Middle East Business News Review

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A purpose-built aerotropolis, named Dubai World Central, is set to host the 2013 version of Dubai Airshow. According to Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum, Chairman Dubai Aviation City Corporation, the aviation district covering 6.8 sq. km will provide both landslide and airside facilities. Dubai World Central is an integral component of the strategic vision of Dubai Government to establish the emirate as an international aviation hub and a gateway to global markets. The aviation district has been holistically conceived to capitalize on the dynamic aviation industry of the UAE and the region,” the Aviation City chief said in his statement.

French warplanes manufacturer Dassault suffered a setback when UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan declared Rafale fighter jets unfit for his country’s defence needs. “Unfortunately, Dassault does not seem to realise that political will and all diplomatic efforts could not overcome uncompetitive and unworkable commercial terms,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan, the deputy head of the armed forces, was quoted by UAE’s official news agency as saying.

General Motors reported a 11 per cent rise in Middle East market following the total sales of 11,545 vehicles last month compared to that of last year. The biggest US carmaker said the company’s line-up of vehicles that comprises of Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac witnessed robust sales throughout the region. “We are in the midst of a product renaissance with new world-class vehicles competing in just about every segment. The Chevrolet Sonic, which was only introduced to showrooms last month, exceeded our sales target during October,” said John Stadwick, president and managing director of GM Middle East Operations.

Deutsche Bank says it hopes eurozone sovereign debt crisis may help Islamic finance nearly double its size to the tune of $1.8 trillion in assets in the next five years. Reuters quoted the German bank as forecasting that there is over $2 trillion of deleveraging in the US and Europe. As a result, financial institutions will fight the financing glut in both struggling economies by seeking alternative financing sources such as the Islamic one.

Blackburn Rovers denied reports Qatari royal family is taking interest in a possible takeover from present Indian owners. The Rovers’ owners, Indian-based Venkys, said: “There have been reports that someone from the royal family of Qatar was in India to meet us and discuss the possibility of buying the club. We would like to clarify that there is absolutely no truth in these reports. No-one from Qatar – or anywhere else – visited us.”

Meanwhile, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani has denied reports his investment arm has made a $2.4 billion bid for Manchester United Football Club. “That’s not true. We announced a few weeks ago that we did not negotiate that. A lot of people talk about ‘Qatar now will buy this, they will pay that. This also makes the price good for anything that will be sold,” the premier, also the executive chairman of Qatar Investment Authority, told media.

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