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UK Minister of State for the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and United Nations at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon acknowledged frustration in his dealings with Gulf countries on human rights issues during a debate in the House of Lords (the UK Parliament’s upper house) on 24 November.

Issue 1158 - 16 November 2022

Kuwait adds to rising death penalty use

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Kuwait executed seven people at the Central Prison on the morning of 16 November, including four locals and citizens of Ethiopia, Pakistan and Syria. The Public Prosecution said their various crimes included murder, kidnapping, possession of unlicensed firearms and adultery. It was the largest number of executions since 2017.

Kuwait
Issue 1160 - 16 December 2022

Azerbaijan hardens its posture towards Iran

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Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev appears to have hardened his posture towards Iran, telling a conference that bilateral relations were now worse than under the three previous Iranian leaders. The relationship between Baku and Tehran has become strained by several issues over recent years.

Iran
Issue 1160 - 14 December 2022

Afghan defence minister in UAE for talks

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The Taliban regime's acting defence minister Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob was in the UAE for talks with senior UAE and United States figures in early December, in a rare overseas trip by a leading Taliban official.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 1160 - 14 December 2022

Ailing Kuwait Emir heads back to Italy

Free

Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah went back to Italy on 12 December, for what was officially termed a “private visit”. It comes just over seven weeks after the emir returned from his last trip to Italy for medical tests and was the fourth time he had travelled to the country in 2022.

Kuwait
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UAE's Federal Vice President, Prime Minister and Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum received the winners of the seventh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Knowledge Award at his weekly majlis at Zabeel Palace in Dubai.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Issue 1158 leads with a story on the estimated $200bn plus investment  in infrastructure and related mega-projects spurred by the hosting of the 2022 World Cup in Doha. Politics coverage goes into detail on Qatar's various stadia as well as news of Houthi attacks on Yemeni energy infrastructure mooting talks of returning to LNG. The victory of forces aligned with the Southern Transitional Council in Abyan is also explored.  GSN looks into Bahrain's Majlis Al-Nuwab election on 12 November and the disputation of the official narrate by opposition groups. Defence and security coverage leads with an article on the deals made during the Bahrain International Air Show. GSN then looks at Tehran's missile advances alongside its expanding Moscow ties. This analysis then turns to Iranian strikes on Kurdish exiles.  Finance and business examines the the Ras Al-Khaimah Investment Authority hacking case against RAK authorities.  Risk Management Reports are on Yemen and regional and international organisations. The GSN View focuses on the UAE's preparations for its 51st National Day by implementing social reforms. 

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The United Kingdom military has begun a new regime in which advanced brigade combat team training will be transferred from Canada to Oman. Under the new training format, two four-month rotations will be carried out in the sultanate every year, meaning that the British Army will have an acclimatised and desert-trained presence in the Gulf for most of the year.

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Ajman Crown Prince Sheikh Ammar Bin Humaid Al-Nuaimi attended the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on 20 November. Sheikhs from Dubai and Umm Al-Quwain also attended the final race of the 2022 Formula 1 season, as did many Al-Nahyan members, led by President Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed.  Earlier in November, Ammar Bin Humaid inaugurated a $19m liquid petroleum gas (LPG) facility, developed in Northern Sector Al-Jurf Industrial Area 3 by Ajman Gas Company.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Iran held a series of talks with its Gulf Co-operation Council neighbours in the second half of November, amid despondency about the prospects for reviving the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal . The enhanced diplomacy could be a sign Tehran is seeking to firm up bilateral ties in the absence of any wider agreement.

Iran
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Issue 1159 leads with an analysis of Mohammed Bin Salman’s efforts to promote a dynamic image of Saudi Arabia by bolstering tourism infrastructure and promoting local and foreign entertainment. GSN looks into the dichotomy of these actions with the regime’s persistence on silencing critics. The following diplomatic brief section begins includes an article on Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Al-Sudani's most pressing concern, relations with neighbouring Iran.   Ammar Bin Humaid's recent $19m liquid petroleum gas (LPG) facility inauguration as well as his Afghan connections takes the fore of Royals Watch.  Defence and security coverage looks at the recent tanker attack in the Gulf of Oman as well as the UK's Omani military exercises.  Finance and business coverage examines an Ajman-based consortium's plan to buy Doncaster Sheffield Airport and looks at Dubai's courting of cryptocurrency firms.  Risk Management Reports are on Bahrain and Iran. The GSN View focuses on Qatar and how the country has exploited the diplomatic potential of the Fifa World Cup. 

Free

The UAE is preparing for its 51st National Day on 2 December with the usual talk of unity and joint endeavour. However, one consequence of the wide-ranging social and economic reforms introduced in recent years is that the idea of Emirati national identity may now be more contentious than it has been for decades.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

Abu Dhabi will host the 12th edition of the Annual Investment Meeting from 8 to 10 May 2023, which will take place under the theme of “The Investment Paradigm Shift: Future Investment Opportunities to Foster Sustainable Economic Growth, Diversity, and Prosperity”.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

Sohar International Bank announced a binding merger deal with HSBC Oman on 16 November. Sohar will take over HSBC Oman’s assets, with the latter’s shareholders paid in cash and Sohar shares.

Oman
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Saudi Prince Waleed Bin Nasser Bin Fahd, from the ruling family’s Al-Faisal/Farhan branch, spoke about the development of the kingdom’s food sector at the early November Gulfood Manufacturing conference in Dubai.

Saudi Arabia