Gulf in the News – December 17, 2012

Key regional issues top agenda of GCC summit

 Source: Arab News (Read full story)

 Key regional developments, particularly the intransigent attitude of Syria, Iran and Israel, will top the agenda of the summit of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Bahrain next week. The ministerial council of the GCC has finalized the summit agenda, which is more focused on regional issues, closer defense cooperation, security threats, commercial cooperation and above all citizens’ welfare. “Bahrain is gearing up to host the 33rd GCC summit on Dec. 24,” said Saleem S. A. Al-Alwi, a spokesman of the GCC General Secretariat, here yesterday. He said that there were “many challenges” facing the GCC today. It is therefore important for this regional bloc to address the major issues and the obstacles that it is facing, he added.

Prince Alwaleed is world’s richest Arab with $25.9bn

Source: Arab Business (Read full story)

Saudi Arabia’s HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has topped the Arabian Business Rich List for the ninth year in succession, with his current wealth now standing at US$25.9bn.The figure – verified by his private office – is a staggering US$4.6bn more than it was 12 months ago. A large part of the increase is put down to the remarkable rise in the share price of Kingdom Holding, the company in which he owns a 95 percent stake. By early December, Kingdom shares were trading 147 percent higher compared to a year ago.

Amir rebukes opposition at new Assembly opening

Source: Kuwait Times (Read full story)

On the eve of the opening, several hundred Kuwaiti activists staged a night sit-it in the heart of Kuwait City in protest against the election and to demand dissolving the Assembly and the electoral law amendment. The activists ended their sit-in at 8.00 in the morning and some of them went to Irada Square opposite the Assembly which was cordoned off by security forces. The activists were later ordered to leave before the Amir arrived. They moved to the nearby square outside the Palace of Justice and stayed there for some time before they dispersed, but activists said that police arbitrarily arrested three of them.

Dh1m grant provided for organ transplant research

Source: Gulf News (Read full story)

More than 7,800 kidney transplants occur in the Middle East region each year, representing about 10 per cent of all kidney transplants worldwide. “About 2,700 of these procedures occur in Iran, while nearly 2,400 take place in Turkey,” said Dr Marwan Masri, the president of MESOT. The official urged greater research and knowledge sharing between countries in the region. The 13th congress, which kicked off on Wednesday, is the first to be held in the capital. It is being organised under the patronage of Shaikha Fatima.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787 takes off to Kuwait

Source: Kuwait Times (Read full story)

Qatar Airways yesterday expanded the commercial services of its brand new Boeing 787 aircraft with the Doha – Kuwait route becoming the Dreamliner’s second destination launched so far. The state-of-the-art aircraft is being deployed on three daily rotations between the two cities marking a new era for Middle East aviation as Qatar Airways is the Boeing 787 launch customer in the region. Qatar Airways’ newest addition to its fleet heralds the start of an exciting new era for travellers worldwide with unparallelled levels of comfort and luxury onboard Boeing’s next generation aircraft.