Economy

Riyadh joins trend of relaxing expat visa rules

Riyadh joins trend of relaxing expat visa rules

The Council of Ministers (cabinet) has approved a plan to loosen restrictions on expatriate visas in an effort to attract more international investment into the kingdom. The new ‘green card’ permits will be offered without the need for a local sponsor; those granted a new residency permit will be allowed to allocate visas for family members and to own real estate in the country. There will be two types of permit: one offering permanent residency and the other renewable on an annual basis. It is not clear when the authorities will start issuing the permits and who will be able to apply; further details are expected in the coming months.

Bahrain shies away from austerity measures

Bahrain shies away from austerity measures

The government has reportedly ditched plans to reform Bahrain’s costly subsidy system amid fears that such austerity measures could provoke further public unrest. It comes just as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called on Manama to make further fiscal and structural reforms, to strengthen government finances and promote sustainable growth.

Beijing’s involvement in Djibouti dispute creates Chinese puzzle for MBR

The Dubai authorities are having to contend with a potentially delicate political balancing act involving the battle for control over port operations in Djibouti, and the commercial emirate’s relations with the Chinese government – which has made a big entry into Djibouti – and its Belt and Road Initiative, a global trade strategy in which Sheikh Mohammed wants to take a big role

Iraqi PM looks to circumvent party feuding to overcome government stasis

With a foreign policy that seeks to balance out his proxy-warring neighbours and plans to take greater control of infrastructure and other developments, PM Adil Abdul-Mahdi is working to overcome his government’s lacklustre start in office, while four important portfolios remain to be filled and political rivals bicker