The Dhow: A Weekly Newsletter from AGSIW 

Upcoming Event
UAESF 2017 UAESF 2017: Defense Industry and Economic Diversification

DATE Wednesday December 6, 2017
TIME 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
LOCATION Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
The Bridge blog
Sultan Al JaberADNOC Accelerates Partnership Initiatives and Expands Investment Opportunities

By Diane Munro

The aggressive restructuring of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company is moving at a break neck pace, essentially rewriting its ambitious energy playbook in less than two years. In November alone, ADNOC signed oil and gas contracts worth at least $10 billion, announced plans to increase refining capacity by almost two-thirds and triple petrochemical production, had its debut for syndicated loans in international markets, and revealed details for a landmark partial privatization of the company’s fuel distribution business.
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Rouhani, Putin, and ErdoganPutin’s Syria Diplomacy Seeks to Minimize Risks for Russia

By Mark N. Katz

Russian President Vladimir Putin has recently been devoting considerable time and attention to diplomacy regarding the ongoing conflict in Syria. He not only met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi on November 22 to discuss conflict resolution efforts, he also met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad there just prior. Additionally, he has spoken about Syria over the phone with U.S. President Donald J. Trump, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The Kremlin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, described his boss’s actions as a “diplomatic marathon” that will continue.
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Millennial Gulf
Ghaliah TechGhaliah Tech: Running the Influencer Economy in the Gulf

By Mai Alfarhan

Social media influencers pervade the Gulf. They grace billboards on Kuwait’s Gulf Road, stream on millions of people’s Snapchat and Instagram stories, and kickoff corporate events and social campaigns. The revolutionary growth in the Gulf’s social media influencers has been facilitated by the increased usage of mobile-based technologies among Gulfies, or khaleejis. AGSIW spoke with Abdulrazzaq Al-Mutawa, the chief executive officer and general manager of Ghaliah Tech, to discuss the company’s inception, the growth of social media influencers in the Gulf, particularly Kuwait, and the future of advertising in the Gulf.
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AGSIW in Arabic

خلال أسبوع واحد، صعّد الرئيس دونالد ترامب من هجماته ضد الصحافة الأمريكية وشكك بصدقيتها في تغطية العالم، في ما اعتبر تحريضا سافرا يهدف إلى ترهيب المراسلين الأمريكيين، كما يحصل في الأنظمة السلطوية في العالم. وواصل ترامب تحقيره لشبكات التلفزيون الأمريكية، داعيا إلى مسابقة بينها – باستثناء شبكة فوكس نيوز المفضلة لديه- للحصول على جائزة "التغطية السياسية المضللة والفاسدة لرئيسكم المفضل: أنا". وتابع ترامب في تغريدة أطلقها في السادسة صباح يوم الاثنين أن جميع هذه الشبكات سيئة، "والرابح سيحصل على جائزة الأخبار الملفقة". وفي اليوم التالي، استخدم ترامب وصفا مهينا للسكان الأصليين خلال احتفال في البيت الأبيض لتكريم ثلاثة محاربين قدامى
اطلع على المزيد
Abu Dhabi SkylineSocial and Economic Transformation in the Gulf Has Already Begun, but It Remains in Its Early Stages

By Ambassador Marcelle M. Wahba

It is increasingly clear that energy resources and revenues alone cannot sustain Gulf Arab economies and societies for the long term. So, the quest for economic diversification is an overriding imperative and is a paramount economic, social and national security challenge. Therefore, two of the biggest challenges facing the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf countries are the development of more diversified economies and the enhancement of their national and regional security.
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Muscat, OmanHow to Own Modern Development Tools

By Mohammed Al Ardhi

Oman has just concluded its glorious 47th National Day celebrations – an occasion that set me thinking about how technology and modern inventions can indeed ensure a positive impact on development if employed judiciously. Throughout history, inventions have played a pivotal role in driving and sustaining human life. 
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Past Event
Kristin Diwan, Alanoud Al-Sharekh, Loujain al-HathloulDriving Forward: Women in the Gulf Assess a Changing Landscape

The royal decree permitting women to drive in Saudi Arabia has focused attention on the social advances of women in the kingdom. Improvements extend across the Gulf Arab states, with women finding greater opportunities in business, government, and society. AGSIW was pleased to host a panel discussion assessing the shifting roles of Gulf women, taking stock of both advances and the challenges ahead.
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In the Media
Stephen SecheExecutive Vice President Stephen A. Seche discussed the death of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh on BBC Newshour: "No one really knows what this means in terms of how Yemen proceeds in the short run right now." He continued, "Saleh had an amazing ability to be able to kind of square off and balance and work against each other many different competing interests in Yemen ... but without Saleh it's unclear who steps into this vacuum."

Speaking with AP, Senior Resident Scholar Kristin Smith Diwan commented on the Kuwaiti appeals court's decision to imprison a leading opposition figure, among others, and noted that the arrests contrast with the emir's call for unity: "That question will be raised now whether that unity can be achieved at a time where we have the jailing of a large number of opposition and youth activists."

Karen YoungSpeaking with The National, Senior Resident Scholar Karen E. Young discussed Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad's visit to Washington, DC. Noting the delegation's goal to seek U.S. support for Bahrain's efforts for political reforms, Young said, "Bahrain is an important bellwether of reforms moving forward in the Gulf Cooperation Council.” She continued, "They are removing obstacles to foreign ownership and investment so intrinsic to Gulf economic models."

Young additionally commented on debt issuance in the Gulf states for MEES: "Key drivers of issuance are the availability of capital and the expected continuation of low growth in the Gulf and a tempering of austerity measures in cuts to subsidies."  Speaking with Reuters, Young discussed Saudi Arabia's $300 billion privatization program, noting shortcomings such as the absence of a framework for large-scale public-private partnership projects and a bankruptcy law.

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