Reuters expands base in Dubai

Thomson Reuters has unveiled its expanded regional headquarters in Dubai Media City, the culmination of a year that saw it hire 104 new staff throughout the Middle East and Africa. The modern offices overlooking the Gulf represent one of the few spots on the globe that has managed to enjoy a significant investment in journalism during the recession.

"While most companies have been looking at their strategies and trying to understand what to do with staff, we believe that the Middle East and Africa is a region that is growing, and as such have more staff coming in," said Basil Moftah, the company's managing director for Middle East and Africa. "We now have 135 people based in Dubai and 15 people based in Abu Dhabi, so this is quite a substantial operation. It's considered one of our largest offices globally."

The new hirings, which bring total staff numbers across the region to 520, were brought in to expand coverage of the region's 22 stock exchanges and the 2,000 regional banks connected through Thomson Reuters's trading systems, as well as deepen coverage in such areas as commodities, energy, equities and treasury. The company has appointed senior personnel in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Lebanon with expertise in Islamic finance, investment and advisory, and equities.

"Our biggest focus is obviously commodities and equities, given what's happened in the market," Mr Moftah said. He declined to say how large Thomson Reuters's investment in the Middle East and Africa expansion was, saying only that it was "definitely a double-digit, million-dollar investment". Joerg Floeck, the head of sales and customer services for the markets division, said the company was looking to spend US$1 billion (Dh3.67bn) a year on new technology, and was pursuing equally aggressive expansions in Latin America, Brazil, China and India.

Thomson Reuters was formed in April last year when the Thomson Corporation of Canada bought Reuters, which was based in the UK. Today the firm has more than 50,000 employees and 197 news bureaus. Reuters opened its first office in the Middle East in Alexandria, Egypt in 1866, and launched its office in Dubai Media City in 2001 with between 60 and 70 staff members, Mr Moftah said. It has additional local sales and service offices in downtown Dubai, Dubai International Financial Centre and Abu Dhabi.

Mr Moftah said regional sales dipped in the second quarter, but the performance of the first and third quarter more than made up for it. "There was quite a lull during Q2 as businesses were rethinking what they were doing," he said. "But since then, there has been a real pick-up in the Middle East and Africa. We are looking at double-digit growth for the year."

The schedule

December 5 - 23: Shooting competition, Al Dhafra Shooting Club

December 9 - 24: Handicrafts competition, from 4pm until 10pm, Heritage Souq

December 11 - 20: Dates competition, from 4pm

December 12 - 20: Sour milk competition

December 13: Falcon beauty competition

December 14 and 20: Saluki races

December 15: Arabian horse races, from 4pm

December 16 - 19: Falconry competition

December 18: Camel milk competition, from 7.30 - 9.30 am

December 20 and 21: Sheep beauty competition, from 10am

December 22: The best herd of 30 camels

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through and


6.30pm: Al Maktoum Challenge Round-1 Group 1 (PA) Dh119,373 (Dirt) 1,600m
Winner: Brraq, Adrie de Vries (jockey), Jean-Claude Pecout (trainer)

7.05pm: Handicap (TB) Dh102,500 (D) 1,200m
Winner: Taamol, Connor Beasley, Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

7.40pm: Handicap (TB) Dh105,000 (Turf) 1,800m
Winner: Eqtiraan, Connor Beasley, Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

8.15pm: UAE 1000 Guineas Trial (TB) Dh183,650 (D) 1,400m
Winner: Soft Whisper, Pat Cosgrave, Saeed bin Suroor.

9.50pm: Handicap (TB) Dh105,000 (D) 1,600m
Winner: Hypothetical, Mickael Barzalona, Salem bin Ghadayer.

9.25pm: Handicap (TB) Dh95,000 (T) 1,000m
Winner: Etisalat, Sando Paiva, Ali Rashid Al Raihe

Jeff Buckley: From Hallelujah To The Last Goodbye
By Dave Lory with Jim Irvin

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