The Finance World Magazine| Edition: September 2023

The Middle East is currently experiencing a transformative era characterized by sustainability and governance, known as the Middle East's Green Renaissance. At the heart of this movement is the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) framework, which is reshaping corporate success by placing a strong emphasis on transparency, accountability, and responsible global citizenship. ESG investing is reshaping financial markets, aligning financial gains with societal and environmental impacts. The Middle East has pledged significant net-zero commitments, underscoring its commitment to environmental stewardship. As the Middle East prepares to host COP28 in Dubai, it remains committed to sustainability. This edition explores the Middle East's ESG journey, from milestones to future horizons. This edition provides insightful perspectives across diverse sectors within the UAE. it provides insights on certain areas of focus, such as The Key to Mitigating Risks in Stock Market Portfolios, Cross-Border M&A: Challenges and Opportunities in Global Transactions, Risk Management Best Practices for Ensuring Business Continuity, Fintech Innovations Shaping the Future, and many more articles that offer critical analysis and insights on current trends and issues in the business and investment domains. 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 Middle East is currently experiencing a transformative era characterized by sustainability and governance, known as the Middle East's Green Renaissance. At the heart of this movement is the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) framework, which is reshaping corporate success by placing a strong emphasis on transparency, accountability, and responsible global citizenship.

ESG investing is reshaping financial markets, aligning financial gains with societal and environmental impacts. The Middle East has pledged significant net-zero commitments, underscoring its commitment to environmental stewardship.

As the Middle East prepares to host COP28 in Dubai, it remains committed to sustainability. This edition explores the Middle East's ESG journey, from milestones to future horizons.

This edition provides insightful perspectives across diverse sectors within the UAE. it provides insights on certain areas of focus, such as The Key to Mitigating Risks in Stock Market Portfolios, Cross-Border M&A: Challenges and Opportunities in Global Transactions, Risk Management Best Practices for Ensuring Business Continuity, Fintech Innovations Shaping the Future, and many more articles that offer critical analysis and insights on current trends and issues in the business and investment domains.

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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UAE Central Bank Allocates Dhs650 Billion Budget for First Half of the Year<br />

<strong>September</strong>’s Startups: Unveiling the Month’s Most Promising Ventures<br />

UAE’s Corporate Tax Law: Shaping a Competitive Business Landscape<br />

Unlocking Startup Success: A Guide to Securing Funding in the UAE<br />

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

Middle East's<br />

Green<br />

Renaissance<br />

Nurturing Sustainability<br />

and Eco-Initiatives<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 />

P22 | Building Resilience: Risk<br />

Management Best Practices for<br />

Ensuring Business Continuity<br />

P64 | Diversification: <strong>The</strong> Key<br />

to Mitigating Risks in Stock<br />

Market Portfolios<br />






We make Short / Long Term<br />

Investments in Growing Businessess<br />



N O W<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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www.thefinanceworld.com<br />


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Reaching a visionary goal requires<br />

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

<strong>The</strong> Middle East is currently experiencing a transformative<br />

Editor’s Note<br />

era characterized by sustainability and governance, known<br />

as the Middle East’s Green Renaissance. At the heart of this<br />

movement is the Environmental, Social, and Governance<br />

(ESG) framework, which is reshaping corporate success by placing<br />

a strong emphasis on transparency, accountability, and responsible<br />

global citizenship.<br />

ESG investing is reshaping financial markets, aligning financial gains<br />

with societal and environmental impacts. <strong>The</strong> Middle East has pledged<br />

significant net-zero commitments, underscoring its commitment to<br />

environmental stewardship.<br />

As the Middle East prepares to host COP28 in Dubai, it remains<br />

committed to sustainability. This edition explores the Middle East’s<br />

ESG journey, from milestones to future horizons.<br />

This edition provides insightful perspectives across diverse sectors<br />

within the UAE. it provides insights on certain areas of focus, such<br />

as <strong>The</strong> Key to Mitigating Risks in Stock Market Portfolios, Cross-<br />

Border M&A: Challenges and Opportunities in Global Transactions,<br />

Risk Management Best Practices for Ensuring Business Continuity,<br />

Fintech Innovations Shaping the Future, and many more articles that<br />

offer critical analysis and insights on current trends and issues in the<br />

business and investment domains.<br />

Within the news segments, you will find a condensed compendium<br />

of the most notable advancements in the field of finance. We have<br />

meticulously sifted through the latest trends and updates, spanning<br />

an array of pertinent topics such as corporate results, corporate tax,<br />

startups, banking, funding, investment, fintech, digital assets, and<br />

beyond.<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, aiming to advance financial literacy and contribute to Dubai’s<br />

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

- Ambrish Agarwal, Editor in Chief<br />

- Ambrish Agarwal, Editor in Chief<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>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 5<br />

<strong>September</strong> 2022 3

Contents <strong>September</strong><br />

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


P08 | Navigating Financial Independence<br />

Amidst High Inflation:<br />

Long-Term Strategies for Success<br />



P22 | Building Resilience: Risk<br />

Management Best Practices for<br />

Ensuring Business Continuity<br />

P24 | Business News<br />



P44 | Healthcare Analytics in the<br />

UAE: Leveraging Data for Improved<br />

Decision-Making<br />



P10 | UAE Central Bank Allocates<br />

AED 650B Budget for First Half of<br />

the Year<br />

P12 | UAE Banking News<br />


P14 | Global Economists and<br />

<strong>Finance</strong> Leaders Forge Path for<br />

International Climate <strong>Finance</strong> at<br />

COP28 Summit<br />


P16 | <strong>September</strong> Spotlight:<br />

Fintech Innovations Shaping the<br />

Future<br />

P18 | Fintech News<br />

P20 | Fintech Application<br />

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

P26 | Middle East’s Green<br />

Renaissance: Nurturing<br />

Sustainability and Eco-Initiatives<br />

START-UP<br />

P36 | <strong>September</strong>’s Startups:<br />

Unveiling the Month’s Most<br />

Promising Ventures<br />

ENERGY<br />

P38 | Electric Vehicles: Driving the<br />

Transition to Clean Transportation<br />

P40 | Energy News<br />

P46 | Cross-Border M&A:<br />

Challenges and Opportunities in<br />

Global Transactions<br />

P48 | Mergers & Acquisitions News<br />


P50 | Crypto Innovations:<br />

Exploring the Latest Blockchain<br />

Projects and Protocols




P52 | Risk Management in Real<br />

Estate Financing: Strategies for<br />

Mitigating Market Volatility<br />

P54 | Real Estate News<br />


P64 | Diversification: <strong>The</strong> Key to<br />

Mitigating Risks in Stock Market<br />

Portfolios<br />


P66 | UAE’s Corporate Tax Law:<br />

Shaping a Competitive Business<br />

Landscape<br />

P68 | Corporate Results<br />

TRAVEL<br />

P78 | Unveiling the Future of<br />

Tourism: 6 Key Trends Fueling<br />

Hospitality Growth in Dubai and<br />

Beyond<br />


P58 | Unlocking Startup Success:<br />

A Guide to Securing Funding in the<br />

UAE<br />

P60 | Funding & Investment News<br />


P72 | Unforgettable Getaways to<br />

Visit in August<br />


P80 | Art Investment: A Canvas of<br />

Potential and Discovery<br />

P82 | Global News<br />


P62 | <strong>The</strong> Future of Digital<br />

Assets: Innovations and Potential<br />

Disruptions<br />

P74 | <strong>The</strong> Future of Sports<br />

Business: Emerging Trends in<br />

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

P76 | Sports News<br />

P84 | Reviving Soar: UAE Tourism<br />

Investment Surges<br />

P86 | Local News<br />

P21 | P33 | P43 | Launch Express<br />

P34 | P56 | Wheels<br />

P32 | P42 | Tech My Money<br />

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

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

Navigating Financial Independence<br />

Amidst High Inflation: Long-Term Strategies<br />

for Success<br />

In today’s high-inflation environment, achieving financial independence may<br />

seem challenging, but it’s not impossible. With the right personal finance<br />

strategies, you can secure your financial future and navigate through economic<br />

uncertainties. In this article, we will explore essential tactics that will help<br />

you thrive in a high-inflation economy and work towards achieving your<br />

long-term financial goals.<br />

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

Creating a comprehensive budget is<br />

the foundation of sound personal<br />

finance. By tracking your income,<br />

expenses, and savings, you gain<br />

a clear understanding of your financial<br />

situation. A well-crafted budget allows<br />

you to identify areas where you can cut<br />

unnecessary expenses and increase your<br />

savings, bringing you closer to financial<br />

independence.<br />

Inflation erodes the purchasing power<br />

of money, making it vital to invest<br />

in assets that can outpace inflation.<br />

Consider allocating your funds to inflation-resistant<br />

assets like real estate,<br />

gold, mutual funds, and stocks. <strong>The</strong>se<br />

to market volatility and enhances your<br />

chances of achieving higher returns.<br />

In a high-inflation environment, managing<br />

debt becomes even more critical.<br />

Prioritize paying off high-interest debt,<br />

such as credit cards, to prevent interest<br />

from eating into your finances. Limit your<br />

use of credit and opt for responsible borrowing<br />

when necessary. Reducing debt<br />

will strengthen your financial position<br />

and accelerate your journey towards<br />

financial independence.<br />

Investing in yourself is one of the most<br />

valuable financial decisions you can<br />

make. Enhance your skills, education, and<br />

safety net will protect your long-term<br />

savings and provide peace of mind during<br />

challenging times.<br />

Stay proactive with your investments<br />

by reviewing and adjusting them regularly.<br />

Keep track of their performance and<br />

make changes when necessary to stay<br />

aligned with your financial objectives. A<br />

well-monitored investment strategy will<br />

optimize your returns and contribute to<br />

your financial independence.<br />

Navigating a high-inflation environment<br />

requires a strategic approach to<br />

personal finance. By adopting these<br />

essential strategies, including budgeting,<br />

High inflation won’t deter your<br />

financial independence journey.<br />

Embrace budgeting, wise<br />

investments, and personal growth.<br />

Navigate wisely, and you’ll reach<br />

your goals.<br />

investments have historically provided<br />

a hedge against rising prices and the<br />

potential for attractive returns.<br />

Avoid the risk of putting all your eggs<br />

in one basket by diversifying your investment<br />

portfolio. Mix a variety of asset<br />

classes, such as equities, fixed-income<br />

instruments, and alternative investments<br />

like real estate and commodities. This<br />

diversification reduces your exposure<br />

health to increase your earning potential<br />

and employability. Continuous personal<br />

growth opens up new opportunities for<br />

higher income and provides a safety net<br />

during economic downturns.<br />

Unforeseen expenses can destabilize<br />

your financial plans, especially in times<br />

of inflation. Establish an emergency fund<br />

to cover at least three to six months’<br />

worth of living expenses. Having this<br />

diversified investments, debt management,<br />

and self-improvement, you can<br />

secure your financial future and achieve<br />

financial independence. Embrace these<br />

tactics and set yourself on the path to<br />

long-term financial success, even amidst<br />

economic challenges. Remember, with<br />

the right financial mindset and perseverance,<br />

financial independence is within<br />

your reach.<br />

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

UAE Banking<br />

UAE Central Bank Allocates AED 650B Budget<br />

for First Half of the Year<br />

In a significant revelation, the Central<br />

Bank of the UAE has achieved<br />

a remarkable milestone by reaching<br />

an all-time high public budget<br />

of AED 650B by the end of June <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

This remarkable accomplishment, as<br />

detailed in the latest fiscal report,<br />

underscores the financial prowess<br />

and strategic acumen of the nation’s<br />

central financial institution.<br />

<strong>The</strong> report for June <strong>2023</strong> revealed<br />

a steady upward trajectory, with a<br />

monthly increment of 0.2 percent<br />

propelling the public budget to an<br />

impressive AED 649.4B by the end<br />

of June, compared to the previous<br />

month’s figure of AED 648.12B. This<br />

surge of AED1.3B within just a single<br />

month showcases the Bank’s agility<br />

and capability to manage and optimize<br />

its resources.<br />

A notable surge on an annual basis<br />

is equally striking, with the central<br />

bank’s public budget skyrocketing by<br />

an impressive 32.15 percent, equivalent<br />

to a staggering AED 158B, in contrast<br />

to the AED 491.4B reported in June<br />

2022. This substantial growth not<br />

only underscores the bank’s effective<br />

financial management but also its<br />

adeptness at navigating the complex<br />

economic landscape.<br />

This remarkable momentum has<br />

extended into the current year, with an<br />

outstanding 17.5 percent rise since the<br />

beginning of the year. This translates<br />

to an impressive increment of AED<br />

97B during the first half of the year,<br />

compared to the AED 552.5B recorded<br />

at the close of December 2022. Such<br />

consistent growth is a testament to the<br />

Central Bank’s strategic planning and<br />

prudent financial decisions.<br />

Delving into the specifics of the<br />

budget’s allocation, the assets side<br />

reveals a meticulous distribution.<br />

Notably, AED 257.2B has been allocated<br />

to cash and bank balances for<br />

the month of June, reflecting a robust<br />

liquidity position. Investments held<br />

until maturity have been earmarked at<br />

AED 211.32B, while deposits account<br />

for AED 135.34B. <strong>The</strong> allocation for<br />

loans and advances stands at AED<br />

4.18B, with AED 41.38B allocated to<br />

other assets, underscoring a diverse<br />

investment portfolio.<br />

On the liabilities and capital side,<br />

a judicious approach is evident. AED<br />

284.78B has been allocated for current<br />

and deposit accounts, while<br />

AED 205.72B has been earmarked<br />

for cash permits and Islamic deposit<br />

certificates. Moreover, AED 136.48B<br />

has been apportioned for issued cash<br />

securities and coins, and AED 12.73B<br />

has been allocated for capital and reserves,<br />

highlighting a prudent capital<br />

management strategy.<br />

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

UAE Banks Unveil $52B in Elegant Green<br />

Financing Solutions<br />

In a significant stride towards<br />

combating climate change and<br />

fostering sustainable development,<br />

UAE banks have committed<br />

over AED 190B (approximately $51.8B)<br />

in green financing deals. <strong>The</strong> UAE<br />

Banks Federation (UBF) recently unveiled<br />

this monumental achievement,<br />

underscoring the financial sector’s<br />

pivotal role in aligning with the UAE’s<br />

emission reduction strategy and the<br />

United Nations’ Sustainable Development<br />

Goals.<br />

<strong>The</strong> UBF applauded the proactive<br />

stance of the banking industry in<br />

addressing climate change through<br />

robust green financing initiatives<br />

and climate-conscious endeavours.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se initiatives have emerged as<br />

potent tools to fulfil the sustainability<br />

pledges of various UAE organizations,<br />

both within the nation and across the<br />

region. This collective push towards<br />

green finance and the issuance of<br />

environmentally-oriented funds signifies<br />

a resolute step towards realizing<br />

the UAE’s ambitions for a greener,<br />

climate-neutral future.<br />

UBF stands as a dedicated partner<br />

in the UAE’s journey towards sustainability,<br />

closely collaborating with the<br />

Central Bank of the UAE and all its<br />

member banks. Together, they are laying<br />

the groundwork for the transition<br />

to a sustainable economy, echoing the<br />

nation’s ambitious agenda.<br />

<strong>The</strong> data shared by UBF members<br />

echoes this commitment, revealing<br />

that six major banks have jointly<br />

pledged more than AED 190B for<br />

diverse projects in renewable energy,<br />

waste-to-energy, and green technology<br />

by the conclusion of 2022. <strong>The</strong>se banks<br />

include First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB),<br />

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB),<br />

Emirates NBD (ENBD), Dubai Islamic<br />

Bank (DIB), Mashreq Bank, and Abu<br />

Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB).<br />

This surge in green funding harmonizes<br />

with the guidelines set forth by<br />

the Central Bank of the UAE’s Sustainable<br />

<strong>Finance</strong> Working Group and<br />

broader sustainability objectives for<br />

the sector. <strong>The</strong>se efforts have been<br />

particularly relevant in the context<br />

of the “Year of Sustainability” and the<br />

UAE’s hosting of the 28th Conference<br />

of the Parties (COP28).<br />

A standout feature of UBF’s commitment<br />

to sustainability is the establishment<br />

of an expert-driven ESG<br />

steering committee. This committee is<br />

diligently working under the guidance<br />

of the Central Bank of the UAE’s policies,<br />

which are aimed at integrating<br />

sustainability principles into reserves<br />

management and monetary operations.<br />

This approach is aimed at fortifying<br />

the principles and frameworks that<br />

underpin green finance.<br />

One noteworthy achievement has<br />

been the issuance of green sukuk<br />

and bonds, which have amounted to<br />

approximately AED 62.4B ($17B) in<br />

the UAE. <strong>The</strong>se financial instruments<br />

not only enable access to funding<br />

sources that contribute to climate and<br />

environmental preservation but also<br />

yield attractive returns for investors.<br />

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

UAE Banking News<br />

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Boosts Digital Transformation with Cloud Migration<br />

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank<br />

(ADIB), a leading Islamic<br />

financial institution,<br />

announced the successful<br />

migration of a significant portion<br />

of its applications and workloads,<br />

including customer-facing platforms<br />

and core banking applications, to the<br />

Azure Cloud, using advanced cloud<br />

computing services like Blockchain,<br />

AI, and Data warehouse. This move<br />

enhances the bank’s infrastructure,<br />

offering customers a seamless and<br />

convenient banking experience within<br />

a cloud-based ecosystem. ADIB’s<br />

commitment to digital transformation<br />

and customer-centricity led them to<br />

select Cloud4C as their partner for<br />

this transformation project, benefiting<br />

from their expertise in Azure cloud<br />

and extensive financial services experience.<br />

<strong>The</strong> migration allows ADIB<br />

to rapidly deploy new applications<br />

while ensuring the highest security<br />

standards.<br />

Nasdaq Dubai Lists Dar Al-Arkan’s $600M Sukuk<br />

Nasdaq Dubai recently welcomed<br />

the listing of a $600M<br />

sukuk by Dar Al-Arkan<br />

Sukuk Company Ltd, Saudi<br />

Arabia’s leading residential property<br />

developer. <strong>The</strong> sukuk is part of a $2.5B<br />

Trust Certificate Issuance Programme<br />

and matures in 2029. This marks Dar<br />

Al-Arkan’s 13th issuance and 9th<br />

under the programme, reflecting the<br />

unwavering support of their investors.<br />

<strong>The</strong> total value of Dar Al-Arkan’s<br />

listed securities on Nasdaq Dubai<br />

now stands at $2B, comprising four<br />

sukuks. Nasdaq Dubai’s CEO, Hamed<br />

Ali, extended congratulations and reaffirmed<br />

the exchange’s commitment<br />

to fostering growth and providing a<br />

transparent marketplace for issuers.<br />

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

CBI Reports Impressive 44% Net Profit Growth, Reaching $21M in H1 <strong>2023</strong><br />

Commercial Bank International<br />

(CBI) has announced its halfyear<br />

financial results for <strong>2023</strong>,<br />

showcasing robust performance<br />

and significant growth. <strong>The</strong> bank reported<br />

a remarkable 44 percent year-to-date<br />

increase in net profit, reaching AED<br />

79M in H1 <strong>2023</strong>, compared to AED<br />

55M in H1 2022. Net operating income<br />

remained steady, slightly rising from<br />

AED 268M to AED 270M during the same<br />

period. Moreover, loans and advances<br />

demonstrated positive growth, climbing<br />

from AED 12B in H1 2022 to AED 12.3B<br />

in H1 <strong>2023</strong>. CBI’s CEO, Ali Sultan Rakkad<br />

Al Amri, attributed this success to their<br />

customer-first approach and continuous<br />

pursuit of innovation.<br />

UAE Banks Processed<br />

AED 6.74T in Remittances<br />

in <strong>2023</strong>’s First<br />

Five Months<br />

During the first five months of<br />

<strong>2023</strong>, UAE banks efficiently<br />

handled remittances worth<br />

approximately AED 6.74T<br />

through the UAE Funds Transfer System<br />

(UAEFTS), according to the latest data<br />

from the Central Bank of the UAE. This<br />

represented a remarkable surge of 39.20<br />

per cent compared to the same period<br />

in 2022, with the total value increasing<br />

from AED 4.84T to AED 6.74T year-onyear.<br />

<strong>The</strong> transactions involved AED<br />

4.27T transferred between banks and<br />

AED 2.47T exchanged between bank<br />

customers. Additionally, during the<br />

same period, cash deposits with the<br />

Central Bank reached AED 69.52B,<br />

while cash withdrawals amounted to<br />

AED 76.98 B.<br />

DIFC Attracts Record Number of Companies in H1<br />

<strong>2023</strong> with 23% Surge<br />

In the first half of <strong>2023</strong>, the Dubai<br />

International Financial Centre<br />

(DIFC) experienced remarkable<br />

growth, with 661 new companies<br />

joining, marking a 23% increase from<br />

the previous year. This brought the<br />

total number of registered companies<br />

to 4,949, up from 4,031 in the same<br />

period last year. As a result of this<br />

expansion, a record 3,057 jobs were<br />

created, elevating the total workforce<br />

in DIFC by 20% year-on-year to 39,140.<br />

Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, the<br />

president of DIFC, highlighted the<br />

centre’s role in fostering investment,<br />

innovation, and enterprise, contributing<br />

to Dubai’s ambitious economic<br />

development plans with a focus on<br />

advanced financial technologies.<br />

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

UAE Reforms<br />

Global Economists and <strong>Finance</strong><br />

Leaders Forge Path for International<br />

Climate <strong>Finance</strong> at COP28 Summit<br />

In a pivotal two-day gathering<br />

of preeminent economists and<br />

finance leaders convened by the<br />

COP28 Presidency, a unanimous<br />

consensus has emerged on the critical<br />

next steps required to establish a novel<br />

framework for international climate<br />

finance. <strong>The</strong> outcomes of this high-level<br />

meeting not only set the stage for<br />

the upcoming COP28 but also extend<br />

their impact to the subsequent COP29<br />

and COP30.<br />

Distinguished economists from the<br />

Independent High-Level Expert Group<br />

(IHLEG) joined forces with prominent<br />

figures representing global institutions<br />

such as the <strong>World</strong> Bank, IMF, ECF,<br />

IFC, as well as the COP28 and COP27<br />

Presidencies and UN Climate Change<br />

High-Level Champions. <strong>The</strong> intensive<br />

discussions transpired in Abu Dhabi<br />

from August 15th to 16th, shaping a<br />

definitive roadmap towards sustainable<br />

climate finance.<br />

An essential commitment emerged<br />

from this assembly: to present COP28<br />

with recommendations for a fresh international<br />

climate finance framework<br />

alongside a concrete plan for their implementation.<br />

<strong>The</strong> framework is set to<br />

address pressing concerns, including<br />

managing debt distress in vulnerable<br />

nations and determining the private<br />

sector’s role in amplifying financial<br />

support. While private finance inflows<br />

are witnessing growth, the consensus<br />

was that their acceleration must be<br />

swifter to meet the estimated $2.4<br />

trillion annual investment required<br />

by 2030 to combat climate change<br />

in emerging markets and developing<br />

economies.<br />

This comprehensive roadmap will<br />

guide a spectrum of institutions, encompassing<br />

UN agencies, the IMF,<br />

<strong>World</strong> Bank, regional MDBs, national<br />

governments, and the private sector.<br />

By establishing alignment on this roadmap<br />

at COP28, leaders across various<br />

sectors will rally around a cohesive<br />

plan of action for international climate<br />

finance.<br />

Collectively, the meeting attendees<br />

affirmed the pivotal role of finance in<br />

facilitating solutions for transitioning<br />

toward a net-zero, climate-resilient<br />

future. <strong>The</strong>y agreed on the imperative<br />

to expedite the growth of international<br />

climate finance within this decade,<br />

bolstering mitigation and adaptation<br />

initiatives in emerging markets and<br />

developing economies.<br />

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

UAE’s Economy Poised for Strong and<br />

Diverse Growth Amidst Global Uncertainty<br />

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

(UAE), known for its rapid<br />

economic ascent, is set to<br />

maintain its robust growth<br />

trajectory, with an average expansion<br />

of 4.6 percent anticipated until 2024.<br />

This surge is underpinned by factors<br />

such as increased oil prices, a surge<br />

in tourist arrivals, buoyant real estate<br />

transactions, and improved business<br />

sentiment.<br />

According to the International Monetary<br />

Fund (IMF), the UAE’s economy<br />

is poised to accelerate its pace in<br />

the upcoming years. Despite a slight<br />

revision to the global growth outlook<br />

due to financial system uncertainties,<br />

the IMF predicts that the country’s<br />

GDP will rise by 3.9 percent in 2024,<br />

surpassing the 3.6 percent projected<br />

for this year. <strong>The</strong>se forecasts are<br />

resilient even in the face of geopolitical<br />

challenges and the uncertain<br />

global recovery landscape. <strong>The</strong> IMF’s<br />

executive board remains confident in<br />

the UAE’s positive economic outlook,<br />

bolstered by robust domestic activity<br />

and heightened business confidence.<br />

Experts believe that the UAE’s<br />

commendable progress in forging<br />

comprehensive economic partnerships<br />

with key nations will be instrumental<br />

in enhancing trade integration and<br />

foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se partnerships are seen as<br />

vital growth drivers, generating trade<br />

opportunities and reinforcing regional<br />

and global economic dynamics in 2024.<br />

This optimism extends to the latter<br />

half of <strong>2023</strong>, as the real estate and travel<br />

sectors rebound vigorously due to<br />

the influx of global businesses, investors,<br />

and high-net-worth individuals.<br />

Major international events, including<br />

the Dubai Airshow <strong>2023</strong> and the United<br />

Nations Climate Change Conference<br />

(COP 28), are set to significantly boost<br />

the travel and hospitality industry.<br />

S&P Global reports that the UAE’s<br />

thriving business landscape reflects<br />

growing business community confidence<br />

in sustained economic prospects.<br />

Expectations for the next year’s<br />

economic activity have consistently<br />

improved over the past five months,<br />

reaching the highest levels since late<br />

2021.<br />

After conducting the 2022 Article IV<br />

consultation with the UAE, the IMF’s<br />

directors anticipate a 3.8 percent<br />

surge in non-hydrocarbon growth.<br />

This growth is attributed to ongoing<br />

tourism activity and increased capital<br />

expenditure. However, the outlook<br />

remains influenced by global uncertainties,<br />

including weaker growth,<br />

tighter financial conditions, and geopolitical<br />

shifts.<br />

<strong>The</strong> IMF’s board predicts a 6.9 percent<br />

overall growth for 2022, with<br />

non-hydrocarbon GDP growth at 5.3<br />

percent and hydrocarbon GDP growth<br />

at 11.1 percent. While inflation has<br />

mirrored global trends, it is projected<br />

to ease to 3.4 percent in <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

Fiscal and external surpluses are<br />

expected to remain robust, supported<br />

by elevated oil prices. <strong>The</strong> financial<br />

sector is reasonably well-capitalized<br />

and liquid, although nonperforming<br />

loans persist at elevated levels. In<br />

certain real estate segments, prices<br />

have witnessed sharp increases.<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE’s economic outlook remains<br />

buoyant, promising sustained<br />

growth through strategic partnerships,<br />

fiscal reforms, and a commitment to<br />

environmental sustainability. While<br />

potential obstacles exist, including oil<br />

production cuts and external demand<br />

fluctuations, the UAE’s determination<br />

to modernize and diversify its economy,<br />

coupled with its resilient business<br />

environment, positions it as a beacon<br />

of growth amidst an ever-evolving<br />

global landscape.<br />

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

Fintech<br />

<strong>September</strong> Spotlight: Fintech Innovations<br />

Shaping the Future<br />

In an era marked by rapid technological advancement, the intersection of finance<br />

and technology has given rise to a wave of transformative solutions, challenging<br />

traditional norms and redefining the way we manage, invest, and transact. In<br />

the present context, the spotlight redirects its beam towards the ingenious<br />

marvels of fintech, with Xpence, Bankiom, and Foloosi standing as catalysts<br />

in the process of revolutionizing facets extending from digital payments and<br />

blockchain applications to the intricate mechanisms of decentralized finance.<br />

Foloosi<br />

Foloosi, under the visionary<br />

guidance of its Founder and<br />

CEO, Omar Bin Brek, emerges<br />

as a transformative force in<br />

shaping the modern financial landscape.<br />

With an unwavering mission<br />

to empower businesses, both large<br />

enterprises and startups alike, Foloosi’s<br />

cutting-edge software and APIs<br />

have revolutionized payment acceptance,<br />

payouts, and online business<br />

management. This unified platform<br />

offers an integrated suite of payment<br />

products, providing the essential<br />

foundation for websites and apps to<br />

seamlessly accept payments and send<br />

payouts across the globe. From powering<br />

payments for online retailers and<br />

subscriptions to software platforms<br />

and marketplaces, Foloosi’s reach is<br />

comprehensive and all-encompassing.<br />

Central to Foloosi’s prowess is the<br />

Foloosi App, a mobile payment enabler<br />

supported by seamless integrations<br />

and a robust customer relations<br />

management system. This synergy<br />

results in a fast, modern, and secure<br />

ecosystem that leverages technology’s<br />

advanced potential. Functioning as a<br />

UAE business enabler, Foloosi offers<br />

user-friendly options designed for<br />

accessibility, convenience, and simplicity.<br />

With trusted partners ensuring<br />

security, Foloosi’s online marketplace<br />

provides a streamlined platform for<br />

customers to make payments for products<br />

and services, thus enhancing the<br />

overall customer experience.<br />

Driven by an inventive, safe, and<br />

convenient ethos, Foloosi’s mission<br />

is to become the go-to companion<br />

for innovative technology in a smart<br />

mobile-powered digital economy. It<br />

stands committed to introducing the<br />

latest innovations while fortifying<br />

IT security measures and enhancing<br />

user experiences. Foloosi envisions<br />

being among the world’s premier<br />

online marketplace payment portals,<br />

fostering comprehensive business<br />

empowerment for all. Businesses, irrespective<br />

of size, gain a multitude of<br />

advantages through increased Foloosi<br />

usage, including reduced fraud, faster<br />

payment processing, lower fees, and<br />

enhanced customer loyalty.<br />

Omar Bin Brek,<br />

Founder and CEO<br />

16 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Xpence<br />

At the forefront of innovative<br />

financial solutions stands<br />

Xpence, led by its visionary<br />

CEO, Saad Ansari. With an<br />

unwavering commitment to revolutionizing<br />

business spending practices,<br />

Xpence offers a groundbreaking<br />

platform that seamlessly integrates<br />

smart payment cards for freelancers,<br />

corporates, and every entrepreneurial<br />

endeavour in between. As a pioneering<br />

smart business spend platform,<br />

Xpence envisions a global landscape<br />

where launching and scaling businesses<br />

becomes effortless through<br />

its all-encompassing app. <strong>The</strong> essence<br />

of Xpence lies in its array of features<br />

meticulously designed to empower<br />

businesses worldwide. <strong>The</strong> platform’s<br />

smart Xpence cards redefine spending<br />

norms, enabling teams to make<br />

purchases both online and in-store<br />

with confidence while maintaining<br />

impeccable control over financial<br />

outflows. <strong>The</strong> Xpence account further<br />

transforms the business landscape by<br />

automating time-consuming bookkeeping<br />

tasks, granting entrepreneurs more<br />

time to nurture growth. A highlight<br />

of Xpence’s repertoire is its invoicing<br />

capability, allowing users to craft and<br />

track professional invoices on the go,<br />

expediting payment processes through<br />

online payment options. In the realm<br />

of team empowerment, Xpence cards<br />

prove to be a dynamic asset, equipping<br />

teams with the tools they need<br />

to drive efficiency and productivity.<br />

Additionally, Xpence’s virtual cards<br />

provide unparalleled control over<br />

online expenses, bolstering security<br />

while optimizing online spending practices.<br />

With an unwavering commitment<br />

to safeguarding data and finances,<br />

Xpence employs industry best practices<br />

to ensure the utmost security<br />

for businesses and their stakeholders.<br />

Saad Ansari,<br />

Co-Founder and CEO<br />

Bankiom<br />

Under the visionary leadership<br />

of Founder and CEO Danny<br />

Abla, Bankiom emerges as<br />

a beacon of transformative<br />

financial solutions. A trailblazer in the<br />

realm of finance, Bankiom reshapes the<br />

way individuals manage their money<br />

while seamlessly integrating the essence<br />

of the Passion Economy. Pioneering a<br />

financial revolution, Bankiom’s innovation<br />

lies in its holistic approach to financial<br />

management. Nestled in the heart of<br />

Dubai, UAE, this dynamic institution<br />

offers a suite of digital financial services<br />

that extend beyond the conventional.<br />

With a steadfast mission to enhance<br />

global financial well-being, Bankiom<br />

not only empowers users to take control<br />

of their finances but also enriches their<br />

lives with tailor-made experiences.<br />

Bankiom’s commitment to simplicity<br />

and user-centered design sets it apart. It<br />

goes beyond mere transactions, instilling<br />

a sense of financial security and peace<br />

of mind. Accessible virtually, Bankiom’s<br />

prepaid card options, including the<br />

versatile virtual visa card, redefine<br />

the shopping experience, transforming<br />

it into a stress-free endeavour. <strong>The</strong><br />

integration of real human support and<br />

co-creation furthers its distinctiveness,<br />

reflecting a genuine dedication to users’<br />

needs. From secure money transfers to<br />

budget planning, Bankiom’s multifaceted<br />

approach encompasses every aspect<br />

of financial well-being.<br />

By bridging the gap between finance<br />

and lifestyle, Bankiom’s digital prowess<br />

makes financial empowerment an<br />

integral part of daily living. Whether<br />

it’s a virtual card for seamless online<br />

payments or a comprehensive budget<br />

planner, Bankiom is reshaping financial<br />

journeys, one transaction at a time.<br />

Danny Abla,<br />

Founder and CEO<br />

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

Fintech News<br />

Saudi FinTech Mozn Earns Prestigious Recognition as a Top Fintech in <strong>2023</strong><br />

Saudi Arabia’s Mozn, a leading<br />

enterprise AI technology provider,<br />

proudly joins the ranks<br />

of the “<strong>World</strong>’s Top FinTechs<br />

<strong>2023</strong>” as recognized by Statista, with a<br />

place in the Top 200 globally and the Top<br />

25 in the “Digital Business Solutions”<br />

category. Mozn’s acclaimed AI-powered<br />

risk and compliance platform, FOCAL,<br />

has gained traction among financial<br />

institutions, including banks, insurers,<br />

and fintechs in emerging markets. <strong>The</strong><br />

comprehensive assessment by Statista<br />

examined over 1,500 companies,<br />

employing a multi-level KPI research<br />

approach, considering overarching<br />

and segment-specific KPIs. With over<br />

1 billion screening checks conducted<br />

on beneficiaries, FOCAL enhances<br />

efficiency, customer experience, and<br />

compliance on an international scale,<br />

setting new industry standards.<br />

Qatar FinTech Hub Sets Sights on Emerging Trends<br />

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

<strong>The</strong> Qatar FinTech Hub (QFTH)<br />

is actively driving the country’s<br />

economic development<br />

through the implementation of<br />

the Qatar Central Bank’s (QCB) National<br />

FinTech Strategy, according to Qatar<br />

Development Bank’s (QDB) CEO, Abdulrahman<br />

Hesham al-Suwaidi. QFTH<br />

is focusing on paytech, insurtech, buy<br />

now, pay later (BNPL), and collective<br />

debt-based crowdfunding, targeting<br />

emerging trends and market demand.<br />

<strong>The</strong> hub aims to enable the digital transformation<br />

of Qatar’s financial services<br />

ecosystem, attract industry partners,<br />

and build future financial services<br />

skillsets. Partnered with esteemed<br />

organizations like Qatar Central Bank,<br />

Microsoft, Visa, and more, QFTH has<br />

made significant investments in the<br />

fintech portfolio, fostering innovation<br />

and economic diversification through<br />

job creation and adopting emerging<br />

technologies.<br />

E& Money Introduces Prepaid Card Offering Cash<br />

Rewards<br />

E& money, the fintech arm of<br />

e& group, has introduced the<br />

e& money card, a digital-first<br />

prepaid card aimed at promoting<br />

financial inclusivity and driving<br />

a cashless economy in the UAE. <strong>The</strong><br />

card is easily accessible through the<br />

e& money app, with residents getting<br />

a 16-digit Mastercard branded card<br />

within 10 seconds. Already, over 180,000<br />

digital cards have been issued since<br />

the launch in March. <strong>The</strong> card offers<br />

seamless global transactions by integrating<br />

with Apple Pay, Samsung, and<br />

Google Wallet for contactless payments.<br />

An enticing feature is the one percent<br />

cash rewards on all card spends until<br />

the end of <strong>2023</strong>, making it a unique<br />

offering among prepaid cards. <strong>The</strong><br />

rewards can be conveniently accessed<br />

through the app and redeemed for<br />

various deals and vouchers, fostering<br />

financial inclusion and embracing a<br />

cashless society’s advantages.<br />

Qatar FinTech Hub Unveils<br />

Wave 5 of Incubator &<br />

Accelerator Programs<br />

Qatar FinTech Hub (QFTH),<br />

founded by Qatar Development<br />

Bank (QDB), has announced<br />

the final list of FinTech Startups<br />

to join Wave 5 of its Incubator and<br />

Accelerator Programs. <strong>The</strong> series is part<br />

of QDB’s efforts to support startups in<br />

their entrepreneurial journey through<br />

various programs and venture capital<br />

investments. Since its launch in 2020,<br />

QFTH has played a key role in growing<br />

Qatar’s Fintech industry by graduating<br />

57 FinTech Startups, with the cumulative<br />

valuation of portfolio start-ups coming up<br />

to $500M. QDB’s commitment is evident<br />

by their investment of $6.46M in these<br />

FinTech Startups, with more than $4M<br />

already disbursed.<br />

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

Mastercard Collaborates<br />

with One Global<br />

to Bring Click to Pay to<br />

Kuwait<br />

One Global, operating under<br />

its Payment Service Provider<br />

(PSP) license, partners with<br />

Mastercard to introduce Click<br />

to Pay in Kuwait. This solution offers a<br />

consistent, secure, and fast checkout<br />

experience for consumers, eliminating<br />

the need to enter card details with<br />

every merchant. Once enrolled, users<br />

can seamlessly check out with their<br />

stored cards on any supporting merchant.<br />

One Global enables Click to Pay<br />

for digital gift cards, gaming vouchers<br />

(Amazon, Apple Cards, PlayStation,<br />

Nintendo), and bill payments through<br />

their platform, Og Money. <strong>The</strong>y plan to<br />

expand the service to other countries<br />

and support more use cases, reflecting<br />

the growing adoption of this convenient<br />

payment method. <strong>The</strong> collaboration<br />

between Mastercard and One Global<br />

began in 2007, with a recent focus on<br />

tailored financial solutions and digital<br />

mobile wallets in the Middle East and<br />

North Africa.<br />

noon.com Introduces noon Pay: A Peer-to-Peer<br />

Payments Service<br />

Saudi Arabian e-commerce platform<br />

noon.com has unveiled “noon<br />

Pay,” a peer-to-peer payments<br />

service catering to users in Saudi<br />

Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.<br />

This innovative offering empowers<br />

individuals to transfer money in the<br />

form of noon credits to anyone using<br />

just a mobile phone number or email<br />

ID. To initiate the process, users grant<br />

noon Pay access to their contacts list.<br />

<strong>The</strong> service allows users to utilize<br />

existing credits or add money to their<br />

balance through debit or credit cards.<br />

<strong>The</strong> noon Pay balance can be utilized<br />

on the noon super app, encompassing<br />

noon, noon Minutes, noon Grocery, and<br />

noon Food, as well as the SIVVI app.<br />

Additionally, users can send money<br />

instantly to others through their mobile<br />

number or email address at no cost.<br />

Bahrain Unveils Digital Auction Platform for<br />

Enhanced Trade Opportunities<br />

Mazad, the national overseer<br />

of public and electronic<br />

auctions in Bahrain, has<br />

unveiled a new digital auction<br />

platform and an updated website.<br />

<strong>The</strong> platform, accessible via Android<br />

and iOS apps, is a key component of<br />

Mazad’s innovative strategy, aiming to<br />

enable the purchase of diverse assets<br />

through cutting-edge digital technologies.<br />

Noteworthy features include<br />

asset location through Google Maps,<br />

automated bidding, and expanding<br />

auction categories to include unique<br />

car plate ranges and real estate opportunities.<br />

<strong>The</strong> accompanying website,<br />

“Mazad.app,” offers comprehensive<br />

access to asset information, allowing<br />

bidders to complete all auction processes<br />

electronically. Talal Al Araifi,<br />

CEO of Mazad, emphasized their<br />

commitment to seamless and convenient<br />

service provision. As a portfolio<br />

company of Bahrain’s sovereign wealth<br />

fund Mumtalakat, Mazad is determined<br />

to remain at the forefront of digital<br />

innovation.<br />

Saudi Central Bank<br />

Allows New BNPL<br />

Company<br />

<strong>The</strong> Saudi Central Bank (SAMA)<br />

has granted permission to “Tabby”<br />

to offer Buy Now Pay Later<br />

(BNPL) solutions in the country.<br />

With Tabby’s inclusion, there are now five<br />

authorized companies providing BNPL<br />

services in Saudi Arabia, offering customers<br />

the option to purchase products<br />

and services without incurring financing<br />

costs. This move demonstrates SAMA’s<br />

commitment to bolstering the <strong>Finance</strong><br />

and FinTech sectors, fostering operational<br />

efficiency, and promoting innovative<br />

financial solutions to enhance financial<br />

inclusion in Saudi Arabia. SAMA reiterates<br />

the significance of conducting transactions<br />

solely with authorized financial<br />

institutions.<br />

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

Fintech Application<br />

QLUB<br />

<strong>The</strong> QR Payment<br />

Solution for Dining<br />

Venues<br />

Qlub revolutionizes the<br />

dining experience by offering a seamless<br />

QR payment solution for restaurants,<br />

cafes, lounges, and other dine-in venues.<br />

With Qlub, customers can conveniently<br />

view, split, tip, and settle their bills by<br />

simply scanning a QR code using their<br />

smartphones.<br />

What sets Qlub apart is its user-friendly<br />

approach - customers can make<br />

instant payments without the need for<br />

any app downloads or registrations.<br />

Currently operational in the UAE,<br />

KSA, Turkey, Brazil, Japan, Australia,<br />

India, and Singapore, Qlub has already<br />

become a game-changer for the dining<br />

industry in multiple countries.<br />

By streamlining the payment process,<br />

Qlub accelerates table turnover, leading<br />

to more efficient service and improved<br />

customer satisfaction. Waiters benefit<br />

from increased tips, further enhancing<br />

their motivation to provide top-notch<br />

service. Additionally, Qlub fosters<br />

customer loyalty by offering an easy<br />

and hassle-free payment experience.<br />

<strong>The</strong> versatility of Qlub’s platform<br />

allows customers to split bills with<br />

friends, affording them flexibility in<br />

settling expenses. Accepted payment<br />

methods include Apple Pay, Credit<br />

Card, and instalments.<br />

As a thriving fintech startup, Qlub<br />

boasts a presence in six countries and<br />

has onboarded over 2,000 restaurants,<br />

including renowned brands like Eataly,<br />

Paul, and Bateel.<br />

Recently, Qlub secured substantial<br />

funding from a blend of existing investors<br />

and new backers, such as Al<br />

Dhabi Capital and major family offices<br />

in the UAE. <strong>The</strong>se funds will fuel Qlub’s<br />

expansion plans, focusing on further<br />

development in the UAE, Saudi Arabia,<br />

and Singapore.<br />

With its innovative approach and successful<br />

growth trajectory, Qlub stands<br />

poised to reshape the dining landscape<br />

and transform the way customers pay<br />

at their favorite venues.<br />

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

Wyze Battery Cam Pro<br />

<strong>The</strong> Wyze Battery Cam Pro is a<br />

battery-powered smart home<br />

camera with a unique feature: it’s<br />

capable of continuous recording<br />

even when running solely on battery. So if<br />

your power goes out, the camera won’t miss<br />

a beat (until its battery needs recharging).<br />

Features:<br />

Outdoor/Indoor<br />

No Wires - 100% Wire-Free and Battery-Powered<br />

No Hub or Base Station required<br />

Place it anywhere with hassle free setup<br />

2K HDR Video with Color Night Vision<br />

Capture<br />

Radar + PIR Motion Detection - Double<br />

the sensors for more accurate detections<br />

Integrated Spotlight & Siren<br />

Removable battery packs to avoid downtimes<br />

Twelve South Curve SE<br />

Twelve South’s newest offering<br />

is a more affordable version of<br />

its popular Curve laptop stand.<br />

It looks almost identical to the<br />

Curve, but it has a three-piece design that<br />

snaps together instead of a one piece design.<br />

Curve SE enhances your laptop experience<br />

by providing ergonomic comfort<br />

and better-looking video calls. Its silver<br />

aluminum finish complements most laptops,<br />

and the sturdy design allows for<br />

comfortable typing. Elevate your screen<br />

to a healthier height and lift your webcam<br />

to eye level for improved video calls. For<br />

the perfect dual-screen setup, pair Curve<br />

SE with an external display, or create a<br />

mini desktop with a full-size keyboard and<br />

mouse for added comfort, benefiting your<br />

neck and shoulders.<br />

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

Business<br />

Building Resilience: Risk Management<br />

Best Practices for Ensuring Business<br />

Continuity<br />

In today’s dynamic and unpredictable business landscape, the ability<br />

to withstand and swiftly recover from disruptions is more critical than<br />

ever. <strong>The</strong> evolving nature of risks, from cyber threats to natural disasters,<br />

global pandemics, and supply chain disruptions, has emphasized the<br />

need for businesses to adopt risk management best practices to ensure<br />

continuity. Building resilience is not merely about preparing for the<br />

worst; it’s about creating a flexible, adaptable, and robust business that<br />

can thrive amidst uncertainty and change.<br />

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

Effective risk management breeds resilience,<br />

enabling businesses to overcome challenges<br />

and thrive amidst uncertainties.<br />

Businesses can adopt some<br />

key risk management best<br />

practices to bolster their<br />

resilience against the ever-present<br />

threats. From conducting<br />

comprehensive risk assessments and<br />

developing business continuity plans<br />

to fostering a resilient workforce and<br />

ensuring effective governance, these<br />

guidelines offer a roadmap to fortifying<br />

your business against potential<br />

disruptions. By applying these risk<br />

management best practices, businesses<br />

can not only withstand challenges but<br />

also emerge stronger and more innovative<br />

in their aftermath.<br />

<strong>The</strong> foundation of effective risk<br />

management is a thorough understanding<br />

of vulnerabilities. Conducting a<br />

comprehensive risk assessment involves<br />

identifying all potential disruptions<br />

that could impact your business,<br />

from natural disasters to cyber-attacks<br />

and supply chain breakdowns. Once<br />

you understand the risks, you can<br />

begin implementing plans to mitigate<br />

them effectively.<br />

A proactive business continuity<br />

planning process ensures that critical<br />

services or products can be delivered<br />

during a disruption. <strong>The</strong> plan should<br />

outline the necessary steps to resume<br />

operations as quickly and seamlessly<br />

as possible after a disruption. Regular<br />

testing and updating of this plan are<br />

essential to its effectiveness.<br />

Relying heavily on a single supplier<br />

or location for critical resources can<br />

leave your business vulnerable to<br />

disruptions. By diversifying suppliers,<br />

you reduce the risk of a single point of<br />

failure in your supply chain.<br />

Leveraging technology is another<br />

vital risk management best practice.<br />

This could include investing in cloud<br />

storage to protect against data loss,<br />

utilizing cybersecurity measures to<br />

fend off cyber threats, or harnessing<br />

AI and automation to streamline processes<br />

and reduce human error.<br />

Cyber attacks pose a significant risk<br />

to business continuity. Implementing<br />

strong cybersecurity measures, including<br />

firewalls, encryption, regular<br />

system updates, staff training, and<br />

regular audits, can go a long way in<br />

protecting your business.<br />

Having a financial cushion can<br />

greatly improve your business’s resiliency.<br />

This could include maintaining<br />

a certain level of cash reserves, having<br />

access to lines of credit, or taking<br />

out business interruption insurance.<br />

This provides the necessary funds to<br />

keep your business operating during<br />

a disruption.<br />

A resilient workforce is critical to<br />

navigating disruptions effectively.<br />

Fostering a culture of resilience among<br />

your staff means training them to<br />

handle disruptions, promoting flexible<br />

thinking and problem-solving, and encouraging<br />

staff to take ownership and<br />

responsibility. A resilient workforce<br />

can adapt and respond effectively to<br />

disruptions, helping your business<br />

bounce back more quickly.<br />

An important aspect of risk management<br />

is having a well-defined<br />

and effective crisis management process.<br />

This process should include<br />

clear roles and responsibilities for<br />

decision-making during a crisis, a<br />

communication plan to keep all stakeholders<br />

informed, and protocols for<br />

coordinating with external organizations<br />

such as emergency services, local<br />

governments, and industry regulators.<br />

Regular drills and exercises ensure<br />

that everyone knows their roles and<br />

responsibilities when a real crisis<br />

occurs.<br />

Transparent reporting to senior executives<br />

and the board on risk management<br />

efforts is essential for informed<br />

decision-making. Regular reports<br />

should include updates on the status<br />

of risk mitigation initiatives, outcomes<br />

of testing or crisis exercises, current<br />

risk assessments, and any necessary<br />

recommendations for improvement.<br />

Including senior leadership and board<br />

members in risk management planning<br />

and training ensures that they understand<br />

the company’s preparedness<br />

level and can effectively support and<br />

advocate for these efforts.<br />

Wrapping it up, effective risk management<br />

is the cornerstone of ensuring<br />

business continuity in today’s ever-changing<br />

business landscape. By integrating<br />

these nine risk management<br />

best practices into their operations,<br />

businesses can significantly increase<br />

their capacity to weather disruptions<br />

and emerge stronger. Resilience is not<br />

just about surviving challenges but<br />

using them as catalysts for growth and<br />

innovation. By embracing risk management<br />

best practices, your business is<br />

not just safeguarding its present but<br />

actively shaping a more successful,<br />

sustainable, and resilient future.<br />

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

Business News<br />

Emirates Group & PwC’s Academy Enhance Emirati Workforce Training<br />

<strong>The</strong> Emirates Group has entered<br />

a significant partnership by<br />

signing a Memorandum of<br />

Understanding (MoU) with<br />

PwC’s Academy. This collaboration<br />

aims to provide top-tier training and<br />

certification for the Emirati workforce.<br />

<strong>The</strong> partnership focuses on enhancing<br />

the skills of Emirati professionals in<br />

key departments like human resources,<br />

finance, and audit within the Emirates<br />

Group. PwC Academy, a reputable<br />

institution in the realm of consulting<br />

and advisory services, will offer qualification<br />

training in CIPD, CIA, and<br />

CFA. This strategic move aligns with<br />

the Emirates Group’s Rehlaty strategy,<br />

designed to empower, attract, and<br />

develop UAE nationals.<br />

Emirates and Philippine<br />

Airlines Forge Partnership<br />

Agreement<br />

Emirates has solidified its<br />

presence in the Philippines<br />

through an expansive partnership<br />

deal with Philippine<br />

Airlines (PAL), ushering in broader travel<br />

options within the region. Building<br />

on their interline agreement, Emirates<br />

travellers can now seamlessly access<br />

PAL’s domestic destinations via Cebu<br />

and Clark, in addition to the previously<br />

established connections through<br />

Manila. By encompassing Emirates’<br />

gateways in the Philippines—Manila,<br />

Cebu, and Clark—this collaboration<br />

enables passengers to effortlessly<br />

explore more Philippine locales using<br />

a single ticket and convenient luggage<br />

rules. <strong>The</strong> enhanced deal extends convenient<br />

booking for Emirates travellers<br />

to Philippine Airlines’ network, while<br />

PAL passengers can similarly access<br />

Emirates-operated flights to numerous<br />

global destinations via Dubai.<br />

Saudi Arabia and UAE Report July Surge in<br />

Business Activity Amid Ongoing Growth<br />

Business activity in the non-oil<br />

private sector economies of<br />

Saudi Arabia and the UAE<br />

continued to expand in July,<br />

maintaining the positive growth trend<br />

in the Arab world’s largest economies.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Riyad Bank Saudi Arabia purchasing<br />

managers’ index (PMI) recorded<br />

a reading of 57.7, down from June’s<br />

59.6, but still comfortably above the<br />

BEDU, a regional pioneer in<br />

Web 3.0 and AI is set to transform<br />

digital engagement for<br />

individuals and businesses.<br />

<strong>The</strong> announcement coincides with their<br />

pre-seed investment round, aimed at<br />

propelling growth and industry leadership.<br />

With global AI investments<br />

projected to hit $110B by 2024 and a<br />

potential $15.7T contribution by 2030,<br />

BEDU’s vision is ripe for investment.<br />

Fusing AI and blockchain, BEDU aims<br />

to redefine industries, offering new<br />

user experiences that connect, engage,<br />

and entertain. Notable achievements<br />

include the Virtual Mars Experience<br />

2117 launch with Mohammed bin<br />

Rashid Space Centre and showcasing<br />

technology’s role in art at Art Dubai<br />

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

50-point mark denoting growth. <strong>The</strong><br />

strong performance by non-oil private<br />

sector companies in July can<br />

be attributed to favourable domestic<br />

economic conditions, driving increased<br />

business activity. However, the rate<br />

of new order growth slightly slowed<br />

due to rising competitive pressures<br />

and subsequent price discounting to<br />

boost sales.<br />

Dubai’s BEDU Unveils AI Vision for Internet’s<br />

Future Amid Pre-Seed Round<br />

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

ADNOC Gas Inks Multi-Million Dollar LNG Supply Agreement with Japex<br />

ADNOC Gas of the UAE has<br />

entered into a five-year LNG<br />

supply agreement with Japan<br />

Petroleum Exploration Company<br />

(Japex), with a value ranging from<br />

$450M (AED 1.65B) to $550M (AED<br />

2B). This deal, fostering the UAE-Japan<br />

relationship, comes in the wake of Japanese<br />

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s<br />

July visit to the UAE and other GCC<br />

nations, emphasizing energy security.<br />

Notably, Japan holds a significant position<br />

as a vital energy partner for the<br />

UAE. ADNOC Gas CEO Ahmed Alebri<br />

highlighted the strengthening ties and<br />

global LNG presence facilitated by this<br />

agreement, further supported by AD-<br />

NOC’s ambitious low-carbon LNG growth<br />

project in Al Ruwais Industrial City.<br />

Emirates and Air Canada<br />

Expand Montreal<br />

Codeshare Partnership<br />

Emirates has expanded its<br />

codeshare collaboration<br />

with Air Canada, enabling<br />

passengers to seamlessly<br />

connect from 11 Canadian cities<br />

through Montreal and join Emirates’<br />

global network. <strong>The</strong> partnership offers<br />

a convenient single-ticket option for<br />

travellers connecting between these<br />

cities and international destinations.<br />

<strong>The</strong> 11 Canadian cities encompass<br />

Halifax, Edmonton, Ottawa, and Calgary,<br />

among others. Emirates initiated<br />

services to Montreal with seven weekly<br />

flights on its Boeing 777 aircraft,<br />

while its daily A380 flights connect<br />

Dubai and Toronto. Additionally, the<br />

extended network includes interline<br />

access to 69 more points from the<br />

gateway, strengthening the reach of<br />

this partnership.<br />

Luxe Developers to Decide Contractor for $408M<br />

RAK Luxury Project in Q3<br />

Dubai’s Luxe Developers is<br />

gearing up to select the primary<br />

contractor for their impressive<br />

1.5B UAE dirhams ($408.39M)<br />

residential endeavour, <strong>The</strong> Oceano,<br />

located on Al Marjan Island in Ras Al<br />

Khaimah. In the upcoming third quarter,<br />

Managing Director and Co-owner Siddharta<br />

Banerji informed Zawya Projects<br />

Emirates Development Bank<br />

(EDB), the government-owned<br />

financial institution with a focus<br />

on key sectors in the UAE, has<br />

entered into a preliminary agreement to<br />

introduce supply-chain financing and<br />

working capital solutions for small and<br />

medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in<br />

the country. <strong>The</strong> collaboration involves<br />

Trade Capital Partners (TCP), a technology<br />

platform based in Abu Dhabi<br />

of their intentions. Enabling works have<br />

already commenced at the site, with the<br />

towering 18-story structure projected for<br />

completion by the third quarter of 2026.<br />

While concentrating on enhancing its<br />

presence in the UAE market, Chairman<br />

and co-owner Shubam Aggarwal revealed<br />

the firm’s exploration of opportunities in<br />

Saudi Arabia.<br />

EDB Inks Deal to Introduce Supply-Chain Financing<br />

for UAE SMEs<br />

that specializes in providing working<br />

capital finance solutions to SMEs. This<br />

initiative aligns with EDB’s mission to<br />

bolster startups by leveraging its network<br />

of government and corporate partners.<br />

Facilitated by Abu Dhabi’s tech hub,<br />

Hub71, the partnership aims to establish<br />

a working group to explore innovative<br />

approaches to supply-chain financing,<br />

enhancing working capital optimization<br />

for both buyers and suppliers.<br />

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

Cover Story<br />

Middle East’s Green<br />

Renaissance: Nurturing<br />

Sustainability and Eco-<br />

Initiatives<br />

Embracing ESG Principles for Sustainable<br />

Eco-Initiatives<br />

<strong>The</strong> Middle East stands at the<br />

threshold of a transformative<br />

era, one that heralds a<br />

profound shift towards sustainability<br />

and eco-initiatives. In this<br />

journey, the region is embracing the<br />

Environmental, Social, and Governance<br />

(ESG) framework as a guiding<br />

star, revolutionizing the way businesses<br />

operate, and influencing investment<br />

strategies. This paradigm shift transcends<br />

traditional notions of profit<br />

and loss, championing sustainability,<br />

ethics, and corporate governance as<br />

core tenets of success.<br />

ESG, as a framework, serves as a<br />

multifaceted lens through which organizations<br />

scrutinize their business<br />

practices and assess their performance<br />

on a spectrum of sustainability and<br />

ethical issues. It’s not merely about financial<br />

metrics; it’s a holistic approach<br />

to business that takes into account<br />

environmental impact, social responsibility,<br />

and corporate governance.<br />

More than a buzzword, ESG represents<br />

a commitment to transparency, accountability,<br />

and a proactive stance<br />

on global issues.<br />

In the realm of capital markets,<br />

ESG criteria are reshaping investment<br />

strategies. Investors are increasingly<br />

leveraging ESG data to evaluate companies,<br />

not just for financial performance<br />

but also for their ethical and<br />

sustainable practices. ESG investing<br />

is not a fleeting trend; it’s a fundamental<br />

shift in how we allocate capital,<br />

aligning financial gains with positive<br />

societal and environmental impacts.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Middle East is witnessing a<br />

confluence of ESG trends that are<br />

catalyzing rapid social and economic<br />

change. Governments in the region are<br />

making significant net-zero pledges in<br />

response to climate change, signaling<br />

a bold commitment to environmental<br />

stewardship. Climate change has<br />

emerged as a top environmental priority<br />

for 54% of respondents in a recent<br />

survey conducted by PwC Middle East,<br />

highlighting the growing urgency and<br />

focus on sustainability.<br />

However, there’s a need to bridge<br />

the gap between governmental ESG<br />

priorities and those of corporations.<br />

For meaningful progress, businesses<br />

and governments must align their<br />

strategies, leveraging ESG as a unifying<br />

force for sustainable development.<br />

While the Middle East is firmly on<br />

the ESG radar, it’s evident that the<br />

region is still in the nascent stages<br />

of developing comprehensive ESG<br />

strategies. Although nearly 60% of<br />

surveyed companies, as revealed in<br />

a comprehensive study conducted by<br />

PwC Middle East, claim to have formal<br />

ESG strategies, further examination<br />

reveals gaps in governance and dedicated<br />

ESG teams.<br />

<strong>The</strong> role of specialized ESG teams<br />

becomes evident when considering the<br />

scale and ambition of ESG commitments<br />

in the region. Gender equality,<br />

independent ESG auditing, carbon<br />

neutrality, and net-zero commitments<br />

are becoming focal points. To navigate<br />

these complex challenges effectively,<br />

dedicated teams and systems are<br />

essential.<br />

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

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

Cover Story<br />

Towards a<br />

Sustainable Future<br />

To harness the transformative power<br />

of ESG, a dual approach is imperative.<br />

Businesses must prioritize ESG issues,<br />

with board-level commitment and standardized<br />

disclosures, risk assessments,<br />

and diversity and inclusion mandates.<br />

Simultaneously, government bodies<br />

and regulators must formulate clear<br />

policies and regulations to support<br />

businesses in their ESG transformations,<br />

particularly in environmental<br />

matters.<br />

As the Middle East prepares to host<br />

COP28 in Dubai, sustainability and environmental<br />

issues remain in the global<br />

spotlight. <strong>The</strong> region’s commitment<br />

to net-zero and carbon-neutral pledges<br />

necessitates decisive action across<br />

multiple fronts. <strong>The</strong> journey toward<br />

sustainability is not just a regional<br />

endeavor; it’s a global imperative<br />

that requires concerted efforts from<br />

governments and businesses alike.<br />

In this era of the Middle East’s<br />

Green Renaissance, ESG principles<br />

are steering the course towards a more<br />

sustainable and equitable future. <strong>The</strong><br />

region is embracing the opportunity<br />

to pioneer a new era of responsible<br />

corporate management, ethical business<br />

strategies, and a commitment<br />

to global well-being. <strong>The</strong> journey has<br />

begun, and the Middle East is poised<br />

to lead the way.<br />

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

Key Milestones: Navigating the<br />

Middle East’s ESG Landscape<br />

<strong>The</strong> Middle East’s journey towards a greener future is marked by significant milestones<br />

that underscore its commitment to ESG principles:<br />

1. Saudi Green Initiative & Middle<br />

East Green Initiative:<br />

3. National Net Zero<br />

Commitments:<br />

5. Green Funds and Sustainability<br />

Initiatives:<br />

In 2021, Saudi Arabia launched<br />

these ambitious long-term sustainability<br />

plans, aimed at addressing<br />

climate change, reducing emissions,<br />

and promoting clean energy<br />

usage.<br />

2. UAE’s Non-Mandatory Sustainability<br />

Reporting:<br />

Several Middle East nations, including<br />

KSA, UAE, Qatar, and<br />

Bahrain, made official net-zero<br />

commitments in October 2021,<br />

reinforcing their dedication to<br />

combatting climate change.<br />

4. Oman’s National Net Zero Plan:<br />

Institutions like the Saudi Public<br />

Investment Fund and Saudi Aramco<br />

pledged significant funds to support<br />

green initiatives, underlining<br />

their commitment to environmental<br />

sustainability.<br />

6. Global Climate Conferences:<br />

In January 2021, the UAE introduced<br />

non-mandatory sustainability<br />

reporting requirements for<br />

companies, a step towards greater<br />

transparency and accountability.<br />

In October 2022, Oman unveiled<br />

a National Net Zero plan and a<br />

green hydrogen strategy, signaling<br />

its intent to create green jobs and<br />

contribute to a sustainable future.<br />

<strong>The</strong> upcoming COP28 in Dubai<br />

solidify the Middle East’s position<br />

as a global hub for climate discussions,<br />

bringing international<br />

attention to the region’s sustainability<br />

efforts.<br />

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

Cover Story<br />

Future Horizons:<br />

ESG’s Next Steps<br />

As the Middle East gears up to host<br />

COP28 in Dubai, the world’s focus on<br />

environmental sustainability remains<br />

unwavering. <strong>The</strong> region must continue<br />

to accelerate its ESG journey, fostering<br />

sustainability efforts in four critical<br />

areas:<br />

1. Business Leadership: To drive<br />

progress on ESG, companies in the<br />

Middle East must prioritize ESG<br />

at the board level. Standardizing<br />

ESG disclosures and risk assessments<br />

is imperative, along with<br />

mandates for diversity, inclusion,<br />

and equal pay.<br />

2. Government Policies and Regulations:<br />

A strong call exists for<br />

governments to provide clearer<br />

guidance and policies on ESG,<br />

especially concerning environmental<br />

matters. While regulations<br />

may vary across industries,<br />

international regulations, such as<br />

the European Union’s proposed<br />

Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism,<br />

could impact the region’s<br />

energy exports.<br />

3. Measurement and Impact Assessment:<br />

Metrics for measuring the<br />

tangible impact of ESG initiatives<br />

on communities are essential. Mandates<br />

for diversity, inclusion, and<br />

equal pay in the workplace should<br />

also be reinforced.<br />

4. Global Collaboration: <strong>The</strong> Middle<br />

East should actively engage in<br />

international cooperation on ESG<br />

matters. Collaborative efforts can<br />

accelerate the region’s sustainability<br />

journey and contribute to global<br />

sustainability goals.<br />

With the Middle East taking center<br />

stage as the host of COP28 in Dubai<br />

and with a slew of recent net-zero<br />

commitments, the region’s commitment<br />

to sustainability remains resolute.<br />

<strong>The</strong> spotlight on environmental<br />

sustainability will persist until the COP<br />

presidency is handed over to the next<br />

host country. However, the journey<br />

does not end there; it accelerates.<br />

In conclusion, the Middle East’s<br />

Green Renaissance, guided by ESG<br />

principles, is forging a path towards a<br />

sustainable and equitable future. <strong>The</strong><br />

region’s commitment to environmental<br />

stewardship and responsible corporate<br />

management is inspiring. As it assumes<br />

the presidency of COP28, the Middle<br />

East has a unique opportunity to influence<br />

global sustainability discussions.<br />

Beyond this, the region must continue<br />

its transformative journey, partnering<br />

with businesses and governments<br />

worldwide to make ESG a cornerstone<br />

of our shared sustainable future.<br />

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

SAMSUNG Galaxy Z Flip5<br />

In the ever-growing Flip-style foldable<br />

phone market, competitors<br />

like Motorola and Oppo have<br />

made notable strides. Samsung,<br />

a pioneer in this segment, responds<br />

with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, an<br />

exciting iteration of its Flip series.<br />

While building on the foundation of<br />

the Flip 4, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 stands<br />

out with its standout feature, the<br />

larger 3.4-inch cover display, offering<br />

enhanced functionality without flipping<br />

the phone open.<br />

Retaining its signature design language,<br />

Samsung ensures continuity in<br />

the Galaxy Z Flip 5’s aesthetics. <strong>The</strong><br />

phone maintains the IPX8 water-resistance<br />

rating, proving its durability and<br />

reliability once again.<br />

<strong>The</strong> most significant improvement on<br />

the Galaxy Z Flip 5 lies in its upfront<br />

cover display, now referred to as Flex<br />

Window. With a diagonal measurement<br />

of 3.4 inches, this screen offers 3.78x<br />

more real estate than the Flip 4, making<br />

the 720p 60Hz cover display more<br />

practical and versatile. Users can now<br />

access widgets for controlling music<br />

playback, checking weather updates,<br />

catching up on news, and more, without<br />

even opening the phone. A pinch<br />

gesture activates the Multi Widget<br />

View, allowing easy access to apps<br />

and widgets.<br />

Specifications:<br />

• SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2<br />

• Display: 6.7” 2640 x 1080 120Hz OLED<br />

primary display, 3.4” 720 x 748 60Hz<br />

OLED cover display<br />

• RAM: 8GB LPDDR5X<br />

• Storage options: 256GB or 512GB<br />

• Battery: 3,700mAh<br />

• Ports: USB-C<br />

• Operating System: Android 13 (OneUI<br />

5.1.1)<br />

• Front camera: 10MP f/2.2 (1.22μm<br />

pixels)<br />

• Rear cameras: 12MP f/1.8 wide-angle,<br />

12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide<br />

• Connectivity: 5G (including mmWave),<br />

LTE, Wi-Fi 6e<br />

• Dimensions: Unfolded: 71.9 x 165.1 x<br />

6.9mm, Folded: 71.9 x 85.1 x 15.1mm<br />

• Colors: Graphite, Cream, Lavender,<br />

Mint<br />

• Weight: 187g<br />

• IP Rating: IPX8<br />

• Price: Starting at $1,000<br />

32 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6<br />

<strong>The</strong> Samsung Galaxy Watch<br />

6 combines style and functionality,<br />

featuring a classic<br />

watch face and bezel design<br />

available in gold or graphite, with various<br />

band options like sport, extreme<br />

sports, hybrid leather, and fabric.<br />

This smartwatch goes beyond just<br />

telling the time. It scans your health<br />

data and provides personalized heart<br />

rate zones to optimize your workouts.<br />

You can target specific heart rate<br />

zones for more efficient exercise<br />

routines.<br />

Similar to its predecessor, the Samsung<br />

Galaxy Watch 5, the Galaxy<br />

Watch 6 acts as a sleep coach, offering<br />

insights into your sleep patterns and<br />

suggestions for improving sleep habits.<br />

It can even detect nighttime snoring<br />

and tracks sleep stages. Additionally,<br />

the watch has an always-on heart rate<br />

monitor and can identify irregular<br />

rhythms that may indicate A-fib.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 includes<br />

a BIA sensor, providing readings<br />

on body fat, skeletal muscle, body<br />

water, and Body Mass Index (BMI).<br />

Its seamless connection with Galaxy<br />

devices allows you to access your favorite<br />

music, control your smartphone<br />

camera, make calls, and send texts<br />

from anywhere with ease.<br />

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

Wheels<br />

2024 Nissan Z Nismo<br />

Introducing the 2024 Nissan Z<br />

Nismo: A Track-Focused Performance<br />

Marvel<br />

Nissan raises the bar with the<br />

NISMO edition of the 2024 Nissan Z,<br />

positioned above the Z Performance<br />

in the sports car lineup. Designed for<br />

serious track enthusiasts, the Nismo Z<br />

boasts enhanced stiffness, power, and<br />

track-readiness.<br />

Under the hood, the all-new sports<br />

car features an upgraded 3.0-liter<br />

twin-turbocharged petrol V6 engine,<br />

delivering a staggering 420 horsepower<br />

and 521 Nm of peak torque.<br />

<strong>The</strong> driving experience is elevated<br />

with a 9-speed automatic transmission,<br />

providing dynamic and faster-shifting<br />

performance. Launch control ensures<br />

exhilarating standing-start acceleration,<br />

while the Nismo trim offers<br />

additional Sport+ mode alongside the<br />

Sport and Normal drive modes.<br />

Aesthetically striking, the “Grand<br />

Nose” design element pays homage<br />

to the iconic Nissan Fairlady 240ZG,<br />

adding a touch of heritage to the Z<br />

Nismo’s appearance.<br />

<strong>The</strong> 2024 Nissan Z Nismo takes<br />

performance to new heights with a<br />

range of upgrades, including gloss<br />

black RAYS 19-inch wheels paired<br />

with Dunlop SP SPORT MAXX GT600<br />

tires, a 2.5% increase in torsional<br />

rigidity through a stiffened chassis,<br />

a track-enhanced brake system with<br />

performance-oriented brake pad compound,<br />

and an enhanced suspension<br />

with re-tuned dampers, stiffer springs,<br />

34 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

and new anti-roll bars.<br />

With acceleration reaching 60 mph<br />

in an impressive 4.3 seconds, the 2024<br />

Nissan Z Nismo promises an exhilarating<br />

driving experience for sports<br />

car enthusiasts seeking dynamic performance<br />

and exceptional handling.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Nismo edition adds a new dimension<br />

to the legendary Z series,<br />

making it an ideal choice for those<br />

seeking optimized performance, improved<br />

aerodynamics, and enhanced<br />

driving dynamics on and off the track.<br />

Specifications<br />

Horsepower: 420 hp<br />

Torque: 521 NM<br />

Engine: 0-60 mph in under 4.3 seconds<br />

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

Start-up<br />

<strong>September</strong>’s Startups: Unveiling the<br />

Month’s Most Promising Ventures<br />

In the dynamic landscape of entrepreneurship, the month of <strong>September</strong> has<br />

ushered in a wave of innovation and creativity, as ambitious minds converge<br />

to introduce their groundbreaking ideas to the world. This compilation<br />

celebrates the spirit of ingenuity as we shine a spotlight on a diverse array<br />

of startups that have emerged this month. From revolutionizing tech solutions<br />

to reimagining sustainable consumer goods, these visionary entrepreneurs<br />

are carving their paths to success. Join us as we explore the journeys of<br />

these forward-looking startups: Bayzat, Yallacompare and Remitr.<br />

Bayzat<br />

Talal Bayaa,<br />

Co-Founder and CEO<br />

At the helm of innovation<br />

stands Talal Bayaa, the visionary<br />

CEO of Bayzat, a<br />

leading HR management<br />

software company. Bayzat has transformed<br />

the landscape of human resources<br />

and employee benefits through<br />

its comprehensive, all-in-one platform.<br />

With the mission to simplify and automate<br />

HR tasks, Bayzat’s platform<br />

eliminates the complexities of administrative<br />

work while providing access<br />

to world-class benefits for employees.<br />

Bayzat’s platform offers a multitude<br />

of possibilities, all housed within a<br />

single ecosystem. <strong>The</strong> platform’s offerings<br />

range from streamlining payroll<br />

calculations to providing accessible<br />

and intuitive health insurance options.<br />

This automation frees up HR teams to<br />

focus on strategic initiatives, nurturing<br />

a productive and engaged workforce.<br />

<strong>The</strong> dedicated support provided by<br />

Bayzat ensures a seamless experience,<br />

combining cutting-edge technology<br />

with responsive assistance.<br />

<strong>The</strong> impact of Bayzat extends far<br />

beyond convenience—it has redefined<br />

the way businesses function. By automating<br />

and streamlining operations,<br />

companies can cut costs by up to 40%<br />

and save an impressive 63% of time<br />

previously spent on manual HR and<br />

payroll processes. This efficiency<br />

empowers organizations to redirect<br />

their efforts toward fostering a worldclass<br />

employee experience. Moreover,<br />

Bayzat’s platform ensures 100% compliance<br />

with labor laws, providing<br />

companies with peace of mind in a<br />

regulatory landscape.<br />

Since its inception in 2012, Bayzat<br />

has been a trailblazer in the industry,<br />

offering its unique solutions tailored<br />

to the needs of businesses in the UAE.<br />

Through its visionary leadership and<br />

commitment to innovation, Talal Bayaa<br />

and his team have brought about a<br />

transformation that empowers businesses<br />

to thrive and employees to<br />

flourish. Bayzat’s impact is unmistakable—it’s<br />

not just a software platform,<br />

but a catalyst for positive change<br />

in the way work is approached and<br />

experienced.<br />

36 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Remitr<br />

At the helm of Remitr is CEO<br />

Kanchan Kumar, a visionary<br />

leader driving the company’s<br />

mission to revolutionize financial<br />

services for small businesses.<br />

With a resolute vision to champion<br />

small business success, Remitr is committed<br />

to making financial services<br />

agile, accessible, and convenient. By<br />

providing equitable access to financial<br />

services, Remitr seeks to offer a competitive<br />

advantage to its customers.<br />

Guided by a set of core values that<br />

include challenging the status quo,<br />

valuing honesty and integrity, and<br />

championing collective success, Remitr<br />

believes in the power of anyone<br />

to drive change. <strong>The</strong> company’s focus<br />

on clarity of purpose and its commitment<br />

to learning and leading with<br />

compassion underscore its dedication<br />

to the betterment of its customers and<br />

partners.<br />

Since its inception in 2016, Remitr<br />

has been steadfast in its mission to<br />

facilitate small business growth and<br />

enhance global commerce. With the<br />

motto “Effortless, On-Time, Wherever<br />

You Do Business,” Remitr prioritizes<br />

providing seamless and timely business<br />

payments, allowing small business<br />

owners to concentrate on their<br />

essential work of business expansion.<br />

Remitr doesn’t just stop at payments;<br />

it extends to funding options<br />

as well. Whether it’s Direct Debit,<br />

Ledger Transfer, or eTransfer, Remitr<br />

breaks down the complexities, enabling<br />

informed decisions on payment<br />

methods. Regardless of the funding<br />

method chosen, Remitr ensures faster<br />

payment processing compared to<br />

traditional banking, offering a total<br />

win for businesses seeking efficiency.<br />

Under Kanchan Kumar’s leadership,<br />

Remitr is reshaping the landscape of<br />

Kanchan Kumar,<br />

Co-Founder and CEO<br />

financial services for small businesses,<br />

offering solutions that inspire trust,<br />

reduce friction, and drive growth.<br />

With an unwavering commitment to<br />

its vision and values, Remitr stands<br />

as a catalyst for positive change in the<br />

world of business finance.<br />

Yallacompare<br />

Jon Richards,<br />

Co-Founder & CEO<br />

Under the visionary leadership<br />

of CEO Jon Richards, Yallacompare<br />

has emerged as the<br />

premier finance comparison<br />

platform in the Middle East. With a<br />

dedication to helping users find the<br />

best financial products, from credit<br />

cards to insurance, Yallacompare simplifies<br />

complex choices by presenting<br />

a comprehensive range of options<br />

from local and international banks<br />

and financial institutions.<br />

<strong>The</strong> company’s recent rebrand introduced<br />

a set of core values that<br />

drive every aspect of its operations.<br />

Data-driven decision-making is at the<br />

forefront, enabling Yallacompare to<br />

tailor its offerings to match customer<br />

needs. <strong>The</strong> commitment to accessibility<br />

extends beyond customers to<br />

employees, ensuring an open line of<br />

communication at all times. Transparency<br />

and fairness define the company’s<br />

interactions, as Yallacompare<br />

provides clear and honest information<br />

to its users.<br />

Yallacompare’s dedication goes<br />

above and beyond, as it strives for<br />

excellence and perfection in all endeavors.<br />

Since its launch in August<br />

2011 in the UAE, Yallacompare has<br />

stood by its promise to be a free<br />

resource for users, offering valuable<br />

information without any charges. <strong>The</strong><br />

platform’s extensive array of insurance<br />

and financial products empowers users<br />

to make informed decisions, securing<br />

the best deals and rates for their hardearned<br />

money.<br />

Uniquely impartial, Yallacompare<br />

remains unaffiliated with any specific<br />

insurer or bank. Its user-friendly website<br />

ensures a hassle-free experience<br />

for individuals, regardless of their<br />

financial expertise. A customer-centric<br />

approach is exemplified by a<br />

dedicated support team, ensuring real<br />

human assistance instead of automated<br />

responses.<br />

Founded by a team of experienced<br />

Western expats well-versed in the<br />

UAE’s insurance and financial sectors,<br />

Yallacompare bridges the gap between<br />

traditional and Islamic financial products.<br />

<strong>The</strong> platform injects humor into<br />

the comparison process, alleviating the<br />

tedium often associated with financial<br />

decisions. Yallacompare’s journey<br />

under Jon Richards’ leadership has redefined<br />

how individuals approach their<br />

financial choices, turning complex<br />

decisions into opportunities for empowerment<br />

and financial well-being.<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 37

Energy<br />

Electric Vehicles: Driving the Transition to<br />

Clean Transportation<br />

Electric vehicles (EVs) have emerged as a key solution to combat climate change<br />

and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As the transportation sector is responsible<br />

for about a quarter of global CO2 emissions, transitioning the global vehicle<br />

fleet to zero-emission technologies is crucial for decarbonizing road transport<br />

and meeting climate goals.<br />

38 www.thefinanceworld.com<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Revolutionary changes in transportation,<br />

like electric vehicles and ride sharing, could<br />

slow global warming if done right.<br />

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

(UAE) is at the forefront of<br />

embracing technological<br />

advancements, and as the<br />

world shifts towards sustainability,<br />

the country is making significant<br />

strides in promoting electric vehicles<br />

(EVs) as a key component of its<br />

transportation system. With robust<br />

government support, incentives, and<br />

collaborations with automakers, the<br />

UAE is well-positioned to become a<br />

global leader in electric mobility. This<br />

article explores the future of EVs in<br />

the UAE, highlighting initiatives, incentives,<br />

and infrastructure developments<br />

that are driving the growth of electric<br />

transportation.<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE government is committed<br />

to sustainable development and has<br />

launched the Green Mobility Initiative<br />

to promote electric vehicles. <strong>The</strong>ir<br />

ambitious goal is to have 10,000 EVs<br />

on the road and achieve a 20% share<br />

of electric and hybrid vehicles in the<br />

government fleet by 2020. <strong>The</strong>se initiatives<br />

lay a solid foundation for the<br />

future of EVs in the country.<br />

To encourage EV adoption, the UAE<br />

government offers a range of incentives,<br />

making ownership attractive<br />

and cost-effective. EV owners enjoy<br />

exemptions from registration and<br />

renewal fees, free charging at public<br />

stations until 2021, priority parking,<br />

reduced toll fees, lower insurance<br />

rates, and exemption from Salik road<br />

tolls. <strong>The</strong>se benefits make owning an<br />

electric vehicle more appealing to<br />

consumers.<br />

A robust charging infrastructure is<br />

crucial for EV growth. <strong>The</strong> UAE has<br />

invested significantly in establishing<br />

over 200 charging stations, with plans<br />

to expand this network further. Innovative<br />

solutions, such as fast-charging<br />

stations and wireless charging technology,<br />

are being explored to enhance<br />

convenience and accessibility for EV<br />

owners.<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE has fostered strong partnerships<br />

with leading automakers<br />

like Tesla, Nissan, and BMW, offering<br />

a diverse range of electric and hybrid<br />

models to cater to different consumer<br />

preferences. <strong>The</strong>se collaborations not<br />

only provide various options for buyers<br />

but also contribute to a supportive<br />

ecosystem for EV owners, including<br />

maintenance services and spare parts<br />

availability.<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE prioritizes electrifying public<br />

transportation to reduce emissions<br />

and enhance sustainability. Initiatives<br />

like the Dubai Green Mobility program<br />

introduce electric buses and taxis,<br />

encouraging residents and tourists<br />

to consider electric mobility options.<br />

<strong>The</strong> future of electric vehicles in<br />

the UAE looks promising. As battery<br />

technology advances and costs decrease,<br />

EVs become more affordable<br />

and accessible to a wider audience.<br />

With ambitious sustainability goals<br />

and strong government commitment,<br />

the UAE is poised to become a leader<br />

in electric mobility.<br />

In response to the growing demand<br />

for EVs and the need for reliable<br />

charging solutions, companies like<br />

MEV Charger have emerged to provide<br />

a wide range of EV chargers for<br />

residential, commercial, and public<br />

use. <strong>The</strong>se companies offer installation<br />

services, maintenance, and<br />

support, ensuring a seamless charging<br />

experience for EV owners.<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE’s commitment to sustainability<br />

and innovation in the electric<br />

mobility market extends beyond government<br />

initiatives. A recent survey<br />

indicates that 70% of respondents in<br />

the UAE would consider buying an<br />

electric vehicle in the next five years.<br />

Automakers like Hyundai are investing<br />

in the UAE’s electric mobility market<br />

and offering impressive battery<br />

warranties, making EVs an attractive<br />

option.<br />

Hyundai batteries, made from lithium,<br />

offer several advantages over<br />

other battery materials. <strong>The</strong>y are safer,<br />

more temperature-tolerant, and have a<br />

longer lifespan. Lithium batteries are<br />

also environmentally friendly, as they<br />

can be recycled and reused multiple<br />

times without losing performance<br />

capabilities.<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE ranks among the top 10<br />

countries globally in terms of readiness<br />

for electric mobility. <strong>The</strong> market<br />

is projected to grow at an annual rate<br />

of 30% between now and 2028, with<br />

significant growth trends in the EV<br />

sector and increased tourist footfall.<br />

<strong>The</strong> country’s aim to become carbon<br />

neutral by 2050 drives the rapid expansion<br />

of the electric mobility market.<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE’s dedication to sustainable<br />

and innovative transportation is inspiring.<br />

With robust government support,<br />

incentives, and collaborations, electric<br />

vehicles are driving the transition to<br />

clean transportation. <strong>The</strong> future of<br />

electric mobility looks bright, and as<br />

the UAE embraces this transformative<br />

movement, it leads the way towards a<br />

greener and more sustainable transportation<br />

system.<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 39

Energy News<br />

UAE Unveils $4.5B Funding Initiative to Support Clean Energy Projects in<br />

Africa<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE has pledged $4.5B to<br />

accelerate clean energy projects<br />

in Africa. Major UAE organizations,<br />

including Masdar, Abu<br />

Dhabi Fund for Development, Etihad<br />

Credit Insurance, and AMEA Power, will<br />

contribute to this initiative. Africa50, a<br />

platform backed by African governments<br />

and the Africa Development Bank, will<br />

collaborate in identifying and executing<br />

projects. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Cop28<br />

President-designate, highlighted the<br />

UAE’s history of using commercially<br />

driven blended finance for clean energy<br />

promotion in emerging nations.<br />

<strong>The</strong> focus is on investing in African<br />

countries with clear transition plans,<br />

regulatory improvements, and integrated<br />

grid infrastructure development.<br />

Countries are encouraged to address<br />

financial sustainability, modernize<br />

energy infrastructure, and remove<br />

barriers to investment.<br />

Chinese Solar Company<br />

Explores Saudi Arabia as<br />

Location for Its Overseas<br />

Plant<br />

China’s GCL Technology Holdings<br />

is in advanced discussions with<br />

Saudi Arabia to establish its<br />

first overseas factory as both<br />

nations seek to diversify their energy<br />

collaboration beyond oil. GCL, the world’s<br />

second-largest polysilicon manufacturer,<br />

plans to build a facility in Saudi Arabia capable<br />

of producing 120,000 tons annually,<br />

with operations potentially commencing<br />

by 2025. <strong>The</strong> move capitalizes on Saudi<br />

Arabia’s infrastructure and abundant<br />

sunlight, supporting its shift toward<br />

solar energy. GCL is exploring similar<br />

opportunities in other nations but is<br />

most advanced in Saudi Arabia, where<br />

it has filed for registration and engaged<br />

with local authorities.<br />

Tabreed Explores Expansion of Geothermal<br />

Energy Projects in the UAE<br />

Tabreed, in collaboration with<br />

Adnoc, is actively exploring<br />

additional geothermal energy<br />

projects in the UAE to<br />

meet the surging cooling demands in<br />

the country. <strong>The</strong> companies recently<br />

unveiled the Gulf region’s inaugural<br />

geothermal energy initiative, aimed at<br />

fulfilling 10% of Masdar City’s cooling<br />

needs. <strong>The</strong> technology utilizes the<br />

Earth’s constant heat source from its<br />

core, providing a stable energy supply<br />

compared to intermittent solar or wind<br />

energy. In the UAE, cooling accounts<br />

for over 50% of electricity consumption<br />

in buildings and is expected to surge<br />

due to population growth. District<br />

cooling is set to play a significant role<br />

in demand aggregation.<br />

40 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Abu Dhabi’s New Net-Zero Buildings to Propel UAE’s Decarbonization Drive<br />

Three innovative net-zero energy<br />

buildings in Abu Dhabi, part<br />

of Masdar City’s sustainable<br />

real estate project, signify<br />

a significant step toward the UAE’s<br />

energy reduction and emissions goals.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se high-tech structures employ airtight<br />

envelopes to minimize air leaks,<br />

window design to reduce direct sun<br />

exposure and cooling requirements<br />

and operate entirely on solar power.<br />

Net-zero buildings consume only the<br />

energy they generate on-site, reducing<br />

reliance on the national grid. <strong>The</strong>se<br />

projects align with the UAE’s Net Zero<br />

2050 Strategic Initiative, making a<br />

substantial contribution to decarbonization<br />

efforts. More net-zero energy<br />

projects are planned, further promoting<br />

sustainability in the region.<br />

Dubai Achieves 100% Energy Transmission Reliability<br />

with DEWA’s Smart Technology<br />

Dubai Electricity and Water<br />

Authority (DEWA) has embarked<br />

on power transmission<br />

projects worth over AED<br />

4.2 billion ($1.14 billion), enhancing the<br />

reliability of its energy transmission<br />

systems. In the first half of <strong>2023</strong>, DEWA<br />

successfully commissioned seven 132<br />

kV substations as part of this initiative.<br />

By adopting Fourth Industrial Revolution<br />

technologies, smart solutions,<br />

and innovation across its operations,<br />

DEWA has achieved a remarkable<br />

100% reliability and availability rate for<br />

Dubai’s energy transmission network,<br />

marking a significant milestone in<br />

ensuring uninterrupted power supply<br />

in the emirate.<br />

Dubai Utility Company Seeks Patent for Chemical<br />

Liquid to Boost Energy Storage<br />

UAE’s Green Ambitions<br />

Provide Energy Businesses<br />

the Opportunity<br />

to Transition to Clean<br />

Energy<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE is making significant<br />

strides towards a greener future,<br />

ranking second in the<br />

Energy Transition category<br />

of this year’s Green Future Index. <strong>The</strong><br />

country’s Hydrogen Strategy and updated<br />

UAE Energy Strategy 2050 signal its<br />

commitment to sustainability. <strong>The</strong> UAE<br />

is rapidly becoming both a producer<br />

and supplier of low-carbon hydrogen,<br />

aiming to generate 1.4 million tons<br />

annually by 2031, with the potential<br />

to reach 15 million tons by 2050. This<br />

aligns with growing global demand,<br />

including the EU’s plan to import 10<br />

million tons of renewable hydrogen<br />

within seven years, particularly driven<br />

by geopolitical concerns like the<br />

Russia-Ukraine conflict.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Dubai Electricity and Water<br />

Authority’s Research and Development<br />

Center has applied<br />

for a patent for a chemical<br />

liquid with exceptional thermal and<br />

electrochemical stability, aimed at<br />

enhancing energy storage systems.<br />

This development aligns with the UAE’s<br />

commitment to sustainability and its<br />

transition towards renewable energy<br />

sources and electric vehicle adoption.<br />

<strong>The</strong> chemical liquid is anticipated to<br />

significantly improve the efficiency<br />

of energy storage, especially in lithium-ion<br />

batteries commonly used in<br />

electric vehicles. DEWA’s CEO, Saeed<br />

Mohammed Al-Tayer, emphasized the<br />

importance of such innovations in<br />

advancing energy security and sustainability,<br />

reinforcing Dubai’s position<br />

as a global hub for clean energy and a<br />

sustainable economy.<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 41

SAMSUNG Galaxy Z Fold5<br />

Unveiled at the Galaxy Unpacked<br />

event in Seoul, South Korea,<br />

the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5<br />

marks a step forward in the<br />

world of foldable phones. While it may<br />

seem like a minor refinement compared<br />

to its predecessor, the Z Fold5 packs in<br />

some impressive features that set it apart<br />

from the competition.<br />

Under the hood, the Galaxy Z Fold5<br />

boasts a speedy Snapdragon 8 Gen 2<br />

chip, 12GB RAM, and superfast UFS 4.0<br />

storage, ensuring a seamless and powerful<br />

performance.<br />

One standout improvement is the new<br />

Flex Hinge, which allows the phone<br />

to close fully flat, addressing previous<br />

concerns about dust settling on the inner<br />

screen. This enhancement showcases<br />

Samsung’s commitment to refining their<br />

foldable technology.<br />

Although some similarities exist with<br />

the Z Fold4, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5<br />

stands strong as one of the best foldable<br />

phones available.<br />

Key Specifications:<br />

• SoC: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2<br />

• Display: 7.6” 2176 x 1812 120Hz OLED<br />

primary, 6.2” 2316 x 904 120Hz OLED<br />

cover display<br />

• RAM: 12GB<br />

• Storage options: 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB<br />

• Battery: 4,400mAh<br />

• Ports: USB Type-C 3.2, OTG<br />

• Operating System: Android 13 (One<br />

UI 5.1.1)<br />

• Front camera: 4MP f/1.8 under-display<br />

camera, 10MP f/2.2 cover display<br />

camera<br />

• Rear cameras: 50 MP f/1.8 wide-angle,<br />

12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide, 10MP f/2.4<br />

telephoto<br />

• Connectivity: 5G (including mmWave),<br />

LTE, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC<br />

• Dimensions: 67.1 x 155 x 13 mm<br />

folded, 130 x 155.6 x 6.1 mm unfolded<br />

• Colors: Ice Blue, Phantom Black,<br />

Cream + Samsung.com exclusive<br />

Gray, Blue<br />

• Weight: 253g (8.92Oz)<br />

• Charging: 25W Super Fast Charging<br />

wired, 15W wireless (Qi)<br />

• IP Rating: IPX8<br />

42 www.thefinanceworld.com<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Beats Studio Pro<br />

Beats by Dre latest offering is<br />

the Beats Studio Pro overear<br />

headphones, designed<br />

to elevate your listening<br />

experience to new heights. <strong>The</strong>se<br />

headphones feature a fully custom<br />

acoustic platform, delivering personalized<br />

spatial audio with dynamic head<br />

tracking for an immersive sensation.<br />

Enjoy the utmost clarity with fully<br />

adaptive Active Noise Cancelling, allowing<br />

you to immerse yourself in your<br />

favorite tunes without any distractions.<br />

And when you need to stay aware of<br />

your surroundings, the Transparency<br />

mode seamlessly blends ambient sounds<br />

with your music.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Beats Studio Pro’s cutting-edge<br />

technology includes an updated driver<br />

with a two-layer diaphragm, refined<br />

micro-venting, and stronger magnets,<br />

resulting in rich, balanced sound<br />

with minimal distortion. Compared<br />

to its predecessor, the Beats Studio3<br />

Wireless, the Studio Pro offers up to<br />

80% improved audio fidelity, delivering<br />

an extraordinary surround sound<br />

experience.<br />

With up to 40 hours of battery life,<br />

you can enjoy your music all day long,<br />

and the enhanced compatibility with<br />

both Apple and Android devices ensures<br />

smooth and seamless performance.<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 43

Healthcare<br />

Healthcare Analytics in the UAE:<br />

Leveraging Data for Improved Decision-<br />

Making<br />

<strong>The</strong> future of healthcare in the UAE has never been more promising,<br />

thanks to the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and data<br />

analytics. With the rapid pace of technological advancements, AI is<br />

transforming the healthcare landscape in unprecedented ways. This<br />

includes the adoption of advanced analytics and machine learning,<br />

presenting an enormous opportunity for the healthcare industry in the<br />

UAE and across the MENA region.<br />

44 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Harnessing healthcare analytics in the UAE<br />

for a data-driven and healthier tomorrow.<br />

As convenience and easy accessibility<br />

become essential for<br />

meeting patient expectations,<br />

the collaboration between<br />

AI and data analytics organizations,<br />

alongside healthcare professionals, has<br />

become vital. By harnessing data-driven<br />

insights, healthcare professionals can<br />

focus on a holistic approach to patient<br />

care, ultimately winning patient trust.<br />

Emirates Health Services (EHS) and<br />

Cerner, a global healthcare technology<br />

company, have recently joined forces<br />

with SAS, the leading global analytics<br />

provider, to develop a unique analytics<br />

solution aimed at improving the efficiency<br />

and quality of national health<br />

services in the UAE. This strategic<br />

partnership aligns closely with the UAE<br />

Centennial Plan 2071, which focuses<br />

on enhancing the quality of life for all<br />

citizens through improved healthcare<br />

services.<br />

<strong>The</strong> collaborative solution seeks to<br />

support decision-makers in the UAE<br />

healthcare industry by leveraging the<br />

vast data of current and potential patients,<br />

including their medical history,<br />

clinical data, and financial information<br />

associated with EHS facilities. Utilizing<br />

machine learning-based solutions, the<br />

analytics platform aims to provide<br />

sustainable, integrated, accessible,<br />

efficient, innovative, and high-quality<br />

healthcare services in line with international<br />

standards and the UAE’s vision.<br />

<strong>The</strong> solution acts as a decision enabler,<br />

offering predictive and prescriptive<br />

capabilities such as predicting patient<br />

outcomes and forecasting resource<br />

utilization.<br />

<strong>The</strong> sheer volume of valuable data<br />

generated by EHS, with over 2.5 million<br />

patient visits annually, calls for a technology<br />

solution that can efficiently<br />

deliver accurate and timely clinical,<br />

administrative, and operational data.<br />

<strong>The</strong> implementation of advanced data<br />

analytics simplifies data access and<br />

analysis, removing traditional barriers<br />

to data-based decision-making and<br />

fostering a culture of continuous improvement<br />

at EHS.<br />

<strong>The</strong> analytics-driven approach facilitates<br />

prescriptive analysis, empowering<br />

clinicians to devise focused action plans<br />

and quality care management for at-risk<br />

patients, leading to improved health<br />

outcomes. Additionally, financial analysis<br />

provides healthcare decision-makers<br />

with crucial insights to reduce overall<br />

healthcare costs, particularly for<br />

chronic diseases.<br />

Data analytics plays a vital role in<br />

driving digital transformation across<br />

various sectors in the UAE. Organizations<br />

can gather and analyze data from<br />

multiple sources, enabling data-driven<br />

decisions that enhance operational<br />

efficiency and customer experiences.<br />

By analyzing customer data, businesses<br />

can personalize offerings and marketing<br />

campaigns, resulting in improved<br />

customer satisfaction and loyalty.<br />

Data analytics also helps identify<br />

inefficiencies and streamline workflows,<br />

leading to greater operational efficiency<br />

and cost savings. In addition, analytics<br />

aids in managing risks and detecting<br />

fraudulent activities, particularly in<br />

finance, healthcare, and cybersecurity<br />

industries. With advanced analytics<br />

techniques, proactive decision-making<br />

and strategic planning become possible<br />

by anticipating future trends and<br />

behaviors. Moreover, data analytics is<br />

a cornerstone of smart city initiatives,<br />

optimizing resource allocation and<br />

enhancing the sustainability of cities,<br />

making the UAE well-equipped to harness<br />

the power of data for a prosperous<br />

and innovative future.<br />

<strong>The</strong> healthcare analytics market in<br />

the UAE is set for exponential growth,<br />

offering insights at both macro and micro<br />

levels across various business verticals.<br />

As the country invests in medical infrastructure<br />

and healthcare technologies,<br />

the adoption of data analytics promises<br />

to revolutionize healthcare standards,<br />

clinical data analysis, and business<br />

administration. By democratizing data-based<br />

decision-making and fostering<br />

a culture of continuous improvement,<br />

the UAE is well-positioned to harness<br />

the full potential of healthcare analytics<br />

and drive the nation towards a healthier<br />

and more prosperous future.<br />

Healthcare analytics holds the key to<br />

transforming the future of healthcare<br />

in the UAE. Leveraging data-driven<br />

insights, healthcare organizations can<br />

make informed decisions, optimize<br />

operations, improve patient care, and<br />

reduce costs. <strong>The</strong> strategic partnership<br />

between EHS, Cerner, and SAS<br />

demonstrates the commitment of the<br />

UAE to achieving its healthcare vision<br />

and delivering world-class services<br />

to its citizens. With a focus on digital<br />

transformation and data analytics, the<br />

UAE’s healthcare system is poised to<br />

pave the way for a healthier and more<br />

sustainable future for all.<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 45

Mergers & Acquisitions<br />

Cross-Border M&A: Challenges and<br />

Opportunities in Global Transactions<br />

Cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&A) have become increasingly popular<br />

as businesses seek to expand into new markets, diversify their product offerings,<br />

and strengthen their supply chains. However, this type of international dealmaking<br />

comes with its own set of challenges that can jeopardize the success of<br />

the transaction. In this article, we will explore some of the key challenges faced<br />

during cross-border M&A integration and how an Employer of Record (EOR)<br />

can help alleviate these issues.<br />

46 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

One of the major challenges<br />

in cross-border M&A is the<br />

need to hire and pay new<br />

employees quickly. Delays<br />

in this process can lead to increased<br />

costs and prolong the integration<br />

phase. An EOR, like Deel, can provide<br />

a stopgap solution by assisting with<br />

the migration of employees to the<br />

acquiring company or setting up new<br />

entities efficiently.<br />

Companies pursuing international<br />

M&A often incur high consultation<br />

costs and entity set-up fees. <strong>The</strong>se expenses<br />

can add up quickly and impact<br />

the overall deal economics. However,<br />

by leveraging an EOR, businesses can<br />

save significant costs on legal entity<br />

set-up and HR staff, providing a more<br />

operational challenges. EORs like<br />

Deel offer a wide range of software<br />

integrations to facilitate seamless<br />

alignment and data sync across the<br />

HR tech stack.<br />

Each country classifies employees<br />

and independent contractors differently,<br />

leading to potential legal risks<br />

during cross-border deals. Engaging an<br />

EOR can help reduce the risk of misclassification<br />

by correctly classifying<br />

workers according to local regulations.<br />

Acquiring a company with expat<br />

employees may require the acquiring<br />

company to sponsor their visas. Navigating<br />

the visa application process can<br />

be complex, but an EOR with in-house<br />

immigration and mobility support can<br />

provide valuable assistance.<br />

strategies in place to manage IP rights<br />

and data protection, offering a secure<br />

and compliant solution.<br />

Establishing a permanent presence<br />

in a foreign country can trigger increased<br />

tax burdens. EORs can facilitate<br />

international expansion without<br />

the complexities of setting up a local<br />

entity, reducing the risk of permanent<br />

establishment and ensuring compliance<br />

with local tax rules.<br />

Maintaining employees’ service history<br />

and rights during data migration is<br />

essential for performance management<br />

and legal compliance. EORs with HR<br />

technology solutions can help retain<br />

crucial employee data and ensure<br />

smooth transitions.<br />

Unlocking global potential: An EOR’s<br />

embrace transforms cross-border M&A<br />

hurdles into triumphs.<br />

cost-effective alternative.<br />

Navigating complex international<br />

compliance requirements can be a<br />

daunting task during cross-border<br />

M&A. Failure to comply with local<br />

employment laws and regulations can<br />

result in fines and penalties. An EOR<br />

can offer robust compliance support,<br />

ensuring that employment contracts<br />

are generated in accordance with global<br />

HR practices and local labor laws.<br />

Merging or acquiring companies<br />

often involves integrating their<br />

tech and system synergies. However,<br />

mismatched systems can create<br />

Retaining talent from the acquired<br />

company is crucial for successful<br />

integration. Poor communication,<br />

benefits harmonization issues, and<br />

unclear onboarding processes can<br />

lead to employee attrition. An EOR can<br />

provide change management support,<br />

tailored benefits packages, and smooth<br />

onboarding experiences to increase<br />

retention rates.<br />

Cross-border M&A raises concerns<br />

about protecting intellectual property<br />

and data. Rehiring acquired employees<br />

as independent contractors can<br />

jeopardize IP rights. EORs often have<br />

In conclusion, cross-border M&A<br />

presents a range of challenges that<br />

can impact the success of international<br />

transactions. Engaging an Employer of<br />

Record can provide valuable solutions<br />

to reduce friction during integration,<br />

address compliance requirements, and<br />

support talent retention. By partnering<br />

with an EOR like Deel, businesses can<br />

unlock the true potential of their global<br />

mergers and acquisitions and drive<br />

value creation in the international<br />

marketplace.<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 47

Merger and Acquisition News<br />

EIH Ethmar International Holding Acquires Stake in Gewan Holding<br />

EIH Ethmar International Holding<br />

has strategically acquired a stake<br />

in Gewan Holding, driven by<br />

UAE’s leadership vision. This<br />

move aims to diversify EIH’s investments<br />

and aligns with Abu Dhabi 2030 economic<br />

vision. With a portfolio spanning real<br />

estate, energy, tech, and more, EIH’s 30+<br />

companies thrive sustainably. Gewan, a<br />

diversified Holding company, operates<br />

in real estate, trading, hospitality, and<br />

agri-tech. Ali El Gebely, EIH’s CEO, sees<br />

this as a step towards diversified growth<br />

and sustainable returns. Alaa Al Ali,<br />

Gewan’s Group CEO, echoes the sentiment,<br />

highlighting the shared vision for<br />

impactful projects and UAE’s economic<br />

development. <strong>The</strong> acquisition promises<br />

exciting prospects for both entities.<br />

Abu Dhabi Firms Plan<br />

Giant AED Merger<br />

worth AED 44B<br />

Abu Dhabi’s ADQ and IHC Capital<br />

Holding have unveiled an<br />

ambitious proposition to merge<br />

ADQ’s complete ownership of<br />

Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company<br />

(Adnec) and its majority stake in Modon<br />

Properties, along with IHC Capital’s entire<br />

interest in Modon, forming Q Holding. This<br />

integration would result in a conglomerate<br />

valued at around AED 44B ($12B). <strong>The</strong><br />

merged entity’s diverse portfolio will<br />

encompass real estate developments,<br />

hospitality assets, land plots, and event<br />

venues. Post-merger, Q Holding will<br />

issue a convertible instrument to ADQ<br />

and IHC Capital, which, at a conversion<br />

price of AED 2.70 per share, will translate<br />

to roughly 9,491 million ordinary shares.<br />

UAE’s e& Ventures into Central and East Europe,<br />

Acquires Majority Stake in PPF Telecom<br />

Abu Dhabi-based e&, formerly<br />

known as Etisalat,<br />

has acquired a controlling<br />

stake in PPF Telecom Group’s<br />

assets in Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia,<br />

and Slovakia. <strong>The</strong> telecom company<br />

purchased a 50% plus 1 share stake<br />

in the European company, through<br />

its telecom vertical, e& international.<br />

<strong>The</strong> acquisition includes operations<br />

such as Yettel Bulgaria, Yettel Hungary,<br />

Yettel Serbia, and O2 Slovakia,<br />

along with CETIN and O2 Networks<br />

infrastructure businesses. <strong>The</strong> upfront<br />

cost is €2,150M, with potential earn-out<br />

payments of up to €350M if financial<br />

targets are met. e& and PPF intend to<br />

capitalise on synergies and roll out<br />

digital products across Central and<br />

Eastern Europe.<br />

Al Ansari Proposes Majority Stake Acquisition<br />

in Oman Exchange<br />

Al Ansari Financial Services<br />

PJSC has put forth a formal<br />

proposal to acquire a majority<br />

stake in one of Oman’s<br />

prominent exchange companies. While<br />

the proposal has received initial approval,<br />

it is contingent upon meeting<br />

regulatory conditions. This move aligns<br />

with Al Ansari’s expansion plans in<br />

the GCC region, leveraging the flourishing<br />

Omani economy and its global<br />

partnerships. <strong>The</strong> demand for reliable<br />

exchange services in Oman has surged<br />

due to its robust economy and business<br />

ties. Al Ansari aims to provide<br />

cutting-edge financial solutions to both<br />

individuals and businesses in Oman<br />

by capitalizing on its expertise. Group<br />

CEO Rashed Al Ansari expressed confidence<br />

in this strategic expansion,<br />

anticipating growth in customer base<br />

and shareholder value.<br />

48 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Ma’aden to Secure 10% Stake in Brazilian Base Metals Firm<br />

Saudi Arabian Mining Company<br />

(Ma’aden) is set to obtain a<br />

10% share in Brazil’s Vale, a<br />

base metals firm, as part of<br />

its global mining asset investment<br />

strategy. Through its joint venture<br />

Manara, established with the Public<br />

Investment Fund, Ma’aden inked a<br />

binding agreement for the acquisition.<br />

<strong>The</strong> deal, based on an enterprise<br />

value of $26B, aims to bolster Vale’s<br />

copper and nickel production critical<br />

for advancing new energy transition<br />

technologies. <strong>The</strong> transaction, financed<br />

from Ma’aden’s resources, is subject to<br />

regulatory approvals and is projected<br />

to conclude by Q1 2024, according to<br />

the company’s statement.<br />

UAE’s e& Bids to Raise<br />

Vodafone Stake by 20%<br />

UAE’s Etisalat (e&) has<br />

expressed interest in boosting<br />

its ownership in Vodafone by<br />

20%, according to CEO Hatem<br />

Dowidar’s statement to CNBC Arabia.<br />

This move highlights e&’s strategic<br />

intent to expand its presence within<br />

the telecommunications sector. As<br />

technology and connectivity continue<br />

to evolve, such an investment could<br />

solidify e&’s position in the global<br />

market. However, potential implications<br />

on Vodafone’s operations, management,<br />

and overall market dynamics warrant<br />

consideration.<br />

This situation highlights how the<br />

dynamics of global business collaborations<br />

are constantly evolving, and companies<br />

are continuously striving to reinforce<br />

their position in essential industries.<br />

Nesma & Partners to Acquire Dubai Energy<br />

Services Firm<br />

Nesma & Partners, a Saudi<br />

contracting firm partially<br />

owned by Saudi Arabia’s<br />

wealth fund, has entered an<br />

agreement to acquire Dubai-based energy<br />

services firm Kent, according to a joint<br />

statement. <strong>The</strong> deal, set to conclude by<br />

year-end, will make Nesma & Partners<br />

the exclusive owner of Kent. Regulatory<br />

approvals and closing conditions are<br />

pending. <strong>The</strong> transaction’s value remains<br />

undisclosed. In February, Saudi Arabia’s<br />

Public Investment Fund (PIF), holding<br />

over $600B in assets, invested $1.3B<br />

in local construction firms, including<br />

Nesma & Partners. This strategic move<br />

aims to foster sector growth and global<br />

business expansion for the companies.<br />

ADNOC to Secure 30% Stake in Azerbaijan’s Absheron<br />

Gas Field<br />

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company<br />

(ADNOC) is set to acquire<br />

a 30% stake in Azerbaijan’s<br />

Absheron gas and condensate<br />

field in the Caspian Sea. <strong>The</strong> State<br />

Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR)<br />

and TotalEnergies will each maintain<br />

a 35% stake, marking ADNOC’s entry<br />

into the global gas market. While<br />

financial details remain undisclosed,<br />

TotalEnergies and SOCAR had previously<br />

owned 50% shares in the field.<br />

<strong>The</strong> partnership positions ADNOC to<br />

establish a significant presence in a<br />

region abundant with natural resources<br />

and growth potential, enabling access<br />

to international gas markets in Europe<br />

and Central Asia during the transition<br />

to low-carbon energy systems.<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 49

Cryptocurrency<br />

Crypto Innovations: Exploring the Latest<br />

Blockchain Projects and Protocols<br />

In today’s fast-paced digital age, the world of cryptocurrency and<br />

blockchain technology has undergone significant transformation,<br />

presenting numerous innovative projects and protocols that continue<br />

to disrupt various industries. Blockchain protocols, in particular, have<br />

emerged as the backbone of this revolutionary technology, enabling<br />

secure, transparent, and decentralized transactions. In this article, we<br />

will delve into the latest blockchain projects and protocols that are<br />

driving the crypto innovation landscape.<br />

50 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Before diving into the latest<br />

innovations, it is crucial to<br />

grasp the fundamentals of<br />

blockchain protocol technology.<br />

At the heart of blockchain lies a<br />

set of rules and procedures that govern<br />

the behavior of the entire network,<br />

known as a blockchain protocol. This<br />

protocol outlines how transactions<br />

are validated, recorded, and stored<br />

on the blockchain, ensuring that all<br />

participants in the network follow<br />

the same rules to create a consensus<br />

mechanism that guarantees the integrity<br />

and immutability of the blockchain.<br />

One of the key components of blockchain<br />

protocols is cryptography, which<br />

plays a vital role in securing transactions<br />

and data within the blockchain<br />

network. Cryptographic algorithms<br />

enable secure communication, data<br />

privacy, and authentication of participants.<br />

Techniques like hash functions,<br />

digital signatures, and public-key cryptography<br />

are widely used in blockchain<br />

protocols to ensure the confidentiality<br />

and integrity of transactions and data.<br />

<strong>The</strong> creation of an immutable ledger<br />

is a fundamental characteristic<br />

of blockchain protocols. This feature<br />

enhances the trustworthiness of the<br />

blockchain, as every transaction is<br />

recorded and visible to all participants.<br />

Moreover, the decentralized nature<br />

of blockchain ensures that no single<br />

entity has the power to manipulate or<br />

tamper with the ledger. Decentralization<br />

spreads power among multiple nodes,<br />

increasing security, reducing the risk of<br />

single points of failure, and fostering<br />

transparency and trust.<br />

One of the most revolutionary aspects<br />

of blockchain protocols is the introduction<br />

of smart contracts. Smart contracts<br />

are self-executing contracts with the<br />

terms of the agreement directly written<br />

into code. <strong>The</strong>y enable automation of<br />

processes, eliminate the need for intermediaries,<br />

and provide tamper-proof<br />

and transparent execution. Ethereum’s<br />

protocol, for instance, introduced the<br />

concept of Turing-complete smart<br />

contracts, leading to a wide range of<br />

decentralized applications (DApps) and<br />

use cases across various industries.<br />

Consensus mechanisms are another<br />

integral part of blockchain protocols,<br />

ensuring that all participants agree<br />

Blockchain<br />

protocols are<br />

revolutionizing<br />

industries,<br />

empowering<br />

businesses<br />

to innovate<br />

and thrive in<br />

a dynamic<br />

crypto<br />

landscape,<br />

where<br />

possibilities<br />

are boundless.<br />

on the validity of transactions. <strong>The</strong>se<br />

mechanisms are crucial in distributed<br />

systems with the potential for malicious<br />

actors. Various consensus algorithms,<br />

such as Proof-of-Work (PoW), Proof-of-<br />

Stake (PoS), and Delegated Proof-of-<br />

Stake (DPoS), offer unique advantages<br />

and trade-offs. <strong>The</strong>y collectively aim<br />

to maintain network security, achieve<br />

agreement on the state of the blockchain,<br />

and prevent fraudulent activities.<br />

Now that we have a solid understanding<br />

of the core features of blockchain<br />

protocols, let’s explore some of the<br />

latest blockchain projects and protocols<br />

that are making waves in the crypto<br />

innovation space.<br />

Polkadot (DOT) is a pioneering<br />

blockchain project that focuses on<br />

interoperability between different<br />

blockchains. It achieves this through<br />

its unique heterogeneous multi-chain<br />

architecture, allowing various blockchains<br />

to connect and share information<br />

securely. Polkadot’s protocol enables<br />

cross-chain communication, facilitating<br />

seamless integration between different<br />

applications and ecosystems. By eliminating<br />

the siloed nature of traditional<br />

blockchains, Polkadot paves the way<br />

for increased scalability, efficiency,<br />

and innovation in the crypto space.<br />

Filecoin (FIL) is a blockchain protocol<br />

that reimagines cloud storage solutions<br />

by leveraging decentralized file storage.<br />

It incentivizes users to rent out their<br />

unused storage space in return for<br />

cryptocurrency rewards. This approach<br />

creates a vast and decentralized storage<br />

network that ensures data redundancy<br />

and enhanced security. Filecoin’s<br />

protocol fosters a peer-to-peer storage<br />

marketplace, providing a cost-effective<br />

and censorship-resistant alternative to<br />

centralized cloud storage providers.<br />

Solana (SOL) is a high-performance<br />

blockchain protocol designed<br />

to address scalability issues faced by<br />

other blockchain networks. Its unique<br />

architecture utilizes a combination of<br />

Proof-of-History (PoH) and Proof-of-<br />

Stake (PoS) consensus mechanisms<br />

to achieve high throughput and low<br />

transaction fees. Solana’s protocol<br />

enables developers to build decentralized<br />

applications that can handle high<br />

transaction volumes, making it suitable<br />

for various real-world use cases.<br />

Cardano (ADA) is a third-generation<br />

blockchain protocol that focuses on<br />

sustainability, scalability, and interoperability.<br />

Its protocol employs a unique<br />

PoS mechanism known as the Ouroboros<br />

algorithm, ensuring energy efficiency<br />

and reducing the environmental impact<br />

compared to PoW-based networks. Cardano’s<br />

commitment to peer-reviewed<br />

academic research and a modular design<br />

approach makes it a promising platform<br />

for enterprise-level applications and<br />

smart contract development.<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 51

Real Estate<br />

Risk Management in Real Estate Financing:<br />

Strategies for Mitigating Market Volatility<br />

Investing in real estate can be a lucrative venture, but it is not without<br />

its risks. One of the most significant risks in real estate financing is<br />

market volatility. <strong>The</strong> unpredictable nature of the real estate market<br />

can lead to fluctuations in property values, interest rates, and demand,<br />

all of which can impact your investment returns. To safeguard your<br />

investments and minimize potential losses, it is essential to adopt<br />

effective risk management strategies. In this article, we will explore<br />

some key strategies to mitigate market volatility in real estate financing.<br />

52 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Minimize real estate risk, embrace<br />

opportunity: Diversify, leverage wisely, stay<br />

informed, manage assets proactively, and<br />

build reserves to conquer market volatility.<br />

Diversification is a time-tested<br />

strategy that can help reduce<br />

risk in any investment<br />

portfolio, and real estate<br />

is no exception. By spreading your<br />

investments across various types of<br />

properties in different locations, you<br />

can mitigate the impact of market volatility<br />

in any single region or sector. For<br />

example, owning a mix of residential,<br />

commercial, and industrial properties<br />

in different cities or states can<br />

provide a more stable and balanced<br />

investment profile. Diversification<br />

allows you to capture the potential<br />

upside in different markets while also<br />

minimizing exposure to any specific<br />

market downturn.<br />

Leveraging debt to invest in real<br />

estate can enhance returns when the<br />

market is favorable, but it can also<br />

amplify losses during downturns. Overleveraging<br />

increases your exposure to<br />

interest rate fluctuations and may put<br />

you at risk of default if property values<br />

decline. To manage risk effectively,<br />

maintain a conservative approach to<br />

debt. Limit your loan-to-value ratio<br />

and ensure that your rental income<br />

covers mortgage payments comfortably.<br />

A well-calculated debt strategy<br />

will provide financial flexibility and<br />

a cushion during market downturns.<br />

Staying informed about market<br />

trends and economic conditions is<br />

crucial for any real estate investor.<br />

Regularly monitor local and national<br />

real estate data, economic indicators,<br />

and demographic trends. This information<br />

will help you anticipate potential<br />

shifts in the market and make well-informed<br />

decisions. Being proactive in<br />

monitoring market conditions allows<br />

you to adjust your investment strategy<br />

promptly, reducing the impact of market<br />

volatility on your portfolio.<br />

Property management plays a vital<br />

role in risk mitigation. Effective asset<br />

management helps minimize vacancies<br />

and ensures timely maintenance and<br />

repairs. Well-maintained properties<br />

are more likely to attract and retain<br />

tenants, providing a steady income<br />

stream even during uncertain market<br />

conditions. Additionally, proactively<br />

addressing repair issues can prevent<br />

potential larger problems, saving you<br />

time and money in the long run.<br />

Investing in Real Estate Investment<br />

Trusts (REITs) can be a viable strategy<br />

to hedge against market volatility.<br />

REITs are investment vehicles that<br />

pool capital from multiple investors<br />

to invest in a diversified portfolio of<br />

income-generating properties. <strong>The</strong>y<br />

provide exposure to the real estate<br />

market without direct ownership of<br />

physical properties. By diversifying<br />

your real estate holdings with REITs,<br />

you can spread risk across multiple<br />

properties and markets, further reducing<br />

the impact of market fluctuations<br />

on your overall portfolio.<br />

Maintaining sufficient cash reserves<br />

is a crucial risk management strategy<br />

in real estate financing. Economic<br />

downturns or unexpected property-related<br />

expenses can strain your cash<br />

flow, making it challenging to meet<br />

financial obligations. Having adequate<br />

reserves ensures that you can continue<br />

to hold your real estate assets during<br />

challenging times, avoid forced sales,<br />

and capitalize on opportunities when<br />

the market rebounds.<br />

Real estate investing offers significant<br />

potential for long-term wealth<br />

creation, but it also involves inherent<br />

risks, particularly when it comes to<br />

market volatility. Employing effective<br />

risk management strategies is essential<br />

for protecting your investments and<br />

minimizing the impact of market fluctuations.<br />

Diversification, prudent use<br />

of debt, continuous market research,<br />

proactive asset management, REIT<br />

investments, and building reserves are<br />

all integral components of a comprehensive<br />

risk management plan in real<br />

estate financing. By adopting these<br />

strategies, you can position yourself<br />

to weather market ups and downs<br />

while achieving sustainable success<br />

in the dynamic world of real estate<br />

investment.<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 53

Real Estate News<br />

Al Habtoor Tower Redefines Luxury Living in Dubai<br />

Al Habtoor Group, a leading<br />

UAE conglomerate, has raised<br />

the benchmark for luxury and<br />

comfort with the recently<br />

launched Al Habtoor Tower. <strong>The</strong> largest<br />

residential building in the world, the<br />

tower spans 81 floors (G+7+73) and<br />

covers 3,517,313 sq ft, offering 1,701<br />

keys for ultra-luxurious living. Its<br />

completion is expected by mid-2026.<br />

Positioned in a highly sought-after<br />

area in Dubai, the skyscraper provides<br />

stunning views of the city skyline.<br />

Spread across three levels, the tower’s<br />

unique and world-class amenities<br />

promise unparalleled hospitality to its<br />

residents. Al Habtoor Tower sets out<br />

to redefine urban living and meet the<br />

rising demand for luxury residences<br />

in Dubai.<br />

Dubai’s Prime Office Rent Surges 50% in H1, Report<br />

Shows<br />

In H1 <strong>2023</strong>, demand for office space<br />

in Dubai saw a remarkable 23%<br />

increase, resulting in a severe<br />

supply shortage and driving up<br />

rents in prime locations. Knight Frank,<br />

the global real estate consultancy,<br />

reported that the market witnessed<br />

an unprecedented spike, with office<br />

space demand reaching 580,000 square<br />

feet during the period. Notably, the<br />

Dubai International Financial Centre<br />

(DIFC) emerged as the most expensive<br />

location, while Business Bay, the Trade<br />

Center District, and Dubai Marina also<br />

experienced a surge in demand, leading<br />

to corresponding rent increases of<br />

69%, 54%, and 54%, respectively. <strong>The</strong><br />

investment market also thrived with a<br />

35% increase in transaction volumes,<br />

totaling AED 2.2B.<br />

Qatar’s Q2 <strong>2023</strong> sees<br />

Apartment Rents Revert<br />

to Pre-<strong>World</strong> Cup Levels<br />

In the second quarter of <strong>2023</strong>, Qatar’s<br />

real estate market witnessed<br />

a significant decline in apartment<br />

rents, with rates either returning<br />

to or even dropping below pre-<strong>World</strong><br />

Cup levels. <strong>The</strong> Cushman & Wakefield<br />

Qatar’s ‘Q2 Real Estate Market Review’<br />

revealed that the surge in demand during<br />

the 2022 FIFA <strong>World</strong> Cup has subsided,<br />

leading to a decrease in residential<br />

rents since March of this year. <strong>The</strong><br />

availability of vacant apartments has<br />

notably increased during the first half<br />

of <strong>2023</strong>, contributing to the downward<br />

trend. As additional apartment supplies<br />

by Ezdan and ongoing constructions<br />

emerge, the market is expected to<br />

experience further pressure on rental<br />

prices. <strong>The</strong> report highlights new developments,<br />

such as La Plage South and<br />

Giardino Village on <strong>The</strong> Pearl Island,<br />

and Lusail, which have introduced<br />

more prime apartments, resulting in<br />

declining rents.<br />

Kerten Plans 200-Unit<br />

Serviced Apartments<br />

in NEOM<br />

Ireland-based Kerten Hospitality<br />

has partnered with NEOM, the<br />

developer of a futuristic city in<br />

Saudi Arabia, to introduce its<br />

House Residence brand within the<br />

Oxagon development. <strong>The</strong> agreement<br />

entails the opening of an upscale<br />

200-unit serviced apartments within<br />

Oxagon’s first residential community,<br />

scheduled to open in 2025. Oxagon aims<br />

to redefine urban living by integrating<br />

offices, recreational and sports facilities,<br />

mobility solutions, and unique<br />

hospitality and retail concepts in harmony<br />

with nature. Kerten Hospitality’s<br />

CEO, Marloes Knippenberg, views the<br />

venture as a transformative statement<br />

to evolve habitats, foster thriving<br />

communities, and redefine the human<br />

experience. NEOM, located in Saudi<br />

Arabia’s northwest region, aspires to<br />

be a global leader in sustainable urban<br />

living and enhanced livability.<br />

54 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Bahrain’s Real Estate<br />

Sector Sustains Growth<br />

Momentum<br />

According to the Q2 <strong>2023</strong><br />

Bahrain Property Market in<br />

Minutes report by Savills,<br />

Bahrain’s real estate sector<br />

experienced continued growth during<br />

this period. Residential sales, rents, and<br />

office spaces all saw similar increases,<br />

while the industrial warehousing sector<br />

enjoyed greater rent stability due to<br />

government efforts to diversify the<br />

economy. On the other hand, retail<br />

rental rates faced intense downward<br />

pressure, with prices falling by an<br />

average of 7 percent over the past<br />

year. <strong>The</strong> demand for villas outpaced<br />

the apartment sector, especially in the<br />

mid-range segment. Capital values for<br />

both villas and apartments remained<br />

steady during the second quarter, but<br />

year-on-year values increased by 2.3<br />

percent. High-end villa developments<br />

experienced a slight decrease in average<br />

capital values on a quarterly basis.<br />

Settler Reveals Luxury Apartment Transformation<br />

in Dubai<br />

Settler, a visionary in interior<br />

renovations, has collaborated<br />

with a renowned designer to<br />

unveil a luxurious apartment<br />

transformation at City Walk in Dubai.<br />

<strong>The</strong> project, meticulously crafted over a<br />

month, showcases bespoke design and<br />

attention to detail, promising to leave<br />

a lasting impression on all who enter.<br />

Settler’s expertise extends beyond<br />

visual aesthetics, as the apartment’s<br />

layout was thoughtfully redesigned to<br />

maximize space and create a harmonious<br />

and comfortable environment.<br />

With a focus on quality, the walls were<br />

adorned with exquisite paints, and<br />

carefully chosen flooring ensures both<br />

visual appeal and long-lasting durability.<br />

Settler’s commitment to excellence has<br />

earned them a reputation as industry<br />

trailblazers.<br />

Saudi’s GASTAT Reports 0.8% Real Estate Price<br />

Increase in Q2 <strong>2023</strong><br />

According to the General<br />

Authority for Statistics<br />

(GASTAT), the real estate<br />

price index in Riyadh increased<br />

by 0.8% in the second quarter<br />

of <strong>2023</strong> compared to the same period<br />

in 2022, mainly driven by a 1.1% surge<br />

in residential property prices. <strong>The</strong><br />

report highlighted a 1.2% annual increase<br />

in prices for residential plots,<br />

while apartment prices rose by 1.0%.<br />

However, building and villa prices<br />

declined by 0.9% and 5.0% respectively,<br />

and house prices dipped by 0.1%. In the<br />

commercial sector, real estate prices<br />

increased by 0.2%, influenced by a 0.2%<br />

rise in commercial plot prices, while<br />

agricultural land prices decreased by<br />

0.3%. Consequently, GASTAT computes<br />

the index on a quarterly basis, categorizing<br />

it by various sectors and types<br />

of real estate across all administrative<br />

regions of Saudi Arabia.<br />

RAK Properties Reports Soaring H1 Revenue Due to High Residential Demand<br />

RAK Properties, a leading<br />

UAE real estate development<br />

company, experienced robust<br />

growth in H1 <strong>2023</strong>, with a<br />

remarkable 164% surge in revenue,<br />

totaling AED 511.64M ($140M). <strong>The</strong><br />

significant revenue increase was primarily<br />

fueled by strong demand for new<br />

project launches in Abu Dhabi and Ras<br />

Al Khaimah, as well as the successful<br />

handover of residential projects. Net<br />

profit also witnessed exceptional<br />

growth, exceeding three-fold to AED<br />

88.19M compared to AED 25.55M in<br />

the previous year. <strong>The</strong> company’s<br />

hospitality assets played a key role in<br />

strengthening revenue streams and<br />

enhancing Mina Al Arab’s reputation<br />

as a premier lifestyle destination in<br />

Ras Al Khaimah.<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 55

Wheels<br />

<strong>2023</strong> Ford F-150<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>2023</strong> F-150 has evolved<br />

significantly, featuring an<br />

aluminum body, turbocharged<br />

powertrains, and even a<br />

hybrid option, showcasing Ford’s<br />

latest technology. It caters to various<br />

needs, from the practical XL work truck<br />

to upscale trims like Platinum and<br />

Limited, offering luxurious features.<br />

While it may not match the ride comfort<br />

of the Ram 1500 or the handling of<br />

the Chevy Silverado, its impressive<br />

capability and configurability maintain<br />

its competitive edge.<br />

New for <strong>2023</strong> is the off-road-oriented<br />

Rattler trim, a more affordable option<br />

with unique features like 18-inch wheels,<br />

dual exhaust, hill-descent control, a<br />

locking rear differential, and off-road<br />

suspension, all adorned with distinctive<br />

rattlesnake-inspired logos.<br />

<strong>The</strong> lineup offers various body styles<br />

and bed lengths. <strong>The</strong> XLT improves<br />

upon the XL, while the Lariat adds<br />

more luxury for a slightly higher price.<br />

Under the hood, the <strong>2023</strong> F-150 offers<br />

multiple engine options, including a<br />

290-hp 3.3-liter V-6, a 400-hp 5.0-liter V-8,<br />

twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter and 3.5-liter<br />

V-6 options, and a 250-hp 3.0-liter<br />

diesel V-6, all mated to a 10-speed<br />

automatic transmission. Additionally,<br />

there’s a hybrid powertrain with a<br />

400-hp combination of a twin-turbo<br />

V-6, a 35 kW electric motor, and a<br />

10-speed automatic transmission,<br />

56 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

offering impressive driving range and<br />

acting as an onboard generator.<br />

<strong>The</strong> F-150 excels in performance and<br />

versatility, with rear- and four-wheel<br />

drive options available. <strong>The</strong> four-wheel<br />

drive Lariat hybrid can reach 60 mph<br />

in just 5.4 seconds, highlighting its<br />

impressive acceleration. <strong>The</strong> Tremor<br />

model, with robust off-road capabilities,<br />

reaches 60 mph in 5.3 seconds, just 0.1<br />

second slower than the more powerful<br />

Raptor.<br />

Specifications<br />

Horsepower: 400-hp 5.0-liter V-8<br />

Transmission: 10-speed automatic<br />

Acceleration: 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 57

Funding & Investment<br />

Unlocking Startup Success: A Guide to<br />

Securing Funding in the UAE<br />

Launching a startup is an exhilarating endeavour, but turning innovative<br />

ideas into a viable business requires more than just a great concept.<br />

One of the most critical aspects of nurturing a startup’s growth is<br />

securing adequate funding. For entrepreneurs in the United Arab<br />

Emirates (UAE), a country known for its dynamic business landscape<br />

and robust economy, opportunities for startup funding are abundant. In<br />

this guide, we will delve into the strategies and resources that can help<br />

aspiring entrepreneurs unlock startup success by securing funding in<br />

the UAE.<br />

58 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

As the Middle East continues to innovate, invest, and<br />

engage audiences, it will play a significant role in<br />

shaping the future of the global gaming industry.<br />

Understanding the Startup<br />

Ecosystem in the UAE<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE has rapidly<br />

emerged as a hub for innovation<br />

and entrepreneurship in the<br />

Middle East. <strong>The</strong> government’s strategic<br />

focus on diversifying the economy has<br />

resulted in a supportive ecosystem<br />

for startups, attracting both local and<br />

international investors. Dubai and<br />

Abu Dhabi, in particular, have become<br />

global business destinations, offering<br />

infrastructure, connectivity, and policies<br />

that favour startups.<br />

Business Incubators and Accelerators<br />

Startup incubators and accelerators<br />

play a pivotal role in nurturing new<br />

businesses. <strong>The</strong>se programs provide<br />

not only funding but also mentorship,<br />

resources, and networking opportunities.<br />

In the UAE, several renowned programs<br />

like Dubai Future Accelerators, in5 Innovation<br />

Centers, and Flat6Labs offer<br />

tailored support for startups across<br />

various industries.<br />

Venture Capital Firms<br />

Venture capital firms are actively<br />

seeking investment opportunities in the<br />

UAE’s burgeoning startup scene. <strong>The</strong>se<br />

firms provide funding in exchange for<br />

equity, making them a crucial source<br />

of capital for startups. Prominent<br />

venture capital firms operating in the<br />

UAE include BECO Capital, Middle<br />

East Venture Partners (MEVP), and<br />

Wamda Capital.<br />

Angel Investors<br />

Angel investors are high-net-worth<br />

individuals who invest their personal<br />

funds in startups. <strong>The</strong>y often provide<br />

not only financial support but also<br />

valuable expertise and connections.<br />

Platforms like AngelList have facilitated<br />

connections between startups and<br />

angel investors in the UAE, helping<br />

entrepreneurs access the resources<br />

they need to succeed.<br />

Government Initiatives<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE government has been proactive<br />

in fostering entrepreneurship<br />

through various initiatives and funds.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Mohammed bin Rashid Fund for<br />

SMEs, for instance, offers financial<br />

support to Emirati entrepreneurs,<br />

while the Khalifa Fund provides funding<br />

to startups in Abu Dhabi. <strong>The</strong>se<br />

initiatives can significantly ease the<br />

financial burden on startups during<br />

their early stages.<br />

Crowdfunding<br />

<strong>The</strong> rise of digital platforms has<br />

democratized funding through crowdfunding.<br />

Entrepreneurs can present<br />

their business ideas to a broad audience<br />

and raise capital from individual<br />

contributors. Platforms like Eureeca,<br />

based in Dubai, specialize in equity<br />

crowdfunding, allowing startups to<br />

attract a diverse range of investors.<br />

Pitch Competitions and Events<br />

Participating in startup pitch competitions<br />

and events is an excellent way<br />

to gain exposure and secure funding.<br />

Events like GITEX Future Stars, STEP<br />

Conference, and Seedstars <strong>World</strong> often<br />

offer cash prizes, investment opportunities,<br />

and valuable feedback from<br />

seasoned entrepreneurs and investors.<br />

Networking and Relationship Building<br />

Building relationships within the<br />

UAE’s business community is crucial<br />

for securing funding. Attending industry<br />

events, workshops, and networking<br />

sessions can help entrepreneurs connect<br />

with potential investors and partners.<br />

Establishing a strong presence on professional<br />

platforms like LinkedIn can<br />

also facilitate meaningful connections.<br />

Preparing a Strong Pitch<br />

Regardless of the funding source, a<br />

compelling pitch is essential. It’s crucial<br />

to clearly articulate the problem your<br />

startup addresses, your solution, market<br />

potential, competitive advantage, and<br />

your team’s expertise. A well-prepared<br />

pitch deck can captivate investors and<br />

instill confidence in your startup’s<br />

potential for success.<br />

Securing funding is a pivotal step<br />

in the startup journey, and the UAE<br />

offers a plethora of opportunities for<br />

entrepreneurs to obtain the financial<br />

support they need. By leveraging the<br />

diverse funding sources available in the<br />

country, startups can not only secure<br />

the necessary capital but also gain<br />

access to valuable mentorship, guidance,<br />

and networks that are essential<br />

for long-term success.<br />

Remember, the process of securing<br />

funding requires persistence, adaptability,<br />

and a willingness to learn from rejections.<br />

Each interaction with potential<br />

investors is an opportunity to refine<br />

your pitch and better understand the<br />

needs and expectations of the market.<br />

As the UAE’s startup ecosystem continues<br />

to flourish, the possibilities for<br />

innovative entrepreneurs are boundless,<br />

making this vibrant country a promising<br />

destination for those looking to unlock<br />

their startup’s true potential.<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 59

Funding and Investment News<br />

UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth Unveils Funding Program for Creatives<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE Ministry of Culture and<br />

Youth has taken a significant step<br />

in bolstering the creative industry<br />

by launching a new funding<br />

program. Geared towards supporting<br />

creatives, this initiative aims to nurture<br />

talent and drive innovation across various<br />

artistic fields. <strong>The</strong> program provides financial<br />

assistance to individuals and groups<br />

engaged in art, literature, music, film,<br />

design, and other creative disciplines. By<br />

facilitating access to funds, the ministry<br />

seeks to empower artists and encourage<br />

the development of cultural projects that<br />

enrich the nation’s vibrant artistic landscape.<br />

This move highlights the UAE’s<br />

commitment to promoting creativity and<br />

nurturing a thriving environment for its<br />

creative community.<br />

MENA Startup Ventures<br />

Face 26% Funding<br />

Plunge in Q2<br />

<strong>The</strong> MENA region experienced<br />

a troubled quarter in venture<br />

financing, with startup ventures<br />

witnessing a significant 26<br />

percent plunge in funding to reach $1.4B<br />

in Q2 <strong>2023</strong>, compared to the same period<br />

last year, according to the latest market<br />

research. <strong>The</strong> number of funding deals<br />

also declined for the second consecutive<br />

quarter, totaling 206 in the April-June<br />

period, a 20 percent fall from Q1 <strong>2023</strong>,<br />

as reported by the latest CB Insights<br />

report. Despite the challenging funding<br />

environment, digital health startups in the<br />

region stood out, with a remarkable 106<br />

percent increase in funding over Q2 2022.<br />

Mubadala Invests in US Data Centre Firm<br />

Abu Dhabi’s sovereign investor,<br />

Mubadala Investment Company,<br />

has recently invested<br />

in Aligned Data Centres, a<br />

prominent data centre company headquartered<br />

in the US. Mubadala will<br />

become a minority partner alongside<br />

Macquarie Asset Management, the<br />

majority partner. Aligned offers Scale<br />

Data Centres and Build-to-Scale solutions,<br />

catering to global hyperscale<br />

and enterprise customers, addressing<br />

the need for sustainable and scalable<br />

infrastructure. At full buildout, Aligned’s<br />

footprint will exceed 2.5 GW of critical<br />

capacity across 40+ data centres.<br />

Although primarily operating in North<br />

America, Aligned has expanded into<br />

Latin America with the acquisition of<br />

ODATA, establishing its position as<br />

one of the largest private data centre<br />

operators in America.<br />

Al Ansari Proposes Majority Stake Acquisition<br />

in Oman Exchange<br />

Al Ansari Financial Services<br />

proposes acquiring a majority<br />

stake in a prominent<br />

exchange company in Oman.<br />

<strong>The</strong> company has received initial approval,<br />

pending regulatory conditions.<br />

This strategic move aligns with Al Ansari’s<br />

expansion plans in the GCC region.<br />

Oman’s thriving economy and global<br />

business partnerships have driven the<br />

demand for reliable exchange services.<br />

Recognizing the market’s potential,<br />

Al Ansari aims to offer state-of-theart<br />

financial solutions to residents<br />

and businesses. Rashed A. Al Ansari,<br />

Group CEO, believes this expansion<br />

will broaden their customer base<br />

and further establish their presence<br />

in countries with a significant expat<br />

population and a resilient economy.<br />

60 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Disprz Secures $30M in Series C Funding for<br />

Middle East Market Expansion<br />

AI-powered learning and skilling<br />

suite, Disprz, secures $30M<br />

in Series C funding led by<br />

Lumos Capital and 360 ONE<br />

Asset (IIFL), with participation from<br />

Kae Capital, KOIS, and Dallas Venture<br />

Capital. <strong>The</strong> funds will fuel global market<br />

expansion and product development using<br />

advanced technologies like Generative<br />

AI, focusing on emerging markets in<br />

the Middle East, India, and the US.<br />

JETRO President<br />

Focused on Enhancing<br />

Trade and Investment<br />

with UAE<br />

In a bid to foster economic ties, the<br />

President of Japan External Trade<br />

Organization (JETRO) expressed<br />

eagerness to bolster trade and<br />

investment relations with the United<br />

Arab Emirates (UAE). <strong>The</strong> focus is on<br />

enhancing bilateral cooperation to open<br />

new avenues for businesses in both<br />

nations. <strong>The</strong> UAE’s strategic location as<br />

a regional hub and its growing economy<br />

present attractive opportunities for<br />

Japanese companies seeking expansion<br />

in the Middle East. With mutual<br />

interests in various sectors, such as<br />

technology, energy, and infrastructure,<br />

the collaboration is poised to generate<br />

economic growth and strengthen the<br />

longstanding friendship between Japan<br />

and the UAE.<br />

Since its 2015 inception, Disprz has<br />

witnessed remarkable growth, serving<br />

industry leaders such as Sharaf DG,<br />

Jumbo Electronics, NEOM, and Saudi<br />

Research. <strong>The</strong> company plans to hire<br />

data scientists, skilling scientists, and<br />

engineers, forming strategic partnerships<br />

and acquisitions to evolve into a global<br />

people intelligence suite, empowering<br />

organisations to unlock their workforce<br />

potential.<br />

GCC Investors to Inject $3.2B in UK’s Property<br />

Market in 2024<br />

According to a report by the<br />

Bank of London and <strong>The</strong><br />

Middle East (BLME), GCC<br />

investors are expected to<br />

inject $2.5B ($3.21B) into the UK’s<br />

real estate sector in 2024. Lower asset<br />

prices in the UK’s residential and commercial<br />

properties, coupled with the<br />

Gulf economies’ strength and the desire<br />

for asset diversification, are driving<br />

the increased interest from investors<br />

in the Gulf states. Despite geopolitical<br />

and economic uncertainties, London<br />

remains the top choice for investment,<br />

but other regional towns and cities such<br />

as Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle,<br />

and Bristol are also catching the<br />

attention of GCC investors.<br />

EIH Ethmar International Acquires Stake in Gewan<br />

Holding, UAE<br />

Abu Dhabi-based EIH Ethmar<br />

International Holding has<br />

acquired a strategic stake in<br />

Gewan Holding, a diversified<br />

company operating in key sectors such<br />

as real estate, general trading, hospitality,<br />

travel and tourism, restaurant<br />

management, and agri-tech. EIH Ethmar<br />

International Holding has built a diverse<br />

and sustainable investment portfolio,<br />

comprising more than 30 companies<br />

across various sectors, including real<br />

estate, energy, technology, investment,<br />

healthcare, and hospitality. <strong>The</strong> acquisition<br />

aligns with EIH’s vision to<br />

diversify and expand its presence in<br />

multiple sectors, aiming to generate<br />

sustainable returns for its investors. <strong>The</strong><br />

partnership will create opportunities<br />

for joint projects, contributing to job<br />

creation in vital sectors and positively<br />

impacting the UAE’s economy.<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 61

Digital Assets<br />

<strong>The</strong> Future of Digital Assets: Innovations<br />

and Potential Disruptions<br />

Digital assets are poised to reshape the landscape of the financial industry,<br />

and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is at the forefront of this transformative<br />

trend. As the world embraces the power of digital currencies and blockchain<br />

technology, leaders in the UAE’s banking sector must recognize the potential<br />

disruptions and opportunities that come with it. Customers are demanding<br />

digital asset services, and new competitors are emerging to capitalize on<br />

the rapid growth and high profit margins in the digital asset market.<br />

62 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

UAE’s financial landscape embraces<br />

digital assets for a transformative future.<br />

<strong>The</strong> digital asset market in the<br />

UAE is experiencing rapid<br />

growth, mirroring the global<br />

trend. More individuals and<br />

institutions are showing interest in<br />

digital assets as alternative investments<br />

and stores of value. <strong>The</strong> number of<br />

cryptoasset users in the UAE has surged<br />

in recent years, reflecting a growing<br />

appetite for digital currencies and their<br />

potential for high returns.<br />

Despite the promising potential of<br />

digital assets, there are challenges and<br />

uncertainties that UAE banks must<br />

navigate. Price volatility remains a<br />

concern, and regulatory frameworks<br />

for digital assets are still evolving. <strong>The</strong><br />

lack of clear guidelines and standards<br />

can hinder innovation and growth in<br />

the sector. <strong>The</strong>refore, careful strategic<br />

analysis and operational management<br />

are essential for UAE banks to embrace<br />

digital assets fully.<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE’s banking industry faces<br />

competition from various fronts in<br />

the digital asset space. Crypto-native<br />

firms with ambitious financial goals<br />

are gaining momentum, backed by<br />

substantial profits and scalable business<br />

processes. Decentralized <strong>Finance</strong> (DeFi)<br />

is another disruptive force, promising<br />

faster and more cost-effective financial<br />

services. Moreover, central banks<br />

worldwide are exploring the issuance<br />

of CBDCs, which could revolutionize<br />

the payments ecosystem.<br />

<strong>The</strong> embrace of digital assets presents<br />

several opportunities for UAE banks:<br />

Meeting Customer Demand: A growing<br />

number of UAE customers are seeking<br />

digital asset services. By providing reliable<br />

and secure platforms for digital<br />

asset transactions and custody, banks<br />

can cater to this demand and build<br />

customer loyalty.<br />

Innovation in Financial Products:<br />

Digital assets open the door for designing<br />

innovative financial products that cater<br />

to new needs and possibilities. Banks<br />

can explore products that leverage<br />

blockchain technology for improved<br />

efficiency and accessibility.<br />

Risk Reduction and Efficiency:<br />

Digital assets, including CBDCs and<br />

stablecoins, offer the potential to reduce<br />

complexities and costs in the financial<br />

system. UAE banks can streamline<br />

cross-border payments and securities<br />

settlement, enhancing efficiency and<br />

risk management.<br />

Investment Opportunities: With increasing<br />

institutional interest in digital<br />

assets, UAE banks can explore the<br />

option of investing in cryptocurrencies<br />

and other digital assets. However, thorough<br />

risk assessments and compliance<br />

with evolving regulations are essential.<br />

Collaborations and Partnerships:<br />

UAE banks can consider collaborating<br />

with digital asset firms or exploring<br />

partnerships with fintech companies to<br />

leverage their expertise and offerings.<br />

Insurtech Innovations for UAE Digital<br />

Asset Investors:<br />

As more UAE investors venture into<br />

digital assets, insurtech startups are<br />

stepping in to offer specialized insurance<br />

solutions. <strong>The</strong>se innovations include:<br />

Smart Contracts and Automated Claims<br />

Processing: Automating claims through<br />

smart contracts enhances transparency<br />

and efficiency in insurance processes,<br />

boosting investor confidence.<br />

Decentralized Insurance Platforms:<br />

Connecting insurers directly with<br />

digital asset investors, decentralized<br />

insurance platforms offer real-time data<br />

and secure records of transactions,<br />

reducing reliance on intermediaries.<br />

Parametric Insurance: Providing<br />

protection against losses due to market<br />

volatility or unforeseen events,<br />

parametric insurance can reassure<br />

investors amidst market uncertainties.<br />

Tokenization of Insurance Policies:<br />

Tokenized insurance policies allow<br />

fractional ownership and increased<br />

liquidity, enabling UAE investors to<br />

diversify their portfolios and access<br />

new investment options.<br />

Data Security and Privacy: Utilizing<br />

blockchain’s security features, insurers<br />

can ensure encrypted data exchange,<br />

safeguarding sensitive information<br />

related to digital asset investments.<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE’s banking sector stands on<br />

the cusp of a digital revolution driven<br />

by digital assets and blockchain technology.<br />

Embracing this transformative<br />

trend is crucial for banks to stay<br />

competitive, meet customer demands,<br />

and explore new opportunities for<br />

growth and efficiency. While there<br />

are challenges and uncertainties, the<br />

UAE’s forward-thinking approach and<br />

strategic planning can position it as a<br />

leader in the digital asset revolution.<br />

As the digital asset market continues<br />

to expand, insurtech innovations will<br />

play a critical role in protecting UAE<br />

investors and fostering a robust and<br />

secure financial ecosystem. By actively<br />

participating in this transformative trend,<br />

UAE banks can secure their position<br />

as pioneers in the future of finance.<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 63

Stock Market<br />

Diversification: <strong>The</strong> Key to Mitigating<br />

Risks in Stock Market Portfolios<br />

Investing in the stock market offers great potential for wealth accumulation,<br />

but it also comes with inherent risks. <strong>The</strong> key to navigating these risks<br />

lies in the principle of diversification. Diversification is a strategy that<br />

involves spreading your investments across different asset classes, industries,<br />

companies, and geographical regions to reduce the overall risk of your<br />

portfolio. While it may not guarantee against losses, diversification remains<br />

the cornerstone of reaching long-term financial goals while minimizing risk.<br />

64 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Unlock the power of diversification: Safeguard<br />

your investments, mitigate risks, and unlock a<br />

world of opportunities in the stock market.<br />

Imagine having an investment portfolio<br />

entirely composed of airline<br />

stocks. Any industry-specific bad<br />

news, such as a pilots strike,<br />

would cause the share prices of all<br />

those stocks to drop simultaneously,<br />

leading to a noticeable decrease in the<br />

portfolio’s value. However, diversifying<br />

the portfolio with railway stocks<br />

would mitigate this risk. While airline<br />

stocks may be affected negatively, the<br />

railway stocks could potentially rise<br />

as passengers seek alternative transportation<br />

options.<br />

Diversification involves proactively<br />

balancing your investments across<br />

different assets, industries, and geographies.<br />

By doing so, you protect your<br />

portfolio from suffering significant<br />

losses due to adverse events affecting<br />

a specific sector or company. This<br />

defensive approach to investing is actively<br />

promoted by financial regulators<br />

and investment professionals alike.<br />

Diversification begins by investing<br />

in different sectors and industries. For<br />

instance, instead of focusing solely<br />

on transportation, investors should<br />

consider spreading their holdings<br />

across technology, healthcare, finance,<br />

and other sectors. This way, if one<br />

industry faces challenges, the other<br />

sectors may continue to perform well,<br />

helping to balance the overall portfolio<br />

performance.<br />

Company-specific risks can also<br />

be mitigated through diversification.<br />

Investing in a variety of companies<br />

reduces the impact of events that may<br />

negatively affect one particular company’s<br />

performance. Even if an investor<br />

has a favorite company, they should<br />

consider diversifying by acquiring<br />

shares of other companies within the<br />

same or related industries.<br />

Beyond stocks, investors can diversify<br />

across different asset classes like<br />

bonds, real estate, cryptocurrencies,<br />

precious metals, and commodities.<br />

Each asset class has its own characteristics<br />

and responds differently to<br />

macroeconomic conditions, providing<br />

further protection against widespread<br />

financial risks.<br />

Political, geopolitical, and international<br />

risks can have global impacts.<br />

By diversifying across different countries<br />

and regions, investors can reduce<br />

their exposure to specific country<br />

risks and take advantage of varied<br />

opportunities and risk levels in different<br />

markets.<br />

Considering investments with different<br />

time frames is also crucial. Some<br />

assets, like long-term bonds, may have<br />

higher returns but carry more risk,<br />

while short-term investments are more<br />

liquid but yield less. Balancing these<br />

various investments based on their<br />

time frames can enhance risk-adjusted<br />

returns.<br />

While diversification is essential for<br />

reducing risk, it can also limit potential<br />

gains. A well-diversified portfolio<br />

is optimized to achieve the highest<br />

risk-adjusted returns rather than<br />

seeking the highest absolute returns<br />

possible. Investors may miss out on<br />

high returns from a specific stock,<br />

asset class, or market segment that<br />

outperforms others. Striking a balance<br />

between diversification and maximizing<br />

returns depends on individual risk<br />

tolerance and investment goals.<br />

Diversification is crucial for managing<br />

risk and reducing the volatility<br />

of a portfolio’s value. It is especially<br />

vital for older investors who aim to<br />

preserve wealth and retirees who<br />

rely on their portfolios for living expenses.<br />

Diversification also increases<br />

the potential for better risk-adjusted<br />

returns, as investors efficiently deploy<br />

their capital across various assets and<br />

industries.<br />

In the world of stock market investing,<br />

diversification remains the<br />

key to mitigating risks and achieving<br />

long-term financial goals. By spreading<br />

investments across different assets,<br />

industries, and regions, investors can<br />

safeguard their portfolios against<br />

specific risks and market downturns.<br />

While diversification may not eliminate<br />

all risks, it significantly improves the<br />

odds of weathering market fluctuations<br />

and realizing steady, sustainable<br />

returns. Striking the right balance<br />

between diversification and maximizing<br />

returns is essential, as investors<br />

seek to preserve capital, capitalize<br />

on market opportunities, and sleep<br />

soundly at night.<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 65

Corporate Tax<br />

UAE’s Corporate Tax Law: Shaping a<br />

Competitive Business Landscape<br />

<strong>The</strong> Corporate Tax Law serves as the legislative foundation for implementing<br />

the Corporate Tax regime, which came into effect for financial years<br />

commencing on or after June 1, <strong>2023</strong>. At its core, this strategic move reflects the<br />

UAE’s commitment to its strategic objectives, further catalyzing development<br />

and transformation within its economic landscape. A cornerstone of the<br />

Corporate Tax Law is its alignment with international standards and best<br />

practices.<br />

66 www.thefinanceworld.com<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

<strong>The</strong> introduction of the Corporate<br />

Tax Law showcases the UAE’s<br />

commitment to sustainable<br />

economic development and<br />

resilience. This move aligns with the<br />

nation’s vision of reducing its reliance<br />

on hydrocarbon revenues and<br />

diversifying its economic portfolio. By<br />

implementing a progressive taxation<br />

framework, the UAE not only generates<br />

additional revenue streams but<br />

also lays the foundation for a more<br />

balanced and resilient economy. <strong>The</strong><br />

tax revenues garnered will contribute<br />

to funding essential public services and<br />

infrastructure projects, further enhancing<br />

the nation’s socio-economic fabric.<br />

<strong>The</strong> application of Corporate Tax on<br />

manufacturing and processing companies<br />

is a testament to the UAE’s strategic<br />

approach to taxation. By focusing on<br />

key sectors that contribute significantly<br />

to the country’s GDP, the UAE aims to<br />

strike a harmonious balance between<br />

taxation and economic growth. This<br />

targeted approach ensures that the<br />

tax burden is distributed equitably,<br />

allowing the government to foster a<br />

business-friendly environment while<br />

promoting economic diversification.<br />

As the UAE’s economy continues to<br />

evolve, the Corporate Tax Law serves<br />

as a testament to its commitment to responsible<br />

fiscal policies and sustainable<br />

growth. By striking a balance between<br />

taxation and economic development,<br />

the UAE is charting a course towards<br />

a prosperous future. As businesses and<br />

investors navigate this new landscape,<br />

they can find assurance in the UAE’s<br />

commitment to transparency, stability,<br />

and competitiveness—a foundation<br />

upon which mutual success can be built.<br />

<strong>The</strong> scope of the Corporate Tax Law<br />

encompasses various types of companies<br />

engaged in manufacturing, toll<br />

manufacturing, contract manufacturing,<br />

and processing of goods and materials.<br />

Companies falling under these categories,<br />

termed manufacturing and processing<br />

companies (MnPCs), are subject to<br />

the Corporate Tax, unless they qualify<br />

for exemptions or operate as natural<br />

persons with an annual income below<br />

Dh1 million.<br />

For resident juridical MnPCs, whether<br />

established within or outside the UAE<br />

but controlled and managed from<br />

the UAE, the Corporate Tax applies<br />

to their worldwide taxable income.<br />

Sole establishments, civil companies,<br />

or individuals conducting freelance<br />

manufacturing businesses in the UAE<br />

are subject to Corporate Tax solely on<br />

their income related to UAE business<br />

activities.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Corporate Tax regime introduces<br />

progressive rates based on income<br />

thresholds. For taxable natural persons<br />

operating as MnPCs, exemptions are<br />

granted for those with annual business<br />

income up to Dh1 million, and extended<br />

to Dh3 million until the end of 2026.<br />

Meanwhile, non-free zone juridical<br />

MnPCs earning up to Dh3 million in<br />

annual income remain exempt from<br />

Corporate Tax until the same period.<br />

Beyond these thresholds, the Corporate<br />

Tax ranges from zero percent to nine<br />

percent, depending on income levels.<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE’s commitment to enhancing<br />

its regulatory regime extends beyond<br />

tax provisions. With a focus on financial<br />

stability and international compliance,<br />

the UAE has taken steps to strengthen<br />

its anti-money laundering and counter-financing<br />

of terrorism (AML/CFT)<br />

measures. This commitment aligns with<br />

global standards and underscores the<br />

nation’s dedication to responsible governance<br />

and international cooperation.<br />

As the Corporate Tax Law sets<br />

the stage for a competitive business<br />

environment, the UAE propels its<br />

journey toward diversified growth<br />

and economic prosperity. By adopting<br />

globally recognized practices, the nation<br />

demonstrates its preparedness to<br />

navigate the complexities of modern<br />

economics while fostering an attractive<br />

landscape for businesses and investors<br />

alike. <strong>The</strong> Corporate Tax regime stands<br />

as a testament to the UAE’s vision,<br />

solidifying its role as a pivotal player<br />

in the global economic arena.<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 67

Corporate Results<br />

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank<br />

Q2’23 Net Profit: AED 1.93B<br />

($525M)<br />

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, the thirdlargest<br />

bank in the UAE in terms of<br />

assets, announced a 23% increase in its<br />

second-quarter profit compared to the<br />

previous year. <strong>The</strong> rise was attributed to<br />

a significant surge in net interest income<br />

and income from Islamic financing,<br />

supported by the ongoing economic<br />

momentum. <strong>The</strong> bank reported a net<br />

profit of AED 1.93B ($525M) for the three<br />

months ending in June, as disclosed in<br />

a statement to the Abu Dhabi Securities<br />

Exchange where the bank’s shares are<br />

traded. ADCB’s group chief executive,<br />

Ala’a Eraiqat, expressed satisfaction<br />

with the solid growth momentum<br />

and continuous achievement of new<br />

growth records. During the reporting<br />

period, non-interest income also saw a<br />

substantial year-on-year increase of 22%<br />

to AED 1.13B, while the overall operating<br />

income grew by 16% to AED 4.06B on an<br />

annual basis.<br />

DIFC Courts<br />

Q1’23 Net Profit: AED 15B<br />

In Q1 <strong>2023</strong>, the Dubai International<br />

Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts saw<br />

substantial growth, with a 692 per<br />

cent increase in the total value of<br />

cases across all divisions compared<br />

to Q1 2022, reaching AED 15B in 455<br />

cases. <strong>The</strong> Court of First Instance<br />

(CFI) received 52 cases, totaling AED<br />

14.9B with an average case value of<br />

AED 427.2M. <strong>The</strong> Arbitration Division<br />

under the CFI also rose to AED 12.9B,<br />

with an average claim value of AED<br />

1.6B. <strong>The</strong> claims covered various<br />

sectors, involving breach of contract,<br />

outstanding payments, wills, probate,<br />

and employment disputes. Remote<br />

virtual hearings were widely adopted,<br />

leading to increased efficiency.<br />

Saudi Tadawul Group<br />

Q1’23 Net Profit: $198M<br />

During Q1 <strong>2023</strong>, Saudi Tadawul Group<br />

Holding Company reported a net profit<br />

after Zakat and tax of SAR 196M, representing<br />

a 29.57% decline compared<br />

to the same period in the previous<br />

year when it recorded SAR 278.30M.<br />

<strong>The</strong> earnings per share (EPS) also decreased<br />

from SAR 2.32 to SAR 1.63 in<br />

H1-23. <strong>The</strong> company’s revenue for January-June<br />

<strong>2023</strong> stood at SAR 463.30M,<br />

marking a 21.75% year-on-year (YoY)<br />

decrease. In Q2-23, the net profit saw a<br />

23.60% annual decline to SAR 105.20M,<br />

while revenues decreased by 15.46%<br />

to SAR 252M. However, on a quarterly<br />

basis, Q2-23 net profits were 15.86%<br />

higher than Q1-23, with revenues rising<br />

by 19.26%.<br />

Bank Albilad<br />

Q1’23 Net Profit: SAR 1.14B<br />

Bank Albilad posted SAR 1.14B in net<br />

profits for Q1 <strong>2023</strong>, a 14.43% increase<br />

from Q1 2022’s SAR 1B. Earnings<br />

per share (EPS) rose to SAR 1.15 in<br />

January-June <strong>2023</strong>, compared to SAR<br />

1.01 in the previous year. Client deposits<br />

reached SAR 106.28B, with a remarkable<br />

19.28% annual growth. Assets rose to<br />

SAR 135.40B, an 11.43% increase, and<br />

investments surged to SAR 22.42B, a<br />

22.68% growth. In Q2 <strong>2023</strong>, net profits<br />

amounted to SAR 585.90M, up 14.66%<br />

YoY, and 4.64% higher than Q1 <strong>2023</strong>’s<br />

SAR 559.90M.<br />

First Abu Dhabi Bank<br />

Q2’23 Net Profit: AED 4.2B<br />

Qatar Airways Group has reported<br />

a net profit of QR 4.4B ($1.21B) for<br />

the fiscal year 2022/23, showcasing<br />

a robust financial performance. This<br />

achievement coincided with the airline’s<br />

role as the Official Airline Partner of the<br />

FIFA <strong>World</strong> Cup Qatar 2022, which was<br />

hosted in the country. <strong>The</strong> company’s<br />

overall revenue surged to QR 76.3B<br />

($21B), marking a significant 45 percent<br />

increase compared to the previous year.<br />

Passenger revenue experienced an<br />

impressive 100 percent growth, driven<br />

by a 31 percent increase in capacity,<br />

nine percent higher yields, and a load<br />

factor of 80 percent, the highest in<br />

the airline’s history. Qatar Airways<br />

also carried 31.7 million passengers,<br />

a remarkable 71 percent increase over<br />

the previous year.<br />

Yansab<br />

H1’23 Net Loss: SAR 342.30M<br />

Yanbu National Petrochemical Company<br />

(Yansab) faced net losses after Zakat<br />

and tax of SAR 342.30M in H1 <strong>2023</strong>, a<br />

significant shift from the net profits<br />

of SAR 571.50M in H1-22. <strong>The</strong> loss<br />

per share was SAR 0.61 in H1-23, in<br />

contrast to the earnings per share (EPS)<br />

of SAR 1.02 in the same period a year<br />

earlier. <strong>The</strong> company experienced a<br />

substantial 50.85% annual decline in<br />

revenue, reaching SAR 1.98B during<br />

January-June <strong>2023</strong>, compared to SAR<br />

4.04B. However, in Q2 <strong>2023</strong>, Yansab<br />

achieved net profits of SAR 27.40M, a<br />

90.50% decrease YoY, with revenues of<br />

SAR 1.32B, down 36.06% YoY.<br />

68 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Saudi National Bank<br />

Q2’23 Net Profit: $1.34B<br />

In the second quarter of <strong>2023</strong>, Saudi<br />

National Bank (SNB), the largest<br />

lender in Saudi Arabia, recorded a<br />

9.3% year-on-year (YoY) increase in net<br />

profit, reaching 5.01B riyals ($1.34B),<br />

primarily driven by higher operating<br />

income. <strong>The</strong> bank reported a 9% YoY<br />

growth in net income attributable to<br />

equity holders, amounting to SAR 5B,<br />

while total operating income rose by<br />

2% YoY, and total operating expenses<br />

decreased by 14% YoY. For the first<br />

half of <strong>2023</strong>, SNB’s net profit saw a<br />

10.4% rise to SAR 10.04B, compared<br />

to SAR 9.09B in the same period last<br />

year, mainly due to increased operating<br />

income and reduced operating<br />

expenses. In May, the bank’s shareholders<br />

approved a 6% cash dividend<br />

for Q2 2022 as proposed by the board.<br />

Saudi: Advanced<br />

Petrochemical<br />

Q2’23 Net Profit: SAR 60M<br />

In Q2-23, Advanced Petrochemical<br />

recorded a net profit of SAR 60M, a<br />

45.45% YoY decrease from SAR 110M,<br />

and revenues of SAR 582 million,<br />

down 28.50% from SAR 814M in Q2-<br />

22. On a quarterly basis, the Q2-23<br />

net profits were 39.53% higher than<br />

Q1-23’s SAR 43 million, while revenues<br />

contracted by 7.18% from SAR 627M.<br />

It is worth mentioning that in Q1-23,<br />

Advanced Petrochemical also reported<br />

lower net profits compared to Q1-22.<br />

During January-June <strong>2023</strong>, the company<br />

generated revenues of SAR 1.20B,<br />

signifying a 28.09% annual decrease<br />

from SAR 1.68B.<br />

Fertiglobe<br />

Q1’23 Net Profit: $694M<br />

Fertiglobe, the strategic partnership<br />

between ADNOC and OCI Global,<br />

reported strong Q1 <strong>2023</strong> results, with<br />

revenue reaching $694M, adjusted<br />

EBITDA at $297M, adjusted net profit<br />

totaling $135M, and free cash flow<br />

amounting to $271M. <strong>The</strong> company<br />

achieved a notable 9% increase in ownproduced<br />

sales volumes, attributed to<br />

a disciplined commercial strategy and<br />

centralized distribution capabilities<br />

focusing on demand centers with<br />

attractive netbacks. With a strong<br />

order book for the coming months and<br />

tightening markets in Q2, prices have<br />

improved in some regions. Committed<br />

to shareholder value, Fertiglobe plans<br />

to distribute at least $250M in dividends<br />

for Q1 <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

NBQ<br />

Q2’23 Net Profit: AED 255M<br />

In Q2 <strong>2023</strong>, the National Bank of Umm<br />

Al Quwain in the United Arab Emirates<br />

reported a net profit of AED 255M, reflecting<br />

a 54% increase from AED 165M<br />

in Q2 2022. <strong>The</strong> bank’s cost-to-income<br />

ratio improved significantly to 20.58%,<br />

showing an 880 basis point year-on-year<br />

improvement, which demonstrates the<br />

bank’s operational efficiencies and disciplined<br />

cost management. <strong>The</strong> bank also<br />

showcased improvements in its impairment<br />

coverage ratio, reaching 254% as<br />

of June 30, <strong>2023</strong>, compared to 183% at<br />

the end of December 2022. Additionally,<br />

the bank maintained a prudent deposits<br />

to net advances ratio of 129%.<br />

Sharjah Islamic Bank<br />

H1’23 Net Profit: AED 648.7M<br />

Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB) announced<br />

robust financial performance for H1<br />

<strong>2023</strong>. <strong>The</strong> bank’s operating profit before<br />

provisions surged by 31%, reaching<br />

AED 648.7M, compared to AED 497.2M<br />

in the same period the previous year.<br />

<strong>The</strong> net profit displayed remarkable<br />

growth, increasing by 36.7% to AED<br />

494.6M, compared to AED 361.9M in<br />

the corresponding period last year. Net<br />

income from financing and investment<br />

products witnessed a significant 22% increase,<br />

amounting to AED 716.7M, while<br />

net fees, commissions, and other income<br />

rose by 34.6% to AED 247.8M. SIB’s balance<br />

sheet stabilized at AED 61.1B, with<br />

strong liquidity at AED 12.2B, equivalent<br />

to 20.0% of total assets.<br />

Al Seer Marine<br />

Q1’23 Net Loss: AED 749.68M<br />

Al Seer Marine Supplies and Equipment<br />

Company faced a challenging first half<br />

(Q1) of <strong>2023</strong>, reporting net losses of AED<br />

749.68M, in contrast to the net profits<br />

of AED 882.97M achieved in Q1-22. Despite<br />

this, the company saw a remarkable<br />

92.50% year-on-year (YoY) increase in<br />

gross profits, reaching AED 73.77 million<br />

in January-June <strong>2023</strong> from AED 38.33M.<br />

Q1-23 revenues grew by 18.90%, amounting<br />

to AED 564.34M, primarily due to the<br />

effective operation of seven vessels since<br />

2022. <strong>The</strong> total assets declined by 19.70%<br />

YoY to AED 9.29B in Q1-23 from AED<br />

11.58B. In Q2-23, Al Seer Marine achieved<br />

net profits of AED 38.25M, compared to<br />

AED 807.34M in Q2-22.<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 69


R<br />





futurehospitality.com/ae<br />




Chief Executive Officer<br />

Al Khozama Investments<br />


BAZIN<br />

Group Chairman & CEO<br />

and Luxury & Lifestyle<br />

Division CEO<br />

Accor<br />



Executive Director of<br />

Human Resources<br />

Miral<br />

JS<br />

ANAND<br />

Founder & CEO<br />

Leva Hotels & Resorts<br />

OLIVER<br />

BONKE<br />

CEO & Chairman of the<br />

Board of Management<br />

Deutsche Hospitality<br />

PUNEET<br />


Managing Director & CEO<br />

<strong>The</strong> Indian Hotels Company<br />

Limited (IHCL)<br />

ANDREW<br />


Principal Economist<br />

<strong>The</strong> Economist Group<br />

CHADI<br />

HAUCH<br />

Regional Vice President<br />

Lodging Development ME<br />

Marriott International<br />

GUY<br />


President & CEO<br />

Rotana<br />

KEVIN<br />

JACOBS<br />

Chief Financial Officer<br />

and President, Global<br />

Development<br />

Hilton<br />

RAED<br />

KUHAIL<br />

Executive Director of<br />

Digital & Technology<br />

Miral<br />



President, Europe,<br />

Middle East, Eurasia &<br />

Africa (EMEA)<br />

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts<br />

GILDA<br />


Global CEO<br />

JLL Hotels & Hospitality<br />


SACKUR<br />

Presenter<br />

HARDTalk<br />







25 - 27 SEPT <strong>2023</strong><br />




Travel<br />

4 Cultural Gems to Unearth Around the<br />

<strong>World</strong><br />

Discover a world of enriching cultural journeys and immersive travel experiences. Immerse<br />

yourself in different ways of life, form meaningful connections, and embrace a sustainable<br />

approach to travel. Whether you’re a seasoned cultural traveler or new to off-the-beatentrack<br />

adventures, this guide to culture and travel offers inspiring insights for unforgettable<br />

trips. Unveil the beauty of cultural gems that await you, fostering deeper understanding<br />

and appreciation of diverse cultures worldwide. Embark on a journey and let these cultural<br />

treasures take you on a transformative adventure of a lifetime.<br />

Embrace Ecuador’s Cultural Tapestry<br />

Explore Ecuador’s rich cultural<br />

diversity, a hidden gem for<br />

cultural enthusiasts. With just<br />

over 17 million people, it offers<br />

a vibrant tapestry of traditions. From<br />

enduring Spanish colonial heritage and<br />

Andean Indigenous practices to the<br />

strong influence of Amazonian Indigenous<br />

traditions, Ecuador promises a<br />

kaleidoscope of experiences.<br />

For a transformative adventure, delve<br />

into the Amazon rainforest, connect<br />

with Indigenous communities, and<br />

immerse yourself in their wisdom and<br />

cuisine. Consider an ayahuasca retreat<br />

for a profound spiritual experience.<br />

Delight in Greece’s Cultural Odyssey<br />

Explore Greece, a country brimming<br />

with cultural heritage<br />

and immersive experiences.<br />

From the legendary ruins of<br />

Athens to the bustling Athens Central<br />

Market, Greece offers a captivating<br />

Join heartfelt celebrations like Día<br />

de los Difuntos, rooted in Indigenous<br />

cultural adventure. Unveil the secrets<br />

of ancient Athens with a Mythology<br />

Tour, providing skip-the-line access to<br />

the Acropolis and Parthenon, while a<br />

knowledgeable guide shares captivating<br />

tales of gods and legends.<br />

origins, to honor the departed and<br />

savor local treats.<br />

For food enthusiasts, a visit to the<br />

Athens Central Market leads to a gastronomic<br />

tour, where you can discover<br />

local produce and savor traditional<br />

delicacies. <strong>The</strong>n, hone your culinary<br />

skills in a local cookery class. Amidst<br />

ancient grandeur, immerse yourself in<br />

the Epidaurus Festival at the Ancient<br />

<strong>The</strong>atre, blending contemporary and<br />

classical arts against a stunning Greek<br />

backdrop. Icons like Frank Sinatra and<br />

Maria Callas have left their mark on this<br />

annual celebration of art and culture.<br />

Greece invites cultural travelers to<br />

partake in a tapestry of history and flavors,<br />

offering a transformative journey<br />

that nourishes the soul and enriches<br />

the mind. Discover the timeless allure<br />

of this enchanting Mediterranean gem.<br />

72 www.thefinanceworld.com<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Andalusia’s Cultural Symphony<br />

Andalusia, along the southern<br />

coast of Spain, offers a unique<br />

cultural immersion shaped<br />

by its Moorish heritage. This<br />

vibrant region’s distinctive charm sets it<br />

apart from other Spanish destinations.<br />

Andalusian architecture gracefully<br />

weaves Moorish influence, intricate<br />

details, and Islamic calligraphy into<br />

UNESCO-listed masterpieces like Seville’s<br />

Real Alcazar Palace, Granada’s<br />

Alhambra, and Cordoba’s Mezquita,<br />

each reflecting a unique blend of cultural<br />

evolution.<br />

No Andalusian visit is complete without<br />

the soul-stirring art of Flamenco.<br />

Witness passionate performances in<br />

Seville and other cities, where this<br />

dynamic dance form embodies the<br />

essence of Southern Spanish culture,<br />

captivating hearts and souls.<br />

Discover Andalusia’s enchantment,<br />

where Moorish elegance, mouthwatering<br />

tapas, and fiery Flamenco rhythms<br />

converge, weaving a cultural tapestry<br />

that leaves you spellbound and yearning<br />

for more.<br />

Uzbekistan’s Cultural Treasures<br />

Journey to the heart of Central Asia<br />

and discover the rising cultural<br />

gem of Uzbekistan, where a rich<br />

heritage from its Silk Road past<br />

awaits exploration. Uzbekistan beckons<br />

cultural enthusiasts with a fascinating<br />

blend of Islamic architecture, historic<br />

sites, and warm hospitality.<br />

Once multicultural melting pots on<br />

the famed Silk Road, cities like Samarkand,<br />

Khiva, and Bukhara still resonate<br />

with influences from Turks, Greeks,<br />

Persians, Russians, and Mongols who<br />

once roamed these lands.<br />

Delight your taste buds with the<br />

tantalizing Uzbek cuisine by partaking<br />

in an Uzbek cooking class in Tashkent.<br />

Sample the national dish, Plov, at the<br />

bustling Plov Center, where steaming<br />

pots serve thousands daily, leaving an<br />

impression to cherish.<br />

Uzbekistan’s warmth, delectable<br />

flavors, and exquisite craftsmanship<br />

make it a cultural treasure trove waiting<br />

to be explored. Embrace the allure<br />

of this emerging destination, where<br />

history, hospitality, and handcrafted<br />

artistry converge to create a journey<br />

of lasting memories.<br />

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

www.thefinanceworld.com 73

Sport as a Business<br />

<strong>The</strong> Future of Sports Business: Emerging<br />

Trends in <strong>2023</strong><br />

<strong>The</strong> world of sports business is rapidly evolving, with the lines between<br />

sports and commerce becoming increasingly blurred. As we enter<br />

<strong>2023</strong>, several trends that emerged in the previous year are set to shape<br />

the future of global sports. From a greater focus on individual athletes<br />

to the growing importance of fan engagement and ethical sponsorship<br />

practices, the landscape of sports business is undergoing significant<br />

transformation. In this article, we explore the key trends that are set<br />

to dominate the sports industry in the coming year.<br />

74 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

In <strong>2023</strong>, sports and business converge, reshaping<br />

the game with individual athlete focus, ethical<br />

sponsorships, and AI-powered strategies.<br />

A<br />

notable shift in the sports<br />

landscape is the increasing<br />

spotlight on individual athletes.<br />

While team achievements<br />

have traditionally taken precedence,<br />

the rise of superstar athletes like<br />

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo<br />

has sparked debates about football’s<br />

greatest players. Recognizing the impact<br />

of individual brilliance on team<br />

success and marketing potential, both<br />

fans and athletes are now placing more<br />

emphasis on the achievements and<br />

quality of individual players. This trend<br />

is reshaping how clubs approach player<br />

acquisitions and marketing strategies.<br />

As athletes become valuable assets,<br />

teams are acknowledging the importance<br />

of supporting their overall health and<br />

wellbeing. <strong>The</strong> realization that stressed<br />

and distracted athletes cannot perform<br />

at their best has led to a new era of<br />

athlete-centric policies. Clubs are now<br />

providing crisis management platforms<br />

and support systems to ensure athletes<br />

can focus on their performance without<br />

external distractions. Preston North<br />

End’s pioneering move with the MA-<br />

Change Crisis Management Platform<br />

is an example of this evolving trend.<br />

<strong>The</strong> sports industry is witnessing a<br />

surge in mergers and acquisitions, driven<br />

by the interest of foreign investors<br />

in football and other sports. Overseas<br />

financiers recognize the economic potential<br />

of sports and are investing in clubs<br />

worldwide. High-profile acquisitions,<br />

such as Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment<br />

Fund buying Newcastle United<br />

and American consortiums acquiring<br />

Chelsea F.C. and A.F.C. Bournemouth,<br />

exemplify this trend. As sports organizations<br />

demonstrate their financial<br />

viability, the number of M&As is expected<br />

to grow.<br />

<strong>The</strong> changing dynamics of football<br />

club ownership have shifted the focus<br />

towards profitability and commercial<br />

viability. With streaming platforms<br />

becoming a significant medium for<br />

sports consumption, clubs are keen<br />

on appealing to global audiences to<br />

maximize revenue. Traditionally, teams<br />

catered to local fan bases, but globalization<br />

has opened up opportunities<br />

for international commercial success.<br />

As clubs target fans worldwide, their<br />

engagement strategies are evolving to<br />

capture a wider audience.<br />

Following the success of the NFL<br />

and NBA’s international fixtures, other<br />

sports, including football, are exploring<br />

‘one off’ events to expand their global<br />

reach. <strong>The</strong> idea of playing Premier<br />

League games abroad has garnered<br />

attention, despite some resistance from<br />

local fans. Such events have proven<br />

effective in attracting new fans and<br />

increasing viewership, boosting the<br />

appeal of major sports leagues on an<br />

international scale.<br />

Environmental, Social, and Governance<br />

(ESG) concerns have become a<br />

priority for businesses worldwide, and<br />

sports organizations are no exception.<br />

Positive corporate image and ethical<br />

practices are increasingly valued,<br />

impacting sponsorship decisions and<br />

commercial success. English Premier<br />

League teams, in particular, are facing<br />

scrutiny over their associations with<br />

betting sponsors. As clubs realize the<br />

link between reputation and financial<br />

success, expect greater emphasis on<br />

ethical sponsorships in <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set<br />

to play a pivotal role in the sports<br />

industry. Clubs and organizations<br />

will leverage AI for various purposes,<br />

including content creation, marketing<br />

campaigns, and data analysis. <strong>The</strong> use<br />

of AI in decision-making, such as player<br />

transfers and sponsorship deals, will<br />

become increasingly common as teams<br />

prioritize data and scientific analysis<br />

in their strategies.<br />

As we venture into <strong>2023</strong>, the sports<br />

business landscape continues to evolve<br />

rapidly, with emerging trends reshaping<br />

the industry’s future. <strong>The</strong> growing focus<br />

on individual athletes, heightened<br />

importance of fan engagement, and<br />

the rise of ethical sponsorships are<br />

among the key shifts driving change.<br />

Embracing technology, such as AI,<br />

will further enhance clubs’ operations<br />

and decision-making capabilities.<br />

With sports organizations increasingly<br />

resembling commercial entities, the<br />

sports industry is primed for further<br />

growth and financial strength.<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 75

Sport News<br />

UAE’s Fahad Al Hammadi Secures Fourth Gold at IMMAF Youth <strong>World</strong><br />

Championships<br />

Fahad Al Hammadi made the<br />

UAE proud by winning a fourth<br />

gold medal at the IMMAF Youth<br />

<strong>World</strong> Championships, held at<br />

the Mubadala Arena over four days.<br />

He triumphed over Italy’s Damiano<br />

Grillo in the 70.3kg division (16-17<br />

age group), contributing to the UAE’s<br />

impressive tally of four golds, four<br />

silvers, and four bronze medals. <strong>The</strong><br />

UAE national team’s success was lauded<br />

by Mohammed Al Hosani, a member of<br />

the MMA Committee, who praised the<br />

meticulous preparation and selection<br />

process. <strong>The</strong> championship drew a<br />

record 46 countries, and the UAE’s<br />

achievements signify the promising<br />

future of MMA in the region.<br />

Baseball United Reveals Dubai Wolves and Abu<br />

Dhabi Falcons Franchises<br />

Baseball United, the groundbreaking<br />

professional baseball<br />

league dedicated to the Middle<br />

East and Indian Subcontinent,<br />

recently unveiled the names and<br />

branding of its Dubai and Abu Dhabi<br />

franchises. <strong>The</strong> Dubai team will be<br />

known as the Dubai Wolves, symbolizing<br />

the transformation of the region<br />

from desert to a thriving urban center,<br />

with their logo featuring a wolf visage<br />

inspired by the Arabian Wolf. <strong>The</strong> Abu<br />

Dhabi franchise, called the Abu Dhabi<br />

Falcons, pays tribute to the UAE’s national<br />

bird, the peregrine falcon, and<br />

represents the capital’s rich history<br />

and blend of strength and beauty. <strong>The</strong><br />

league’s inaugural Dubai Showcase will<br />

take place in November, promising a<br />

historic moment for the UAE and the<br />

sport of baseball.<br />

Riyad Mahrez Signs<br />

with Al Ahli in Saudi<br />

Pro League<br />

Riyad Mahrez, the talented Algerian<br />

footballer, has made a<br />

notable move to the Saudi Pro<br />

League, joining Al Ahli after<br />

his successful stint with Manchester<br />

City. Mahrez played a pivotal role in<br />

Leicester City’s unexpected Premier<br />

League title win in 2016 and went on<br />

to claim four more league titles with<br />

Manchester City. Departing after a<br />

triumphant season with City, securing<br />

the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions<br />

League, Mahrez expressed his<br />

gratitude for the wonderful memories<br />

created during his time in England. At<br />

Al Ahli, he will team up with Roberto<br />

Firmino and Edouard Mendy. <strong>The</strong><br />

club is also set to acquire highly-rated<br />

coach Matthias Jaissle from Austrian<br />

club Salzburg.<br />

76 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Emirates Renews Sponsorship with Arsenal’s Jersey<br />

Emirates, the world-renowned<br />

airline, has extended its<br />

longstanding and historic<br />

front-of-shirt sponsorship<br />

deal with Arsenal Football Club,<br />

reaffirming their unwavering support<br />

and commitment to the Premier League<br />

giants. Having been associated with<br />

the club since July 2006, the Dubaibased<br />

carrier will now continue its<br />

collaboration with Arsenal until at<br />

least 2028, marking an impressive 22<br />

years of partnership. <strong>The</strong> renewal was<br />

celebrated with Arsenal’s triumphant<br />

performance in the Emirates Cup, where<br />

they secured a thrilling 5-4 victory<br />

on penalties against AS Monaco. <strong>The</strong><br />

enduring alliance between Emirates and<br />

Arsenal continues to unite and inspire<br />

football fans worldwide, promising<br />

more magical moments ahead.<br />

Dubai to Host UAE’s Inaugural E-Scooter Race<br />

<strong>The</strong> Federation for Micromobility<br />

and Sport, in collaboration<br />

with the Dubai Sports Council,<br />

announces the inaugural Dubai<br />

Electric Scooter Cup, a prestigious<br />

event showcasing e-scooter racing and<br />

micromobility potential. Set to coincide<br />

with the Year of Sustainability in the<br />

UAE, the race will be held on December<br />

9, <strong>2023</strong>, featuring the world’s top<br />

riders competing on the fastest electric<br />

scooters through the streets of Dubai.<br />

<strong>The</strong> twelve best male and female riders<br />

will engage in a knockout style race,<br />

vying for the title of the first Dubai<br />

Electric Scooter Cup Champion. <strong>The</strong><br />

event emphasizes sustainability, new<br />

mobility, safety, and inclusivity, further<br />

promoting micromobility as a promising<br />

form of urban transportation.<br />

Qatar’s Al Sadd to face<br />

Iraq’s Al Shorta in King<br />

Salman Club Cup Quarterfinals<br />

Qatar’s Al Sadd club is set to<br />

face Iraq’s Al Shorta in the<br />

King Salman Club Cup <strong>2023</strong><br />

quarter-finals in Abha, Saudi<br />

Arabia. Al Shorta secured their spot<br />

as Group A runner-up after losing 1-2<br />

to Ittihad of Saudi Arabia but winning<br />

1-0 against Tunisia’s Sfaxien and drawing<br />

with Esperance. Al Sadd topped<br />

Group B with 7 points, drawing with<br />

Wydad, defeating Al Hilal 3-2, and Al<br />

Ahli Tripoli 1-0. <strong>The</strong>y aim to continue<br />

their impressive performance throughout<br />

the tournament. Al Shorta boasts<br />

standout players from Iraq’s previous<br />

Gulf Cup victory. Excitement mounts<br />

as both teams compete for a spot in<br />

the semi-finals.<br />

Para Powerlifting <strong>World</strong> Championships <strong>2023</strong>:<br />

Global Contenders Head to Dubai<br />

<strong>The</strong> Dubai <strong>2023</strong> Para Powerlifting<br />

<strong>World</strong> Championships, set<br />

to take place from August 22<br />

to 30, promises an epic showdown<br />

of the world’s finest Para Powerlifters.<br />

<strong>The</strong> event will be held under<br />

the patronage of Sheikh Mansoor bin<br />

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,<br />

Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council<br />

and Chairman of the Higher Committee<br />

for the Protection of the Rights<br />

of People of Determination. With<br />

610 powerlifters from 79 countries<br />

competing at the Hilton Al Habtoor<br />

City Hotel, the stage is set for intense<br />

battles and inspiring performances.<br />

Notable participants include Paralympic<br />

champions such as Egypt’s Osman<br />

Sherif and UAE’s own legend, Mohammed<br />

Khamis Khalaf. <strong>The</strong> championship<br />

emphasizes the importance of empowering<br />

People of Determination, with<br />

the support of visionary leadership.<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 77

Tourism<br />

Unveiling the Future of Tourism: 6 Key<br />

Trends Fueling Hospitality Growth in<br />

Dubai and Beyond<br />

<strong>The</strong> world of tourism and hospitality is rapidly evolving, with new<br />

trends and developments shaping the industry’s future. As we step into<br />

<strong>2023</strong>, the hospitality sector is witnessing a remarkable resurgence,<br />

particularly in the UAE, with Dubai leading the way as a global tourism<br />

powerhouse. From hyper-personalization to budget travel and the rise<br />

of online travel agencies (OTAs), let’s explore the six key trends driving<br />

growth in the hospitality sector, not just in Dubai but worldwide.<br />

78 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Gone are the days when summers<br />

were considered quiet<br />

months for the Middle<br />

East’s hospitality industry.<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE has experienced a boost in<br />

inbound tourism due to relaxed visa<br />

laws and a growing trend of “bleisure”<br />

travel - a combination of business<br />

and leisure trips. With remote work<br />

becoming more prevalent, a new genre<br />

of travelers and freelancers seeks to<br />

explore the world while working from<br />

exotic locations. <strong>The</strong> UAE’s strategic<br />

location and world-class infrastructure<br />

make it a prime pit-stop for long-haul<br />

flights and a haven for digital nomads.<br />

on experiences. Lavish amenities<br />

no longer hold the same appeal, as<br />

consumers prioritize cost-conscious<br />

travel. <strong>The</strong> internet enables travelers<br />

to compare deals and find competitive<br />

rates, leading to an emphasis on value<br />

for money in hospitality offerings.<br />

Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) have<br />

become a go-to platform for travelers<br />

looking for convenience and competitive<br />

prices. Around 55 to 60 percent<br />

of hotel bookings in the region are<br />

made through popular OTA sites like<br />

Booking.com, Expedia, Agoda, and<br />

Make My Trip. Location, services, and<br />

In today’s digital age, online reviews<br />

and traveler recommendations play a<br />

crucial role in travel planning. Travelers<br />

start their journey by browsing the<br />

internet for authentic experiences and<br />

advice from fellow travelers. Positive<br />

reviews significantly influence the<br />

decision-making process, making guest<br />

satisfaction and positive feedback<br />

vital for the success of hospitality<br />

establishments.<br />

As Dubai’s tourism industry experiences<br />

rapid growth and success, driven<br />

by various mega-projects and global<br />

recognition, it is important to keep an<br />

Dubai’s tourism: Where luxury meets<br />

budget, and hyper-personalization<br />

rules the game.<br />

As global travel opportunities open<br />

up, travelers are opting for international<br />

destinations for long holiday breaks.<br />

However, neighboring countries, such<br />

as Georgia and Armenia, have become<br />

preferred travel destinations for quick<br />

getaways from the UAE. To cater to<br />

the growing trend of staycations, the<br />

hospitality industry has adjusted its<br />

pricing strategy, expecting a surge in<br />

demand from GCC tourists compared<br />

to the previous year.<br />

With economic uncertainties, travelers<br />

are increasingly looking to stretch<br />

their budgets without compromising<br />

offers play a significant role in travelers’<br />

decisions, with prime locations<br />

and unique amenities enjoying higher<br />

occupancy rates.<br />

Technology has revolutionized the<br />

hospitality industry, and digital and<br />

contactless services are now integral<br />

to the guest experience. Mobile<br />

check-ins, biometrics, and contactless<br />

payments are just a few of the innovations<br />

transforming guest interactions.<br />

Moreover, travelers now expect<br />

personalized offers and promotions<br />

tailored to their preferences, thanks<br />

to AI-driven technologies.<br />

eye on these six key trends shaping the<br />

future of the hospitality sector. From<br />

catering to budget-conscious travelers<br />

to embracing the power of technology,<br />

Dubai and the UAE are poised to<br />

remain at the forefront of the global<br />

tourism landscape. By capitalizing on<br />

these trends, the hospitality industry<br />

can create innovative concepts that<br />

cater to the evolving demands of travelers,<br />

ensuring a bright and prosperous<br />

future for tourism in the region and<br />

beyond.<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 79

Investing in Art<br />

Art Investment: A Canvas of Potential<br />

and Discovery<br />

<strong>The</strong> world of art has long been a realm of creativity and self-expression,<br />

a canvas upon which artists breathe life into their visions. However,<br />

beneath the strokes of paint and the sculpted forms lies a dimension<br />

of investment that adds depth to the allure of art. In recent years, art<br />

investment has emerged as a distinct avenue that offers a unique blend<br />

of potential financial returns and aesthetic appreciation.<br />

80 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

<strong>The</strong> allure of art investment is heightened by the ever-evolving art<br />

market, offering opportunities to tap into rising stars. However, like<br />

any investment, it comes with nuances and challenges, demanding<br />

research, analysis, and expert guidance.<br />

For many art enthusiasts, the<br />

journey into the art world<br />

begins with an emotional<br />

connection. <strong>The</strong> way a piece<br />

resonates with the soul evokes memories,<br />

or sparks a sense of wonder is<br />

often the catalyst that ignites a lifelong<br />

appreciation for art. <strong>The</strong> emotional<br />

resonance with a work of art is, in<br />

itself, a powerful reward. However,<br />

beyond the realm of sentimentality, a<br />

deeper layer of potential lies waiting<br />

to be discovered.<br />

Astute investors have come to recognize<br />

that art can be more than just<br />

a source of aesthetic pleasure; it can<br />

also serve as a tangible asset that<br />

holds the potential for appreciation<br />

over time. <strong>The</strong> world of art investment<br />

offers an opportunity to marry<br />

one’s passion for creativity with the<br />

potential for financial growth. Just<br />

as a skilled artist blends colours on a<br />

canvas to create something extraordinary,<br />

the world of art investment<br />

blends the hues of cultural value and<br />

economic potential.<br />

Historically, certain artworks have<br />

not only held their value but have<br />

also witnessed substantial appreciation.<br />

Iconic pieces by celebrated<br />

artists have achieved remarkable<br />

price growth, turning art into an asset<br />

class that can yield significant returns.<br />

<strong>The</strong> story of paintings purchased for<br />

modest sums that later sell for millions<br />

is not a rarity; it’s a testament to the<br />

dynamics of the art market and the<br />

enduring appeal of creativity.<br />

<strong>The</strong> allure of art investment is also<br />

heightened by the ever-evolving art<br />

market. Just as brushstrokes blend to<br />

create intricate patterns, the forces of<br />

supply, demand, and trends interact<br />

to shape the art landscape. Emerging<br />

artists, previously overlooked<br />

masterpieces, and shifting collector<br />

preferences can create opportunities<br />

for investors to tap into the rising stars<br />

of the art world.<br />

However, like any investment, the<br />

world of art comes with its nuances<br />

and challenges. Determining the potential<br />

value of an artwork requires a<br />

delicate blend of research, analysis,<br />

and expert advice. <strong>The</strong> art market’s<br />

subjective nature demands an understanding<br />

of artistic provenance,<br />

market trends, and the dynamics that<br />

influence valuations.<br />

<strong>The</strong> journey of art investment is not<br />

only about seeking potential financial<br />

gains but also embarking on a voyage<br />

of artistic discovery. It’s a pathway<br />

that encourages individuals to delve<br />

into the stories behind each brushstroke,<br />

each sculpture’s curve, and<br />

each intricate detail. Each artwork<br />

carries with it the artist’s vision, the<br />

historical context, and the emotions<br />

that it evokes. Investing in art means<br />

becoming a custodian of these narratives,<br />

preserving them for future<br />

generations.<br />

Art investment also reflects the<br />

evolving landscape of cultural and<br />

societal values. Just as art has the<br />

power to capture the essence of an<br />

era, investing in art allows one to<br />

align with shifts in taste, innovation,<br />

and expression. It’s a way to stay<br />

attuned to the pulse of creativity and<br />

to participate in the dialogue that art<br />

initiates with its audience. As artists<br />

experiment with new forms, materials,<br />

and concepts, art investment becomes<br />

a means to partake in the continuous<br />

evolution of human expression.<br />

<strong>The</strong> global art market itself is a<br />

vibrant ecosystem where galleries,<br />

auction houses, collectors, and artists<br />

interact. Engaging with this ecosystem<br />

offers not only a chance to acquire<br />

valuable assets but also an opportunity<br />

to connect with a community<br />

that shares a passion for creativity.<br />

<strong>The</strong> camaraderie among collectors,<br />

the thrill of bidding at auctions, and<br />

the exploration of emerging talents all<br />

contribute to the multifaceted experience<br />

of art investment.<br />

Ultimately, art investment transcends<br />

the boundaries of traditional<br />

investing. It offers a chance to engage<br />

with culture, to support emerging<br />

talents, and to contribute to the preservation<br />

of creativity. While financial<br />

returns are a compelling facet, the<br />

intrinsic value of owning a piece of<br />

cultural history is immeasurable.<br />

As the global investment landscape<br />

evolves, the world of art investment<br />

stands as a canvas of opportunity. It<br />

invites individuals to explore a realm<br />

where aesthetics and economics converge,<br />

where emotions and finances<br />

intertwine, and where the strokes of<br />

a brush can shape both a masterpiece<br />

on the canvas and a unique addition<br />

to an investment portfolio. Just as<br />

artists breathe life into their creations,<br />

investors can infuse their portfolios<br />

with a new dimension of potential by<br />

embracing the art world’s palette of<br />

returns.<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 81

Global News<br />

<strong>World</strong> Rice Price Index Reaches Near 12-Year High in July -FAO<br />

<strong>The</strong> United Nations food agency<br />

reported a 2.8% increase in<br />

their rice price index for July,<br />

reaching its highest level in<br />

nearly 12 years. <strong>The</strong> surge was driven<br />

by strong demand and India’s decision<br />

to limit rice exports, causing prices to<br />

soar in key exporting countries. <strong>The</strong><br />

Food and Agriculture Organization’s All<br />

Rice Price Index reached an average of<br />

129.7 points in July, compared to 126.2<br />

points the previous month. This figure<br />

was almost 20% higher than last year’s<br />

and the highest since <strong>September</strong> 2011.<br />

Furthermore, the world food price<br />

index also rose in July, recovering<br />

from two-year lows. India, with 40%<br />

of the world’s rice exports, halted its<br />

largest rice export category last month<br />

to control domestic prices amid erratic<br />

weather affecting production.<br />

Bank of England Raises<br />

Interest Rates to 5.25%,<br />

Highest Since 2008<br />

<strong>The</strong> Bank of England has taken<br />

decisive action to address<br />

soaring inflation, raising the<br />

base rate by 0.25 percentage<br />

points to 5.25%, the highest since February<br />

2008. This move aims to mitigate<br />

inflationary pressures and maintain a<br />

low inflation environment. <strong>The</strong> bank’s<br />

target is to achieve the 2% inflation<br />

rate by early 2025. Recent data from<br />

the Office of National Statistics (ONS)<br />

revealed that UK inflation stood at 7.3%<br />

in June, down from a peak of 9.6% in<br />

October 2022, the highest in nearly<br />

three decades. Experts predict that<br />

the base rate is likely to remain above<br />

5% throughout 2024, possibly reaching<br />

5.75% or even 6%.<br />

Goods and Services Trade Surges by 13% to $31T<br />

According to a new report by<br />

the <strong>World</strong> Trade Organisation<br />

(WTO), global trade in goods<br />

and services surged to $31T<br />

in 2022, experiencing a notable 13%<br />

year-on-year increase. Trade in goods<br />

had already surpassed pre-pandemic<br />

levels in 2021, with services catching<br />

up in 2022. China remained the leading<br />

merchandise exporter but saw its share<br />

in world exports slightly decline to<br />

14%. <strong>The</strong> United States and Germany<br />

followed closely in second and third<br />

India’s July Services Sector Hits 13-Year High<br />

with Robust Demand<br />

India’s services sector showed<br />

remarkable growth in July, reaching<br />

its highest pace in 13 years<br />

despite inflationary pressures.<br />

S&P Global’s India services purchasing<br />

managers’ index surged to 62.3,<br />

surpassing expectations and indicating<br />

a strong contribution to the country’s<br />

GDP for the second fiscal quarter.<br />

<strong>The</strong> economy is projected to grow<br />

by 6.2% in the July-<strong>September</strong> quarter.<br />

Demand remained robust, with<br />

the new business sub-index showing<br />

significant growth since August 2021.<br />

International demand also increased<br />

notably. Although inflation rose to<br />

4.81%, within the RBI’s target range,<br />

positions, respectively. <strong>The</strong> report<br />

noted that the share of manufactured<br />

goods in world merchandise exports<br />

decreased to 63% in 2022 due to high<br />

energy prices limiting demand. Intra-regional<br />

merchandise trade represented<br />

a significant portion of Europe’s world<br />

trade, accounting for 65% in 2022.<br />

Additionally, the value of merchandise<br />

trade grew at a faster pace than<br />

volume globally, partly influenced by<br />

high global commodity prices.<br />

firms remained cautious about pricing<br />

strategies while expanding headcount.<br />

Optimism for future activity remained<br />

strong despite concerns over extreme<br />

weather.<br />

82 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Dubai Chamber Aims to Aid 100 Businesses in<br />

Global Expansion by 2024<br />

Dubai International Chamber,<br />

a part of Dubai Chambers,<br />

unveiled its ‘New Horizons’<br />

initiative to support local<br />

private sector companies in global<br />

expansion. In the first half of <strong>2023</strong>,<br />

successful trade missions to Central<br />

Asia, the UK, and South Africa were<br />

conducted, benefiting member companies.<br />

Upcoming roadshows are planned<br />

for Asia, Europe, East and West Africa,<br />

the Baltic region, ASEAN countries,<br />

Turkey, and other African markets<br />

in 2024. <strong>The</strong> New Horizons initiative<br />

aims to help 100 Dubai businesses<br />

expand globally by the end of 2024.<br />

<strong>The</strong> roadshows have already facilitated<br />

over 550 business meetings, fostering<br />

potential partnerships and strengthening<br />

bilateral ties.<br />

U.N. Climate Chief Urges G20 to Lead on Mitigation at Summit<br />

Simon Stiell, the Executive<br />

Secretary of the United Nations<br />

Framework Convention on<br />

Climate Change, and Sultan<br />

al-Jaber, the incoming president of the<br />

COP28 climate summit, jointly urged<br />

the Group of 20 major economies<br />

to take a leading role in addressing<br />

climate change mitigation during this<br />

year’s meeting. <strong>The</strong>y emphasized the<br />

importance of the G20 in paving the<br />

way for a robust and credible outcome<br />

that supports developing countries<br />

in implementing a just transition.<br />

As the world faces pressing climate<br />

challenges, their call highlights the<br />

critical role that G20 nations play in<br />

shaping climate action and fostering<br />

global cooperation.<br />

Global Central Banks<br />

Adjust Policies as<br />

Inflation Cools<br />

Central banks globally continued<br />

with interest rate hikes amid<br />

cooling inflation, but their<br />

approach now leans towards<br />

caution, hinting that the year-long round<br />

of monetary tightening may be reaching<br />

its end. Both the U.S. Federal Reserve and<br />

the European Central Bank raised rates<br />

by a quarter-percentage point this week<br />

while leaving room for further increases<br />

if needed. <strong>The</strong> Bank of England is also<br />

expected to raise rates next week due to<br />

positive inflation news. Meanwhile, the<br />

Bank of Japan opened discussions on<br />

ending ultra-loose policies. Central banks<br />

are now taking a more comprehensive<br />

approach, considering overall economic<br />

conditions and potential slowdowns as<br />

indicators of falling inflation. Fed Chair<br />

Jerome Powell emphasized the importance<br />

of patience in making further rate<br />

hike decisions.<br />

Voyager 2’s Communication Restored by NASA<br />

After ‘Interstellar Shout<br />

NASA successfully restored<br />

full contact with Voyager 2<br />

using a powerful “interstellar<br />

shout” that corrected the<br />

probe’s antenna orientation, the space<br />

agency announced. Launched in 1977<br />

to explore outer planets and represent<br />

humanity to the universe, Voyager 2<br />

currently sits over 12.3 billion miles<br />

away from Earth, far beyond the solar<br />

system. Erroneous commands in July<br />

misaligned its antenna by two degrees,<br />

jeopardizing communications and the<br />

mission. Initially projected to resolve<br />

by October 15 through an automated<br />

realignment, engineers enlisted Earth<br />

observatories in the Deep Space Network,<br />

detecting a faint signal. A daring<br />

18.5-hour “interstellar shout” finally succeeded,<br />

reestablishing communication.<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 83

Investing in Tourism<br />

Reviving Soar: UAE Tourism Investment<br />

Surges<br />

<strong>The</strong> United Arab Emirates (UAE) is poised for a remarkable resurgence<br />

in its tourism sector, with investments set to surge by nearly 10 percent<br />

in <strong>2023</strong>, according to a comprehensive global report. In a strong<br />

indication of the nation’s rebound to pre-pandemic boom levels, the<br />

report, published by the London-based <strong>World</strong> Travel and Tourism<br />

Council (WTTC), forecasts tourism and travel investments to reach<br />

approximately 28.1 billion UAE dirhams ($7.65 billion) this year.<br />

84 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

<strong>The</strong> establishment of a new federal ministry of<br />

investment underscores the nation’s strategic approach<br />

to managing economic competition and ensuring longterm<br />

growth.<br />

This is a substantial increase<br />

from the AED 25.6 billion<br />

($6.97 billion) recorded in<br />

2022. <strong>The</strong> study, published in<br />

the semi-official UAE daily Alittihad,<br />

also projects a steady growth trajectory,<br />

estimating investments to rise to<br />

a staggering AED 47.3 billion ($12.88<br />

billion) by the year 2033.<br />

This uptick in tourism investments<br />

is anticipated to have a significant<br />

impact on the overall capital structure<br />

of the UAE economy. <strong>The</strong> report<br />

highlights a projected increase in the<br />

share of tourism investment within<br />

the total capital, expected to rise to<br />

9.1 percent in <strong>2023</strong> from the previous<br />

year’s nearly 8.3 percent. Such growth<br />

not only demonstrates the resilience<br />

of the UAE’s tourism industry but also<br />

underscores its strategic importance<br />

in the country’s economic landscape.<br />

In addition to its impact on capital<br />

distribution, the flourishing tourism<br />

sector is poised to contribute substantially<br />

to the UAE’s Gross Domestic<br />

Product (GDP). <strong>The</strong> report estimates<br />

that the sector’s contribution to GDP<br />

will rise by approximately 8.3 percent,<br />

reaching AED 180.6 billion ($49.2 billion)<br />

in <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

<strong>The</strong> resurgence in tourism investments<br />

aligns with the findings of the<br />

WTTC’s Travel & Tourism Economic<br />

Impact <strong>2023</strong> Global Trends Report,<br />

which paints an optimistic picture<br />

of the sector’s resurgence after the<br />

setbacks caused by the COVID-19<br />

pandemic. <strong>The</strong> report reveals that<br />

global investment in Travel & Tourism<br />

is rebounding impressively after a 24<br />

percent decline in 2020 and a further 8<br />

percent drop in 2021. In 2022, spurred<br />

by pent-up demand, investment surged<br />

to $856 billion, marking an 11.1 percent<br />

increase from the previous year<br />

and a significant step toward recovery.<br />

<strong>The</strong> UAE’s commitment to diversifying<br />

its economy and attracting foreign<br />

investment remains unwavering. <strong>The</strong><br />

establishment of a new federal ministry<br />

of investment underscores the nation’s<br />

strategic approach to managing<br />

economic competition and ensuring<br />

long-term growth. As the UAE pioneers<br />

sectors such as financial services<br />

and tourism ahead of its neighbors,<br />

it stands as a testament to effective<br />

governance and foresight in the face<br />

of changing economic landscapes.<br />

Flight bookings to the UAE for<br />

the latter half of <strong>2023</strong> offer further<br />

validation of the country’s tourism<br />

resilience. With bookings ahead by<br />

29 percent, the UAE is poised to harness<br />

the momentum of this upward<br />

trend. Amid a global push for tourism<br />

investment and the country’s strategic<br />

initiatives, the UAE’s tourism sector is<br />

carving an exciting trajectory toward<br />

sustained growth and prosperity.<br />

According to the <strong>World</strong> Travel and<br />

Tourism Council (WTTC), Dubai’s<br />

tourism sector orchestrated a substantial<br />

contribution of US$29.4 billion to<br />

the UAE’s economy in the year 2022.<br />

This year’s promising trajectory is<br />

further solidified by the fact that<br />

Dubai welcomed over 4.75 million<br />

tourists in the first quarter of <strong>2023</strong><br />

alone – a remarkable 17 percent surge<br />

compared to the same period in the<br />

previous year.<br />

<strong>The</strong> spotlight on Dubai is set to<br />

intensify as the city gears up to host<br />

COP28 for the first time, slated to take<br />

place from November 30 to December<br />

12. With the climate change convention<br />

poised to draw world leaders, ministers,<br />

negotiators, and environmental<br />

enthusiasts to Expo City Dubai, hoteliers<br />

are bracing for heightened<br />

interest in accommodations. <strong>The</strong><br />

event’s timing, coinciding with the<br />

UAE’s National Day celebrations on<br />

December 2, is expected to drive up<br />

hotel room bookings even further.<br />

<strong>The</strong> industry’s focus on diversity, arts,<br />

culture, and corporate responsibility<br />

is spurring a paradigm shift, elevating<br />

Dubai’s hospitality sector to newfound<br />

maturity. Bolstered by a forward-thinking<br />

governmental vision, the UAE’s<br />

hospitality landscape has emerged<br />

stronger than ever.<br />

Dubai’s hospitality market stands<br />

out as a testament to resilience,<br />

achieving the world’s highest occupancy<br />

rates and underlining its global<br />

allure. With sustainability, innovation,<br />

and strategic planning at the forefront,<br />

Dubai is not just recovering but thriving,<br />

setting an inspiring example for<br />

the industry worldwide. As the UAE<br />

continues to diversify its economy<br />

and prioritize responsible growth, its<br />

tourism sector’s upward trajectory remains<br />

steadfast, promising a resilient<br />

and promising future.<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 85

Local News<br />

Paraguay President Holds Key Meeting with Saudi Minister of Investment<br />

Paraguay’s President Mario Abdo<br />

Benítez met with Saudi Arabia’s<br />

Minister of Investment, Khalid<br />

Al-Falih, to discuss strengthening<br />

Saudi-Paraguayan relations and<br />

exploring opportunities for cooperation<br />

in various fields. Al-Falih conveyed<br />

greetings from King Salman and Crown<br />

Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the<br />

Paraguayan president and people. A<br />

roundtable meeting with representatives<br />

from both countries’ private sectors<br />

aimed to foster economic ventures and<br />

bilateral cooperation. <strong>The</strong> discussions<br />

covered joint investment and ways to<br />

enhance collaborations, considering the<br />

promising opportunities in both nations.<br />

Additionally, Al-Falih held a separate<br />

meeting with Paraguayan Minister of<br />

Industry and Commerce Luis Alberto<br />

Castiglioni to further discuss investment<br />

and economic cooperation matters.<br />

UAE and China Leaders<br />

Review Bilateral Relations<br />

and Strategic Partnership<br />

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin<br />

Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE’s<br />

Minister of Foreign Affairs,<br />

held a phone discussion with<br />

Wang Yi, China’s Foreign Minister,<br />

focusing on bilateral relations and the<br />

strategic partnership between their<br />

countries. <strong>The</strong>y explored opportunities<br />

to strengthen cooperation across all<br />

domains. <strong>The</strong> two ministers agreed<br />

to celebrate the 40th anniversary of<br />

diplomatic relations between the UAE<br />

and China next year. Sheikh Abdullah<br />

praised the deep-rooted strategic ties<br />

between the two nations, expressing<br />

the UAE’s commitment to enhancing<br />

cooperation and comprehensive partnership<br />

with China for the mutual<br />

benefit of their countries and peoples.<br />

UAE Urges Global Action to Address Food Insecurity<br />

Noura Al Kaabi, UAE’s Minister<br />

of State, called for increased<br />

global cooperation to address<br />

food insecurity during a UN<br />

Security Council open debate on “Famine<br />

and Conflict-Induced Global and<br />

Food Insecurity.” Al Kaabi stressed<br />

the importance of collective efforts<br />

to end famine and emphasized the<br />

need to focus on climate change as a<br />

growing driver of food insecurity. She<br />

advocated for inclusive responses that<br />

<strong>The</strong> Emirates Institute of <strong>Finance</strong><br />

(EIF) and the Commercial Bank<br />

of Dubai celebrated the graduation<br />

of 48 UAE National high<br />

school graduates from the esteemed<br />

“Bedayati” Programme, symbolizing a<br />

strategic commitment to fostering young<br />

talents in alignment with the UAE’s<br />

Emiratisation vision. <strong>The</strong> rigorous sixmonth<br />

learning and development journey,<br />

encompassing various disciplines like<br />

prioritize the participation of marginalized<br />

groups, especially women and<br />

youth. Al Kaabi highlighted UAE-led<br />

initiatives, such as the one billion<br />

meals campaign and the Agriculture<br />

Innovation Mission for Climate, aimed<br />

at tackling food insecurity. She also<br />

met with US Secretary of State Antony<br />

Blinken and Japanese Minister of<br />

Foreign Affairs Yamada Kenji during<br />

her visit to New York.<br />

Emirates Institute & Commercial Bank Celebrate<br />

‘Bedayati’ Graduation<br />

banking operations and customer service,<br />

equipped participants with indispensable<br />

knowledge and skills essential for excelling<br />

in the dynamic banking industry. <strong>The</strong><br />

program’s emphasis on holistic personal<br />

and professional growth and invaluable<br />

on-the-job training ensured the graduates<br />

were well-prepared for their pivotal roles<br />

within the bank. <strong>The</strong> ceremony marked<br />

a significant milestone in empowering<br />

future Emirati leaders.<br />

86 www.thefinanceworld.com <strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong>

Emiratis Dominate FANR’s Workforce at 74%<br />

<strong>The</strong> Federal Authority for Nuclear<br />

Regulation (FANR) is committed<br />

to offering long-term<br />

career prospects for Emirati<br />

employees, emphasizing recruitment,<br />

knowledge transfer, and training and<br />

development programs. As of 2022,<br />

Emiratis accounted for an impressive<br />

74% of FANR’s 248-strong workforce.<br />

<strong>The</strong> authority continues to attract talented<br />

Emirati professionals, recruiting<br />

an additional 22 during the review<br />

period, as reported in FANR’s 2022<br />

Annual Report. Recognizing the pivotal<br />

role of women, FANR has appointed<br />

two Emirati Champions to promote<br />

gender balance and equality in line<br />

with government directives. Women<br />

hold over 45% of FANR’s workforce and<br />

occupy leadership positions, demonstrating<br />

the organization’s commitment<br />

to fostering inclusivity and providing<br />

opportunities for women to excel in<br />

the nuclear industry.<br />

Saudi-Brazilian Roundtable<br />

Explores Investment<br />

Opportunities<br />

Saudi-Brazilian roundtable meeting<br />

held in São Paulo explored<br />

diverse investment opportunities<br />

and economic cooperation<br />

between the two nations. Attended by<br />

Saudi Arabia’s Investment Minister<br />

Eng. Khalid Al-Falih and numerous<br />

officials and CEOs from both countries,<br />

over 30 Saudi and 90 Brazilian<br />

companies participated in the session.<br />

Discussions revolved around enhancing<br />

investment relations, empowering<br />

the private sector, and capitalizing on<br />

investment prospects in sectors such as<br />

energy, mining, petrochemicals, food<br />

processing, and real estate. Additionally,<br />

potential investments in oil, gas,<br />

renewable energy, defense, healthcare,<br />

environment, sports, entertainment,<br />

and more were addressed, reflecting<br />

the shared interests and commitment<br />

to fostering economic collaboration.<br />

Saudi Arabia’s Q2 Budget Deficit Reaches $1.41B<br />

- <strong>Finance</strong> Ministry<br />

In the second quarter of <strong>2023</strong>, Saudi<br />

Arabia faced a budget deficit of<br />

5.3B riyals ($1.41B), as lower oil<br />

revenue weighed on the nation’s<br />

finances. While the world’s leading oil<br />

exporter achieved a budget surplus of<br />

almost $30B in 2022, surpassing its own<br />

projections due to higher oil prices,<br />

the scenario has changed this year.<br />

Data released on Thursday showed<br />

that the budget deficit extended to<br />

8.2B riyals year-to-date in <strong>2023</strong>, raising<br />

concerns of a potential full-year<br />

deficit. <strong>The</strong> decline in oil revenue led<br />

to a 15% drop in total revenues, while<br />

spending increased by 9% over the<br />

same period last year, according to<br />

the finance ministry’s quarterly budget<br />

performance report. Despite the<br />

challenges, the Saudi economy grew<br />

8.7% last year, benefiting from high<br />

oil prices that boosted revenue and<br />

resulted in the kingdom’s first budget<br />

surplus in almost a decade. However,<br />

the government anticipates a narrower<br />

surplus this year as oil export revenues<br />

have significantly dropped due to lower<br />

prices and production cuts.<br />

Mideast Stocks Extend Gains on Strong Oil and<br />

Corporate Earnings<br />

UAE’s stock markets continued<br />

their upward trend,<br />

bolstered by robust corporate<br />

earnings and strong oil<br />

prices. Crude oil prices surged for the<br />

sixth consecutive week, with Brent<br />

crude futures rising to $85.57 a barrel<br />

by 0825 GMT, after Saudi Arabia and<br />

Russia pledged to cut output through<br />

<strong>September</strong>. In Dubai, the main share<br />

index climbed 0.8%, led by significant<br />

gains in Emirates NBD Bank (up over<br />

3%) and Emaar Properties (up 2%).<br />

However, Empower, Dubai’s district<br />

cooling provider, reported a decline<br />

in quarterly profit, causing a 0.5% dip.<br />

Abu Dhabi’s benchmark index closed<br />

flat, with Burjeel Holding surging more<br />

than 10% after reporting a 51% jump in<br />

Q2 profit. ADNOC Logistics & Services,<br />

a maritime logistics services firm, saw<br />

a significant boost as its second-quarter<br />

profit tripled. Both Abu Dhabi and<br />

Dubai indexes recorded weekly gains<br />

of 0.3% and 1.2%, respectively.<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2023</strong> www.thefinanceworld.com 87

Proudly Celebrating<br />

the success of South<br />

Indian Entrepreneurship<br />

in UAE.<br />

14th Sept <strong>2023</strong><br />


OPEN<br />



Rana Daggubati Nidhi Agrewal Lakshmi Manchu<br />

Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu<br />

(Ex. Vice‐President of India)<br />

Meenakshi Chaudhary Athulya Ravi Esha Rebba<br />



www.evonith.com<br />

Alferon Management Private Limited

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