UAE posts revenue growth of 32% in 2022: Finance ministry 

UAE posts revenue growth of 32% in 2022: Finance ministry 
Despite the increase in revenues, the UAE has maintained a cautious and rational spending policy, according to a statement. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 18 September 2023
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UAE posts revenue growth of 32% in 2022: Finance ministry 

UAE posts revenue growth of 32% in 2022: Finance ministry 

RIYADH: The UAE witnessed a 32 percent rise in revenue growth in 2022, the government’s finance ministry has disclosed. 

According to a press release, the country achieved a fiscal surplus for the year 2022, allowing substantial buffers to mitigate potential financial risks. 

Even though the statement did not divulge the full-year fiscal surplus figure, the Central Bank of the UAE revealed in May that the country surplus hit $46 billion in the first nine months of 2022, supported by strong oil and non-oil revenue growth and high oil prices. 

The minister added that the UAE’s spending increased by 6.1 percent to about 427.12 billion dirhams ($116 billion). 

The statement added that despite the increase in revenues, the UAE has maintained a cautious and rational spending policy. 

“Through balanced fiscal planning, the UAE government aims to diversify the local economy, enhance non-oil government revenues, and diversify sources of government revenues, in addition to adopting financial reforms to improve the business environment and attract valuable foreign investments,” said Mohamed bin Hadi Al-Hussaini, UAE’s minister of state for financial affairs, in the release.

He added: “The government also seeks to increase spending effectiveness by keeping pace with institutional developments and adopting best practices. The government’s implementation of the vision of the wise leadership has resulted in the recovery of the national economy and return to normal growth in the post-pandemic era.” 

The announcement added that growth in acquisitions of non-financial assets almost doubled, up 94.5 percent in 2022. 

The UAE government noted that the country witnessed an increase in tax revenues in 2022, driven by streamlining and digitizing procedures which contributed to improving the efficiency of collection of the levies. 

Other revenues also grew by 19.3 billion dirhams in 2022, while social contributions increased from 13.55 billion dirhams in 2021 to 14.92 billion dirhams in 2022. 

The prospects for 2023 also seem brighter as the World Bank expects the real gross domestic product of the UAE to grow by 2.8 percent in 2023, as the non-oil sector is expected to achieve substantial growth of 4.8 percent, driven by robust domestic demand, particularly in tourism, real estate, construction, transportation and manufacturing sectors. 


Saudi GACA, Germany’s Lilium sign MoU to boost air mobility roadmap   

Saudi GACA, Germany’s Lilium sign MoU to boost air mobility roadmap   
Updated 14 sec ago
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Saudi GACA, Germany’s Lilium sign MoU to boost air mobility roadmap   

Saudi GACA, Germany’s Lilium sign MoU to boost air mobility roadmap   

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation has inked a deal with German electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle manufacturer Lilium, propelling the Kingdom’s advanced air mobility roadmap.

The memorandum of understanding, signed between the authority and the aerospace firm at the Farnborough International Airshow, supports GACA’s development of AAM solutions in the Kingdom, according to a statement. 

This comes as the authority collaborates with stakeholders and companies globally to create a thorough national plan for AAM. 

This strategy encompasses the essential elements and regulatory framework needed to ensure AAM technologies’ secure and effective integration. During the implementation phase, the focus will be on incorporating eVTOL operations with existing aviation systems and other transportation modes.

The newly signed MoU falls in line with the authority’s engagement with global companies to bring new aviation mobility solutions to Saudi Arabia.

It also aligns well with GACA’s continuous efforts across the industry to ensure the Kingdom has regulations that encourage growth, ensure the highest levels of safety, and put passengers first.

“This agreement reflects GACA’s commitment to advancing innovative and sustainable air mobility solutions for Saudi Arabia in support of Vision 2030,” GACA President Abdulaziz Al-Duailej said. 

“By working with global advanced air mobility companies, we aim to establish a robust regulatory framework that ensures the safe and efficient operation of eVTOL aircraft,” Al-Duailej added. 

From Lilium’s side, CEO Klaus Roewe said: “Our goal is to jointly advance regulatory and practical steps for suitable framework conditions for electric aviation and our customers in Saudi Arabia.”

He added: “Today’s agreement delivers on one of the main ingredients required to successfully launch eVTOL operations — a definitive path to all relevant regulatory cornerstones.”

The announcement builds on the momentum of recent successful air taxi trials in support of GACA’s AAM roadmap development, the statement added. 

Last week, Lilium confirmed that it is making its debut in Saudi Arabia with a groundbreaking agreement to supply up to 100 eVTOL vehicles to Saudia, the Kingdom’s first national carrier. The formalization of this agreement came after a framework deal was initially arranged in late 2022, making Saudia the first airline in the region to invest in sustainable air mobility. 


Saudi logistics platform OTO secures $8m funding for UAE and Turkiye expansion

Saudi logistics platform OTO secures $8m funding for UAE and Turkiye expansion
Updated 22 July 2024
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Saudi logistics platform OTO secures $8m funding for UAE and Turkiye expansion

Saudi logistics platform OTO secures $8m funding for UAE and Turkiye expansion

RIYADH: Saudi logistics platform OTO is set to expand into the UAE and Turkiye, following a successful SR30 million ($8 million) series A funding round. 

The company announced that the financing was led by Sanabil Investments, a wholly-owned entity of the Public Investment Fund, with additional contributions from Sadu Capital, and Iliad Partners. Propeller and Soma Capital also participated in the deal, according to a press release. 

This follows a previous raise of SR12.3 million from venture capital funds and angel investors including Middle East Venture Partners, Derayah Ventures, and 500 Global.  

This investment supports Saudi Arabia's National Logistics Strategy, which seeks to rank the Kingdom among the top 10 countries globally in performance in the sector by the end of the decade, in line with Vision 2030 objectives. 

Mohammad Al-Razaz, co-founder and CEO of OTO, said: “Securing this funding round is a testament to our team’s dedication and our commitment to transforming the shipping and logistics sector in line with Saudi Vision 2030.”   

The company claims its platform integrates with over 250 local and international shipping companies and e-commerce platforms, enabling merchants to manage, ship, track, and analyze their logistics activities.   

The platform also offers merchants the option to connect their own shipping contracts or purchase shipping labels at pre-negotiated rates. 

He added: “We are focused on delivering innovative solutions that enable merchants to streamline their operations and manage logistics with unmatched efficiency.”

Investor confidence in OTO’s platform is bolstered by projections showing Saudi Arabia’s e-commerce revenue is expected to grow at 13.5 percent annually through 2027, outpacing the global average growth rate of 11.2 percent, according to Agility Logistics. 

The platform plans to use this funding to expand its presence in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Turkiye by adding new features and enhancing its platform, focusing on small and medium-sized businesses and e-commerce merchants. 

The release stated that the Turkish e-commerce market is projected to grow at an annual rate of 11.58 percent from 2024 to 2029, reaching $49.5 billion by 2029.   

“The last few years have put a significant spotlight on the shipping industry and increased the need for smart shipping solutions. OTO has built a platform with a fully integrated set of functionalities to help companies of all shapes and sizes meet their logistics requirements,” a spokesperson from Sanabil Investments stated.  

OTO serves over 10,000 local and international brands and has seen its revenue double along with a notable increase in orders processed year-over-year. 

Furkan Uzar, chief technology officer and co-founder of OTO, said that this funding propels the company toward its vision of becoming the shipping gateway of the internet.   

“By bridging the tech gap between sales channels and shipping providers, we can accelerate our growth and offer customers streamlined, automated shipping solutions,” he added. 


Closing Bell: Saudi main index slips to close at 12,174

Closing Bell: Saudi main index slips to close at 12,174
Updated 22 July 2024
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Closing Bell: Saudi main index slips to close at 12,174

Closing Bell: Saudi main index slips to close at 12,174

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index slipped on Monday, losing 28.17 points, or 0.23 percent, to close at 12,174.76. 

The total trading turnover of the benchmark index was SR8.34 billion ($2.22 billion) as 127 of the stocks advanced, while 96 retreated.  

The Kingdom’s parallel market Nomu rose 277.53 points, or 1.08 percent, to close at 26,040.47. This comes as 35 of the listed stocks advanced, while 30 fell. 

The MSCI Tadawul Index lost 6.03 points, or 0.39 percent, to close at 1,523.43.

The best-performing stock of the day was Dr. Soliman Abdel Kader Fakeeh Hospital Co. The company’s share price surged 7.02 percent to SR64.

Other top performers were Sadr Logistics Co. as well as United Cooperative Assurance Co.

The worst performer was Al Sagr Cooperative Insurance Co., whose share price dropped by 4.78 percent to SR21.90. 

Other stocks to fall were Miahona Co. and ACWA Power Co.

On the announcements front, Aldrees Petroleum and Transport Services Co. has announced its interim financial results for the period ending on June 30. 

According to a Tadawul statement, the firm’s net profit stood at SR159.8 million at the end of the first six months of 2024, up 13.4 percent from the corresponding period in 2023. 

The increase in net profit is due to the rise in petrol and transport division sales, deposit income, and sukuk, as well as the revenue from the joint venture project investment. 

There was a decrease in the other income and increase marketing, selling, and general costs as well as administrative, financing, and zakat expenses.

Saudi Exchange also announced the listing and trading units of SEDCO Capital Multi Asset Traded Fund as a closed ended investment traded fund on the main market on July 24 with the symbol 4703 and ISIN Code SA162G529FL8, and with +/- 30 percent daily price fluctuation limits and +/- 10 percent static price fluctuation limits.

A bourse filing revealed that these fluctuation limits will be applied during the first three days of listing, and from the fourth trading day onwards, the daily price fluctuation limits will revert to +/- 10 percent and the static price fluctuation limits will no longer apply.


Saudi Arabia awards 4 salt exploration licenses in Eastern Province

Saudi Arabia awards 4 salt exploration licenses in Eastern Province
Updated 22 July 2024
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Saudi Arabia awards 4 salt exploration licenses in Eastern Province

Saudi Arabia awards 4 salt exploration licenses in Eastern Province

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has granted exploration licenses for salt deposits in Eastern Province’s Sabkha Ras Al-Qaryah to four companies following a competitive tendering process.     

The winning firms are Khalid Al-Zahid and Sons Co., Ibrahim Al-Issa and Partner Salt Co., Riyadh Salt Industry Co., and Rastan Limited, as announced by Jarrah bin Muhammad Al-Jarrah, spokesperson for the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources.    

Al-Jarrah noted that the ministry received six applications for the exploration licenses, announced in March through a mining platform. Five applications passed the qualification stage, while one did not meet the requirements.  

This aligns with the government’s goal of maximizing the Kingdom’s mineral resources, valued at SR9.3 trillion ($2.4 trillion), in line with Saudi Vision 2030. The initiative aims to enhance licensing transparency, promote national industries, and contribute to local content development and job creation.    

In its earlier release, the ministry revealed that the total area of the four sites offered for competition is 5 sq. km. The Ras Al-Qaryah complex, a coastal sabkha located approximately 4 km from the sea, has naturally exposed salt deposits in some locations on its surface.   

It added that the salt ore in the area is deposited in a stratified form and is suitable for various industrial applications. It supports the manufacturing and petrochemical industries, as well as the production of high-purity table salt and food-grade salt. This ore is refined into high-quality industrial salt with a purity of approximately 99 percent sodium chloride. 

Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia unveiled its largest mineralized belts to date, covering 4,788 sq. km and granting five new exploration licenses. 

Three of these licenses are allocated to the Jabal Sayid site in Madinah, spanning 2,892 sq. km and containing minerals such as gold, silver, copper, zinc, and lead. 

The remaining two licenses are for the Al-Hajjar site in the Asir region, which covers 1,896 sq. km and also includes gold, silver, copper, zinc, and lead, according to a statement from the ministry.

According to a MineHutte and Mining Journal report, Saudi Arabia has experienced the fastest global growth in mining sector investments. Over the past five years, the Kingdom has enhanced its regulatory and infrastructural environment, achieving the second-best global ranking for mining licensing. 


Saudi giga-project NEOM and Equinox Hotels unveil luxury resort in Magna

Saudi giga-project NEOM and Equinox Hotels unveil luxury resort in Magna
Updated 22 July 2024
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Saudi giga-project NEOM and Equinox Hotels unveil luxury resort in Magna

Saudi giga-project NEOM and Equinox Hotels unveil luxury resort in Magna

RIYADH: Saudi giga-project NEOM and hospitality firm Equinox Hotels have announced plans to open a resort on the coast of the Gulf of Aqaba as part of the recently unveiled Magna development.

In June, NEOM introduced the luxury destination, which will feature 12 locations along 120 km of coastline. It is part of the project’s sustainable portfolio, and will feature 15 hotels, 1,600 rooms, and over 2,500 residences. 

Magna will create 15,000 jobs, add SR2.6 billion ($693 million) to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product by 2030, house 14,500 residents, and attract 300,000 visitors annually, offering a unique investment opportunity with a focus on sustainability.

Equinox Resort Treyam will occupy one of the 12 locations, and the company’s CEO Christopher Norton said: “As a region, NEOM embodies the future of luxury hospitality, and Equinox Hotels is thrilled to create an unparalleled resort experience within this visionary destination.”

Norton added: “Our partnership with NEOM highlights a shared commitment to innovation, sustainability, and redefining the boundaries of hospitality. Located between THE LINE and the southernmost point of the Gulf of Aqaba, our resort will serve as the model for transformative luxury, activating the entire destination with experiences that only Equinox Hotels can offer.”

The resort will feature a 450-meter-long bridge-like structure suspended 40 meters above a lagoon.

An artistic impression of the resort. Supplied

Jeremy Lester, Magna executive director, said the collaboration with Equinox Hotels will “shape the future of luxury hospitality,” adding: “Equinox Resort Treyam embodies the convergence of innovation and luxury, and this partnership will redefine sustainable hospitality with a focus on truly immersive experiences and active lifestyles.”

Chris Newman, executive director of NEOM Hotel Division, described the plan as “a significant milestone in our journey to redefine luxury hospitality” within Magna.

He added: “This resort will be an example of transformative luxury, offering distinctive and inspiring experiences that only Equinox Hotels can deliver. Guests will have the opportunity to fully engage with this extraordinary location, where every detail is designed to enhance their well-being, elevate their journey, and support a high-performance lifestyle.”