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The death of the longest-serving UK monarch brought hundreds of dignitaries to London, including a raft of senior Gulf royals and officials. However, the apparent absence of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and, to a lesser extent, UAE President Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, was also a point of intrigue. In the days since the funeral events GSN has investigated speculation over whether the Saudi heir did indeed make a private visit to express his condolences to royal family members.

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There is rising speculation about the potential for Emirati President Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (MBZ)’s eldest son, Sheikh Khalid Bin Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, to fill the role of UAE crown prince. Khalid cut his administrative teeth in the security sector and since 2021 has played a leading role in running the Abu Dhabi government.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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With a new government in place in Baghdad and a new oil minister in the shape of industry veteran Hayan Abdulghani, Iraq is looking to cement recent progress in its oil and gas sector, building on crude production that rose to average 4.5m b/d output at end-2022.

Iraq
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GSN Risk Grade: D4↓ Election delay: The federal Supreme Court is due to hear several cases in the coming days over the decision by the Kurdistan Region parliament to postpone elections that were due on 1 October.The parliament voted on 9 October to extend its term until end-2023 due to disputes between parties over the election law.

Iraq
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Irish hotelier Paddy McKillen has filed a case in a Los Angeles court seeking $18m from Qatar's senior Al-Thanis who he said had cheated him of fees.

Qatar
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Iran has revived plans to build a nuclear power plant in Khuzestan province. The development comes amid other efforts by Tehran to further develop its electricity sector. Iran had completed an initial synchronisation exercise that was a necessary precursor to linking the electricity grid to Russia, through Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Iran
Free

The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) said on 2 December that it had rolled over a $3bn deposit placed with State Bank of Pakistan. akistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif praised the move to shore up dwindling foreign exchange reserves.

Saudi Arabia
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GSN Risk Grade: F6 US explosives seizure: The United States Navy said it had intercepted a fishing vessel in international waters in the Gulf of Oman on 8 November and found a large quantity of explosive material which it said was being smuggled from Iran to Yemen.

Yemen
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Doubts are being raised about the wisdom of Dubai’s efforts to become a hub for crypto finance companies, following the high-profile collapse into bankruptcy of the FTX exchange on 11 November. However, officials seem committed to the UAE playing a continuing global role in blockchain initiatives.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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QatarEnergy signed a 27-year deal with China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) to supply of 4m t/yr of liquified natural gas (LNG) to China. The agreement is the first long-term deal from Qatar’s North Field East (NFE) expansion project, which is expected to come online in 2026.

Qatar
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Saudi Arabia is laying claim to developing the world’s largest single-site solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, under a new joint venture between the local Acwa Power and the Water and Electricity Holding Company (Badeel), a subsidiary of the government’s Public Investment Fund (PIF). PIF also has a major stake in Acwa.

Saudi Arabia
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Iran has announced a series of advances for its home-grown missile arsenal, as western powers raise concern Tehran may be willing to provide missiles for Russia to use in the Ukraine war.

Iran
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A reported bid by an Ajman-based consortium to buy Doncaster Sheffield Airport in the United Kingdom from the local Peel Group appears to have failed, after the approach was blocked by the current owner.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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The UAE appears to be trialling the Israeli Barak-8 air defence system, with satellite imagery from an air defence site at Al-Muqatra south of Abu Dhabi suggesting a Hawk air defence battery previously at the site has been replaced by two launchers and a radar from the Israeli system, as first noted on Twitter by Ben Reuter.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Israel
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Deals worth $1.8bn were agreed at Bahrain International Air Show, according to officials, although few details were publicly announced. The sixth running of the show was held from 9-11 November at Sakhir Air Base, in the centre of the island. Some 186 companies participated from 33 countries, with visits from 225 military and civil delegations.

Bahrain