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10 facts about the one year residency for investors

The government recently announced that foreign investors will be able to obtain one-year residencies in Egypt when establishing companies.

1. The Egyptian Ministry of Interior announced the offering of one-year residencies to foreign investors who establish companies or economic entities in Egypt.

2. The decision specifically applies to foreign investors registered at the General Authority of Investment and Free Zones (GAFI).

3. The offered residencies are renewable for six months or one year.

4. Egypt's Supreme Council for Investment recently approved 22 decisions to attract local and foreign direct investment.

5. These decisions aim to reduce the cost and simplify the approval procedures for establishing companies, as well as expand the issuance of Golden Licences, all to boost investments and the economy.

6. The Egyptian business community expressed support for these new decisions and called for their immediate implementation in order to speed up investments.

7. Some experts and investors are also advocating for additional legislative reforms in addition to the recent decisions.

8. Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly had also announced that foreigners will be allowed to own property in Egypt with certain rules, although no limits will be imposed.

9. The new measures are part of several efforts of Egypt to attract and encourage investment in the country.

10. These initiatives demonstrate the Egyptian government's commitment to creating a favorable environment for foreign investors and boosting economic growth.


Nuweiba city opens up its largest tourist market

South Sinai Governor Khaled Fouda on Saturday inaugurated the largest tourist commercial market in Nuweiba city, established as part of the development plan adopted by the governorate in cooperation with private sector investors.

The tourist market is a valuable addition for international tourism development in the city. It includes 34 various service activities, such as restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, public areas, gardens to serve the city's residents, visitors, tourists, and public toilets.

The market also includes a theater to hold entertainment parties on a weekly basis.

The highest design standards have been applied to adhere to the natural identity of the surrounding area.

The governor toured the commercial market, and ordered careful implementation of all requirements related to Civil Protection, and Tourism Ministry, to ensure a well insured tourism operation alongside developing the services provided.

Fouda said that interest in providing services to the visitors of Nuweiba contributes mainly to providing the needs of its visitors, in line with the vision of the Egyptian state.

Green tourism

The "Egypt Talks Green" initiative, which aims to upgrade tourist across to be more environmentally friendly, will be launched first in Aswan, the Red Sea, Fayoum, and Nuweiba, the event's coordinator Karim Mahrous announced.

The initiative targets include hotels and shops in touristic governorates to encourage them to shift to environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic, he added during an interview with Maha Bahnasy on the "Sabah al-Ward" program that there are alternatives to plastic bags, such as bags made of palm branches, paper or cloth.


Dubai Scraps 10-Day Visit Visa Grace Period for Tourists

Dubai has scrapped the 10-day grace period which was previously granted to visitors whose tourist visas had expired. The same was confirmed by a local travel agent and a Federal Authority ICP agent to Arabian Business.

Under the earlier rules, individuals who stayed beyond the expiration date of their visas were permitted an additional 10 days in Dubai before facing fines.

However, this has now been revoked, and those who overstay their visas will be subject to a daily fine of AED50.

While other emirates had already eliminated the grace period, Dubai was the final emirate to implement the change.

However, individuals can apply for a 30-day extension visa to legally remain in the country, according to a Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security (ICP) agent.


UAE Visa: Can Dubai Residents Apply For Re-Entry Permit If They Stay Overseas For Over 6 Months?

Hundreds of UAE residents whose visas got cancelled after staying outside the country for more than six months could return to the Emirates, thanks to a service launched earlier this year. In January, the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP) introduced a re-entry permit for such residents .

Previously, residents had to apply for a visit visa to return to the country if they stayed outside the UAE for over six months.

Residents of all emirates, except Dubai, can apply for the service on the ICP website. However, the process is slightly different for those who hold Dubai-issued visas.

"It is a very straightforward process," said Abdul Gafoor, general manager of Al Mas Businessmen Service."We can do the process on the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs website of Dubai (GDRFA) and select the necessary option. They must provide a letter stating why they stayed outside the country."

The application must go through an agent, and residents cannot apply for it on their own on the website. According to an agent at the GDRFA call centre, the sponsor can apply for the permit at any Amer Centre.

Residents of all other emirates can find the service on the ICP website. They have to select 'Issue permit for staying outside UAE over 6 months' under 'smart services'. They will have to specify the reason for having stayed outside the country for that long and may need to furnish proof for the same.

Here are the requirements, according to the ICP:

-The application must be submitted from outside the country.

-The customer can apply for the permit after 180 days of staying outside the country.

-When the application is approved, the applicant must enter the country within 30 days.

-A valid reason must be provided to justify being outside the country for more than 180 days.

-A fine of Dh100 will be charged for every 30 days or less spent outside the country.


7 Emirates ID, visa fines that you should be aware of

Dubai: The Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP) has provided a list of administrative fines on its official website, which include fines related to the Emirates ID as well as services related to residency and foreigners' affairs.

Here are some of the fines that are included on the list published by ICP:

1. Delay in registration and issuance of an ID card - Dh20 for each day of delay, with a maximum of Dh1,000.

2. Delay in renewing the identity card after 30 days from the date of its expiry date - Dh20 for each day of delay, with a maximum of Dh1,000.

3. When the service recipient provides incorrect data - Dh3,000

4. Inaccuracy in typing the application by system users - Dh100

5. Obstructing employees' work or failing to cooperate with them - Dh5,000

6. Issuing visas or entry permits for an establishment that does not carry out any activity - Dh20,000

7. Misusing the system - Dh5,000

Can I apply for exemption from Emirates ID related fines?

The ICP also provides Emirates ID holders with the ability to request for fines to be waived, in case they were unable to renew it or get it issued within the stipulated timeframe. However, to be eligible to apply for an exemption, applicants must fulfill certain conditions:

. The resident must have lived outside the UAE for more than three months, or a resident whose residency expired while abroad or whose ID card validity expired after he/she departed from the UAE - they must provide a travel document to prove this.

. ID card validity expired while abroad as a result of an executive or judicial decree or whose passport is detained in a case or due to its renewal - they need to furnish an official letter from relevant authorities.

. A person bed-ridden or suffering from a contagious disease or partial or full disability - they must provide a medical certificate issued by medical authorities.

. The staff of diplomatic or consular missions in the country and those under their care.

. Elderly people above the age of 70 who are unable to visit the customer services centres - they must furnish passport or birth certificate proving their age.

. Delays in the registration or issuance of an ID card on account of errors of documentation or due to the Emirates ID's systems or one of its staff members or typing offices assigned by it.


Abu Dhabi's newest SeaWorld theme park opens this week

Abu Dhabi developer Miral has announced that SeaWorld Yas Island, the newest theme park on Yas Island, will officially open to the public this week.

Spread over a 183,000 sq m area on five indoor levels, it is home to rides and attractions as well as dining and shopping destinations. The purpose-built habitats and ecosystems for the animals at SeaWorld Abu Dhabi home were designed and built using the latest technologies, aiming to provide them a dynamic environment that replicates their natural habitat.

Developed by Miral in partnership with SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, the attraction was unveiled by Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.

Sheikh Khalid also visited the Yas SeaWorld Research and Rescue - the first integrated research, rescue, rehabilitation, return and education centre in the Mena region.

As well as offering entertainment, education, and family-friendly experiences, including up-close animal encounters and animal presentations, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi is home to rides and attractions, as well as dining and shopping destinations.

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak said: "SeaWorld Abu Dhabi represents the next generation of theme parks, joining the world-class experiences on Yas Island, further positioning it as a top global destination, contributing to the growth of Abu Dhabi's tourism vision."

"The park will also play a key role in promoting environmental awareness and protecting marine life in Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the wider region, undoubtedly inspiring guests to care for and protect our precious marine life for years to come," stated Al Mubarak.

"Together, with our partner, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, we are proud to be pushing the limits of science and conservation to create a truly unparalleled knowledge hub, demonstrating our joint commitment to upholding the highest standards of animal care and welfare," he noted.

"We look forward to welcoming guests from around the world to showcase the beauty and wonder of the ocean at this one-of-a-kind park," he added.

Scott Ross, Chairman of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, said: "As the first SeaWorld park to open outside of the US, this marks a significant chapter for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment."

"It was born through years of collaboration and innovation, combining SeaWorld's nearly 60 years of experience in animal welfare and commitment to marine conservation with Miral's unprecedented track record as a leading developer of world-class destinations," he noted.

"Together, we have created a state-of-the-art marine life theme park unlike anything the region has seen to date, truly representing a next generation SeaWorld experience. We have no doubt that guests will be amazed with all that SeaWorld Abu Dhabi has to offer and we are proud to play our part in inspiring their commitment marine conservation for years to come," he added.

It is the latest addition to Yas Island's portfolio of theme parks and attractions, including Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld and CLYMB Abu Dhabi.


UAE corporate tax to come into effect from June 1: Here is what you need to know

The federal tax on corporations and business profits will come into effect for financial years starting on or after June 1, 2023.

The UAE last year announced that it would levy a nine per cent corporate tax on companies with a profit of Dh375,000 and above, hence, requiring them to enrol for tax registration. The UAE's corporate tax will be one of the lowest in the world.

Below is a complete detail that companies and individuals need to know about the tax. However, some laws will require further explanation and clarification, hence, companies and individuals need to consult experts on those topics.

What is corporate tax?

Sometimes referred to as corporate income tax or business profit tax, this is a direct tax levied on the net income of corporations and other businesses.

What is the corporate tax rate?

Tax will be levied at a headline rate of 9 per cent on taxable income exceeding Dh375,000.

Is the 9% corporate tax rate high?

No. It is one of the lowest rates in the world. Some countries have levied nearly 30 per cent corporate tax.

Why corporate tax is being levied?

The tax is being introduced to accelerate the country's development and transformation. The certainty of a competitive corporate tax regime that adheres to international standards, together with the UAE's extensive network of double tax treaties, will cement the UAE's position as a leading jurisdiction for business and investment.

Who is subject to corporate tax?

This tax applies to "Taxable Persons" - namely (1) UAE companies and other juridical persons that are incorporated or effectively managed and controlled in the UAE; (2) natural persons (individuals) who conduct a business or business activity in the UAE as specified in a Cabinet Decision; and (3) non-resident juridical persons (foreign legal entities) that have a permanent establishment in the UAE.

Who is exempted from the corporate tax?

Under the Ministry of Finance's directive, the following entities are exempted from the corporate profit tax: Government and government-controlled entities; extractive businesses and non-extractive natural resources businesses; quality public benefit entities; public or private pension and social security funds; qualifying investment funds; wholly-owned and controlled UAE subsidiaries of a government-controlled entity; qualifying investment fund, or a public and private pension or social security fund; business undergoing liquidation or termination; personal income earned from employment, investments, and real estate without licensing requirements. Salary (perks, allowances and bonuses), residential rental income on real estate, and investment income (from bonds, shares, and other securities) are not taxable. Some of these exemptions are subject to meeting certain conditions. Freelancers' income up to Dh1 million is exempted.

What expenses are deductible from corporate tax?

All legitimate business expenses incurred wholly and exclusively to derive taxable income will be deductible, although the timing of the deduction may vary for different types of expenses and the accounting method applied. For capital assets, the expenditure would generally be recognised by way of depreciation or amortisation deductions over the economic life of the asset or benefit.

Will the withholding tax rate apply to UAE-sourced income?

A zero per cent withholding tax may apply to certain types of UAE-sourced income paid to non-residents. Because of the 0 per cent rate, in practice, no withholding tax would be due and there will be no withholding tax-related registration and filing obligations for UAE businesses or foreign recipients of UAE-sourced income.

How about the tax group?

Two or more taxable persons who meet certain conditions can apply to form a "tax group" and be treated as a single taxable person for corporate tax purposes. To form a Tax Group, both the parent company and its subsidiaries must be resident juridical persons, have the same financial year and prepare their financial statements using the same accounting standards.

How to calculate the taxable income of a tax group?

To determine the taxable income of a tax group, the parent company must prepare consolidated financial accounts covering each subsidiary that is a member of the tax group for the relevant tax period. Transactions between the parent company and each group member and transactions between the group members would be eliminated to calculate the taxable income of the tax group.

When to register, file and pay corporate tax?

All taxable persons (including free zone persons) are required to register for corporate tax and obtain a registration number. Taxable Persons are required to file a tax return for each tax period within 9 months from the end of the relevant period. The same deadline would generally apply for the payment of any corporate tax due in respect of the tax period for which a return is filed.


Corporate tax: UAE exempts free zones from business tax

The government said qualifying entities in the country's economic free zones will be subject to a 0 per cent rate

UAE has rolled out its corporate tax, with businesses operating in free zones exempted from the 9 per cent business tax to further promote the country's attractiveness in strategic sectors.

The Ministry of Finance said qualifying entities in the country's economic free zones - which export tens of billions of dollars of goods to neighbouring states - will be subject to a 0 per cent rate, even when dealing with the mainland on certain strategic activities such as manufacturing, goods processing and logistics services.

"The Free Zone Corporate Tax regime applies to 'Free Zone Persons', which refers to a juridical person that is incorporated or otherwise formed or registered in a Free Zone," the ministry said post the media briefing.

The free zone corporate tax regime is applicable only within the prescribed free zones and the ministry urged businesses to contact the Free Zone Authority to confirm whether the free zones they operate from are eligible for the 0 per cent rate.

"The regime has been designed to ensure strategic sectors will thrive in the free zones. Some level of migration may happen but the overall objective is ensuring the UAE remains attractive," Shabana Begum, executive director of - tax policy sector at the UAE Ministry of Finance told the media.

The government said 'qualifying activities' listed in the free zones corporate tax regime includes include manufacturing of goods or materials, processing of goods or materials, holding of shares and other securities, ownership, management, and operation of ships, fund management services, and wealth and investment management services.

Qualifying activities also include services provided by headquarters to related parties, treasury and financing services provided to related parties, the financing and leasing of aircraft, logistics services as well as distributions in or from a designated zone that meet the relevant conditions and any ancillary activities related to these.

UAE corporate tax

Meanwhile, the UAE's corporate tax law - which levies a headline 9 per cent rate on income of certain businesses that exceed $102,000 (Dhs375,000) - is part of the country's broader strategies that are aimed at aligning the Gulf state with new international standards.

It also aligns with a global minimum tax on multinational corporations endorsed by the G20 countries in 2021.

The UAE announced that it will impose a federal levy on corporate earnings in January 2022, dismantling a tax-free regime that's made it a magnet for global business.

The Arab world's second-biggest economy has unveiled a raft of measures ahead of the introduction of corporate tax. Earlier in April, the UAE said government entities, government-controlled entities, as well as extractive businesses and non-extractive natural resource businesses that meet the necessary conditions under the corporate tax law will be exempted from tax and not required to register.

Similarly, the authority is exempting non-resident persons from registering for corporate tax if they "only" earn UAE-sourced income and do not have a permanent establishment in the country.

The government is also exempting existing free zone entities from corporate tax as they are among the drivers of the country's non-oil economy. The UAE said public benefit entities that contribute to the welfare of society are eligible also for tax exemptions under the country's corporate tax law.

The Ministry of Finance also issued a new ministerial decision on Small Business Relief, allowing small businesses with revenues of $816,880 (Dhs3m) or less to claim tax relief in a tax period when their revenue does not exceed a certain threshold.

The corporate tax represents a significant shift for a country that's long attracted businesses from around the world, thanks to its status as a tax-free business hub.


Saudi Arabia launches e-visa service in seven countries

UAE, Jordan and Egypt are among nations selected for first phase

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday launched a switch to electronic visas.

Starting with seven countries, e-visas will replace visa stickers on passports and make it possible to retrieve visitors' data using a QR Code.

The initiative is part of a process of automating and improving the quality of consular services.

Saudi Arabia first issued e-visas in late 2019 to accommodate growing tourism.

Saudi missions in the UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and the Philippines will now be able to issue electronic visas.

The ministry aims to develop a visa-issuing mechanism - including work permits, residence and visit visas - using the latest technology.

Last year, it announced that visitors could apply for a "personal visit" visa to visit friends who are Saudi citizens by using the e-visa services form on its website.

The visa is valid for 90 days, allowing visitors to travel throughout the kingdom including offering prayers in the two holy cities and making Umrah.

Saudi Arabia plans to add 315,000 new hotel rooms with an estimated development cost of $37.8 billion by 2030, as it continues to expand its hospitality, tourism and travel industries to diversify its economy away from oil.

The planned additions would take the total to about 450,000 hotel rooms, with projects such as the futuristic city of Neom leading the way.


Two new national ID services added in Absher

RIYADH - Acting Deputy Minister of Interior for Civil Status Lt. Gen. Sulaiman Al-Yahya has launched two new features for the national identity cards on the Absher platform.

The new features are "Issue National Id for family member" and "Request Replacement for damaged ID".

The first feature will enable Saudi citizens to identify a family member electronically, print the special form, and request the issuance of a national identity for a family member electronically.

The service also enables the applicants to request for a delivery service for the document to their national address.

The feature of requesting replacement for damaged ID enables Saudi citizens to request for the issuance of the document electronically through their Absher account, in addition to the delivery service to their national address, without the need for visiting the office.

Beneficiaries can review the procedures and requirements of the services by logging on to their their accounts on Absher, then select the Civil Affairs from the My Services menu, then choose the National Id Services icon.


Al-Jadaan: Saudi Arabia to give tax reduction, VAT exemption in special economic zones

RIYADH - Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan announced that Saudi Arabia will provide a permanent value-added tax (VAT) exemption on transactions between entities within special economic zones (SEZs) or between various special economic zones.

There will also be a tax discount for a period of 20 years within SEZs, he said.

The minister announced this while delivering his speech at the Saudi Special Economic Zones Investment Forum, here on Monday.

"We will work to give a reduction in taxes for a period of 20 years so that investors can make long term planning.

"We will also provide permanent exemption for social insurance tax for the employer as well as for transactions between companies in special economic zones and between companies in different SEZs," he said.

He also emphasized that Saudi Arabia is the only country that obtained third positive ratings during 2023.


Via Riyadh set to open to public on May 11

RIYADH - Via Riyadh, the new luxury shopping and entertainment district, will be open to the public in Riyadh on May 11. This was announced by Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority.

In a statement on his official Twitter account, Al-Sheikh said that the Via Riyadh zone will include the most luxurious restaurants, shops and cinemas. Opening of the most luxurious entertainment destination in the Saudi capital city will be a landmark initiative in the Kingdom's incredible journey in the entertainment sector for the year 2023.

Via Riyadh was inaugurated by Turki Al-Sheikh in January this year ahead of its formal opening to the public. The new district is part of a wider initiative under the Saudi Vision 2030 plan to modernize the country and develop its entertainment sector to help diversify the economy. Via Riyadh will feature five-star hotel Regis, 22 luxury stores, 15 restaurants and cafes, seven cinemas, and an international food market.

The opening ceremony will showcase the new zone, which took 20 months to build, and it is distinguished by a combination of authentic and modern architecture at the same time, and its spaces are designed in a way that gives comfort and relaxation through vast green spaces, artistic sculptures, and perennial trees near the Diplomatic Quarter in Riyadh.

The new venue will also include a theatre for live performances, which will be inaugurated by renowned Saudi singer Abdul Majeed Abdullah on May 18. He will be the first artist to perform a concert in the Via Riyadh area on the occasion of the opening, according to the announcement of Turki Al-Sheikh. It is expected that this destination will be one of the ideal destinations for residents and visitors of Riyadh looking for entertainment in a luxurious and exceptional atmosphere.


Almana Group opens Aziziah Dammam Hospital

Almana Group of Hospitals, the first healthcare provider in the Eastern Region and one of the oldest and largest medical companies in the kingdom, has announced the opening of Aziziah Dammam Hospital, its eighth healthcare facility.

With a sprawling area of over 75,000 sq m, Aziziah Dammam Hospital is poised to provide medical care to a substantial number of patients each year. The opening is a significant step towards improving healthcare access for the people of Saudi Arabia.

The project's completion by the end of 2024 will see the addition of 52 clinics and 185 beds, reflecting Almana's steadfast dedication to enhancing healthcare services.

Easy access

Equipped with state-of-the-art digital operating rooms, the new hospital will further add to patient convenience by providing easy access for patients, visitors, and ambulances. The ER encompasses equipment and services to cover holistic, integrated, and specialized care designed to achieve the best possible patient outcomes.

A key highlight is the fully automated robotic pharmacy built for more efficient dispensing of medications, minimizing human errors, and reducing wait times.

Committed to delivering the highest standards of care, the hospital's first phase will see 960 healthcare workers join the Almana workforce, all dedicated to providing specialized treatments meeting the highest standards of care.

Mana Almana, CEO of Almana Group of Hospitals, said: "Aziziah Dammam Hospital marks a new chapter for Almana Group of Hospitals' commitment and legacy to provide specialized, integrated, and comprehensive care to improve the health and well-being of the Kingdom, in line with Vision 2030. Almana has always strived to provide comprehensive, compassionate care for thousands more patients each year and this new venture is a testament to our unwavering ambition to provide innovative health solutions and services to all our patients wherever they are and whenever they need them."

Dr Saleh Al Ahmed, Medical Director, of Aziziah Dammam Hospital, adds: "Thanks to the continued dedication and efforts of the team at Almana, we are primed for a remarkable launch of Aziziah Dammam Hospital, further expanding our reach and expertise in the way we care for patients.

"The new hospital provides patients access to a global network of physicians and specialists to provide the highest quality care and a world-class patient experience built around the best practices at Almana. We aim to do nothing less than redefine health care for the people who count on us every day in Saudi Arabia."

Alongside Internal Medicine, General Surgery, Pediatrics, OB-GYN, Orthopedics, Cardiology, Urology, and Pre - Anesthesia, a new laboratory and Pathology Department will provide a comprehensive and wide variety of tests and services to ensure that patients are given the utmost care. The hospital's qualified staff will be available 24/7 to assist physicians in diagnosing, establishing a prognosis, and detecting disease through screening, managing, and monitoring patients.


Saudi: 17 Cities Included in Largest Entertainment Tour Around Kingdom

The chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) Turki Al-Sheikh announced that the Kingdom Tour 2023, which is the largest entertainment tour around Saudi Arabia, continues to add regions to it with the number of sites included in the tour reaching 17 cities and regions.

After the Kingdom's 2023 tour added the Al-Baha region to the list about a week ago, it was announced that the Najran region has been placed on the list of events that will tour throughout Saudi Arabia until the end of next September.

Al-Sheikh said that the Kingdom Tour 2023, which was launched by the GEA, is being conducted in strategic partnership with the Quality of Life Program, indicating that it is being organised and managed by local companies present in all regions.

The Kingdom Tour 2023 has opened up opportunities for hundreds of Saudi men and women to participate in the different levels of the entertainment activities, whether before the start of the shows, or participating in presenting the performances, Al-Sheikh noted.


PwC Middle East inaugurates regional headquarters in Riyadh

This comes as part of the firm's broader commitment to the region to create 6,000 new jobs and continued investment in digital technology and ESG

PwC Middle East has received its regional headquarters licence by the Ministry of Investment (MISA) and the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) in Saudi Arabia.

The inauguration ceremony took place at the Al Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh on May 31, 2023, with the presence of guests including Khalid A. Al-Falih, Minister of Investment, Dr. Hazim Zagzoog, advisor to the Royal Court, and Kevin Ellis, PwC EMEA.

As one of the largest professional services firm in the Middle East, PwC supports various entities such as the Centre of Government, Vision Realization Programs, Government Ministries, Royal Commissions, Giga programmes, and the broader ecosystem.

Its aim is to assist in setting strategies, driving transformation and providing human-led, technology-powered solutions to build trust and achieve sustainable outcomes.

Al-Falih said: "I am delighted to join PwC Middle East as it inaugurates its new Regional Headquarters (RHQ) in Riyadh, which will help to build the RHQ ecosystem in Saudi Arabia and set global standards for how a professional services sector RHQ should operate.

It is a natural continuation of a longstanding, trusted and mutually beneficial relationship and I also commend PwC on its strong record of employing more than 1,000 talented Saudis in its workforce."

Hani Ashkar, PwC Middle East senior partner: "We are thrilled to have received our licence for our regional headquarters and are honoured to continue supporting the Kingdom's remarkable transformation, as we accelerate towards 2030 and beyond.

At PwC Middle East, we are fully committed to supporting Saudi Arabia's next phase of its transformational agenda as we digitise, decarbonise, localise, privatise and modernise."

Riyadh Al Najjar, PwC Saudi country senior partner and chair of the ME Board, added: "We're proud of our journey in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia for over 40 years, building trust and delivering sustained outcomes. We are committed to the kingdom's ambition and efforts as it strengthens and diversifies its economy to deliver opportunities for its people and deliver on the promise of a remarkable future."

Meanwhile, with a strong workforce of over 2,000 employees in Saudi Arabia, more than a 1,000 of whom are Saudi nationals including over 400 Saudi women, PwC Middle East is a significant contributor to talent development in the kingdom and is committed to expanding its staffing numbers over the next three years in the region.

This year PwC Middle East has recruited more than 200 Saudi graduates, over half of whom are women.

Additionally, PwC Middle East is deeply invested in Saudisation as part of its 'Hemam 2.0 programme', which aims to develop and retain top national talent, empower Saudi youth and enable their professional growth.

The centre will provide a platform to ideate with clients and to showcase innovative products, services and disruptive technologies to solve the region's most pressing problems.

The Riyadh office and headquarters adds to PwC Middle East's footprint of six offices across the kingdom including additional offices in Riyadh, Jeddah, Al Khobar, Dhahran and AlUla.


Saudi Arabia wants to have buses running on hydrogen next year

By mid-2024, Neom will be making hydrogen for vehicles such as buses and trucks, Dave Edmondson, CEO of Neom Green Hydrogen, said in Dubai

The Neom hydrogen project, part of a $500bn industrial and tourist development on Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coast, will begin producing fuel for transportation next year, according to the head of the venture.

By mid-2024, Neom will be making hydrogen for vehicles such as buses and trucks, Dave Edmondson, chief executive officer of Neom Green Hydrogen, said in Dubai. A larger plant, focusing on exports, is also being developed.

NGHC - a venture between local firm ACWA Power, state-backed Neom and US-based Air Products & Chemicals - is part of Riyadh's ambitious plans to expand in clean-tech industries as it prepares for a future beyond fossil fuels.

Green hydrogen is still far more expensive than oil and natural gas, but developers are confident they can reduce costs enough to make it competitive.

The bigger plant, a $8.5bn project designed to produce 600 tonnes of hydrogen a day using wind and solar power, will start exporting fuel in the form of ammonia in 2026.


Oman: New System Launched for Residents to Obtain Medical Reports

The Sultanate of Oman's Ministry of Health (MoH) has launched a system for residents to easily obtain the results of medical examinations for the purpose of renewals or obtaining new residency cards.

The ministry said: "The service is part of the 'Medical Fitness Examination System for Residency Purpose', where the system will allow residents and companies to easily obtain the results of medical examinations to renew residency or obtain residency cards from service centres in the civil affairs, and also to obtain visas for the first time."

MoH added that the system aims to increase transparency, reduce counterfeit reports, and save time and effort in issuing medical reports through electronic linkage with the Royal Oman Police (ROP).


Entrepreneurs and individuals wishing to recruit expatriate workers

The Directorate General of Disease Surveillance and Control to follow up, manage, and control the system, and obtain the necessary statistics

Private sector hospitals and centres that provide medical examination services for expatriates

Services provided by the system:

Enables officials to manage and follow up work procedures directly.

Medical examination for expatriates for the purpose of residency to work or for renewal

Medical examination to issue or renew the health card

Medical examination to obtain or renew study visa

Medical examination to obtain or renew family entry visa

Medical examination for technical teams and sailors (enrolment or renewal)

Medical examination to obtain or restore Omani citizenship


Oman unveils plans to build Sultan Haitham City

The smart and sustainable city will cover an area of approximately 15 million square metres

Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tarik inaugurated Sultan Haitham City at Al Baraka Palace on May 31.

The leader was briefed about the brand identity and message of Sultan Haitham City, themed 'Treasure the Future', at the ceremony.

The brand identity and message of the city reflects "a vision for building the most unique and dazzling city in the Sultanate of Oman", according to a report by the Oman News Agency.

The visual logo of the city, which will be built at Wilayat of A'Seeb, is inspired by nature, along with golden touches "denoting luxury and power".

Sultan Haitham City constitutes a futuristic urban icon, a treasure for the future and a sustainable gift from His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik to future generations and all segments of society.

Sultan Haitham was briefed on the city's master plan, its residential quarters, facilities and amenities during the event.

The briefing also outlined the stages of implementation of the project.

Oman to focus on tech and sustainability in the new city

The city showcases 12 global standards on quality of life and welfare. The criteria range between affordable cost, advanced integrated facilities and modern lifestyles.

The project will cover an area of approximately 15 million square metres, with a focus on utilising green spaces estimated to be 2.9 million square metres. The city will house 100,000 residents and will have 20,000 residential units of different styles.

The project will include a wide range of residential properties that reflects the country's cultural heritage.


Apparel Group expands presence in Kuwait with 12 new store openings

The line-up of stores feature brands such as Birkenstock, Beverly Hills Polo Club, Dune London, Levi's, The Children's Place, Steve Madden, among others

Apparel Group, the UAE-based fashion and retail conglomerate company, has announced its expansion in Kuwait with the launch of 12 retail stores. This includes some of the fashion, lifestyle and food and beverage brands, in Al Khiran Mall.

The line-up of stores feature brands such as Birkenstock, Beverly Hills Polo Club, Big Brand Bazaar, Dune London, Havaianas, Levi's, LC Waikiki, LC Waikiki Kids, R&B, The Children's Place, Steve Madden and XIMI Vogue.

Neeraj Teckchandani, CEO of Apparel Group said: "This significant expansion at Al Khiran Mall in Kuwait represents a crucial milestone in Apparel Group's growth strategy.

Our aim is to offer our customers an unparalleled and engaging lifestyle experience by bringing together an array of world-class brands. As a leading force in the market, we acknowledge the importance of adapting to the ever-evolving retail landscape.

With Kuwait continuing to emerge as a top shopping destination, this expansion not only elevates the local shopping experience but also bolsters our position as a driving force in the retail sector."

Mobility Management Middle East

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