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Not ready for VAT: UAE business professionals have no budget, strategy for new tax

Business and finance professionals across the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have not implemented a strategy for the new value-added tax (VAT) that is expected to start in the Gulf Cooperation Council by January 2018, a new survey showed.

Over 60 percent of 100 senior decision makers and finance professionals in both the public and private sectors in the UAE said they have not allocated a budget for the new tax’s application, while 52 percent said they have not set an implementation strategy for the new tax, according to a survey by Dubai-based recruitment consultancy firm Hays.

Monday 22 May 2017- Express

Mega tech deals: Saudi Arabia, UAE sign up with the world’s largest private equity fund to target the technology sector

Saudi Arabia's main sovereign wealth fund and Mubadala, an Abu Dhabi-based strategic fund, have signed over $100 billion in deals with Japan’s Softbank Group.

The deals were signed as part of American President Donald Trump’s landmark visit to the kingdom.

The fund will invest in technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics, according to Reuters.

Sunday 21 May 2017- Express

Iranians demanding change deliver emphatic victory for Rouhani

Iranians yearning for more freedom at home and less isolation abroad have emphatically re-elected President Hassan Rouhani, throwing down a challenge to the conservative clergy that still holds ultimate sway.

He secured 57 percent of the vote in Friday's election, compared to 38 percent for his main rival, hardline judge Ebrahim Raisi.

The re-election is likely to safeguard the nuclear agreement his government reached with global powers in 2015, under which most international sanctions have been lifted in return for Iran curbing its nuclear programme.

Saturday 20 May 2017- Reuters News

Who is Ebrahim Raisi? The hardline prosecutor mounting a strong challenge to Iran's Rouhani

A protege of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Raisi has focused his campaign on the economy, visiting rural areas and small villages, promising the poor housing, jobs and more welfare benefits.

"I represent labourers, women without guardians, those who have a lot to say but have no microphone," the 56-year-old cleric said in a televised presidential debate.

Iranian media have speculated that he could go even further than the presidency as a possible successor to his patron Khamenei, the 77-year-old who has been in power since 1989 and whose authority exceeds that of the elected president.

Thursday 18 May 2017- Reuters News

Lower oil prices drive construction margins down- survey

Lower oil prices are pushing construction firms’ margins down in the Middle East, forcing several companies to reduce prices in order to get work, a new research showed.

Construction sector in the Middle East was affected by high operations’ risks and a wave of an economic slowdown, which hit the Gulf Arab region following the steep decline of oil prices that started in mid-2014.

“The low price of oil, and therefore government revenue, remains the single most important factor affecting current and future investment decisions in the region,” the report said quoting Alan Talabani, Turner and Townsend’s regional marketing director in the Middle East.

Wednesday 17 May 2017- Express

WannaCry: Businesses worldwide brace for fresh ransomware cyberattacks

Businesses are still facing the threat of an unprecedented ransomware known as ‘WannaCry’ that infects computers, locks files, and demands ransom payments to unlock them. The malicious virus has affected more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries since Friday.

Cybersecurity firms warned not to pay the ransom that ranged between $300 and $600, but many victims are ignoring this advice with the hope of regaining control over their machines.

President Donald Trump on Monday ordered an emergency meeting to assess the threat posed by this global attack.

Tuesday 16 May 2017- Express

Exponential Growth: Privatising airports will take aviation industry to new heights

Privatisation plays an important role in eliminating airport infrastructure bottleneck as passenger volumes continue to grow and airlines expand their fleets, according to a new report.

“The benefits of airport privatisation, if managed diligently, can be significant. After a lull, airport privatisations became active again between 2012 and 2015, with the most substantial activity seen in South America, the Middle East and Europe," says Jeff Youssef, Partner, Oliver Wyman Middle East, who co-authored the report – Leveraging the Private Sector to Improve Airport Infrastructure.

Monday 15 May 2017- Express

Trump in Saudi: The American President picks the kingdom as destination for his first international tour

American President Donald Trump will visit Saudi Arabia on May 19, the White House announced, marking the president’s first foreign trip after almost completing five months in office.

Trump’s visit to the kingdom signifies the new American administration's intent to strengthen ties with its top Middle Eastern ally and partner in a U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State militant group in Syria and Iraq. Saudi Arabia's foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir had said earlier this month that the U.S. visit to Saudi Arabia would enhance cooperation between the U.S. and Muslim countries in their battle against extremism, Reuters reported. 

Sunday 14 May 2017- Express

Carrefour online: Giant retailer eyes stronger digital presence in UAE

Carrefour, a leading international retailer, is working to enhance its digital presence in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a top official said, as the French-based multinational mega chain of supermarkets sees growth potential in the fast rising sector of e-commerce.

UAE’s Majid Al Futtaim is the exclusive franchiser of Carrefour in 38 markets across the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, including the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Al Futtaim is a holding company that owns and operates several shopping malls and retail outlets in the Middle East including Dubai’s Mall of The Emirates.

Thursday 11 May 2017- Express

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