The Pope’s Visit and Emirati Soft Power
From left, Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Pope Francis, Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, the grand imam of Egypt's Al-Azhar, and Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, UAE vice president and prime minister, and ruler of Dubai, attend an interfaith meeting in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Feb. 4. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

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Saudi Arabia Hikes its VAT, but for How Long?

Saudi Arabia has adopted strict austerity measures to combat the dual effect of falling oil prices and the coronavirus crisis. Unlike previous measures that were lifted when oil prices recovered, a July 1 VAT increase (from 5% to 15%) is more likely to stay in place, which could present challenges to low-income families, businesses, and plans to revive domestic tourism.

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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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