promote<br />

Web3 technologies.<br />

<strong>The</strong> rules currently in place for<br />

virtual asset service providers (VASPs)<br />

to comply with anti-money laundering<br />

and counterterrorism (AML/CFT)<br />

regulations will protect investors and<br />

consumers from fraud, ensuring that<br />

people are not being taken advantage<br />

of financially, and that their money<br />

is being used safely and legitimately.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> government of Dubai has<br />

disclosed a strategy to establish<br />

40,000 remote jobs by 2030, with the<br />

objective of creating jobs that enhance<br />

its economy and don’t necessitate<br />

physical in it.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE is taking several progressive<br />

steps to boost the digital economy<br />

sector in the country, with regional<br />

governments establishing their own<br />

initiatives in this field promoting<br />

blockchain and Web3 technology.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se initiatives include the creation<br />

of a blockchain task force within<br />

the Ministry of Economy, and the<br />

launch of a Web3 platform to support<br />

the development of blockchain<br />

applications.<br />

Last July, the Dubai government<br />

announced a plan to create 40,000 virtual<br />

jobs by 2030 with the aim of creating jobs<br />

that don’t require a physical presence<br />

in the city, and to improve the city’s<br />

economy by increasing tourism and<br />

business activity. Additionally, Dubai<br />

authorities announced plans to make<br />

the emirate home to 1000 companies in<br />

the blockchain and metaverse sectors,<br />

contributing $500M to the national<br />

economy.<br />

Furthermore, the Abu Dhabi<br />

Global Market (ADGM) is quickly<br />

becoming a preferred destination for<br />

digital asset companies, thanks to<br />

its business-friendly initiatives and<br />

supportive regulatory environment.<br />

This is notably evident with companies<br />

such as Coinbase, Circle, and Binance<br />

all choosing to set up offices in the<br />

region. On the other hand, Dubai Multi<br />

Commodities Centre (DMCC) released<br />

new data showing that out of 3,049 new<br />

businesses registered in Dubai in 2022,<br />

500 businesses were crypto start-ups,<br />

indicating that the crypto industry is<br />

growing in popularity in Dubai and is<br />

likely to continue to do so in the future.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 79

Stock Market<br />

How and Why to Invest in the UAE Stock<br />

Market<br />

<strong>The</strong> number of investors in Dubai’s capital market skyrocketed in just one year due<br />

to the growing number of businesses choosing to go public and list their shares on<br />

the local exchange. In 2022, the Dubai Financial Market saw an influx of 167,332<br />

new investors, bringing its total investor base to over one million, a massive 23-time<br />

increase from the previous year.<br />

As more businesses decided<br />

to float their shares and<br />

list on the local exchange,<br />

the number of investors<br />

in Dubai’s capital market increased<br />

dramatically over the course of a year.<br />

In 2022, the Dubai Financial Market<br />

(DFM) received 167,332 new investors,<br />

increasing its investor base to over one<br />

million, a 23-fold increase from the<br />

previous year. Its net profit increased<br />

by more than 40% as well.<br />

Nearly half (48.7%) of the investors<br />

with net purchases of AED 5B ($1.4B)<br />

were people from more than 200<br />

different countries, demonstrating<br />

the significant presence of foreigners<br />

on the stock exchange, according to<br />

DFM. As economies in the GCC area<br />

make a solid recovery following the<br />

epidemic, many firms decided to float<br />

their shares last year amid significant<br />

investor demand. <strong>The</strong> Dubai Electricity<br />

and Water Authority (DEWA) and Salik,<br />

among other prominent governmentbacked<br />

and private businesses,<br />

launched their first public offerings<br />

(IPOs) in Dubai.<br />

In an effort to draw in more investors<br />

and increase activity on the local stock<br />

market, Dubai had earlier announced<br />

plans to float 10 state-backed<br />

enterprises. “Our relentless focus<br />

on our capital markets development<br />

strategy has borne fruit, making DFM<br />

one of the most active markets globally<br />

for new IPOs and listings of 5 [entities],”<br />

said His Excellency Helal Al Marri,<br />

Chairman of DFM.<br />

<strong>The</strong> DFM Company’s net profit for<br />

the previous fiscal year increased by<br />

41.7% to AED 147.1M ($40M), mirroring<br />

the “great improvement” in trading<br />

value to AED 90B, reflecting the surge<br />

in investor interest in the local capital<br />

market. Despite some volatility, the<br />

GCC’s IPO market saw solid activity all<br />

year long. According to Kamco Invest,<br />

DFM’s net profit rose 41.7% to AED 147.1M ($40M)<br />

due to an improvement in trading value (AED 90B) and<br />

increased investor interest in the local capital market.<br />

v<br />

80 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

the overall number of IPOs from the<br />

GCC increased from 20 issuances in<br />

2021 to 48 issuances in 2022.<br />

<strong>The</strong> sales increased over three times,<br />

reaching $23.38B. Saudi Arabia took<br />

the lead in the offers, with 34 of the 48<br />

GCC IPOs making their debut on the<br />

Tadawul or Nomu. However, the UAE<br />

took first place in terms of proceeds,<br />

as its 11 issues brought in more than<br />

half (59.7%) of the issuance revenues,<br />

or around $13.96B.<br />

Investing in the<br />

UAE stock market<br />

is typically done<br />

by opening a stock<br />

brokerage account<br />

with a local broker<br />

registered on one of<br />

the three UAE stock<br />

exchanges.<br />

Moreover, citizens of the Emirates<br />

frequently invest in stocks as a means<br />

of increasing their wealth, but how<br />

precisely can you do this in the UAE<br />

stock market? Whether you want<br />

to invest in the UAE market alone<br />

or in other foreign markets as well<br />

depends on your investment plan and<br />

preferences. Hence, we offer you two<br />

alternative ways to invest in stocks in<br />

the UAE. In order to assist you make an<br />

educated choice, we will discuss both<br />

solutions and highlight their essential<br />

components.<br />

1. Investment in the UAE’s stock<br />

market<br />

Opening a stock brokerage account<br />

with a local broker registered on one<br />

of the three UAE stock exchanges is<br />

the most frequent approach to invest<br />

in the UAE stock market (DFM, ADX<br />

or Nasdaq Dubai). Investors must also<br />

apply for a NIN investor number at<br />

the DFM to buy stocks on any of the<br />

listed exchanges. In the following,<br />

we breakdown basic actions you<br />

may take to invest in equities listed<br />

on local UAE exchanges:<br />

• Getting your own Investor<br />

Number (NIN):<br />

To begin, you must apply for an<br />

investor number by completing the<br />

Investor Number Request Form and<br />

submitting it to the DFM together<br />

with your signature and any needed<br />

evidence. You can apply online using<br />

e-Services, in person at the DMF<br />

trading floor, or by contacting a<br />

UAE-based broker.<br />

• Choosing the Right Stock Broker:<br />

Investors who do not have a trading<br />

licence must purchase stocks through:<br />

A local stock broker – You can<br />

pick and choose stock brokers on<br />

the DFM official website and sort<br />

them by their overall rating, A local<br />

UAE Bank – All of Dubai’s major<br />

banks (Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank,<br />

Standard Chartered, and ENDB)<br />

offer brokerage services to both<br />

foreigners and nationals living in<br />

the UAE. <strong>The</strong> Ras Al Khaimah<br />

Investment Authority as well is<br />

a UAE government agency offering<br />

brokerage services to UAE citizens.<br />

• Picking a Stock to Invest in:<br />

Choosing a stock to invest in should be<br />

based on your fundamental analysis<br />

and study of the company. As a<br />

beginner, avoid investing in small<br />

tech businesses you have never<br />

heard of and stick to the ones you<br />

are familiar with. Using your stock<br />

broker’s or bank’s copy trading or<br />

financial consulting services is an<br />

excellent method to get started.<br />

• Checking in which exchange list<br />

the stock is listed:<br />

Depending on where your preferred<br />

equities are listed, you may pick from<br />

three stock exchanges in the UAE<br />

(DFM, ADX, and Nasdaq Dubai). To<br />

have access to either exchanges, you<br />

must have a valid trading licence<br />

or utilise a stock broker that does.<br />

• Buying Stocks:<br />

To acquire a stock, you must first fill<br />

out a purchase form in which you<br />

specify which stocks and how many<br />

you wish to purchase. When the form<br />

is completed, it is submitted to one of<br />

the exchanges, and you will receive<br />

an ownership certificate verifying<br />

that you own the stock.<br />

2. Investment in the stocks of UAE<br />

and various other international<br />

stocks<br />

Use a more hands-on approach and<br />

create an account with one of the online<br />

stock brokers if you want to invest in<br />

overseas equities in addition to the UAE<br />

stock market. For investors wishing<br />

to purchase foreign equities, online<br />

stock brokers provide a more practical<br />

option to invest in the market. As with<br />

anything else, doing an action online is<br />

quicker and simpler than performing it<br />

in person. Users of online stock brokers<br />

may invest in a variety of markets and<br />

asset classes from a single dashboard<br />

and from any location in the globe.<br />

Additionally, users are not required<br />

to hold a TIN tax number or a NIN<br />

investor number. Additionally, using an<br />

online broker allows you to test your<br />

trading strategies with fictitious funds<br />

and learn a tonne of information using<br />

their instructional resources.<br />

Most Traded stock exchanges in UAE<br />

1. Dubai Financial Market (DFM):<br />

More than 170 Sharia-compliant<br />

enterprises are listed on the<br />

DFM, which was formed in 2000.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Securities and Commodities<br />

Authority (SCA), which oversees<br />

the DFM, prohibits companies that<br />

are deemed “haram” from being<br />

listed there.<br />

2. Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange<br />

(ADX):<br />

<strong>The</strong> ADX, which was established<br />

in 2000 and has offices in Ras Al<br />

Khaimah, Al Ain, Fujairah, and<br />

Sharjah, facilitates trading between<br />

UAE businesses.<br />

3. NASDAQ Dubai:<br />

<strong>The</strong> Dubai International Financial<br />

Center (DFIC) is home to the NASDAQ<br />

Dubai, which was established in 2005<br />

and lists both domestic and foreign<br />

businesses. On the NASDAQ Dubai,<br />

organisations like the Middle East<br />

and Real Estate Investment Trust<br />

and the Bank of London are listed.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 81

Wheels<br />

Ferrari SF-23<br />

Ferrari is the latest team to<br />

reveal its challenger for the<br />

upcoming <strong>2023</strong> F1 season.<br />

While the SF-23 is an evolution<br />

of last year’s car, Ferrari says it has been<br />

“completely redesigned” as it looks to<br />

mount a more serious championship<br />

challenge, with new team principal<br />

Frederic Vasseur at the helm.<br />

As is tradition for Ferrari, the new<br />

SF-23 also sports a red-dominant livery,<br />

this time combining matte red with<br />

some naked carbon fibre sections.<br />

<strong>The</strong> ‘long F’ Ferrari logo also returns<br />

on the rear wing. “Our <strong>2023</strong> car is an<br />

evolution of the one we raced last year,<br />

but in reality, it has been completely<br />

redesigned,” says Enrico Cardile, who<br />

is the head of the chassis area.<br />

Aerodynamic changes have been<br />

made to increase vertical downforce<br />

and “achieve the designed balance<br />

characteristics”. <strong>The</strong> suspension has<br />

been redesigned to increase the range<br />

of adjustments that can be made to the<br />

car on the track. “<strong>The</strong> most obvious<br />

changes are in the area of the front<br />

suspension where we have moved to a<br />

low track rod,” added Cardile. Further<br />

changes have been made to the front<br />

wing and nose.<br />

82 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 83

Corporate Tax<br />

How UAE Corporate Tax Law Treats<br />

Unrealised Gains and Losses<br />

Adjusting for unrealized gains and losses is a crucial step in accounting for profits.<br />

Under the UAE CT law, Article 20(3), individuals subject to taxation can opt to account<br />

for gains and losses based on when they are realized for assets and liabilities that are<br />

subject to fair value or impairment accounting under applicable accounting standards,<br />

or for all assets and liabilities held on capital account at the end of a tax period.<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE Corporate Tax law<br />

mandates that taxpayers must<br />

use an indirect approach<br />

to calculate their taxable<br />

profits. This involves creating financial<br />

statements based on the applicable<br />

accounting standards, and then<br />

adjusting the accounting profits to<br />

determine the taxable profits. <strong>The</strong><br />

adjustments usually require adding back<br />

non-deductible expenses, subtracting<br />

expenses not recognized in accounting<br />

profits, excluding income not subject<br />

to UAE CT law, and including taxable<br />

income that is not part of accounting<br />

profits.<br />

One of the most critical adjustments to<br />

accounting profits is the adjustment of<br />

unrealised gains and losses. According<br />

to Article 20(3) of the UAE CT law,<br />

taxable persons can choose to account<br />

for gains and losses on a realisation<br />

basis for all assets and liabilities subject<br />

to fair value or impairment accounting<br />

under applicable accounting standards,<br />

or all assets and liabilities held on<br />

capital account at the end of a tax<br />

period. However, the gain or loss on<br />

all assets and liabilities held in the<br />

revenue account will be considered<br />

on an unrealised basis, as provided for<br />

in clause 20(3)(b) of the UAE CT law.<br />

Taxable persons may opt to be taxed on<br />

84 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

a gain or allowed a loss on a realisation<br />

basis only for the assets and liabilities<br />

subject to fair value or impairment<br />

accounting or held on capital account.<br />

This applies to all assets and liabilities<br />

of the respective category.<br />

Assets and liabilities subject to<br />

fair value generally include financial<br />

assets, financial liabilities, investment<br />

property, biological assets measured<br />

at fair value less cost to sell, and<br />

intangible assets acquired in a<br />

business combination. Assets subject<br />

to impairment accounting include<br />

property, plant, and equipment (PPE),<br />

goodwill, intangible assets not acquired<br />

in a business combination, investments<br />

in equity instruments that are not held<br />

for trading, and others.<br />

and all unrealised gains would not<br />

be taxable (and conversely, any and<br />

all unrealised losses would not be<br />

deductible) until they are realised;<br />

2. <strong>The</strong> taxpayer can elect to recognise<br />

gains and losses on a ‘realisation<br />

basis’ for UAE CT purposes for<br />

assets and liabilities held on capital<br />

account only - that is, only unrealised<br />

gains and losses in respect of assets<br />

and liabilities held on capital account<br />

would not be taxable or deductible,<br />

respectively, until they are realised.<br />

Unrealised gains and losses arising<br />

from assets and liabilities held on<br />

revenue account, on the other hand,<br />

would continue to be included in<br />

taxable income on a current basis.<br />

loss) of the business, after making<br />

adjustments for certain items specified<br />

in the Corporate Tax Law.<br />

<strong>The</strong> accounting net profit (or loss)<br />

of a business is the amount reported<br />

in its financial statements prepared<br />

in accordance with internationally<br />

acceptable accounting standards.<br />

Adjustments to the accounting net<br />

profit (or loss) will need to be made<br />

for the following items:<br />

1. Unrealised gains and losses (subject<br />

to the election made regarding<br />

the application of the realisation<br />

principle);<br />

2. Exempt income such as qualifying<br />

dividends and capital gains;<br />

3. Income arising on intra-group<br />

transfers;<br />

Required Adjustments to the<br />

Financial Statements:<br />

<strong>The</strong> corporate tax legislation in the<br />

UAE mandates that the accounting<br />

net profit (or loss) must be modified<br />

to account for various items specified<br />

in the law, which include:<br />

1. Unrealised profits or losses<br />

(depending on how the realisation<br />

principle is applied)<br />

2. Income that is exempt, such as<br />

dividends<br />

3. Transfers between companies within<br />

the same group<br />

4. Deductions that are not permitted<br />

for tax purposes<br />

5. Adjustments for transactions with<br />

related parties and connected<br />

individuals<br />

6. Any tax incentives or relief provided<br />

by the government<br />

7. Any other modifications specified<br />

by the Minister.<br />

How CT Treats Unrealised Gains<br />

and Losses:<br />

Generally, assets and liabilities are<br />

considered to be held on capital account<br />

when they are not expected to be sold<br />

or traded with during the regular course<br />

of the business operation. Where a<br />

business prepares their financial<br />

statements on an accruals basis,<br />

it has the following options in<br />

respect of the UAE CT treatment<br />

of unrealised accounting gains<br />

and losses:<br />

1. <strong>The</strong> taxpayer can elect to recognise<br />

gains and losses on a ‘realisation<br />

basis’ for UAE CT purposes for all<br />

assets and liabilities - that is, any<br />

Taxpayers in the UAE can use the<br />

realization principle to determine<br />

their taxable income under the<br />

country’s CT system.<br />

Realisation Principle:<br />

Similar to other Corporate Tax<br />

systems, the UAE’s CT system permits<br />

taxpayers to use the “realisation<br />

principle” to ascertain their taxable<br />

income. In other words, income will<br />

only be subject to tax, and deductions<br />

may only be taken, when a gain or loss is<br />

realised, such as when the related asset<br />

is sold or terminated. <strong>The</strong> application<br />

of the realisation principle means<br />

that any gains or losses on assets or<br />

liabilities that are subject to fair value<br />

or impairment accounting will not be<br />

included in the taxable income for<br />

each Tax Period.<br />

Taxable Income for UAE CT:<br />

<strong>The</strong> taxable income for a Tax Period<br />

will be the accounting net profit (or<br />

4. Deductions which are not allowable<br />

for tax purposes;<br />

5. Transactions with Related Parties<br />

and Connected Persons;<br />

6. Transfers of tax losses within the<br />

group where relevant;<br />

7. Incentives or tax reliefs; and<br />

8. Any other adjustments as specified<br />

by the Minister.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 85

Corporate Results<br />


Q4’22 Net Profit: AED<br />

205.3M<br />

RAKBANK, one of the leading banks<br />

in the UAE, has reported a strong<br />

performance in Q4 2022 with record<br />

profits and a significant increase in<br />

customer deposits. <strong>The</strong> bank’s net<br />

profit for the quarter was AED 205.3M<br />

($55.8M), up by 12.9% compared to<br />

the same period last year. Customer<br />

deposits grew by 27% to AED 42.7B<br />

($11.6B), driven by increased demand<br />

for the bank’s digital products and<br />

services. RAKBANK’s CEO, Peter<br />

England, attributed the bank’s success<br />

to its continued focus on customercentricity,<br />

digital transformation,<br />

and prudent risk management. <strong>The</strong><br />

bank remains optimistic about its<br />

growth prospects and is committed to<br />

enhancing its offerings to meet evolving<br />

customer needs.<br />

Aldar Properties<br />

Q4’22 Net Profit: AED 1B<br />

Aldar Properties, a UAE developer,<br />

has reported a net profit of AED 1B<br />

($272M) for Q4-2022, which is 28%<br />

higher than the previous year and<br />

has surpassed the expectations by<br />

a significant margin. <strong>The</strong> full-year<br />

net profit for 2022 increased by 35%<br />

to AED3.1 billion, according to the<br />

developer’s statement at the Abu Dhabi<br />

Securities Exchange. <strong>The</strong> company’s Q4<br />

profit estimates of AED 699M and AED<br />

2.70B for the fiscal year, as compiled<br />

by Refinitiv, were exceeded. Aldar<br />

Development’s sales doubled year-onyear<br />

to AED 14.3B for the fiscal year,<br />

driven by high demand for new property<br />

launches and existing inventory in the<br />

UAE. <strong>The</strong> company has recommended<br />

a cash dividend of AED0.16 per share<br />

for the fiscal year.<br />

Shuaa<br />

Q4’22 Net Profit: AED<br />

59.3M<br />

Dubai-based investment bank Shuaa<br />

Capital reported impressive financial<br />

results for the fourth quarter of 2022. <strong>The</strong><br />

company’s net profit more than doubled<br />

from AED 24.5M in Q4 2021 to AED<br />

59.3M in Q4 2022, a remarkable increase<br />

of 142%. <strong>The</strong> company attributed<br />

this strong performance to higher<br />

revenues from its core businesses,<br />

including investment banking, asset<br />

management, and capital markets.<br />

Shuaa Capital’s total assets under<br />

management increased by 13% yearon-year<br />

to AED 15.4B. <strong>The</strong> company’s<br />

robust financial results are a testament<br />

to its strong business model and the<br />

resilience of the Dubai financial sector<br />

amidst challenging global economic<br />

conditions.<br />

AD Ports Group<br />

2022 Net Profit: AED 1.3B<br />

AD Ports Group, globally renowned<br />

logistics, industry, and trade enabler, has<br />

released its financial outcomes for the<br />

12 months concluded on December 31,<br />

2022, declaring a robust operational and<br />

financial performance. <strong>The</strong> company’s<br />

revenue expanded by 41% YoY to AED<br />

5.5B, an organic growth of 23% YoY<br />

to AED 4.8B. <strong>The</strong> group’s impressive<br />

outcome was mainly powered by<br />

its successful Maritime and Ports<br />

Clusters, in addition to acquisitions<br />

and new partnerships. <strong>The</strong> company<br />

also reported a 37% YoY increase in<br />

EBITDA to AED 2.2B in 2022, and its<br />

net profit surged to AED 1.3B, up by<br />

53% YoY.<br />

Emirates Steel Arkan<br />

2022 Net Profit: AED<br />

506.8M<br />

Emirates Steel Arkan, one of the leading<br />

steel manufacturers in the Middle East,<br />

has reported a net profit of $138M for<br />

the year 2022, marking a significant<br />

turnaround from the previous year’s<br />

losses. <strong>The</strong> company’s success can be<br />

attributed to several factors, including<br />

a recovery in global steel demand,<br />

the successful implementation of<br />

cost-saving measures, and the<br />

introduction of new products and<br />

services. Emirates Steel Arkan’s<br />

impressive financial performance<br />

is a testament to its commitment<br />

to innovation, sustainability, and<br />

operational excellence. <strong>The</strong> company<br />

has invested heavily in technology and<br />

research and development to enhance<br />

its product offerings and reduce its<br />

environmental footprint. With a strong<br />

balance sheet and a focus on customer<br />

satisfaction, Emirates Steel Arkan is<br />

well-positioned for continued success<br />

in the highly competitive global steel<br />

industry.<br />

ADNOC Distribution<br />

2022 Net Profit: AED 2.7B<br />

ADNOC Distribution, the UAE’s largest<br />

fuel and convenience store retailer, has<br />

reported a 22% increase in its net profit<br />

for 2022, reaching AED 2.75B ($748M).<br />

<strong>The</strong> rise in profits can be attributed to<br />

the company’s ability to adapt to the<br />

challenges presented by the COVID-19<br />

pandemic, as well as its ongoing<br />

expansion efforts both domestically and<br />

internationally. ADNOC Distribution’s<br />

total fuel volumes also increased by 1%<br />

to 9.9B litres, while its non-fuel retail<br />

revenues increased by 10% to AED<br />

2.7B. <strong>The</strong> company has attributed its<br />

success to its robust business model and<br />

continued investment in infrastructure<br />

and digital technologies.<br />

86 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

DEWA<br />

2022 Net Profit: AED 5.5B<br />

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority<br />

(DEWA) announced a surge in net<br />

profits for the year 2022, a boost in<br />

electricity and water demand. <strong>The</strong> net<br />

profit for the year reached AED 5.5B,<br />

an increase of 10% compared to the<br />

previous year. DEWA also unveiled a<br />

special dividend payout of AED 2.1B,<br />

equivalent to 38.6% of its capital, to its<br />

shareholders. This payout highlights<br />

the authority’s commitment to provide<br />

value to its shareholders while achieving<br />

its strategic goals. <strong>The</strong> impressive<br />

financial results were attributed to<br />

DEWA’s smart initiatives, innovative<br />

projects, and investments in renewable<br />

energy, which aim to reduce carbon<br />

emissions and enhance sustainable<br />

development in the UAE.<br />

ADCB<br />

2022 Net Profit: AED 6.434B<br />

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB),<br />

one of the leading banks in the UAE, has<br />

announced a record-breaking full-year<br />

net profit of AED 6.434B, representing<br />

a year-on-year increase of 23%. <strong>The</strong><br />

bank’s strong financial performance<br />

was driven by an increase in operating<br />

income, improved cost efficiencies and<br />

a reduction in impairment charges.<br />

ADCB’s Q4’22 net profit also rose by<br />

23% YoY to AED 1.784B, highlighting the<br />

bank’s continued resilience in the face of<br />

the challenging economic environment.<br />

<strong>The</strong> bank’s robust financial position has<br />

enabled it to consistently deliver value<br />

to its stakeholders, while maintaining<br />

a strong focus on risk management and<br />

customer service.<br />

du<br />

2022 Net Profit: AED 1.22B<br />

UAE’s telecom operator Emirates<br />

Integrated Telecommunications<br />

Company, also known as du, reported<br />

a 10.8% growth in 2022 full year net<br />

profit. Net profit for the year rose to<br />

AED 1.22B, while the telco recorded<br />

a 9.2% increase in revenue, equalling<br />

AED 12.75B, on “sustained demand for<br />

broadband services and 5G handsets<br />

as well as a gradual recovery of mobile<br />

services”, the company said on Tuesday.<br />

Full-year earnings before interest, tax,<br />

depreciation and tax (EBITDA) also<br />

grew by 12% to reach AED 5.14B, owed<br />

to strong services revenues growth,<br />

expansion of gross margins and cost<br />

optimisation initiatives, the operator<br />

added. Capital expenditures for the<br />

full year totalled Dhs2.21bn.<br />

Aramex<br />

2022 Net Profit: AED 165.3M<br />

Dubai-based logistics firm Aramex<br />

has reported a 27% drop in net profit<br />

for 2022, with earnings falling to AED<br />

165.3M due to a decline in international<br />

activity. <strong>The</strong> company, which provides<br />

delivery and logistics services in more<br />

than 70 countries, has been hit hard<br />

by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic,<br />

as international trade and shipping<br />

volumes continue to be disrupted.<br />

Despite this, Aramex’s revenues<br />

remained steady, with the company<br />

generating AED 5.5B in revenue for<br />

the year. Aramex’s management team<br />

remains confident in the company’s<br />

long-term prospects, however, and has<br />

outlined plans to continue investing in<br />

technology and expanding its operations<br />

in key markets.<br />

Mashreq Bank<br />

2022 Net Profit: AED 3.7B<br />

Mashreq Bank, which is based in Dubai,<br />

reported a net profit of AED 3.7B<br />

($1B) for the year 2022, representing a<br />

270% increase from the previous year,<br />

according to the bank’s chairman, who<br />

referred to it as a “transformative year”.<br />

<strong>The</strong> bank also announced a fourthquarter<br />

net profit of AED 1.126B, up<br />

from the previous quarter and yearon-year.<br />

<strong>The</strong> operating profit for the<br />

year 2022 was AED 7.496B, an increase<br />

from the previous year’s AED 5.806B. In<br />

addition, the retail banking operations<br />

grew by 42% in the year, while the digital<br />

solutions Neo and personal banking net<br />

profit grew by 43%, according to the<br />

Group CEO Ahmed Abdelaal.<br />

Borouge<br />

2022 Net Profit: $1.41B<br />

Abu Dhabi-based polyolefin company<br />

Borouge posted a 17% year-on-year<br />

(y-o-y) fall in its Q4 2022 net profit to<br />

$247M from $299M. Profit for the full<br />

year came in 8% lower y-o-y to $1.41B,<br />

the ADX-listed company said. <strong>The</strong><br />

quarter’s effort missed Refinitiv’s mean<br />

analysts’ estimates of $258M, but was<br />

in line with the FY estimate of $1.41B.<br />

Revenue in the quarter was $1.59B, 6%<br />

lower compared with $1.69B in the<br />

prior period. <strong>The</strong> specialty chemicals<br />

company, which listed in June last year<br />

following an IPO which raised more<br />

than $2B, said it was committed to<br />

pay $975M in dividends for 2022, and<br />

at least $1.3B for FY <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 87

Events<br />

<strong>The</strong> Annual International Seminar of ICAI<br />

Abu Dhabi Chapter Concludes its 34th<br />

<strong>Edition</strong><br />

<strong>The</strong> ICAI ABU DHABI CHAPTER<br />

recently launched the 34th<br />

International Annual Seminar<br />

with an opening ceremony that<br />

included CA Rohit Dayma Secretary<br />

lighting the lamp followed by the<br />

national anthems of UAE, India, and<br />

ICAI. Chairman John George addressed<br />

the attendees, introducing the theme<br />

of the seminar, while CA Aniket Talati,<br />

Vice Chairman of ICAI, expressed<br />

appreciation for the committee’s hard<br />

work and discussed the ongoing changes<br />

taking place within the Institute of<br />

Chartered Accountants of India.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Lulu Group’s Chairman and<br />

Managing Director, Mr. Yusuf Ali,<br />

delivered an inspiring keynote address<br />

at the event, expressing his appreciation<br />

for the invaluable contributions made<br />

by Chartered Accountants to Abu<br />

Dhabi. Additionally, Dr. Debashis<br />

Mitra, the President of ICAI, delivered<br />

a speech at the event, highlighting the<br />

accomplishments of the Abu Dhabi<br />

Chapter and discussing the crucial<br />

role played by CAs in the successful<br />

implementation of GST.<br />

During the event, Swamiji highlighted<br />

the significance of maintaining human<br />

values, honing skills, and pursuing<br />

aspirations. Additionally, Dr. Azad<br />

discussed the ongoing transformation<br />

of healthcare, while Sanjay Sudhir<br />

elaborated on the strong relationship<br />

between India and UAE. Aman Gupta<br />

shared his personal journey as a CA<br />

and his experiences as an entrepreneur,<br />

and M K Anand provided insights on<br />

the growth of India and its impact on<br />

globalization. A panel discussion also<br />

took place, featuring experts Robin<br />

Singh and James Franklin discussing<br />

cricket and BharatPe, and Sunil<br />

exploring the acquisition of a bank<br />

88 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

license and strategies for investment.<br />

On the second day, the Abu Dhabi<br />

Chartered Accountant Conference<br />

featured an impressive line-up of<br />

speakers and notable figures such<br />

as H.E. Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al<br />

Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and<br />

Coexistence, H.E Younis Haji Al Khoori,<br />

Undersecretary of the Ministry of<br />

<strong>Finance</strong>, Shraddha Sharma, Founder of<br />

Your Story Media, Shalini Saraswathi,<br />

Inspirational Speaker and Indian Blade<br />

Runner, Neelkantha Bhanu, Founder of<br />

Bhanzu and Faster Human Calculator,<br />

among others.<br />

<strong>The</strong> conference also featured a<br />

riveting panel discussion on the role<br />

of the CFO, moderated by Padmanabha<br />

Acharya, Deloitte Audit Partner. <strong>The</strong><br />

panel was comprised of Alwyn Crasta,<br />

Group CFO of an International Holding<br />

Company, Mr Marcos de Quadros, Group<br />

CFO of ADQ, and CA Hari Mohan,<br />

Group CFO Burjeel Holding.<br />

H.E. Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak<br />

Al Nahyan delivered a compelling<br />

keynote address that emphasized<br />

the significance of tolerance and<br />

coexistence in building a thriving<br />

and harmonious society. On the other<br />

hand, H.E Younis Haji Al Khoori shared<br />

his extensive knowledge on the future<br />

of finance and how technology is<br />

transforming the industry, inspiring<br />

attendees to embrace innovation and<br />

stay ahead of the curve.<br />

Shraddha Sharma, Founder of<br />

Your Story Media, provided valuable<br />

insights into the power of storytelling<br />

in business and how to effectively<br />

communicate a brand’s message, while<br />

Shalini Saraswathi, a world-renowned<br />

motivational speaker, captivated the<br />

audience with her inspiring journey as an<br />

Indian Blade Runner and her teachings<br />

on perseverance, determination, and<br />

following one’s passions. Neelkantha<br />

Bhanu, Founder of Bhanzu and Faster<br />

Human Calculator, amazed the audience<br />

with his incredible mental calculations<br />

and demonstrated the power of the<br />

mind.<br />

During the panel discussion, the<br />

topic of the CFO’s role was explored<br />

in depth, which led to a stimulating<br />

and insightful session that examined<br />

the difficulties and possibilities that<br />

CFOs face in today’s fast-paced business<br />

landscape. <strong>The</strong> panellists, Alwyn<br />

Crasta, Mr Marcos de Quadros, and<br />

CA Hari Mohan, shared their valuable<br />

viewpoints and experiences on the<br />

changing position of the CFO, as well<br />

as the techniques and competencies<br />

required to thrive in this role.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 89

Events<br />

Managing Committee chairman, CA<br />

John Geroge ICAI Abu Dhabi chapter,<br />

thanks all speakers, members, and<br />

sponsors for their contributions and<br />

support for making this event a grand<br />

success. Media team CA Ajay Singhvi<br />

and CA Ankit thanks all media partners<br />

who have covered this event extensively.<br />

An organization that’s well-versed with<br />

Dubai’s neighbourhoods, understands<br />

the requirements of the customers,<br />

and strives to deliver an exceptional<br />

experience for its customers and all<br />

stakeholders.<br />

<strong>The</strong> firm’s team is a group of<br />

experienced real estate professionals<br />

with rich industry experience so that<br />

they can always give the best solutions<br />

to customers. What they bring is a new<br />

level of sophistication to the market, by<br />

90 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />

providing solutions in buying, selling,<br />

or leasing residential and commercial<br />

properties, having customers covered<br />

in all aspects with full transparency<br />

and honesty.<br />

Professionally qualified team of Prime<br />

View, including their General Manager<br />

Himanshu Jain, will ensure excellent<br />

customer service and deliverables<br />

while maintaining the integrity,<br />

professional ethics, and standards.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y will handhold the client right from<br />

selection of the property, arranging the<br />

mortgage from the bank and ensuring<br />

the smooth transfer of the property.<br />

Mr. Rizwan Sajan, Founder and<br />

Chairman of Danube Group, mentioned<br />

that the opening of Prime View<br />

Properties was an opportunistic<br />

decision as the real estate market in<br />

the UAE for the year <strong>2023</strong> will be better<br />

than the year 2022.<br />

Furthermore, CA Dinesh Kothari,<br />

Founder and Chairman of Delhi<br />

Private School (DPS), also praised<br />

the determination of all three female<br />

founders of the company for taking<br />

this step into the real estate industry,<br />

and he also quoted that the best way<br />

to make your dreams come true is to<br />

wake up and work hard for that dream<br />

until you achieve it.<br />

Scan to view<br />

the Event Video






We are here to help you with your publishing<br />

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<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 91

Interview<br />

Leadership commitment<br />

is an ongoing requirement<br />

for R&D, which cannot be<br />

established as a department<br />

that is simply created and<br />

left unattended.<br />

Sridhar Vembu,<br />

CEO of Zoho Corporation<br />

In a one-to-one conversation with Manoj Sureka<br />

92 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Sridhar Vembu is the founder and CEO of Zoho Corporation, established<br />

in California in 1996. <strong>The</strong> company is the parent organization of three<br />

prominent brands; Zoho, ManageEngine, and WebNMS - which offer SaaS<br />

(Software as a Service) products to businesses worldwide.<br />

Exclusive to <strong>The</strong> <strong>Finance</strong> <strong>World</strong> Magazine<br />

Q. We have heard a lot about AI<br />

for the past few months, so what<br />

is your say over there?<br />

You can take ChatGPT as an example,<br />

but one thing to keep in mind is that<br />

there is still text prediction revision<br />

because such tools don’t have a lot of<br />

truth or reality. So, they can give you<br />

very plausible and clear-sounding texts,<br />

but they might not have a connection<br />

with reality or truth. This problem<br />

has to be solved; these tools have to<br />

be augmented with what is true and<br />

what is a fact. Those are the types of<br />

problems that have to be solved.<br />

For example, these tools do not<br />

know the notion of gravity, where<br />

objects automatically fall. So, these<br />

things have to be taught to these tools.<br />

This applies even to mathematics; for<br />

example, these tools have problems with<br />

adding, subtracting, etc. <strong>The</strong>se things<br />

are different from text prediction. All<br />

these other things will be brought to<br />

AI; that’s how I see the future.<br />

Q. How do you suggest for a company<br />

at the SME level or corporate level<br />

to keep a balance between R&D or<br />

innovation and revenue?<br />

It is good first to have spent a<br />

proportional budget already. It’s true<br />

for almost most companies because this<br />

is what keeps enhancing your offerings.<br />

R&D is not some Nobel Prize-winning<br />

new research. For example, I could<br />

be managing a restaurant where new<br />

recipes are considered R&D. How do<br />

you create your new recipes? If I find<br />

some new formula, my sales could<br />

suddenly grow up, but for that, I will<br />

be experimenting. I would have one or<br />

two people try new things. This could<br />

be true in media too; how you present<br />

your information better, what kind of<br />

visuals are easier to understand, etc.<br />

In other words, you are curious, and<br />

your mind is constantly learning how<br />

to do this better. This is the continuous<br />

improvement process of every business<br />

having a proportional budget. It is good<br />

to allocate. <strong>The</strong> leadership should also<br />

be committed to this. R&D is not some<br />

department you set up and forget;<br />

the leadership has to be constantly<br />

committed to this.<br />

Establish<br />

trust with the<br />

employees<br />

in order for<br />

them to work<br />

together<br />

and gain the<br />

trust of the<br />

customers.<br />

Q. What can you say to a new<br />

entrepreneur who starts his journey<br />

and listens to this statement, “money<br />

is not important”?<br />

Money is important because otherwise,<br />

how do you pay the bills, pay your<br />

employees, or invest in products? In<br />

the quest for money, however, it is<br />

important to keep in mind the idea of<br />

not sacrificing any long-term goals we<br />

have. In a sense, if I’m worried about<br />

the next quarter’s profit result, I may<br />

take decisions that harm the longterm<br />

commitment of employees, the<br />

commitment of customers, etc. That is<br />

bad. In other words, we have to keep a<br />

balance between making sure we are<br />

able to pay our bills and making sure<br />

we’re viable, relevant, and vibrant in the<br />

long term, so that balance is important.<br />

Q. How do you see the benefits for<br />

businesses in light of the relations<br />

between the governments of the<br />

UAE and India?<br />

<strong>The</strong> ties between the two nations<br />

are very strong and getting stronger.<br />

Hence, the business climate is very good<br />

here, particularly for Indians. We also<br />

see in the market customers who love<br />

doing business with a company like us<br />

because we come with a very different<br />

mindset. First of all, our technology is<br />

world-class and very affordable. We<br />

also come with a very humble approach<br />

of working with customers, learning<br />

from them, and applying those lessons<br />

to our software. So, this refreshing<br />

approach is also something good to<br />

customers; they love it, and that is<br />

how this cultural connection is actually<br />

fueling our expansion.<br />

Q. Do you have any final message<br />

for our readers or advice on how<br />

they can grow in their business<br />

and personal lives and keep the<br />

balance between the two?<br />

It’s important to keep the long-term<br />

focus and make sure you take care of<br />

your employees well; offer them a safe,<br />

secure work environment and create<br />

your team. Earn the employees’ trust<br />

so that collectively the employees can<br />

go and earn the customer’s trust.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 93

Travel<br />

Six places to visit in <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />

As we approach the start of<br />

Spring, now is the ideal time<br />

to begin considering your<br />

next vacation. <strong>March</strong> is a<br />

wonderful month to travel because<br />

temperatures begin to rise and the<br />

crowds have not yet arrived.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are numerous locations to<br />

choose from in <strong>March</strong>, whether you’re<br />

seeking a warm tropical escape or<br />

a chance to witness the first signs<br />

of Spring. You can relax amidst the<br />

verdant hills, explore breath-taking<br />

waterfalls, immerse yourself in the<br />

diverse wildlife of lush forests, marvel<br />

at beautiful architectural structures,<br />

visit distinctive animal sanctuaries,<br />

and take in the stunning beauty of<br />

surreal mountains.<br />

Choosing the perfect travel<br />

destination can be daunting, but you’re<br />

in luck because we’re here to help. A<br />

plethora of alluring destinations around<br />

the world, the choice ultimately depends<br />

on your desired travel experience<br />

and the time of year. To simplify the<br />

planning process, we have compiled a<br />

list of six popular tourist destinations<br />

to consider visiting in <strong>March</strong>.<br />

New Hampshire<br />

From <strong>March</strong> until mid-April, the<br />

ski season is in full swing in<br />

New Hampshire, USE, making<br />

it an ideal time to visit due<br />

to the abundance of snow and often<br />

reduced late-season prices. Whether<br />

you prefer luxurious resorts or cosy<br />

vacation home and cabin rentals, there<br />

are numerous options available for<br />

accommodation and winter activities,<br />

even if skiing isn’t your thing. In <strong>March</strong>,<br />

New Hampshire also celebrates Maple<br />

Month, with over 90 sugarhouses<br />

welcoming visitors to observe the maple<br />

sugaring process. Visitors can engage<br />

in a range of interactive activities,<br />

such as identifying trees, tapping for<br />

syrup, enjoying horse-drawn wagon<br />

rides, and sampling the freshly made<br />

maple syrup.<br />

Jaipur, India<br />

Among the best travel destinations<br />

in <strong>March</strong> is the Pink City,<br />

Jaipur, in India, renowned<br />

for its vibrant and colourful<br />

Holi festival. As the festival of colours,<br />

Holi is a two-day event that celebrates<br />

the arrival of spring and features locals<br />

playing with colourful powder (gulal),<br />

enjoying traditional sweets like gujiya,<br />

and singing and dancing. Jaipur, with its<br />

distinctive blush-coloured architecture,<br />

is a picturesque and lively city, home<br />

to must-see attractions such as the<br />

Hawa Mahal, with its stunning red and<br />

pink sandstone facade, the Jal Mahal<br />

palace that appears to float on a lake,<br />

and Nahargarh Fort, which offers<br />

breath-taking panoramic views of the<br />

city in dusty pink.<br />

94 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Marrakech, Morocco<br />

Marrakech is a recommended<br />

travel destination for <strong>March</strong>.<br />

It is a captivating city where<br />

cultures from Europe, Africa,<br />

and the Middle East blend together.<br />

Marrakech offers an array of sights<br />

to see, including the ancient medina,<br />

vibrant souks, galleries, and peaceful<br />

garden oases. <strong>March</strong> is an ideal time<br />

to visit as the weather is mild, and<br />

there are fewer crowds. Don’t miss<br />

the chance to explore the renowned<br />

medina, designated as a UNESCO<br />

<strong>World</strong> Heritage Site, with its mazelike<br />

alleys and bustling marketplaces<br />

selling various goods such as spices,<br />

carpets, and teapots. In the evening,<br />

head to Djemma el Fna, a vast public<br />

square brimming with aromatic food<br />

stalls. Watching the sunset over the<br />

medina from a rooftop restaurant is<br />

a must-do activity that promises an<br />

unforgettable experience.<br />

Norway<br />

<strong>March</strong> marks the arrival of<br />

spring on the calendar,<br />

and as the days get longer<br />

and temperatures start to<br />

increase, the weather across Norway<br />

begins to vary. To make the most of this<br />

season, there are several activities one<br />

can engage in. For instance, one can<br />

take a cruise along the fjord, indulge<br />

in spring skiing in the mountains, or<br />

explore the capital city of Oslo, including<br />

the new National Museum of Norway<br />

that sits on the waterfront. Another<br />

exciting adventure to embark on is<br />

the Rauma Railway, known for being<br />

Europe’s most stunning train ride. For<br />

those seeking a more personalized<br />

and unique experience, Up Norway,<br />

a luxury travel curator, offers a range<br />

of pre-planned journeys or tailor-made<br />

excursions that showcase Norwegian<br />

culture, nature, outdoor activities,<br />

exquisite dining, and much more.<br />

With so much to offer, Norway is the<br />

perfect destination for anyone looking<br />

to create unforgettable memories in<br />

the springtime.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 95

Travel<br />

Dubai<br />

Dubai is a stunning tourist<br />

spot that is open for visitors<br />

throughout the year, but <strong>March</strong><br />

is considered one of the ideal<br />

times to visit as it offers relief from the<br />

scorching summer heat. With a variety of<br />

man-made attractions, this contemporary<br />

city provides an engaging experience for<br />

travelers. To make the most of your trip,<br />

it is recommended to plan your travel<br />

itinerary thoughtfully and in advance,<br />

allowing you to explore and appreciate<br />

the city’s remarkable features. Dubai is<br />

a place that promises an unforgettable<br />

vacation with its numerous charms<br />

and exciting activities. <strong>The</strong>re are many<br />

fascinating attractions to explore in<br />

this city, such as the Historical Dubai<br />

Creek, the impressive Palm Jumeirah,<br />

and the iconic Burj Khalifa. <strong>The</strong> Dubai<br />

Mall is a must-visit destination for<br />

shopping enthusiasts, featuring exciting<br />

entertainment options like an ice<br />

rink, a walk-through aquarium, and an<br />

indoor theme park. So many unique and<br />

impressive sights to see, visitors will<br />

have plenty of opportunities to create<br />

unforgettable memories.<br />

Fort Lauderdale, Florida<br />

Fort Lauderdale is an attractive<br />

destination for tourists in<br />

<strong>March</strong> due to its wide range<br />

of accommodation facilities,<br />

excellent dining options, miles of<br />

waterways, and pleasant weather with<br />

temperatures hovering around the low<br />

80s. <strong>The</strong>re are plenty of things to do in<br />

the city, such as taking a water taxi,<br />

exploring outdoor art in the trendy<br />

FAT Village neighbourhood, strolling<br />

along the downtown Riverwalk, and<br />

checking out the shops and scenery<br />

on Las Olas Boulevard. Visitors can<br />

also relax and enjoy a cocktail while<br />

cruising the picturesque waterways of<br />

Fort Lauderdale. If you’re concerned<br />

about finding the perfect place to<br />

stay, there is no need to worry. Fort<br />

Lauderdale boasts a plethora of hotels<br />

to choose from, including the Sonder at<br />

Riverwalk, the luxurious Ritz-Carlton,<br />

the sophisticated Four Seasons Hotel<br />

and Residences, and the stylish <strong>The</strong><br />

Dalmar. Whatever your preferences<br />

and budget, there is an accommodation<br />

option to suit your needs.<br />

96 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Travel News<br />

Discover Qatar unveils<br />

three new transit tours<br />

Discover Qatar, the country’s<br />

destination management<br />

company, has launched three<br />

new transit tours for travelers<br />

passing through Hamad International<br />

Airport. <strong>The</strong> tours aim to provide<br />

passengers with an immersive experience<br />

of Qatari culture, heritage, and history<br />

during their layover. <strong>The</strong> tours include<br />

a city tour of Doha, a cultural tour of<br />

Al Zubarah, and an adventure tour of<br />

Khor Al Adaid. Each tour is led by a<br />

local guide and includes transportation,<br />

refreshments, and a complimentary visa.<br />

<strong>The</strong> tours range from four to six hours<br />

and are suitable for all ages. <strong>The</strong> new<br />

transit tours aim to encourage visitors<br />

to explore Qatar beyond the airport and<br />

boost the country’s tourism industry.<br />

Bahrain tourism sector<br />

tops targets; revenue<br />

hits $4B<br />

Bahrain’s tourism sector has<br />

exceeded expectations by<br />

generating over $4B in revenue,<br />

surpassing its target of $3.3B.<br />

<strong>The</strong> country’s tourism industry has been<br />

steadily growing, with a 43% increase<br />

in the number of visitors in the last<br />

five years. <strong>The</strong> increase in revenue is<br />

attributed to a rise in hotel occupancy<br />

rates and increased spending by tourists.<br />

<strong>The</strong> government has implemented several<br />

initiatives to boost tourism, such as<br />

expanding the airport, introducing new<br />

tourist attractions, and simplifying visa<br />

procedures. <strong>The</strong> success of the tourism<br />

industry has contributed to Bahrain’s<br />

economic growth and diversification,<br />

making it an attractive destination for<br />

both business and leisure travellers.<br />

Riyadh’s Public Transport<br />

Buses to Hit the Roads<br />

in <strong>March</strong><br />

Residents of Riyadh can finally<br />

look forward to a more convenient<br />

and accessible means<br />

of transportation as the city’s<br />

long-awaited public transport buses<br />

are set to launch in <strong>March</strong>. <strong>The</strong> Riyadh<br />

Development Authority announced that<br />

the first batch of buses will operate on<br />

12 routes across the city, with more<br />

routes to be added in the future. <strong>The</strong><br />

new buses are expected to help reduce<br />

traffic congestion, improve air quality,<br />

and make commuting more affordable<br />

for residents. This initiative is a<br />

significant step towards modernizing<br />

the city’s transportation system and<br />

providing better services to its growing<br />

population.<br />

UAE Residents Can Enjoy<br />

Complimentary Tickets<br />

to Hong Kong<br />

In an effort to boost tourism, the Hong<br />

Kong Tourism Board has announced<br />

an exciting offer for UAE residents.<br />

Starting from February 22, <strong>2023</strong>,<br />

UAE residents can fly to Hong Kong, or<br />

back to the UAE, with complimentary<br />

tickets. <strong>The</strong> initiative, dubbed “Fly for<br />

Free,” aims to encourage more visitors<br />

from the UAE to travel to Hong Kong<br />

and experience its vibrant culture and<br />

attractions. <strong>The</strong> offer is valid for a limited<br />

time and subject to terms and conditions.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Hong Kong Tourism Board hopes<br />

that this promotion will inspire travelers<br />

to explore the dynamic city and support<br />

its hospitality and tourism industries.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 97

Travel News<br />

UAE minister addresses challenges in space<br />

travel to unlock its potential<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>World</strong> Government Summit<br />

<strong>2023</strong> held in Dubai, with a focus<br />

on exploring solutions to<br />

global challenges. One of the<br />

key themes of the summit was space<br />

exploration, with H.E. Sarah Al Amiri,<br />

Minister of State for Public Education<br />

and Advanced Technology, addressing<br />

the challenges that must be overcome to<br />

unlock the full potential of space travel.<br />

<strong>The</strong> minister highlighted the need for<br />

cooperation and collaboration between<br />

nations to drive progress in this field.<br />

She also emphasized the importance<br />

of developing sustainable solutions<br />

for space travel, given the impact that<br />

human activities in space can have on<br />

the environment. <strong>The</strong> discussions at<br />

the summit reflect the growing interest<br />

in space exploration and the need<br />

for international cooperation to drive<br />

progress in this field.<br />

UAE Extends Visit Visa<br />

for just AED 200<br />

Tourists visiting the United Arab<br />

Emirates (UAE) have reason to<br />

celebrate, as the government<br />

has announced that they can<br />

now extend their visit visas for up to<br />

90 days for just AED 200. This move is<br />

aimed at encouraging longer stays and<br />

boosting the tourism industry in the<br />

country. Previously, visitors had to pay<br />

around AED 500 for a 30-day visa, and<br />

had to leave the country and re-enter to<br />

extend their stay. This new policy makes<br />

it easier and more affordable for tourists<br />

to enjoy all that the UAE has to offer,<br />

from world-class shopping and dining to<br />

stunning natural landscapes and thrilling<br />

adventure activities.<br />

Dubai Scraps Passport<br />

Rules and Saudi Expat<br />

Law Change<br />

Al Tayer Motors luxury fleet ensures <strong>World</strong> Government<br />

Summit delegates travel in style<br />

Al Tayer Motors, the official UAE<br />

importer-dealer for luxury car<br />

brands such as Jaguar, Land<br />

Rover, Ferrari, and Maserati,<br />

provided a fleet of vehicles to transport<br />

delegates in style during the <strong>World</strong><br />

Government Summit held in Dubai.<br />

<strong>The</strong> summit brought together leaders and<br />

experts from around the world to discuss<br />

topics related to government, innovation,<br />

and technology. Al Tayer Motors’ luxury<br />

fleet included a range of vehicles, from<br />

the powerful Land Rover Range Rover<br />

to the stylish Maserati Quattroporte. <strong>The</strong><br />

company’s commitment to providing the<br />

highest level of customer service ensured<br />

that delegates traveled in comfort and<br />

arrived at their destinations on time,<br />

adding a touch of luxury to the overall<br />

summit experience.<br />

<strong>The</strong> United Arab Emirates (UAE)<br />

has been making headlines<br />

with a series of visa and travel<br />

updates. Firstly, Dubai has<br />

announced that it will be scrapping<br />

its passport validity rule, meaning<br />

that visitors will no longer need six<br />

months validity on their passports to<br />

enter the city. This move is expected<br />

to boost tourism and make travel to<br />

Dubai more accessible. Meanwhile,<br />

Saudi Arabia has announced that it will<br />

be amending its expat residency laws,<br />

making it easier for foreign workers<br />

to change jobs and leave the country.<br />

Other updates this week include the<br />

extension of the UAE’s golden visa<br />

program, and the introduction of a<br />

new visa for remote workers.<br />

98 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Air Canada Cargo and Emirates SkyCargo Join Forces for Enhanced<br />

Global Reach<br />

Two of the world’s leading<br />

cargo airlines, Air Canada<br />

Cargo and Emirates SkyCargo,<br />

have signed a new partnership<br />

agreement to improve their networks<br />

and expand their reach. <strong>The</strong> agreement<br />

will allow the two airlines to collaborate<br />

on routes, codeshare flights, and share<br />

space on each other’s planes to transport<br />

goods to new destinations. This move<br />

is expected to benefit businesses and<br />

consumers alike by offering greater<br />

flexibility, faster transit times, and<br />

more options for shipping cargo around<br />

the world. With Air Canada’s extensive<br />

network in North and South America<br />

and Emirates SkyCargo’s vast reach in<br />

the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, this<br />

collaboration is poised to make a big<br />

impact on the global cargo industry.<br />

Air Arabia launches new flight to popular Indian<br />

destination<br />

Air Arabia, the low-cost carrier<br />

based in the United Arab<br />

Emirates, has announced the<br />

launch of a new flight to a<br />

popular Indian destination, Jaipur. <strong>The</strong><br />

new route will operate from the carrier’s<br />

hub in Sharjah, UAE, and will offer<br />

customers convenient and affordable<br />

travel options. Jaipur, known as the Pink<br />

City, is a popular tourist destination in<br />

India, famous for its beautiful palaces,<br />

forts, and temples. <strong>The</strong> addition of this<br />

new route will further strengthen Air<br />

Arabia’s presence in India, and provide<br />

customers with even more options to<br />

explore the country. <strong>The</strong> carrier has a<br />

strong focus on safety and customer<br />

satisfaction, and this new route is sure<br />

to be a hit with travelers.<br />

Dubai’s Futuristic Taxis<br />

Could Cost $4/KM<br />

Dubai’s futuristic vision of flying<br />

taxis may soon become a<br />

reality. According to a recent<br />

report, a ride in one of these<br />

aerial vehicles could cost around $4 per<br />

kilometre. This price point is competitive<br />

with traditional taxis, but much higher<br />

than the cost of a regular Uber or Lyft ride.<br />

However, advocates argue that flying taxis<br />

offer a unique and efficient transportation<br />

option that can reduce traffic congestion<br />

and travel time. With several companies<br />

competing in this emerging market, the<br />

price of flying taxis could decrease in<br />

the future as the technology becomes<br />

more widespread.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 99

Sport as a Business<br />

Sport as a Business in Dubai Attracts<br />

Global Investors<br />

Dubai has always been at the forefront of innovation and growth in the Middle<br />

East, and its recent emergence as a major sports destination only serves to<br />

reinforce that reputation. <strong>The</strong> city has successfully leveraged its reputation as a<br />

hub for business and tourism to attract a range of sporting events, which in turn<br />

have created opportunities for investment and growth.<br />

One of the key benefits of hosting<br />

sporting events is the creation of<br />

new jobs. <strong>The</strong> influx of visitors<br />

stimulates demand for services<br />

and products, which creates business<br />

opportunities for local companies and<br />

generates employment for people in the<br />

region. <strong>The</strong>se new jobs help to boost the<br />

local economy, increase the standard<br />

of living for residents, and attract new<br />

talent to the city.<br />

In addition to job creation, sporting<br />

events also provide a significant boost<br />

to the city’s tourism industry. Visitors<br />

who come for the sports events are likely<br />

to explore other tourist attractions and<br />

activities, further contributing to the<br />

city’s tourism revenue. This helps to<br />

create a positive feedback loop, where<br />

the success of sporting events helps to<br />

attract more visitors, which in turn helps<br />

to boost the local economy.<br />

Dubai is showcasing its innovative<br />

and forward-thinking approach, and<br />

positioning itself as a destination for<br />

business and investment. This helps to<br />

attract new companies and entrepreneurs<br />

Sporting events in Dubai have the potential to stimulate<br />

the city’s economy and attract investors in multiple ways.<br />

100 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

to the city, who can then take advantage<br />

of the many business opportunities that<br />

Dubai has to offer. <strong>The</strong> emergence of<br />

Dubai as a major sports destination is a<br />

clear sign of the city’s continuing growth<br />

and development. By hosting a range of<br />

high-profile sporting events, Dubai is<br />

not only creating new jobs and boosting<br />

its tourism industry, but also enhancing<br />

its reputation as a global business hub.<br />

As such, it seems likely that sporting<br />

events will continue to play a crucial<br />

role in Dubai’s economic development<br />

for years to come.<br />

Sporting events in Dubai have the<br />

potential to stimulate the city’s economy<br />

and attract investors in multiple ways.<br />

Firstly, by hosting major sporting events,<br />

Dubai’s international reputation can be<br />

enhanced as an attractive and thriving<br />

destination for both business and leisure.<br />

This positive image can entice investors to<br />

explore the city’s business opportunities<br />

and consider investing in its economy.<br />

Secondly, the arrival of visitors for a<br />

significant sporting event can increase the<br />

demand for services such as accommodation,<br />

transportation, food, and beverages, which<br />

can open up new business opportunities for<br />

local companies and create employment<br />

in the region.<br />

In general, significant sporting events<br />

have the potential to boost the tourism<br />

industry of a destination by attracting<br />

visitors who are interested in the sports<br />

events. Such events can have a positive<br />

impact on the local economy by creating<br />

opportunities for increased spending on<br />

accommodations, food, transportation,<br />

and other tourist-related activities. Visitors<br />

who come for the sports events may also<br />

be motivated to explore other local tourist<br />

attractions and engage in other activities,<br />

leading to further contributions to the<br />

destination’s tourism revenue. Thus,<br />

hosting major sporting events can be a<br />

valuable strategy for promoting tourism<br />

and economic growth in a destination.<br />

Hence, sporting events can act as a<br />

catalyst for attracting investors to Dubai<br />

and strengthening its economy by creating<br />

a positive image, generating revenue, and<br />

promoting the city’s tourism industry.<br />

Dubai’s success in hosting high-profile<br />

sporting events has brought significant<br />

revenue to the region. Major events such<br />

as the Dubai <strong>World</strong> Cup, the Dubai Desert<br />

Classic, and the Dubai Tennis Championships<br />

have not only generated revenue through<br />

ticket sales and sponsorship deals but<br />

have also showcased the city as a global<br />

sports destination. <strong>The</strong> Dubai <strong>World</strong><br />

Cup, for example, with a total purse of<br />

$12M, is the world’s richest horse race<br />

and attracts horse owners and trainers<br />

from around the world.<br />

<strong>The</strong> city’s sports facilities are world-class,<br />

with state-of-the-art venues available for<br />

various sports, including football, cricket,<br />

rugby, and basketball. <strong>The</strong> Dubai Sports<br />

City, a multi-purpose sports complex,<br />

features a cricket stadium, an indoor<br />

arena, and a football stadium, as well as<br />

residential properties, hotels, and a range<br />

of commercial establishments, making<br />

it a complete sports and entertainment<br />

destination.<br />

Dubai has also invested in developing<br />

grassroots sports, promoting physical<br />

activity and healthy lifestyles among<br />

young people through initiatives like the<br />

Dubai Fitness Challenge and the Dubai<br />

Women’s Run. <strong>The</strong> commercial potential<br />

of sports in Dubai is not limited to hosting<br />

events and developing sports facilities.<br />

Major sports brands and organizations,<br />

including the International Cricket<br />

Council, the International Association of<br />

Athletics Federations, and the International<br />

Tennis Federation, have set up their<br />

headquarters in Dubai. Sports tourism is<br />

also a significant source of revenue, with<br />

visitors from around the world coming to<br />

participate in or watch sporting events<br />

in the region.<br />

Sports have become a significant<br />

industry in Dubai, contributing to the<br />

region’s economic growth and providing<br />

employment opportunities. <strong>The</strong> Dubai<br />

Dubai’s sports<br />

facilities are<br />

world-class, with<br />

state-of-the-art<br />

venues available<br />

for various<br />

sports, including<br />

football, cricket,<br />

rugby, and<br />

basketball.<br />

Sports Council has been instrumental in<br />

promoting sports as a business, and the<br />

city’s world-class facilities and successful<br />

track record in hosting major sporting<br />

events have made it a sporting destination<br />

of choice. Continued investment in sports<br />

infrastructure and the development<br />

of grassroots sports are set to further<br />

strengthen Dubai’s position as a leading<br />

sports business hub in the coming years.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 101

Sport News<br />

UAE Kickboxing<br />

Champ Habibali Wins<br />

Unanimous Decision<br />

at UAM Fight Night<br />

UAE’s Habibali emerges victorious<br />

with a unanimous decision at<br />

UAM Fight Night, cementing<br />

his status as one of the top<br />

kickboxers in the country. <strong>The</strong> event,<br />

held in Dubai, saw some of the best<br />

kickboxers from around the world<br />

competing against each other in front<br />

of a live audience. Habibali’s skill and<br />

determination were on full display as he<br />

dominated his opponent, landing several<br />

powerful blows and showcasing his<br />

technical prowess in the ring. <strong>The</strong> win is a<br />

significant milestone in Habibali’s career,<br />

and he will undoubtedly be looking to<br />

build on this success as he continues to<br />

compete at the highest level.<br />

Qatari Investors Preparing<br />

Imminent Bid for Manchester<br />

United<br />

Reports suggest that Qatari<br />

investors are gearing up to<br />

make a bid for Manchester<br />

United, one of the most iconic<br />

football clubs in the world. Manchester<br />

United has been the subject of takeover<br />

speculation for several years, but<br />

the recent financial impact of the<br />

COVID-19 pandemic has increased<br />

the likelihood of a sale. <strong>The</strong> Qatari<br />

investors are no strangers to highprofile<br />

sports acquisitions, having<br />

purchased French football club Paris<br />

Saint-Germain and established the<br />

Qatar Sports Investments company.<br />

Manchester United has a massive global<br />

following and a rich history, making<br />

it an attractive target for any investor<br />

looking to enter the world of football<br />

ownership.<br />

Emirati Rashid Al Mulla Shines During UAE International<br />

Jet Ski Championship<br />

Rashid Al Mulla, the Emirati<br />

Jet Ski rider, impressed<br />

spectators and judges alike<br />

during the recent UAE<br />

International Jet Ski Championship.<br />

<strong>The</strong> event, held in Abu Dhabi, attracted<br />

participants from across the world,<br />

but it was Al Mulla who stole the show<br />

with his spectacular skills and daring<br />

manoeuvres. Al Mulla’s impressive<br />

performance earned him first place<br />

in the Freestyle category and he was<br />

also awarded the title of “King of the<br />

UAE” in recognition of his dominance<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE Tour has come to a<br />

successful close with UAE<br />

Team ADQ finishing on the<br />

podium. <strong>The</strong> team, consisting<br />

of world-class cyclists, put on a strong<br />

of the event. Al Mulla’s success has<br />

further cemented his status as one of<br />

the world’s leading Jet Ski riders and<br />

an icon of the sport in the UAE.<br />

UAE Team ADQ concludes UAE Tour and Conquers<br />

Podium Positions<br />

showing throughout the tour and their<br />

hard work paid off in the end. With<br />

their determination and unwavering<br />

spirit, they pushed themselves to<br />

the limit and achieved outstanding<br />

results. <strong>The</strong>ir podium finishes are a<br />

testament to their talent and training,<br />

and the entire nation is proud of their<br />

achievements. <strong>The</strong> team’s success at<br />

the UAE Tour serves as inspiration<br />

for future generations of cyclists,<br />

motivating them to strive for excellence<br />

in their own pursuits.<br />

102 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Holds 23rd<br />

event with Top Global Players<br />

<strong>The</strong> Dubai Duty Free Tennis<br />

Championships started their<br />

23rd edition with a starstudded<br />

lineup of top global<br />

players. <strong>The</strong> tournament, which runs<br />

from <strong>March</strong> 7th to 20th, will features the<br />

likes of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal,<br />

and Simona Halep, among others. <strong>The</strong><br />

event, one of the most popular on the<br />

tennis calendar, attracts thousands<br />

of fans each year and offers a total<br />

prize money of $2.7M. <strong>The</strong> tournament<br />

promises to be an exciting showcase<br />

of world-class tennis, and fans can<br />

look forward to witnessing some of<br />

the sport’s biggest names battling it<br />

out on the court in the beautiful city<br />

of Dubai.<br />

Cristiano Ronaldo Scores<br />

4 Goals as Al Nassr Thrash<br />

Al Wehda in Saudi Arabia<br />

Cristiano Ronaldo made his<br />

presence known in Saudi<br />

Arabia as he led his team Al<br />

Nassr to a stunning victory<br />

over Al Wehda. <strong>The</strong> Portuguese<br />

superstar netted an impressive four<br />

goals, showcasing his exceptional skills<br />

on the pitch. Al Nassr dominated the<br />

game from start to finish, with Ronaldo<br />

leading the charge and demonstrating<br />

his prowess as one of the world’s best<br />

footballers. <strong>The</strong> victory is a muchneeded<br />

boost for Al Nassr, who have<br />

been struggling in the league recently.<br />

With Ronaldo in top form, they will be<br />

hoping to build on this performance<br />

and climb up the table as the season<br />

progresses.<br />

Saudi Billionaire Gives Al Hilal Players $267,000<br />

Bonus Each After Club <strong>World</strong> Cup Victory<br />

Al Hilal players have been<br />

rewarded handsomely for<br />

their Club <strong>World</strong> Cup victory<br />

with a bonus of $267,000<br />

each, thanks to Saudi billionaire and<br />

the club’s owner Prince Al-Waleed<br />

bin Talal. <strong>The</strong> generous bonus is a<br />

reflection of the team’s hard work and<br />

dedication, as they beat out other top<br />

football clubs to claim the prestigious<br />

Barcelona Crowned<br />

Champions of the U-13<br />

Dubai Intercontinental<br />

Football Cup<br />

<strong>The</strong> U-13 Dubai Intercontinental<br />

Football Cup witnessed some<br />

of the most talented young<br />

footballers from across the<br />

world competing for the coveted title.<br />

<strong>The</strong> tournament, held in Dubai, saw<br />

some thrilling matches played out,<br />

but it was Barcelona who emerged<br />

as the champions after a dominant<br />

performance in the final. <strong>The</strong> young<br />

Catalan players put on a display of<br />

skill, teamwork, and precision to beat<br />

their opponents and claim the trophy.<br />

<strong>The</strong> victory was a testament to the<br />

world-class youth training programs<br />

of the Spanish club and bodes well for<br />

their future success. <strong>The</strong> U-13 Dubai<br />

Intercontinental Football Cup proved<br />

to be an exciting showcase of emerging<br />

footballing talent and promises great<br />

things for the future of the sport.<br />

title. <strong>The</strong> players have expressed their<br />

gratitude towards the Prince, stating<br />

that his unwavering support has been<br />

a driving force behind their success.<br />

This bonus not only serves as a financial<br />

reward but also highlights the<br />

importance of recognizing and valuing<br />

the efforts of athletes, especially in the<br />

world of sports.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 103

Tourism<br />

Dubai Surpasses Global and Regional<br />

Tourism Recovery Levels<br />

Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism has recently released statistics<br />

indicating that the city received 14.36 million foreign visitors who stayed<br />

overnight in 2022, marking a 97% year-on-year increase from the 7.28 million<br />

tourists who arrived in 2021. This growth aligns with the vision of His Highness<br />

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and has allowed Dubai to surpass<br />

regional and global tourism recovery levels.<br />

In order to maintain Dubai’s position<br />

among the world’s top three cities<br />

for business and travel, His Highness<br />

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al<br />

Maktoum, Vice President and Prime<br />

Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai,<br />

has launched the Dubai Economic<br />

Agenda D33. According to the most<br />

recent statistics released by Dubai’s<br />

Department of Economy and Tourism, the<br />

city welcomed 14.36M foreign overnight<br />

guests in 2022, an increase of 97% YoY<br />

from the 7.28M tourists who arrived in<br />

2021, which goes hand in hand with the<br />

vision of His Highness.<br />

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin<br />

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,<br />

Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman<br />

of <strong>The</strong> Executive Council of Dubai said:<br />

“Dubai’s ability to rapidly accelerate<br />

tourism growth, which has marked it out<br />

as a clear frontrunner in the international<br />

industry, demonstrates the far-reaching<br />

vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed<br />

bin Rashid Al Maktoum to transform the<br />

emirate into an important global player<br />

in shaping the future of vital sectors.<br />

<strong>The</strong> remarkable rise in international<br />

visitation in 2022 supports the ambitious<br />

goal of the Dubai Economic Agenda<br />

D33 to double the size of the emirate’s<br />

economy by 2033.”<br />

Dubai’s 2022 tourism performance further<br />

validated its position as the No.1 global<br />

destination, with visitation reaching 16.73<br />

million in 2019. This achievement was<br />

104 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

epeated in the TripAdvisor Travellers’<br />

Choice Awards <strong>2023</strong>, with Dubai only<br />

the second city to achieve the feat. This<br />

demonstrates Dubai’s status as a top<br />

travel destination, and means that tourists<br />

are looking for unique experiences and<br />

memories here. <strong>The</strong> UN <strong>World</strong> Tourism<br />

Organisation released new data that<br />

shows global tourist travel decreased by<br />

37% in the year 2022. <strong>The</strong> Middle East<br />

saw the strongest relative increase, with<br />

arrivals climbing to 83% of pre-pandemic<br />

numbers. Dubai exceeded both global<br />

and regional barometers of recovery with<br />

visitors to the city in 2022 reaching 86%<br />

of pre-pandemic levels.<br />

His Excellency, Helal Saeed Almarri,<br />

Director General of Dubai’s Department<br />

of Economy and Tourism, said: “While the<br />

global economy remains in a state of flux,<br />

Dubai has emerged as a clear leader in the<br />

tourism industry. <strong>The</strong> robust performance<br />

is a testament to Dubai’s growing role at<br />

the vanguard of global tourism recovery.<br />

<strong>The</strong> effectiveness of our strategies and<br />

initiatives gives us the confidence to tap<br />

new growth opportunities in the global<br />

travel and business sectors over the next<br />

few decades. As the fastest growing city<br />

in the Middle East, Dubai’s continuous<br />

growth has been made possible by the<br />

unwavering support of our stakeholders<br />

and partners and a raft of strategic<br />

investments and federal policy reforms<br />

that have led to a steady flow of global<br />

entrepreneurs, talent, investors, and<br />

business and leisure travellers.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> excellent performance in 2022<br />

includes notable rises in Dubai’s established<br />

main markets as well as robust growth<br />

in new countries. For travellers from the<br />

city’s major markets, Dubai remained<br />

a first-choice safe travel destination.<br />

Western Europe and the GCC areas<br />

each accounted for 21% of arrivals when<br />

viewed regionally. Particularly in the<br />

GCC region, the percentage of arrivals<br />

increased exponentially from 13% in 2017<br />

to 21% in 2021. <strong>The</strong> MENA region supplied<br />

13% of total volumes, while South Asia<br />

contributed 17%, further demonstrating<br />

Dubai’s attraction to visitors from nearby<br />

markets. <strong>The</strong> region of North and South<br />

East Asia, Africa, and Australasia each<br />

provided 5% of arrivals, while the Americas<br />

accounted for 7% of them. Australasia<br />

contributed 2%.<br />

Dubai’s hotel sector<br />

performed better<br />

than it had before<br />

the pandemic,<br />

with occupancy<br />

levels reaching a<br />

new record and<br />

rates and revenue<br />

increasing.<br />

His Excellency, Issam Kazim, CEO<br />

of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and<br />

Commerce Marketing, said that Dubai<br />

“remains committed to moving to the<br />

next level with new and unique worldclass<br />

infrastructure, experiences and<br />

attractions. <strong>The</strong> sheer diversity of the<br />

destination proposition and Dubai’s growing<br />

profile as a safe, open and accessible<br />

destination saw the city being chosen<br />

as the No.1 global destination for the<br />

second year in a row in the TripAdvisor<br />

Travellers’ Choice Awards <strong>2023</strong> . . . <strong>The</strong><br />

exceptional support of our public and<br />

private sector stakeholders and partners<br />

will be instrumental in raising our ability<br />

to showcase our unmatched offering<br />

designed to meet the diverse preferences<br />

and budgets of international travellers,<br />

as we gear up to welcome more visitors<br />

to Dubai in <strong>2023</strong>.”<br />

“Dubai’s hotel sector performed better<br />

than it had before the pandemic, with<br />

occupancy levels reaching a new record<br />

and rates and revenue increasing.”<br />

Dubai’s hotel sector is an important<br />

part of the city’s destination promise and<br />

the tourism industry as a whole, and it<br />

continues to do well across all metrics<br />

due to the city’s strong economy and<br />

attractions, as well as the hotel industry’s<br />

ability to adapt to changing consumer<br />

preferences. <strong>The</strong> occupancy rate for<br />

hotels in 2022 was 73%, one of the highest<br />

occupancy rates in the world, and it is up<br />

from 67% in 2021. This high occupancy is<br />

even more noteworthy when you consider<br />

that there was a 16% increase in room<br />

supply in 2022 compared to 2019.<br />

Dubai’s hotel inventory at the end of<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 105

Tourism<br />

December 2022 consisted of 146,496<br />

rooms, up from 126,120 rooms available<br />

at the end of December 2019 across 741<br />

establishments. <strong>The</strong> total number of<br />

hotels in 2022 grew by 6% over 2021; the<br />

hotel sector performed better than it had<br />

before the pandemic, with occupancy<br />

levels reaching a new record and rates<br />

and revenue increasing.<br />

One factor that has helped Dubai<br />

achieve its successful 2022 bid is the<br />

widespread use of celebrity endorsements<br />

and marketing campaigns that have<br />

featured stars from around the world,<br />

helping to make the city more appealing<br />

to potential visitors. One well-known<br />

example is Dubai Presents, a series of<br />

short movies shot in locations around<br />

Dubai that feature Hollywood stars like<br />

Jessica Alba and Zac Efron. In addition,<br />

the ‘Where the <strong>World</strong> Celebrates’ global<br />

campaign that coincided with the FIFA<br />

<strong>World</strong> Cup in Qatar featured French<br />

football star Karim Benzema.<br />

Moreover, the successful hosting of Expo<br />

2020 Dubai was a major contributor to the<br />

region’s tourism industry’s outstanding<br />

performance in 2022. <strong>The</strong> six-month long<br />

event attracted over 24 million visitors<br />

and once again demonstrated Dubai’s<br />

ability to host major global events.<br />

Dubai is continuing to enhance its<br />

destination proposition by hosting a<br />

variety of global business and leisure<br />

events in 2022. In addition to Expo 2020,<br />

the city has also hosted Gulfood, the<br />

<strong>World</strong> Government Summit, Binance<br />

Blockchain Week, Gitex Global Dubai,<br />

the International Boat Show, and the<br />

Arabian Travel Market. Additionally, the<br />

Dubai Tourism Summit was announced<br />

in December. <strong>The</strong> Dubai Festivals and<br />

Retail Establishment team organizes a<br />

variety of festivals and events every year,<br />

including the iconic Dubai Shopping<br />

Festival, Dubai Food Festival, Dubai<br />

Summer Surprises, and Dubai Fitness<br />

Challenge.<br />

In 2022, the Dubai Esports Festival<br />

was also launched, which is the largest<br />

international esports tournament to be<br />

held in the region. Dubai is a leading<br />

tourist destination for sports lovers, with<br />

an extensive line-up of annual global<br />

sports tournaments and events.<br />

Dubai is positioning itself as a sustainable<br />

destination, and in 2022 worked diligently<br />

to meet its goals. One initiative, Dubai<br />

Sustainable Tourism, aims to raise the<br />

city’s profile as a leading sustainable<br />

destination. Dubai also takes steps to<br />

contribute to the city’s broader clean<br />

energy targets and the United Nations<br />

Sustainable Development Goals 2030,<br />

and to the UAE’s Net Zero 2050 strategy.<br />

In addition, in 2022 Dubai launched<br />

“Dubai Can,” an innovative citywide<br />

sustainability initiative. This year will<br />

be key for advancing Dubai’s vision to<br />

transform the emirate into a leading<br />

sustainable destination and the world’s<br />

best city to live and work.<br />

Moreover, cruise and yacht tourism<br />

played a significant role in attracting<br />

international tourists to Dubai in 2022,<br />

helping to solidify the city’s position as<br />

a global travel hub. <strong>The</strong> expansion of<br />

the cruise industry has helped to cement<br />

Dubai’s status as the regional cruise<br />

hub, and its world-class infrastructure,<br />

advanced facilities, year-round sunshine,<br />

luxury marinas, award-winning tourism<br />

offerings, rich maritime history and<br />

picturesque coastline continue to make<br />

it a popular destination for superyacht<br />

owners.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan aims<br />

to expand the city’s tourism offering by<br />

100%, and in return, the city is planning<br />

to launch new initiatives in line with<br />

the UAE 2031 Tourism Strategy, which<br />

seeks to attract 40 million guests by 2031.<br />

This will increase Dubai’s contribution<br />

to the UAE’s GDP by 450 billion. Dubai<br />

is continuing to promote the growth of<br />

tourism by making it easy for business<br />

and leisure travelers to get into the city.<br />

This includes issuing a 60-day tourist<br />

visa from September 2022 and a Five-<br />

Year Multi-Entry Visa for employees of<br />

multinational companies.<br />

106 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>


Be ready for a revolutionary leap<br />

in virtual reality gaming with<br />

the release of PlayStation VR2.<br />

PlayStation VR2 is poised to<br />

take you to an unparalleled virtual reality<br />

gaming experience with its stunning 4K<br />

HDr display and genre-defining games.<br />

PlayStation VR2 is a feature-packed<br />

package for a mind-blowing gaming<br />

experience, with features like subtle<br />

vibration in headgear, 3D audio, clever<br />

eye-tracking, and finger-touch detection,<br />

and more. <strong>The</strong> most anticipated gaming<br />

product introduction in the world is<br />

here, and for good reason: the gaming<br />

set’s futuristic appearance and unique<br />

optical features are packed with the<br />

formidable processing power. <strong>The</strong><br />

clever eye-tracking features are made<br />

to provide you a more realistic gaming<br />

experience by increasing the emotional<br />

response of your virtual avatars in-game.<br />

<strong>The</strong> PlayStation VR’s 110-degree field of<br />

view is just one more way it delivers on<br />

the great gaming experience it advertises.<br />

<strong>The</strong> intuitive layout of the controller eases<br />

your mind as you prepare for a thrilling<br />

gaming session.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 107

Investing in Art<br />

Art as a Financial Asset: Investing in<br />

Art Stocks<br />

In the past, there was a notion that only certain individuals with specific skills,<br />

abilities, and interests were able to invest in art effectively. This stereotype<br />

created barriers for people from certain social classes, educational backgrounds,<br />

and economic status from entering the art world. However, over time, this belief<br />

has diminished, and the idea of investing in art is gaining broader acceptance.<br />

Over time, many hurdles<br />

and preconceptions about<br />

investing in artworks have<br />

been dispelled, and industry<br />

insiders have been more open to<br />

divulging their trade secrets to outsiders.<br />

Investing in art is now a chance that<br />

everyone can take advantage of, and<br />

the amount you gain has very little to<br />

do with where you begin. It may be<br />

a fantastic investment opportunity<br />

with a lot of study, preparation, and<br />

knowledge of the art industry.<br />

Recent big-ticket auction transactions<br />

have generated substantial interest<br />

around the fine art market. <strong>The</strong> artwork<br />

Shot Sage Blue Marilyn (1964) by Andy<br />

Warhol sold for a record-breaking $195M<br />

at an auction in May 2022. According<br />

to Art Basel and UBS Global Art’s 2022<br />

annual study, global art sales were<br />

expected to exceed $65.1B in 2021.<br />

This marked a 29% rise in sales from<br />

2020, exceeding pre-pandemic levels in<br />

2019. <strong>The</strong>y also discovered that sales<br />

volume rebounded from Covid-19 levels,<br />

climbing by 17% in 2021 to a predicted<br />

36.7 million transactions.<br />

Low Correlation to Traditional<br />

Markets<br />

Risk is always a factor to consider<br />

while investing. Market risk is the<br />

systemic risk inherent in the stock<br />

market that cannot be mitigated by<br />

diversification. During a market slump,<br />

no matter how many different index<br />

funds someone invests in, they will<br />

lose money. Artwork, on the other<br />

hand, is unrelated to any stock index<br />

or market. Buying art operates as a<br />

store of wealth wholly distinct from<br />

regular asset movements.<br />

According to a 2022 Citibank Report,<br />

the connection between art and all<br />

other asset classes is mildly positive<br />

or near to zero. Contemporary Art<br />

and Developed Equities exhibited<br />

a connection of -0.04 between 1985<br />

and 2021, while Contemporary Art<br />

and Investment Grade Fixed Income<br />

showed a correlation of 0.15. In fact,<br />

art had the highest association with<br />

real estate - another tangible asset<br />

sector - with a correlation of 0.21.<br />

No Price Depreciation<br />

While art may and has historically<br />

provided price appreciation, another<br />

key benefit of art as an asset is the lack of<br />

price decline. Art, unlike other tangible<br />

assets, as houses and automobiles, does<br />

not degrade after years of hanging on<br />

a wall. A 500-year-old picture is likely<br />

to be more valuable today than it was<br />

v<br />

108 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

when it was commissioned.<br />

From January 2020 through June<br />

2021, the Masterworks.io All Art Index<br />

achieved a 28.2% return – equivalent<br />

to broad, publicly-traded risk asset<br />

classes including developed market<br />

stocks, developing market equities,<br />

and commodities, as noted by a 2022<br />

Citibank Report.<br />

Hedge Against Inflation<br />

According to Masterworks internal<br />

research, during times of inflation<br />

equal to or more than 3.0% from 1985<br />

to 2020, Post-War & Contemporary art<br />

prices had an annual average actual<br />

price gain of 23.2%. According to Art<br />

Net, during periods of high inflation,<br />

art sales tend to grow, signalling a<br />

greater volume market and probable<br />

higher price appreciation.<br />

Aesthetic Value<br />

In comparison to other investment<br />

vehicles, art is a tangible asset that<br />

you may enjoy while keeping it in<br />

your portfolio. Because this is where<br />

the majority of the value of art is<br />

obtained, individuals who acquire it<br />

should value it.<br />

What Are the Risks of Investing<br />

in Art?<br />

When determining whether to invest<br />

in artwork, there are a few factors to<br />

consider, just like any other investment:<br />

• Illiquid & Long-Term Asset<br />

Investing in artwork is akin to<br />

investing in real estate or vintage<br />

vehicles in that they are very illiquid<br />

assets that cannot be quickly sold for<br />

cash. It is generally difficult to find<br />

a buyer for any collection, especially<br />

highly priced paintings. Finding a<br />

buyer on short notice might be very<br />

tough. <strong>The</strong>re are specific routes that<br />

must be followed in order to sell a<br />

work of art. Art investing should be<br />

part of a wider long-term investment<br />

plan and should not be anticipated<br />

to provide regular income or to be<br />

liquidated quickly.<br />

• Costs and Fees<br />

Investment worthy objects of art<br />

rarely come with a tiny price tag.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are, of course, art investment<br />

funds and fractional shares of<br />

artwork that allow an investor to<br />

add art to their portfolio without<br />

spending a million dollars. If an<br />

investor wants to buy the art right<br />

away, they will need to spend<br />

some money on a desirable piece.<br />

Handling, storage, and insurance are<br />

all costs that may add up quickly.<br />

Art investors frequently aim on<br />

keeping onto artwork for a long<br />

time, in order to let it increase<br />

in value. Meanwhile, the investor<br />

would be required to pay for upkeep<br />

and repair.<br />

• Counterfeits and the Threat<br />

of Destruction<br />

<strong>The</strong> collections market is crowded<br />

with counterfeit objects, and it<br />

would be simple to fall victim unless<br />

an investor is highly informed<br />

in assessment. Before making<br />

any investment, it is critical to<br />

conduct research on what you are<br />

purchasing. <strong>The</strong>re are strategies<br />

to assist avoid becoming misled<br />

including: examine the certificate<br />

of authenticity; research the edition<br />

number; and examine the materials.<br />

Working with an expert or a third<br />

party, such as purchasing from an<br />

auction house or working with<br />

an appraiser, is another strategy<br />

to avoid falling for a counterfeit.<br />

Investing in art funds or fractional<br />

shares relieves the investor of the<br />

burden of authenticity.<br />

How to make your first investment<br />

in art?<br />

Art may be purchased simply from<br />

galleries and auction houses (both<br />

physical and online). You might also go to<br />

local art shows. Online publications and<br />

social media platforms like Instagram<br />

can assist you in discovering artists<br />

you like, and you can purchase works<br />

straight from the artists’ websites. You<br />

might also explore the realm of NFTs,<br />

which symbolise ownership of digital<br />

art. However, art investments may be<br />

made in a variety of methods, each<br />

with a different level of risk and profit.<br />

• High cost and high risk:<br />

Original artwork may be purchased<br />

at art fairs, galleries, and auctions,<br />

but doing so carries the highest price<br />

and risk. Try to purchase pieces<br />

from a budding artist in the hopes<br />

of discovering the next Banksy. A<br />

unique painting or sculpture may<br />

one day be worth considerably more<br />

than you bought for it, or you may<br />

find it difficult to sell it.<br />

• Low risk and low cost:<br />

Instead of purchasing an original,<br />

consider purchasing a reproduction<br />

of an original painting or sketch.<br />

Many artists and galleries will create<br />

limited-edition prints of their works<br />

and allow customers to purchase<br />

them at a specified retail price<br />

on their website. A high-quality,<br />

limited-edition print may be quite<br />

valuable and costs a fraction of<br />

the price of the original. However,<br />

because prints aren’t generally oneof-a-kind,<br />

they don’t appreciate as<br />

much as originals.<br />

• Low risk and high cost:<br />

You may acquire works by “bluechip”<br />

painters like Andy Warhol,<br />

which keep their value better but<br />

provide less financial appreciation<br />

or upside. Blue-chip painters are<br />

those whose works have the highest<br />

steady worth and are not subject<br />

to fads and speculation. Many firsttime<br />

investors cannot afford to<br />

purchase a high-end painting or<br />

sculpture, but numerous funds allow<br />

investors to purchase shares in a<br />

holding company that will purchase<br />

a high-end work of art.<br />

Additionally, if you are going to<br />

purchase particular works of art,<br />

you will most likely want to purchase<br />

works that make you joyful. If you<br />

invest $10,000 on an unattractive<br />

artwork because you expect its<br />

value to grow, you’re losing out on<br />

the fun element of investing in art<br />

vs other asset classes.<br />

In conclusion, investing in fine art<br />

may be a suitable fit for you if, you<br />

have a strong interest in art and<br />

are eager to learn more about it,<br />

or if you already have a portfolio<br />

of other investments and want to<br />

diversify your holdings. also, if<br />

you have an extremely high-risk<br />

tolerance, are willing to own a piece<br />

of art indefinitely, and can afford to<br />

maintain and insure the items you<br />

purchase, investment of art is the<br />

right investment for you.<br />

On the other hand, you should avoid<br />

investing in art if you anticipate<br />

returns that outperform the stock<br />

market, or if you have no intention of<br />

displaying the works you purchase.<br />

If you want to be able to rapidly<br />

and conveniently liquidate your<br />

assets, you should not invest in<br />

this area as well.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 109

Global News<br />

JPMorgan CEO Warns Against Premature Celebration of Inflation Defeats<br />

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan<br />

Chase, has warned that it is too<br />

early to declare victory against<br />

inflation. Despite recent data<br />

showing low inflation levels, Dimon<br />

believes that it is crucial for policymakers<br />

to stay vigilant and continue to monitor<br />

the situation closely. He emphasized<br />

that there are many factors that can<br />

contribute to inflation, including supply<br />

chain disruptions, stimulus spending, and<br />

an increase in demand as the economy<br />

continues to recover. Dimon’s comments<br />

come as the U.S. Federal Reserve<br />

continues to maintain its accommodative<br />

monetary policy stance, with interest<br />

rates expected to remain low for the<br />

foreseeable future. He believes that<br />

a cautious approach is necessary in<br />

order to avoid any potential negative<br />

consequences that may arise from an<br />

overheating economy.<br />

Iran Invites Global Investors<br />

to Take Part in $200B<br />

Worth of Projects<br />

Iran is seeking global investors<br />

for projects worth $200B. <strong>The</strong><br />

country is eager to attract foreign<br />

investment and bring in the capital<br />

and expertise needed to revitalize<br />

its economy and infrastructure. <strong>The</strong><br />

projects on offer include investments<br />

in the energy, transportation, and<br />

industrial sectors, as well as tourism<br />

and real estate. Iran is known for its<br />

vast reserves of oil and gas and its<br />

strategic location between Europe and<br />

Asia, making it an attractive destination<br />

for investors. Despite the challenges<br />

posed by international sanctions and<br />

economic difficulties, the country<br />

remains optimistic about its future and<br />

is determined to tap into the global<br />

investment market.<br />

Green Energy Revolution: Renewables Set to Power<br />

the Future Within 3 Years<br />

Renewable energy sources,<br />

such as solar and wind power,<br />

are projected to meet the<br />

world’s growing demand for<br />

electricity within just three years,<br />

according to a recent report. <strong>The</strong> shift<br />

towards renewable energy is being<br />

driven by advancements in technology<br />

and a growing awareness of the need to<br />

reduce greenhouse gas emissions and<br />

combat climate change. In addition to<br />

Oil prices remained steady<br />

despite a recent swell in<br />

U.S. stockpiles. According<br />

to a report from the Energy<br />

Information Administration, crude oil<br />

inventories in the United States rose<br />

by 1.7M barrels last week, exceeding<br />

market expectations. Despite the<br />

increase, oil prices remained largely<br />

unchanged, with Brent crude oil futures<br />

hovering around $65 a barrel and West<br />

Texas Intermediate futures near $62 a<br />

barrel. <strong>The</strong> market has been buoyed by<br />

a steady demand for crude oil and a<br />

tightening of global supplies due to the<br />

ongoing production cuts by the OPEC+.<br />

being more environmentally friendly,<br />

renewable energy sources are also<br />

becoming increasingly cost-competitive<br />

with traditional fossil fuels. As countries<br />

and companies strive to meet their<br />

sustainability goals, it is expected<br />

that investment in renewable energy<br />

will continue to increase, further<br />

accelerating the transition to a cleaner,<br />

greener future.<br />

Oil Prices Remain Steady Despite U.S.<br />

Stockpile Swell<br />

Analysts predict that the demand for oil<br />

will continue to increase as the global<br />

economy recovers from the pandemic<br />

and that prices will remain elevated in<br />

the near term.<br />

110 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Jerome Powell Maintains Neutral Stance on Inflation<br />

<strong>The</strong> dollar slipped after Federal<br />

Reserve Chair Jerome Powell<br />

struck a balanced tone on<br />

inflation in a recent speech.<br />

Powell emphasized the need to allow<br />

inflation to run moderately above 2%<br />

for some time to make up for past<br />

undershoots and to support maximum<br />

employment. However, he also made<br />

it clear that the central bank will not<br />

hesitate to act if inflation expectations<br />

become unanchored or if inflation rises<br />

too high for too long. <strong>The</strong> market took<br />

Nepal Boosts Its Bank:<br />

Forex Reserves Soar to<br />

$10B with Tourist Influx<br />

Nepal’s foreign exchange<br />

reserves have reached an<br />

all-time high of $10B, largely<br />

due to a surge in tourism<br />

to the Himalayan nation. Visitors are<br />

flocking to Nepal to experience its<br />

unique culture and natural beauty,<br />

including Mount Everest and other<br />

iconic peaks. This influx of tourists<br />

has provided a major boost to the<br />

Nepalese economy, helping to drive<br />

up its foreign exchange reserves and<br />

providing a much-needed source of<br />

revenue. <strong>The</strong> Nepalese government<br />

is now looking to capitalize on this<br />

trend by further developing its tourism<br />

industry and promoting the country<br />

as a top destination for adventure<br />

and cultural tourism. With its rich<br />

history, breath-taking scenery, and<br />

warm hospitality, Nepal is poised to<br />

become one of the world’s leading<br />

travel destinations.<br />

Powell’s comments as a sign that the<br />

Federal Reserve is not planning any<br />

immediate changes to its monetary<br />

policy, causing the dollar to weaken.<br />

<strong>The</strong> neutral stance on inflation by the<br />

Fed has led to increased uncertainty<br />

in the market and a fluctuation in the<br />

value of the dollar. Investors will be<br />

closely watching future developments<br />

in the U.S. economy and any further<br />

comments by Powell and other Fed<br />

officials.<br />

Warning Signs Ahead: 70% of Logistics Execs<br />

Predict a <strong>2023</strong> Recession<br />

According to a recent survey,<br />

a staggering 70% of logistics<br />

executives believe that a<br />

recession is either certain or<br />

likely to occur in <strong>2023</strong>. This pessimistic<br />

outlook is largely driven by concerns<br />

about the global economy, including<br />

increasing inflation and a slowdown in<br />

the pace of growth in major markets.<br />

Italy and UK Forge a New Path with Investment<br />

Partnership<br />

Italy and the United Kingdom have<br />

recently agreed to a new investment<br />

partnership, signaling a new<br />

era of cooperation between the two<br />

countries. <strong>The</strong> partnership is aimed at<br />

promoting economic growth and job<br />

creation, with a focus on areas such as<br />

innovation, research, and development.<br />

<strong>The</strong> two countries will work together to<br />

support businesses, particularly small<br />

and medium-sized enterprises, and to<br />

<strong>The</strong> logistics industry is often seen as<br />

a bellwether for the broader economy,<br />

and its executives are known for their<br />

ability to anticipate economic trends.<br />

<strong>The</strong> survey results are a warning to<br />

businesses and governments alike that<br />

a recession may be on the horizon,<br />

and that they should take steps now<br />

to prepare for a potential downturn.<br />

encourage cross-border investment.<br />

<strong>The</strong> partnership is a testament to the<br />

strong historical ties between Italy and<br />

the UK and their shared commitment<br />

to a prosperous future. <strong>The</strong> agreement<br />

is expected to bring about significant<br />

benefits for both countries, providing<br />

new opportunities for businesses and<br />

investors, and boosting economic<br />

growth and job creation.<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 111

Wheels<br />

Maserati MC20 Cielo<br />

Cielo. It means “sky” in Italian.<br />

Such is the lyrical beauty of<br />

the Italian language, Maserati<br />

didn’t need to think beyond<br />

the prosaic to come up with a greatsounding<br />

name for the convertible<br />

version of its mid-engine supercar: the<br />

<strong>2023</strong> MC20 Cielo. It’s worked before:<br />

This is, remember, the company that<br />

calls its four-door sedan, simply, the<br />

Quattroporte. Plain old English “Four<br />

Door” somehow doesn’t conjure the<br />

same romantic elegance.<br />

Not that the MC20 needs any more<br />

romance. In coupé form, Maserati’s<br />

first mid-engine supercar in decades<br />

is a beguiling machine, a confident<br />

and capable car powered by one of the<br />

most charismatic high-performance V-6<br />

engines of the modern era—an engine<br />

designed and engineered in-house at<br />

Maserati. It’s not quite a Ferrari 296GTB<br />

and not quite a Lamborghini Huracán,<br />

but something all its own: a sports<br />

car with a soupçon of grand turismo<br />

evident in the mix that makes it as easy<br />

and comfortable to drive every day as<br />