- In an attempt to stop importing the liquefied Natural gas (LNG) in 2019 and increasing its local production, Egypt has decreased its LNG imports in the financial year 2017/2018 (that began in July) to 80 cargoes compared to the planned 154 cargoes of the last year which recorded actual imports of only 118 cargoes, due to the increase of the locally produced gas in that period.
- After the last train crash, Egypt plans to develop the railway system infrastructure by 2022, through increasing the efficiency of manpower and maintenance in collaboration with the private sector. In addition, Egypt has signed a 1.24 BN USD deal with two Chinese companies to build a 66-Km rail system around Cairo. This rail system will consist of 11 stations and will be able to carry 340,000 passengers daily.
- Egypt signed a protocol with Korea Arab Society (KAS) to build an agricultural city north west of Egypt costing 10 BN USD. The city will contain smart green houses and solar power plants using the latest technologies over an area of 300,000 feddans.
- An increase of 30% of the money sent home from Oman expatriates have been noticed in the last five years. Although the number of expatriates has been decreasing in the last five years, the remittances have been increasing year on year. These remittances have a positive effect on Oman economy, since it fills a gap in the economy that would have been filled by black market.
- During the period from 2000 to 2016, the unemployment rate among Jordanians has increased from 13.7% in 2000 to 15.3% in 2016. The male unemployment rate increased by 1% reaching 13.3% in 2016, while the female unemployment rate increased from 21% in 2000 to 24.1% in 2016.
- The Jordanian and Japanese governments have signed a grant agreement worth 12.6 MM USD to finance the renovation of the water network in Balqa. This agreement is considered part of the social and economic development for Jordan.
- Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry announced that consumer spending in Dubai has reached 183 BN USD in 2016 and is expected to grow with a rate of 7.5% in the next four years to reach 261 BN USD by 2021. It is worthy to mention that 41% of Dubai consumer spending is allocated on housing and about 13.5% is spent on food and non-alcoholic beverages.
- Kuwait is issuing a tender to build the Dibdibah Solar power plant that will cost approximately 1.2 BN USD in the beginning of 2018. Kuwait aims to produce 15% of its power production from renewable energy by 2030.
- An explosion took place in Catalonia town 120 miles south of Barcelona last week. The explosion took place in a house that contained more than 20 butane gas cylinders. It killed one person and injured six others. Another explosion took place upon the arrival of the emergency leading to the injury of six policemen and two firefighters. Th police believe that the residents of the house were preparing explosive materials.
- Four UAE soldiers died in a helicopter crash last week. The helicopter faced some technical problems while they were carrying their routine mission in Yemen. They had to land immediately but unfortunately hit the ground and crashed.
- Saudi Arabia and Iraq decided to re-open the Arar border crossing for trade for the first time since Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. The route is now open for trade while it had been only open for Hajj during the past 27 years.
- Islamic state says they are responsible for the attack that took place in North Sinai, Egypt last week. The attack resulted in the killing of four Egyptian policemen by the criminals they were hunting.
- Two Jordanian workers died during a shooting that took place in an Israeli Embassy compound in Jordan. The two workers worked for a furniture company and were supposed to go to the compound to do some repairs.
- .KWSE Telecommunication sector has increased led by Zain and Viva.
- .ADI Banking sector has declined led by Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and First Abu Dhabi Bank. In addition, Real Estate sector declined led by Aldar properties.
- .DFMGI Investment sector has declined led by Dubai Investments. In addition, Real Estate sector declined led by Drake and Scull International, Arabtec Holding and Emaar Properties.
Note: Weekly values are calculated on Thursday of each week.
- The Dubai Science Park and Al-Jalila Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), in order to support and promote the science sector in Dubai. This collaboration aims to help provide fund for scientific projects in different areas such as cancer, diabetes, mental health, obesity and cardiovascular diseases.
- Oman Air plans to expand its services through increasing the number of planes it owns from 47 to 70 planes and increase its destinations to 75 by 2023. Oman Air will work with 737-Max Airliners which will guarantee the efficiency of the fuel and the comfort of the passengers especially in long trips.
- Dubai refreshments, the company responsible for bottling Pepsi and other sodas records a fall of 12% in the company's profits to reach 6.7 MM USD and a 1% decline in the sales. This decline is expected to be due to the government subsidies, the encouragement of healthier diets and trends for reducing obesity levels in UAE.
- After a two-year stop in the expansion process of the Grand Holy Mosque in Makkah, Saudi Binladin group will continue the expansion project that costs about 26.6 BN USD starting next month. The expansion was paused due to the accident of the collapsed crane that led to the death of 107 people.
- After giving up its title as the largest PC maker in the world to HP, Lenovo reports a huge loss of 72 MM USD in Q1-2017 for the first time since September 2015. Although all PC maker companies are facing challenges due to the decrease of the demand on PCs and switching to mobile phones and more developed devices, Lenovo's performance is declining faster than other companies.
Sports and Culture
- According to Numbeo, a website that collects and develops data about countries worldwide, Abu Dhabi is named the safest city in the world as it has the lowest crime index of 13.54 and the highest safety index of 86.46 overtaking Basel City in Switzerland.
- According to a research conducted by Zurich International insurance company, the cost of the education of a child in the UAE is about 1 MM AED. This cost includes two preschool years, six primary school years, six secondary school years and three college years in the United Kingdom. As a result, UAE is considered the second highest education cost in the world after Hong Kong.
- Oman government expects to finish the first stage of Salalah Water Park project located in Dhofar governorate in December 2017. The park is expected to host about 500 people per day and is expected to enhance the tourism and economic activity in Oman. It will include a five-star hotel, international restaurants, children parks, multipurpose halls and a commercial complex in a land beside the water park.
- The full international animation movie (Bilal), is expected to be displayed starting August 17th in the Saudi theater Hakaya in Riyadh. For the past few years, only short movies and plays have been displayed in the theater, this would be the first time to display a full-featured movie.