Arabic press review: Investors flee Jordan as economic situation deteriorates

Investors hustle to escape from Jordan

Investors are fleeing Jordan as the kingdom continues to struggle economically, reports online news site Arabi21.

Jordan’s Prime Minister Omar Razzaz, who replaced Hani Mulki after he resigned last June because of massive protests, told Reuters this week that the economy is back on track.

Over the past three years, Jordan has lost $1.8bn in real estate investment, which has gone instead to Cyprus, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, according to Zuhair Omari, president of the Jordan Housing Developers Association.

Around 35 international brands with around 700 employees have left the kingdom since 2016 to cut their losses, according to Asad Qawasmi, who represents the clothing sector for Jordan’s chamber of commerce.

Investors are leaving because of the decline in purchasing power for Jordanians, who are now unable to afford the housing that they planned to build, as well as high costs in the country and legislative instability.

The kingdom has tried to attract investors by granting them Jordanian citizenship and permanent residence in certain cases, but this move has not stemmed the exodus, Arabi 21 reported.

Saudi artist accused of supporting terrorism

A famous Saudi artist has sparked controversy in the kingdom after saying he was interrogated by authorities for financing terrorism, in a video posted on Twitter.

Posted after the alleged questioning, Fayez al-Malki, who is known for raising funds for humanitarian causes in Saudi Arabia, says in the video that someone who asked him for financial support turned out to have connections to terrorist activities.

“I have shared a post about a needy person, but unfortunately, he was not in need. It turned out that the person is related to terrorism and I sympathised with his good intentions and published his bank account,” the actor said in the video.