Global alliance on green economy launched in Dubai

Global alliance on green economy launched in Dubai
A file photo shows a view of the Museum of the Future in Dubai. The UAE has unveiled its first ministry in the metaverse, as Dubai attempts to become a hub for the immersive world. (AFP)
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Updated 04 October 2022

Global alliance on green economy launched in Dubai

Global alliance on green economy launched in Dubai
  • UAE’s Economy Ministry is setting up shop inside the immersive virtual world

DUBAI: A “Global Alliance on Green Economy” was launched at the 8th World Green Economy Summit, which concluded in Dubai.

The summit was held under the theme “Climate action leadership through collaboration: The roadmap to net-zero.” A large number of ministers, experts, decision-makers, officials, representatives of institutions, and the academic community from around the world took part in the summit.

The alliance aims to build a coalition of countries, prioritizing a green economy in the context of climate action and sustainable development, to enhance the capacity of developing countries, provide support for their green economy transition projects and exchange knowledge on implementation.

“If we want to fast-track our transition to a green economy, we must all work together, and to do so, we need one platform with one common objective. The UAE Global Alliance on Green Economy seeks to provide such a platform,” said Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE minister of climate change and environment.

Bet on tech

The UAE, which already boasts the world’s tallest skyscraper and has launched a bold Mars mission, now hopes to become a pioneer in the depths of the metaverse.

In a project launched at Dubai’s gleaming Museum of the Future, it announced that the UAE’s Economy Ministry was setting up shop inside the immersive virtual world that is now taking shape. 

If we want to fast-track our transition to a green economy, we must all work together.

Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE minister of climate change and environment

Those who don their virtual reality goggles or use other means to venture within will find a ministry open for business with companies and even ready to sign bilateral agreements with foreign governments, officials said.

The metaverse is an online world where users will eventually be able to game, work and study, its proponents say — although it is still in a “test” phase, the UAE’s economy minister conceded.

Abdulla bin Touq Al-Marri was speaking at the inaugural Dubai Metaverse Assembly, held at the museum whose innovative ring shape decorated with Arabic calligraphy flanks the city’s main thoroughfare.

Representatives of tech giants mingled with entrepreneurs and developers exploring the potential of the metaverse, a network of digital spaces intended as an extension of the physical world.

DFM adopts new methodology

Dubai Financial Market said on Monday it planned to adopt a new methodology for its main equities indices, which will come into effect in the fourth quarter, according to Reuters.

The Dubai bourse’s general index, Shariah index and sector indices, will be calculated by S&P Dow Jones Indices, it said in a statement.

A key improvement among the changes is a limit on the weighting of a listed company to 10 percent from 20 percent, which should result in a larger representation of companies on the DFM’s benchmarks, it said.

The Dubai bourse said the index calculation will be based on actual free float adjusted market capitalization, and that the indices will be rebalanced on a quarterly basis, from semi-annually currently.

The bourse plans to align its sectors with an industry classification standard which is followed by institutional clients, it said.

DFM will have seven sectors: Financials, industrials, real estate, utilities, communication services, materials and consumer staples.

The bourse has invited market participants for consultations on the index methodology ahead of possible changes, with the revised indexes to be launched in Q4, it said.


Wyndham takes future of Ramada in its own hands with reintroduction of direct franchising of brand in KSA 

Wyndham takes future of Ramada in its own hands with reintroduction of direct franchising of brand in KSA 
Updated 21 sec ago

Wyndham takes future of Ramada in its own hands with reintroduction of direct franchising of brand in KSA 

Wyndham takes future of Ramada in its own hands with reintroduction of direct franchising of brand in KSA 

RIYADH: In alignment with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts’ strategy to expand its midscale offering in the Middle East, the company has reintroduced direct franchising and management rights for the Ramada brand in Saudi Arabia.

This announcement by the world’s largest hotel franchising company, with approximately 9,100 hotels across more than 95 countries, replaces exclusive master license agreements for the brand in the Kingdom.

With more than 900 hotels globally, Ramada is Wyndham’s largest brand in Europe, Middle East, Eurasia and Africa, with over 200 hotels in approximately 40 countries in the region, of which over 30 are in the Middle East and Africa alone.

In an exclusive interview with Arab News on the sidelines of the recently held World Travel and Tourism Global Summit in Riyadh, Dimitris Manikis, president EMEA at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, said: “With this announcement we, as Wyndham, are 100 percent responsible for the development of the Ramada brand in Saudi Arabia. It was the right time for us to step in and take the destiny or the future of Ramada in our own hands.  It’s a major step for us.”

He added: “This signifies our belief in the future of the Kingdom and that we want to have a direct relationship with our partners here.”

Going on to explain that Wyndham was in the franchise business where they worked with local partners, Manikis said, as a company, they are “asset light.”

“Just to give you an idea, out of the 9,000-plus hotels, we don’t own any hotels,” he said, adding: “We give our local partners the brand, we give them the technology, the distribution, and we support them through a franchise agreement.”

As part of the company’s expansion plan in Saudi Arabia, Wyndham has recently opened Ramada by Wyndham Riyadh King Fahd Road, its thirteenth hotel in the country.

According to Manikis, the real strength of Wyndham was in economy and midscale offerings, and that is where he believes the future is for Saudi Arabia.

“We are committed to contributing to the development of the Kingdom’s tourism through the expansion of our mid-market and economy presence, to help bring even more accommodation options to suit all visitors to the Kingdom,” Manikis said.

He added: “Five percent of the world travels luxury, 95 percent is ordinary people like me that want to travel and have a great and affordable experience.”

“Hospitality is not just about stay at the hotel. It’s about the restaurants. It’s about the theme parks. It’s about a holistic experience,” Manikis continued.  

Not surprisingly he said that, from an investment perspective, Wyndham is working with the Saudi government to look at the midscale and economy sector.

“I believe there’s a huge future for that sector in Saudi Arabia,” he reiterated.

Manikis was also very optimistic about the future of the hospitality sector in the Kingdom. “Saudi Arabia is on the map,” he said.

“You would be crazy not to have Saudi Arabia as one of your top three destinations for the next five years in terms of arrivals, in terms of adding your brands, investments and bringing people in. You cannot close your eyes to what is happening in Saudi Arabia at this point, you just cannot ignore it.”

Moving on to talk about the hospitality industry in general, Manikis said it was one of the most resilient industries in the world. “We survived COVID-19 but we lost valuable people, we lost enormous talent,” he said. “Our number one priority now is to bring the talent back,” he concluded. 


Oil Updates — Crude climbs after OPEC+ meeting; Japan sets price cap on Russian crude  

Oil Updates — Crude climbs after OPEC+ meeting; Japan sets price cap on Russian crude  
Updated 05 December 2022

Oil Updates — Crude climbs after OPEC+ meeting; Japan sets price cap on Russian crude  

Oil Updates — Crude climbs after OPEC+ meeting; Japan sets price cap on Russian crude  

RIYADH: Oil prices rose as much as 2 percent on Monday after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+, held their output targets steady ahead of an EU ban and a price cap kicking in on Russian crude. 

At the same time, in a positive sign for fuel demand, more Chinese cities eased COVID-19 curbs over the weekend, though a patchwork easing in policies sowed confusion across the country on Monday. 

Brent crude futures were last up 72 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $86.29 a barrel at 0430 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures gained 70 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $80.68 a barrel. 

OPEC+ agreed on Sunday to stick to their October plan to cut output by 2 million barrels per day from November through 2023. 

Japan sets price cap on Russian crude oil, excluding Sakhalin-2 

Japan implemented a price cap on Russian crude oil from Monday, but crude oil imported from the Sakhalin-2 plant will be excluded, the government said in a statement. 

The decision follows an agreement by the Group of Seven nations and Australia on Friday to limit the price of Russian crude oil at $60 per barrel in the latest move to slap sanctions on Moscow over its war in Ukraine. 

The exclusion of crude oil from the far eastern Russian Sakhalin-2 project, which Japanese energy operators hold stakes in after the exit of Shell, was decided “in light of Japan’s energy security,” the government said in the statement. 

Further measures on Russian petroleum products, set to begin on Feb. 5, 2023, will be announced at a later date, the statement added. 

Algeria says OPEC+ decision to keep output unchanged appropriate 

Algeria’s energy minister said on Sunday that the OPEC+ decision to keep output unchanged was appropriate to market fluctuations, the country’s state news agency reported. 

The OPEC+ group will closely monitor crude markets for any developments, minister Mohamed Arkab said in remarks after its Sunday meeting, adding that the decision kept Algerian output unchanged at 1.007 million bpd. 

(With input from Reuters) 

 

 


Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority approves regulations of market-marking and procedures

Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority approves regulations of market-marking and procedures
Updated 05 December 2022

Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority approves regulations of market-marking and procedures

Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority approves regulations of market-marking and procedures
  • The CMA’s approval aims to regulate the activities of listed securities market-making, and impacts resulted from approving the market making registration application

RIYADH: Regulations proposed by the Saudi excange around market-making procedures have been approved by the Capital Market Authority (CMA), it was announced on Sunday.

The CMA’s approval aims to regulate the activities of listed securities market-making, and impacts resulted from approving the market making registration application, and description of mechanism of practicing market making activities on securities, a statement said.

The statement continued that regulations include the market-maker’s activities through providing continuous listed securities buy/sell orders during the market open session to provide liquidity to the relevant listed securities.

Also, among the conditions of the market-maker, it shall have a membership of the market or derivatives market and shall have the written policies and procedures to separate between the market making activities and any other activities practiced by the maker.

This maker shall also have the security and technical requirements necessary for practicing the activity, or any other condition proposed by the market and approved by the CMA.

The regulations set out the Market Maker’s liabilities; among them, to assign an account at the Securities Depository Center (Edaa) (where applicable) and Securities Clearing Center Company (Muqassa) that are limited to practicing activities of market making only on specific security (securities) in accordance with the Market Making Agreement.

Also, all activities of market making practiced by the market-maker shall be in compliance with the Capital Market law, its implementing regulations and the market rules, and any other relevant laws.

The CMA’s approval on the market-making regulations and procedures comes as part of the CMA’s continuous efforts to create potentials facilitating trading process, including increasing efficiency and volume of liquidity in the capital market through providing continuous listed securities buy/sell orders.


Saudi National Development Fund launches operations at SME Bank 

Saudi National Development Fund launches operations at SME Bank 
Updated 04 December 2022

Saudi National Development Fund launches operations at SME Bank 

Saudi National Development Fund launches operations at SME Bank 

RIYADH: In a move to bridge the financing gap in the small and medium enterprises sector, Saudi Arabia’s National Development Fund has announced the start of operations at the Small and Medium Enterprises Bank.

The opening of the new bank will help the SME sector contribute as much as 35 percent to Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product in line with the Saudi Vision 2030. 

Launched in 2021, the bank focuses on providing all its products and services in digital form without the need to establish branches. 

In an attempt to create partnerships and further enhance the contribution of financial institutions in terms of financing SMEs, the bank signed a total of 15 cooperation agreements, worth an accumulated SR3 billion ($797 million), with several financial institutions, Alarabiya reported. 

Overall, Saudi Arabia is witnessing an acceleration in licensing SME factories while taking advantage of government facilities to stimulate specific sectors and industries related to the fourth industrial revolution. 

In November, Saudi Arabia’s cabinet approved the Small and Medium Enterprises Bank System, according to the Saudi Press Agency.     

Ministers signed off the transfer of Kafalah SME Loan Guarantee Program from Monsha'at to SME Bank.

This comes as industrial SMEs in Saudi Arabia are urged to transform into resilient and technologically savvy operations in order to go global and be able to compete internationally, according to a report by the multinational professional services network KPMG. 

Moreover, the SME sector is perceived as a vital economic engine, a key generator of new employment, and the foundation of the global economy, senior vice president of technical services at Aramco, Ahmad Al Sa’adi said, in an exclusive interview with Arab News earlier. 

In addition to this, SMEs are set to play a significant role in achieving Saudi Arabia’s objectives of lowering the unemployment rate from 11.6 percent to 7 percent, and increasing women’s participation in the workforce from 22 percent to 30 percent. 

In October, the Saudi Arabian Oil Co, also known as Aramco, announced the launch of the Taleed Program, which aims to maintain and further grow the SME sector, Al Sa’adi added. 

 

 


Oman’s Jindal Shadeed to invest $3bn to produce green steel at Port of Duqm 

Oman’s Jindal Shadeed to invest $3bn to produce green steel at Port of Duqm 
Updated 04 December 2022

Oman’s Jindal Shadeed to invest $3bn to produce green steel at Port of Duqm 

Oman’s Jindal Shadeed to invest $3bn to produce green steel at Port of Duqm 

RIYADH: Omani steel giant Jindal Shadeed Group intends to set up a $3-billion factory to produce “green steel” using renewable energy in the Special Economic Zone at the Port of Duqm on the country’s southeastern coast, SEZAD. 

The new operation aims to produce five million tons of green steel a year, creating over $800 million per annum in value addition, it said in a press release. 

The company, a part of the $22-billion Jindal Group, will supply high-quality steel products to sectors such as automotive, wind energy and consumer durables. It sees a booming demand for green steel from environmental, social, and corporate governance-conscious customers around the world, especially in Europe and Asia, who have already committed to a significant reduction in Scope 3 emissions by 2030, according to Group CEO Harssha Shetty. 

An MoU was signed by Shetty and Ahmed bin Hassan Al Dheeb, deputy chairman of the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones, while a land reservation agreement for the site for the project was also signed between the Group and Reggy Vermeulen, the port’s CEO.  

The Group, which claims to be Oman’s largest steel producer, also signed an MoU with the centralized utility provider, Marafiq, to provide the plant with the utilities necessary to operate the project such as water services and seawater for cooling purposes.  

Commenting on the agreements, Al Dheeb said: “The signing of the MoU and agreement is a testament to the importance of SEZAD and emphasizes its position as a leading and attractive destination for large strategic projects that will benefit from renewable energy and green hydrogen.”   

He said the availability of solar energy and wind resources throughout the year will encourage more investments in green industries and renewable energy projects in Duqm.   

Oman is making efforts toward using cleaner sources of energy to meet industrial requirements. Al Dheeb said the efforts are in line with the priorities of Oman Vision 2040 to use alternative energy and sustainable natural resources. “The project also serves the comprehensive national strategy to reduce emissions and achieve carbon neutrality,” he added. 

Shetty revealed that Jindal Shadeed Group has already obtained the necessary approvals to secure the land for our green hydrogen-ready steel project.    

Reggy Vermeulen added: “This green steel project aligns very well with the port’s economic diversification and reduction in reliance on the oil and gas sector. It will not only attract foreign investment, but also provide work opportunities for local talent.”