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The fourth election in as many years seems unlikely to lead to any dramatic change in Kuwait’s slow-burning political crisis, as most members of the outgoing parliament retained their seats and Abdulkarim Al-Kandari – whose comments about Emir Sheikh Mishaal precipitated the latest poll – increased his vote, suggesting voters were happy to reward the authorities’ outspoken critics.

Kuwait
Issue 1186 - 09 April 2024

UAE: Hamed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan profile

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One of the Bani Khaili brothers, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority MD Hamed Bin Zayed has long played a key role in Abu Dhabi’s economic development and also has his own business interests.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 1186 - 03 April 2024

UAE: Sultan Bin Zayed Profile

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At one stage a young commander-in-chief of the UAE Armed Forces, and later – as one of his  father's favourite sons – accumulating a number of big jobs, Sultan Bin Zayed had a spotty reputation and dropped out of the limelight in his later years.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, who died in May 2022, lived through a period of extraordinary change for his country. Born at a time when pre-oil Abu Dhabi was relatively isolated and under British protection, as head of state from 2004 until 2022, Khalifa played a key role in the UAE’s emergence on the regional and world stage – while being progressively replaced in decision-making by his half-brothers, led by Mohammed Bin Zayed.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Sheikha Shamma Bint Sultan, a grand-daughter of the late President Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, has become prominent on environmental issues. This places her in a topical and controversial area following the UAE's hosting of the COP28 summit in November 2023, where it promoted an agenda that was opposed by many climate activists.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Sheikh Zayed was sworn in as the UAE’s ambassador to Qatar in August 2023, two-and-a-half years after the end of the boycott of Qatar by its neighbours.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 1186 - 03 April 2024

UAE: Sultan Bin Khalifa Profile

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Sheikh Sultan is a businessman who also served as a presidential advisor under his father the late UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Sheikh Hazza Bin Sultan, son of the late Sultan Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan became a member of the advisory board of an Islamic cryptocurrency venture in February 2023.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Seven members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp were killed when missiles levelled the consular office next to Iran’s embassy in the Syrian capital. While other IRGC officers have been killed by Israeli strikes in Syria in recent months, this attack appears the most serious yet.

Iran | Israel | Syria
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Sheikh Shakbut was appointed a state minister in foreign affairs in early 2021 and is particularly focused on relations with African countries - which gives a commercial slant to his diplomatic role.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Elections to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq’s parliament are expected to go ahead as planned in June, despite the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s boycott – and the KDP faces having to make an embarrassing climb-down or watch as its political power is undermined, but if it does sit out the election there will also be difficult questions about the incoming regional legislature’s legitimacy.

Iraq
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A deal between Abu Dhabi giant Adnoc and UK major BP to co-invest in Egyptian gas assets highlights how wealthy Gulf national oil companies are seeking lower-carbon expansion opportunities across Africa, with actors from Qatar and Kuwait also among those on the hunt.

Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Qatar
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Kuwait stands out in the region for its relatively open political system, which includes a freely-elected parliament that often clashes with a government appointed by the ruling Al-Sabahs. As a small state with vast oil wealth, it was a pioneer in establishing a sovereign wealth fund, but these days its economy lags behind its more commercially adept neighbours. The perennial stand-off between the executive and legislature often leads to policy gridlock, with neither side able to provide the bold leadership Kuwait needs to forge ahead

Kuwait
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The Bahraini sovereign wealth fund will fold its existing agriculture assets into the new body, as part of efforts to improve food security

Bahrain
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The merger of Abu Dhabi-listed Bayanat AI and satellite operator Yahsat to form Space42 is set to go ahead, with the UAE national security adviser holding 50% of the combined group. Another vehicle in Tahnoun Bin Zayed’s stable, Group 42, is setting up an AI investment company with Mubadala called MGX

United Arab Emirates (UAE)