Travel bookings in Saudi Arabia exceed pre-pandemic levels by 28% in June

According to the report, domestic tourism rose by 7 percent as locals continued to explore the Kingdom’s attractions. Abha, the capital of Asir region, witnessed a rise of 125 percent in bookings compared to summer 2019, it added. 
According to the report, domestic tourism rose by 7 percent as locals continued to explore the Kingdom’s attractions. Abha, the capital of Asir region, witnessed a rise of 125 percent in bookings compared to summer 2019, it added. 
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Updated 28 June 2022

Travel bookings in Saudi Arabia exceed pre-pandemic levels by 28% in June

Travel bookings in Saudi Arabia exceed pre-pandemic levels by 28% in June

RIYADH: Travel bookings in Saudi Arabia exceeded pre-pandemic levels by 28 percent in June as compared to the same month in 2019, according to Almosafer.

The Kingdom’s omni-channel travel brand said the growth in booking shows a strong appetite for consumer travel as demand increased with the ease of pandemic restrictions across the world. 

Almosafer’s Saudi Summer Travel Trends showed that travelers from the Kingdom opt to book stays at luxury accommodation with five-star hotels accounting for almost 50 percent of hotel bookings this summer.

Average order values for bookings increased by 66 percent for hotels and 19 percent for flights, compared to the summer travel season in 2019. 

According to the report, domestic tourism rose by 7 percent as locals continued to explore the Kingdom’s attractions. Abha, the capital of Asir region, witnessed a rise of 125 percent in bookings compared to summer 2019, it added. 

Dubai, London, Cairo, Paris and Sharm El Sheikh remained the most popular international destinations for Saudi travelers. 

The report said bookings for London increased by 133 percent compared to summer 2019, driven by the introduction of the electronic visa waiver for Saudi nationals on June 1, 2022. 

In terms of top-trending destinations, with the announcement of the exemption of Saudi nationals from entry visas to visit Thailand on June 7, the country is now one of the most sought after destinations for international travel.

“Confidence in travel has been fully restored as we experience unprecedented demand for consumer travel,”  Muzzammil Ahussain, executive vice president of Almosafer, said. 


Iran’s top automaker sets sights on Russian market

Iran’s top automaker sets sights on Russian market
Updated 13 sec ago

Iran’s top automaker sets sights on Russian market

Iran’s top automaker sets sights on Russian market

TEHRAN: Iran’s leading automaker is seeking to prioritize exports to Russia, its CEO said on Sunday, as both countries reel under Western economic sanctions.

Iran Khodro unveiled the latest model of its crossover Rira vehicle at its factory west of Tehran, where CEO Mehdi Khatibi announced the manufacturer’s ambitions for the Russian market.

“We are going to pay special attention to the Russian market, and we are also thinking of partnering with Russian investors,” he said.

“We have held good negotiations with Moscow. The Russian market, with its capacities, will be one of our important markets,” Khatibi added.

“We will begin exporting this year” to Russia, he said.

Iran Khodro had previously exported vehicles to Russia, notably between 2007 and 2009, Iranian media said.

The company’s vice president, Kianoush Pourmojib, struck an optimistic note on Sunday, pointing to increased exports to Azerbaijan over the past five years.

“We are ambitious about improving the quality of our vehicles,” he told AFP.

He added that while the manufacturer hopes to compete in markets such as Azerbaijan, Oman and Iraq, “in volume, it is of course Russia that is the most important.”

“This year, we will produce more than 500,000 vehicles and our goal within three years is to export 100,000 vehicles annually,” compared with fewer than 20,000 currently, he said.


Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding unveils $3.4bn investment program

Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding unveils $3.4bn investment program
Updated 14 August 2022

Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding unveils $3.4bn investment program

Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding unveils $3.4bn investment program

RIYADH: Kingdom Holding Co.unveiled its investment program worth SR12.8 billion ($3.4 billion), according to a bourse filing.

In June, the company announced that it completed its investment program during the period between the second quarter of 2020 and Q2 2022. The program invested in companies operating in diverse sectors with a proven track-record of growth and strong financial position.

The company’s total investments amounted to SR4.33 billion in 2020, SR3.75 billion in 2021 and SR4.73 billion in 2022.

 

 

 


UAE In-Focus — SWVL announces a $20m private placement; Dubai developer plans to raise $4.6bn loan

UAE In-Focus — SWVL announces a $20m private placement; Dubai developer plans to raise $4.6bn loan
Updated 14 August 2022

UAE In-Focus — SWVL announces a $20m private placement; Dubai developer plans to raise $4.6bn loan

UAE In-Focus — SWVL announces a $20m private placement; Dubai developer plans to raise $4.6bn loan

DUBAI: SWVL, Dubai-based mobility and transport solutions provider, announced on Wednesday that it had entered into a deal with US-based institutional investors to sell and buy over 12 million shares and securities for 73.4 million dirhams ($20 million) at 6.06 dirhams a share.

The sale of securities and private placement will take place on Friday, the statement said.

It said warrants issued under Series A and Series B will expire five and two years from the date of issuance, respectively.

The company will receive additional 110 million dirhams if the warrants are exercised during this period, it added.

Earlier this year, a special purpose acquisition company bought the transport startup.

Since its founding in Egypt in 2017, it has raised a total of 969 million dirhams.

Dubai developer plans to raise $4.6bn loan

The developer of Dubai’s artificial palm-shaped islands, Nakheel, plans to refinance existing debt by raising 17 billion dirhams ($4.6 billion), according to Bloomberg.

In addition to Dubai Islamic Bank and Emirates NBD, Mashreqbank is seeking financing from the company, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential.

Aside from regional and global lenders, the banks arranging the loan are also asking them to participate.
 
Emaar reports $1.8bn in H1 revenues

Emaar Development had its highest property sales during the first half of 2022, supported by recent successful launches that will create value for years to come, according to Emirates News Agency, known as WAM.

Compared to 2021, real estate sales increased by 10 percent to 15.216 billion dirhams ($4.143 billion) in the first half of 2022, WAM said.

It added that the Emaar Properties-owned build-to-sell business launched 15 projects in different master plans during the first half of 2022.

The earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization at Emaar Development was 2.564 billion dirhams in the first half of 2022, up 15 percent from the same period in 2021, while revenue was 7.282 billion dirhams, WAM said.

Emaar now has a robust backlog of 32.753 billion dirhams, which will be recognized as future revenue for the company.

Over 3,100 residential units have been delivered by Emaar Development across prime locations, including Dubai Hills Estate, Dubai Creek Harbor, Downtown Dubai, Emaar Beachfront, Arabian Ranches, and Emaar South. 

Currently, Emaar is developing over 26,100 residences in the UAE, with more than 55,100 being delivered as of June 2022. 


Saudi Arabia’s Halwani Bros posts 65% decline in profits as inflation bites

Saudi Arabia’s Halwani Bros posts 65% decline in profits as inflation bites
Updated 14 August 2022

Saudi Arabia’s Halwani Bros posts 65% decline in profits as inflation bites

Saudi Arabia’s Halwani Bros posts 65% decline in profits as inflation bites

RIYADH: Saudi food manufacturer Halwani Bros Co. has reported a 65 percent drop in profit in the first half of the year, due to increased costs resulting from global inflation.

The company’s net profit fell to SR18 million ($5 million) compared to SR52 million in the same period last year, according to a bourse filing.

Halwani Bros attributed the lower profits to rising raw material costs and increased marketing costs due to global inflation.

The devaluation of the Egyptian currency also weighed on profits from its subsidiary in Egypt, it added.

Founded in 1952, Jeddah-based Halwani produces and distributes a wide range of food products in Saudi Arabia as well as around the world.


NRG Matters — UAE to hold 8th green economy summit in September; Egypt joins Power Reactors Information System database 

NRG Matters — UAE to hold 8th green economy summit in September; Egypt joins Power Reactors Information System database 
Updated 14 August 2022

NRG Matters — UAE to hold 8th green economy summit in September; Egypt joins Power Reactors Information System database 

NRG Matters — UAE to hold 8th green economy summit in September; Egypt joins Power Reactors Information System database 

RIYADH: The UAE will hold the eighth World Green Economy Summit at Dubai World Trade Centre in September, as the Gulf state prepares to host COP28 next year, Emirates News Agency reported. 

Alongside promoting a green economy, the WGES plays a key role in supporting UAE’s climate action efforts and its commitment to sustainability. 

It also reflects the country’s support for energy and climate change issues and developing sustainable solutions to environmental challenges, according to the statement. 

Egypt's nuclear power plant 

The International Atomic Energy Agency has officially included Egypt among the countries that have a nuclear plant under construction, according to the Nuclear Power Plants Authority. 

The country is now included in the Power Reactors Information System PRIS database, which focuses on nuclear power plants worldwide. 

This happens as Egypt started the construction of the El-Dabaa plant, located in the northwestern governorate of Marsa Matrouh, which aims to generate a total of 4,800MW via four reactors.

Through a micro lens

Oman’s Sur Industrial City, affiliated to the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates, has signed an over $40 million investment contract with Al Ghaith for Chemical Industries to establish a chemical plant on a 60,000 sq. m. site.

The project aims to promote the growth of chemical industries and supply the oil and gas, petrochemical and water treatment industries with basic chemicals and raw materials, according to Trade Arabia. 

Also, China’s CATL said it would build a €7.3 billion ($7.6 billion) battery plant in Hungary, Europe's largest so far, as the electric vehicle battery maker gears up to meet growing demand from global automakers.

The construction of the 100GW plant in the eastern Hungarian city of Debrecen, is the firm’s biggest overseas investment, according to Reuters. 

It would start this year after receiving approvals and should last no more than 64 months.