Middle East Business News Review – 15 May

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

UAE ranked among lowest software piracy countries

The UAE is the only Arab country ranked among the lowest-piracy countries in the world, the ninth annual global software piracy study by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) in partnership with IDC and Ipsos Public Affairs suggested. Click here to read more…

Private sector grappling with Saudisation policy

The Saudisation jobs policy, Nitaqat, is giving private sector employers in Saudi Arabia a tough time as they grapple with the implementation of reform introduced in the wake of Arab Spring uprisings, a new report revealed. Click here to read more…

Oman tourism to get grand boost, adding new hotels and resorts

Oman’s Ministry of Tourism said in a statement on Tuesday its resort and hotel industry continues to expand with over 2,000 additional rooms scheduled for opening in 2012/2013. Click here to read more…

Gas-rich Qatar has highest ecological footprint on the planet – WWF

A new research published by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said Qatar has the worst ecological footprint per person in the world. The wildlife and environmental organisation also said that an ever-growing demand for resources by a growing population is putting tremendous pressures on our planet’s biodiversity and is threatening our future security, health and well-being. Click here to read more…

Israel allows export of Gaza-made garments for 1st time since 2007

Israel has allowed Gaza Strip to export locally-produced garments for the first time in five years. Reports coming from the besieged Palestinian territory said a truck carrying 2,000 pieces of clothing, predominantly wool, took the shipment headed to the UK to nearby sea port of Ashdod. Click here to read more…

Dubai villa rents post first rise since 2008-09

Dubai’s residential market for villas in prime locations is likely to remain strong during 2012 after seeing a three percent rise in Q1, CB Richard Ellis said on Tuesday. Click here to read more. (Source – ArabianBusiness.com)

Qatar builds $3bn stake in Germany’s Siemens

The Gulf state of Qatar accumulated a small stake in Siemens, Germany’s most valuable company, worth roughly 2.4 billion euros ($3.08 billion), adding to the natural gas-rich country’s portfolio of minority investments around the world. Click here to read more. (Source – Reuters via ArabianBusiness.com)

HSBC expects 20% SME loan growth in UAE

UK lender HSBC Holdings, launched a Dh1 billion ($272.4 million) small and medium enterprises (SME) fund on Tuesday and said it sees loans to the sector in the United Arab Emirates growing by 20 per cent this year. Click here to read more. (Source – Reuters via Alrroya.com)

S&P drops DP World ratings at port operator’s request

Standard & Poor’s withdrew its credit rating on DP World after the ports operator objected to the way the agency assessed its financial health. The ratings agency said it pulled the ratings at DP World’s request. The company, a profitable part of indebted conglomerate Dubai World , is rated investment grade by Moody’s and Fitch. Click here to read more. (Source – Reuters via Alrroya.com)

Hilton inks deal for two new Qatar hotels

Hilton Worldwide and Qatar’s Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Company (ARTIC) on Tuesday announced an agreement for two new hotels in Doha. Click here to read more. (Source – ArabianBusiness.com)

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