Abu Dhabi’s Aldar to expand co-working spaces in Yas Mall in $136m post-pandemic revamp

Abu Dhabi’s Aldar to expand co-working spaces in Yas Mall in $136m post-pandemic revamp
Construction in key areas of the mall has already started, and will be done in phases over 12 to 18 months. (Supplied)
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Updated 30 March 2021

Abu Dhabi’s Aldar to expand co-working spaces in Yas Mall in $136m post-pandemic revamp

Abu Dhabi’s Aldar to expand co-working spaces in Yas Mall in $136m post-pandemic revamp
  • The plan will expand the mall’s F&B portfolio by 40 percent, and add a total of 15,000 square meters of office space

DUBAI: Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi is getting a 500 million dirhams ($136.1 million) revamp, state news agency WAM reported.

The multimillion redevelopment plan will include an improvement of the mall’s spaces. It will also bring in new retail concepts, according to master developer Aldar.

About 40 percent of the mall’s gross leasable area will be repurposed to “high impact experiential” retail, food and beverage (F&B), and co-working spaces.

The global retail sector has been hard hit by the enforced closure of malls over the last year as governments sought to contain the rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Now property developers are rethinking the design of offices, shopping centers and many other public spaces in response to an anticipated change in working practices and leisure trends.

Construction in key areas of the mall has already started, and will be done in phases over 12 to 18 months.

“Since opening its doors over six years ago, Yas Mall has become Abu Dhabi’s leading retail and leisure destination. Our transformational plan for the mall is in anticipation of evolving customer needs and in line with developing retail trends globally,” Jassem Busaibe, chief executive of Aldar Investment, said.

The plan will expand the mall’s F&B portfolio by 40 percent, and add a total of 15,000 square meters of office space, Busaibe said.

It also includes investing in technology that is meant to reduce the mall’s carbon footprint, in line with the UAE’s environmental agenda.


Oil prices hover around 2014 highs, supported by supply concerns

Oil prices hover around 2014 highs, supported by supply concerns
Updated 15 sec ago

Oil prices hover around 2014 highs, supported by supply concerns

Oil prices hover around 2014 highs, supported by supply concerns

SINGAPORE: Oil steadied on Thursday, clawing back losses earlier in the session, as strong demand and short-term supply disruptions continue to support prices close to their highest levels since late 2014.
Brent crude futures fell 17 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $88.27 a barrel, as of 0418 GMT, having dropped more than $1 earlier in the session. The global benchmark touched $89.17 a barrel on Wednesday, its highest since October 2014.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 7 cents, or 0.1 percent, to stand at $87.03 a barrel, having also shed nearly $1 earlier. WTI climbed to as much as $87.91 on Wednesday, the highest since October 2014.
"The International Energy Agency said global oil demand is on track to hit pre-pandemic levels," analysts at ANZ bank said in a note.
"Shorter-term supply disruptions are also helping tighten markets. Brent crude rallied sharply after reports a key oil pipeline running from Iraq to Turkey was knocked out by an explosion."
However, the flow of crude oil through the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline has resumed, after it was halted on Tuesday due to a blast near the pipeline in the southeastern Turkish province of Kahramanmaras, officials said on Wednesday.
Supply concerns have mounted this week after Yemen's Houthi group attacked the United Arab Emirates, the third-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Meanwhile Russia, the world's second-largest oil producer, has built up a large troop presence near Ukraine's border, stoking fears of invasion and subsequent supply uncertainties.
Underpinning oil prices is the broad post-coronavirus pandemic recovery in demand for fuel.
OPEC officials and analysts say that an oil rally may continue in the next few months, and prices could top $100 a barrel as demand shrugs of the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
OPEC+, which groups the cartel with Russia and other producers, is struggling to hit a monthly output increase target of 400,000 barrels per day.
U.S. crude and gasoline stocks rose while distillate inventories fell last week, according to market sources citing American Petroleum Institute figures on Wednesday.
Crude stocks rose by 1.4 million barrels for the week ended Jan. 14. Gasoline inventories rose by 3.5 million barrels while distillate stocks fell by 1.2 million barrels, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.


UK hosting Africa investment summit for green transition

UK hosting Africa investment summit for green transition
Updated 20 January 2022

UK hosting Africa investment summit for green transition

UK hosting Africa investment summit for green transition
  • The conference aims to unlock millions of pounds of new investment, especially in clean energy industries in the UK and Africa
  • Britain will launch a digital tool to link African and British businesses to the UK government

LONDON: The UK is hosting an investment conference on Thursday to boost sustainable economic cooperation with African countries and to support the continent’s transition to clean growth.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will open the one-day event, which will be attended by UK and African ministers, business leaders and and heads of international organizations.
The conference, in its second edition, aims to unlock millions of pounds of new investment, especially in clean energy industries in the UK and Africa.
“Two years on from the inaugural UK-Africa Investment Summit, the UK’s ambition to be Africa’s investment partner of choice has never been stronger,” said Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan.
“This year’s conference focuses on the importance of resilient, sustainable investment to support Africa as it pivots toward a more environmentally friendly growth trajectory, and I look forward to working with leaders from the continent as they continue on this path to a greener future,” she added.
During the conference, the UK will launch a new Growth Gateway — a digital tool to link African and British businesses to UK government trade, finance, investment services and opportunities.
UK Export Finance — Britain’s export credit agency — has significantly increased support for markets in Africa in the past year from about £600 million ($817 million) in 2018-19 to more than £2.3 billion in 2020-21, supporting a range of infrastructure projects in countries from Cote d’Ivoire to Uganda, the Department for International Trade said.
Minister for Africa Vicky Ford said that the UK is “deepening its economic ties with African nations” and “there is a lot more that can be done,” adding: “Growth Gateway will make it easier than ever for African and British businesses to access the support they need to boost two-way trade and investment.”
This year’s conference also comes after Britain hosted the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26. The country is looking to build on its commitment to providing £11.6 billion of its International Climate Finance program to help developing countries tackle climate change over the next five years.
Last year’s virtual conference was attended by more than 2,800 delegates from over 40 African countries. Across the UK, 27 trade and investment deals worth £6.5 billion were announced, on top of further commitments worth £8.9 billion.


Turkey Dream Games triples in valuation after raising $255m in funding

Turkey Dream Games triples in valuation after raising $255m in funding
Updated 19 January 2022

Turkey Dream Games triples in valuation after raising $255m in funding

Turkey Dream Games triples in valuation after raising $255m in funding
  • Turkish mobile gaming start-up Dream Games raised an unprecedented $255 million in its latest Series C funding round

RIYADH: Turkish mobile gaming start-up Dream Games raised an unprecedented $255 million in its latest Series C funding round, almost tripling its valuation to $2.75 billion in six months, MAGNiTT reported.

This round of funding was led by Index Ventures, subscribed by returning investors such as Makers Fund, IVP, Kora, Balderton Capital and managed by BlackRock.

The company plans to use the funds for doubling its headcount to 200 people and launch a new game this year.

Founded in 2019, Istanbul-based Dream Games is a mobile gaming company that developed Royal Match — one of the highest grossing mobile games.


UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar top competitive economies in the Arab World: AMF

UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar top competitive economies in the Arab World: AMF
Updated 19 January 2022

UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar top competitive economies in the Arab World: AMF

UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar top competitive economies in the Arab World: AMF
  • The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar were ranked the most competitive Arab economies

RIYADH: The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar were ranked the most competitive Arab economies for the period between 2017 until 2020, according to a report launched by the Arab Monetary Fund.

The fifth Arab economies competitiveness report showed that the UAE maintained its top ranking in the general index as it benefited from high scores in the business environment and infrastructure category as well as the organizational and government governance category.

The Kingdom ranked second after having performed well in the overall economic index, the external activities sector and the official reserves index.

Qatar followed in third place, after attaining first place in the real economy sector, the inflation index and GDP per capita index.

Four Arab nations advanced in terms of competitiveness compared to the previous period, including Sudan, Egypt, Morocco, and Mauritania.

Arab states and other non-Arab countries — such as Singapore, Malaysia, Turkey — are included also in the calculation of the index.

The report monitors the economic competitiveness of Arab countries and sheds light on the economic and political measures applied by decision makers for that purpose.


TRSDC closes financing for $3.76bn loan from four Saudi banks

TRSDC closes financing for $3.76bn loan from four Saudi banks
Updated 19 January 2022

TRSDC closes financing for $3.76bn loan from four Saudi banks

TRSDC closes financing for $3.76bn loan from four Saudi banks

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's The Red Sea Development Co., or TRSDC, announced the financial closure of a SR14.12 billion ($3.76 billion) loan with four Saudi banks.

The financing will be in a form of a term loan facility and a revolving credit facility.

TRSDC, which is developing the world's largest sustainable tourism project, has obtained the loan from Saudi National Bank, Riyad Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi, and Saudi British Bank, according to a statement.

“This year, we have proceeded at pace with the delivery of our flagship project, all the while mindful of our commitment to not only reduce our impact on the environment but actively deliver a 30 percent net conservation benefit by 2040,” explained John Pagano, chief executive officer of The Red Sea Development Company.

GFC Media Group have recently awarded TRSDC’s Green Financing as Project Finance Deal of Year in the Capital Markets Saudi Arabia Awards.