Access: Middle East

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  • For this edition of "Access: Middle East," CNBC's Hadley Gamble talks to key business leaders at the CNBC hosted "Red Sea Debate."

  • Visitors of Dubai's Airshow walk past an Emirati Canadian-made A6-MBS aircraft sitting on the tarmac in front of a Boeing 777-200LR (back)

    For this edition of Access: Middle East, CNBC gives you a look behind the scenes this November at the Dubai Airshow.

  • Street scene in Amman, Jordan

    For this edition of "Access: Middle East," CNBC's Hadley Gamble takes you on a journey through Jordan.

  • Container ship in Suez Canal, Egypt.

    For this edition of "Access: Middle East," CNBC's Hadley Gamble takes you on a journey along the Suez Canal, in Egypt.

  • For this edition of “Access: Middle East,” CNBC’s Hadley Gamble visits Art Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.

  • A journey through Jordan

    CNBC's Hadley Gamble explores the culture and investment potential of Jordan.

  • Jordan withstanding challenges: King

    Speaking to CNBC, King Abdullah II of Jordan, says that Jordan has always been stable, despite regional crises.

  • Rebooting Jordan's tourism industry

    CNBC explores how religion and adventure tourism are drawing visitors from across the globe.

  • Educating the world in Jordan

    CNBC takes a look at how Jordan is forging ties with the leaders of tomorrow through education.

  • Jordan energy sector in 'transformation'

    The chairman of Jordanian business and energy association Edama tells CNBC that Jordan's energy sector is facing a major transformation.

  • Refugees pose economic difficulties for Jordan

    CNBC takes a look at the impact that refugees from war-torn Syria have had on Jordan's economy.

Watch Recent Episodes

  • Exploring the King Abdullah Economic City

    CNBC's Hadley Gamble introduces the King Abdullah Economic City, or KAEC, which is set for completion by 2025 at a $100 billion price tag.

  • KAEC banking on luxury tourism

    Nagy Arafat, general manager at the Bay La Sun Hotel and Marina, talks luxury tourism in the King Abdullah Economic City.

  • Challenges to running the KAEC

    Fahd Al-Rasheed, CEO and managing director of KAEC, tells CNBC about the city's business model.

  • Setting up shop at the KAEC

    Fahd Al-Rasheed, CEO and managing director of KAEC, details how companies can set up shop at the King Abdullah Economic City.

  • Proximity to Red Sea critical: KAEC CEO

    Fahd Al-Rasheed, CEO and managing director of KAEC, tells CNBC about the strategic importance of being located near the Red Sea.

  • BP CEO: Egypt needs gas and power

    CNBC talks to business leaders about their investment plans for Egypt and what the country needs to do right now. Bob Dudley, CEO of BP, says Egypt needs gas and power.

  • Investing in Egypt: Is it a secure choice?

    CNBC's Hadley Gamble catches up with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and asks him about his views on where Egypt is heading. He adds that he's "pretty optimistic" about the country -- despite its challenges.

  • Egypt's future: More has to be done

    For Egypt to rebuild and thrive, more has to be done in the country. CNBC's Hadley Gamble talks to Ibrahim Mahlab, Egypt's Prime Minister, and asks him about the investment strategy for the country.

  • What the corporate world wants from Egypt

    With more to be done in Egypt, what does the corporate world think needs to happen next? Mustafa Abdel-Wadood, Partner at The Abraaj Group, says that the government has shown it has a strategy, now they need to execute it.

  • The future of Saudi Arabia's economy

    CNBC explores whether efforts to diversify Saudi Arabia's economy will be enough to offset falling crude prices.

  • Saudia Arabia prepped for low oil prices: Fin Min

    Saudi Arabia's Finance Minister Ibrahim Abdulaziz Al-Assaf comments on the state budget for 2015 and says the country has been prepared for the fall in oil prices.

  • Is a Saudi sovereign wealth fund on the cards?

    Saudi Arabia's Finance Minister Ibrahim Abdulaziz Al-Assaf outlines current investments and plays down the call for the establishment of a sovereign wealth fund.

  • Treatment of women improving: Saudi Fin Min

    Saudi Arabia's Finance Minister Ibrahim Abdulaziz Al-Assaf says significant progress has been made in regards to women's treatment, but there is still a long way to go.

  • History of the Hajj pilgrimage

    Sami Nawar, Gen Director Culture & Tourism, Jeddah Municipality, tells CNBC about the historical and economic significance of the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

  • Egyptian president on vision of 'new Egypt'

    Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, says the "new Egypt" will be a country of peace and "civilization".

  • We're fighting corruption: Egypt's President

    Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, says the country is rapidly introducing structural reforms in order to attract foreign investment.

  • Egyptian president on country's currency

    Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi says the country is working hard to keep the pound at a "suitable value".

  • Egypt 'clearing the way' for investment: President

    Egypt is "clearing the way for investment", the country's president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi says, as the country looks to bring its economy back on track.

  • Turkey is open to the world: President

    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the country is attractive for investors. CNBC's Hadley Gamble examines the Turkish economy and whether investors should take a look.

  • Turkey's growth will be slow: Pro

    Tarek Shahin from Investec Asset Management, and Sinana Ulgen from Carnegie Europe, discuss the prospects for Turkey's economy.

  • What to expect from the Turkish president in 2015

    Analysts discuss the plans of controversial Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for 2015.

  • Here's why the EU needs Turkey

    Anthony Skinner from Verisk Maplecroft says the European Union needs Turkey on its side in order to deal with certain geopolitical conflicts.

  • Turkey gas pipeline from Russia: A game changer?

    Analysts discuss whether a gas pipeline through Turkey from Russia will be a game changer for its energy mix.

  • Why Turkey is on an SME charm offensive

    Small- and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the Turkish economy, and the government is doing all it can to boost the sector, CNBC's Hadley Gamble reports.

  • Modanisa: Meet the fashion brand for Islamic women

    Kerim Ture, founder of Modanisa, discusses why he started the company making clothes designed for Muslim women and how he plans to take advantage of the ecommerce boom.

  • Modanisa founder on expansion plan challenges

    Kerim Ture, founder of Modanisa, says the company faces infrastructure challenges when looking to expand.

  • Meet BiTaksi, Turkey's answer to Uber

    Nazim Salur, founder and CEO of BiTaksi, discusses why he started the taxi app that connects drivers to users, the company's growth, and the start-up environment in Turkey.

  • BiTaksi's challenges in Istanbul

    Turancan Salur, business development manager at BiTaksi, talks about the challenges of operating a taxi service in Istanbul.

  • How Dubai lures tourist to its luxury paradise

    Once a desert emirate, Dubai has transformed itself into one of the world's top luxury holiday hotspots. But how has it been able to transform?

  • How Dubai weathered the 2009 crisis

    Dubai was hit hard by the global economic crisis in 2009 with major projects halted, but the emirate has since bounced back with tourist numbers set to boom.

  • A look into the luxury nightclubs of Dubai

    Despite being a Muslim country, Dubai has one of the hottest nightclub scenes. CNBC looks at how the country operates its nightlife.

  • Here's why you don't want to break the law in Dubai

    Dubai's police supercars can be seen patrolling the streets of the emirate. Here's how law enforcement deals with tourists who break the law.

  • Dubai Tourism CEO on plans to boost tourist numbers

    Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Tourism, says the country wants to welcome everyone, but visitors need to be mindful of the laws and cultural traditions.

  • Dubai to be a model for smart cities?

    CNBC catches up with Hani al Hamli, secretary general of the Dubai Economic Council at the Smart Living City Dubai conference to discuss the city's ambition to become a role model for smart cities.

  • How to make a city smart

    Peter Hirshberg, chairman at Re:Imagine Group, comments on what makes a city smart and says Dubai's strong government is able to implement and try new technologies quickly.

  • Dubai is 'already smart': Cisco

    Amr Salem, managing director of global sales for Smart Cities at Cisco, says Dubai has been investing in smart infrastructures for years and comments on the security aspect of smart cities.

  • How we'll commute in future smart cities

    Dubai is investing heavily in public transport. Dr. Ryan Chin, managing director at the MIT Media Lab's City Science Initiative, discusses what kind of transport systems will operate in the future's smart cities.

  • Energy efficiency: Dubai is politically willing

    Dubai has one of the highest per capita water consumption in the world. Xavier Joseph, CEO for Gulf countries at Veolia, comments on the city's steps to be more energy efficient.

  • Why Dubai is in 'a unique position'

    Anousheh Ansari, co-founder and chairwoman of Prodea System, says that Dubai's government is much more pro-active in its approach to smart cities and in the implementation of new technologies.

  • Elie Saab: From Beirut to Paris catwalks

    CNBC retraces Elie Saab's beginnings from middle-class boy in war-torn Lebanon to "creative genius" and self-made businessman.

  • 'My heart and life' are in Beirut: Elie Saab

    Haute couture means "No limit" says Elie Saab, founder and chairman of the fashion label that carries his name. He also discusses his love for Beirut and how the group's ateliers will never leave Lebanon's capital city.

  • Bringing fashion education to the Middle East

    Elie Saab, founder and chairman of the fashion label that carries his name, discusses his plan to bring a fashion degree into the Arab world and his inspirations as a young designer.

  • 'I prefer to stay in luxury': Elie Saab

    CNBC follows Elie Saab, founder and chairman of the fashion label that carries his name, to his Paris studios to take a closer look at the preparation for his catwalk show.

  • What makes Elie Saab so successful

    With hours to go before the collection debuts, CNBC goes backstage to talk to models and staff about Elie Saab's look and vision.

  •  Elie Saab: 'We want to have an IPO'

    The end of a catwalk show is a "magic moment" says Elie Saab, founder and chairman of the fashion label that carries his name, adding that his vision for the brand's future includes an IPO.

  • Kizad CEO on the Abu Dhabi Economic Plan 2030

    Khaled Salmeen al Kawari, CEO and managing director of Kizad, explains how the group is working on the Abu Dhabi's Economic Plan 2030 - created to diversify the Emirate's economy.

  • Kizad developed 'plug and play' model: CEO

    Khaled Salmeen al Kawari, CEO and managing director of Kizad, says that the group allows new ventures in Abu Dhabi to "plug and play" by providing the infrastructure and legal framework they need.

  • Kizad CEO: 'The market is very solid'

    Kizad combines an off-shore port and an integrated industrial zone allowing 100 percent foreign-owned businesses to operate. CEO and managing director, Khaled Salmeen al Kawari, discusses the outlook.

  • Omar Alghanim responds to hacking allegations

    Full interview here: Private family matters "ought to stay within the family", Omar Alghanim, CEO of Alghanim Industries tells CNBC about the feud between his father and his uncle over the division of the business.

  • Markets across the region are recovering: Omar Alghanim

    Omar Alghanim, CEO of Alghanim Industries discusses the company's performance over the last few years and says annual growth has average 9 to 10 percent over the last five years.

  • Why consumer-facing businesses are more 'exciting'

    Alghanim Industries' consumer facing businesses are the most exciting aspect of the business, says Omar Alghanim, CEO of Alghanim Industries.

  • Kuwait 'only functioning democracy' in Gulf: CEO

    Omar Alghanim, CEO of Alghanim Industries, says Kuwait is going through some "teething pains" at the moment but that the country has a "very stable" political system.

  • How getting youth involved in private sector is 'key'

    Omar Alghanim, CEO of Alghanim Industries, says that growing up in one of Kuwait's wealthiest families brought home a sense of responsibility to bring about change and engage with youth.

Past Episodes

  • Why Agility is bullish on Iraq

    Agility is very bullish on opportunities in Iraq explains Tarek Sultan, CEO of Agility, as the country has a "history of under-investment" and a lot of pent-up demand.

  •  Agility CEO on Asian growth targets

    Agility CEO, Tarek Sultan tells CNBC that its outlook for Asian emerging markets is very bullish and that it has "ambitious growth objectives" for the coming years in the region.

  • China opportunities 'positive' for Agility: CEO

    The opportunity for Agility to tap into the China story "will only increase" says Tarek Sultan, CEO of Agility - in particular due to China's investment in Africa.

  • Is Kuwait's public sector too large?

    Tarek Sultan, CEO of Agility, says Kuwait needs to invest in its education and infrastructure. He also comments on the size of the country's public sector.

  • Kuwait regulation: 'Too much, too soon'?

    Agility CEO, Tarek Sultan, comments on the latest Kuwaiti corporate governance laws and on the investment climate in the country.

  • Agility 'very confident' going forward: CEO

    Tarek Sultan, CEO of Agility, discusses the group's on-going legal case with the U.S. government and how the company is "refocusing" on emerging markets.

  • Zain CEO on relationship with shareholders

    The Kuwait Investment Authority has a big stake in Zain. Scott Gegenheimer, CEO of Zain talks to CNBC about their relationship but also about the recent Kuwait governmental struggles.

  • Zain trying to expand regional footprint: CEO

    Zain is trying to expand its regional footprint by looking at other telco companies but also at areas the group is not in today, such as data centers and fibre, Scott Gegenheimer, CEO of Zain tells CNBC.

  • 'Expect a lot of growth' from Iraq: Zain CEO

    There are a lot of potential opportunities for growth in Iraq, says Zain CEO, Scott Gegenheimer, adding that at the moment, the regulatory environment is "slowing things down".

  • Saudi Arabia: Should Zain still be bullish?

    Zain has "invested heavily" in Saudi Arabia to turn its business around. But the environment and competition are tough, Zain CEO, Scott Gegenheimer says, wishing the local regulator was more supportive.

  • Why Zain is not focusing on sub-Saharan Africa

    The sale of Zain¿s stakes in firms in sub-Saharan Africa was "the right decision", says Scott Gegenheimer, Zain CEO. Profitability and the ability to grow the business are better in the MENA region, he explained.

  • Can telcos compete with OTT apps?

    The industry is still trying to work out how to make money from Over The Top content applications, Scott Gegenheimer, CEO of Zain, tells CNBC.

  • Surviving the Kuwaiti summer

    For an expat, the Kuwaiti summer is tough, the CEO of Zain, Scott Gegenheimer tells CNBC, adding that when he retires, he is unlikely to stay in the country.

  • Mumtalakat 'very bullish' on Europe

    Bahrain's sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat was set up in 2006. CEO Mahmood Al Kooheji explains the company's investment philosophy and what kind of returns he is looking for.

  • Bahrain fund open to McLaren stake sale

    Mumtalakat owns a large stake in British automaker McLaren. In an exclusive interview with CNBC, the firm's chief executive Mahmood Al Kooheji admits that while not a "trophy" asset, the investment has yet to fully live up to its potential.

  • Alba still has 'huge potential' to capture market

    Mumtalakat portfolio includes Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), one of the largest aluminium smelters in the world. Mahmood Al Kooheji, chief executive of the Bahrain sovereign wealth fund, unveils what else is in the pipeline. Plus, how the political turmoil has affected the economy since 2011.

  • Is Kuwait's 'welfare' restricting the economy?

    Kuwait Projects Co (KIPCO) is one of the biggest diversified holding companies in the MENA region. Faisal Al Ayyar, the firm's Vice Chairman, criticizes Kuwait's low productivity, and says its oil wealth turned into a curse.

  • Arab Spring impact on KIPCO very limited

    In exclusive interview with CNBC, Faisal Al Ayyar, Vice Chairman of KIPCO, reflects on the firm's core subsidiaries, expansion plans and the situation in Iraq.

  • Kuwaitis are entrepreneurs: KIPCO vice-chairman

    KIPCO Vice Chairman Faisal Al Ayyar looks back at the day when Iraqi soldiers marched into the capital in 1990, and how it affected the business. Plus, why opportunities for foreign investors in the oil-rich nation remain limited.

  • Egypt economy breakthrough to happen in 2016

    Egypt's economy is suffering from record unemployment and one of the highest budget deficits in the region. Hisham Ezz Al-Arab, chairman of Commercial International Bank (CIB), lays out the country's challenges.

  • Consumer lending next growth driver for CIB

    Today CIB is Egypt's largest private sector bank with over 5,400 employees. In an exclusive interview with CNBC, the bank's chairman, Hisham Ezz Al-Arab, explains how he is keeping the bank profitable.

  • Egypt needs 'to go back to work': CIB chairman

    Hisham Ezz Al-Arab, CIB chairman responds to the recent hype around Islamic finance, and looks back at the first few weeks of Egypt's uprising in 2011.

  • Our history makes us national hero: Telecom Egypt

    The first telegraph line from Cairo to Alexandria was inaugurated in 1854 and with it came the birth of Telecom Egypt. The firm's CEO, Mohamed El-Nawawy, discusses the potential of being the country's fourth mobile phone operator, and what he plans to do with the stake in Vodafone Egypt.

  • Why Egypt is crucial to global Internet

    Worldwide, undersea cables carry 99% of intercontinental internet traffic and one of the busiest hubs is in Egypt. CNBC gains exclusive access to the country's strategic "TE North" facilities, and takes a closer look at where the company is moving next.

  • Telecom Egypt on 2011 internet shutdown

    In an exclusive interview with CNBC, Mohamed El-Nawawy, CEO of Telecom Egypt, relives the moments around the controversial decision to cut Egypt off the Internet on January 28, 2011.

  • Egypt: 'The situation has definitely changed'

    Karim Awad, co-CEO of EFG Hermes, reflects on how Egypt's turmoil has affected the firm since 2011, and why he believes the new political beginning holds plenty of opportunities for investors.

  • Saudi, UAE to drive EFG Hermes growth

    EFG Hermes is looking to secure 60 percent its investment banking revenue from abroad. In an exclusive interview with CNBC, co-CEO Karim Awad details where he plans to take the firm next.

  • EFG Hermes responds to misconduct allegations

    Egypt ranks in the bottom tier of the Corruption Perceptions Index. The co-CEO of Egypt's largest investment bank, Karim Awad, says it is possible to do business without bribing corrupt officials.

  • 'Islamic banks engage in the real economy': ADIB CEO

    Abu Dhabi Islamic Banks is one of the largest Sharia-compliant lenders in the region. The company's CEO, Tirad Mahmoud, joins the conversation on what Islamic finance is about, industry regulation and the culture of risk taking.

  • Sharia banking: 'Not about religion'

    In 2013, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank acquired Barclay's UAE retail operations for a price tag of $177 million. CEO Tirad Mahmoud clarifies the benefits of the deal, and why the bank's business model does not depend on pious consumers.

  • Does Islamic finance reduce systemic risk?

    A popular focus of emerging scholarly literature looks at whether Islamic finance offers any systemic benefits to the global economy. Tirad Mahmoud, the chief executive of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, details the defining trends of the business

  • Air Arabia changed people's lives: CEO

    Air Arabia was founded in 2003 to become to region's first low cost airline. In an exclusive interview with CNBC, the firm's CEO Adel Ali recounts the difficulties of the early days and the rationale behind becoming the flag carrier of Ras Al Khaimah.

  • Where will Air Arabia expand to next?

    The International Air Transport Association forsees the Middle East and the Asia Pacific to see the strongest passenger growth. Adel Ali, CEO of budget airline Air Arabia discusses expansion plan and heavyweight carriers of the region.

  • 2014 will be 'one of the good years' for aviation: Air Arabia CEO

    In an exclusive conversation with CNBC, Air Arabia CEO Adel Ali, shares his outlook for the aviation industry, and what an ideal work-life balance looks like to him.

About Access: Middle East

  • From top CEOs and companies, to entrepreneurs and philanthropists, Hadley Gamble profiles the men and women shaping the Middle East's global ambitions. "Access: Middle East" airs on CNBC’s networks across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and in the U.S.


  • Hadley Gamble

    Based in London, Hadley Gamble is a reporter and anchor responsible for business news coverage from the Middle East and Africa.

Access: Middle East: More Episodes

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    Samer Khoury, president of the Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), discusses the challenges facing businesses in the Middle East due to political instability.

  • Access Middle East Part One-R Seetharaman

    The chief executive of Qatar's largest private commercial bank, R Seetharaman tells CNBC how he plans to reclaim lost market share and go global.

  • Access Middle East: Part One- Sunny Varkey

    As many governments struggle to provide quality in the classroom, global private education provider GEMS is looking to expand aggressively. The firm's chairman, Sunny Varkey, outlines the long-term goals and explains why making profit from running schools is not a bad thing.