Middle East

Middle East

Key Facts

The Middle East is a region that roughly encompasses Western Asia. The term is considered to be Eurocentric and used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East. The corresponding adjective is Middle-Eastern and the derived noun is Middle-Easterner. The largest ethnic group in the middle east are Arabs,with Turks, Turkomans, Persians, Kurds, Azeris, Copts, Jews, Maronites, Assyro-Chaldeans, Circassians, Armenians, Druze and numerous other ethnic groups forming other significant populations.
The history of the Middle East dates back to ancient times, and throughout its history, the Middle East has been a major center of world affairs. When discussing ancient history, however, the term Near East is more commonly used.

  • Mohamed Yousif Al-Binfalah, Chief Executive Officer Bahrain Airport Company


    In this interview with The Worldfolio, Mr. Mohamed Yousif Al-Binfalah, CEO of Bahrain Airport Company (BAC) discusses how BAC fits into the long-term development goals of the kingdom and the details of their $1.1bn project which aims to increase its capacity to 14 million passengers a year, positioning Bahrain as a major aviation hub

  • Ali Majed Al Mansoori


    How have innovative practices been applied to help facilitate and encourage increase?

    ALI MAJED AL MANSOORI: Abu Dhabi has done a great transaction to ensure innovation is catered to and included in the emirate’s various strategic objectives, and we encourage active involvement from the private sector. ADDED is mandated to support and supervise the development of science, technology and innovation, mainly through functioning as the interface between government,

  • Dr Raghavan Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank


    Qatar needs to speak up and share its achievements with the rest of the world, states Dr Raghavan Seetharaman, CEO of one of its leading financial institutions, Doha Bank. Speaking to The Worldfolio, he looks at the country’s strengths, ambitions and expanding international links, inclunding the significant impact Doha Bank continues to have on the country’s development, particularly though its green innovations and SME support.

  • Burhan Başar General Manager of Kervan Gıda


    By presently part the top 10 soft candy producers in the world, Kervan Gıda is targeting a place in the top five by 2023. Burhan Başar, General Manager of Kervan Gıda, explains how it aims to achieve its goals and the result Turquality has had on the business.

  • Israel economy faces risks, current policy "appropriate"


    Israel's economy is facing increased risks, inclunding from the recent upsurge in violence, and short-term interest rates are unlikely to rise for the foreseeable next, central bank governor Karnit Flug said in an interview.

    However, with the inflation outlook beginning to improve and the labour market remaining strong, the current monetary policy mix, inclunding interest rates at just 0.1 %, seems "appropriate", Flug said.

    The Bank of Israel forecasts increase of 2.6 % in 2015 but that could be in danger should a wave of Palestinian attacks on Israelis that began a month ago continue. It expects a 3.3 % rate of increase next year. "If the violence remains at the current level and ends any minute at this time again the result will be minor and increase will be in the vicinity of 2.5 %," Flug said in an interview with Reuters conducted on Wednesday for release on Thursday.

  • Philips CEO: Israel has major role in our vision


    Frans van Houten :  Philip's focus on technology for medicine means Israel will become one of its major centers.

    Royal Philips will spin off a substantial part of its business in 2016. The giant concern, with annual revenue of €21 billion and a €23 billion market cap, plans to offer shares in its lighting division, which accounts for a quarter of its business. This measure is an additional step in the change the company has been undergoing in recent years from dealing in industrial and household electronic products (such as TVs and electric razors) to a company with a appropriate focus on health.

  • Israeli Tourism Land of creation


    In an exclusive interview with Globus Vision, H.E. Yariv Levin - Minister of Tourism of the National of Israel, expands on the attractiveness of the country to visitors from all over the world and the need to cooperate with other nations in order to increase the much needed number of visitors.

    Can you tell us about tourism in Israel?

    Initial of all, I will make an introduction. We are building a huge center in Beer Sheva, which has by presently become one of the majority significant centers in the world.

  • Hilton Worldwide MEA president Rudi Jagersbacher


    If there was a pioneering international hotelier in the Middle East, it would have to be Hilton Worldwide. On countless occasions, the world giant has established a hotel among nowhere, only to see it gradually become the centrepoint of a lot of.
    Take Jumeirah Beach Residence in Dubai, for example. At the same time as Hilton opened its beach resort there in 2000 it was the standalone development, a lone hotel with miles of desert between it and the rest of Dubai.

  • Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett


     Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett Thursday called for strengthening innovation cooperation between Israel and China in the fields of technology, water, energy, agriculture and biomed in order to push bilateral trade and economic relations to a new height.

    \"I think there is so much that we can do together and right instantly it\'s only a little drop in a large ocean of the trade and business relations between the two nations,\" Bennett told Xinhua in an interview at his office in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv, referring to the great potential in China-Israel trade.

  • Frank Baker UK Ambassador to Kuwait


    We amount know about Kuwait’s vast oil reserves, which are over 7% of the world’s oil deposits, and Kuwait as a key player in the world energy market. In recent years, Kuwait has been using some of the gain from those oil reserves to revive other sectors, such as the financial services sector, infrastructure and logistics.

  • Bidzina Ivanishvili talks about his plans to boost investment


    In his spacious office high above Tbilisi, Georgia’s newly elected prime minister – and wealthiest citizen – Bidzina Ivanishvili talks about his plans to boost investment , to mend the relationship with Russia and to manage a difficult political cohabitation.

    Q. What lessons have you learnt from your success as a businessman that you can apply to your role as prime minister?

    A. Nowadays, I have no time to be a businessman. The business experience I am bringing in is the creation of three investment funds that will support business in Georgia.

  • Ms. Sara Abdulrazak, Managing Director, Sisters Beauty Lounge


    The Middle East has always been a traditional beauty care industry right from the time of Ancient Egyptians. Skincare and hair care by means of natural products, the use of henna design & elaborate eye make up had been widely used in North Africa, by both the royalty and the commoners. The Egyptian Queen, Cleopatra was famous for her milk & honey bath and the “Balm of Mecca” cream that rendered her skin flawless, and made her stunning looks, a historical legend.

  • Zaheer Dodhia, CEO – MycroBurst.com


    MycroBurst has launched its crowdsourcing platform for graphic design in the Arabic language. It is the prime crowdsourcing platform to do so. Zaheer Dodhia, CEO of MycroBurst.com, says: “This is an inexpensive and exciting new way of sourcing branding and logos. We have a lot of customers based in the Middle East and North Africa, and we want to be able to provide service in Arabic to make MycroBurst additional user friendly. We work with a number of designers who can read and write Arabic.”

  • Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker


    Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker Interviewed By Robeel Haq

    Formerly this year, a staggering 18.8 million passengers from 100 different nationalities voted for their favourite airline, the results of which were announced at the prestigious Skytrax World Airline Awards. Speculation had been mounting for several months about the potential winner, with Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Asiana Airlines hot favourites to reclaim the title, having collected the award in 2008, 2009 and 2010, respectively.

  • Isam Bayazidi is the CEO of ikoo,


    Isam Bayazidi is the CEO of ikoo, an integrated digital marketing solution provider with the major reach in the Middle East and North Africa, combining additional than 120 websites of leading publishers in the fields of sports, women, news, business, automotive, and additional.

  • Rwanda's Kagame meets Israel's leadership, looks to 'reinforcing cooperation'


    Kagame’s relationship with Israel extends back to 1994, at the same time as he was instrumental in putting an end to the genocide there that killed an estimated one million people.

    Israel has enhanced Rwanda’s security capacity to transaction with terrorist threats coming from jihadist groups both from the Horn of Africa and the western part of the continent, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.

  • Climate change laws around the world


    There has been a 20-fold increase in the number of global climate change laws since 1997, according to the most comprehensive database of relevant policy and legislation.

    The database, produced by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the Sabin Center on Climate Change Law, includes more than 1,200 relevant policies across 164 countries, which account for 95% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Bahrain Continuing (but different) growth constraints



    Continuing (but different) growth constraints

  • Azerbaijan Persistent drop in oil prices has taken its toll



    Persistent drop in oil prices has taken its toll

  • Israel Economic performer amid a fragile environment



    Economic performer amid a fragile environment

  • Armenia Affected by low commodity prices and Russia crisis



    Affected by low commodity prices and Russia crisis

  • Saudi Arabia Year in Review 2016


    Weaker energy prices and an ambitious reform programme aimed at increasing private sector participation in the economy were key themes of 2016 as Saudi Arabia accelerated efforts to diversify its economy.

    While oil prices made a modest recovery from $30 per barrel at the beginning of the year to $50 in the fourth quarter, both national gain and GDP have been impacted.

    In mid-October the IMF revised its increase estimate for the Saudi Arabian economy in 2016 to 1.2%, down from the 1.6% estimate issued in May and the 3.5% posted the previous year.

  • Qatar Year in Review 2016


    Stability and consolidation were Qatar’s watchwords in 2016, as the government continued to make long-term investments in national infrastructure at a time of restricted economic increase in the region.

    Marked improvements

    In its October 2016 “World Economic Outlook” statement, the IMF estimate that Qatar’s GDP increase for the year would come in at 2.6%, down from 3.7% in 2015, as high national spending continued in a wider context of lower energy prices.

  • Dubai Year in Review 2016


    While low oil prices weighed heavily on a lot of of Dubai’s trading partners and neighbours, the emirate delivered a strong economic performance in 2016, buoyed by increase in key non-hydrocarbons segments, which provided an significant buffer against external challenges.

    Full-year increase was expected to reach 3.7%, according to the IMF, up from 3.5% in 2015 and well above the projected average for the UAE of 2.4%.

    Additional infrastructure spending in the lead-up to Expo 2020, together with ongoing expansion in areas such as retail and tourism, is expected to support new increase in the coming year and beyond.

  • Kuwait Year in Review 2016


    With national revenues significantly impacted by lower world oil prices, the Kuwaiti government has intensified efforts to enact reforms aimed at increasing foreign investment , supporting economic diversification and reducing national subsidies.

    Though the budget deficit is projected to hit record levels in March, solid increase from key non-oil sectors like construction, inclunding an uptick in oil prices heading into 2017, should help the government bring the shortfall under control.

  • Dr Hamed Soltaninejad, CEO of Iran Mercantile Exchange (IME)


    Connecting the Iranian economy to world financial markets has presently been made possible with the lifting of sanctions before this year. Dr Hamed Soltaninejad, CEO of Iran Mercantile Exchange, the country’s Tehran-based commodities exchange, looks at the best ways for foreign investors to enter Iran’s financial market.

  • Saudi Ground Services Company SGS ready to handle growth and competition


    Saudi Ground Services Company (SGS) is facing a rapidly expanding air transportation sector and new competition in providing its ground-handling services to the kingdom’s airports. CEO Qaid K. Alotaibi reveals how the respected Saudi brand’s competitive advantages are preparing it for both domestic and regional expansion.

    Saudi Arabia is presently at a crossroads where they have to decide to become a diversified economy or remain as an oil-based economy. How significant do you think diversification would be for Saudi’s next increase?

  • Ibrahim Kaygisiz, Chairman of Sura Hotels


    Turkey’s visitor numbers may be down on last year, but Chairman of Turkey’s Sura Hotels Ibrahim Kaygisiz explains why its resilient tourism sector will withstand external pressures and where there is room for expansion in the industry.

    Turkey has developed into the one of the six most popular destinations into the world. Last year was a record. What factors make Turkey a popular destination?

  • Ziad El Chaar Managing Director of Damac Properties


    Damac Properties is bringing limited edition designer residences to the UAE with its collaborations with interior design branches of high-end fashion brands such as Fendi, Versace and Bugatti. Ziad El Chaar, Managing Director of Damac, provides an insight to the real estate landscape in the UAE and the impact of Expo 2020.

    If we look at the luxury segment in the real estate sector, would you acknowledge that there is like a higher competition in that segment of the market? And what are, in this context, the distinguishing features of Damac offering, particularly in collaboration with world iconic brands?

  • Ofer Sachs CEO of the Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute


    Ofer Sachs, CEO of the Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute, which strengthens trade, ventures and strategic alliances between Israeli and foreign enterprises, delves into the country’s opportunities and as well challenges for exports and world relations, and notes its draw is “not just the environment, it’s the people, and it’s the eagerness of the people to cooperate and to do business.”

  • Dr Ahmad Salih, CEO of Gulfnet Communications Co.


    As technologies become increasingly complex and industries continue to converge, ICT partnerships and international alliances with technology providers become ever additional critical. Kuwait’s ICT sector is at the forefront of the privatization initiative and the country’s desire to become a diversified economy. Dr Ahmad Salih, CEO of Gulfnet, one of the major and oldest Kuwaiti ICT providers, looks at his country’s evolution, and Gulfnet’s role in Kuwait’s technological rise.

  • Mr. Fahad bin Ibrahim Al Khalaf CEO of Spimaco


    As the number one company in the pharmaceutical market, Spimaco has benefitted greatly from the expansion of the industry, enjoying 50% profit growth between 2011 and 2014

    So SPIMACO has operations throughout the Middle East and North Africa region. You export and trade pretty much throughout the region as well as having partners all over the world. When we think about pharmaceuticals, these are really sort of feeding into the healthcare sector, and Saudi Arabia is really considered to be the giant healthcare sector, in terms of growth and potential. What’s your assessment of Saudi Arabia’s sector in pharmaceuticals from an investment perspective?

  • With less than 1% penetration, the insurance sector in Saudi Arabia is one of the fastest growing in the GCC


    Amana Insurance is one of the promising insurance companies in Saudi Arabia ready to compete with new lines of business.

    Amana Insurance was established in 2010 and the insurance market here has been volatile over that period, lots of competition, race to the bottom pricing and these sorts of things but the company has progressively lost less and less money since you have been here and presently looks like it’s really going to grow significantly and turn that corner and become very profitable and interesting.

  • Mr. Fawwaz Alkhodari, CEO of Abdullah A. M. Al-Khodari Sons Company


    Cash flow priority for AlKhodari in it’s aim to capitalise on Saudi mega project boom

    We would like to get a view of the story behind the company in your own words.