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Could women drivers herald a new dawn for Saudi Arabia?


The world’s media is buzzing with excitement following the news that women in Saudi Arabia have been granted the right to drive; a move…

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Current Affairs


E.U. warns Netanyahu: “You break, you buy”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will pay what is being called an “unofficial visit” to the European Parliament next week.

The visit to…

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Palestinians get the sharp end of the stick . . . again

The key issue in the cal­culations of Saudi Arabia and Israel to combine their forces to fight an expansionist Iran is the Palestinians and what…

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The Ritz Carlton Rebels: Hostage by Royal Decree



By Pat Lancaster

The latest reports of the high profile prisoners incarcerated by royal decree in Riyadh give real cause…

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Kuwait’s political blues revisited

By Marwan Asmar

In a nutshell, the ongoing Kuwaiti domestic political turmoil can be nothing more than a storm in tea cup. There is a sense of…

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Regional round-up

President Putin (left) is welcomed to Egypt by Egypt's Sisi

Mending fences and building bridges

On Dec. 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin completed a diplomatic sprint, touring Syria, Egypt and Turkey in just one day. While the latter two…

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Qatar strikes $8 billion jet deal with the UK

Qatar will buy 24 Typhoon fighter jets worth $8bn from the United Kingdom as the Gulf state continues to stock up on high-tech weaponry, according to…

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UAE: remains region’s shining light

The UAE maintained its position as the most prosperous country in the Arab world and its residents have had the greatest improvement in living…

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Egypt’s Zohr gas field comes onstream

Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tariq al-Mulla has announced the start of pumping natural gas from the Zohr gas field in the…

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EGYPT: flaring reform moves forward

Egypt has announced  that it will be a signatory to the “Zero Routine Flaring by 2030” initiative, a global effort to reduce gas flaring at oil…

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Saudi Arabia scores an own goal in Ritz Carlton hostage rip-off

Saudi investigators estimate they can recover up to $100bn from settlements linked to an anti-corruption crackdown that began two weeks ago,…

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News and Views


Saudis welcome the return of the silver screen

Saudi Arabia lifted a 35-year-old ban on cinemas on Monday, prompting celebrations from film fans, directors and movie chains eyeing the last…

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Looking back over my shoulder

With the Islamic State (ISIS) crushed on the battlefield and its caliphate broken up, security chiefs across the Middle East and much of the rest of…

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Iran: On closer examination of “the deal”

U.S. President Trump has issued a broadside to the Iranian regime, warning that Washington’s patience is running out. He has garnered some support…

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Turkish energy sector gets a boost

The EBRD has invested 100 million Turkish lira (€24 million) in an inflation–linked bond issued by Turkey’s largest utility group Enerjisa…

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LEBANON: Justice demands answers now


Lebanese authorities should conduct an independent, thorough, and transparent investigation into the deaths of Syrians in military…

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002 Dehusking the beans

Celestial Chocolate

Sylvia Smith

Photography by Richard Duebel

Sublime, fantastic and celestial are adjectives often used to described the flavour of chocolate,…

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Arabian Oryx numbers increase in the UAE

Some 200 kilometers away from the hustle and bustle of Abu Dhabi city, 14 Arabian Oryx have been given another chance at life in the wild.

Once on…

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Louvre Abu Dhabi

By Sylvia Smith with photographs by Richard Duebel

The architect is a Frenchman, Jean Nouvel, known for having designed the…

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