Middle East Business Report is a weekly half-hour programme covering business issues from the region.
Saturdays at 0430 GMT
Repeated: Saturdays at 1030, 1730 and 2230 GMT
Getting behind the issues of trade, business and economics, Middle East Business Report provides a window on finance and commerce in the Middle East, revealing how this important economic region works and interacts with the rest of the world.
Andy Scott reports from Lebanon where a large part of the south and Beirut still lie devastated after nine month of being bombarded by Israel. These are areas dominated by Hezbollah and the people whose homes were destroyed have handed their reconstruction grants to the party to do the rebuilding. However for legal reasons, the Lebanese government will not give Hezbollah the go-ahead to start the work. Middle East Business Report investigates how politics is keeping some of Lebanon's poorest people homeless.
Iraqis are counting on a new oil law to revive their country's fortunes; they are told that this will bring in dozens of foreign companies to invest into the sector. A draft law will shortly go before Iraq's parliament but the politicians in the Kurdish North of the country have vowed to fight it, as Jeremy Howell reports.
Next week, ministers and diplomats from the European Union will meet their American counterparts for a summit where Iran will rank high on the agenda. One American policy has been to pressure European companies to sever their business links with Iran. EU diplomats have said that they support the UN sanctions against Iran, but resent the pressure the United States is putting on European firms to impose unilateral sanctions. Presenter Nima abu-Wardeh finds out why from Mustapha Alani of the Gulf Research Council.
This week, the Dubai-based carrier Emirates Airlines released its annual results and profits are up by 23.5 per cent. This comes as a surprise at a time when high fuel prices have driven competitors like Gulf Air into the red. Emirates has a new fleet of fuel-efficient aircraft – none more than five years old – which partly explains the difference. By 2010, it plans to have 156 planes flying 26 million people to 101 destinations, but the airline could be facing problems to its expansion plans. The 45 Airbus A-380 super jumbos it ordered will be delivered late. Nima abu-Wardeh asks Emirates' Vice Chairman Maurice Flanagan about the impact of the delay on its plans.
European couples have been flocking to Las Vegas and Hawaii for years to get married, but with destination weddings all the fashion, couples are adding Dubai to the mix. It has led to a new and thriving industry of wedding planners, and small businesses cashing in on wedding spin-offs like stag nights and honeymoons. Malcolm Borthwick reports from the Gulf's new love destination.