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Free

Criticism surrounding the $53m US deal to sell armoured vehicles and military equipment to Bahrain has grabbed the headlines, but it is a drop in the ocean in terms of US arms exports.  

Bahrain | Iraq | Syria
Free

British Prime Minister David Cameron was back in the UAE for the third time in as many years on 16 November, this time heading to Dubai just ahead of the 17-21 November Dubai Airshow (see page 14). There was immediate political gain to be had from the UAE’s deals with Airbus, worth more than $60bn. A380 wings are designed and assembled at UK sites in Filton and Broughton, part of an Airbus programme worth around $24bn to the UK economy; Cameron has made considerable noise about revitalising relationships with the Gulf, and was able to conclude that the new deals resulted from this effort.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is set to send a delegation to Iran in the coming weeks to finalise proposals for a 250,000 b/d oil export pipeline. The plan was revealed in a 22 June interview with Al Jazeera Satellite Channel by KRG deputy minister of natural resource Taha Zangana. The deal is likely to concern Gulf Co-operation Council states, who are already worried about Iran’s influence in Baghdad. For the KRG, it would represent a welcome diversification of its export routes.

Iraq
Issue 1072 - 10 January 2019

UAE: Drones in Algeria

Free

Algeria has deployed at least four unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV, or drones) originally developed by UAE-based Adcom Systems. According to a report by defence industry specialists Jane’s, two armed Yabhon United 40 drones and two smaller unarmed Yabhon Flash-20 drones were shown on national TV on 20 December. The drones are believed to have been built in Algeria and are expected to be used against militant groups and smuggling operations in the south of the country.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

USA assistant secretary of state Frank Rose travelled to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE in late May to discuss missile defence and other security issues. His trip included meetings with Royal Saudi Air Defence Force commander Lieutenant General Mohammed Bin Awadh Bin Suhaim and Gulf Co-operation Council assistant secretary Abdelaziz Aluwaisheg, in Riyadh on 22 May. Rose then travelled on to Kuwait for the US-GCC Ballistic Missile Defense Senior Leader Seminar and on to Abu Dhabi for meetings with senior officials.

Issue 1044 - 22 September 2017

Saudi Arabia: $3bn entertainment fund

Free

The Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced on 20 September it was setting up a division to invest in the domestic entertainment industry, with an initial capitalisation of SR10bn ($2.7bn). The PIF is often used by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdelaziz to push his reform agenda, with the leisure industry a notable area of activity.Details of the latest initiative remain sketchy, but the PIF says it will look for strategic partners to develop new services “in line with international standards”, in a bid to create 22,000 jobs by 2030.

Saudi Arabia
Issue 1080 - 10 May 2019

Qatar: Scania to supply CNG buses

Free

A large fleet of compressed natural gas (CNG)-fuelled luxury buses manufactured by Scania will be delivered long before the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Swedish ambassadot to Qatar Ewa Polano told The Peninsula newspaper. The buses “are expected to arrive in Qatar by early 2021 latest,” Polano said. The authorities last year announced plans to replace Doha’s existing fleet of diesel buses used for public transport as part of efforts to reduce carbon emissions and prepare for the World Cup.

Qatar
Issue 1080 - 10 May 2019

IMF highlights need for UAE reforms

Free

In an early May report on the UAE economy, the International Monetary Fund found “some green shoots are now emerging” following slow growth last year. But while domestic credit growth, employment and tourist numbers have been improving, it noted oversupply in the real estate sector and urged the government to continue with reforms to boost the private sector, modernise the labour market and improve transparency.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

The Gulf Co-operation Council states are in a more delicate and divided condition than they have been for decades – a set of circumstances which presents significant opportunities for Iran. However, understanding how and where Tehran might try to exploit their discomfort is as difficult as ever. An analysis of Iran’s understanding of its key enemies’ weaknesses and the Iranian military machine’s most relevant capabilities might help.

Iran
Free

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

Free

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 - 31 August 2012

Bahrain: King Hamad visits Jordan, UK

Free

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

Bahrain
Free

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
Free

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)
Free

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