Expatriate workers struggle in the Gulf

One of the repercussions of COVID-19 in the Arabian Gulf countries is the impact that it's having on migrant workers. They do most of the work in these countries- especially in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar, (the latter two countries are heavily reliant on migrant labour, particularly for Expo 2020 and Qatar 2022 respectively...
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How financial institutions outside the banking sector can help with the recovery post Covid-19

Supporting SMEs which contribute around 60 per cent of non-oil economic output and employ around 90 per cent of the private workforce is critical. This article was published in the Abu Dhabi- headquartered The National newspaper. Zak Hydari May 5, 2020 Covid-19 is the most serious public health and economic emergency the world has faced in modern t...
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Beachlands South takes possession of East Auckland site

This article from New Zealand's Super Fund crossed my desk yesterday and I wanted to share it with you. - Formosa Golf Course reopens under Level 3 restrictions The new owner of a large block of land at Beachlands says it looks forward to engaging with the local community on the area's future. A partnership comprising the NZ Super Fund and parties ...
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Yemen and a devastated healthcare system

Yemen is suffering from the world's worst humanitarian disaster mainly because of an ongoing war between the Houthi rebels and its interim government and the coalition of Gulf powers comprising Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The war has gone on for five years and has made it increasingly difficult to get food. It has also destroyed the ...
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Re-opening Saudi Arabia

Countries across the Middle East have hunkered down and closed shop during the coronavirus pandemic. Other countries around the world have done the same. Although the severity of lockdowns has differed everyone has suffered, especially small businesses, and those in the tourism, aviation and the hospitality sectors. Some of the strict restrictions ...
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Yemen and the shattered healthcare system

I was shocked to read this article about the World Health Organization (WHO) and what it intends to do in Yemen. WHO is likely to suspend 80% of the health care services in the country by the end of this week. That is happening as a consequence of President Trump's decision to withdraw its funding from WHO. It's a perfect storm. With an on-going wa...
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UAE plans to test all citizens, residents for coronavirus

Following on from yesterday's article where I talked about the United Arab Emirates and its response to COVID-19 I'm posting this article from today's Arabian Business on the fact that the UAE is now undertaking mandatory testing for all citizens and residents. Tue 21 Apr 2020 07:49 AM UAE performed 25,795 tests and confirmed 484 new infections in ...
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How Dubai is handling coronavirus

I've been curious to know how the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Dubai, in particular is handling the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the countries in the Gulf Co-operation Council, the UAE has the second highest number of deaths and cases, next to Saudi Arabia. My friend, and former colleague, tells me that the schools are closed until September- home s...
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Will the GCC banks help the UAE economy?

The economy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been hard hit by COVID-19- as have most economies in the world. The difference is, is that money in the UAE is one of the few things that the emirate has going for it. Most people are there to make tax-free money (well, they were until VAT at 5% was imposed at the beginning of 2018). During the fina...
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Is Israel's Gantz crafting his political demise or a new beginning?

There is so much going on in the Middle East at the moment- the scourge of COVID-19 across the region; the war in Yemen; tensions between Iran and the US; the war in Syria; the troubled politics in Turkey, the oil-price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia and the inability of the political parties in Israel to form a government -even after a third ...
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The great leap forward

The COVID-19 crisis presents an opportunity for society and "older people" in particular to use technology to engage with others, in all societies. This issue is discussed by Robynne Allison Fletcher in her regular column on technology. It's difficult to understand why coronavirus has got everyone in such as stew. It's not necessary to go back as f...
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COVID-19 bursting Likud's alliance with the ultra-orthodox Jews

Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is struggling with meeting the demands of keeping COVID-19 under control. 9,755 Israelis have so far tested positive for Covid-19; 79 people have died. The Ultra-Orthodox Jews believe they are a scapegoat for his failings. It is testing the alliance with Likud (however informal) on which Netanyahu so depends for ...
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Abu Dhabi enhances its reputation for medical innovation during the Covid-19 pandemic

The UAE aims to be at the forefront of medical science. That has the main reason why the free zones were formed, and in the case of medicine, Dubai Healthcare City- about 1 hour and 30 minutes from Abu Dhabi, the capital. This article by the Oxford Business Group gives one opinion of how COVID-19 is impacting the United Arab Emirates. It also inclu...
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Will the Trump administration provide COVID-19 aid to the Palestinians?

The United States has released some US $40 million in emergency humanitarian assistance throughout the Middle East and North Africa to help combat the coronavirus pandemic. The Palestinians, West Bank and Gaza, are not getting it. This article explains how and why American aid is distributed. By Bryant Harris in Al Monitor The United States recentl...
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COVID-19's impact on the oil market

Crude oil is priced at about $20 a barrel, well below its high of $150 a barrel some 10 years ago. Now that COVID-19 is affecting the whole world the oil price is unlikely to go higher. There is a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, and Saudi is pumping out more oil. Demand is falling. What will happen? Here is an article on the subject by P...
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COVID-19: stay indoors and lose time

by Lucia Dore The Middle East, like every other world region, has been hard hit by COVID-19. What the numbers are changes each day but, for the most part, the number of infections and the death rates are going up. What we do know is that the novel coronavirus has debilitated countries and individuals all over the world. For the time being, all trav...
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Will Netanyahu's legacy be with how he deals with coronavirus rather than with Iran?

COVID-19, otherwise known as the coronavirus, is changing the rules of engagement for much of the world. Israel is no exception. Instead of focusing on eliminating the threat from Iran, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, must focus on eliminating the threat from COVID-19. This article explains more. Mazal Mualem March 19, 2020 Article Summary Prime...
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Supermarkets: how will seniors get their groceries?

The Middle East is tackling the repercussions of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and a falling oil price. As of March 17, 17 Arab countries had reported COVID-19 cases on their government portals and through official state media: Qatar: 439 cases; Egypt: 166 cases and 4 deaths; Bahrain: 147 cases and 1 death; Kuwait: 130 cases; Iraq: 124 cases and 9 deaths;...
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SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANIES CALLED ON TO DO MORE FOLLOWING CHRISTCHURCH TERRORIST ATTACK

Social media has been pressured to do more in the form of preventing objectionable content. This press release talks about how New Zealand companies are at the forefront of this movement. Three of the world's largest social media companies are being pressured to do more to prevent objectionable content spreading across their platforms in the wake o...
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When are you too old to be treated for coronavirus?

It's impossible not to read about COVID-19, or coronavirus, as the world deals with its contagion. The result of its spread has been terrible. It shows how interconnected the world is, and the economic repercussions, along with the health ones, are huge. Airlines in all countries and tourist-based industries, as some examples, are likely to go bust...
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