The Royal Court announced the death of Prince Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud on 15 December. Funeral prayers were held the following day at Imam Turki Bin Abdullah mosque in Riyadh, led by King Salman Bin Abdulaziz. Prince Talal’s eight surviving sons attended the prayers, including prominent businessman Prince Alwaleed and deputy governor of Asir region Prince Turki. (he was promoted to govenor a few days later) , as well as princes Khalid, Abdelaziz, Abdulrahman, Mansour, Mohammed and Mashhoor Bin Talal.
While 11 suspects have gone on trail for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, MBS’s position appears to have been further enhanced by promotions for some of his allies
The disappearance and likely murder of the high-profile Saudi commentator is emblematic of the growing crackdown on dissent around the region, as younger generation autocrats concentrate their power. Riyadh was caught off-guard by the strength of international reaction to the Jamal Khashoggi affair, which has tested the west’s flirtation with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to an unprecedented extent – forcing other uncomfortable stories emerging from the region further down the news roster, including the spying charges placed against British academic Matthew Hedges in Abu Dhabi
The Saudi government is pushing forward with an ambitious and expensive drive to develop its domestic tourism and entertainment sector, with potentially major consequences for the shape of Saudi society and its economy.
Inward investment into Saudi Arabia collapsed last year, according to newly published data from the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), raising serious questions about the prospects for the economic reform agenda being pursued by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS).
A proposal to dig a canal along the length of the Saudi-Qatari border has emerged, in the latest surprising twist in the ongoing diplomatic and economic standoff between the two countries.
Amid signs of wariness among the Beltway establishment, the Saudi crown prince arrived in Washington pushing for the high levels of political and economic support he expects from the Trump administration
It has been a source of irony that even as some Saudi films have been attracting global interest in recent years – with the likes of Wadjda and Barakah Meets Barakah being feted at international festivals – the films themselves could not be publicly screened at home.
Two of the six GCC members have met the 1 January deadline to introduce the sales tax – the others will learn from their initial problems when they implement their versions of a very Gulfi tax reform
At the end of an unusually tumultuous year there are more questions than answers about the direction Saudi Arabia and the region are being taken in. An era of accelerated economic and social modernisation beckons in visionary autocrat Mohammed Bin Salman’s brave new world, provided predictions of political instability prove unfounded