South Korea

Saudi Arabia’s Giga Projects – from oil windfalls to ‘New Murraba’

Summary: Saudi Arabia’s crown prince is using giga-projects to drive forward his plan to wean the kingdom off its dependency on oil revenues; the results thus far of his Vision2030 project are mixed but if oil prices hold steady MbS may yet see some of his hugely ambitious schemes come to fruition by the end of the decade.

Putin’s war plays well for MENA authoritarians

Summary: the dominant narrative in Western media is that Vladimir Putin is losing his war in Ukraine but MENA expert Christopher Davidson, looking at the war through a Gulf lens, offers an alternative and thought-provoking take.

Iran: Misunderstandings and miscalculations

Summary: Trump has reneged on the Iran nuclear deal. Aim to cut Iran down to size but without a strategy to achieve it. Other parties to the deal unlikely to play his game. Tehran’s position likely to harden, sharper confrontation with Israel, impact on world oil.

The Bab al-Mandab strait: an important choke-point on the maritime trade route between Asia and Europe

Summary: freedom of navigation through the Bab al-Mandab is important to the trade in oil, LNG, foodstuffs and manufactured goods between Europe and Asia. Vessels passing through the strait continue to be at risk of attack. 

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