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The National Assembly returned on 4 January with tensions between the government and opposition members of parliament (MPs) soon emerging. After the new cabinet took the constitutional oath, 13 MPs walked out in protest and there was an immediate request for a grilling

Kuwait
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Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai retain GSN’s highest grade for political risk and the former also for economic and financial risk in this new Risk Management Report. Dubai’s economic risk rating is unchanged but is a notch lower than its neighbour’s with negative momentum. Recent developments include the largest budget in the Ajman’s history evidence of an economic recovery in Dubai, Sharjah government expectations of a significant increase in revenues and the signing of a contract initiating the Al-Sinniyah island development in Umm Al-Quwain.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Foreign security officials poured into Doha in late January to attend two events hosted by Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, celebrating graduation ceremonies at the Ministry of Interior (MoI) Police College and Al-Zaeem Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al-Attiyah Air College.

Qatar
Free

Protocol often seems to overwhelm normal news flow in Bahrain, as senior officials – most of them from the Al-Khalifa family – receive foreign visitors and congratulate each other at dutifully-reported occasions and in myriad telegrams. Any hint of speculation about the balance of power in the ruling Al-Khalifa family remains deeply hidden.

Bahrain
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Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah left for Germany on 20 January on what was termed a private visit – the terminology usually deployed when he travels for medical treatment.

Kuwait
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King Salman Bin Abdelaziz chaired a cabinet meeting at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh on 25 January – his first known trip to the capital since July 2020, when he had received treatment at King Faisal Specialist Hospital for an inflamed gallbladder.

Kuwait
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Regional and international organisations Iran returns to the OIC: Three Iranian diplomats arrived in Saudi Arabia in mid-January to reopen the Islamic Republic’s representative office at the Jeddah-based Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC).

Iran
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A scandal over healthcare procurement during the Covid-19 pandemic is threatening to break out and bring with it further discord between the National Assembly (parliament) and Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah’s government – which has already seen two ministerial resignations in the latest phase of Kuwait’s political crisis.

Kuwait
Issue 1142 - 01 March 2022

Bahrain eyes up oil privatisation

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The government is hiring financial advisers with a view to selling sell stakes in some of its oil and gas assets. A deal could involve a stock market listing or a private sale.

Bahrain
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The United States has announced further sanctions on a network – led by financier Said Al-Jamal – that it said helped fund the Houthi war effort

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Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) has started testing its aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) project – the largest facility of its kind in the world – following the completion of first stage construction work.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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International oil companies (IOCs) have continued to receive payments from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), despite the Federal Supreme Court’s decision to throw out the region’s oil law.

Iraq
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Sharjah Ruler Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi has laid the foundation stone for the Academy of Ecology and Natural Sciences (AENS) in the inland city of Al-Dhaid.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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GSN Risk Grade: B3↓ Recent developments Ukraine hesitancy: The government said it was watching developments in Ukraine “with deep anxiety”, following a Council of Ministers (cabinet) meeting at Al-Barakah Palace on 3 March chaired by Sultan Haitham.

Oman
Free

An attempt by GCC secretary-general Nayef Al-Hajraf to convene a fresh round of dialogue in Riyadh for Yemen war belligerents appears to have failed, with the Houthis refusing to take part. However, there are signs of further Saudi-inspired political initiatives to break the stalemate on the ground, which could have significant consequences for President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the wider political process.

Saudi Arabia | Yemen