Singapore, Dubai and Macau to oust ­London as third most ­popular city ­destination

Duty free shops are seen at Changi airport in Singapore, in this October 20, 2017 photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 07 November 2017
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Singapore, Dubai and Macau to oust ­London as third most ­popular city ­destination

LONDON: Singapore, Dubai and Macau will push London from third to sixth place in the world’s 100 most popular city destinations for global and regional airlines by 2025, Euromonitor said on Tuesday.
Singapore will replace London with 30 million trips in eight years' time, said the report. Hong Kong will remain in front with Bangkok second, Macau fourth and Dubai moving up from sixth to fifth with 26.7 million trips, ahead of London with an anticipated 25.8 million trips. Hong Kong currently boasts 25.6 million trips but by 2025 will increase that number to more than 44 million trips.
The report said that in 2017 Dubai is still by far the largest destination in the MEA region, but Saudi Arabia has three cities in the top ranking.
The Hajj is a major draw for arrivals to the country, but the Kingdom is looking to expand its appeal.
The Post-Umrah Programme, noted the report, is an initiative that allows pilgrims to convert their Umrah visas into tourist visas, allowing them to extend their stays. “Better dispersion should also come with the first high-speed train between Makkah and Medina, set to launch in 2018,” it said.


Mubadala reports first half profits

Updated 20 September 2018
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Mubadala reports first half profits

  • Plans to float at least 35 percent of Cepsa
  • Also setting up $400m venture fund

LONDON: Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company reported first half profit of 10.9 billion dirhams ($2.97 billion) as it expanded its global investment portfolio.
It did not provide comparative figures for the year-earlier period.
Mubadala Group CEO Khaldoon Khalifa Al-Mubarak, said: “In the first half of the year, we continued to deploy capital in new sectors and geographies, in line with our long-term strategy. We also monetized select assets at good valuations, to deliver financial returns.”
In a statement, the group said that historically reported figures such as revenue and net operating income were no longer relevant to its business model.
Mubadala said this week it planned to float at least 25 percent of Spain’s Cepsa by the end of 2018, in what would be the largest listing in a decade on the Madrid stock exchange.
Cepsa, which operates in the oil and gas industry, did not say how much the deal would be worth, but market sources said the listing could value the firm at around €10 billion.
Mubadala also this year announced plans to create a $400 million venture fund to invest in leading European technology companies. The fund will be managed by Mubadala Ventures, the venture capital arm of Mubadala with SoftBank Group as a strategic investor.
The Abu Dhabi investment group also announced the sale of its consortium’s majority interest in EMI Music Publishing to Sony Corporationfor about $4.75 billion.
Mubadala manages a worldwide portfolio worth $225 billion with assets in sectors such as aerospace, ICT, semiconductors, metals and mining, renewable energy, oil and gas, petrochemicals and finance.