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With increasing amounts of Moscow's business now being transacted through Gulf states, impending G7 and EU sanctions on Russian diamond exports offer opportunities and risks for the Dubai Diamond Exchange, which has grown rapidly to become the largest trading hub in the world for the rough gems. 

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

Bahrain's recently-appointed Civil Service Bureau president Sheikh Daij Bin Salman Bin Daij Al-Khalifaheld talks with Prime Minister and Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa at Gudaibiya Palace late October. 

Bahrain
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
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
Issue 1183 - 10 December 2023

Sharjah: Lubna Bint Khalid Al-Qasimi

Free

The UAE’s first female minster.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

The UAE and India agreed to do more trade in their own currencies, rather than the US dollar, in a memorandum of understanding signed mid-July during an official visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Abu Dhabi – the Indian leader's fifth trip to the country in the past eight years.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

An election victory next May seems to be Presidential Hassan Rouhani’s to lose, but the big winners on the Iranian business scene continue to be the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC or Pasdaran) and other conservative factions – a harsh reality for oil majors considering investments and others hoping for a soft landing in Iran after the nuclear deal. Their powerful position signals that hardliners are in no way in retreat, even if many Iranians would like to see genuine change.

Iran
Issue 1141 - 21 February 2022

Iran: Ex-minister named Khamenei adviser

Free

Rahbar (Supreme Leader) Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei appointed Brigadier General Amir Hatami as his advisor on army affairs on 9 February.

Iran
Free

The battle for power and influence in Iran appeared to take a gruesome turn on 19 June, with the as-yet-unexplained death of fugitive judge Gholamreza Mansouri in a Bucharest hotel. Mansouri was being tried in absentia in Tehran as part of a wider, politically-inspired corruption clampdown. He had been speaking to the Iranian embassy in Bucharest in an effort to agree a return, but those negotiations broke down. Tehran put in an extradition request via Interpol instead, but before that process could be completed Mansouri was dead.

Iran
Free

Princess Hessa Bint Salman has been given a ten-month suspended sentence by a French court, after being convicted in absentia for her role in an assault on Ashraf Eid, who had been carrying out repair work at her Paris apartment in 2016. She was also given a fine of €10,000. The court heard that Eid was tied up, punched and kicked by the princess’s bodyguard Rani Saida after Eid had inadvertently taken a photo of her on his mobile phone. Hessa is expected to appeal against the verdict.

Saudi Arabia
Free

Despite all his efforts to project a more modern, tolerant and less corrupt image of Saudi royalty, unhelpful stories continue to buzz around Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS), in the process undermining his hopes of recasting the image of his country and its ruling dynasty. In the days leading up to his protracted visit to the United States, which began on 20 March, stories broke in the international media which take at least some of the sheen off his carefully-curated reformist image.

Saudi Arabia
Free

 There is mounting evidence of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS)’s recent appreciation of diplomatic endeavours, which is apparent in the revelations of talks with Iran in Baghdad (GSN 1,124/17), renewed attempts to secure a peace deal in Yemen, signs of a reset of relations with Syria and Turkey and the Al-Ula agreement in January, which ended the Qatar boycott.

Saudi Arabia
Issue 995 - 19 June 2015

Saudi Arabia: MBS in Qatar

Free

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) was in Doha on 12 June for a meeting with Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani. He was accompanied on his visit by minister of information and culture Adel Bin Zaid Al-Turaifi and minister of state Khalid Bin Abdelrahman Al-Essa, who until recently was deputy chief of the royal court. After talks, Emir Tamim hosted a dinner in MBS’ honour. MBS was greeted and seen off by the deputy emir of Qatar, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Thani.

Saudi Arabia
Free

Ambassador to the United States Prince Khalid Bin Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s younger brother, arrived in Washington on 5 December. It was the first time he has returned to his post since some of the murkier details of the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi came to light. Prince Khalid has been accused by the newspaper’s editorial board of “an epic campaign of lies” to cover up the murder; it said his return was “a stunningly arrogant act”.

Saudi Arabia
Free

Deputy defence minister Prince Khalid Bin Salman was dispatched to Baghdad on 12 May for talks with President Barham Salih, Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhimi, Council of Representatives (parliament) speaker Mohammed Al-Halbosi and defence minister Jumah Enad Al-Jebori.

Saudi Arabia | Iraq