Middle East Business Review – 19 Apr

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

International VoIP calls in UAE soon, says Etisalat executive

UAE telecoms operator Etisalat announced it will offer Internet-based phone calls by the end of the second quarter. The former monopoly is currently facing a stiff competition from Skype and other international providers. Click here to read more…

Dubai defers $1.3bn Hassyan Power Plant

Dubai has indefinitely postponed its plans to build the $1.3bn Hassyan power and water project. State owned Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) cited increased efficiency at existing plants amid weaker demand. Click here to read more…

UNESCO considering Dubai Creek as world heritage site

Authorities in the UAE said The Dubai Creek is one of the six locations being considered as world heritage site. If selected, the creek would join Al Ain on the prestigious list which also includes famous wonders like The Giza pyramids near Cairo, Egypt, and Taj Mahal in Agra, India. Click here to read more…

Dubai to double cigarette prices from August

Authorities in Dubai have announced hiking the price of cigarettes from August as part of their wider campaign to reduce cardiovascular diseases in the emirate and counter under-age tobacco usage. Tobacco products in Dubai cost an average AED8 (US$2.2), but the tax will double the prices up to AED16. Click here to read details…

Heavy investment in Saudi IT sector reaping widespread benefits

Saudi Arabia has invested more than SR200 billion ($53.33 billion) in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector which created around 60,000 new jobs, a report from STC said adding that the heavy investment has had a positive impact on the kingdom’s GDP, fetching around SR50 billion in revenues every year. Click here to read more…

The Kuwait Fund approves $6m fund for Yemen agriculture

The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) announced on Thursday aid worth $6 million for the Yemeni government through its Decent Life Resources Department, an organization devoted to helping Islamic countries in need. Click here to read more…

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