Despite heightened regional tensions, UAE seeks deescalation with Iran

Politics in the Middle East are always complicated. There is the war in Yemen where the UAE joined with Saudi Arabia in opposing the Houthis but is now trying to pull out in favour of negotiations instead of military action. There are political analysts who maintain that this is part of a wider strategy to have closer ties with Iran once again. And...
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The once flourishing Iranian community in Dubai faces pressure amid Persian Gulf tensions

Iranians in Dubai are considering moving back to Iran. The UAE government is cracking down on them in adherence to US sanctions policy. Perhaps this is surprising? Many of the families in Dubai are of Iranian descent, even if they do not want to admit it, and many have continued to trade with Iran. In 2014, when I was leaving, Iranians, with a lot ...
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Is Middle East's young labor boom a blessing or a curse?

Questions have been asked often about the quality of education in the Middle East. Is the education good enough? Does it meet quality standards? Will young people be employable? This article about education in the Middle East attempts to find some answers to those questions. Sam Brennan August 25, 2019 Article Summary By 2040, the Middle East and N...
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Arab Women Are Tired of Talking About Just 'Women's Issues'

Since I am interested in gender, age, and Arab issues I found this article enlightening. It's certainly time that women's issues in Arabia are not seen as being Arab or even Islamic, in the same way that women's issue in the West are not a result of Christianity alone. Here is what was written in The Atlantic. Arab Women Are Tired of Talking About ...
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Ageism is prejudice: call it what it is

I wrote this article for a company I work with in the UK, called Behavioural Shift. Ageism is prejudice; it affects men and women; it is global. Ageism is when a person discriminates against another person on the basis of age. It is faced by people over 50, in particular. Ageism is an ongoing issue and we at Behavioural Shift want to do what we can...
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Camera issue fails to capture suppression of Arab Israeli vote

Israel goes to the polls for the second time this year on September 17. This happened after the PM Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government (he was elected as PM in April this year) the first time this had happened in Israel's history. What happens in this upcoming election is crucial for Netanyahu's Likud Party (officially the Liku...
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Saudi Arabia's and Yemen's war: the history

Yemen is a quagmire for supporters of the Hadi regime, who are seeking to overthrow the Houthi rebels, in particular  Saudi Arabia and the UAE, although the latter had  largely pulled out of the war. President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, resides in Saudi Arabia and Aden has been the seat of power since he left the country in 2014. Yemen is a ...
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Riyadh faces new setback in South Yemen

The war in Yemen is not generating the positive outcome that Saudi Arabia wanted. It's aim was to rid the country of the Houthis (allegedly backed by Iran) and the secessionists. This has not happened, especially with the recent loss of the strategic port city of Aden. What does this mean for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman? by Bruce Riedel (Al Mo...
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Migrant workers in Qatar hold rare strikes over conditions as 2022 World Cup looms

Qatar has had a rocky time since it was announced it would hold the World Cup 2022. The award was granted in 2010 amidst international criticism that the tournament should not be held there, not least because of the high temperatures. But at least November is slightly cooler than July. One concern is that Qatar is an alcohol-free state but visitors...
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INVESTMENT ENVIRONMENT REPORT – AUGUST 2019

  Most of the economic forecasts, from the IMF and World Bank, to numerous global banks, project the global economy is slowing. But is it? And how quickly is it happening? This article looks at what the NZ Superfund projects. INVESTMENT ENVIRONMENT REPORT – AUGUST 2019 In this 'Investment Environment Report', NZ Super Fund Chief Economist Mike...
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How war-torn Yemen prepares for Eid

The four-year war in Yemen is slowing, now that the UAE is "abandoning" Saudi Arabia to continue the war there. War in Yemen is also not stopping people readying for Eid Al Adha (or the Festival of the Sacrifice), the longest Eid break and the one where Muslims go to Mecca to pay their respects. The article below (from Al Monitor) describes how Yem...
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Has Turkey's policy on Syrian refugees started to backfire?

Turkey has taken in a large number of Syrian refugees and this is often mentioned in glowing terms by others. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also made much of this. Turkey's willingness to take in refugees, along with Jordan and Lebanon which have established refugee camps, and to a lesser extent, Iraq, is changing. But then the much r...
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UAE diversification strategy lags despite growth in oil sector

Diversification of the UAE economy was the cornerstone of much of the UAE economic strategy throughout the second half of the 2000's and the following decade. It sounded great but it seems not to have worked, with a continued heavy reliance on oil. The emirate of Dubai has always been a logistic hub, since it has not much oil. Abu Dhabi has been oi...
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Why Netanyahu should seek peace with Iran – or face 'disaster' in Middle East

The Middle East is usually at the centre of a political conflict, often involving Iran. In this case, what would happen to Israel were it to attack Iran? Here are some thoughts from the Daily Express in the UK. ISRAELI Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should calm tensions with Iran and belie his hawkish nature if he wants to avoid catastrophe in t...
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The rise and fall of Teresa May

This is not on the topic of the Middle East but it is topic I am interested in and write about. Here is today's writing. The rise and fall of Teresa May, as displayed in her body language Teresa May, Britain's former Prime Minister, swooped into Downing Street on 13 July 2016 a proud and confident woman, taking over from David Cameron, as leader of...
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Faced With U.S. Threats, Iran Warms Up to Arab Neighbors – Even Riyadh

There's a lot of action in the Middle East, especially between Iran and the rest of the Arab world. Although there have been skirmishes between the UAE and Iran for many years it wasn't in anyone's interests for such skirmishes to hit the headlines. Now I read that Iran is warming to its Arab neighbours, or is it the other way round? "Warming" is p...
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Russia is deepening military ties with Iran to counter the US

There is no doubt that the US has immense influence in the Middle East. The pact between Iran and Russia seeks to change that. The idea is that the Gulf Arab countries also see Russia as offering more interesting ideas. The recent pact will ensure that: "The states in the Middle East should be more careful about following Western advice ," former R...
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Dubai's Royal Household is in the spotlight.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum (70), Dubai's ruler, can no longer keep his domestic affairs quiet. Now it's Princess Haya of Jordan, half-sister of Jordan's current king, King Abdullah II who is seeking to divorce him and is seeking a protection order for one of her children in London now. She married him in 2004 and rumour has it that King ...
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UAE faces growing resentment in southern Yemen

I read this article on the UAE's involvement in the Yemeni war (UAE flag pictured) with a great deal of interest- not least because I lived in the UAE and have spent time in Yemen as well. At that time, the Civil War had ended and the South had separated from the North. Although kidnappings were still normal- the group I was travelling with wa...
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Hamas' rapprochement with Iran endangers deal with Israel

I've been wondering what it would be like being in the Middle East, given that I was in New Zealand for four years and I'm now living in Vietnam. I would probably find this mounting tension hard to deal with, although it happens all the time. While I was living in the UAE, I was used to it. With tension in the region increasing all the time, especi...
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