Shipping threats provide rough introduction to Johnson administration

The drama affecting shipping in the Strait of Hormuz is not quite yet a full-blown crisis – characterised as it is by plausible deniability for Iran on attacks on tankers in the Gulf of Oman and dubious claims on the legality of other vessels...

read more

Jordan backed into a corner, goes on the offensive to court Gulf allies

Jordan has been facing protracted pressure from its key international ally the United States, as well as from Saudi Arabia and the UAE acting in tandem, to sign up to the US administration’s plan to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict, as led by...

read more

Oman: Mystery continues over budget numbers

Given an unusual delay in the delivery of official figures, economists are struggling to work out how Oman fared in 2018 and what the impact was on the government’s finances. At this point in the year, official data for the preceding year would...

read more

Halliburton offshore contract raises hopes for Kuwaiti oil sector activity

The 1 July award of a $597m drilling services contract to United States-based oilfield services giant Halliburton represented the first offshore exploration project in Kuwait in some 30 years. It has breathed new life into Kuwait Oil Company...

read more

UAE support for African allies stretched from the Horn to Sahel

The surprise drawdown of UAE forces from Yemen is not heralding a wider scaling back of Abu Dhabi’s ambitions to project power and influence in its ‘near abroad’. Indeed, the shift in strategy in Yemen may be a sign Abu Dhabi is being forced to...

read more

Gulf royals pay respects for Tunisia’s President Essebsi

The funeral was held on 27 July of Tunisian President Béji Caïd Essebsi, who died on 25 July, aged 92. The ceremony, which was held in the presidential palace in Carthage, near Tunis, represented a delicate diplomatic challenge for some Gulf...

read more

Archive

See more:

Perspectives

A selection of free articles from GSN's extensive database

Iran: Gas sector may yet prove resilient to US sanctions

The confirmation on 20 August that French major Total was going to pull out of its $1bn deal to develop Phase 11 of the massive South Pars gas field came as little surprise. Total had warned it would be forced to abandon the project unless it secured a waiver from the United States ahead of the imposition of its second wave of ...

Issue 1065 - 6 September 2018

Executives jet in to Iran, but legal pitfalls could put brake on investment

Nothing has yet changed, for all the excitement caused by the agreement to end Iranian sanctions, signed by Tehran and the P5+1 group of six international powers in July. No sanctions have been removed and none will be until the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), confirms that Iran has met its side of the Joint ...

Issue 1005 - 26 November 2015

Risk Management Report: UAE - Emirates

At the top of each emirate are the courts of the rulers, and their crown princes. In practice, only the rulers of Abu Dhabi and Dubai make unilateral decisions and issue emiri decrees; most of the smaller emirates use legislation crafted at federal level. Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah all have executive councils (Dubai’s is relatively informal). Abu Dhabi ...

Issue 1004 - 12 November 2015

Saudi Arabia: Attack on Najran’s Ismaili community amplifies IS threat

The suicide bombing of a mosque in Najran in late October is the fifth attack this year on a Saudi mosque by those who identify themselves as Islamic State (IS, or Daesh) and the first against the southern Ismaili community. The attack on 26 October killed two people; one of those killed was a 95-year-old man who blocked the bomber as ...

Issue 1004 - 12 November 2015

Yemen: Hospital bombing adds to human rights concern

Haydan Hospital in the northern Saada governorate was hit by at least two (some reports said up to six) airstrikes from around 23.00hrs on 26 October. The strikes were carried out by forces from the Saudi Arabia-led coalition. The hospital – which is supported by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) – had over a dozen people inside at the time; seven medical ...

Issue 1003 - 29 October 2015

Risk Management Report: Oman

POLITICS: Oman has been governed since 1970 by Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al-Said, the 14th ruler of the Al-Busaidi dynasty, founded in 1750. Qaboos, who deposed his father in a coup, relies on a variety of allies typically drawn from the merchant elite, rather than his relatively small family. He was briefly married but has no children or heir apparent; finalising the ...

Issue 1002 - 15 October 2015

Mohammed Bin Salman provides a focus for Saudi disquiet

Even before the disaster in Mecca that killed at least 769 people on 24 September, a “definite sense of disquiet” was apparent across Saudi Arabia, as one analyst based in the kingdom put it. A variety of sources have spoken to GSN about growing unease among Saudis over the military intervention in Yemen and a perceived lack of urgency in tackling the ...

Issue 1001 - 1 October 2015

Bahrain: US approves $150m deal for F-16 support

The US government said on 7 August that it had approved a possible sale of $150m worth of equipment to Bahrain to maintain its fleet of Lockheed Martin Corp F-16 fighter jets. The move comes as two senators submitted a bill to the Senate to reintroduce the arms export ban on Bahrain, lifted by the State Department at the end of ...

Issue 999 - 4 September 2015

Gulf stock exchanges seek traction from Saudi opening

Rather than gaining a bounce from the opening up of the Saudi stock exchange (Tadawul), regional equities markets have been hit hard in the past month by the global turmoil related in part to collapsing Chinese markets. In a 24 August note, Capital Economics said the worst Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region stock market performers were largely concentrated in ...

Issue 999 - 4 September 2015

Saudi Arabia: Cousin and father’s ex-wife seek redress against Abdelaziz Bin Fahd

Prince Abdelaziz Bin Fahd, once seen as the most favoured son of the late King Fahd Bin Abdelaziz, features in two separate judicial processes, triggered by a junior Al-Saud, Prince Sultan Bin Turki Bin Abdelaziz, and Janan Harb, who claims she was married to Fahd. Sultan Bin Turki has filed a complaint with Swiss police against Abdelaziz – his first cousin – ...

Issue 998 - 30 July 2015

Qatar battles its image problem – and creates a windfall for PR companies

Qatar’s substantial lobbying clout has been in evidence again, with a flow of contracts for public relations firms and reports of the ruling Al-Thani’s celebrity friends using their influence to promote Doha’s interests.Recent media reports have dragged up the old news that Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, then US secretary of state, was lobbied by former ...

Issue 998 - 30 July 2015

From the archive: The Saddam solution

In the face of mounting evidence that Iraq has been using chemical weapons against its Kurdish population, the stream of categoric denials issuing from Baghdad carry little conviction. The United States’ announcement earlier this month that it is “convinced” that Iraq has employed chemical warfare in its military campaign against the Kurdish guerillas was followed by a vote in the ...

Issue 998 - 30 July 2015

Bahrain: Sharif rearrested

The secretary-general of opposition party Waad, Ibrahim Sharif, has been arrested again, less than a month after he was released from jail. Bahrain’s director-general of criminal investigation and forensic science said on 12 July that Sharif was detained for statements he made at a community centre in Muharraq on 10 July, that “called for violence” and “encouraged the overthrow of the ...

Issue 997 - 16 July 2015

Risk Management Report: Qatar

POLITICS: The Al-Thani family has ruled Qatar since the mid-19th century, its power entrenched at the end of the Ottoman Empire with British recognition of its right to govern. Independence was declared in 1971. In recent decades, the tiny state has gained hugely in power, confidence and wealth; the population has boomed, from around 111,000 in 1970 to 2.2m today (around 85% expatriate). ...

Issue 996 - 2 July 2015

Sharjah: Sheikh Sultan promises council elections

The Sharjah Consultative Council (SCC), one of the UAE’s few such emirate-level bodies, is to increase its seats to 42 and elect half of its members, ruler Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Bin Saqr Al-Qasimi announced on 9 June. The other 21 members will be appointed by the ruler – a strategy that may help to avoid an overwhelmingly male, conservative majority when the ...

Issue 995 - 18 June 2015

Risk Management Report: Iraq

Iraq attained its independence as a kingdom in 1932, and became a republic in 1958. The 1980s saw the long war with Iran, the 1990s the Gulf war and ensuing sanctions, and the 2000s the US-led occupation which removed the Baathists and Saddam Hussein. Twelve years after the US-led war, the country has yet to emerge from conflict. GSN’s political risk ...

Issue 994 - 4 June 2015

Yemen: Rivals join forces in battle for Aden

Popular Resistance forces in the southern province of Aden may be forging a united front against northern Zaydi-Shia Houthi militias, but they are far from united. Groups of Sunni Islamist militants, secessionists and tribal elements, engaged in some of the most intense fighting against the Houthis, may face a prolonged conflict among themselves if the northern rebels eventually leave the ...

Issue 994 - 4 June 2015

Morocco refinery problems for Al-Amoudi/Al-Sultan empire

Despite moves to mobilise new finance, concern is growing in Morocco about the financial health of the North African kingdom’s only refinery, operated by Société Marocaine d’Industrie de Raffinage (Samir) at Mohammedia, and its ability to remain the dominant player in the national products market. This follows the announcement of losses in 2014 and questions about the ability ...

Issue 993 - 21 May 2015

From the archive: “Democracy in Doha”

Qatar’s Municipal elections came and went in mid-March attracting a lot of international attention, generating some excitement within the country and laying down an important, if undramatic, landmark in the progress of political reform in the Gulf. The participation of women as voters and candidates was the critical issue.As one might expect, bearing in mind the small numbers ...

Issue 993 - 21 May 2015

Sultan Qaboos chairs cabinet meeting

On 8 April, Oman’s Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al-Said presided over his first council of ministers’ meeting since returning to Muscat on 23 March, following lengthy treatment in Germany for what is understood to be cancer. Photographs showed the sultan in good spirits as he attended the meeting at Bayt Al-Baraka. With Oman somewhat in limbo during his eight-month absence, he ...

Issue 991 - 23 April 2015

Financial and political agenda underpins Gulf commitments

The massive support from Gulf-based institutions for a new and hugely ambitious programme of power sector investments in Egypt may not be as quixotic as it first appears. The intention to back multi-gigawatt coal and renewable generation projects – announced at a conference in Sharm El-Sheikh in mid-March by seven large developers from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait – is underpinned ...

Issue 990 - 2 April 2015

Tension builds beneath the silence in Kuwait

Kuwait’s press has rightfully earned itself a reputation as one of the most vibrant and free in the Arab world. It is not uncommon to see Kuwaiti papers splash on political and economic scandals and controversies, or even report on infighting within the ruling Al-Sabah, something which would scarcely be imaginable in the other Gulf monarchies. But over the ...

Issue 989 - 19 March 2015

A year overshadowed by threat from Sunni extremists

No one expected a quiet year in the Gulf, given the ongoing conflicts and ugly groundswell of sectarianism throughout the wider region. But while much of the news agenda in 2014 was filled with foreseeable preoccupations – squabbles between Qatar and the rest of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), the further deterioration of the situation in Yemen, tentative rapprochement with Iran, ongoing ...

Issue 983 - 11 December 2014

Iraq: Baghdad and KRG finally agree on oil revenues

The Iraqi federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) announced a draft agreement on sharing oil revenues on 2 December, following two days of negotiations between federal Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani. The deal, which builds on a temporary agreement signed in November, still needs to be approved by parliament and written into the 2015 budget. ...

Issue 983 - 11 December 2014

Who’s next in the Kuwait succession?

Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has been in power since January 2006; he is 85 years old, and there are some concerns about his health. His half-brother, Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, is expected to succeed him when he dies, and is a fairly uncontroversial choice, although, at 77, he is also advancing in years. Presuming Nawaf succeeds, the key ...

Issue 982 - 27 November 2014

See more:

Bahrain's Economic Performance

read more

Gulf boundaries and hydrocarbons infrastructure

read more

The Gulf region: economy and society

read more

Iraqi Kurdistan hydrocarbons infrastructure map

Revised in January 2015, this map provides a detailed overview of hydrocarbons infrastructure in the Kurdistan area of Iraq.

read more
Register now Buy credit to view GSN articles Search the GSN archive Sign up for GSN News Alerts Request a GSN free trial

GSN View

Saudi Arabia: MoD transformation falters

Three years into an ambitious plan to transform the Ministry of Defence (MoD)’s operational effectiveness, the programme is...

read more

Saudi interest in Syria shifts towards the Kurdish east

Omani state minister for foreign affairs Yusuf Bin Alawi Bin Abdullah’s 7 July visit to Damascus was the most high-level...

read more

Bahrain ‘workshop’ consolidates Trump ties, alienates Arab Street

Bahrain basked in a return to international prominence, as Manama hosted the 25-26 June Peace to Prosperity conference –...

read more
SEE ALL POSTS

Events

11-12 September

The 2nd Annual Corporate Restructuring Summit

The 2nd Annual Corporate Restructuring Summit

11-12 September

The 2nd Annual Corporate Restructuring Summit

The 2nd Annual Corporate Restructuring Summit

30 September-3 October

Global Health Safety and Environment Conference

Kingdom of Bahrain

14-16 October

Middle East Process Engineering Conference & Exhibition (MEPEC)

Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre

14-16 October

World Petroleum Council (WPC) Downstream Conference

Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre

14-16 October

Leadership Excellence for Women Awards & Symposium

Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre

19-21 November

Middle East Electricity Saudi

Riyadh International Convention Center, Riyadh Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

9-10 December

Oman Sustainable Energy and Technology Summit

Crowne Plaza Hotel Muscat

10-12 December

Middle East Artificial Lift Forum (MEALF)

Muscat, Oman

SEE ALL EVENTS
Web Design by FDC