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Two decades after Saddam Hussein’s invasion and in the fifth year of Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s rule, is a more positive investment and policy implementation story starting to emerge from Kuwait? The sometimes beleaguered prime minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah seems to think so.

Kuwait
Issue 911 - 29 October 2011

EMIR SHEIKH HAMAD: Europe visit

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Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani has been in Poland, where he met President Bronisław Komorowski and Senate speaker Bogdan Borusewicz.  He has also been in Macedonia, accompanied by a 100-strong business delegation, and Albania.

Qatar
Free

The political situation around the Middle East may be as bad as any time in recent memory, but there is the potential for it to get worse still. According to analysis by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the Gulf region is facing an extended period of heightened risk from political and military developments, which will be dominated by individual country’s priorities rather than strategic co-operation across borders.

Free

Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al-Said’s decision to merge the State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) and the Oman Investment Fund (OIF) – announced via a royal decree on 4 June – brings to an end a debate that has rumbled on since 2017. The new Oman Investment Authority (OIA) will combine the $14.3bn of assets held by the SGRF and $3.4bn from the OIF. To be independent of the Ministry of Finance (MoF), the new entity will report directly to the Council of Ministers.

Oman
Free

Mecca governor Prince Khalid Al-Faisal held a press conference at the Jeddah governorate governorate headquarters on 7 May, where he noted that the value of projects either completed or under way in the Mecca region in 2013 were worth more than SR311bn ($83bn). These projects include the King Abdullah Project for the Reconstruction of Mecca, public transport projects (trains and buses) in Mecca and Jeddah, the King Abdullah Sport City in Jeddah, King Abdelaziz Airport and the Two Holy Mosques train, as well as projects aimed at protecting the region from floods.

Saudi Arabia
Issue 1098 - 05 March 2020

Saudi Arabia/UAE: US refuelling costs

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Saudi Arabia and the UAE have repaid some $233m to the United States to cover refuelling operations for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen between March 2015 and November 2018. The US Government Accountability Office (GOA) on 4 March said the UAE had repaid $103.7m for air tanker flight hours and $15m for fuel by February 2019. As of February 2020 Saudi Arabia had paid $114m, leaving $59m outstanding. The GOA said the US had also supplied $2m-worth of general purpose bombs to the UAE in 2015 for retransfer to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia | United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

Heightened tensions with the United States since President Donald Trump came to power in 2017 have undermined the Iranian economy, squeezing many incomes to breaking point. Much worse could be to come. The steady escalation underlined by the killing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC)’s Quds Force commander General Qassim Soleimani and attacks on US facilities in Iraq could yet lead to all-out conflict, despite calls for cool heads and de-escalation.

Iran
Issue 981 - 13 November 2014

Oman: Sultan Qaboos to miss National Day

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Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al-Said will not be in Oman for the national holiday to mark his 74th birthday on 18 November. In the absence of official detail about the medical condition which has kept him away from home for more than four months, much significance had been placed on whether or not he would return for the National Day, when he usually oversees a military parade in Muscat; the announcement by a frail-looking Qaboos that he would not come, in a 5 November televised address, has been widely read as a bad sign.

Oman
Issue 891 - 10 December 2010

Sheikh Saud appoints heir

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Ruler Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al-Qasimi has issued an emiri decree (23/2010) appointing his son Sheikh Mohammed as crown prince

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 882 - 31 July 2010

MBR in Europe

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MBR in Europe

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 1023 - 07 October 2016

Qatar: Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman in Asia

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Foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman, appointed in January, began a trip to Asia on 3 October. The first stop was Japan, where he met his counterpart Fumio Kishida and the ruling General Council chairman Toshihiro Nikaio (who also heads the Qatar-Japan parliamentary friendship association). Doha is very pleased about the recent decision by Japan to grant multiple entry visas to Qatari nationals.

Qatar
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Prince Ahmed Bin Saud Bin Abdelaziz died on 7 July, according to the Royal Court. A low-profile grandson of Ibn Saud, his funeral prayers were held the following day in Riyadh, led by the kingdom’s grand mufti, Sheikh Abdelaziz Bin Abdullah Al Al-Sheikh, and performed by various princes and officials, including Riyadh governor Prince Faisal Bin Bandar.

Saudi Arabia
Issue 1103 - 22 May 2020

Saudi Arabia: Tax rate tripled

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Finance minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan on 11 May announced a tripling of the value-added tax (VAT) rate, to 15% from 1 July, in an effort to limit the damage to public finances from low oil prices and coronavirus. He also said that from 1 June the government will stop paying a monthly cost of living allowance for public sector workers. Al-Jadaan said austerity measures so far totalled SR100bn ($27bn).

Saudi Arabia
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Emir Sheikh Tamim held talks with Sierra Leone’s newly elected President Julius Maada Bio in Doha on 22 April. It was Bio’s first trip to the region since winning a run-off vote in early April. The leaders discussed options for enhancing trade and other ties, particularly in agriculture, education, tourism and investment. A day earlier, Bio urged local business leaders at the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry to invest in his country.

Qatar
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Assistant interior minister Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef Al-Saud attended a joint tactical exercise near Riyadh in late June.

Saudi Arabia