Gulf in the News – May 15, 2013

Cabinet ministers resign amid standoff with MPs

Source: Kuwait Times (Read full story)

The new developments came amid reports that the Assembly might be dissolved just a month before a June 16 crucial ruling by the constitutional court on the controversial amendment of the electoral law. But a number of MPs ruled out the possibility, saying they expected the Amir to issue a decree to suspend the Assembly for one month, based on a clause in the constitution. The measure will give just enough time for the ruling to be issued while the Assembly is not in session. Among many possibilities, the court could declare the electoral law amendment as unconstitutional, which will mean forcing the Assembly’s dissolution and calling for fresh elections.

Fresh calls for tighter UAE banking regulations in wake of $45m cyber heist

Source: The National (Read full story)

The US$45 million cyber heist which hit RAKBank and Bank Muscat has renewed calls for tighter consumer banking regulations and augmented fraud prevention measures. The payments network Visa has said that the UAE’s card fraud prevention mechanisms required greater urgency and authorities should “fast-track” the implementation of the chip and pin system, which banks postponed at the end of last year. The Central Bank is expected to discuss the security breach, one of the biggest to hit the Middle East’s financial system, at its monthly meeting with the banking sector.

Oman, Qatar to upgrade parliamentary cooperation

Source: Oman Daily Observer (Read full story)

The session also reviewed several relevant areas of co-operation and co-ordination between the two councils at the Arab, regional and international levels and taking unified stands towards them.
The talks session was attended from the Omani side by Salim bin Ali al Kaabi and Abdullah bin Khalifa al Megalli, Deputies of the Majlis Ash’shura’s Chairman, Shaikh Ali bin Nasser al Mahrouqi, the Majlis Ash’shura’s Secretary-General, and members of the Office of Majlis Ash’shura, and also attended by members of the official delegation accompanying the Chairman of the Qatari Ash’Shura Council.

Kingdom keen on fully utilizing WTO deals

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

Minister of Commerce and Industry Tawfiq Al-Rabiah yesterday stressed the Kingdom’s keenness to take full advantage of regional and international agreements under the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
” Such agreements within the WTO framework contribute to the expansion of foreign markets for local products besides increasing trade with partners of the Kingdom,” Al-Rabiah said while opening a two-day seminar organized by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with the World Trade Organization in Riyadh.

 Yemen and Saudi Arabia Land Dispute: Sovereignty, Resources and Politics

Source: Yemen Post (Read full story)

According to recent studies Yemen’s oil reserves would account for 30% of the world’s reserves, outbidding Saudi Arabia itself.  So far Yemen has not been able to exploit its oil and gas resources, whether due to a lack of security or foreign investments; but given half a chance Yemen could rise a giant in the region, a thought which is not pleasing Saudi royals. A land dispute would completely throw of the fragile balance which Saudi Arabia so carefully build over the years. Moreover, Yemen’s claims over its long lost lands could potentially lead to another military stand-off at a time where regional stability is at an all time low and could prompt other regional powers to utilize such an opportunity to serve their own hegemonic agenda, namely Iran, Saudi Arabia religious nemesis.

Qatar to sink $30 billion in infrastructure – official

Source: Al Bawaba (Read full story)


Speaking at a meeting hosted by Qatari French Business Club (QFBC) in Doha, the Manager of Drainage Projects and Assistant Manager of Highways projects of Ashghal Nasser Ghaith al Kuwari said that the projects include major road and drainage projects “The major projects to be accomplished during the next few years include among others the crossway, which links Hamad International Airport to West Bay. It is an iconic and prestigious project of Qatar. Ashghal is in the final stage of contract negotiation with the designer. The project is expected to complete by 2020”, al Kuwari said.