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Moody’s sovereign credit upgrade has returned Qatar to the investment grade level it enjoyed before the 2017-21 boycott by regional foes.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Qatar
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Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al-Said sailed to Khasab port in the isolated Musandam peninsula in mid-January for a meet-the-people tour and to inspect economic developments, directing local officials to push ahead with further housing and commercial projects.

Oman
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A five-year contract for Bahrain Steel to supply Emirates Steel Arkan with iron ore pellets appears to be motivated by both commercial and geopolitical considerations, with the Abu Dhabi government-owned steel-maker saying it was designed to “strengthen economic ties within the GCC”.

Bahrain | United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Subscriber

Sharjah is looking to upgrade its infrastructure and increase capacity at its airport with a record budget worth $11bn announced for 2024. The independently-minded emirate has stood out among its UAE peers in its attitude to the Israel-Palestine conflict and much else.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

Emir Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah has repeatedly called for a new approach to overhaul Kuwait’s factionalised politics and boost economic reform – a position he restated in his inaugural address on 20 December. But changing a system that appears to encourage stasis rather than co-operation will not be easy for Kuwait’s new, 83 year-old ruler. 

Kuwait
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With a change of leadership, more macroeconomy savvy approach and an embrace of new technologies, Oman has found a private sector-led recipe for diversification that should prepare it for life beyond hydrocarbons dependence.

Oman
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Saudi Arabia is due to bring in a new legal framework for businesses in mid-December. The Civil Transactions Law sets out a new code for property rights, financial transactions and other contracts. 

Saudi Arabia
Issue 1181 - 22 November 2023

Kuwait records a rare budget surplus

Free

Kuwait recorded a KD6.5bn ($21bn) surplus for fiscal year ending 31 March 2023, its first annual surplus since 2014/15.

Kuwait
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Tiny Ras Al-Khaimah doesn’t often attract great international attention, except at times of succession change and when its state-owned entities have become caught up in poisonous legal disputes or geopolitical tussles. But the leadership’s recent ambitions for a range of business interests have encouraged renewed focus on the northern emirate. Developments include casino giant Wynn Resorts’ plans for an ‘integrated resort’ with ‘gaming’ facilities, which comes alongside increasing investment from Abu Dhabi, a government pushing hard for the tourist dollar and an emir, Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al-Qasimi, on the move to raise RAK’s profile. In a Special report, GSN examines RAK’s development plans and provides some historical context. 

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Born in 1956 as the fourth son of Sheikh Saqr Bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi, Ras Al-Khaimah Emir Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al-Qasimi held several key roles in the emirate before being appointed crown prince in June 2003.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Emirate Ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum (MBR) approved in November Dubai's budget for 2024-26, with total expenditure of AED246.6bn ($67bn) over the three years. 

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

Even before the new Gaza war shattered comfortable assumptions about regional security, the global economic climate had been hostile, as shown in analysis of the International Monetary Fund's new reports on the global outlook and regional economic performance.

Iran | Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | Bahrain | Yemen | Oman | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Palestine | Iraq | Qatar
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The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) agreed a bilateral currency swap agreement with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) on 28 September, allowing for the exchange of up to AED5bn and EGP42bn – equivalent in both cases to around $1.4bn – between the two institutions.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

Two Saudi state-owned bodies, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) and Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), launched a new electric vehicle (EV) charging company on 8 October, in which ownership is split 75/25 in the PIF’s favour.

Saudi Arabia
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Saudi Arabia's government has said its budget will slip into deficit this year, amid a fall in economic activity which is largely due to the voluntary limits the country has placed on its oil production. The budget deficits are expected to continue for the three following years.

Saudi Arabia