Gulf in the News – October 29, 2013

Shaikh Khalifa orders 21 new projects in Pakistan

Source: Khaleej Times (Read full story)

The UAE Project to Assist Pakistan (PAP) has announced the start of 21 new developmental projects at a cost of $184.2 million, in implementation of the directives and initiatives of the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to support and help the people of Pakistan and contribute to the development of cities and outlying regions. Director of PAP Abdullah Khalifa Al Ghafli said on the occasion that these new projects represent the beginning of the second phase of the project’s work plan under the generous directives and initiatives of Shaikh Khalifa, General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and the follow-up of Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.

GCC domestic labor contract inapplicable in Kuwait

Source: Kuwait Times (Read full story)

Well-informed sources at the ministry of social affairs and labor stressed that the unified GCC domestic labor contract – known as the ‘ideal contract’ – suggested by the GCC social affairs ministries’ meeting, was inapplicable in Kuwait due to the absences of legislations regulating the work of this particular category. “If applied, this contract will have no legal support,” stressed the sources. The sources added that law number 6/2010 pertaining work in the private sector had excluded domestic labor from those covered by its provisions and ignored protecting their rights, which means that if this contract is applied in Kuwait, it would be useless and will not stand nor taken into consideration before Kuwaiti courts.

Qatar Rail to showcase project deals

Source: The Peninsula (Read full story)

The Qatar Railways Company (Qatar Rail), the company that oversees construction of Qatar’s multi-billion dollar integrated rail network, is to showcase the investment and business opportunities in the project to foreign investors. In partnership with UBIFRANCE, the French Agency for International Business Development, Qatar Rail will be hosting a two-day conference and workshops in Paris to explore vast investment opportunities generated by the $40bn rail project. UBIFRANCE is an executive agency of the French government. Scheduled to be held on November 7-8, 2013, the conference will showcase opportunities in Qatar Rail, as well as to develop partnerships and discover business trends.

KPMG in Oman appoints its first Omani Partner

Source: Times of Oman (Read full story)

Ahmed Tufail has been promoted as Partner of KPMG in Oman. Ahmed joined KPMG as Audit trainee in 1995 and he charted his route to the top of his profession. On qualifying ACCA in 2004 he moved to US on an international assignment. He qualified Certified Public Accountant (US) and completed the examination and attained membership in Council of Petroleum Accountant Societies of US. He also completed the exams of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. His journey to success continues as Ahmed said, “I believe achieving the professional qualification and climbing the career ladder till date is my significant achievement.

HM King Hamad receives participants in Gulf Strategic Conference

Source: Bahrain News Agency (Read full story)

His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa received at Safriya Palace today participants in the Gulf Strategic Conference which is hosted by Bahrain, organised by Bahrain Centre for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (DERASAT) and attended by Arab League Secretary General Dr. Nabil Al Arabi and GCC Secretary General Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani. HM the King welcomed them, lauding participation of the elite of well-reputed Arab and international political figures, intellectuals, academics and researchers in the key conference. He said that the conference is a good opportunity to exchange visions on various Arab issues and political developments, including security of the Gulf region, mainly in this crucial phase when the region is witnessing major changes.

UAE and Saudi Arabia lead Middle East’s big push into solar energy

Source: The National (Read full story)

Two of the largest oil producers are readying the Middle East’s first big push into renewable energy, planning solar-power plants that will need more than US$1.5 billion in financing by the end of 2014. Saudi Arabia, the biggest member of Opec, and the United Arab Emirates, fourth-biggest in the group, are seeking to add 1,000 megawatts of solar capacity, enough to electrify 200,000 homes. The forecast expansion, which includes Jordan, will require loans and export credits, said Vahid Fotuhi, president of the Emirates Solar Industry Association. Governments across the Middle East and North Africa consider sun and wind energy as crucial for meeting the needs of growing populations and economies, with Saudi Arabia leading the way.