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Dubai Ruler, federal Vice President and prime minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum has ordered 3,000 plots of land and mortgages worth a total of Dh5.6bn ($1.5bn) to be handed over to local citizens. The allocations were made in his capacity as Dubai ruler.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 1092 - 18 November 2019

Khalaf takes the helm at the FT

Free

Roula Khalaf has been appointed editor of The Financial Times, taking over from Lionel Barber who has held the job for 14 years. A former Middle East editor and deputy editor since 2016, the FT’s first female editor will assume her new role in January. Khalaf was born in Lebanon and educated in the United States. After a spell with Forbes she entered the FT in 1995 as North Africa correspondent, showing the blend of drive and perception that has taken her to the top of the London-based, Japanese-owned group.

Issue 979 - 17 October 2014

Politics cast shadow on Bahrain economy

Free

As elections scheduled for 22 November approach, the kingdom of Bahrain remains bitterly divided. The main opposition parties confirmed on 11 October that they would boycott the polls, a decision that was not unexpected but which scuppers any hopes that the election might reinforce the government narrative that Bahrain is stable and on a path of economic recovery.While the boycott will be viewed as a setback by Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad, who has been leading attempts to restart dialogue, others in the royal family will use the decision as further proof that the opposition is obstructionist.

Bahrain
Issue 969 - 10 May 2014

Qatar: Attiyah honoured in France

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Chairman of the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority (ACTA) Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah was honoured on 24 April by French President François Hollande, who presented him the Légion d’Honneur with rank of grand officier, according to state news agency QNA. “This prestigious award I am receiving today is a recognition to the great friendship and mutual co-operation between our two countries”, said Al-Attiyah, a former energy minister who took over ACTA in 2011. The National Order of the Legion of Honour, established by Napoleon Bonaparte, is France’s highest honour, and is divided into five degrees, from chevalier to grand croix.

Qatar
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Prime minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah became the first Kuwaiti premier to be ‘grilled’ in public on 28 March, as parliament submitted him to five hours of questions and debate.

Kuwait
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Chief of the Emiri Diwan Sheikh Khalid Bin Khalifa Bin Abdelaziz Al-Thani was in Tangier on 15 March to inaugurate the first phase of Al-Houara resort, which is being developed by Qatari Diar, of which he is also chairman. The resort covers an area of 234,000 hectares; the first phase includes construction of a 304-room Hilton hotel and 18-hole golf course.

Qatar
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The career in football of Qatar’s Mohammed Bin Hammam, long suspected of corruption, appears to be over. On 17 December, football’s world governing body, Fifa, said Bin Hammam, a Fifa executive committee member and president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), had “resigned from all his positions in football with immediate effect and will never be active in organised football again”.

Qatar
Issue 981 - 13 November 2014

Saud Bin Mohammed: Dies, aged 48

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Sheikh Saud Bin Mohammed Al-Thani, one of the world’s most prominent art collectors who fell from grace in 2005, died at his home in London on 9 November, aged 48. The cause of his death has not been announced. Sheikh Saud was appointed to the National Council for Culture, Arts and Heritage in 2002, where his job was to build up collections for Qatar’s major new museums. In a shock move in 2005, he was removed from his post and briefly put under house arrest for alleged misappropriation of $400m worth of state funds.

Qatar
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Despite rising gas output in 2013, Oman – like the rest of its Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) neighbours – is struggling to keep pace with rampant demand. New figures from the Ministry of Oil and Gas show output rose by 3% to 37.15bcm in 2013, but with demand at 39.1mcm/d and much of the sultanate’s existing output dedicated to long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects, Muscat has been seeking new sources of gas. The strategy it is putting in place is to develop new domestic capability from its tight gas fields (being tapped by BP) and also to begin importing Iranian gas across the Strait of Hormuz.

Oman
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The rotating presidency of the League of Arab States returned to Doha in 2013, after only a year out of Qatari hands. The league’s 24th summit meeting began at the Sheraton hotel in the Qatari capital on 26 March, giving Qatar another platform to demonstrate the regional leadership it aspires to – which it immediately did, by installing the Syrian opposition in Damascus’ seat. The last Arab summit, held in Baghdad on 29 March 2012, was notable for the absence of high-level Gulf delegations. This time, it was a different story. The GCC royals were in town.

Qatar | Syria
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International Petroleum Investment Company chairman and serial entrepreneur Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan has again hit the headlines with his investment of some £3.5bn ($5.5bn) in Barclays Bank

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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As the Qatar boycott enters its third year, the economy most affected appears to be Dubai, whose status as at the pre-eminent regional trading hub has taken a knock. Some international businesses which used to serve the Gulf region from Dubai have had to relocate their Qatari-focused operations out of the UAE, in some cases moving them to London. Under the radar, an exodus of Westerners appears to be under way, with one removals firm telling GSN that for every family arriving 11 are leaving.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 905 - 23 July 2011

Energy legislation faces delays

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The Iraqi government is committed to driving through a much-delayed package of four energy laws to put the sector on a firm footing. But it still faces entrenched opposition from a number of quarters. Momentum created by the ongoing series of licensing rounds, the fourth of which is in preparation, plus recent developments such as the approval of Shell’s controversial gas deal, suggest that Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki’s administration is able to get its own way.

Iraq
Issue 1066 - 21 September 2018

Focus on Saudi chief Al-Ruwaili

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Chief of staff Lieutenant General Fayyadh Bin Hamid Bin Ragad Al-Ruwaili led the Saudi delegation to the mid-September regional defence meetings in Kuwait, providing a prominent stage for an official appointed to his current post only in February, when Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) made a series of changes to the military leadership with the aim of appointing those whose loyalty and competence he could trust. Fayyadh had been deputy to his predecessor Lieutenant General Abdurrahman Bin Saleh Al-Bunyan for four years; before that, he was commander of the Royal Saudi Air Force (2013-14).

Saudi Arabia
Issue 915 - 12 January 2012

Issue 915 Royals Watch: Saudi Arabia

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MASHAEL BINT FAISAL: Abu Dhabi visit; MITEB BIN ABDULLAH: Field exercises; FAISAL BIN ABDULLAH: Scouting honour; MISHAAL BIN ABDELAZIZ: Camel festival; MISHAAL BIN ABDULLAH: Bahrain diplomacy

Saudi Arabia