News from the MENA region

Apple’s planned Dubai store said to be world’s biggest

US tech giant is reportedly planning to build new shop in Mall of the Emirates, bigger than New York flagship store

Germany to send arms to Iraqi Kurds

Saudi Arabia said to mull 10-30% limit on foreign bourse investors

Regulator reportedly seeking feedback from gov’t ministries on plan to open stock market to direct foreign investment

UAE says Standard Chartered liable to legal action over account closures

Up to 8,000 customers in the UAE affected by plan to close accounts in anti-money laundering settlement with US regulators

Nakheel awards contract for new Dubai homes, retail centre

Developer appoints construction firm to build 84 townhouses and retail centre in Jumeirah Island community

Gaza war rages on, Hamas says Israel tried to kill its military chief

Egypt says it will continue contacts with both sides in effort to broker long-term ceasefire

RTA says final Dubai Tram traffic diversion begins

Dubai’s transport authority announces new road diversion ahead of rail project opening in November

UK’s first Muslim mayor accused of intimidating voters

Lutfur Rahman’s opponents claim his campaigners told voters it would be ‘un-Islamic and sinful’ not to vote for him

Dubai’s Nakheel confirms early repayment of $2.15bn bank debt

Developer announces it has issued instruction for final payment to be made to banks on Thursday

Carrefour to be first to open in revamped BurJuman wing

Hypermarket to launch on Thursday; first store to open in Dubai shopping mall’s remodelled North Wing

Dubai changes financial rules to lure richest investors

Emirate aims to attract more asset managers – particularly those serving the richest and most risk-tolerant investors

UAE’s FGB hires former NBAD banker as senior exec

First Gulf Bank appoints Michael Aissaoui to oversee expansion of its advisory activities for clients regionally and globally

Kuwait’s NBK appoints new chairman

Gulf state’s largest commercial lender names Nasser Abdullah al-Sayer as new chairman

Saudi’s Grand Mufti denounces Iraq’s Islamic State group

Gulf kingdom’s highest religious authority says militant group is ‘enemy number one of Islam’

Bahrain firm wins Suez Canal hub project contract

Dar al-Handasah Shair and Partners is part of consortium to develop an industrial and logistics hub in the Suez Canal area

Islamic State executed 700 people from Syrian tribe

Activist says 300 killed in one day, a human rights monitoring group claimed

Fighting in Tripoli after new UN envoy unveils plans to visit

Gunfire and shelling could be heard from the early morning near the airport and several residential areas

Kuwait backs Egypt’s efforts to end Gaza violence

Unresolved tensions in Yemen

Hezbollah sees Islamic State insurgents as threat to Gulf, Jordan

Says it threatens Jordan, Gulf states and Lebanon; ready to fight threat in Lebanon if needed

Abu Dhabi’s NCTH sees H1 hotel profits drop by 12%

National Corporation for Tourism and Hotels cites drop in revenues and increase in costs

Dubai’s Abraaj said to near deal for Saudi fast food chain

Dubai-based private equity firm and US buyout company TPG reportedly closing in on majority stake in Kudu

MidEast investors expected to bid for London’s Gherkin skyscraper

Agents Deloitte and Savills say they expect to see ‘serious interest’ from potential buyers in the Middle East

Sunni leaders open to joining Iraq government if conditions met

No decision yet on whether to fight Islamic State insurgents

Abu Dhabi’s twofour54 invest in Arabic online games producer

Commercial arm of the Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi says move brings investment portfolio to 13 firms

Egyptian banks to issue 5-year investment vehicles for Suez Canal -PM

Egypt plans to build $8.4bn canal alongside existing, 145yo waterway

Russian banks lobby central bank to draft Islamic finance law

Russia’s banking system is suffering a lack of foreign financing due to economic sanctions imposed over the Ukraine crisis

Petroleum producers shift attention from Middle East: Kemp

Following four decades of war, sanctions, nationalisation and unrest, oil and gas producers are gradually adjusting to rely less on the Middle East.

Dubai’s Pure Gold launches first overseas boutique in Paris

Jewellery company’s Arianna boutique makes European debut in luxury Peninsula Hotel in French capital

Qatar Airways set to launch flights to Eritrean capital city

Doha-based carrier says start of Asmara services is part of strategy to target underserved destinations

Palestinian couple marry in Gaza’s refugee camp

Foreigners face clash of investment cultures on Saudi bourse

Saudi Arabia is one of the last major markets in the world to open up, so reform is attracting massive interest from abroad

Premier League football stars join teams in Qatar

Swansea City’s Chico Flores and Pablo Hernandez to join up with Lekhwia and Al-Arabi

Aramex doubles its support to start-ups

Aramex has initiated two new programmes to resolve regional logistics and shipping challenges and support the development of the regional e-commerce industry

Fields Medal mathematics prize won by female for first time

Prof Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian mathematician, has become the first ever female to win the Fields Medal for mathematics. The Fields Medal is regarded as comparable to a Nobel Prize for maths.

New visa rules to transform Dubai cruise tourism, says official

DTCM chief says introduction of new multiple visas will boost cruise sector and medical tourism in emirate

Egypt’s Mubarak denies ordering killing of protesters

Former Egyptian President also denies corruption charges, says he had faithfully served his country for 62 years

Unit of Dubai’s Landmark Group dissolves Indian retail deal

Max Hypermarket and French retailer Auchan dissolve agreement to operate supermarkets in India

Emirates said to hire former Aer Lingus exec to drive Irish ops

Appointment comes ahead of Dubai airline adding second daily flight to Dublin in September – report