Gulf Monitor

5G and the Gulf: Betting on the future

14 January 2020
GCC telcos have recently been racing to announce new firsts in 5G services, with Gulf authorities seeing this new technology as a key pillar in their diversification strategies. Yet, telcos here face the same challenges as elsewhere when it comes to 5G: initial rollout requires major investment at a... »

Oman: Challenges to limit pace of diversification

10 January 2020
The government’s ambitious economic diversification timeline will likely be delayed by uncertainty over the successor to Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said and significant funding constraints. As part of Oman Vision 2040, the government is currently pushing strong growth in non-oil sectors, including natural gas production, chemicals, cement, metals... »

Carbon capture technology: do the benefits outweigh the cost?

13 December 2019
Carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS), a technology which can stop up to 90% of harmful emissions produced by fossil fuels from entering the atmosphere, could be a boon for oil and gas-reliant GCC economies vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar have... »

Kuwaiti megaproject faces investment challenges at home and abroad

10 December 2019
The Silk City megaproject in Kuwait took a major step forward last May with the opening of a key transport link connecting its future site to the capital. Silk City is one of the largest and most ambitious developments in the region and has drawn interest from Chinese Belt... »

Tourism as a pillar of the new Saudi Arabia?

03 December 2019
Saudi Arabia’s plans to open up the country and its economy to global tourism are in full swing. In addition to an ambitious agenda of new infrastructure developments, the kingdom has loosened visa restrictions and launched a major international marketing campaign to attract overseas leisure visitors. However, substantial challenges... »

UAE-Iran relations: taking a turn for the better?

26 November 2019
The UAE’s complex relationship with Iran looks like it may be improving following bilateral moves to reduce tensions and calls to renew collaborations. But can these recent developments be equated with a wider thawing of relations in the region?Gulf Monitor | Sanam Vakil | UAE foreign policy

Gulf retail – shopped out?

12 November 2019
With new shopping centres opening their doors and double-digit growth predicted in the medium term, the Gulf retail industry looks set for a boom. But the market may be struggling with oversupply and dwindling demand.Gulf Monitor | Jonathan Gorvett | GCC Retail

Efforts to counter Iran by the US, Saudi Arabia and the UAE come to an end

05 November 2019
President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria signals the end of US support for the Saudi Arabia-UAE alliance which sought to counter Iran's strategic advances in the Middle East. Their decades-long effort received a major boost in 2017, when Trump threw his support behind his two GCC... »

Changes afoot in Fujairah aim to boost the port’s global prestige

30 October 2019
The Fujairah port and free zone began to emerge more than a decade ago as a strategic location for storage and bunkering given its positioning outside the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf of Oman. While the location is not immune to regional security risks – evidenced most recently... »

Saudi oil IPO could tempt regional peers to list, but substantial limitations remain

22 October 2019
Investors hoping for a slice of the world’s biggest, and most profitable, corporation will have to wait a while longer after Saudi Aramco again decided to hold off plans to conduct an initial public offering (IPO) over an acceptable valuation. However, Aramco will eventually privatise a stake in the... »

Takeaway food: GCC food security hinges on building strong strategic partnerships

11 October 2019
GCC countries are seeking outward-looking solutions to guarantee their food security. Supported by government initiatives, private agribusiness companies are buying land across the world to secure agricultural goods from cereals to meat, particularly in destinations closer to home in South Asia and East Africa. However, the new phase of... »

Views on Qatar’s Vision 2030 – how sustainable is the roadmap?

01 October 2019
Two years on from the outbreak of the Qatar crisis, the blockade has provided Doha with an opportunity to rebrand itself and focus on its development goals and diversification plans as written in its National Vision 2030. Drawing on off the record conversations in London and Doha in April... »

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