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Bahrain’s ruler reached the 25th anniversary of his time in power on 6 March. A silver jubilee flag was commissioned for the occasion

Bahrain
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Sultan Haitham landed back in Muscat on 27 February, following a 19-day trip to the United Kingdom

Oman
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Sheikh Mansour Ibrahim Ahmed Hamad Al-Mualla has been appointed as executive director of the emirate’s Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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King Salman Bin Abdelaziz’s nine years on the throne have seen a concentration of power in the 88-year-old monarch’s immediate family – who are the subject of the latest GSN profile series – that is unprecedented in modern Saudi history. Other significant branches of the Al-Saud have gone into retreat as Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has taken an iron grip on the kingdom

Saudi Arabia
Free

The UAE has set its sights on carving out a leading international role in artificial intelligence, with national security advisor Sheikh Tahnoun Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Khaled Bin Mohammed vying for national AI leadership – but the pursuit of the powerful technology is also causing friction with the US

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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The Independent ran a series of interviews with Al-Saud family members in late February in an advertorial campaign to promote the $20m Saudi Cup horse race. GSN asks who was talking up the event and the background to the British newspaper’s partial Saudi ownership.

Saudi Arabia
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Sultan Haitham left Muscat for the UK on 8 February, with no indication of how long he might be away for.

Oman
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Sheikh Salman Bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa has been appointed vice chairman of the Higher Urban Planning Committee, moving on from his previous role as president of the Survey and Land Registration Bureau.

Bahrain
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Emir Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah travelled to Bahrain and Qatar in mid-February, following trips to Saudi Arabia and Oman earlier in the year. Mishaal has been using the trips to cement regional support for border disputes with Iraq and Iran – although there are signs that Doha is slightly less steadfast than some others over the Iran dispute.

Kuwait
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Alpha Dhabi reported a 25% rise in profits in 2023, alongside a 14% increase in revenues, as the investment firm owned by UAE national security advisor Sheikh Tahnoun Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan’s International Holding Company announced multi-billion-dinar joint venture deals with Adnoc Drilling and Mubadala.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Emir Sheikh Mishaal travelled to Riyadh on 30 January for talks with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, further cementing the bilateral relationship. Mishaal then went to Oman in early February to attend the inauguration of Duqm refinery with Sultan Haitham.

Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | Oman
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Sheikh Ali Bin Khalifa Bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa has been named secretary-general of the Royal Humanitarian Foundation, taking over from former oil industry executive Mustafa Al-Sayed.

Bahrain
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UAE state minister for foreign affairs Sheikh Shakhbut Bin Nahyan Al-Nahyan has been on another African tour in January, visiting the capitals of Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, as well as Angola’s Cabinda province, as the UAE look to continue recent momentum for investments and wider engagement in Africa.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Saudi ambassador to the US Princess Reema Bint Bandar has defended the idea of the season finale for women’s tennis being held in Saudi Arabia, following criticism of the idea by former stars Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova; Reema has also been speaking out about the Gaza war and the plight of Palestinians.

Subscriber

Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al-Said sailed to Khasab port in the isolated Musandam peninsula in mid-January for a meet-the-people tour and to inspect economic developments, directing local officials to push ahead with further housing and commercial projects.

Oman