The UK’s new Brexit-driven government is weakened by domestic political turmoil and finding it hard to identify a credible response to Iran’s threats to shipping. While a majority of senior ministers in Boris Johnson’s administration lack experience in high office, many of them know the Gulf fairly well. Meanwhile, an under-resourced Royal Navy cannot act alone, posing questions about whose alliance to join
An attempt by Riyadh to foster a unified front against Iran fell flat, as Doha and Baghdad both voiced their opposition. As the region marks two years since the start of the Saudi and UAE-led boycott of Qatar, the GCC is as divided as ever
Wealthy investors would be well advised to take note of the growing use of unexplained wealth orders (UWOs) by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA). UWOs are a power given to the NCA and a number of other bodies in January 2018, via the Criminal Finances Act 2017. London property, a favoured asset class for many Gulf nationals, is proving to be the main target of the orders so far.
Russia’s foreign affairs minister Sergey Lavrov visited a number of Gulf capitals in early March, starting with Doha and Riyadh, who are locked in a diplomatic standoff that has split the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Public-private partnership is a viable option for regional governments, but such models are not without risks
The GCC region ends 2018 with an even greater sense of discord than it began, after the six-member grouping’s annual summit in Riyadh was characterised by bickering and widespread antipathy. Qatar’s decision to quit Opec further reinforces the sense that a long-term realignment of alliances is under way
Gulf money is being ploughed in to create a new city in Malaysia, signaling a rising interest among the regional investors in sustainable urban developments.
Across the GCC, banks are engaged in an ongoing struggle to recapture the profitability that was once their virtual birthright. The days of regular annual double-digit percentage increases in net income are distant, despite a steady increase in oil prices and revenues.
The GCC may be divided on many issues these days, but one thing that appears to be common to many of the economies is a trend for banking consolidation.
Private sector healthcare provision is increasingly prevalent in the GCC, easing the cost burden on the state. But governments cannot rely on private companies to provide for all their healthcare needs.