Issue 1187 PDF: Gaza conflict creates domestic political headaches for Gulf regimes

GSN 1187 cover
Issue 1187 - 20 May 2024

The issue leads with an examination of how Gulf governments have sought to manage potentially negative impacts of the Gaza conflict. Across the region – notably Oman and Kuwait – consumers have latched on to a boycott of US franchises to express their anger over Israel’s actions, highlighting the potential for a dangerous divide to emerge between leaders and their subjects on the emotive Palestinian issue, which most regimes had come largely to ignore until Hamas launched its October attack.

The issue also focuses on Kuwait, where Emir Sheikh Mishaal has suspended the National Assembly for up to four years is an effort to break the gridlock between the elected chamber and the appointed government that has stymied change for so many years.  Critics fear a new period of repression – and some are planning to flee Kuwait. Whether Mishaal can ‘correct the path’ or will be forced to back down may depend on internal dynamics within the ruling Al-Sabah family.

Politics coverage also looks at Iraq, where Shia leader Moqtada Al-Sadr has indicated he plans to return to public life, while local parliamentary elections in Iraqi Kurdistan have been delayed.

Defence and security coverage lead with Iran, where there are hints at a potential change to its policy of
not developing nuclear weapons.

Wealth watch includes an examination of a bond prospectus that has shed light on the finances of Abu Dhabi wealth fund ADQ.

Energy and industry coverage includes a look at the award of two GH2 projects from Oman’s second auction round, launched in mid-2023.

GSN also focuses on regional aviation rivalry. Dubai has revived long-standing plans for a huge expansion of Al-Maktoum International Airport, as the competitive threat from Saudi Arabia’s hugely ambitious aviation strategy becomes more apparent.

The Risk Management Report is on Oman.


Subscribe to Gulf States Newsletter

View subscription options

This newsletter is available to subscribers or registered users that have purchased it


Don't have an account?

Register for access to our free content

An account also allows you to view selected free articles and set up news alerts.