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Middle East

Top places to learn Arabic in the Middle East

Source : Faith Barker / Al Arabiya News / 28 Dec 2013

The fallout from the unrest in the Middle East has made the choices for those hoping to study Arabic in the region narrower and more challenging.

However, adventurous students are still drawn to the Arab world to learn a language spoken by hundreds of millions around the globe.


Mideast funds more cautious on equities, says survey

Source : Reuters / 16 Dec 2013

Fund managers in the Middle East are showing signs of becoming more cautious towards some equity markets as change looms in the global economic environment, a Reuters survey showed.

Forty-seven percent of 15 managers in the monthly survey of leading Middle East-based investment institutions said they expected to increase their overall equity allocation to the region in the next three months, while the rest expected to keep it steady.


Google: Arabic content ranks eighth on the internet

By Hind Mustafa / Al Arabiya / 3 Dec 2013

Arabic is currently ranked the “eighth language in terms of growth and usage on the internet,” a Google spokesperson told Al Arabiya News.

Arabic content dropped from the seventh spot 2012, according to the company, adding that it makes up only 3 percent of overall internet content.


Gulf Arab states may see unemployment rise, warns IMF

Source : Reuters / 23 Nov 2013

Gulf Arab oil exporters may see unemployment among their citizens rise in coming years unless they change a decades-old habit of relying on cheap foreign labor, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday.

Since the 1970s, millions of mainly low-skilled workers from south and southeast Asia have supported rapid economic growth in the Gulf states, whose citizens tend to favor cushy, high-paid public sector jobs.


Mideast $1 trillion construction projects seen over in 2 decades

Source : SG / 21 Nov 2013

As many as 117 major construction projects, with an estimated total costs of more than $1 trillion are planned for completion over the next two decades across the Middle East, GCC, said EC Harris in its latest study titled “Middle East major construction programs – Mitigating the risk”. The GCC countries alone have projects planned for completion valued at more than $1 billion, it added.

However, the completion of these development plans come with a number of risks that could result in program failure for some, it warned.


Arab Spring nations backtrack on women’s rights, poll says

Source : Reuters / 13 Nov 2013

Arab women played a central role in the Arab Spring, but their hopes the revolts would bring greater freedom and expanded rights for women have been thwarted by entrenched patriarchal structures and the rise of Islamists, gender experts in the countries say.


Riyadh: City of billionaires

Source : Arab news / 08 Nov 2013

The total wealth of Saudi billionaires comprises more than half of the combined net worth of billionaires in the Middle East, the inaugural Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census shows.
It also states that Saudi Arabia is the country with the largest number of billionaires in the Middle East, with a total of 64 billionaires.

Sixty-six percent of Saudi billionaires have derived their wealth from inheritance-related fortunes (inherited and inherited/self-made).


Iranian cheetah sighting gives hope to conservation efforts

Source : Al Arabiya / 24 Oct 2013

Wildlife experts hailed the success of U.N.-backed initiative to protect Asiatic cheetahs from extinction, despite sanctions imposed by the west making funds and equipment hard to obtain, reported the Guardian on Tuesday.

The Asiatic cheetahs are classified as extinct around the world except for in Iran, where they are critically endangered. In an unusual sighting, four wildlife experts from the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation (PWHF) witnessed a group of five Asiatic Cheetahs as the environmentalists were coming back from a trip to Iran’s Turan national park, home to some of the largest Asiatic cheetah populations in the world.


Passports of Arab, Muslim states among the 10 worst in the world

Source : Al Arabiya / 2 Oct 2013
The passports of seven Arab or Muslim states are among the 10 worst in the world in terms of free access to other countries, according to a recently published Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index.
Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Pakistan, Palestine, Eriteria, Nepal, Sudan, Sri lanka and Lebanon, remain in the bottom 10 places of the ranking. This means that the citizens of these countries enjoy the least freedom of international travel, according to the index.


Minister: Syria war costs tourism industry $1.5 billion


Source : AFP / 1 Oct 2013
Syria’s tourism industry has lost 300 billion pounds ($1.5 billion) in revenues since the country’s brutal conflict broke out in March 2011, Tourism Minister Bishr Riad Yaziji told AFP on Monday.
“The tourism industry has lost some 300 billion Syrian pounds in direct and indirect losses,” Yaziji said.
“There are other damages that are incalculable,” he added, referring to damaged archaeological sites and monuments across the country.

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