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UAE: MBZ’s emerging legacy: a nation-state forged from conflict

The creation of a “national military ethos” in the UAE, involving Ras Al-Khaimah (RAK) and other northern emirates, has been increasingly observed since GSN began analysing in 2015 the pattern of military deaths in Yemen and growth of nationalist symbolism around ‘martyrs’ of the Yemen conflict. It is a process that continues to gather momentum.

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UAE/Region: Sheikh Khalid goes to Newcastle

The British press has been engaged in feverish speculation about the precise identity and wealth of an Al-Nahyan sheikh ever since tabloid daily The Sun broke the news on 26 May that Newcastle United owner and retailing magnate Mike Ashley had agreed to sell the Premier League football club to Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Bin Saqr for £350m. The ‘red-top’ labelled Khaled as a “Dubai-based billionaire… among the most successful entrepreneurs in the Gulf states”. Another tabloid, The Mirror, speculated that, although his personal wealth was unknown, “his family is thought to be worth around £150bn”. This figure was then repeated by other news outlets. Khaled was quickly identified as a cousin (actually a second cousin) of Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, although The Sun conceded he was “not quite as rich” as the Manchester City owner.

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Iraq works to rebuild GCC ties as Iranian balancing act gets harder

Rarely short of a timely quote, President Barham Salih told a recent interviewer that “Iraq is coming back to the...

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Iraq works to rebuild GCC ties as Iranian balancing act gets harder

Rarely short of a timely quote, President Barham Salih told a recent interviewer that “Iraq is coming back to the...

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Saudi Arabia: Fall-out over Khashoggi murder hits intelligence consultants

The continuing impact of the Jamal Khashoggi murder on Saudi relations with western countries shows little signs of abating....

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Region: Azerbaijan cultivates range of relations

Azerbaijan’s capital Baku played host to another group of visiting Gulf officials on 18 March as a Saudi delegation led by...

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Progress in Hodeidah but warnings of trouble elsewhere in Yemen

In United Nations-backed talks in Hodeidah in mid-February, a detailed programme of action was agreed to implement a Houthi withdrawal from the port city – the first of the three areas of agreement at the Stockholm peace conference in December. The plan should allow a resumption of humanitarian operations at the port under UN supervision – a critical step if the famine sweeping Yemen is to be tackled – but progress remains painfully slow and Hodeidah remains just one part of a complex arena.

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Khashoggi’s ghost still haunts Saudi policy in Yemen and MBS at home

Try as it might, Saudi Arabia can’t put the murder of Jamal Khashoggi behind it. Four months after the brutal killing in...

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Iran fears loss of Chinese trade as Beijing keeps an eye on US relations

Tehran’s insistence that it can continue selling its crude oil to customers across the globe is being tested – not least...

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Doha fashions an entrance in Beirut, perhaps at Riyadh’s expense

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani’s unexpected arrival in Beirut for the Arab Economic and Development Summit on...

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Bahrain's Economic Performance

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Gulf boundaries and hydrocarbons infrastructure

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The Gulf region: economy and society

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Iraqi Kurdistan hydrocarbons infrastructure map

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

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Kuwait struggles to adjust to impact of Covid-19 and low oil

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to override all other issues in Kuwait. While the initial response to the...

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GCC’s coronavirus and other crises offer an opportunity for Iran

The Gulf Co-operation Council states are in a more delicate and divided condition than they have been for decades – a set...

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Coronavirus and oil crisis present MBS with unprecedented tests

Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) has worked hard to remove any possibility of political opposition emerging from within Al-Saud ranks over the past five years. This campaign has involved several bouts of locking up senior family members, with the clear backing of his father King Salman, most notably in November 2017 but most recently in March when Princes Ahmed Bin Abdelaziz and Mohammed Bin Nayef were moved from house arrest to prison.

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