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.
Summary: the FBI raid on Trump’s Florida home has the potential to do reputational and political damage to Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman and the UAE’s Mohammed bin Zayed.
Summary: Italy and Europe look to Algeria to reduce their dependence on Russian gas, but the North African country’s lack of strategic economic thinking has reinforced the perception that it is an unstable partner.
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.
Summary: as America continues to withdraw from the Middle East, China sees opportunities and has moved adeptly into Iraq with commitments to build infrastructure that will help get the country out of its energy crisis.
Summary: while scientists around the world rush to assess the impact of the emerging Omicron variant, much of the Middle East is at a worrying threat threshold.
Summary: a hydrogen economy may be Saudi Arabia’s least bad hope for the future.
Summary: arms sales to Saudi Arabia by US, UK and France criticised, but governments undeterred. Missiles/nuclear.
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.
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.