Airbnb launches Arabic platform

The logos of Airbnb are displayed at an Airbnb event in Tokyo, Japan, June 14, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 25 May 2019
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Airbnb launches Arabic platform

  • Airbnb has over 70,000 property listings in the region
  • Its website and mobile app will allow users to navigate the platforms in Arabic

Home rental company Airbnb launched an Arabic version of its global platform this week, in a bid to strengthen its presence in the Middle East and North Africa markets.

The US-based home-sharing company, which has over 70,000 property listings in the region, localized its website and mobile app to allow users to navigate the platforms in Arabic, and also allow them to book and pay in their local currencies.

“We want to inspire more Arabic speaking travelers to explore their favorite destinations through authentic, local stays and Experiences on the Airbnb platform,” Hadi Moussa, Regional Manager Middle East and Africa at Airbnb, said in a release.

“We want to create a true sense of belonging for them by ensuring they can do so in their native language going forward,” she added.


Gulf stocks extend losses on tanker attacks

Updated 17 June 2019
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Gulf stocks extend losses on tanker attacks

  • Cautious mood among investors as fears of military confrontation rise

DUBAI: Stock markets in the Gulf extended losses on Sunday reflecting a cautious mood among investors following last week’s oil tanker attacks. 

The attacks on the tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday raised fears of a military confrontation in a vital shipping route for global oil supply and heightened tensions between Iran and the US, which have been in a standoff over Iran’s nuclear program. 

The Saudi index had dropped 1.6 percent on Thursday and fell a further 0.6 percent on Sunday after slight gains in early trade. Most Saudi banks were down, despite Sunday’s announcement by Saudi British Bank that its merger with Alawwal Bank was completed. 

HIGHLIGHTS

• Gulf stocks reverse early gains.

• Gulf of Oman tanker attacks dampen investor mood.

• Saudi banks mostly down despite SABB-Alawwal merger.

The two banks have combined to create the country’s third largest lender, becoming a single listed company after regulatory approvals. SABB’s shares shed 0.1 percent. Alinma Bank, however, gained 0.4 percent, and was one of the stocks registering the highest trading volume on Sunday. 

In the UAE, the Dubai and Abu Dhabi indexes fell 0.7 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively. The Dubai market had risen earlier in the day, boosted by DAMAC Properties and Union Properties, which closed up 2.2 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively. But heavyweight Emaar Properties, the largest developer in the emirate, fell 2.5 percent, weighing on the index. 

Dubai’s telecom operator Du (Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co) shed 0.4 percent, reversing earlier gains, after it said the UAE sovereign wealth fund Emirates Investment Authority had increased its stake by buying 463.3 million shares from Mamoura Diversified Global Holding and General Investments. 

In Abu Dhabi, blue chip companies Aldar Properties, First Abu Dhabi Bank and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company for Distribution, led losses, dragging down the main index. The other Gulf markets were all in the red, except for the Bahrain index, which rose slightly. 

In Egypt, the index gained 0.2 percent, boosted by a 4.5 percent gain by Pioneers Holding Company for Financial Investments. The company said one of its divisions, Arab Dairy Products, had received a letter of intent from a Netherlands based company about a plan to buy it.