Middle East Business News – 1 May

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A look at today’s important financial news and business updates from the Middle East region:

Etihad claims 3% stake in Irish flag carrier

Reports coming from Ireland suggest Etihad Airways has formally acquired a 2.98% stake in Aer Lingus as part of its European expansion plans.

Aer Lingus confirmed on Tuesday that talks about a commercial partnership, which so far focused on code-share agreements, now include cost savings proposals through joint-procurement. Click here to read more…

Hollywood’s Paramount Pictures to open resort in UAE

Paramount Pictures has announced it will host a new themed hotel in Dubai.

The resort could open its doors by 2015, Paramount Hotels and Resorts, the official licensees of Paramount, reports said. Click here to read more…

Qatar to scrap ‘sponsorship’ labour laws, introduce contract system

Qatar says it is considering a revamp of its controversial sponsorship system for foreign workers in the country and introduce a new system that is in line with international labour standards.

Under the current system, all foreigners must be sponsored by local employers to work and reside in the country. Click here to read more…

Qatar Airways, Emirates only dominant carriers in the Middle East – Al Baker

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al-Baker claimed in a controversial statement that only “two dominant carriers” have a future in the Middle East.

The Qatari executive made his prediction at this week’s Arabian Travel Market event in Dubai. Click here to read more…

Sanctions, civil strife pushes majority of Syrians into poverty

An official report released suggested that poverty rates in Syria have gone up since last year’s uprising against President Bashar Al Assad. The findings said Syrians are enduring harsh economic conditions and are the primary victims of international sanctions. Western countries insist they imposed the economic embargo to topple the Baathist regime. Click here to read more…

Islamic bonds to fund Dubai airport expansion

The government of Dubai announced it will fund the expansion of its international airport by making use of the $1.25bn Islamic bond issued last week. The emirate’s $7.8bn aviation master plan includes the opening of Concourse 3 in 2013, leading executives told reporters on Tuesday. Click here to read more. (Source – Arabian Business)

Libya seeks $1 trillion to revive post-civil war economy

Libya said it hopes to raise up to $1 trillion in foreign direct investment to rebuild its economy shattered by NATO airstrikes and clashes between pro and anti-Gaddafi forces.

Libya’s Minister of Economy Ahmad Salem Al Koshly told a conference on Tuesday that the oil-rich country was expecting a huge cash injection. He disclosed that the UAE alone had invested $13 billion in pre-civil war Libya. Click here to read more. (Source – Gulf News)

Turkey attracts UAE hoteliers en masse

Turkey is rapidly transforming itself as a haven for the UAE hotel operators, with Rotana Hotels and Viceroy Hotel Group announcing projects for the country this week. Click here to read more…

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