The oil-reliant United Arab Emirates is betting big on tech start-ups and A.I.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is furthering its push into technology and artificial intelligence, in a bid to future-proof its oil, trade and tourism-dependent economy. “We’re looking global,” Mahmoud Adi, the head of Hub71, told CNBC’s “Capital Connection ” Thursday. “We believe that Abu Dhabi can offer access to capital, access to ease of doing business, and we are extremely glad that yesterday we saw that the cabinet announced five-year visas,” he added. The UAE has put in place significant


The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is furthering its push into technology and artificial intelligence, in a bid to future-proof its oil, trade and tourism-dependent economy. “We’re looking global,” Mahmoud Adi, the head of Hub71, told CNBC’s “Capital Connection ” Thursday. “We believe that Abu Dhabi can offer access to capital, access to ease of doing business, and we are extremely glad that yesterday we saw that the cabinet announced five-year visas,” he added. The UAE has put in place significant
The oil-reliant United Arab Emirates is betting big on tech start-ups and A.I. Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-02  Authors: dan murphy
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, visa, global, dhabi, big, arab, ai, emirates, technology, uae, hub71, fiveyear, abu, betting, tech, capital, oilreliant, united, startups, million


The oil-reliant United Arab Emirates is betting big on tech start-ups and A.I.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is furthering its push into technology and artificial intelligence, in a bid to future-proof its oil, trade and tourism-dependent economy.

In the capital of Abu Dhabi where about 90% of central government revenue comes from the hydrocarbon sector, authorities have launched Hub 71 — a 1 billion dirham ($272 million) scheme driven by state investor Mubadala and supported by the Abu Dhabi government to attract and develop technology start-ups.

“We’re looking global,” Mahmoud Adi, the head of Hub71, told CNBC’s “Capital Connection ” Thursday. “We believe that Abu Dhabi can offer access to capital, access to ease of doing business, and we are extremely glad that yesterday we saw that the cabinet announced five-year visas,” he added.

The UAE has put in place significant adjustments to its long-term visa system, which includes a 10-year residency visa for investors and specialists, and a five-year visa for exceptional students and entrepreneurs.

The new Hub71 program will be based at the Abu Dhabi Global Market site and will involve the launch of a 500 million dirham fund to invest in technology start-ups. It aims to attract 100 companies over the next three to five years by offering incentives such as housing, office space and health insurance.

“Hub71 will bring together three key factors essential for the success of Abu Dhabi’s tech ecosystem — capital providers, business enablers and strategic partners, all under one roof,” Mubadala’s Deputy Group CEO Waleed Al Muhairi said in a statement.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-02  Authors: dan murphy
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, visa, global, dhabi, big, arab, ai, emirates, technology, uae, hub71, fiveyear, abu, betting, tech, capital, oilreliant, united, startups, million


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The oil-reliant United Arab Emirates is betting big on tech start-ups and A.I.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is furthering its push into technology and artificial intelligence, in a bid to future-proof its oil, trade and tourism-dependent economy. “We’re looking global,” Mahmoud Adi, the head of Hub71, told CNBC’s “Capital Connection ” Thursday. “We believe that Abu Dhabi can offer access to capital, access to ease of doing business, and we are extremely glad that yesterday we saw that the cabinet announced five-year visas,” he added. The UAE has put in place significant


The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is furthering its push into technology and artificial intelligence, in a bid to future-proof its oil, trade and tourism-dependent economy. “We’re looking global,” Mahmoud Adi, the head of Hub71, told CNBC’s “Capital Connection ” Thursday. “We believe that Abu Dhabi can offer access to capital, access to ease of doing business, and we are extremely glad that yesterday we saw that the cabinet announced five-year visas,” he added. The UAE has put in place significant
The oil-reliant United Arab Emirates is betting big on tech start-ups and A.I. Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-02  Authors: dan murphy
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, visa, global, dhabi, big, arab, ai, emirates, technology, uae, hub71, fiveyear, abu, betting, tech, capital, oilreliant, united, startups, million


The oil-reliant United Arab Emirates is betting big on tech start-ups and A.I.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is furthering its push into technology and artificial intelligence, in a bid to future-proof its oil, trade and tourism-dependent economy.

In the capital of Abu Dhabi where about 90% of central government revenue comes from the hydrocarbon sector, authorities have launched Hub 71 — a 1 billion dirham ($272 million) scheme driven by state investor Mubadala and supported by the Abu Dhabi government to attract and develop technology start-ups.

“We’re looking global,” Mahmoud Adi, the head of Hub71, told CNBC’s “Capital Connection ” Thursday. “We believe that Abu Dhabi can offer access to capital, access to ease of doing business, and we are extremely glad that yesterday we saw that the cabinet announced five-year visas,” he added.

The UAE has put in place significant adjustments to its long-term visa system, which includes a 10-year residency visa for investors and specialists, and a five-year visa for exceptional students and entrepreneurs.

The new Hub71 program will be based at the Abu Dhabi Global Market site and will involve the launch of a 500 million dirham fund to invest in technology start-ups. It aims to attract 100 companies over the next three to five years by offering incentives such as housing, office space and health insurance.

“Hub71 will bring together three key factors essential for the success of Abu Dhabi’s tech ecosystem — capital providers, business enablers and strategic partners, all under one roof,” Mubadala’s Deputy Group CEO Waleed Al Muhairi said in a statement.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-02  Authors: dan murphy
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Trump officially recognized Israel’s annexation of Golan Heights

President Donald Trump added a new notch to his belt of shock foreign policy moves Monday night, signing a proclamation officially recognizing Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, which it captured from Syria in 1967 and has occupied ever since. Trump initially announced the policy about-face last week via Twitter, writing: “After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance t


President Donald Trump added a new notch to his belt of shock foreign policy moves Monday night, signing a proclamation officially recognizing Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, which it captured from Syria in 1967 and has occupied ever since. Trump initially announced the policy about-face last week via Twitter, writing: “After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance t
Trump officially recognized Israel’s annexation of Golan Heights Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-27  Authors: natasha turak, carlos barria, uriel sinai, getty images news, getty images, ronen zvulun
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, recognized, heights, golan, israeli, territory, trump, sovereignty, arab, officially, state, united, policy, annexation, israels


Trump officially recognized Israel's annexation of Golan Heights

President Donald Trump added a new notch to his belt of shock foreign policy moves Monday night, signing a proclamation officially recognizing Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, which it captured from Syria in 1967 and has occupied ever since.

Trump initially announced the policy about-face last week via Twitter, writing: “After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!”

The decision is major in a few ways. It’s yet another rejection by the Trump administration of decades of U.S. policy; it recognizes Israeli sovereignty over a territory internationally recognized as belonging to an Arab state; and it’s seen as a boost to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of Israel’s elections.

It also makes things awkward for Washington’s Arab allies, whose populations oppose Israeli seizures of Arab lands.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates all rejected Trump’s move, calling the Golan occupied Arab territory.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-27  Authors: natasha turak, carlos barria, uriel sinai, getty images news, getty images, ronen zvulun
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, recognized, heights, golan, israeli, territory, trump, sovereignty, arab, officially, state, united, policy, annexation, israels


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Stop portraying Arab women as victims, leading Saudi filmmaker says

But the director didn’t deny the hardships of being a female artist in the conservative Gulf country — or in general. Women make up about 22 percent of the Saudi workforce, according to official statistics, a figure the government aims to bring to 30 percent over the next decade. Saudi Arabia has seen significant liberalization as part of the government’s Vision 2030 program, intended to open up the country and diversify its economy away from oil. A decades-long female driving ban was lifted las


But the director didn’t deny the hardships of being a female artist in the conservative Gulf country — or in general. Women make up about 22 percent of the Saudi workforce, according to official statistics, a figure the government aims to bring to 30 percent over the next decade. Saudi Arabia has seen significant liberalization as part of the government’s Vision 2030 program, intended to open up the country and diversify its economy away from oil. A decades-long female driving ban was lifted las
Stop portraying Arab women as victims, leading Saudi filmmaker says Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-23  Authors: natasha turak, fabrice coffrini, afp, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, women, female, significant, portraying, prove, country, victims, saudi, workplace, succeed, stop, general, leading, arab, work, filmmaker


Stop portraying Arab women as victims, leading Saudi filmmaker says

But the director didn’t deny the hardships of being a female artist in the conservative Gulf country — or in general. Al-Mansour received death threats and criticism from the more hard-line elements of Saudi society, and acknowledges that women often have to work harder than men to prove themselves in a place where the workplace has always been dominated by men.

“The general public in the Middle East is not used to women in positions of leadership, so they need support to push them and cultivate their existence… so they have that now, it’s up to them to take it to the next level, show the general public they can succeed,” she said. “And it’s a lot of work — and maybe a woman will have to work twice as hard as a man, which is really frustrating. But hopefully the next generation of females entering the workplace don’t have to work as much to prove themselves and to prove that we can succeed and handle the responsibility.”

Women make up about 22 percent of the Saudi workforce, according to official statistics, a figure the government aims to bring to 30 percent over the next decade.

Saudi Arabia has seen significant liberalization as part of the government’s Vision 2030 program, intended to open up the country and diversify its economy away from oil. A decades-long female driving ban was lifted last year and movie theaters were reintroduced to the country. But serious concerns remain over issues like the country’s male guardianship law, as well as the fact that several female activists remain in prison for their efforts in bringing about some of these very changes. Regional observers welcome the kingdom’s moves toward more modern gender laws, but maintain that there remains significant work to be done.

Follow CNBC International on Twitter and Facebook.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-23  Authors: natasha turak, fabrice coffrini, afp, getty images
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Falling oil prices will be a hidden blessing for Saudi start-ups, investor says

In a part of the world better known for towering skyscrapers and oil than for its startup scene, Gulf Arab entrepreneurs might be seeing bright times ahead. That’s according to Fadi Ghandour, executive chairman of Wanda Group, whose venture capital fund invests in tech companies all over the Middle East and North Africa. Now that oil prices are dramatically down from their October highs, the veteran Middle East investor says the market moves “will definitely be a blessing in disguise” and in tha


In a part of the world better known for towering skyscrapers and oil than for its startup scene, Gulf Arab entrepreneurs might be seeing bright times ahead. That’s according to Fadi Ghandour, executive chairman of Wanda Group, whose venture capital fund invests in tech companies all over the Middle East and North Africa. Now that oil prices are dramatically down from their October highs, the veteran Middle East investor says the market moves “will definitely be a blessing in disguise” and in tha
Falling oil prices will be a hidden blessing for Saudi start-ups, investor says Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-11  Authors: natasha turak, simon dawson, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, middle, falling, investor, arab, prices, hidden, faster, east, scale, ghandour, blessing, region, startups, oil, saudi


Falling oil prices will be a hidden blessing for Saudi start-ups, investor says

In a part of the world better known for towering skyscrapers and oil than for its startup scene, Gulf Arab entrepreneurs might be seeing bright times ahead. That’s according to Fadi Ghandour, executive chairman of Wanda Group, whose venture capital fund invests in tech companies all over the Middle East and North Africa.

“For years we’ve said there is an inverse relationship between how change happens on the regulatory environment and the price of oil — the lower the price of oil, the faster the change process happens,” Ghandour told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble on Thursday, pointing to Arab Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates whose economies have historically been dependent on hydrocarbon revenues.

Now that oil prices are dramatically down from their October highs, the veteran Middle East investor says the market moves “will definitely be a blessing in disguise” and in that it will force the development of sustainable, knowledge-based economies and jobs. He believes that startups founded five or more years ago are now reaching their maturity stage, meaning there will be more businesses scaling up in the next several years — if they can get the necessary support.

“These companies born somewhere around 2011, 2012, have raised much more money, they are growing much faster, the region is adopting mobile smartphone technology much faster, they are interacting much faster and at a much larger scale, specifically in Saudi Arabia,” Ghandour said.

“This is the time when there is size, there is scale, and the big funds globally who don’t want to take the risk early on, are going to be looking for entry into a market that they don’t have much presence in.” He pointed to New York-based global equity firm General Atlantic’s investment of $120 million in Dubai-based website Property Finder last November. The Middle East real estate platform was founded in 2007 and has been profitable since 2013.

Investments in Middle East and North Africa (MENA)-based startups went up by 31 percent between 2017 and 2018 to $893 million, with 366 deals made, according to Magnitt, a regional data platform for investors. The database also found that more than 155 institutions invested in MENA startups in 2018, 30 percent of which were from outside the region and 47 percent of which had not previously invested in the region.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-11  Authors: natasha turak, simon dawson, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, middle, falling, investor, arab, prices, hidden, faster, east, scale, ghandour, blessing, region, startups, oil, saudi


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British academic jailed by the UAE for spying is pardoned with immediate effect

British academic Matthew Hedges, who was given a life sentence in the United Arab Emirates on charges of espionage, has been pardoned with immediate effect. According to Hedges’ family, he was researching the Arab country’s domestic and foreign security strategy, as well as its role in the Yemen war. He was held in solitary confinement and not allowed legal representation in his first two court appearances, according to media reports and Hedges’ family members. The Emirati Ministry of Foreign Af


British academic Matthew Hedges, who was given a life sentence in the United Arab Emirates on charges of espionage, has been pardoned with immediate effect. According to Hedges’ family, he was researching the Arab country’s domestic and foreign security strategy, as well as its role in the Yemen war. He was held in solitary confinement and not allowed legal representation in his first two court appearances, according to media reports and Hedges’ family members. The Emirati Ministry of Foreign Af
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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-11-26  Authors: natasha turak
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, pardoned, arab, british, family, statement, uae, immediate, jailed, academic, given, spying, security, charges, effect, hedges, foreign


British academic jailed by the UAE for spying is pardoned with immediate effect

British academic Matthew Hedges, who was given a life sentence in the United Arab Emirates on charges of espionage, has been pardoned with immediate effect.

The sudden development overturns a life sentence handed down by an Abu Dhabi court on November 21. It comes more than six months after the 31-year old Durham University PhD candidate was first imprisoned.

Hedges was detained on May 5 while leaving the country via Dubai airport after a two-week visit. He was arrested for allegedly “seeking classified information on the UAE” and asking sensitive questions about various government departments involved in national security. According to Hedges’ family, he was researching the Arab country’s domestic and foreign security strategy, as well as its role in the Yemen war.

He was charged with “spying for a foreign country, jeopardizing the military, political and economic security of the state,” but the ruling was not final and allowed him the right to appeal. The academic has consistently denied the charges, maintaining he was carrying out research on the Arab Spring’s impact on Emirati foreign policy.

The UAE’s attorney general said Hedges confessed to the spying charges, but his family said he was made to sign a confession statement written in Arabic, a language he does not speak. He was held in solitary confinement and not allowed legal representation in his first two court appearances, according to media reports and Hedges’ family members.

The Emirati Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation has denied Hedges was given documents he did not understand. Its head of legal affairs Abdullah Al Naqbi said in a statement last week that Hedges was given a court-appointed lawyer, and treated fairly and in accordance with the UAE constitution.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt publicly expressed their concern over the case, stressing the urgency of finding a solution with the UAE as the two countries have been longtime allies on trade, security and defense. May told the House of Commons on Wednesday that “we will continue to press this matter at the highest level with the Emiratis.”

The UAE government on Monday described the pardon as part of orders issued for the country’s National Day anniversary, December 2, which this year marks the 47th year since the union of the seven emirates that form the UAE. Hedges was one of more than 700 prisoners pardoned by UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan in honor of the day.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-11-26  Authors: natasha turak
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, pardoned, arab, british, family, statement, uae, immediate, jailed, academic, given, spying, security, charges, effect, hedges, foreign


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Saudi Arabia and UAE announce $500 million aid programme for Yemen

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which together lead a coalition of Arab states fighting against in Yemen against the Houthi movement that controls the capital, pledged a new $500 million food aid programme for Yemen on Tuesday. The programme was announced by Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabi’ah, general supervisor of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Centre for Humanitarian Relief and Works, at a joint press conference in Riyadh with Reem al-Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Coop


Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which together lead a coalition of Arab states fighting against in Yemen against the Houthi movement that controls the capital, pledged a new $500 million food aid programme for Yemen on Tuesday. The programme was announced by Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabi’ah, general supervisor of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Centre for Humanitarian Relief and Works, at a joint press conference in Riyadh with Reem al-Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Coop
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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-11-20  Authors: mohammed huwais, afp, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, 500, supervisor, million, yemen, saudi, arab, works, arabia, tuesdaythe, aid, states, programme, uae, united, announce


Saudi Arabia and UAE announce $500 million aid programme for Yemen

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which together lead a coalition of Arab states fighting against in Yemen against the Houthi movement that controls the capital, pledged a new $500 million food aid programme for Yemen on Tuesday.

The programme was announced by Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabi’ah, general supervisor of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Centre for Humanitarian Relief and Works, at a joint press conference in Riyadh with Reem al-Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-11-20  Authors: mohammed huwais, afp, getty images
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Qatar’s Emir says the Gulf ‘crises will pass’

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said on Tuesday he regrets the continuation of conflict with other Arab states, but added that “crises will pass,” outlining the nation’s economic achievements over the past year. The country would continue to develop its oil and gas industries as it is keen to preserve its status as the top liquefied natural gas exporter in the world, and that the country had grown its exports by 18 percent last year and slashed spending by 20 percent, Tamim said in


Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said on Tuesday he regrets the continuation of conflict with other Arab states, but added that “crises will pass,” outlining the nation’s economic achievements over the past year. The country would continue to develop its oil and gas industries as it is keen to preserve its status as the top liquefied natural gas exporter in the world, and that the country had grown its exports by 18 percent last year and slashed spending by 20 percent, Tamim said in
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Qatar's Emir says the Gulf 'crises will pass'

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said on Tuesday he regrets the continuation of conflict with other Arab states, but added that “crises will pass,” outlining the nation’s economic achievements over the past year.

The country would continue to develop its oil and gas industries as it is keen to preserve its status as the top liquefied natural gas exporter in the world, and that the country had grown its exports by 18 percent last year and slashed spending by 20 percent, Tamim said in a speech to the Arab state’s shura council.

Qatar’s currency has preserved its value since the start of the rift last year and the economy has diversified to overcome the impact of sanctions imposed by other Arab states, Tamim said.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-11-06  Authors: chesnot, getty images news, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, qatars, emir, tamim, yearthe, arab, status, gulf, pass, gas, crises, world, start, states, value, country


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Malaysia dominates the Islamic economy, but the United Arab Emirates is hoping to close the gap

Malaysia can lay claim to be the center of the world’s global Islamic economy, but the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is hot on its heels, according to new research. The “State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2018/19,” commissioned by the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) and produced by Thomson Reuters, shows a narrowing gap between the two hubs. The Islamic economy is the Muslim-majority countries that have financial sectors and economies which comply with Islamic law. The repo


Malaysia can lay claim to be the center of the world’s global Islamic economy, but the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is hot on its heels, according to new research. The “State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2018/19,” commissioned by the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) and produced by Thomson Reuters, shows a narrowing gap between the two hubs. The Islamic economy is the Muslim-majority countries that have financial sectors and economies which comply with Islamic law. The repo
Malaysia dominates the Islamic economy, but the United Arab Emirates is hoping to close the gap Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-11-06  Authors: dan murphy, rustam azmi, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, close, arab, hoping, halal, economy, united, uae, sectors, global, contribution, malaysia, dominates, dubai, awar, al, gap, emirates, islamic


Malaysia dominates the Islamic economy, but the United Arab Emirates is hoping to close the gap

Malaysia can lay claim to be the center of the world’s global Islamic economy, but the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is hot on its heels, according to new research.

The “State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2018/19,” commissioned by the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) and produced by Thomson Reuters, shows a narrowing gap between the two hubs. The Islamic economy is the Muslim-majority countries that have financial sectors and economies which comply with Islamic law.

“Although Malaysia once again tops the Global Islamic Economy Indicator, the UAE ranks in first place across the remaining five sectors — halal food, halal travel, modest fashion, halal media and recreation, and halal pharmaceuticals and cosmetics — compared to three sectors in 2017/18,” the research said. The report evaluates the quality of the overall Islamic economy ecosystem including social considerations relative to a country’s size.

Malaysia’s lead is supported by its dominant Islamic finance ecosystem, but the UAE (which consists of seven seven emirates including Abu Dhabi and Dubai) is making progress to narrow the gap, according to the man tasked with that job.

“The Islamic economy sector has grown in importance over the last few years, and the year-on-year growth has been quite significant,” Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, the CEO of the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, told CNBC’s “Capital Connection.”

The center aims to make Dubai the global capital for the Islamic economy, and position Dubai as a leading engine of Islamic finance and a solutions provider for the halal industry.

“Ever since the launch of our strategy in 2013, we’ve witnessed the local growth of the Islamic economy in the Emirate of Dubai,” Al Awar added.

“We did a measure of that in 2017, and realized that the contribution of the Islamic economy sectors in the Emirate of Dubai was close to 8.3 percent, which is close to $9 billion in terms of the contribution to GDP (gross domestic product), so that’s significant that there is another layer of economic contribution that was in place after that vision,” Al Awar said.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-11-06  Authors: dan murphy, rustam azmi, getty images
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Iran’s president blames US after attack on military parade

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said Sunday that an unnamed U.S.-allied country in the Persian Gulf was behind an attack on a military parade that killed 25 people and wounded around 70. Saturday’s attack, in which militants disguised as soldiers opened fire on an annual Iranian military parade in the oil-rich southwest, was the deadliest attack in the country in nearly a decade. Initially, authorities described the assailants as “takfiri gunmen,” a term previously used to describe the Islamic S


Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said Sunday that an unnamed U.S.-allied country in the Persian Gulf was behind an attack on a military parade that killed 25 people and wounded around 70. Saturday’s attack, in which militants disguised as soldiers opened fire on an annual Iranian military parade in the oil-rich southwest, was the deadliest attack in the country in nearly a decade. Initially, authorities described the assailants as “takfiri gunmen,” a term previously used to describe the Islamic S
Iran’s president blames US after attack on military parade Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-09-23  Authors: alireza mohammadi, afp, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, blames, irans, iranian, separatists, attack, president, iran, group, country, parade, military, arab, state


Iran's president blames US after attack on military parade

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said Sunday that an unnamed U.S.-allied country in the Persian Gulf was behind an attack on a military parade that killed 25 people and wounded around 70.

Rouhani did not identify those behind Saturday’s attack, which was claimed by an Arab separatist group. He could have been referring to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates or Bahrain — close U.S. military allies that view Iran as a regional menace over its support for militant groups across the Middle East.

“All of those small mercenary countries that we see in this region are backed by America. It is Americans who instigate them and provide them with necessary means to commit these crimes,” Rouhani said.

Saturday’s attack, in which militants disguised as soldiers opened fire on an annual Iranian military parade in the oil-rich southwest, was the deadliest attack in the country in nearly a decade. Women and children scattered along with once-marching Revolutionary Guard soldiers as heavy gunfire rang out in Ahvaz, the chaos captured live on state television.

The region’s Arab separatists, once only known for nighttime attacks on unguarded oil pipelines, claimed responsibility for the assault, and Iranian officials appeared to believe the claim. Iran summoned diplomats from Britain, Denmark and the Netherlands early Sunday for allegedly harboring “members of the terrorist group” that launched the attack.

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi later said the UAE ambassador would be summoned over “partial statements” in support of the group behind the attack, without elaborating.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had earlier blamed regional countries and their “U.S. masters” for funding and arming the separatists, issuing a stark warning as regional tensions remain high in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal.

“Iran will respond swiftly and decisively in defense of Iranian lives,” Zarif wrote on Twitter.

The parade was one of many around the country marking the start of Iran’s long 1980s war with Iraq, commemorations known as the “Sacred Defense Week.”

The attack killed at least 25 people and wounded around 70, according to the state-run IRNA news agency. It said gunmen wore military uniforms and targeted a riser where military and police commanders were sitting. At least eight of the dead served in the Revolutionary Guard, an elite paramilitary unit that answers only to Iran’s supreme leader, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency. State TV hours later reported that all four gunmen had been killed.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei described the attack as exposing “the atrocity and viciousness of the enemies of the Iranian nation.”

“Their crime is a continuation of the conspiracies by the U.S.-backed regimes in the region which have aimed at creating insecurity in our dear country,” Khamenei said in a statement.

Tensions have been on the rise since the Trump administration pulled out of the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran earlier this year and began restoring sanctions that were eased under the deal. It also has steadily ramped up pressure on Iran to try to get it to stop what Washington calls its “malign activities” in the region.

The U.S. government nevertheless strongly condemned Saturday’s attack and expressed its sympathy, saying it “condemns all acts of terrorism and the loss of any innocent lives.”

Initially, authorities described the assailants as “takfiri gunmen,” a term previously used to describe the Islamic State group. Iran has been deeply involved in the fight against IS in Iraq and has aided Syrian President Bashar Assad in his country’s long civil war.

But later, state media and government officials seemed to come to the consensus that Arab separatists in the region were responsible. The separatists accuse Iran’s Persian-dominated government of discriminating against its ethnic Arab minority.

Khuzestan province also has seen recent protests over Iran’s nationwide drought, as well as economic protests.

Iran has blamed its Mideast archrival, the Sunni kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for funding Arab separatists. State media in Saudi Arabia did not immediately acknowledge the attack, though a Saudi-linked, Farsi-language satellite channel based in the United Kingdom immediately carried an interview with an Ahvazi activist claiming Saturday’s attack.

Hamid Baeidinejad, Iran’s ambassador to the U.K., called the channel’s decision a “heinous act” in a post on Twitter and said his country would file a complaint with British authorities over the broadcast. Early Sunday, a Foreign Ministry statement similarly criticized Britain and said Danish and Dutch diplomats were told Iran “already warned” their governments about harboring Arab separatists.

Yacoub Hor al-Tostari, a spokesman for the Arab Struggle Movement to Liberate Ahvaz, told The Associated Press that members of an umbrella group of Ahvazi activists his organization leads carried out the attack.

The attack undermined the Iranian government “on the day it wants to give a message to the world that it is powerful and in control,” al-Tostari said. To bolster his claim, he gave details about one of the attackers that the AP could not immediately verify.

The Islamic State group also claimed responsibility for the attack, but provided no evidence it carried out the assault. They also initially wrongly said the attack targeted Rouhani, who was in Tehran at the time. The militants have made a string of false claims in the wake of major defeats in Iraq and Syria.

The Islamic State group carried out a coordinated assault in June 2017 on parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. At least 18 people were killed and more than 50 wounded.

In the last decade, mass-casualty militant attacks have been incredibly rare. In 2009, more than 40 people, including six Guard commanders, were killed in a suicide attack by Sunni extremists in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchistan province.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-09-23  Authors: alireza mohammadi, afp, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, blames, irans, iranian, separatists, attack, president, iran, group, country, parade, military, arab, state


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