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Issue 1123 - 08 April 2021

UAE: EDB launches $8bn SME scheme

Free

Federal Vice President and prime minister, and Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum on 5 April approved a Dh30bn ($8.2bn) support programme from the Emirates Development Bank which is aimed at local companies.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

Iran’s engagement with global powers has brought it to the forefront of international diplomacy in recent weeks: a much-trumpeted 25-year co-operation deal with China was signed on 27 March and the start of indirect talks with the United States over a revival of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal began in Vienna on 7 April.

Iran
Issue 1123 - 08 April 2021

Oman: PDO signs $4bn of local deals

Free

Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) signed $4bn-worth of contracts with two local firms on 24 March, covering work in Block 6. Arabian Industries Projects will carry out project delivery in the north of the block and maintenance and integrity (M&I) work in the south.

Oman
Free

The trial of Hamid Nouri, the Iranian public prosecutor arrested in Sweden in November 2019, is due to start on 8 June, according to Iraj Mesdaghi, a former political prisoner and one of the plaintiffs in the case.

Iran
Issue 1123 - 08 April 2021

Basra prepares for football tournament

Free

An Arab Gulf Cup Football Federation (AGCFF) delegation visited Basra in early April to review preparations the 25th Arabian Gulf Cup, which is due to be held in the southern Iraqi city later this year.

Free

In a royal decree on March 30, King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa appointed Khalid Yusuf Al-Jalahma as Bahrain’s first ambassador to Israel, following the Abraham Accords signed in September.

Bahrain
Free

Qatar and Mauritania are to re-establish diplomatic relations, which had been severed during the recently-ended boycott of Doha by the Gulf trio of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Qatar
Free

Unit 1 of the Barakah nuclear plant has started commercial operations, according to a statement from the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation on 6 April.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

Dubai Holding has signed an agreement with Itochu Corporation, Hitachi Zosen Inova, Besix Group and Tech Group to develop an energy-from-waste facility, which will process up to 45% of Dubai’s current level of municipal waste.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

As presidential elections approach, on 18 June, attention will grow on which personality and faction succeeds Hassan Rouhani, head of government since 2013. But the most critical variable in Iran’s highly controlled democracy won’t change: the temporal power and (often very pragmatic) spiritual guidance of Rahbar (Supreme Leader) Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iran
Free

Abu Dhabi continues to use both hard and soft power tools to assert its influence in its near abroad, with a fluid approach to diplomacy and military deployments that aims to counter what it sees as the Muslim Brotherhood’s dangerous influence while exploiting commercial opportunities in new frontiers.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

There were few unknowns in the much-anticipated US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) report on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. However, the reprise of Khashoggi’s gruesome demise in Istanbul on 2 October 2018, which was declassified and released on 26 February by national intelligence director Avril Haines, was sufficient to set off a fresh wave of demands for tougher action against the alleged instigator of the Saudi hit squad, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS). But away from the noise, there has been a concerted effort by Washington and Riyadh to isolate the Khashoggi affair from their wider diplomatic and security relationship.

Saudi Arabia
Issue 1121 - 04 March 2021

Iraq: Oil export performance improves

Free

The Ministry of Oil (MoO) has announced oil exports for February rose to 82.88m barrels, equivalent to an average 2.96m b/d, up from 2.87m b/d exported in December and January.

Iraq
Free

Troubled Abu Dhabi airline Etihad has reported a sharp deterioration in its fortunes, with operating losses more than doubling to $1.7bn in 2020 amid the coronavirus crisis which grounded much of its fleet for most of the year.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 1121 - 04 March 2021

Ahmed Zaki Yamani, 1930-2021

Free

Sheikh Yamani became a household name when as Saudi energy minister he oversaw a global rise in oil prices and key elements of the kingdom’s transformation as an international power and modern economy. A leading figure under Kings Faisal and Khaled, Yamani was eventually removed by Fahd, with whom he had issues when the king was crown prince, as Saudi Arabia Newsletter reported at the time.

Saudi Arabia