Gulf Monitor

Hotel oversupply makes UAE great for visitors, tough for owners

18 February 2020
A recent swathe of new hotel openings in Dubai and Abu Dhabi has ramped up the pressure on owners and investors. The negative effects of oversupply are also being exacerbated by events abroad. These include the entry of Saudi Arabia into the regional tourism market and expected impact of... »

The complexities of education reform in Saudi Arabia

21 February 2020
Faced with an ever-expanding education budget and disappointing results, the Saudi government continues to pursue education reform to better align workers’ skills with the needs of employers. Most new initiatives focus on giving universities the freedom – and students the incentive – to focus on subjects that serve Vision... »

How prepared is the Gulf for COVID-19?

06 March 2020
While GCC states have responded aggressively to the spread of COVID-19, with travel bans, event cancellations and quarantines, concerns remain over regional exposure to major centres for the virus, such as Iran. Meanwhile, the economy of the region overall, which is highly dependent on oil, tourism and transport, will... »

Tomorrow’s workforce: Boosting employment of Saudi nationals

10 March 2020
Vision 2030 places great emphasis on the private sector as a major source of future employment for Saudi youth, yet empirical research highlights that a large percentage of young nationals still prefer public sector employment, especially “jobs for life,” over private sector work. In laying the groundwork for robust... »

GCC responds to twin crises with financial rescue packages

20 March 2020
The GCC states are all seeking policy responses to the twin crises of a sharp drop in oil prices and devastating economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. With business activity coming to a halt and government revenues from oil exports taking a dive, what policy levers and mechanisms do... »

UAE steel faces uncertain times   

24 March 2020
Steel manufacturers in the UAE have been faced with slowdowns in domestic demand in recent times, as real estate and infrastructure projects have tapered off. At the same time, protectionism has been choking overseas markets for these firms while domestic authorities have been reluctant to retaliate, leaving metals manufacturers... »

Most likely to succeed? Potential scenarios for kuwaiti succession

31 March 2020
With Kuwaiti ruler Sheikh Sabah now approaching his 91st birthday, the region’s attention is turning to the topic of succession once again. The transition of power to Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf seems relatively certain. However, the matter of who will become the next crown prince and potential long-term ruler... »

Developing cyber resilience: the GCC’s approach

07 April 2020
The development of new technologies brings great opportunities – but also the potential for security breaches and potentially devastating cyberattacks. In the lead up to the 15th G20 summit in Riyadh, GCC countries are evaluating their own readiness to cope with future cyber intrusions. Improving cybersecurity in the region... »

Saudi Arabia’s vision for SMEs

14 April 2020
Saudi Arabia has dedicated significant resources to expanding the role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the economy in recent years, and in 2020 has offered small businesses financial aid to the tune of $13bn to weather current crises. These moves are in line with Vision 2030's goal... »

Gulf digital strategies to evolve after COVID-19

17 April 2020
Opportunities are flourishing for some parts of the Gulf’s digital economy, including in e-commerce, fintech and ICT services, while other business activity grinds to a halt and economic growth slows sharply across the region. Part of the legacy of COVID-19 will be that the digital strategies of Gulf states... »

The role of virtual water in Gulf food security

01 May 2020
Jessica Obeid The events of 2020 have thrown the Gulf states into an even deeper conundrum over how to balance food security with water scarcity. Which is less of a risk for countries of marginal environment – to depend on food imports and risk supply disruptions, or to invest in... »

COVID-19 highlights vulnerability of Gulf’s migrant workers

05 May 2020
Fareed Mohamedi The coronavirus pandemic is having a devastating effect on migrant workers in GCC member states.  Lacking employment and social protections of the native populations, foreign workers are more likely to contract the disease and get the worst possible care. Moreover, they are the most vulnerable to the economic... »

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