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Abu Dhabi’s ADQ has joined with its exhibitions group subsidiary Adnec to buy a large minority stake in Egyptian hotel operator Icon. It comes as ADQ’s chief investment officer returns to the investment giant after a two-year sabbatical at defence conglomerate Edge Group.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Bahrain’s Mumtalakat sovereign wealth fund has reportedly invested a further $38m into McLaren, just weeks after the luxury sportscar maker had said a full recapitalisation had been completed.

Bahrain
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Sovereign wealth fund the Oman Investment Authority has launched a third fund in its portfolio. The OR2bn Future Fund Oman will sit alongside the National Development Fund and Future Generations Fund

Oman
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Emir Sheikh Mishaal travelled to Riyadh on 30 January for talks with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, further cementing the bilateral relationship. Mishaal then went to Oman in early February to attend the inauguration of Duqm refinery with Sultan Haitham.

Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | Oman
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Saudi Aramco said on 17 January it would increase the capital allotted to its global venture capital arm Aramco Ventures, from $3bn to $7bn over the next four years.

Saudi Arabia
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The QIA’s new $200m fund is designed to bring more foreign investment into Qatar, as the first step of a wider plan to partner with local and international asset management firms.

Qatar
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Sheikh Ali Bin Khalifa Bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa has been named secretary-general of the Royal Humanitarian Foundation, taking over from former oil industry executive Mustafa Al-Sayed.

Bahrain
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Moody’s sovereign credit upgrade has returned Qatar to the investment grade level it enjoyed before the 2017-21 boycott by regional foes.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Qatar
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Royal Commission for Al-Ula chief executive Amr Bin Saleh Al-Madani has been arrested for money laundering and other offences, according to the Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha), in a sign that the authorities’ patience with public servants enriching themselves is wearing thin.

Saudi Arabia
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Iraq is buffeted by regional conflicts and domestic political and economic pressures; the dinar remains stressed and the population even more so. This is the first of a much-expanded series of GSN Risk management reports, in an online format intended to provide easy-to-access updates, analysis and contexts as a point of entry into this complex, often opaque region.

Iraq
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The Saudi government has told Saudi Aramco to scrap a plan to increase its maximum production capacity to 13m b/d, as first announced in March 2020. It is not clear how much progress Aramco had made in pursuing the goal.

Saudi Arabia
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Saudi ambassador to the US Princess Reema Bint Bandar has defended the idea of the season finale for women’s tennis being held in Saudi Arabia, following criticism of the idea by former stars Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova; Reema has also been speaking out about the Gaza war and the plight of Palestinians.

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Iran launched missiles and drones at targets in Iraq, Syria and Pakistan in mid-January, claiming it was striking back at terrorist groups and Israel-linked sites, in a tough approach that has been accompanied by a domestic clampdown on moderate politicians ahead of elections in March. This suggests the regime continues to feel vulnerable to opposition at home, while speculation builds around the eventual succession to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is the subject of the first of a series of GSN profiles.

Iran
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UAE state minister for foreign affairs Sheikh Shakhbut Bin Nahyan Al-Nahyan has been on another African tour in January, visiting the capitals of Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, as well as Angola’s Cabinda province, as the UAE look to continue recent momentum for investments and wider engagement in Africa.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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In a rare inward investment into Yemen, Oman’s Salalah Mills is paying $6.5m for a 50% stake in a grain mills and silos business in Mukalla, Hadhramaut government, which it will run with an unnamed Yemeni partner.

Yemen | Oman