Business briefing: 14 Jan 2014

Saudi women given more travel freedom, plus other news

Economics and Policy

An electronic system that warns Saudi men when their female “dependents” are leaving the kingdom will be made optional in an historic move towards greater female independence.

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Two German diplomats survived a shooting attack on their car while on a visit to eastern Saudi Arabia on Monday, the state news agency SPA reported, but their vehicle was burned.

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Abu Dhabi has received strong interest from international firms for participating in its largest oilfields, the UAE oil minister said, as it weighs continuing previous partnerships with Western oil giants or letting big Asian buyers take stakes.

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Kuwait’s government will continue a review of its heavy spending on subsidies under a new cabinet appointed this month, the new finance minister has said.

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Companies and Business

Drydocks World, the Dubai-based group which has undergone a multi-billion-dollar debt restructuring, has been commissioned to construct the largest rig ever built for the North Sea in a deal worth $730 million.

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Major Dubai-based builder Arabtec Holding has announced that one of its units had been awarded a $705 million construction contract on Abu Dhabi’s Al Reem Island.

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