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Subscriber

The Gulfi crowd were not particularly present, or even the subject of formal discussion, at the 24 February Sovereign Wealth Funds Forum in London. Much of the focus was on Asian institutions, including the Singapore

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Subscriber

Sheikha Budoor: Emir names daughter as Shorouq head, Hoor Bint Sultan: Sharjah Biennial

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 848 - 27 February 2009

Tehran/Crescent gas dispute

Subscriber

The row over gas sales between Sharjah-based Crescent Petroleum and Iran has resurfaced as both sides continue to dispute the contractual terms of an agreement to export Iranian gas to the UAE (GSN 812/12). Under pressure to meet rising domestic demand, the dispute began when the Islamic Republic

Iran | United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 848 - 27 February 2009

Doha media watchdog breaks with tradition

Subscriber

Free speech has taken a small but notable step forward in Qatar with the publication of a report on media freedom and transparency in the Middle East and North Africa by the Doha Centre for Media Freedom, established just over a year ago by Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

Qatar
Issue 848 - 27 February 2009

UAE Royals: meetings and travels

Subscriber

ABDULLAH BIN ZAYED: Travels. MOHAMMED BIN ZAYED: Meetings. MANSOUR BIN ZAYED: AC Milan rumours squashed. HAZZA BIN SULTAN BIN ZAYED: Bangor PhD

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 848 - 27 February 2009

Dubai, feeling down but not out

Subscriber

Central Bank of the UAE’s initial $10bn investment in Dubai’s $20bn five-year refinancing package confirms that Abu Dhabi has no intention of cutting adrift the commercial emirate; the senior emirate will gain from maintaining stability in the federation

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Subscriber

Oman has all the ingredients for becoming the Gulf’s most attractive tourist and living destination, but projects remain prey to the vagaries of local politics, as well as more recent credit crunch concerns. A case in point seems to be the legal dispute over ownership of Blue City – said to be the Sultanate’s largest real estate development, costing an estimated $20bn – that for more than three years has pitted Bahrain’s Al-Janahi business family against the local Cyclone company.

Oman
Issue 848 - 27 February 2009

Religious bodies

Subscriber

At the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice Sheikh Abdelaziz Bin Humayen Al-Humayen has been appointed head, replacing Sheikh Ibrahim Bin Abdullah Al-Ghaith. The new head of the religious police (known as the Mutawa) has described their role as

Saudi Arabia
Free

It will take more than a reshuffle to resolve the deep-seated contradictory pressures within Saudi Arabian politics and society. Even so, King Abdullah’s recent personnel changes send a powerful signal at a time of renewed succession concerns.

Saudi Arabia
Subscriber

Sheikh Abdelrahman Bin Abdelaziz Al-Colleyia was named chairman of the Supreme Court, with ministerial rank. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Fahd Bin Saad Al-Dosari was appointed Supreme Administrative Court president with ministerial rank.

Saudi Arabia
Free

Will Mohammad Khatami secure the backing of Rahbar (Supreme Leader) Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for his presidential comeback bid this summer? Unlikely as this might have seemed even weeks ago, Iranian political observers, whose debates GSN has joined in the past week, are agreed that this may be the decisive question

Iran
Issue 848 - 27 February 2009

An insouciant view from Kuwait

Subscriber

Central Bank of Kuwait governor Sheikh Salem Abdelaziz Al-Sabah was very bullish, going so far as to say that the “crisis has not hit it that much.”

Kuwait
Subscriber

The Obama administration’s decision to attempt diplomatic re-engagement with Iran provides a moment of excruciating discomfort for many US politicians and generals. GSN has been exposed to some of the thinking going on inside the Pentagon, as well as in the think tanks and State Department offices charged with charting a path through this dangerous territory.

Iran
Subscriber

The UAE on 24 February took its latest plunge into the global defence market, formally signing a letter of request for $3.4bn worth of US military hardware from The Boeing Company and Lockheed Martin. The deal was the centrepiece of the ninth International Defence Conference and Exhibition (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi. Reflecting the oil emirate’s leading role

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Subscriber

International supporters of Iraq’s reconstruction are again seeking to address the major economic and social problems that tended to fall from view – at least outside Iraq – during the peak period of the insurgency.

Iraq