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GULF IN REVIEW 01 – 06 September 2019

BY Antonino Occhiuto

Al-Fateh Grand Mosque in Bahrain

Kingdom of Bahrain Kingdom of Bahrain-img

Monday, 2 September—Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry advised Bahrainis against travelling to Lebanon ‘in order to protect citizens from all dangers and ensure their safety.’ This comes following increased military actions by Hezbollah against Israel and the dangers of further escalations beyond the border area.

Tuesday, 3 September—The Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) presented the 18th session of the Conference of Arab Businessmen & Investors to be held in the Kingdom’s Capital Manama from 11 November 2019. The conference represents an Arab economic and investment gathering to encourage investment in Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the digital sphere in the Arab world and to enhance the cooperation between the Arab countries in this field.

State of Kuwait

State of Kuwait Sultanate of Oman-img

Sunday, 1 September—Kuwait’s Emir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, held a bilateral meeting with Egypt’s President, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, in Kuwait City. The two leaders stressed the need for a concerted Arab efforts aimed at security cooperation with a particular focus on the fight against terrorism.

​Wednesday, 4 September—Kuwait’s Emir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, arrived in the US accompanied by Kuwait’s National Guard Vice-President, Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. The Kuwaiti delegation is expected discuss ways to boost Kuwait’s defence capabilities with its US counterparts. The Emir will hold a bilateral meeting with US President, Donald Trump on 12 September.


Sultanate of Oman Sultanate of Oman-img

Tuesday, 3 September—Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), Oman Shell, Oman LNG and the Oman Oil-Orpic Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) committing the 4 companies to collaborate on developing a self-sustaining business model for the turnaround activities of oil and gas installations. Effective turnarounds are fundamental to the safe and efficient operation of installations and to boost the Sultanate’s oil and gas output.


State of Qatar State of Qatar-img

Monday, 2 September—Qatar Foreign Ministry’s Department of Consular Affairs announced that Qatari nationals can now obtain visas on arrival when landing in Iran amid a warming of Doha-Tehran relations. Qatar is also home to a major US Airforce facility.

​Wednesday, 4 September—Qatar unveiled the 2022 FIFA World Cup official emblem. The 22nd edition of the World Cup, the first staged in the Arab world, is expected to get underway on 21 November 2022.


Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Kingdom of Saudi Arabia-img

Monday, 2 September—The Supervisor General of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Humanitarian aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief), Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah, announced that two aircrafts loaded with shelter, food and medical supplies arrived in Khartoum as a part of the centre’s aid package for flood-affected areas in Sudan. Sudan was recently hit by an unprecedented flood that caused more than 60 casualties and destroyed over 35000 homes.

​Tuesday, 3 September—Saudi Arabia’s cabinet approved the appointment of Yasir Al-Rumayyan—head of the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF)—as the new Chairman of Saudi Aramco. Al-Rumayyan is expected to guide the oil giant towards Aramco’s Initial Public Offering (IPO), a crucial part of the Vision 2030 plan promoted by the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy.

​Wednesday, 4 September—Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel Al-Jubeir, met Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, in Islamabad. Al-Jubeir expressed concerns over the latest developments in Kashmir—a region disputed by both India and Pakistan since 1947—calling for the settlement of the conflict and ‘on the parties concerned to maintain peace and stability in the region.’

Thursday, 5 September—Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Khalid Al-Falih, discussed the development of agricultural and trade relations with Russia’s Agriculture Minister, Dmitry Patrushev, in Vladivostok. Moscow seeks access to the Kingdom’s lucrative wheat market as Saudi Arabia and Russia look to increase bilateral synergy beyond energy cooperation.

Friday, 6 September—Saudi Arabia’s Government called on the conflicting parties in Southern Yemen to immediately take part in the ongoing dialogue in Jeddah. A joint committee formed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE has been working since August to stabilise the ceasefire in Yemen’s Shabwa and Abyan provinces.

United Arab Emirates-img

United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates-img

Sunday, 1 September—The UAE announced plans to issue dollar(USD)-denominated bonds, for the first time since 2017, as Abu Dhabi aims to capitalize on low interest rates to offset the impact of declining oil prices. The UAE will be able to issue the bonds as it holds one of the largest foreign currency reserves in the region.

Thursday, 5 September—The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, opened the Presidential Guard Martyrs’ Park in Abu Dhabi’s Mahawi Camp. On such occasion, the Crown Prince stressed the importance of the UAE-Saudi Arabia alliance to ensure stability in the Arab Gulf and to mediate an end to the fighting opposing Yemen’s Government forces against fighters loyal to the Southern Transitional Council (STC) in Aden.