Summary: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin surprised observers with a quick trip this week to meet with the UAE’s MbZ and the Saudi Crown Prince MbS. The warm and effusive welcomes that greeted him in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh bode ill for the Biden presidency.
Summary: the UAE as it opens COP28 in Dubai finds itself entangled in a number of controversies from pursuing oil and gas deals under cover of the climate summit to AI dealings with China and a bid to buy The Telegraph that has stirred up a hornets nest of angry Tories.
Summary: the UAE has just slipped on a banana peel as COP28 is about to get underway in Dubai, raising more questions about the suitability of ADNOC’s Sultan al-Jaber as the climate conference president-designate.
Summary: although OPEC+ will almost certainly extend existing cuts at its 26 November meeting and might agree modest additional trimming, growth in non-OPEC+ production is currently on track to see global output outpacing demand through 2024.
Summary: like other MENA countries Syria is in an existential water crisis, one that is made worse after more than a decade of civil war and that has been exacerbated by Western aid projects.
Summary: the British academic Matthew Hedges has received an apology from the Foreign Office five years after he was unlawfully detained in the UAE, charged and convicted of being a UK government spy.
Summary: Mohammed bin Zayed has diligently, carefully and quietly built his small Gulf state into a regional powerhouse. Matthew Hedges analyses how he has done that.
Summary: President Erdoğan’s decision to allow Sweden into the NATO club points up the challenges the GCC faces as it attempts to play its geopolitical hand in a multipolar world.
Summary: historically, forecasts of OPEC’s imminent demise have proved well wide of the mark. However, keeping the cartel together as we enter an era of permanently declining demand may prove much more challenging.
Summary: a black comedic classic by one of Egypt’s greatest writers, a brilliant new analysis of Yemen, a breath taking generational novel from Kuwait, a deep dive into security in the Gulf monarchies, essays from Arab LGBTQ+ writers and how MbZ built himself and his closest family members into a regional powerhouse.