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Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and UAE Armed Forces deputy supreme commander Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (MBZ) appears to be taking an extended break in Morocco, following his meeting with US secretary of state Anthony Blinken in Rabat on 29 March.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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GSN Risk Grade – Abu Dhabi A1, Dubai A2↓ UAQ blue economy: The Umm Al-Quwain authorities launched a “sustainable blue economy strategy” during the World Government Summit in Dubai on 29 March.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Rival drafts of a new hydrocarbons law are at the heart of a dispute between Erbil and Baghdad after Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki called a meeting to discusss proposals when most Kurdish members were absent

Iraq
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived at King Abdelaziz International Airport in Jeddah on 28 April, in the latest stage in Ankara’s attempts to rebuild relations with key Gulf countries. Before leaving, Erdogan told journalists: “We will be making efforts in order to start a new era of enhanced relations between our two countries in all respects including politics, military, economy and culture.”

Saudi Arabia
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King Salman Bin Abdelaziz performed Eid prayers at Mecca’s Grand Mosque on 2 May, the first time he has done so since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Salman had travelled to Jeddah on 31 March and then on to Mecca.

Saudi Arabia
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Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum is to chair a new body set up to oversee the repurposing of the Expo 2020 site in Dubai. Ruler Shiekh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum made the appointment on 17 April when announcing the formation of the Supreme Committee to Supervise the Expo 2020 Dubai District.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Recently appointed United States Central Command (Centcom) commander General Michael Kurilla visited the US 5th Fleet headquarters in Bahrain on 29 April. It was his first visit since assuming command of Centcom on 1 April, when he took over from General Kenneth McKenzie.

Bahrain
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Moody’s Investors Service improved its outlook on Bahrain’s sovereign rating from negative to stable on 22 April, citing higher oil prices which have improved the government’s fiscal position.

Bahrain
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Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (MBZ) attended two Al-Nahyan wedding receptions in early May; they formed part of a group marriage ceremony.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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British prosecutors have accused two former defence industry executives of orchestrating the payment of millions of pounds of bribes in Saudi Arabia, some of which went to Prince Miteb Bin Abdullah.

Saudi Arabia
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Gulf governments have been reporting healthy budget surpluses for Q1 2022, as they reap the benefit of high oil prices.

Free

A series of rare strikes were launched by food delivery workers in the UAE in early May, with riders for Deliveroo and Talabat staging walk-outs while calling for better pay and conditions.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Sheikha Jawaher Bint Hamad Bin Suhaim Al-Thani’s presence in Spain alongside her husband, Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, points to a slowly rising public profile for the first of the Qatari Ruler’s four wives.

Qatar
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Islamic Republic of Iran Navy (Nejada) commander Rear Admiral Shahram Irani has said Iranian shipping faces increased piracy risks in the Red Sea. Nejada has maintained a continuous at-sea presence in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since 2008, usually consisting of a frigate and one of its two Bandar Abbas class light replenishment oilers, sometimes supplemented by a third ship. 

Iran
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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s recent visit to Muscat was accompanied by a flurry of announcements hailing their “centuries-old” friendship (as the Iranian leader put it), but with differing expectations over what benefits might be expected from a boost in relations.

Iran | Bahrain