Middle East Business Review

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Chief analyst at a global bank has termed the pegging of Gulf currencies with US dollar as unsustainable and damaging in the long term. David Bloom, global head of foreign exchange strategy at HSBC, said hard peg of GCC currencies to the greenback is unwise as the US is no longer a global force behind oil prices. He added that the state of the American economy is not helping the Gulf countries either. “Undoubtedly, the dollar peg has served this region very well for many years. But the question is, will it serve the region for the next ten years? Our view is no, it would not, maybe it can continue for the next two years but not for a decade,” Bloom told the Muscat Daily.

Emirates Airlines has announced it will hire 8,500 new employees in the next two years as part of its global expansion drive. “The company needs more than 8,500 employees, technicians, pilots and stewards, to operate 50 new aircraft to be delivered in the next two years,” said Adel Al Redha, executive vice president, the department of engineering and operations, Emirates Group.

Meanwhile, reports said Qatar Airways is in talks with a top-flight English Premier League club to secure a naming rights deal worth millions of dollars. Leading football website Goal.com reported the Qatari national flag carrier has offered Tottenham Hotspur 150 million ($235m) for a 10 year deal to secure rights for the redevelopment of White Hart Lane stadium. The move will rival Manchester City’s pact with Etihad Airways and Arsenal’s agreement with Emirates worth 100m ($156.3m).

Adventure World Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with Adventure World Poland, will build a total of 25 attractions which include a water park, entertainment area with roller coasters, wave pools, interactive fountains, carousels, restaurants, shops, clubs and luxury hotels. The year-round theme park will comprise of Adventure Harbour, Creature Lagoon, Castle Island, the Land of Legends and the Polski Plaza. The Polish company plans to invest 400m ($500.28m) in the first development phase, a statement released by Adventure World Abu Dhabi said.

Bahraini central bank has urged country’s five Islamic banks to merge early next year in a bid to strengthen banks’ capital bases. Naser Mohammed Al Baloshi, executive director of management services at Bahrain Monetary Agency, which acts as the country’s central bank, said capital limitations would continue to seriously hinder the financial capabilities of Islamic banks. “Islamic banks will have to consolidate or otherwise or substantially increase their capital structures to enhance their ability to provide project finance on the scale required,” he told a banking seminar in Bahrain.

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has asked the Arab League to consider it exempting from the economic embargo imposed on neighbouring Syria citing concerns of the impact on its already ailing economy, a senior official in Amman told AP. “Jordan supports the Arab consensus regarding the sanctions on Syria, but we have to cater to our economic interests,” the unnamed source said, insisting on anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the matter. The Middle Eastern kingdom is already suffocating from a record $2 billion budget deficit this fiscal year. The country has also witnessed protests over high unemployment and poverty, and analysts believe the impact of sanctions on Syria might have a knockdown effect on Jordan’s troubled economy.

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