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Free

The latest series of GSN profiles show how Iran’s clerics – and especially those close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – have a grip over the economy that has got ever tighter over the past three decades. There is no prospect of that changing at the parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections on 1 March.

Iran
Free

None of the Gulf’s emerging ´middle powers’ have issued a detailed policy document setting out their approach to projecting soft power, even as they continue to spend extravagantly while drawing in investment and talent. Autocracies have no real need to orchestrate the sort of public debate that might follow, even if they regularly sound out local opinion via traditional diwans or more modern polling techniques — not to mention ever more pervasive surveillance of their citizens and others’ communications.

Saudi Arabia | United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

Khalid Al-Shamlan takes over the real estate and infrastructure file at the Abu Dhabi government’s investment fund.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

Emir Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah has repeatedly called for a new approach to overhaul Kuwait’s factionalised politics and boost economic reform – a position he restated in his inaugural address on 20 December. But changing a system that appears to encourage stasis rather than co-operation will not be easy for Kuwait’s new, 83 year-old ruler. 

Kuwait
Free

The late Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah is unlikely to be remembered as one of Kuwait’s defining leaders, but he was an affable, honest man who was called upon to navigate a difficult political environment.

Kuwait
Issue 1183 - 10 December 2023

Sharjah: Lubna Bint Khalid Al-Qasimi

Free

The UAE’s first female minster.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 1182 - 08 December 2023

Riyadh sets out spending plans for 2024

Free

The Saudi government has set out SR1.25tn ($333.6bn) worth of spending plans for 2024, in a budget statement issued on 6 December.

Saudi Arabia
Free

The decision by Iraq’s Federal Supreme Court to remove Mohammed Rikan Hadid Al-Halbousi from his position as speaker of the Council of Representatives (parliament) could undermine the court’s standing and increase the likelihood that it will turn it into another political battleground.

Iraq
Issue 1181 - 24 November 2023

Bahrain's King Hamad: Flight training

Free

Bahrain's King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa was given a refresher flying course in November. King Hamad, who among other titles is supreme commander of the country’s armed forces, graduated as a helicopter pilot in January 1978.

Bahrain
Issue 1181 - 24 November 2023

Oman signs LNG supply deal with BP

Free

Muscat has signed a contract to delivery 1m t/yr of liquified natural gas (LNG) to United Kingdom-based energy major BP. The agreement was signed by Oman LNG on 21 November and will run for nine years, starting in 2026.

Oman
Free

A 60-year operating licence for the fourth and final unit at the UAE's Barakah nuclear power plant was issued to Nawah Energy Company by the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation. The plant will have a total generation capacity of 5.6GW once complete.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 1181 - 23 November 2023

Dubai's Hamdan Bin Mohammed: AI competition

Free

Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum launched a generative artificial intelligence (AI) competition in early November, with prizes of AED1m ($272,000) available for winners of the Global Prompt Engineering Championship.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

Qatar Foundation (QF) chair Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser led a roundtable discussion in Doha in November to review the humanitarian situation in Gaza and ways to provide support to Palestinians.

Palestine | Qatar
Issue 1181 - 22 November 2023

Kuwait records a rare budget surplus

Free

Kuwait recorded a KD6.5bn ($21bn) surplus for fiscal year ending 31 March 2023, its first annual surplus since 2014/15.

Kuwait
Free

Sheikh Khalid Bin Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan has attempted to cement his status within the political arena and strengthen his profile among local citizens since he was named Abu Dhabi’s crown prince on 29 March, in a move which put the 41 year-old first in line to succeed his father, President Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (MBZ). 

United Arab Emirates (UAE)