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More than 1,500 prisoners were pardoned by King Hamad Bin Isa All-Khalifa on 8 April to mark Eid Al-Fitr, a majority of whom appear to be political prisoners.

Bahrain | Oman | United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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The Onaiza corvette was launched at King Faisal Naval Base in Jeddah in early March, with another vessel from the Sarawat project arriving at the Royal Saudi Navy base later in the month. 

Saudi Arabia
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Commerce and industry minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Al-Thani has been appointed to chair Qatar’s free zones regulator, replacing Ahmed Al-Sayed who had led QFZA for more than seven years.

Qatar
Free

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)
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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
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)
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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)
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 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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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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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