- Egypt will impose a sugar export tariff of 3,000 EGP (165.47 USD) per ton. It is worthy to mention that Egypt removed the tariff on raw sugar imports in March through the end of 2017.
- Egypt core inflation has declined to 32.5% y-o-y in March 2017 compared to 33.1% in February 2017.
- Jordan government is trying to focus on expanding exports to non-traditional markets on US, EU and Africa, as well as overcoming challenges to the flow of products mainly to Africa.
- Oman is promoting tourism through easier visa system for Indians besides signing agreements with Russia, China and Iran to speed up visa processes.
- Qatar hospitality industry has witnessed a higher occupancy rate while average room rates declined in February 2017. The hotel rooms yield increased by 0.4% year-on-year reaching 138 USD despite a 6.4% jump in occupancy to 72.8% even as average room rate declined by 8.4% to 189 USD in February 2017.
- Qatar non-oil exports increased by 22.1% reaching 1.71 BN QAR in February 2017 compared to 1.4 BN QAR in January 2017, which is 31.5% higher than the previous year. It is worthy to mention that 60.1% of the non-oil exports were received by the GCC countries and the rest of exports were distributed to 51 countries worldwide.
- The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has reported that the number of hotels increased by 6% in 2017 reaching 2,036 compared to 1,908 in 2016.
- Dubai Economy has issued more than 170,000 commercial licenses over the last 25 years, a 650% increase over the 28,000 licenses issued in its first year 1992. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Sami Al Qamzi, the Director of Dubai Economy assured that: "The Business Registration & Licensing (BRL) sector in Dubai Economy serves more than 150,000 businesses in the Emirate, conducting approximately 430,000 transactions every year relating to issuing, renewing or revoking licenses."
- Byblos Bank announced the launch of its MasterCard World Business Credit Card. Byblos Bank is the first Lebanese bank to launch this new product intended exclusively for corporate clients. The MasterCard is designed to give companies more control over their finances.
- Pope Tawadros II, pope of Alexandria and patriarch of the See of St. Mark, offered reassurance as well as condolences following the bombing of Coptic churches in Tanta and Alexandria on Sunday as worshipers celebrated Palm Sunday and marked the beginning of Holy Week.
- German prosecutors issued an arrest warrant against a 26-year-old Iraqi man detained following an attack on a bus carrying players of a top soccer team. It was believed that he was a member of Islamic State. Three explosions went off as the Borussia Dortmund bus traveled to the club's stadium for their Champions League match against AS Monaco last Tuesday, injuring Spanish defender Marc Bartra and delaying the fixture by a day.
- Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the first female Muslim judge in U.S. history, was found dead. The authorities identified her body floating in New York's Hudson River.
- .TASI banking sector has slightly increase led by Alinma Bank and telecommunication sector led by Zain.
- .KWSE telecommunication sector increased led by Ooredoo.
- .QSI banking sector increased led by Qatar First Bank and Qatar National Bank.
- .ADI telecommunication sector increased led by Etisalat.
- .DFMGI banking sector increased led by Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB).
Note: Weekly values are calculated on Thursday of each week.
- National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) has reported an 8.1% increase in Q1-2017 net profit reaching 85.4 MM KWD (280.8 MM USD) compared to 78.9 MM KWD (258.89 MM USD) in the same period last year.
- Saudi Arabia Power and Water Project Developer (ACWA Power) has signed an MoU with Head of Egyptian New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) to extend a concession to build a solar power plant in Binban near Aswan.
- Bank Muscat, Oman Largest lender has reported a 1.1% increase in Q1-2017 net profit reaching 44.2 MM OMR (114.8 MM USD) compared to 43.8 MM OMR (113.76 MM USD) in the same period last year.
- Qatar National Bank (QNB) has reported a 12% increase in Q1-2017 reaching 3.2 BN QAR (879.2 MM USD) compared to 2.9 BN QAR (800 MM USD) in the same period last year. This was a result of the 2.7 BN EUR (2.86 BN USD) acquisition of Turkey's Finansbank that was completed in June 2016 and helped securing QNB's position as the largest lender in the Middle East and Africa by assets.
- Philips lighting Saudi Arabia has signed a strategic distribution agreement with Ahmed AbdulWahed Trading Company for its LED and home consumer offering. This partnership comes in alignment with government austerity measures for conscious energy consumption whereas lighting represents 17% of electricity use in the kingdom compared to the global average of 15%.
- Nakheel, the Dubai-based master developer awarded a 4.2 BN AED (1.14 BN USD) contract for the construction of Deira Mall to the United Engineering Construction Company, a private construction firm based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The project is expected to start in Q3-2017 and to be completed in 2020.
- Mashreq, Dubai's third-biggest lender by assets, has reported a 2.7% increase in Q1-2017 net profit reaching 546 MM AED (148.7 MM USD) compared to 532 MM AED (144.84 MM USD) last year.
- UAE telecoms group Etisalat has signed a partnership with Miral to enable visitors to Abu Dhabi's Yas Island to enjoy access to public high-speed internet connection, enabling them to text, browse, chat and stream videos easily without any advertisements or pop-ups.
Sports and Culture
- Nour El-Sherbini, Egypt's first squash champion has won for the second time the 2017 Gouna open squash championship after beating Raneem Al-Waili (3-0).
- Mall of Qatar has opened its doors last Saturday with more than 150,000 visitors attending the grand celebration. The 1.48 BN USD mall is 500,000 square meters, with 19-screen megaplex operated by Novo and hosting over 500 brands and 100 food and beverage outlets.
- Saudi Justice Ministry reiterated that women could file marriage-related cases at the nearest court, exempting them from the regulation of filing the case at the defendant's place of residence.