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Issue 1016 - 02 June 2016

Humaid Bin Rashid: Family activities

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Ruler Sheikh Humaid Bin Rashid Al-Nuaimi visited Jordan in late May, where he met various officials including House of Representatives speaker Atef Tarawneh. Meanwhile, his wife Sheikha Fatima Bint Zayed Bin Saqr Al-Nahyan attended a graduation ceremony for 172 female students of Ajman University of Science and Technology. Sheikha Fatima sometimes has a public role and is involved in social affairs and charities. Among other business, royal son Sheikh Rashid Bin Humaid chaired the late May board meeting of the Ajman government/Solidère International venture joint Al-Zorah Development Company, which is overseeing the emirate’s flagship project.

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Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG) minister Prince Miteb Bin Abdullah visited injured troops recovering at King Abdelaziz Medical City (the national guard hospital). The soldiers were injured during a mission in Najran. Prince Miteb is often seen visiting his troops, for example last July he was in the Northern Borders (GSN 998/8, 997/9). Miteb, who has been involved in SANG for some 25 years, is thought to command considerable loyalty from SANG troops and has been the most prominent Al-Abdullah survivor as the ruling family’s Al-Salman have exercised power over the past year (GSN 1,001/13).

Saudi Arabia
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Operation Iraqi Freedom ended on 1 September after more than seven years of US ‘combat operations’ in Iraq. GSN marks the occasion by analysing the new US military mission, Operation New Dawn

Iraq
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Sheikh Khalid Bin Thani Bin Abdullah Al-Thani was in Ethiopia in late January, where his Ezdan Holding Group is planning big investments. He held talks with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegan. Ezdan is considering a 150,000m2 plot in Addis Ababa where a tourist resort can be built. Desalegan reportedly expressed strong support for Ezdan’s plans. Sheikh Khalid took with him some of Qatar’s most prominent construction figures including Ibrahim Jaidah of the Arab Engineering Bureau. The sheikh appears keen on Ethiopia; he was previously there to scout for business opportunities in summer 2014.

Qatar
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The decision by King Salman Bin Abdelaziz to lift the ban on women drivers is a deeply symbolic development for the kingdom which could also provide a useful boost for the economy, but it also reinforces a troubling question for the Al-Saud: how to match the need for reform while maintaining their conservative credentials.If oil prices were high and the Saudi economy was doing well, it is doubtful whether the reform would have been made.

Saudi Arabia
Issue 906 - 05 August 2011

Rivals line up to challenge F-16 deal

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In addition to internal opposition to Iraqi rearmament from some Kurdish and Shia MPs, another driver for delays to the Iraqi Air Force (IrAF)’s procurement of Lockheed Martin F-16C/Ds seems to be the persistent competitive lobbying of foreign vendors.

Iraq
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Politics: Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al-Said is the 14th ruler of the Al-Busaidi dynasty (founded in 1750) and the monumental figure in modern Oman. Having deposed his father in 1970, Qaboos relies on allies typically drawn from the merchant elite, rather than his relatively small family. In a highly centralised power structure, Qaboos remains premier, defence, finance and foreign minister, Central Bank of Oman chair and armed forces commander-in-chief. He was briefly married but has no children or heir apparent.

Oman
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EMIR SHEIKH SABAH: Meets UK heir to the throne; JABER AL-MUBARAK: Denies troop increase plans

Kuwait
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Allegations over the hacking of email accounts are circulating around the UAE once again, although this time unrelated to Abu Dhabi’s battle with Qatar, the alleged subject of previous incidents. At the centre of the affair is an Iranian-American businessman who was once heavily involved in business dealings in Ras Al-Khaimah (RAK), and who has a long and colourful history of dealings with US government, defence and commercial entities via his aviation interests.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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There is no sign of a let-up – or of an alleged plot to disrupt upcoming elections – as the authorities deploy mass arrests and pressure on the media to try to bring protests under control

Bahrain
Issue 963 - 10 February 2014

UAE: MBZ, MBR meet Apple CEO

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Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (MBZ) and Dubai ruler Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum (MBR) each held meetings with Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook in early February, sparking rumours that Apple might be planning an official retail presence in the UAE. Cook visited Apple resellers including the Virgin Megastore in Abu Dhabi and Jacky’s Electronics in Dubai, local media reported, and was also spotted in the Burj Khalifa on 2 February. The meetings were said to include discussion of technology-driven education programmes; there is also speculation that Apple is in talks to supply devices for education initiatives in the UAE.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 1045 - 06 October 2017

Jalal Talabani, 1933-2017

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Kurdish politician Jalal Talabani died in Germany on 3 October at the age of 83, after several years of poor health. A keen advocate of Kurdish independence, he was the first non-Arab president of Iraq, holding office from 2005 to 2014, when he proved to be a wily and pragmatic head of state.

Iraq
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When Mohammed Bin Abdulmalik Al Al-Sheikh was appointed chairman of the Capital Market Authority (CMA)’s board of governors in February, it came as something of a surprise. Just a few months earlier, in September 2012, he had taken up a job in Washington DC as an executive director of the World Bank, where he was expected to stay for a few years at least. Instead, he was back in Riyadh, and in charge of the stock market regulator.


Saudi Arabia
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Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman held talks with French defence minister Jean Yves Le Drian in Riyadh on 12 October. The influential Le Drian was part of a senior French delegation, including Prime Minister Manuel Valls and foreign minister Laurent Fabius. Valls was greeted on arrival at the airport by MBS and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef. Valls was expected to sign a significant deal on behalf of Airbus Helicopters for the sale of military aircraft.

Saudi Arabia
Issue 969 - 09 May 2014

Abdullah Bin Miteb: Retiring

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King Abdullah’s grandson, Olympic equestrian Prince Abdullah Bin Miteb announced his retirement from international competition on 28 April.The son of Saudi Arabian National Guard minister Prince Miteb Bin Abdullah, Abdullah had been at the forefront of Saudi Arabian showjumping for more than a decade, and was part of the bronze medal winning team at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Other accolades include individual and team goldat the Pan Arab Games in 2007 and team golds at the Asian Games in 2006 and 2010.

Saudi Arabia