The ongoing diplomatic and political crisis between Qatar and the UAE, which began in June 2017, overshadowed the UAE-hosted Asian Cup 2019.
As negotiations continue between the U.S. and the Taliban to broker a ceasefire in the 17-year war in Afghanistan, Gulf rivals, Qatar and the UAE, are gearing up to play a key role in the peace process.
Mauritania’s authorities have joined leaders of several other Arab states in accusing Qatar of fueling regional instability.
Saudi Arabia has a bold 2030 vision that relies on the employment of more Saudis and fewer foreigners. Yet its well documented, abusive labor sponsorship system persists, effectively keeping foreign workers at the mercy of their Saudi sponsors and preventing expansion of the foreign workforce that will be needed to meet the Vision 2030 goals.
Whether money launderers, kleptocrats, drug dealers, bank robbers, or ISIS, the common denominator of criminals worldwide is that they must move their money. With sanctions and tighter regulation in other places, Dubai has become a favored real estate market for pouring millions of dollars of illicit funds into luxury real estate.
Pope Francis’ visit to Abu Dhabi may be the UAE’s effort to rebrand itself as an open and tolerant society, but many see it as little more than window dressing.
As a result of the Syrian regime “winning” the civil war, Arab Gulf states have generally adapted to new strategies that accept President Bashar al-Assad and his circle staying in power.
While Saudi Arabia and other countries of the Arabian Gulf make some shallow progress towards improving women’s rights, the hundreds of women trying to flee the region make clear that true progress is still a long way off.
Amid several sensitive issues, including the Egyptian coup of 2013, the Qatar crisis, and the Jamal Khashoggi saga, bilateral relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia have recently deteriorated significantly. Riyadh’s growing partnership with the Kurdish Marxist militia, the YPG, in northern Syria now threatens to further escalate tension in Turkish-Saudi relations to an entirely new level.
Despite being historically allied with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait finds itself at odds with Riyadh on a host of issues with the Neutral Zone being a key factor that continues to create division between these two oil-wealthy Arabian Peninsula sheikdoms.