MENA Region Has More Than 5.7 Gigawatts Solar In Pipeline

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Middle East and North Africa remains hotbed of solar power development with more than 5,700 megawatts of capacity under development.

The Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA) recently reported that eight countries in the region have more than 4,050 megawatts of solar photovoltaic power capacity under development. Adding concentration solar power capacity increases the pipeline to 5,700 megawatts.

MESIA notes that 885 megawatts capacity is currently operational across the region. 3,618 megawatts capacity is under construction. Projects being executed in Morocco, Egypt and United Arab Emirates  (UAE) likely contribute the most in this segment.

Morocco has several solar power projects operational at its Noor-Ouarzazate complex. In the UAE, 100 megawatts Shams-1 CSP project is operational and remains the largest project in the country. Construction on 200 megawatts solar PV capacity at Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is at full swing while construction on another 800 megawatts at the same park is expected to begin soon. A 350 megawatts solar PV project was awarded in Abu Dhabi; the project will be expanded to 1,200 megawatts in the near future.

Construction of 1,800 megawatts solar PV capacity is underway at Aswan, Egypt. Agreements by several foreign companies have been signed already.

Jordan is seeing increased activity in the solar power market with several projects under construction. The government there is planning to launch more tenders soon.

Smaller countries like Oman and Kuwait are also planning large-scale solar power projects.

The new entrant in the region’s solar power market will be Saudi Arabia. The country has announced plans to issue tender for 300 megawatts of solar power capacity soon.

Originally published by CleanTechies.

Remember, no problem has a quick fix solution. Thus, always ensure to consult highly knowledgeable group of professionals whom would provide you with a collective advice, never individual advice. This group advice and approach is unique with CWIIL Group and is based on the overall Management Philosophy of all CWIIL Group Companies.

Consulting CWIIL Group of Companies, for any / all investment matters ensures advice based on highest level of knowledge which are given to you by a team of select research-oriented experts whom each will do their own assessment of your matter, and also assess it together, thus ensuring that in case a mistake has been made by one, it will be noticed and corrected even before it is being passed on to you. Receiving incorrect and un-knowledgeable investment advice can be disastrous and thus should be avoided.

CWIIL Group of Companies is a global group of multi-specialised units with diversified interests and activities, wherein each company is a separate legal entity registered under prevailing laws in different parts of the world. CWIIL Group of Companies Products, Services, Project and Solutions are in a multitude of Verticals including, but not limited to, Infrastructure, Power, Oil & Gas, Legal, Media, Technology, ITES, HR, Shipping, Aviation, Real Estate, Hospitals, Health and Medicine, Education, Funding & Investment, Business and Legal Consultancy, and Public Private Partnerships, and other CWIIL Group Units, worldwide, to name a few.

For Further Queries Feel Free to Contact :

Mr. Mohammad Mukhtar Mustafa,
Deputy Global Director, No. 4,
Strategic Business & Intelligence Division,
Email : deputy.gd.4@cwiilgroup.eu
Voice : +45.8176.1923
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

For Queries Specific to Middle East & North Africa :
Email : mena@cwiilgroup.com , hq@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.com , www.cwiilgroup.eu

For Any / All Other Queries :
CWIIL Group Global Regional Headquarters Denmark,
Address : No. 1, Klokkebjergevej, DK6900 Skjern, Denmark
Voice : +45.5148.3608
Fax : +45.7014.1498
Email : corpcomm@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.eu
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

Office Hours :
Monday to Friday : 10.00 – 17.00 CET.
Saturday : 10.00 – 14.00 CET.
Sunday : Closed.

The Corporate Communications Team would require minimum a fortnight for Reviewing & Responding to Queries, which please note.

Could UAE Solar Push Lead A Trend For the Gulf?

As the Gulf states take steps to expand their use of clean energy, a bold plan by the United Arab Emirates to boost its use of renewable electricity from less than 1 percent to 24 percent in the next five years could be a game-changer for the region, experts say.

Much of the world is moving away from oil for its electricity generation, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), which says that globally the fossil fuel has dropped from a 25 percent share to 3.6 percent over the last four decades.

Countries in the Middle East, however, have been bucking the trend. The IEA predicts that by 2019, the region – which holds one-third of the world’s proven crude oil reserves – will still be generating nearly one-third of its electricity from oil, with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia leading the way.

But dropping oil prices and growing concerns about climate change have exposed the downsides of relying on oil. As the Gulf’s demand for power continues to rise, the UAE is leading the way in shifting to greener energy resources.

“The implications of unmitigated climate change for the UAE make its cities unbearably hot, water even more scarce and the region more unstable,” Rachel Kyte, the CEO of the United Nations’ Sustainable Energy for All initiative, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“Action alone and collectively to live in balance with the planet is fundamental for UAE’s future prosperity,” she said.

SOLAR GIANT?

At the Middle East and North Africa Renewable Energy Conference in Kuwait in April, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE – pledged to mobilize $100 billion into renewable energy projects over the next 20 years.

One of the projects in the UAE’s renewables push is the $13.6 billion Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai, which aims to become the biggest solar power plant in the Middle East.

It is expected to generate 5 gigawatts of electricity – enough to power 1.5 million homes – by 2030.

Dubai also plans to install around 100 electric car charging stations as part of its Green Charger Initiative.

By 2050, Dubai wants to reduce its carbon emissions by 6.5 million tons every year, with the aim of becoming the city with the world’s lowest carbon footprint, according to the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has said it wants to add another 9.5 GW of renewable energy capacity to its current capacity of 80 GW by 2030, and Oman’s power sector regulator, the Authority for Electricity Regulation Oman, has announced it will expand rooftop soar installations across residential homes, industrial and commercial buildings.

In Qatar, French energy giant Total SA has announced a joint venture worth $500 million with state-run petroleum, electricity and water companies to develop a solar-power project with a capacity of 1,000 megawatts (MW).

And with a 70 MW solar project due to be operational by 2017, Kuwait plans to meet 15 percent of its energy needs with renewables by 2030, according to the Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research.

“Diversification is key,” said Kyte. “The speed with which previously oil-dependent countries embrace diversification will be a factor in how well they thrive during the energy transition that is now underway.”

GROWING DEMAND FOR POWER

It won’t be easy for the Gulf to wean itself off of fossil fuels. In a report released earlier this month, the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation, a multilateral development bank, said the Gulf Cooperation Council states need to add 69 GW of electrical production to their current total capacity of 148 GW in the next five years to meet demand.

Member states currently rely on hydrocarbon exports for 80 percent of their revenue. The global collapse in oil prices has rocked the region, which lost $287 billion in oil export income – almost 21 percent of GDP – in 2015, according to the International Monetary Fund.

But experts say the sunny region is in a prime position to use renewable energy – particularly solar power – both to meet its own energy needs and bring in much-needed revenue.

The region already has some of the infrastructure it needs to become a major clean-power hub. The Gulf Cooperation Council countries are linked by a 1,200-km electrical grid, built to help provide backup power in case of a blackout in one part of the system.

Expanded to other countries, that electricity highway could be the backbone of future power trading, experts say.

“The Gulf has an exportable resource in solar energy that could eventually be on a comparable level to oil and gas,” said Jonathan Walters, a former director at the World Bank.

“Low oil prices might impel Gulf countries to find alternative exports,” he said. And if prices rise again, domestic use of solar could soar, he said.

Experts said they hope the rest of the Gulf States will look to the UAE as an example of how to tap into clean energy’s potential.

“Low oil prices … and the need for clean air and secure supply chains of food and water all reinforce the wisdom of the UAE in taking a long-term view and moving to be a leader in renewable energy and energy productivity,” Kyte said.

“Now we hope the UAE can share its lessons in the GCC and across the developing world,” she said.

Originally published by Reuters – with credit to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, climate change, women’s rights, trafficking and property rights. Visit news.trust.org/climate.

Remember, no problem has a quick fix solution. Thus, always ensure to consult highly knowledgeable group of professionals whom would provide you with a collective advice, never individual advice. This group advice and approach is unique with CWIIL Group and is based on the overall Management Philosophy of all CWIIL Group Companies.

Consulting CWIIL Group of Companies, for any / all investment matters ensures advice based on highest level of knowledge which are given to you by a team of select research-oriented experts whom each will do their own assessment of your matter, and also assess it together, thus ensuring that in case a mistake has been made by one, it will be noticed and corrected even before it is being passed on to you. Receiving incorrect and un-knowledgeable investment advice can be disastrous and thus should be avoided.

CWIIL Group of Companies is a global group of multi-specialised units with diversified interests and activities, wherein each company is a separate legal entity registered under prevailing laws in different parts of the world. CWIIL Group of Companies Products, Services, Project and Solutions are in a multitude of Verticals including, but not limited to, Infrastructure, Power, Oil & Gas, Legal, Media, Technology, ITES, HR, Shipping, Aviation, Real Estate, Hospitals, Health and Medicine, Education, Funding & Investment, Business and Legal Consultancy, and Public Private Partnerships, and other CWIIL Group Units, worldwide, to name a few.

For Further Queries Feel Free to Contact :

Mr. Mohammad Mukhtar Mustafa,
Deputy Global Director, No. 4,
Strategic Business & Intelligence Division,
Email : deputy.gd.4@cwiilgroup.eu
Voice : +45.8176.1923
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

For Queries Specific to Middle East & North Africa :
Email : mena@cwiilgroup.com , hq@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.com , www.cwiilgroup.eu

For Any / All Other Queries :
CWIIL Group Global Regional Headquarters Denmark,
Address : No. 1, Klokkebjergevej, DK6900 Skjern, Denmark
Voice : +45.5148.3608
Fax : +45.7014.1498
Email : corpcomm@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.eu
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

Office Hours :
Monday to Friday : 10.00 – 17.00 CET.
Saturday : 10.00 – 14.00 CET.
Sunday : Closed.

The Corporate Communications Team would require minimum a fortnight for Reviewing & Responding to Queries, which please note.

Cybercrime Gang Targeting MENA Governments’ Organisations – Security Advice by CWIIL Group

Kaspersky Lab has warned of an increase in activity by an Arabic-speaking cybercriminal group which targets government organisations in the MENA region.

The ‘Gaza Cybergang’ has been active since 2012, but has been particularly active in the second and third quarters of this year.

The attackers focus on government entities, especially embassies, primarily targeting IT and incident response staff by sending them malware files. The group has attacked government entities in countries including Egypt, the UAE and Yemen.

The Gaza Cybergang actively sends malware files to information technology (IT) and incident response (IR) staff. Kaspersky Lab experts suspect that the reason behind targeting IT personnel has to do with the fact that they are known to have more access and permissions inside their organisations than other employees, mainly because they need to manage and operate the infrastructure.

Similarly, IR staff may be targeted for having access to sensitive data related to ongoing cyber investigations in their organisations, as well as special access and permissions enabling them to hunt for malicious or suspicious activities on the network.

Despite the fact they are targeting high-level entities such as government bodies, the Gaza team uses well-known remote administration tools (RAT) – XtremeRAT and PoisonIvy – spreading infections via phishing scams. Using simple infection tools, they successfully hit their targets with crafted social engineering tricks, using special file names, content and domain names that help the group in their hunt for targets.

“According to the list of targets, which includes government entities in the Middle East and North Africa region, we’re witnessing politically motivated cyberattacks. By gaining control of computers with greater access to the system, the cybercriminals increase their chances of stealing valuable information and are much more likely to cause significant damage. As attribution is the most complicated – often impossible – task when analysing a malicious cyber-campaign, we don’t as yet know who is behind it,” said Mohammad Amin Hasbini, senior security researcher, Global Research & Analysis Team, Kaspersky Lab.

These materials are not intended and should not be used as legal advice or other recommendation. If you need a legal opinion on a specific issue or factual situation, please contact a lawyer. Anyone using these materials should not rely on them as a substitute for legal advice.

Remember, no problem has a quick fix solution. Thus, always ensure to consult highly knowledgeable group of professionals whom would provide you with a collective advice, never individual advice. This group advice and approach is unique with CWIIL Group and is based on the overall Management Philosophy of all CWIIL Group Companies.

Consulting CWIIL Group of Companies, for any / all matters relating to security ensures advice based on highest level of knowledge which are given to you by a team of select research-oriented experts whom each will do their own assessment of your matter, and also assess it together, thus ensuring that in case a mistake has been made by one, it will be noticed and corrected even before it is being passed on to you. Receiving incorrect and un-knowledgeable security advice can be disastrous and thus should be avoided.

CWIIL Group of Companies is a global group of multi-specialized units with diversified interests and activities, wherein each company is a separate legal entity registered under prevailing laws in different parts of the world. CWIIL Group of Companies Products, Services, Project and Solutions are in a multitude of Verticals including, but not limited to, Infrastructure, Power, Oil & Gas, Legal, Media, Technology, ITES, HR, Shipping, Aviation, Real Estate, Hospitals, Health and Medicine, Education, Funding & Investment, Business and Legal Consultancy, and Public Private Partnerships, and other CWIIL Group Units, worldwide, to name a few.

For Further Queries Feel Free to Contact :

Mr. Mohammad Mukhtar Mustafa,
Deputy Global Director, No. 4,
Strategic Business & Intelligence Division,
Email : deputy.gd.4@cwiilgroup.eu
Voice : +45.8176.1923
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

For Queries Specific to Middle East & North Africa :
Email : mena@cwiilgroup.com , hq@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.com , www.cwiilgroup.eu

For Any / All Other Queries :
CWIIL Group Global Regional Headquarters Denmark,
Address : No. 1, Klokkebjergevej, DK6900 Skjern, Denmark
Voice : +45.5148.3608
Fax : +45.7014.1498
Email : corpcomm@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.eu
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

Office Hours :
Monday to Friday : 10.00 – 17.00 CET.
Saturday : 10.00 – 14.00 CET.
Sunday : Closed.

The Corporate Communications Team would require minimum a fortnight for Reviewing & Responding to Queries, which please note.

Dubai Airport August Traffic Up 9.5% – Investment Advice from CWIIL Group of Companies

Dubai International Airport’s passenger numbers rose 9.5 per cent in August, its operator said on Wednesday, as capacity rose and residents returned from Eid holidays through one of the world’s busiest airport by international traffic.

Traffic rose to 7.28 million passengers from 6.65 million a year earlier, the airport operator said, taking the total so far this year to 52.3 million, up 12.4 per cent.

Growth in traffic was propelled by inbound traffic of residents returning from late-July Eid holidays, as well as by increased capacity to regions of North America, Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States by airlines Emirates and flydubai.

The heaviest traffic was on routes to the Indian subcontinent and the United Kingdom.

Cargo volumes rose 5.3 per cent in August to 207,427 tonnes. Some cargo operations have moved to Al Maktoum International – Dubai World Central (DWC).

These materials are not intended and should not be used as legal advice or other recommendation. If you need a legal opinion on a specific issue or factual situation, please contact a lawyer. Anyone using these materials should not rely on them as a substitute for legal advice.

Remember, no problem has a quick fix solution. Thus, always ensure to consult highly knowledgeable group of professionals whom would provide you with a collective advice, never individual advice. This group advice and approach is unique with CWIIL Group and is based on the overall Management Philosophy of all CWIIL Group Companies.

Consulting CWIIL Group of Companies, for any / all matters relating to investment ensures advice based on highest level of knowledge which are given to you by a team of select research-oriented experts whom each will do their own assessment of your matter, and also assess it together, thus ensuring that in case a mistake has been made by one, it will be noticed and corrected even before it is being passed on to you. Receiving incorrect and un-knowledgeable investment advice can be disastrous and thus should be avoided.

CWIIL Group of Companies is a global group of multi-specialized units with diversified interests and activities, wherein each company is a separate legal entity registered under prevailing laws in different parts of the world. CWIIL Group of Companies Products, Services, Project and Solutions are in a multitude of Verticals including, but not limited to, Infrastructure, Power, Oil & Gas, Legal, Media, Technology, ITES, HR, Shipping, Aviation, Real Estate, Hospitals, Health and Medicine, Education, Funding & Investment, Business and Legal Consultancy, and Public Private Partnerships, and other CWIIL Group Units, worldwide, to name a few.

For Further Queries Feel Free to Contact :

Mr. Mohammad Mukhtar Mustafa,
Deputy Global Director, No. 4,
Strategic Business & Intelligence Division,
Email : deputy.gd.4@cwiilgroup.eu
Voice : +45.8176.1923
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

For Queries Specific to Middle East & North Africa :
Email : mena@cwiilgroup.com , hq@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.com , www.cwiilgroup.eu

For Any / All Other Queries :
CWIIL Group Global Regional Headquarters Denmark,
Address : No. 1, Klokkebjergevej, DK6900 Skjern, Denmark
Voice : +45.5148.3608
Fax : +45.7014.1498
Email : corpcomm@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.eu
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

Office Hours :
Monday to Friday : 10.00 – 17.00 CET.
Saturday : 10.00 – 14.00 CET.
Sunday : Closed.

The Corporate Communications Team would require minimum a fortnight for Reviewing & Responding to Queries, which please note.

Global VCs Investing In MENA Are Like Pink Diamonds: Rare But Existent – Investment Advice From CWIIL Group of Companies

Towards the end of 2014 Wamda published an interview with Lebanese VC Khaled Nasr. He said, quite plainly, that if you’re a Middle Eastern startup it’s highly unlikely you’ll get money from a US VC. That’s a sad thought (especially when access to funding within the region has also been tough).

Indeed, in another article from February of this year we learned that there’s “still not much entrepreneurship activity in the MENA region.” While Nasr is still of the opinion that Silicon Valley VCs are highly unlikely to invest in MENA startups, a fair bit of Googling and chatting to contacts led to realize that global VCs moving into the region are a bit like pink diamonds: beautiful and rare, but more importantly, existent.

Who’s Investing?

Silicon Valley investment numbers are not that low, but if we compare them with investments within the US or Europe, then yes, they are few and far between. However, there are notable exceptions to this. Germany’s Rocket Internet has been making waves in the region since its investments in Namshi and Mizado in 2012. They opened offices in Dubai, and have since made investments and purchases worth hundreds of millions of dollars, with their Middle East Internet Group.

Currently Fenox, which has yet to declare any investments in regional startups, is the only Silicon Valley-based VC to have set up office in the UAE. Brent Traidman, General Partner at Fenox Venture Capital, told Wamda that even though US and UK markets continue to serve well, their VC was looking to “focus on emerging markets where we witness the biggest growth opportunities.” So, in April 2014 the VC announced the launch of its $100 million fund for startups in the developing world (in December it also launched a $200 million fund for Bangladesh).

To do so they partnered with Dubai-based Innovation 360. But this took some time. Traidman said that they started by sponsoring and mentoring local startups, then performed due diligence to really gauge the appetite for a VC fund. “With the recent surge in incubators, accelerators, and early stage startups in the GCC, we seized the opportunity to get in early.”

For Traidman the increasing population of the region, as well as the massive mobile penetration, cannot be overlooked. “We see this number continuing to rise quickly in the next five to seven years, which gives us the opportunity to start investing prior to mass adoption.”

Other venture capital companies that have added MENA-based startups to their portfolios also include Lumia Capital; San Francisco’s Rise Capital which raised a $100 million maiden fund specifically for early stage expansion of companies in emerging markets in 2014; Belgium’s Hummingbird Ventures which invested in MarkaVIP back in 2012; and South Africa’s Naspers which invested the sizeable $75 million in souq.com in 2014.

What Has Been Holding Investors Back? 

Talk to someone Stateside and you get an obvious answer. “There is this attitude of ‘if I can’t drive to a portfolio then it’s not worth investing in,’ which is frankly extremely unfortunate,” says San Francisco-based entrepreneur Mohannad El-Khairy. “Especially because when you look at those living in the Valley, like 50% are not from the US.”

With his company, NXT Innovation, El-Khairy often has the challenge of showing off the qualities of a MENA-based startup to US-based corporations: putting tech startups within reach of corporations in order to facilitate innovation within the corporation.

As a result, startups have been aiming to get themselves to Silicon Valley in order to scale, rather than staying in the region. Wally, the Dubai-based personal finance app, is currently in the Valley, as is the Bahraini startup Utrack.tv. Another which has recently returned from a stint there is the Cairo-based obituary website ElWafeyat.com.

Yousef El Sammaa, cofounder of El Wafeyat, concurs with El-Khairy’s point after his four months spent in California with 500 Startups. “We met a lot of potential investors who were interested in our model but rarely were they interested in investing outside of US, or even California.” El Sammaa added that investors felt that it would be an issue if they couldn’t get to an investment within two or three hours to sort out a problem. Also, investors are reluctant to invest in markets they don’t understand well – and they’re happy to admit that they don’t understand the MENA.

As part of its write up on the Middle East, in their Global Startup Series, 500 Startups said: “It’s clear that a major entrepreneurial shift is taking place in the Middle East and the startup scene has grown exponentially in the past few years.” And they are right. However, certain things are still lacking, notably funding to take many startups to the next level.

“One challenge that we face is that there is currently a lack of Series B, C and D [funding],” Traidman noted. Commonly known as ‘middle series funding’ it is very important but not as popular as seed and Series A, nor final round investments. “This is a critical time in a startup’s life that enables them to hire the right talent, develop products and patents, as well as start to grow to a more mature level of user traction and revenue.”

Moving Forward

Putting these regional startups in a context that foreign investors can understand will help with their appeal. In April AstroLabs Dubai will be opening its temporary coworking space, ahead of its official opening as a Google Tech Hub space.

Here the ecosystem can see movement in both directions. AstroLabs’ partnership with India’s Nasscom 10,000 Startups program will be providing soft landing packages for startups coming to the region from India. Louis Lebbos, AstroLabs’ founder, also told Wamda that this kind of partnership would be soon extended to Russia, Turkey, Pakistan, and Morocco. “We will have many international investors come to the space to meet the startups in our community and the wider ecosystem.”

The impact of 500 Startups in the region is also being felt. Since 2011 they have invested in 17 startups in five regional countries. From Jordan’s Jeeran to ShopGo, a total of $2 million has found its way to the region. Investors in the Asian market are not shy of MENA either.

Frontier Digital Ventures are a Kuala Lumpur-based VC which has already invested in Dubai’s propertyfinder.ae. The company is very focused now on the MENA region’s classifieds sector, on the hunt for automotive and property verticals. “It’s an exciting and diverse region,” says Shaun Di Gregorio of Frontier Digital Ventures. “You’ve got markets the size of Egypt, right down the small but wealthy Gulf states.”

So, like the pink diamond, once you’ve found one, you can safely say you’ve hit the mother lode.

These materials are not intended and should not be used as legal advice or other recommendation. If you need a legal opinion on a specific issue or factual situation, please contact a lawyer. Anyone using these materials should not rely on them as a substitute for legal advice.

Remember, no problem has a quick fix solution. Thus, always ensure to consult highly knowledgeable group of professionals whom would provide you with a collective advice, never individual advice. This group advice and approach is unique with CWIIL Group and is based on the overall Management Philosophy of all CWIIL Group Companies.

Consulting CWIIL Group of Companies, for any / all matters relating to investment ensures advice based on highest level of knowledge which are given to you by a team of select research-oriented experts whom each will do their own assessment of your matter, and also assess it together, thus ensuring that in case a mistake has been made by one, it will be noticed and corrected even before it is being passed on to you. Receiving incorrect and un-knowledgeable investment advice can be disastrous and thus should be avoided.

CWIIL Group of Companies is a global group of multi-specialized units with diversified interests and activities, wherein each company is a separate legal entity registered under prevailing laws in different parts of the world. CWIIL Group of Companies Products, Services, Project and Solutions are in a multitude of Verticals including, but not limited to, Infrastructure, Power, Oil & Gas, Legal, Media, Technology, ITES, HR, Shipping, Aviation, Real Estate, Hospitals, Health and Medicine, Education, Funding & Investment, Business and Legal Consultancy, and Public Private Partnerships, and other CWIIL Group Units, worldwide, to name a few.

For Further Queries Feel Free to Contact :

Mr. Mohammad Mukhtar Mustafa,
Deputy Global Director, No. 4,
Strategic Business & Intelligence Division,
Email : deputy.gd.4@cwiilgroup.eu
Voice : +45.8176.1923
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

For Queries Specific to Middle East & North Africa :
Email : mena@cwiilgroup.com , hq@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.com , www.cwiilgroup.eu

For Any / All Other Queries :
CWIIL Group Global Regional Headquarters Denmark,
Address : No. 1, Klokkebjergevej, DK6900 Skjern, Denmark
Voice : +45.5148.3608
Fax : +45.7014.1498
Email : corpcomm@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.eu
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

Office Hours :
Monday to Friday : 10.00 – 17.00 CET.
Saturday : 10.00 – 14.00 CET.
Sunday : Closed.

The Corporate Communications Team would require minimum a fortnight for Reviewing & Responding to Queries, which please note.

Now Is The Right Time To Invest In MENA’s Tech Scene – Investment Advice From CWIIL Group

Away from the screaming headlines about gloom and doom in the Arab world is the rarely told story of a trend whose promise is nothing short of transformative. The rise of the digital economy has, for the first time in decades, turned the region into the site of a remarkable market opportunity that, if tapped, would take it on an entirely new economic trajectory.

With a collective GDP of US$2.85 trillion, the Arab world ranks among the top ten largest economies; larger than that of India, Russia or Brazil. More than half of the 369 million-strong population are under the age of 25, and the burgeoning middle class is young, educated and globally connected. Tellingly, over the past few years the levels of connectivity have been increasing drastically. Between 2007 and 2012, internet penetration jumped 294%, while mobile data traffic grew 107% in 2013, compared to 86% in Asia Pacific, 77% in North America and 57% in Western Europe. Moreover, the recent roll-out of low-cost affordable smartphones in emerging economies is sure to accelerate broadband penetration. Soon, social and mobile technologies will be within everyone’s reach.

Through ever higher connectivity, entrepreneurial activity and easy access to technologies that are lowering the costs and barriers to starting a business, the Arab world is positioning itself as a hub for innovation, disruption and growth. In fact, entrepreneurial vigor is already palpable across various Arab cities, from Cairo to Amman, Dubai to Jeddah to even war-torn Gaza. Startup investments have actually tripled between 2009 and 2012. In co-working spaces, accelerators and university halls, there is a new breed of tech-savvy entrepreneurs who are building products and technologies that are catching up with global trends (digital content and e-commerce) or solving big problems (e-payments, ed-tech, health and green energy). PayFort and Telr are tackling head-on inefficient online payment systems to boost e-commerce, while Nefham, EdraakTahrir Academy and SkillAcademy are using the power of technology and MOOCs to make online education more accessible to Arab youth.

Startups are not just disrupting the education and payment sectors, but also a whole range of markets, from real estate (AqarMap and Property Finder) to food delivery (Foodonclick and iFoodi.jo) to digital and social media marketing (The Online Project) to online recruitment and job placements, (Akhtaboot and Bayt.com) to big data, (Eqlim.com). One of the most interesting is Jamalon, a Jordanian startup that is set to disrupt the archaic Arab book distribution industry.

Digital Arabic content is actually one of the new economy’s most high-performing industries. One study mentions that today’s market size is in billions. Saudi Arabia ranks at number one globally in YouTube views per capita. UTURN, a Saudi startup that produces local, high quality online entertainment, has 286 million views so far. Similarly, Jordan-based creative company Kharabeesh has garnered, to date, around 365 million views and more than three million subscribers.

In fact, digital Arabic content has always been a fertile field for local startups. It is where the real potential of the tech scene first proved itself with the rise and eventual sale of Maktoob to Yahoo! in 2009. After the acquisition, Maktoob’s founders created several new companies including Souq.com, now under Jabbar Internet Group. Maktoob is the story of one successful exit, that helped kick off e-commerce, which today is the region’s fastest emerging market, surging from almost zero in 2008 to $9 billion in 2012. According to a study by PayPal, projections point to robust growth that could well reach $15 billion in 2015.

In the last couple of years, international and local funds have invested more than $250 million in the e-commerce industry. Leading investors, among them Naspers, Tiger Global Management, Rocket Internet, J.P. Morgan, Lumia Capital and Abdel Latif Jameel, have poured funding mainly into Souq.com, MarkaVIP and Namshi. Commonly referred to as the Middle East’s Amazon, Souq.com, founded in 2005, raised a total of $150 million in financing, with the latest round valuing the company at over $500 million.

Yet access to funding is still one of the main challenges startup founders face in scaling their businesses, as indicated by a recent study published by Wamda Research Lab (WRL). According to the survey, of the businesses that received funding between 2009 and 2012, only 21% raised more than $500,000. With 36% of entrepreneurs mentioning the lack of sufficient venture investments as a major barrier to scalability, it is obvious that more startup financing is needed, and investments larger than $500,000 are a pressing priority.

But it is a measure of the dynamism of the digital economy that it has been consistently delivering such an impressive performance in spite of the hurdles. For example, the response from the young startup investment landscape has been rather swift. Among the leaders in this space are incubators and accelerators, such as Oasis500, Flat6Labs and Gaza Sky Geeks, as well as early stage and venture capital funds, such as MENA Venture Investments, DASH Ventures, BECO Capital and iMena. Wamda Ventures is launching a scalability fund focused on growth companies in the internet space. Similarly, Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) and Silicon Badia have launched funds focused on the same industries.

There are also corporate funds investing in the region’s tech sphere, such as MBC Ventures, STC Ventures and Vodafone Ventures. In parallel, in countries like Lebanon, the Central Bank has allocated $400 million to guarantee up to 75% of Lebanese banks’ equity investments in SMEs, incubators, accelerators and funds.

Significantly, the momentum is not only regional. Rocket Internet and MTN‘s recent partnership to invest around $400M in e-commerce, as well as 500Startups‘ active investment in outfits in Amman and Dubai are just two examples of growing international interest in local tech opportunities. At the same time, the Arab expatriate community in Silicon Valley has been playing an active role in bridging the Middle East and U.S. markets. TechWadi, for one, is leveraging its network to connect the region’s startups with U.S. mentors, capital and accelerators.

Moreover, according to WRL’s mapping, since 2008, there has been a sharp increase in the number of institutions supporting entrepreneurs in the Arab world. Currently, there are over 140 organizations actively working with regional startups. Wamda, Endeavor, Dubai SME and MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab Region have facilitated access to knowledge, networks and new markets.

The Arab world’s rising digital economy is dynamic, exciting and ripe for exponential growth. It is the right time to invest in it. Supported by patient capital, Arab startups will run with every opportunity. There will come a day when the next Alibabas will emerge from the Arab World, and if players pool their capital, resources and networks to support the rising generation of tech entrepreneurs, that day will come sooner than we dare hope.

These materials are not intended and should not be used as legal advice or other recommendation. If you need a legal opinion on a specific issue or factual situation, please contact a lawyer. Anyone using these materials should not rely on them as a substitute for legal advice.

Remember, no problem has a quick fix solution. Thus, always ensure to consult highly knowledgeable group of professionals whom would provide you with a collective advice, never individual advice. This group advice and approach is unique with CWIIL Group and is based on the overall Management Philosophy of all CWIIL Group Companies.

Consulting CWIIL Group of Companies, for any / all matters relating to investment ensures advice based on highest level of knowledge which are given to you by a team of select research-oriented experts whom each will do their own assessment of your matter, and also assess it together, thus ensuring that in case a mistake has been made by one, it will be noticed and corrected even before it is being passed on to you. Receiving incorrect and un-knowledgeable investment advice can be disastrous and thus should be avoided.

CWIIL Group of Companies is a global group of multi-specialized units with diversified interests and activities, wherein each company is a separate legal entity registered under prevailing laws in different parts of the world. CWIIL Group of Companies Products, Services, Project and Solutions are in a multitude of Verticals including, but not limited to, Infrastructure, Power, Oil & Gas, Legal, Media, Technology, ITES, HR, Shipping, Aviation, Real Estate, Hospitals, Health and Medicine, Education, Funding & Investment, Business and Legal Consultancy, and Public Private Partnerships, and other CWIIL Group Units, worldwide, to name a few.

For Further Queries Feel Free to Contact :

Mr. Mohammad Mukhtar Mustafa,
Deputy Global Director, No. 4,
Strategic Business & Intelligence Division,
Email : deputy.gd.4@cwiilgroup.eu
Voice : +45.8176.1923
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

For Queries Specific to Middle East & North Africa :
Email : mena@cwiilgroup.com , hq@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.com , www.cwiilgroup.eu

For Any / All Other Queries :
CWIIL Group Global Regional Headquarters Denmark,
Address : No. 1, Klokkebjergevej, DK6900 Skjern, Denmark
Voice : +45.5148.3608
Fax : +45.7014.1498
Email : corpcomm@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.eu
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

Office Hours :
Monday to Friday : 10.00 – 17.00 CET.
Saturday : 10.00 – 14.00 CET.
Sunday : Closed.

The Corporate Communications Team would require minimum a fortnight for Reviewing & Responding to Queries, which please note.

Climate Investment Middle East and North Africa Region – Specialized Advice From CWIIL Group

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region holds some of the most advantageous potential for the development of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) in the world. Countries in the region – Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Libya and Tunisia – are looking to take advantage of this world-class potential through the use of $750 million from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) in conjunction with large investments from other sources. The investment plan developed as part of the CTF will:

  • Enable the region to contribute to global climate change mitigation;
  • Support deployment of about 1 gigawatt of CSP generation capacity, tripling worldwide CSP capacity;
  • Support transmission infrastructure in the Maghreb and Mashreq for domestic supply and exports as part of Mediterranean grid enhancement,
  • Enabling CSP scale-up through regional market integration;
  • Leverage public and private investments for CSP power plants and other related projects for over $4.85 billion from sources;
  • Support energy security, industrial growth and diversification, and regional integration in the MENA region.

The Investment Plan is designed around deployment of about 10–12 commercial scale power plants to be constructed over a 3–5 year time-frame. The scale of investment will attract private sector partners, result in economies of scale and cost reduction, and promote learning from diverse operating conditions.

Programming Information: MENA Region’s CTF Programming

These materials are not intended and should not be used as legal advice or other recommendation. If you need a legal opinion on a specific issue or factual situation, please contact a lawyer. Anyone using these materials should not rely on them as a substitute for legal advice.

Remember, no problem has a quick fix solution. Thus, always ensure to consult highly knowledgeable group of professionals whom would provide you with a collective advice, never individual advice. This group advice and approach is unique with CWIIL Group and is based on the overall Management Philosophy of all CWIIL Group Companies.

Consulting CWIIL Group of Companies, for any / all matters relating to investment ensures advice based on highest level of knowledge which are given to you by a team of select research-oriented experts whom each will do their own assessment of your matter, and also assess it together, thus ensuring that in case a mistake has been made by one, it will be noticed and corrected even before it is being passed on to you. Receiving incorrect and un-knowledgeable investment advice can be disastrous and thus should be avoided.

CWIIL Group of Companies is a global group of multi-specialized units with diversified interests and activities, wherein each company is a separate legal entity registered under prevailing laws in different parts of the world. CWIIL Group of Companies Products, Services, Project and Solutions are in a multitude of Verticals including, but not limited to, Infrastructure, Power, Oil & Gas, Legal, Media, Technology, ITES, HR, Shipping, Aviation, Real Estate, Hospitals, Health and Medicine, Education, Funding & Investment, Business and Legal Consultancy, and Public Private Partnerships, and other CWIIL Group Units, worldwide, to name a few.

For Further Queries Feel Free to Contact :

Mr. Mohammad Mukhtar Mustafa,
Deputy Global Director, No. 4,
Strategic Business & Intelligence Division,
Email : deputy.gd.4@cwiilgroup.eu
Voice : +45.8176.1923
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

For Queries Specific to Middle East & North Africa :
Email : mena@cwiilgroup.com , hq@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.com , www.cwiilgroup.eu

For Any / All Other Queries :
CWIIL Group Global Regional Headquarters Denmark,
Address : No. 1, Klokkebjergevej, DK6900 Skjern, Denmark
Voice : +45.5148.3608
Fax : +45.7014.1498
Email : corpcomm@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.eu
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

Office Hours :
Monday to Friday : 10.00 – 17.00 CET.
Saturday : 10.00 – 14.00 CET.
Sunday : Closed.

The Corporate Communications Team would require minimum a fortnight for Reviewing & Responding to Queries, which please note.

New Business Opportunities For Expanding in the Middle East – Specialized Advice From CWIIL Group

Many foreign entrepreneurs say that the Middle East is a “land of promise” for expatriates and even companies wishing to do business in the region. However, there are several drawbacks. Unlike Asian and European markets, it does not have a steady supply of trained manpower. The people are not industrious compared to other populations. Employees do not come cheap. Thus, entrepreneurial risks are greater.

The Middle East is composed of seven countries which are the top oil manufacturers in the world. However, it seems like the oil surge has made ordinary business standards look inappropriate. Too much wealth erased the need to obtain qualifications or craft smart business decisions. Yet, the economies of nations like the United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iran, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, and Yemen are booming. They offer numerous stimulating investment and trade prospects for investors and exporters.

According to a private research study, the Middle East affords potential investors with considerable growth prospects in the defence, maritime, automotive, energy, and chemical industries. Incidentally, statistics released by the International Monetary Fund through its World Economic Outlook Database disclosed that the export value of Middle East was roughly USS1.13 trillion by the end of 2012. This was approximately 6.2 percent of the total worth of global exports. The combined Gross Domestic Product of all Middle Eastern nations was about US $3.96 trillion during the same year.

Opportunities in Top Five Countries

Let us take a look at various investment opportunities in 18 Middle East countries that can help spur exports in the region:

Saudi Arabia is the biggest producer of crude oil worldwide. Despite this stature and riches, the government continues to encourage private sector expansion to reduce the nation’s reliance on oil and increase job opportunities for the country’s growing populace. The Saudi Arabian government offers multiple incentives to foreign investors. The top industry right now is Agriculture.

The climate and terrain does not support much food production. Therefore, most agricultural crops are still imported from neighbouring countries. The only produce that thrives despite the arid and hot weather includes barley, wheat and date palms. There is more demand than supply so you may want to start an enterprise that imports fresh produce from other countries. The other sector is real estate. There is increasing demand for residential units and other buildings as the economy and population keep on growing. The opportunities for property investors are simply overflowing.

The United Arab Emirates specifically the trade capital (Dubai) is a business core. It provides hassle-free access to consumer markets in other Middle East nations, Commonwealth of Independents States, Africa, West Asia, and Eastern Europe. Starting a business at the UAE is not difficult. The progressive administration maintains lenient policies and gives incentives for foreign entrepreneurs. Taxation is nearly non-existent except for tobacco processing, oil and banking. Besides, it formulated a long-term plan that concentrates on growing start-ups.

The foremost industry is construction. The UAE needs engineers and other professionals in the construction and building sector. You can also form businesses that produce or sell raw materials for these two industries. Oil and gas spearhead the country’s economy. There is sufficient room to take in new investors. One option is to begin your businesses from scratch or team up with existing ventures.

Kuwait used to have a law stipulating that any investor should have a local partner with a minimum of 51 percent business equity. However, the enactment of the Foreign Direct Investment Law (8/2001) led to more relaxed requirements. Foreign companies were allowed to incorporate even without a Kuwaiti partner. Foreigners are allowed to participate in industrial activities but not oil/gas exploration and production. So far, the recommended sectors are construction and infrastructure particularly in energy, communications and drainage systems. The other is information technology and development of software applications.

Bahrain boasts of a modern regulatory and legal structure, open border policy, infrastructure, and highly educated workforce. In short, the country has all the basics making it attractive to investors. The most ideal investment opportunity is the petroleum industry particularly processing and refining. A second alternative is transportation. Bahrain is an excellent location for shipping consignment in and out of the country. This is free of tax. It is a trans-shipment port which is the main reason for the presence of many businesses in the country.

Qatar is a relatively small country but the economy is very strong. Policies are also friendly to investors. The first opportunity you may want to put in resources is the manufacture and marketing of building materials for local consumption. This is lucrative since buildings are constructed every day. Information technology is a rewarding business because there is a scarcity of IT specialists in this country.

Prospects in Other Countries

Cyprus has evolved into a reliable global business hub particularly in the services sector. The shipping business can be a good choice because the country ranks among the foremost maritime nations worldwide. Cyprus merchant vessels represent 16 percent of the fleet with European Union flags. The banking industry is also flourishing with a broad range of local and global services like insurance, investments, mutual fund management, and asset administration.

The strict investment policies in Egypt have been relaxed. Businessmen looking at Egypt should consider the cluster of petroleum, energy generation and transmission, information technology, and telecommunications. On the other hand, tourism is the biggest earner in terms of foreign exchange and employs over 10 percent of the Egyptian workforce.

Iran has an abundance of business opportunities. With a population of 78 million and second biggest gas reserves in the world, this country is one of the first three consumers of Muslim food in the Middle East valued at 77 billion one year ago. Iran is also the second largest market for Muslim clothing.

Israel is another very small but highly developed nation. The Jewish nation has become very competitive in the information technology and pharmaceutical sectors.

Lebanon is the main trading partner of the United States, Italy, Germany, France, and China. Starting an enterprise is rather easy although corruption can be a problem. Nonetheless, opportunities are focused on the electricity sector as well as oil and gas exploration.

Business potentials in Northern Cyprus include retail, restaurants, water sports, construction, property management, and real estate.

It is necessary to undergo a long process and submit numerous requirements if you want to launch a business in Oman. However, the primary investment areas in the country consist of tourism, infrastructure and public utility services.

At the recent Palestine Investment Conference (2010), business leaders and private entrepreneurs met regarding potential businesses in the fields of tourism and manufacturing which are the top two. Other sectors were information and communications technology, housing, agribusiness, environment, and tourism.

Turkey has the 16th largest economy in the whole world and the sixth in Europe. The country has a high-growth market with construction and information technology as the top two profitable enterprises for foreigners.

Conclusion

Indeed, there are limitations for entrepreneurs who want to start a business anywhere in the Middle East. Political and economic transformations have opened and closed doors for businesses. Despite the risks, corporations, as well as small and medium enterprises, remain open to options.

These materials are not intended and should not be used as legal advice or other recommendation. If you need a legal opinion on a specific issue or factual situation, please contact a lawyer. Anyone using these materials should not rely on them as a substitute for legal advice.

Remember, no problem has a quick fix solution. Thus, always ensure to consult highly knowledgeable group of professionals whom would provide you with a collective advice, never individual advice. This group advice and approach is unique with CWIIL Group and is based on the overall Management Philosophy of all CWIIL Group Companies.

Consulting CWIIL Group of Companies, for any / all matters relating to investment ensures advice based on highest level of knowledge which are given to you by a team of select research-oriented experts whom each will do their own assessment of your matter, and also assess it together, thus ensuring that in case a mistake has been made by one, it will be noticed and corrected even before it is being passed on to you. Receiving incorrect and un-knowledgeable investment advice can be disastrous and thus should be avoided.

CWIIL Group of Companies is a global group of multi-specialized units with diversified interests and activities, wherein each company is a separate legal entity registered under prevailing laws in different parts of the world. CWIIL Group of Companies Products, Services, Project and Solutions are in a multitude of Verticals including, but not limited to, Infrastructure, Power, Oil & Gas, Legal, Media, Technology, ITES, HR, Shipping, Aviation, Real Estate, Hospitals, Health and Medicine, Education, Funding & Investment, Business and Legal Consultancy, and Public Private Partnerships, and other CWIIL Group Units, worldwide, to name a few.

For Further Queries Feel Free to Contact :

Mr. Mohammad Mukhtar Mustafa,
Deputy Global Director, No. 4,
Strategic Business & Intelligence Division,
Email : deputy.gd.4@cwiilgroup.eu
Voice : +45.8176.1923
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

For Queries Specific to Middle East & North Africa :
Email : mena@cwiilgroup.com , hq@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.com , www.cwiilgroup.eu

For Any / All Other Queries :
CWIIL Group Global Regional Headquarters Denmark,
Address : No. 1, Klokkebjergevej, DK6900 Skjern, Denmark
Voice : +45.5148.3608
Fax : +45.7014.1498
Email : corpcomm@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.eu
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

Office Hours :
Monday to Friday : 10.00 – 17.00 CET.
Saturday : 10.00 – 14.00 CET.
Sunday : Closed.

The Corporate Communications Team would require minimum a fortnight for Reviewing & Responding to Queries, which please note.

Cybercrime One of the Biggest Middle East Security Threats – Specialized Advice From CWIIL Group

While various pockets of the Middle East are constantly making headlines for terror threats, civil unrest and the persistent march of the Islamic State, there is a security threat that’s far more widespread, touching the majority of the region.

Experts are warning that the Middle East has become a hotbed for cyber crime. According to Cisco’s 2014 Annual Security Report, total global threats have reached their highest recorded level, increasing 14% from 2012 to last year. A sample of 30 of the world’s largest Fortune 500 companies generated visitor traffic to websites that host malware, with a sharp rise in malware attacks on the Middle East’s oil and gas sector.

The report also states that the Middle East and Africa region posts a strong adoption of smart devices, set to grow from 133 million this year to 598 million by 2018. In addition, current estimates value the Middle East Cyber Security sector at $25bn over the next 10 years.

However, that also means more complex security threats, and businesses across the region are at high risk, with 65% of employees not understanding the security risks of using personal devices in the workplace, Cisco’s recent Middle East ICT Security Study says. As a result, cyber-criminals are increasingly attacking Internet infrastructure, as opposed to individual computers or devices, which is why there has been a rise in password and credential theft, infiltrations, and breaching and stealing data.

Oil and Gas

Cyber attacks are increasingly becoming a cause for concern for oil and gas companies operating in the Middle East.

According to reports by Gulf News, Saudi Arabia’s national oil company Saudi Aramco was hit with a virus that infected roughly 30,000 of its machines in 2013. The report suggests that it took nearly two weeks for the company to recover, disrupting the world’s largest oil producer.

This is just one example of cyber attacks in the region, and the same malware, named Shamoon, was also used in an attack against Qatar’s RasGas, one of the largest liquefied natural gas producers, according to reports.

Several months after the attack, Saudi Aramco said the malware had tried to disrupt the company’s flow of oil and gas supplies to international markets and, by the company’s own estimates, resulting losses attributed to the attack were around $15 million.

Gulf News also reports that in October 2014 British defence and security firm BAE Systems released a military grade solution called IndustrialProtect, to safeguard industrial control systems. BAE Systems rolled out the product globally in October, and early indicators were that the organisation expected to cash in on companies in the Arab Gulf, Australasia and North America, according to company executives.

Gulf News quoted James Clark, Director of Energy & Utilities from BAE Systems Applied Intelligence as saying that “the threat is very real”.

It’s widely believed that cyber attacks in the Middle East are a mix of hacktivism, which is hacking used as a form of protest to promote political ends, and state-sponsored attacks. “We have economic war and information technology is one of the weapons,” Vincent Lavergne, Director, Field System Engineering for South Europe, Middle East and Africa, at F5, a company that provides data protection services to multinationals, told Gulf News.

Lavergne also said that one of the key issues oil and gas companies around the world are affected by is the fact that they primarily react to attacks – instead of being proactive. He said that companies can often be wary of high expenditure when it comes to risk mitigation.

Operation Cleaver

However, it’s not just companies based inside the Middle East that are at risk. Early in December 2014, The New York Times ran an article based on a report by Californian security firm Cylance which stated that Iranian hackers had been identified as the source of coordinated attacks against more than 50 targets in 16 countries – many of which were corporate and government entities that manage critical energy, transportation and medical services.

Cylance’s report opens with a clear statement, saying, “Since at least 2012, Iranian actors have directly attacked, established persistence in, and extracted highly sensitive materials from the networks of government agencies and major critical infrastructure companies in the following countries: Canada, China, England, France, Germany, India, Israel, Kuwait, Mexico, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and the United States.”

Cylance titled this series of attacks as ‘Operation Cleaver’ as the word cleaver frequently appeared in the attackers’ malicious code.

The New York Times article was able to independently corroborate the firm’s findings with another security firm, Crowdstrike. According to the New York Times, Crowdstrike had been tracking the same group of Iranian hackers for the past nine months under a different alias.

The 86-page Cylance report directly identifies only one of Cleaver’s victims — a Navy-Marine Corps network in San Diego that connects sailors, Marines and civilians across the United States. However, it states that other victims in the United States included a major airline, a medical university, an energy company that specialises in natural gas production, an automobile manufacturer, a major military installation and a large military contractor.

The report also zones in on what it calls the “most bone-chilling evidence” – attacks on transportation networks, including airlines and airports in South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Researchers claim that they had found evidence that hackers had gained complete remote access to airport gates and security control systems, “potentially allowing them to spoof gate credentials”.
The New York Times coverage of this group concludes by highlighting that Iranian hackers are also believed to have been behind a series of denial-of-service attacks at American banks that have intermittently taken their banking sites offline.

You can read the full report on Operation Cleaver here

Let’s Talk About It

The region is not burying its head in the sand when it comes to the treat of cyber crime. On the contrary, the Middle East is leading the charge against cybercrime with a spate of dedicated events and investment aimed at generating discussion at the highest level on the best way to approach the issue.

Cyber Defence and Network Security UAE (CDANS) was held from 8 to 10 December 2014. The summit focussed on the increasing move towards the inclusion of big data analytics and cyber forensics in government cyber security in the UAE. The site for the event states that although “previously considered by some as the preserve of finance and manufacturing sectors, UAE security agencies and government organisations are moving beyond traditional purchases of cyber security software and systems towards analytical preventative and predictive measures as well as rapid response to create a holistic defence and preparedness programme”.

The event ties in with the UAE government’s doubling of cyber security spending to over $10Bn USD over the next five years and its goal of ensuring all services are e-enabled by 2015.

December 2014 also saw the Cyber Security Summit 2014 in Qatar. Endorsed by the Qatar Ministry of Defence, this event was billed as “the essential & confidential cyber security summit for Qatar and the Middle East”. The website for this summit outlines the fact that Qatar’s “growing international profile promoting greater awareness of the country’s wealth” has recently led to the country being a more attractive target for cyber-attacks.

Consequently, the Qatari government is investing in a comprehensive infrastructure programme in preparation for the FIFA World Cup in 2022 and security and fraud prevention measures are expected to figure strongly. In addition, the site states that “Qatar has already implemented a National Shield Project and its IT network of their Ministries and Government bodies will be completely secured by 2016 … Qatar now wishes to lead the way in developing and employing cyber protection and assert itself as a model for Cyber Security”.

Bahrain also held an event to address growing concerns about cyber security threats in October 2014. The Annual Cyber Security Summit was organised by business consultancy Roshcomm in partnership with Boeing International and Websense, under the patronage of Central Informatics Organisation information systems director general Sheikh Salman bin Mohammed Al Khalifa. This event featured workshops, master classes and presentations on the challenges posed by global cyber security threats as well as a ‘hacking challenge game’ or ‘hackathon’ to prove some of the concepts that were debated.

What Does the Law Say?

There are currently cyber crime laws at varying levels in several Middle East jurisdictions.

Late in 2012, the UAE updated its existing cyber crime law with a number of enhancements that addressed loopholes and corroborated that many ‘real world’ offences would also be criminal acts if they occurred electronically. As a result, the cyber crime legislation in the UAE is one of the most comprehensive in the region.

Of particular relevance to UAE-based companies is the new protection afforded to some personal information online. UAE law criminalises the disclosure of certain electronically stored information – including credit card and bank account details and electronic payment methods.

However, it remains to be seen how this law will be enforced in practice. In addition, while the criminalisation of such activities means that offenders could face prosecution, an affected business would still have to bring a civil action to recover any losses.

Elsewhere in the GCC, Bahrain and Qatar have draft laws on computer crimes under consideration while Saudi Arabia and Oman have cyber crimes legislation in place.

Remember, no problem has a quick fix solution, particularly issues of security in any form. Thus, always ensure to consult highly knowledgeable group of professionals whom would provide you with a collective advice, never individual advice. This group advice and approach is unique with CWIIL Group and is based on the overall Management Philosophy of all CWIIL Group Companies.

Consulting CWIIL Group of Companies, for any / all matters relating to security ranging from individual to national levels, ensures advice based on highest level of knowledge which are given to you by a team of select research-oriented experts whom each will do their own assessment of your matter, and also assess it together, thus ensuring that in case a mistake has been made by one, it will be noticed and corrected even before it is being passed on to you. Receiving incorrect and un-knowledgeable security advice can be disastrous and thus should be avoided.

CWIIL Group of Companies is a global group of multi-specialized units with diversified interests and activities, wherein each company is a separate legal entity registered under prevailing laws in different parts of the world. CWIIL Group of Companies Products, Services, Project and Solutions are in a multitude of Verticals including, but not limited to, Infrastructure, Power, Oil & Gas, Legal, Media, Technology, ITES, HR, Shipping, Aviation, Real Estate, Hospitals, Health and Medicine, Education, Funding & Investment, Business and Legal Consultancy, and Public Private Partnerships, and other CWIIL Group Units, worldwide, to name a few.

For Further Queries Feel Free to Contact :

Mr. Mohammad Mukhtar Mustafa,
Deputy Global Director, No. 4,
Strategic Business & Intelligence Division,
Email : deputy.gd.4@cwiilgroup.eu
Voice : +45.8176.1923
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

For Queries Specific to Middle East & North Africa :
Email : mena@cwiilgroup.com , hq@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.com , www.cwiilgroup.eu

For any / all other Queries :
CWIIL Group Global Regional Headquarters Denmark,
Address : No. 1, Klokkebjergevej, DK6900 Skjern, Denmark
Voice : +45.5148.3608
Fax : +45.7014.1498
Email : corpcomm@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.eu

Office Hours :
Monday to Friday : 10.00 – 17.00 CET.
Saturday : 10.00 – 14.00 CET.
Sunday : Closed.

The Corporate Communications Team would require minimum a fortnight for Reviewing & Responding to Queries, which please note.

Importance Of Receiving Collective Advice

Consulting CWIIL Group of Companies, for any / all matters relating to your business startup, ensures advise based on highest level of knowledge which are given to you by a team of select research-oriented experts whom each will do their own assessing of your matter, and also assess it together, thus ensuring that in case a mistake has been made by one, it will be noticed and corrected even before it is being passed on to you. Receiving incorrect and unknowledgeable business advice can be disastrous and thus should be avoided.

Remember, no problem has a quick fix solution. Thus, always ensure to consult highly knowledgeable group of professionals whom would provide you with a collective advice, never individual advice. This group advise and approach is unique with CWIIL Group and is based on the overall Management Philosophy of all CWIIL Group Companies.

CWIIL Group of Companies is a global group of multi-specialized units with diversified interests and activities, wherein each company is a separate legal entity registered under prevailing laws in different parts of the world. CWIIL Group of Companies Products, Services, Project and Solutions are in a multitude of Verticals including, but not limited to, Infrastructure, Power, Oil & Gas, Legal, Media, Technology, ITES, HR, Shipping, Aviation, Real Estate, Hospitals, Health and Medicine, Education, Funding & Investment, Business and Legal Consultancy, and Public Private Partnerships, and other CWIIL Group Units, worldwide, to name a few.

For Further Queries Feel Free to Contact :

For Queries Specific to Middle East & North Africa :
Email : mena@cwiilgroup.com , hq@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.com , www.cwiilgroup.eu

For any / all other Queries :
CWIIL Group Global Regional Headquarters Denmark,
Address : No. 1, Klokkebjergevej, DK6900 Skjern, Denmark
Voice : +45.5148.3608
Fax : +45.7014.1498
Email : corpcomm@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.eu

Office Hours :
Monday to Friday : 10.00 – 17.00 CET.
Saturday : 10.00 – 14.00 CET.
Sunday : Closed.

The Corporate Communications Team would require minimum a fortnight for Reviewing & Responding to Queries, which please note.