The Dhow: A Weekly Newsletter from AGSIW 

Medina Airport

By Justin Alexander

In response to fiscal pressures and concerns about the efficiency of project and service implementation, Gulf Arab states are increasingly looking to the private sector to finance and manage infrastructure projects. This is a relatively new development because private involvement was previously limited largely to the telecoms and the power and desalination sectors. Now, a broader array of projects and activities are being considered for private sector involvement, ranging from airports in Saudi Arabia to hospitals in Kuwait and a stadium in Qatar. There is widespread interest in public-private partnership (PPP) models: Kuwait and Dubai have passed laws to govern these structures, and Qatar and Oman (and possibly Saudi Arabia) are also developing their own. In addition, there has been a renewed focus on privatization of state-owned assets, particularly in Saudi Arabia in the context of its National Transformation Program.
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Gulf Economic Barometer
Gulf Economic BarometerSaudi Arabia will allow 100 percent foreign ownership of engineering firms to encourage sector development. Additionally, Bahrain announced a decision to hire banks in anticipation of a U.S. dollar bond issue.
See these and other updates to the Gulf Economic Barometer.
AGSIW in Arabic

لم يحدث منذ بداية العصر النووي قبل 72 سنة، أن هدد رئيس أمريكي، دولة نووية، برد "ناري وغاضب لم ير العالم مثله من قبل" إذا واصلت هذه الدولة تهديداتها للولايات المتحدة، كما فعل الرئيس دونالد ترامب بلغة متشددة ضد رئيس كوريا الشمالية كيم جونغ-أون يوم الثلاثاء، ثم ضاعف تهديده بعد يومين. تزامنت تهديدات ترامب مع الذكرى الثانية والسبعين لاستخدام الولايات المتحدة للسلاح النووي للمرة الأولى ضد مدينتي هيروشيما وناغازاكي اليابانيتين، الأمر الذي أنهى الحرب وأرغم اليابان على الاستسلام. وكان من اللافت أن اللغة التي استخدمها ترامب كانت تشبه اللغة القوية التي استخدمها الرئيس الأمريكي هاري ترومان بعد قصف هيروشيما وقبل قصف ناغازاكي، حين قال إنه إذا لم تقبل اليابان شروط الحلفاء للاستسلام فعليها أن تتوقع "مطر الخراب من الجو بشكل غير معهود على الأرض"
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In addition to original content, in Arabic is regularly updated with new Arabic translations of AGSIW's analysis. New translations include:
In the Media
Stephen A. SecheAGSIW Executive Vice President Stephen A. Seche discussed the humanitarian crisis in Yemen for Intercross: "Certainly  when you have a protracted war ... you have a fair amount of infrastructure damage, so you have just physically very difficult conditions in which anyone is going to be able to practice medicine, or conduct a normal ray of service as you would expect. The war in and of itself is a detriment to that kind of stability and normality you would like to see maintained in Yemen."

Speaking with MEES, Senior Resident Scholar Karen E. Young commented on Saudi Aramco's initial public offering, saying there is a trend of "management consultants advising Gulf states to sell-off state oil company assets. [National oil companies] are getting similar advice across the region for a couple of reasons: they share advisors, and from a transaction perspective, it’s fairly straight forward. It’s an easy way to generate investor interest and a new revenue stream and it takes nothing away from the original revenue source - the oil."

Non-Resident Fellow Diane Munro commented on Iran's energy sector for VOA Farsi: "The internal politics are a big factor in Iran's struggle with its energy sector mostly due to nationalism and conservatives as well as the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' controlling and running much of the oil sector without the proper technical know-how."

Ebtisam AbdulazizThe Arab Weekly discussed Emirati artist Ebtisam Abdulaziz, whose artwork is currently featured at AGSIW. Abdulaziz's art uses geometry and mathemat­ics to express belonging and identity. Much of her artwork is autobiographical. Abdulaziz commented: "Artists are like journalists. We write the history of our times.”

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