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The Euro-Gulf Monitor 2 – 8 December 2022

BY Arnold Koka & Veronica Stigliani

5 Top Points

  1. Chinese President, Xi Jinping, arrived in Saudi Arabia.
  2. Kuwait allocated €72 billion (EUR) for housing and oil projects for the next four years.
  3. Israel’s President, Isaac Herzog, visited the UAE and Bahrain for the first time.
  4. The UAE and Ukraine will start negotiating a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
  5. Saudi Arabia announced it will create 170 thousand jobs via its second ‘Tawteen’ project.

‘Round and About the Gulf

Al-Fateh Grand Mosque in Bahrain

Kingdom of Bahrain ​ Kingdom of Bahrain-img

Tuesday, 6 December—Bahrain hosted the first Arab International Cybersecurity Conference and Exhibition, gathering 2,500 attendees and 70 high-level speakers. The event focused on regional cybersecurity solutions, the strengthening of existing private-public partnerships and innovative security solutions for the banking, finance, health and energy sectors.

kuwait-img

State of Kuwait Sultanate of Oman-img

Monday, 5 December—Kuwait approved 56 projects worth €72 billion (EUR) for the 2022-2026 period. The investment package will focus on the housing and oil sectors, aiming to enhance the role of private businesses in the country’s economy.

oman-img

Sultanate of Oman Sultanate of Oman-img

Monday, 5 December—The second edition of the Green Hydrogen Summit Oman (GHSO) kicked off in Muscat, displaying the Sultanate’s green hydrogen strategy and opportunities for local and international businesses. The event gathered over 1,000 attendees and provided a platform for the country to showcase its €199 billion (EUR) strategy for reaching a low-carbon economy and energy transition by 2050.

qatar-img

State of Qatar State of Qatar-img

Friday, 2 December—Qatar reportedly kicked off preparations for the bidding process for the 2036 Summer Olympic Games. Should the 2036 Olympic Games be awarded to Qatar, it would be the first edition staged in a Muslim country.

Saudi-arabia-img

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Kingdom of Saudi Arabia-img

Monday, 5 December—Saudi Arabia launched the second edition of the ‘Tawteen’ program, which will seek to create 170,000 jobs for Saudi nationals in the areas of health, logistics, real estate and construction. The project will also focus on the tourism sector, to establish 30,000 jobs in the field alone, as part of the Kingdom’s bid to become a global tourism hub by the end of the decade.

United Arab Emirates-img

United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates-img

Monday, 5 December—The UAE and Ukraine announced they will start negotiating a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). The agreement would boost Kyiv’s economic recovery, while also opening up commercial opportunities in the region for Ukrainian products. The announcement was made by the Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, and Ukraine’s Economy Minister, Yulia Svyrydenko.

The EU Corner

Sunday, 4 December—The President of the Qatari-EU Friendship Group in the European Parliament, MEP Jose Ramon Bauzà Díaz, travelled to Doha, meeting with Qatar’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Sultan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi. They reviewed EU-Qatari relations and the ongoing FIFA World Cup.

Monday, 5 December—The European Central Bank and the GCC Secretariat General held a joint workshop on fighting against money laundering and terrorism financing. The event sought to increase collaboration and dialogue among regional financial institutions, as well as to review developments in security practices against terrorism funding.

Key official visits

Sunday, 4 December—Israel’s President, Isaac Herzog, toured Bahrain and the UAE. In Manama, Herzog met with Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, and Bahrain’s Crown Prince, Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa discussing partnerships on defence, trade, tourism and environment. It was the first time an Israeli President paid an official visit to Bahrain. In Abu Dhabi, the Israeli President met with his Emirati counterpart, Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, reviewing collaboration within the framework of the Abraham Accords. Herzog also took part in the Abu Dhabi Space Debate on space exploration, attended by India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

Monday, 5 December—Croatia’s Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic, travelled to Doha, meeting with Qatar’s Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al-Thani. They reviewed the ongoing World Cup as well as Croatian-Qatari economic partnerships. On the same day, GCC Information Ministers also travelled to Doha, discussing the World Cup’s impact on regional media, countering detrimental stereotypes and opportunities for collaboration in the information sector.

Monday, 5 December—The UAE President, Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, travelled to Doha, meeting with Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, on his first trip to the country since the end of the Gulf crisis. The meeting represented a follow-up of the Al-Ula agreement signed last year, aimed at strengthening GCC unity and cooperation, especially in regional stability and security issues.

Wednesday, 7 December—China’s President, Xi Jinping, arrived in Riyadh for a two-day visit aimed to strengthen cooperation between China and Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region. During the visit, the first in six years, the two countries are expected to sign deals worth more than €30 billion (EUR). President Xi Jinping also co-chaired the Saudi-Chinese Summit with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, and participated in the Gulf-China Summit for Cooperation and Development, and the Arab-China Summit for Cooperation and Development. The events, attended by the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), aimed to strengthen China-Gulf relations and Beijing’s role in the region.

Wednesday, 7 December—The 2022 Mediterranean Dialogues (MED) event took place in Rome, hosting debates intended to increase regional dialogue, economic cooperation and incentivise coordinated sustainable development. The event gathered high-level political personalities, including Foreign Ministers of Algeria, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Bahrain’s Minister of Oil and Environment, Mohamed bin Mubarak Bin Daina, and Italy’s President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella.