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Kuwait's new heir apparent Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah is the first person from the ruling family’s Hamad branch to be named crown prince, ending the duopoly of the Jaber and Salem branches.

Kuwait
Free

Two months after Majles-e Khobregan-e Rahbari (Assembly of Experts) elections, 93 year-old Mohammad Movahedi Kermani has been named to lead the sometimes influential body.

Iran
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More than 80 men and women registered to stand in the Iranian presidential election being held later this month, but the number actually allowed to compete is likely to be in the single figures once the Guardian Council vets all the prospective candidates. Unlike the last election in 2021, there appears to be a chance that some moderate figures will be allowed to run on 28 June.

Iran
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Brigadier General Jassim Mohammed Al-Ghattam was appointed Muharraq governorate’s deputy governor in late May for a four-year term, ending a reshuffle process for provincial official that began in August.

Bahrain
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King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa says there is “no reason to delay” the restoration of diplomatic relations with Tehran, some eight years after they were severed, while Iran’s acting president has invited Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to visit, in a further sign of Tehran’s efforts to improve relations with its Arab neighbours.

Iran | Saudi Arabia | Bahrain
Subscriber

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s decision to buy a 10% stake in Mozambique’s offshore Area 4 concession from Portugal’s Galp, at a cost of some $1.15bn, further positions the Emirate as a growing investor in African gas.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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UAE President Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (MBZ) travelled to South Korea in late May for a two-day official visit, during which he oversaw the signing of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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UAE sovereign wealth funds Investment Corporation of Dubai and Abu Dhabi's giant Mubadala Investment Company have reported growth in their assets under management of 10% or more over the past year.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Subscriber

Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman postponed a visit to Japan at the last minute due to concerns around King Salman’s health, but then sought to reassure the public about his father’s condition at the weekly cabinet meeting.

Saudi Arabia
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Prince Turki Bin Miqrin is reportedly set to take delivery of the world’s largest sportfishing yacht, the $70m, 52-metre Special One, which is undergoing sea trials in the North Sea.

Saudi Arabia
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Qatar’s Emir Tamim was among the few foreign heads of state to attend the late Iranian president’s funeral in Tehran, while other GCC states sent their foreign ministers. In a febrile mood, three former Iranian presidents didn’t attend the service, for reasons unknown.

Iran
Subscriber

The issue leads with an examination of how Gulf governments have sought to manage potentially negative impacts of the Gaza conflict. Across the region – notably Oman and Kuwait – consumers have latched on to a boycott of US franchises to express their anger over Israel’s actions, highlighting the potential for a dangerous divide to emerge between leaders and their subjects on the emotive Palestinian issue, which most regimes had come largely to ignore until Hamas launched its October attack. The issue also focuses on Kuwait, where Emir Sheikh Mishaal has suspended the National Assembly for up to four years is an effort to break the gridlock between the elected chamber and the appointed government that has stymied change for so many years.  Critics fear a new period of repression – and some are planning to flee Kuwait. Whether Mishaal can ‘correct the path’ or will be forced to back down may depend on internal dynamics within the ruling Al-Sabah family. Politics coverage also looks at Iraq, where Shia leader Moqtada Al-Sadr has indicated he plans to return to public life, while local parliamentary elections in Iraqi Kurdistan have been delayed. Defence and security coverage lead with Iran, where there are hints at a potential change to its policy of not developing nuclear weapons. Wealth watch includes an examination of a bond prospectus that has shed light on the finances of Abu Dhabi wealth fund ADQ. Energy and industry coverage includes a look at the award of two GH2 projects from Oman’s second auction round, launched in mid-2023. GSN also focuses on regional aviation rivalry. Dubai has revived long-standing plans for a huge expansion of Al-Maktoum International Airport, as the competitive threat from Saudi Arabia’s hugely ambitious aviation strategy becomes more apparent. The Risk Management Report is on Oman.  

Subscriber

President Ebrahim Raisi, foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and other officials were killed when the helicopter they were travelling in crashed in poor weather in East Azerbaijan province on 19 May. New presidential elections are due to take place within 50 days, amid other major questions for Iran’s political-religious elite.

Iran
Subscriber

Dubai has revived plans to turn Al-Maktoum International into the world’s largest airport, pointing to a huge projected upturn in regional carriers’ business in coming decades and the commercial emirate’s determination to counter the challenge posed by regional rivals.

Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | Oman | United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Subscriber

Emir Sheikh Mishaal’s announcement suspending the National Assembly for up to four years is an effort to break the gridlock between the elected chamber and the appointed government that has stymied change for so many years, but critics fear a new period of repression – and some are planning to flee Kuwait. Whether Mishaal can ‘correct the path’ or will be forced to back down may depend on internal dynamics within the ruling Al-Sabah family.

Kuwait