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The extent of Dubai’s economic downturn is preoccupying many GSN readers. Here are some short attempts at answers to some deep, difficult questions: How deep is the crisis? – Dubai’s economic survival rests on its ability to refinance debt, but the extent of that debt is unknown.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 997 - 17 July 2015

Interior ministers meet in Kuwait

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Following the suicide bombing at Kuwait’s Al-Imam Al-Sadiq mosque, interior ministers of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) held an extraordinary meeting in Kuwait on 2 July. The meeting was attended by all six interior ministers: Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef Al-Saud (Saudi Arabia), Lieutenant-General Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (UAE), Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al-Thani (Qatar), Sheikh Mohammed Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah (Kuwait), Sheikh Rashid Bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa (Bahrain) and Hamoud Bin Faisal Al-Busaidi (Oman), as well as GCC secretary-general Abdul Latif Bin Rashid Al-Zayani.

Kuwait
Issue 930 - 30 August 2012

Bahrain: King Hamad visits Jordan, UK

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King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa arrived in Jordan on 27 August to discuss Syria and bilateral co-operation with King Abdullah II.

Bahrain
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Prince Turki Al-Faisal has again shown his capacity to express Saudi policy concerns that go beyond the platitudes that too often pass for political discourse in the Gulf, this time discussing concerns about Iran’s nuclear ambitions and interference in regional conflict zones. Turki speaks with authority,

Saudi Arabia
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The wife of Dubai ruler Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Jordanian Princess Haya Bint Al-Hussein, has made a $500,000 donation to support South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia’s Gambella region. Princess Haya, who made the gift via the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), was appointed chair of Dubai’s International Humanitarian City in 2007, and is also a UN messenger of peace. UNHCR has appealed for $247m to help refugees and those who have been internally displaced by South Sudan’s conflict, but the emergency response is to date only 21% funded.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al-Said held talks with UK defence secretary Gavin Williamson at Bait Al-Baraka at Seeb, on 10 April. The meeting’s public nature underlined the important role Britain still plays in the sultanate’s military life. It was attended by minister responsible for defence affairs Sayyid Badr Bin Saud Al-Busaidi and UK ambassador Hamish Cowell.

Oman
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Shiite Houthi militias have continued their advance against Al-Qaeda-linked militants in central Yemen, as newly appointed Yemeni Prime Minister Khaled Bahah struggles to form a government in Sanaa. Employing a strategy that relies largely on treaties with local tribes, the Houthis have been able to push hard against Ansar Al-Sharia (AAS), an affiliate of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), in areas like the city of Radaa in Al-Bayda and Al-Odain and Al-Sadda in Ibb. Recruiting locals to man checkpoints vastly expands Houthi capacity, and also enables the group to bridge the sectarian divide in some Sunni areas (though this remains a challenge).

Yemen
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Seychelles meeting

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Tehran has complained loudly after Saudi Arabia denied visas to Iranian officials hoping to attend an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) at its headquarters in Jeddah on 3 February. The meeting was held at the request of the Palestinian Authority to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian peace deal put forward by United States President Donald Trump. Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Iran had been invited to attend by OIC secretary-general Yousef Bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen. Its delegation was to be led by deputy foreign minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari.

Iran | Saudi Arabia
Issue 1001 - 07 October 2015

Ahmed Bin Dalmook: Ghana power investment

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Sheikh Ahmed Bin Dalmook Al-Maktoum’s Ameri Energy is involved in a project to develop a 250MW power plant in Ghana. Ameri recently signed a deal with the Ghanaian government alongside its partner Metka, a Greek power contractor, to carry out the build-own-operate-transfer project. Dubai-based Ameri says it is active in energy, infrastructure, construction and trade. Sheikh Ahmed is a great-grandson of Maktoum II, who ruled until 1906. He has several brothers, including the recently married Rashid (an equestrian and horse-racing fan), and is vice-chairman of MBM Group, a Dubai royal family office and investment company.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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A truncated version of the UK government’s long-awaited report into Al-Ikhwan Al-Muslimeen (Muslim Brotherhood or MB), commissioned in March 2014, was finally released on 17 December. That was the day Number 10 Downing Street strategists had thought would be dominated by a deal on European Union membership as prime minister David Cameron attended a summit in Brussels. In the event, Cameron will have to wait on his new deal (or ‘Brexit’), but seemed to have ducked major rows over the MB, with an 11-page document (comprising just over seven pages of text) that pictured the Ikhwan as “possible extremists”, whose threat is not sufficient to prescribe it.

Issue 1020 - 28 July 2016

World Bank raises oil price forecast

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The World Bank has raised its forecast for the average price of crude oil this year, but only from $41/bbl to $43/bbl. The change is based on the impact of recent supply outages in Canada and Nigeria, and robust demand in Q2 16. The bank’s new estimate puts it closer to the US’ Energy Information Administration forecast, which is predicting an average price of $44/bbl this year and $52/bbl in 2016, according to its Short-Term Energy Outlook released on 12 July.

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Riyadh governor Prince Khalid Bin Bandar Bin Abdelaziz Al-Saud in late July led funeral prayers for Princess Nura Bint Saud Bin Abdelaziz. She was one of the eldest daughters of the late King Saud and was known for her role in encouraging Saudi women to enter the workplace and charitable activities. King Abdullah received condolences from other Gulf leaders.

Saudi Arabia
Issue 861 - 25 September 2009

HBJ back in the kingdom

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HBJ was in Saudi Arabia again on 15 September

Qatar
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A three-day military exercise by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) ground, air and naval units, which began on 22 April, was intended to test a range of Iranian-built missiles and other equipment.

Iran