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Nomination papers were filed by 376 candidates for the upcoming National Assembly (parliament) election by the time of the 7 September deadline, including 27 women. Among the candidates were over 44 members of the outgoing parliament, as well as former national speaker Ahmed Al-Saadoun.

Kuwait
Subscriber

Regular analysis of satellite imagery of Perim Island in the Bab El Mandeb strait over recent weeks suggests a new 1,900m runway planned by the UAE remains incomplete, although enough of it has been built to mean it is probably usable by tactical transport aircraft.

Yemen | United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Prime Minister and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS)’s Vision 2030 policies have increasingly sought to make the kingdom a hub for global sporting events, its soft power projection extending through the ownership of football and other sporting assets and, in the process, providing unprecedented entertainment for the Saudi population.

Saudi Arabia
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Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is anxious to press on with the Neom mega-project and is apparently unhappy with the progress made to date, despite continuing scepticism at the viability of the strategic master plan for a city intended to house 9m people, who would be vertically organised to live along a linear glass wall. 

Saudi Arabia
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Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) has been pushing his economic reform agenda in the days since being named prime minister. On 29 September, he unveiled a new strategy for Savvy Games Group, a subsidiary of the state-owned Public Investment Fund (PIF), with the aim of turning the kingdom into a hub for gaming and esports by 2030.

Saudi Arabia
Subscriber

A 45-year prison term given to a Saudi woman accused of damaging the country via her activity on Twitter has highlighted what appears to be another wave of repression.

Saudi Arabia
Free

Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) has worked hard to remove any possibility of political opposition emerging from within Al-Saud ranks over the past five years. This campaign has involved several bouts of locking up senior family members, with the clear backing of his father King Salman, most notably in November 2017 but most recently in March when Princes Ahmed Bin Abdelaziz and Mohammed Bin Nayef were moved from house arrest to prison.

Saudi Arabia
Subscriber

The reshuffle ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) on 30 August downsized Khalid Al-Falih’s bureaucratic empire, as one of the Saudi economy’s major players was replaced as chairman of Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco), while his sprawling Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources empire was broken up. MBS’s favoured vehicle for enacting economic reform, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has gained further ground in the Saudi business and policy hierarchy, as its head Yasir Al-Rumayyan is taking over as Aramco chairman.

Saudi Arabia
Subscriber

The mountainous province in Saudi Arabia's south-west has been earmarked as a future centre for tourism, notwithstanding the threats posed by attacks from Houthi rebels across the border in Yemen. Asir could be a model for Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s post-oil development ambitions, as well as for more short-term efforts to stabilise potentially restless populations.

Saudi Arabia | Yemen
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The position of opposition figures exiled in Turkey is the hottest issue being debated on social media – a reflection of the issue’s importance to many Kuwaitis and why the exiles are playing such a part in the national dialogue intended to build bridges between a government weakened by Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed’s frequent absences for treatment in Germany and a fractious parliament’s determination to block vital legislation needed to kick-start the stagnating economy.

Kuwait
Issue 1040 - 07 July 2017

MBS emerges in Saudi Arabia

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Much coverage of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) has implied the young prince, still only 31, emerged from nowhere when his father became king in January 2015. But MBS had been on the scanners on more assiduous Saudi-watchers for some time. Below is a Royals watch note from issue 898 of GSN, published on 8 April 2011, which recorded the young prince’s “more visible presence”.Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdelaziz opened a ceremony for the National Association of Retired Persons in Riyadh on 21 March [2011].

Saudi Arabia
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Faisal Abdullatif Al-Hamad has resigned from the board of directors of the Kuwait Investment Authority, which oversees Kuwait’s sovereign wealth funds, only three months after his appointment.

Kuwait
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Probably not the region’s worst offender, Doha has bristled about western criticism of its human rights record before and during the football World Cup, with comments from German government ministers proving a particular irritation. However, European politicians have other concerns about Qatari actions closer to home, with a corruption scandal involving alleged influence-peddling in the European Parliament among the issues that could threaten Doha’s perceptions of which allies are most worth cultivating.

Qatar
Issue 1152 - 19 July 2022

Bahrain and Qatar begin to heal rift

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Manama and Doha took a significant step towards reconciliation at the Jeddah Summit for Security and Development, with a face-to-face meeting between Bahraini King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani.

Bahrain | Qatar
Subscriber

Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani arrived in Washington on 30 January for a two-day official visit – the first by a Gulf leader since President Joe Biden took office one year ago.

Qatar