Increased tensions on the Israeli-Syrian border

In recent days, there has been considerable action in the Middle East, especially between Syria and Israel. Tensions have risen along Israel's northern front since a Hezbollah fighter was killed in Syria two weeks ago . The Golan Heights is being targeted specifically. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel had "thwarted an attempted sabotag...
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Is Iran covering up the real figures associated with COVID-19?

The Middle East, like the rest of the world, has been hard hit by COVID-19. Iran is ne of the worst hit countries in the region and there are now concerns that its death figures are much higher than it has given to the World Health Organisation (WHO). This article from the BBC explains what the figures are and how the COVID-19 pandemic is playing o...
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Is hyperinflation inevitable in Lebanon?

Lebanon is in the throes of an economic and financial crisis. The Lebanese pound experienced an 80% fall against the US dollar in June. As former Lebanese economy minister, Nasser Saidi, wrote in Abu Dhabi's National newspaper in early July: " Unsustainable monetary and fiscal policies and an overvalued, pegged exchange rate led to persistent fisca...
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After more than 30 years involvement in the Middle East will the US pull out any time soon?

I have spent about five years away from the Middle East now- only three of which I have been spent in New Zealand. I have spent about one year in the UK (again) and Europe, and one in Vietnam, and surrounding countries. The response I receive when I say I have lived in the Middle East for 8.5 years is "that must have been hard for you, especially b...
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Making the leap to entrepreneurship for seniors; why they are highly successful

by Lucia Dore Embrace the fear. That's the strapline on the website, NZOne Skydiving ( https://www.nzoneskydive.co.nz/ ). I didn't really think about "embracing the fear " when I embarked on a skydiving adventure. Four of us, (I'm 58 and my father is 86) had to jump from a plane when it reached 12,000 ft, with a freefall for 45 seconds. through clo...
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How is Israel responding to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Reading about how governments are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic is interesting.  Maybe that is an understatement. How governments respond reveals not only a great deal about its communications strategy, but also how much it believes in science over other matters. Full disclosure here; I live in New Zealand where the citizens are very "co...
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What is the future of events?

It's hard to overestimate how the world has changed as a result of COVID-19. Pre-pandemic, people were reluctant to contact one another virtually, whether it be on Zoom or Skype or on another audio-visual medium. This has changed. People now contact one another virtually as a matter of course. This means workshops and presentations, of which there ...
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How COVID-19 discriminates against seniors

by Lucia Dore While the COVID-19 pandemic continues in most parts of the world (the US, the UK, Europe, Brazil and India are among the countries that are worst hit), the economic fallout from the pandemic affects everyone. Although international trade continues at a slower pace than before, international travel has stopped almost entirely- well, it...
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How long will it take for a post-COVID economic recovery in the Middle East?

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an economic fallout everywhere. The extent of the fallout, however, seems to depend on how hard and fast an economy locked down in the first place and the choice the government made between health and the economy. Can the economy "open" if its population is concerned about its health? Hardly, was the answer the New...
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Is COVID-19 crippling Gulf entrepreneurs?

Being an entrepreneur is rarely easy and it's arguably harder during times of pandemic. So, it's great to have a resource like Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center, an entrepreneurship hub based in Sharjah, an emirate in the United Arab Emirates.  However, there's concern that governments and banks in the region are not doing enough to support...
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Emirates will make about 15% of its workforce redundant

COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on many industries around the world, the travel and the aviation industries particularly. Fewer people are flying and in some countries, like New Zealand, which has no community transmission, people are reluctant to leave for coming back will mean spending another 14 days in managed quarantine. Moreover, people...
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Is the stock market a Ponzi scheme?

I have been thinking about the financial markets a great deal lately and have been considering why some people get rich and some people don't. In Dubai, in the UAE, (a city I know well) many people live a wealthy lifestyle, but do they really have money? This article made me question whether stockmarkets are a place to make money as I, and many oth...
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IS benefits from its manufacture of amphetamines

I was surprised to read that Syria is the world's largest producer of amphetamines, or stimulant drugs. They speed up the messages travelling between the brain and the body. This article tells how the Italian police confiscated 84 million Captagon tablets at the port of Solerno, south of Naples. The shipment was worth $1.2 billion, believed to be p...
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COVID-19: How the UAE is controlling the border

COVID-19 is crippling the global economy. International travel has almost come to a halt- for non-essential travel anyway. EU countries have opened its borders to 14 countries, New Zealand (where I live) is among them. New Zealand is one of the safest places to live right now, given that there is no community transmission of COVID-19. Some 22 live ...
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How The Largest Country In the Middle East (and the Third in Africa) is Ideal Fertile Ground For Fintech Growth

Financial technology (fintech) is taking off, especially in places like Dubai. But how is Africa's largest city doing? I'm talking about Cairo in Egypt of course. Greater Cairo has a population of about 20 million. Here's one opinion. It argues that with its wider economic strategies both generally and specifically with fintech, the country can hel...
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Saudi Arabia well-positioned post-pandemic

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia by Lucia Dore The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is well placed to deal with the impact of COVID-19, according to a report by Oxford Business Group (OBG) entitled "How is COVID-19 impacting the ICT sector in Saudi Arabia?" The report says that KSA 's response to the COVID-19 pandemic was "aided by sustained investments in health...
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Why great leaders are great communicators

I wrote this article two years ago. It is just as relevant now as it was then. Not much has changed. by Lucia Dore To what extent is communication the key to a successful organisation and to great leadership? How does good communication make an organisation great? And what difference does good communication make to the implementation of a public re...
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An unwanted guest returns: The Middle East is fighting a second wave of covid-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected major cities around the world, including those of the Middle East, such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Muscat, Beirut, Doha and Tehran. What will happen to these cities? Will they bounce back? Will the importance of cities like Dubai continue, especially as a financial centre?  Countries that thought they beat ...
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King Abdullah II refuses to take call from Netanyahu. Israel's quest to annex the West Bank met with derision

Israel's urge to annex the West Bank is causing concerns for Jordan. The country's King Abdullah II has refused to meet with Israel's PM, Benjamin Netanyahu, because it continues to annex the West Bank. Abdullah refused to take the call from Israel's PM to discuss its plan to annex parts of the West Bank in July, a big part of the US President's Pe...
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Are more sanctions on the Syrian regime the right way to go?

There is little to suggest that the Syrian War, which has run for nine years, is likely to end soon. Nonetheless, the US State Department is expected to announce on Wednesday (US time) the first round of targets under the so-called Caesar Act. One of the aims of the sanctions is to stop the Syrian regime from seeking foreign investment to rebuild t...
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