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Middle East Business Report is a weekly half-hour programme covering business issues from the region

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Contact the programme on middleeastbiz@bbc.co.uk



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RENEWABLE ENERGY


This week, Abu Dhabi plays host to the World Future Energy Summit, bringing together climate change experts and investors from around the globe.

Despite sitting on one tenth of the world's oil, the emirate is trying to promote itself as a pioneer for of clean energy. Its biggest project is Masdar, a sustainable, zero-carbon city that's attracting investment in the renewable energy sector to the region.

But while there's growing interest in clean energy on an international scale, local demand has failed to gain momentum. And with fuel still cheap here, there's little incentive for businesses to make changes. Abu Dhabi may have the financial clout to invest in alternative forms of energy but will its plans pay off in the long run?
Katy Watson's in Abu Dhabi to find out.

UN CLIMATE CHANGE


At last month's climate change talks in Cancun, Mexico, delegates agreed on a Green Climate Fund which will raise money to protect poor nations against climate change and help them with low-carbon development.

It was a positive step for the world's governments in addressing climate change but the focus this week in Abu Dhabi is very much on the private sector.

Companies and investors from nearly 150 countries will be in the UAE's capital to talk about the latest developments in the industry.

So how important is the business community in coming up with alternative sources of energy?

And what role do they have in mobilising governments to make those changes?

Nima Abu Wardeh speaks to Christiana Figueres, the UN's Chief Climate Negotiator.

ELECTRIC CARS


The Gulf loves its big cars. Thanks to cheap fuel and higher disposable incomes, 4x4s are the car of choice. But that could be changing. Fuel prices in the UAE have risen three times in the last six months - and are set to rise even further as subsidies are cut. So is that enough to wean drivers off their love of the gas guzzler.

The world's big car makers - including GM and Ford - have ambitious plans to launch their electric cars in the region - but can they win over drivers? First challenge is to install a network of charging points. Second is to convince drivers that electric cars can cope with the Gulf's soaring temperatures, the fast roads and the long distances between cities.

This week Ben Thompson meets one Emirati who's already made the switch - and the firms hoping others will follow his lead.

TUNISIA


As Tunisia attempts to regain some stability after the ousting of its president, other countries in the region are looking on nervously.

Algerians are rioting the Egyptians are calling for change and Yemen is as unstable as ever. And whilst many of the issues stem from deeper problems; calls for leadership reforms, free elections and press freedom - tensions have boiled over because of rising costs, soaring unemployment and poverty.

So - if governments can solve the economic problems, can they solve the social ones too? And is it really that simple? This week Nima Abu Wardeh speaks to Arab affairs analyst, Mishaal Al Gergawi.

MOTORBIKES


When it comes to looking cool, Gulf youth knows what it likes: expensive cars, the latest mobiles and designer sunglasses. But rarely do they go for motorbikes. To help change that perception, small groups of amateurs and semi-professionals are working hard with custom built "super bikes" to get motorbike racing off the ground. They're founding leagues at the various local circuits.

Sponsors are flooding in to help with the expense of this fledgling industry. However, it's not all easy going. Most parts have to be imported - the movement's too young for local entrepreneurs to get in on the act. And this is a dangerous sport. In the last ten weeks, there's been one fatal accident and several others where riders suffered serious injuries.

Can the league survive and flourish in such an environment? Philip Hampsheir's been finding out.


Contact the programme on middleeastbiz@bbc.co.uk


SHOWING TIMES
Fridays at 1930 GMT
Repeated: Saturdays at 0530 (not Europe) and 2230 GMT


Meet Nima, Middle East Business Report's presenter.


Meet our Reporter - Ben.


Meet Stephanie, our freelance presenter and reporter.


Meet Philip, reporter for Middle East Business Report


Meet our Reporter - Katy


Meet the producer, Ola


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