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Middle East Edition
19th September 2023
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Egypt's President increases benefits for workers and pensioners
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has announced a series of decisions to increase the income and benefits of public workers and pensioners. The monthly pension of the Takaful and Karama cash transfer programme, which serves 5m households, will be raised by 15%. Additionally, the exceptional cost of living bonus for all pensioners will be doubled to EGP 600. The exceptional allowance for employees of the state's administrative apparatus and economic bodies will also be increased to EGP 600. The minimum gross income for these employees will be raised to EGP 4,000. The income tax exemption limit will be raised to EGP 45,000, benefiting more people. President Al-Sisi has also instructed the Agricultural Bank of Egypt to help small farmers and exempted defaulters from paying interest and fines. These decisions aim to ease the burden on workers and pensioners and support small farmers.
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Al-Futtaim Group to introduce hundreds of job roles targeting UAE nationals
The Al-Futtaim Group is participating in the Ru'ya Careers UAE event to promote Emiratisation and introduce job roles for UAE nationals. The company is targeting young professionals and recent graduates in sectors such as retail, automotive, and real estate. Mira Omar Al Futtaim, Chairperson of the Al-Futtaim Group Emiratisation Council, stated that the company aims to unlock the potential of local talents and guide candidates in successful career paths. The Group will offer an expedited interview process and immediate job offers to nurture Emirati talent. The exhibition serves as a bridge connecting corporate UAE with Emirati talent, providing opportunities for engagement and professional development. Al-Futtaim Group, known for its dedication to Emiratisation, continues to support government-led initiatives and strengthen the upcoming generation of Emirati leaders.
Dubai Health Authority introduces Elite Programme to attract citizens to jobs
Dubai Health Authority (DHA) is set to launch the Elite Programme, an innovative initiative aimed at attracting citizens to various job sectors. The programme offers training opportunities to develop personal, scientific, and professional skills. Successful trainees will have the chance to take on additional roles and responsibilities and will be appointed based on their progress. The CEO of Joint Corporate Support Services at DHA, Ahmed Al Nuaimi, stated that the programme aims to increase Emiratization rates and attract national talents. The Elite Programme includes financial rewards, training, and hands-on experience. The Director of the Human Resources Department at DHA, Noura Al Midfa, announced that the programme will be launched soon and interested Emiratis can apply through the Dubai Careers website.
Saudi investment group announces future geniuses program qualifiers
Saudi investment group Dallah Albaraka has announced the names of the students who have qualified for its Future Geniuses educational program. The program, launched in collaboration with the Saleh Abdullah Kamel Humanitarian Foundation, aims to prepare and empower exceptionally talented individuals in various fields. It provides financial and logistical support for education, travel, and accommodation, and tracks students' academic progress. The CEO of Global Learning, the international partner of the program, stated that the specializations offered align with Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030. Eligible students will have the opportunity to pursue further education at renowned international universities. One student, Hazim Bakhashwain, aims to pursue a master's degree in AI to contribute to Saudi Arabia's development. The program aims to inspire the pursuit of knowledge and academic excellence in the nation.
Qatar harnesses AI systems for judicial and legal systems
Minister of Justice HE Masoud bin Mohammed Al Amri has stated that Qatar is working to harness artificial intelligence (AI) systems for its judicial and legal systems. Qatar has established the AI Committee in the Ministry of Transport and Communication to advance in this field. The country has also participated in international events on AI systems, including the International Conference on Justice in Riyadh.
AI will grab jobs from people working from home first
A study by two Oxford professors has warned that artificial intelligence (AI) is more likely to replace the jobs of people working from home. Office-based workers are less likely to be replaced because “real-life interactions cannot be readily substituted” the research suggested.
People who work from home all the time ‘cut emissions by 54%’
A new study has found that employees in the US who worked from home all the time were predicted to reduce their emissions by 54% compared with workers in an office. However, the research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed hybrid workers did not reduce their emissions so dramatically. One day of remote work a week reduced emissions by just 2% because energy savings from not being in the office were offset by factors such as an increase in non-commuting travel when working from home. Working remotely two or four days a week reduced an individual’s emissions by up to 29% compared with on-site workers.
Number of lawyers in Saudi Arabia increases by 315% in seven years
The number of practicing lawyers in Saudi Arabia has increased by 315% in seven years, according to the Ministry of Justice. In 2023, 15,936 licenses were granted to lawyers, a significant rise from the 3,844 licenses issued in 2016. Notably, the number of licenses granted to female lawyers has sharply increased from 102 to 3,844 over the same period. The judicial sector in the Kingdom has undergone rapid overhaul, including the implementation of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Lawyers and the allowance for foreign law firms to provide consultancy services related to Saudi laws.
Qatar Airways achieves ISO 20000 certification for IT service management
Qatar Airways has achieved ISO 20000 certification for its IT service management, demonstrating its commitment to service excellence. The certification confirms that Qatar Airways has implemented a comprehensive ITSM framework that meets the highest standards of quality and reliability. The airline underwent a rigorous audit to ensure compliance with the ISO 20000 standard. Qatar Airways' Group Chief Executive, HE Akbar al-Baker, stated, "This certification demonstrates our commitment to service excellence thereby enabling Qatar Airways IT to deliver the highest quality of digital and technological service experience." Qatar Airways' IT service management is also certified for PCI-DSS and ISO 27001.  
Baker McKenzie hires partner and head of banking in UAE
Baker McKenzie has hired Adil Hussain from Clyde & Co as Partner and Head of the Banking & Finance practice in the UAE, and Global Head of Islamic Finance. The appointment coincides with the firm's office move to the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Borys Dackiw, Baker McKenzie UAE Managing Partner, expressed excitement about Adil's arrival and his expertise in both conventional and Islamic finance. Adil Hussain brings over 18 years of experience in the Middle East and is expected to enhance the firm's capabilities in delivering legal services to clients in the region. Adil Hussain stated that he looks forward to working with Baker McKenzie's talented attorneys. This hire follows several recent lateral appointments in the Middle East region for Baker McKenzie.
CBRE appoints Country MD of Global Workplace Solution in Saudi
CBRE has appointed Jena Ladhani as Country Managing Director of Global Workplace Solutions (GWS) in Saudi Arabia. Ladhani will oversee the delivery of facilities management solutions and work to grow business opportunities for CBRE and its joint venture partner, Dar al Riyadh. She will support CBRE's vision to become the leading provider of smart facilities solutions in Saudi Arabia. Ladhani's experience and leadership will enhance CBRE's technical FM, smart FM, and project management capabilities in the region. CBRE Group has been serving clients in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East for over fifteen years. The company aims to grow its facilities management business in key sectors such as energy & resources, life sciences, critical infrastructure, and financial professional services. "Jena is highly experienced in leading teams to drive strategic and transformational outcomes," says Matthew Forbes, Regional President at CBRE GWS Enterprise.
UK offers wrongfully convicted Post Office workers £600,000 each
Post Office workers who have had wrongful convictions for theft and false accounting overturned are to be offered £600,000 each in compensation, the Government has said. More than 700 people were wrongly prosecuted for theft between 2000 and 2014 owing to flaws in the state-owned Post Office’s Horizon computer system. To date 86 postmasters have had their wrongful convictions overturned and £21m has been paid out in interim compensation packages and four have received a final settlement. “This is about righting a wrong and providing some form of relief to those wrongfully caught up in this scandal,” said Kevin Hollinrake, the business department minister with responsibility for the Post Office.

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