Middle East Business News Review – 29 May

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

Dubai economy registered 3.4% growth in 2011

Dubai’s statistics office said on Tuesday the emirate’s economy grew 3.4% in real terms in 2011, thanks to strong trade flows and rising tourist numbers. The Middle East’s leading economic hub also saw its foreign trade jump by a record 22% in 2011, with a total of AED1.1trn ($299bn) representing an increase of 22% compared to the AED902bn achieved in 2010. Click here to read more…

WEF praises UAE as the leading Arab world trade enabler

The World Economic Forum praised the UAE as the Arab world leader at enabling trade and ranked the country 19 in its Global Enabling Trade Report 2012 list. Click here to read more…

Saudi women set to join elite ‘National Guard’

Prince Mitaab Bin Abdullah, head of the Saudi National Guard, announced on Tuesday he will create a department within the force that will be tasked with recruiting female soldiers. According to a newspaper report published in Okaz, a leading Saudi newspaper, Prince Abdullah said a new study has been submitted to recruit female soldiers in the Saudi National Guard. Click here to read more…

Iran oil imports to South Korea rise in April

South Korea imported more Iranian oil in April prior to the embargoes imposed by the US and Europe that come effective in June and July respectively. According to Korea National Oil Corp, a state-run institution, Seoul imported a total of 25.25 million barrels from Iran during the first four months of 2011, representing a 10% decrease from the 28.1 million barrels during the same period a year ago. The increase of imports in April accounted to 7.5 million barrels, a 42% rise from the same period last year. Click here to read more…

New FIFA committee expected to probe Qatar World Cup bid irregularities

FIFA is forming an independent committee that will most probably examine the World Cup bids made by Russia and Qatar to host the prestigious events in 2018 and 2022 respectively, a former British attorney general advising FIFA on reform disclosed. Click here to read more…

France, UAE Rafale jets talks said to stall

Negotiations between France and the UAE over the potential sale of 60 Rafale warplanes to the Gulf nation have “stalled”, La Tribune newspaper reported on Tuesday. Click here to read more. (Source – Reuters via ArabianBusiness.com)

Emirates undecided on $550m June bond

Emirates, the fast expanding Gulf airline, may seek to refinance a $550 million Islamic bond maturing in June but has not ruled out repayment in cash, a senior executive said on Tuesday. Click here to read more. (Source – Reuters via Alrroya.com)

Etisalat buys Qtel stake for $18.7m

Etisalat has bought Qatar Telecom (Qtel) shares worth Dh69 million (US$18.7m) in a rights issue completed by the Qatari operator. The UAE-based telecommunications firm subscribed to the shares at a price of 75 Qatari riyals each, it said in a statement to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. Click here to read more. (Source – TheNational.ae)

Kuwait pays $500m for North Sea oil stake

Kuwait’s state oil firm will pay around $500m for a stake in a North Sea oil field owned by oil and gas explorer EnQuest, the London-listed firm said. Click here to read more. (Source – Reuters via ArabianBusiness.com)

Turkish Airlines hit by strike, cancels 104 flights

Turkish Airlines cancelled more than 100 flights on Tuesday after a large part of its workforce downed tools in protest at government plans to outlaw strikes in the aviation sector. Click here to read more. (Source – AFP via Daily Star Lebanon)

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