MENA startups see 474% year-on-year funding increase

MENA startups see 474% year-on-year funding increase
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Updated 17 February 2022

MENA startups see 474% year-on-year funding increase

MENA startups see 474% year-on-year funding increase

RIYADH: Startups across the Middle East and North Africa region raised $247 million in 46 deals in January 2022, a 474 percent increase year-on-year.

The highest amount of funding secured was in Bahrain, with a $110 million series B round by Rain, according to a report by Wamda and Digital Digest.

Saudi Arabia came second with $55.6 million, Egypt third with $33 million, then UAE with $24.4 million, and Iraq with a record of $15 million.

Although Bahrain saw the highest amount in funding, Saudi Arabia came first in terms of deal count with 15, then Egypt with 11, and UAE with nine.

The fintech sector alone accounted for more than half of the funding raised last month, followed by e-commerce and foodtech.


Riyadh governor inaugurates $2bn environmental, water projects in sustainability push 

Riyadh governor inaugurates $2bn environmental, water projects in sustainability push 
Updated 13 sec ago

Riyadh governor inaugurates $2bn environmental, water projects in sustainability push 

Riyadh governor inaugurates $2bn environmental, water projects in sustainability push 

RIYADH: Some 93 environment, water and agriculture projects in Riyadh have been inaugurated by Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar.

The launch of the projects, worth over SR8.5 billion ($2.2 billion), comes to support water and environmental sustainability in line with the objectives of the Kingdom's Vision 2030, according to the Saudi Press Agency. 

The projects include the Kingdom’s largest water transmission system, the Jubail-Riyadh transmission system, with a capacity of 1.2 million cubic meters per day.

In addition to a dual transmission system, with a total length of 821 kilometers, with a total cost of over SR6.3 billion.

Implemented by the Saline Water Conversion Corp., National Water Co. and  the Undersecretary for Water, and the National Center for Vegetation Cover and Combating Desertification, the projects will contribute to the rising demand for water. 

They will also contribute to raising  operational efficiency in water transportation and distribution, enhancing environmental sustainability and increasing vegetation cover in the region. 

 


MENA Project Tracker: KSA launches Arts Valley project in AlUla; Honeywell, Anchorage to build $2bn petrochemical complex in Egypt 

MENA Project Tracker: KSA launches Arts Valley project in AlUla; Honeywell, Anchorage to build $2bn petrochemical complex in Egypt 
Updated 20 min 9 sec ago

MENA Project Tracker: KSA launches Arts Valley project in AlUla; Honeywell, Anchorage to build $2bn petrochemical complex in Egypt 

MENA Project Tracker: KSA launches Arts Valley project in AlUla; Honeywell, Anchorage to build $2bn petrochemical complex in Egypt 

RIYADH: The Royal Commission of AlUla, also known as RCU, has announced the launch of an Arts Valley as Saudi Arabia moves steadily to become a top global tourist destination, a goal outlined in Vision 2030. 

The Arts Valley, which spreads over 65 sq. km, is touted as a cultural asset of the “The Journey Through Time” masterplan launched in April, Trade Arabia reported. 

Noorah Al-Double, the CEO of the General Directorate for Arts and Innovative Industries said that these projects will transform AlUla into a pioneering international destination for arts, heritage, culture and nature by 2030. 

Honeywell and Anchorage to work on Egypt’s $2 billion Suez Canal project

US-based multinational conglomerate Honeywell and Anchorage Investments have signed a memorandum of understanding to construct the $2 billion Anchor Benitoite Petrochemicals Complex in Egypt’s Suez Canal Economic Zone, according to a MEED report.

The agreement entails that Honeywell Process Solutions will be hired as the Integrated Main Automation Contractor. 

HPS also will supply sufficient technologies to ensure operational safety and security to Anchorage Investments. 

Dana Gas halts Iraq oil field project following rocket attack

UAE’s Dana Gas has just pressed pause on its KM 250 oilfield expansion project following 3 rocket attacks near its Khor Mor Block in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, MEED reported. 

Citing a company statement to Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, Meed reported that two rockets landed very close to the Khor Mor Block on June 24 and 25. 

The report further added that there were no injuries following the attack. 

The Khor Mor 250A project is an asset to Iraqi oil production, as it has shown immense yearly growth of 552 million cubic feet of gas a day in production in comparison to its average of 450 million cubic feet of gas a day. 

Upon talks with the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Iraqi Government, more forces have been deployed to protect the facilities. 

Damac awards $168m contract to Pivot

UAE-based property development company Damac has awarded the $168.2 million construction contract for the Costa Brava cluster within its Damac Lagoons development to Pivot Engineering and General Contracting Co., MEED reported.

According to the report, the scope of work under this contract includes the construction of 976 townhouses for the project.

The project includes villas, townhouses, artificial beaches, and community facilities. 


Sipchem’s shareholders to receive $388m in semi-annual dividends

Sipchem’s shareholders to receive $388m in semi-annual dividends
Updated 29 June 2022

Sipchem’s shareholders to receive $388m in semi-annual dividends

Sipchem’s shareholders to receive $388m in semi-annual dividends

RIYADH: Sahara International Petrochemical Co, or Sipchem, will distribute SR1.27 billion ($388 million) in dividends for the first half of 2022.

The payout per share stands at SR1.75, with nearly 726 million shares eligible for dividends, the petrochemicals maker said in a bourse filing.

The company had earlier reported a 162 percent increase in first-quarter profit to SR1.08 billion due to a higher share of profit from joint ventures.

Last year, Sipchem distributed a full-year dividend of SR1.64 billion, equivalent to SR2.25 per share, which is considered the highest in the company's history. 


Lulu Group ‘on track’ with $2.9bn investment into expansion

Lulu Group ‘on track’ with $2.9bn investment into expansion
Updated 29 June 2022

Lulu Group ‘on track’ with $2.9bn investment into expansion

Lulu Group ‘on track’ with $2.9bn investment into expansion
  • Lulu Group International is one of the few retailers that expanded during the COVID-19

DUBAI: Lulu Group International, the Middle East's largest organized retail chain, has announced that it is on track with its Dhs10.6 billion ($2.9 billion) investment into expansion. 

The group said it had 91 hypermarkets and smaller stores planned for opening between 2020 and 2023, making it one of the few retail groups to expand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This brings the total number of hypermarkets, shopping malls, and fulfillment centers in the GCC, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Egypt to 235.

“Despite continued headwinds including COVID-19 and other challenges, we have continued to expand our operations across the world; we never stopped growing,” Nandakumar Vijayan, Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Lulu Group International, said at the RetailME Tech & Marcoms Summit held in Dubai.Lulu Group opened nine hypermarkets and two stores in 2020 and 24 hypermarkets and three stores at the height of the pandemic in 2021, according to Vijayan. So far in 2022, they have opened 14 hypermarkets and one store, with 11 more set to open by the end of the year.

“We are going to open 11 more hypermarkets this year and a further 27 hypermarkets and stores next year,” he continued.

The company typically invests around Dh125 million ($34 billion) in each hypermarket.

Lulu Group also has sourcing and regional offices in the US, UK, China, Turkey, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, South Africa and Uganda and employs 57,000 people worldwide.

It has also partnered with the UAE government to support the UAE's food security program by supplying foodstuffs and consumer goods at low prices in order to protect UAE consumers from inflationary pressures.


Advances in desalination to boost hydrogen production: SWCC governor

Advances in desalination to boost hydrogen production: SWCC governor
Updated 29 June 2022

Advances in desalination to boost hydrogen production: SWCC governor

Advances in desalination to boost hydrogen production: SWCC governor

LAS PALMAS: Richer enhancement and innovation in the desalination sector could help produce green hydrogen in the future as Saudi Arabia heads toward a sustainable future, according to Abdullah Al Abdulkarim, governor of Saline Water Conversion Corp.

In an exclusive interview with Arab News on the sidelines of Desalination for the Environment: Clean Water and Energy held in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Al Abdulkarim said that zero liquid discharge in the water industry could make a paradigm shift that could catalyze the journey toward a sustainable future. 

ZLD is a water treatment approach where all water is recovered, and the residue is reduced to solid waste.

ZLD to improve sustainability

“We are talking about zero liquid discharge from our industry. Hydrogen is a part of our focus. We have a chance to produce hydrogen with a richer enhancement in our process. We can go for green hydrogen if we utilize renewable energy for water production,” said Al Abdulkarim.

Talking about going sustainable in the water industry, he said, “We have to bring the business to our nation, we have to reduce the cost of water production, we have to save the environment and we have to inspire them for a new arena of water production.”

Al Abdulkarim revealed that SWCC’s operation is aligned with the goals outlined in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, and several targets were set on that mission, of which he said many had been achieved.

Miriam Balaban honored

During the event, Al Abdulkarim also honored Miriam Balaban, a publisher, editor and scientist recognized for her work in science communication and desalination.

Balaban, 97, who has been in the desalination field for 56 years told Arab News, “I was in Jubail, where there’s a big facility and research base now. There’s a wonderful teaching unit and everything in that very big plant. Saudis were the first to build a very big plant; they made this technology possible.

“I appreciate Saudi for the scientific research they have in the Kingdom, which has developed. They are also building the research which is looking ahead in development,” she added.