Market Watch

A blog seeking to provide insights from the crossroads of Gulf politics and finance.

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New Omani Initiatives Reflect Gulf States’ Push to Nationalize Labor Forces

Short-term measures to replace expatriate workers with Omani citizens could have implications for the sultanate’s long-term economic growth and diversification process.

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Growing Saudi-Egyptian Ties Face Challenges of Economic Reforms

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s November trip to Egypt highlighted the important regional alliance between Riyadh and Cairo, but collaboration over megaprojects may strain Riyadh’s fiscal capacity.

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New UAE Investment Laws Pose Challenge to Free Zones

Government efforts to legalize full foreign ownership in specific sectors aim to significantly boost inward foreign investments. However, the commercial reform threatens to disrupt the long-standing economic institutions and commercial incentives associated with free zones.

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U.S. Sanctions Unlikely to Sever Iran’s Economic Ties to Gulf Arab States

Despite U.S. sanctions, Iran, with the second-largest economy in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia, is likely to remain an integral economic actor for the Gulf Arab states.

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Bank Debt, Growing Money Supply, and Inflation Hobble Iran’s Economy

Money supply, its link to inflation, and its impact on the foreign-exchange market have created an intense national debate in Iran because of widespread negative impacts on the livelihood of the average citizen.

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Khashoggi Death Looms over Saudi Economic Reform Agenda

While pursuing long-term economic reform and diversification, Saudi Arabia needs to show that the kingdom is an attractive, business-friendly place; yet recent moves have worried investors over the business environment, and raised some concerns over the impact on oil policy.

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The Supply-Side Politics of Kuwait’s Industrial Strategy

Kuwait hopes to usher in a “new industrial era,” but the country will have to pay more attention to demand and regional competition to boost industrial output.

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Saudi Arabia Shelves SoftBank Solar Effort, Reflecting Challenges with Megaprojects

Saudi Arabia’s decision to delay a $200 billion solar power project with Japan’s SoftBank casts doubt on the future of the kingdom’s solar energy initiative.

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Neom Update: Funding the World’s Most Ambitious Project

Nearly a year after Neom's announcement, the futuristic Saudi megacity is still only in the early stages of development. To meet goals of opening fully by 2025, planners must overcome a key challenge: shoring up funding.

Spending to Grow in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is seeing some positive news in the return on investment in its outwardly placed capital in new technology.

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Through its careful examination of the forces shaping the evolution of Gulf societies and the new generation of emerging leaders, AGSIW facilitates a richer understanding of the role the countries in this key geostrategic region can be expected to play in the 21st century.

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