Economy

UAE launches stimulus packages and eases visa rules to boost activity

Despite Gulf producers’ success in forcing the price of crude up to around $70 a barrel, the strains of several years of lower oil prices are ever more apparent, even for the richest Gulf states. Adding to the pressure, several governments have had to shoulder the burden of huge military expenditure in Yemen and the cost of unprecedented diplomatic and other ‘soft power’ initiatives, as hydrocarbons revenues dropped away. These trends have driven a new burst of policy-making creativity in the UAE. Mindful of the need to generate more revenues, the authorities have launched a renewed drive to boost the economy’s competitiveness amid signs of sluggish growth.

Sanctions beckon as Trump cannot resist pulling down the Iran nuclear deal

Unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA leaves the US looking more isolated on the world stage, but with strong support from Israel and some Gulf allies. Life is certain to get tougher for Iran and its trading partners once US sanctions are reimposed, even though Trump and his supporters, plans for what to do next remain unclear