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Vienna-based integrated oil and gas firm OMV Group has sent a delegation to the Al-Aqla oil field in Shabwa province to assess conditions on the ground. The 18 March visit was a rare event, as international oil companies have largely steered clear of Yemen since the civil war took hold. Oil and minerals minister Aous Al-Awd told the official Yemeni News Agency (Saba) it was “a preliminary step forward for the returning of all oil firms to the government-held regions”.

Yemen
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Princess Sara Bint Mohammed Bin Nayef Al-Saud (who usually styles herself as Sara Al-Saud), the daughter of former crown prince Mohammed Bin Nayef, has secured investment from Bahrain’s Arcapita in her chain of women-only gyms NuYu. The capital will give NuYu SR250m ($67m) to expand its network of boutique gyms from seven to over 30 across the kingdom, a press release said.

Saudi Arabia
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Iran’s Bank Tejarat has filed a lawsuit in the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to seek compensation from the European Union for losses sustained while under EU sanctions. The suit was filed on 23 January, although it is not clear at this stage how much damages it is seeking.The EU imposed sanctions against Bank Tejarat in January 2012, alleging that it was involved in helping the Iranian government with its nuclear programme.

Iran
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The government appears to have stepped up its targeting of dissidents abroad, with the arrest of UK-based Salem Al-Dosari, aka Abu Refaa, for allegedly insulting Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah on social media. But the circumstances of his detention are clouded, with ambiguous or even contradictory reports from official sources. The official Kuwait News Agency (Kuna) reported on 31 March that Salem Abdullah Ishtail Al-Dosari was taken into custody on arrival at Kuwait International Airport (KIA) from a flight from the UK.

Kuwait
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Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani has abdicated in favour of his son, 33-year-old Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani. In a televised speech to the nation on 25 June, Sheikh Hamad said it was time for a new generation to step forward and shoulder the responsibility of leadership, and declared he was handing power to Tamim, heir apparent since 2003.


Qatar
Issue 1091 - 31 October 2019

Oman: Shura election turnout falls again

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Turnout for the ninth Majlis Al-Shura (Consultative Council) elections fell to 49%, down from 57% at the last election in 2015 and far below the 77% turnout in 2011. Around 713,000 people were registered to vote (up from 612,000 last time out), but just 350,581 cast their ballot in one of the 110 polling centres across the sultanate.The highest voter participation rate was in Salalah at 71%.

Oman
Issue 854 - 30 May 2009

KING HAMAD: UN chief visits

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King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa on 17 May received United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon at Gudaibiya Palace.

Bahrain
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The Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline – which strategically bypasses the Strait of Hormuz – is completed and expected to be operational by August (GSN 916/11).

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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The fighting in northern Yemen has long had a severe humanitarian impact, but it was only in October that refugee agencies were able to raise the profile of the crisis, after bombing attacks that struck civilian targets

Yemen
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Ministers gathering in Vienna for an Opec seminar were confronted with concerns over the profitability of their oil and gas production, despite a broad consensus that long-term global dependence on hydrocarbons is unshakeable

Free

Projects such as King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) and the new financial city north of Riyadh have been proposed as one solution to make it easier for foreign investors and banks to operate in King Abdullah Bin Abdelaziz’s Kingdom than his father, Saudi Arabia’s founder King Abdelaziz Bin Abdelrahman (Ibn Saud), apparently intended.

Saudi Arabia
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Iraq is the other major source of advanced terrorist capability in Saudi Arabia, leading the Kingdom to quietly take steps to reduce potential blowback. The September announcement of a mutual extradition treaty between Saudi Arabia and Iraq received little media coverage but represents a significant development. The treaty stipulated “the exchange of convicted prisoners… so that they serve the rest of..

Saudi Arabia | Iraq
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A change of leadership within the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) could mean stronger opposition to Baghdad, but prime minister in waiting Nechirvan Barzani faces a raft of problems

Iraq
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The widely disputed 12 June presidential elections have led to protests in Iran on a scale not seen since the Islamic Republic’s 1979 revolution. The incumbent candidate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s seemingly implausible victory with 63% of the vote has led to a further divide in Iranian politics and society.

Iran
Free

While analysts say the current National Assembly is more serious about policy issues than its predecessor, significant voices have continued a more personalised campaign against prime minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and his government.

Kuwait