Arab Digest editor William Law’s guest this week is the author and MENA analyst Christopher Davidson. Their conversation focusses on how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is proving beneficial for the region’s autocratic leaders and not simply because the price of hydrocarbons has soared. Amongst other windfalls Russia’s oligarchs are finding new homes in the Gulf and bringing their wealth with them.
Summary: despite concerns that crypto currencies may violate Islamic jurisprudence and conceal criminal activities, several MENA countries are surging forward in the race to establish pre-eminence in a rapidly emerging financial sector with the potential for staggering profits.
Arab Digest editor William Law welcomes back author and analyst Jim Krane. Jim is energy research fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute and an expert on Gulf energy matters. Their conversation focusses on the quest for net zero. Are Gulf hydrocarbons producers serious about hitting their ambitious targets or is this little more than a PR mirage?
Summary: Kuwait’s anti-corruption drive has bagged some impressive trophies but questions swirl over special treatment and a lack of urgency as Kuwaitis call for accountability and a more robust campaign.
Summary: this year poses big challenges to the economies of the MENA region, many of which are already in deep trouble while a wealthy few will use their hydrocarbons revenues to ride out whatever rough weather comes their way.
Summary: the GCC states are continuing to push ahead on the economic front while wondering what damage Omicron will inflict.
Summary: despite Trump’s bold claims last year, other than the UAE and Bahrain no other GCC state has stepped forward to recognise Israel.
Just a little over a year after they were signed, Arab Digest editor William Law talks with Gulf State Anaytics CEO Giorgio Cafiero about the impact and implications of the Abraham Accords, the Trump-engineered deal that saw Israel triple the number of Arab states with whom it has diplomatic relations at no cost to itself but at a very great cost to the cause of Palestinian statehood.
Arab Digest editor William Law talks with Michael Stephens, Senior Research Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute about the UK’s role in the Middle East after Brexit. They discuss the need for fresh thinking among policy makers and explore challenges and opportunities in a region where Britain has historical, political and economic ties.
Summary: Gulf oil producers, Kuwait excepted, have made big promises on the climate front ahead of Cop26 but doubt persists as to how far they are prepared to go to realise the promises.