Digital Middle East – The best digital news of the week!

Every week we’re listing the most important bits and bites you shouldn’t have missed.

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We interviewed Dina Sidani, Head of the Chalhoub Group’s greenhouse

In 2017, we started helping the Chalhoub Group, a leading luxury retailer in the Middle East in their digital transformation. One of the ideas that came out of our collaboration was to collaborate with external startups, in order to move the needle much faster.

Only one year later, the Greenhouse was launched!

We sat down with Dina Sidani, Head of the Greenhouse to better understand how Chalhoub Group is using corporate venturing to foster innovation in the Group.

Read the full article here

Big interest in Virgin Hyperloop One from Saudi Arabia

Virgin Hyperloop One Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said that any discussions with Saudi Arabia will take place following the implementation of hyperloop in India.

Following a recent round of funding, Virgin Hyperloop One has said it is now hoping to begin implementation of a hyperloop route between Pune and Mumbai.

Read more about Virgin Hyperloop

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UAE to announce sectors eligible for full foreign ownership in early 2019

Last month, the UAE issued a foreign direct investment law allowing overseas investors to own up to 100 per cent of UAE companies in selected sectors, up from the 49 per cent limit permitted in businesses outside free zones. The law is the latest in a series of reforms aimed at reducing the economy’s reliance on oil, stimulating economic growth and creating jobs for nationals following a three-year slump in oil prices.

A committee is being formed to study which sectors should open up for larger foreign ownership and is expected to hold its first meeting in December. The body will submit recommendations to the Cabinet for approval, following which the list of sectors will be released early next year.

Read more about the sectors eligible for full foreign ownership here

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Riyadh-based Misk and 500 Startups launch an accelerator for pre-seed and seed startups in MENA

Noon hunts for acquisitions

Noon, the $1 billion e-commerce platform backed by billionaire businessman Mohammed Alabbar, is searching for acquisitions to bolster its operations, and new retail partnerships to serve an expanding base of shoppers.

The company struck a partnership last year with Kuwait’s MH Alshaya, which also bought an undisclosed stake in the venture.

“We recognise we’ll need to partner with other companies to achieve our objectives,” said Faraz Khalid, chief executive of Noon.

Read more about how Noon’s acquisition plan here

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About Duval Union Consulting

We are new-style management consultants focusing on transforming and growing organizations in a digital-first world with offices in Europe and the Middle East. New-style? Co-created business strategy, custom-made transformation trajectories and actual experienced business advisors are only some of our differentiators and why clients love to work with us. We design the future of your business together.

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