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Issue 1118 - 21 January 2021

Yemen Covid-19 update

Free

Information on the Covid-19 pandemic in Yemen remains unclear, with limited available data for much of December. United Nations agencies last reported 2.081 cases as of early December, with 606 fatalities and 1,383 recoveries.

Yemen
Issue 1118 - 21 January 2021

Green, blue and other shades of hydrogen

Free

Most of the industrial hydrogen currently available is produced from natural gas through a steam methane reforming process; this is known as ‘blue hydrogen’. In contrast, ‘green hydrogen’ is produced by applying electric currents generated from renewable energy sources to water, in the process breaking H2O into its hydrogen and oxygen components.

Free

There was no great surprise when prime minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah’s government resigned in mid-January: this had been widely expected amid rising tensions between the executive and the National Assembly (parliament) in the period since the 5 December general election. In a three-stage process, deputy prime minister Sheikh Hamad Jaber Al-Ali Al-Sabah offered the resignation of all cabinet ministers at a meeting with Sheikh Sabah at Seif Palace on 12 January.

Kuwait
Free

Umm Al-Qaiwain Ruler Sheikh Saud Bin Rashid Al-Mualla received the first dose of coronavirus vaccine on 10 January. Fujairah Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Bin Mohammed Al-Sharqi received his first jab of the vaccine on 13 January.

Kuwait | United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

Princess Tarfa Bint Hadhlul Bin Abdelaziz’s death was announced by the Royal Court on 8 January. She was a daughter of Hadhlul, son of King Abdelaziz Ibn Saud.

Saudi Arabia
Issue 1118 - 21 January 2021

Oman: UK frigate repaired at Duqm

Free

Royal Navy frigate HMS Montrose has undergone a four-week programme of repairs and performance improvements at Duqm Naval Dockyard, at a cost of some £506,000 ($690,000), British junior defence minister Jeremy Quin said in an answer to a written parliamentary question on 14 January.

Oman
Free

The Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) has started registering civilian volunteers to join a reserve force. The first recruitment phase was announced on 11 January and is open to Bahraini male relatives of BDF or National Guard members aged between 18 and 55 (the limit doesn’t apply to technicians or specialists).

Bahrain
Issue 1117 - 07 January 2021

Yemen: Cabinet attacked in Aden

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President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi announced a new coalition government on 18 December. The new team took its oath of office on 26 December, led by prime minister Maeen Abd Al-Malik Saeed and featuring 24 other members.

Yemen
Free

Iranian forces on 4 January hijacked the South Korean tanker Hankuk Chemi, in an apparent effort to pressurise Seoul into releasing some $7bn in oil-related assets that are frozen for breaching US sanctions. It came just a few days after a thwarted mine attack against the Liberian-flagged tanker MT Pola off the Iraqi port of Basra, following a campaign of intensified mining attacks on tankers in the Red Sea, most recently against vessels discharging oil products at the Saudi ports of Jeddah and Al-Shuqaiq.

Iran
Free

Federal Vice President and prime minister, and Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum (MBR) officially joined the TikTok social media network on 19 December.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 1116 - 10 December 2020

UAE: RAK prequalifies solar bidders

Free

Ras Al-Khaimah has prequalified 20 companies, out of over 80 applications, for its first aggregated solar tender, RAK Municipality Energy Efficiency and Renewables Office executive director Andrea Di Gregorio told S&P Platts on 8 December. 

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

A prominent Saudi-American doctor was sentenced to six years in prison on 8 December, despite pressure from the Trump administration to drop the charges, and allow Walid Fitaihi and his family to travel, The New York Times (NYT) reported.

Saudi Arabia
Free

Dissident journalist Ruhollah Zam is facing execution after the Supreme Court upheld a death sentence against him. Zam had been living in exile in France, from where he ran the Amad news service; he was captured by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp in 2019 and brought back to Iran.

Iran
Free

Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and two other members of the Saudi ruling family have been issued with special permits by the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs to hunt the houbara bustards in Balochistan and Punjab provinces during the 2020-21 hunting season.

Saudi Arabia
Free

It has been a year when war compounded misery across the wider region, from Yemen – where Saudi Arabia remains mired in conflict with the Houthis – to Libya, where the United Nations-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) was effectively saved from UAE-backed forces bearing down on Tripoli by the intervention of Turkey. The Saudi/UAE-led boycott of Qatar continued, although regional leaders and the administration of US President Donald Trump worked to mend the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC)’s deepest rift.

Saudi Arabia | Yemen | United Arab Emirates (UAE)