Gulf in the News – May 24, 2013

Saudi charities face funding crisis over terror fears

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

Credible Saudi charities are facing a funding crisis because of recent measures aimed at clamping down on terrorists using charities as fronts to raise funds and launder money. A number of charity workers here are now concerned that their work in the community will suffer as wary donors hold on to their cash, and charities are limited in what they can take from donors. Mohammad Al-Samri, an administrator at a charity in Makkah, said that projects have suffered because of a lack of money and not the “weakness of its professional staff.”

GCC marks 32nd anniversary

Source: Khaleej Times (Read full story)

The Gulf Cooperation Council for Arab States (GCC) will observe on Monday, on May 25th, the 32nd anniversary of establishing the GCC, which has become a good model for the effective regional and international blocs. The GCC was launched in Abu Dhabi on May 25th, 1981. Throughout over three decades, the GCC scored a number of achievements inscribed in its statue, among others, unification of political stance at the international forums regarding issues adopted by the GCC states, setting up of the GCC Common Market, and treatment of GCC nationals as citizens in each GCC state.

Dubai faces billions of maturing debt

Source: The Peninsula (Read full story)

As debt-laden Dubai’s economic recovery continues, with grandiose projects making a comeback, the emirate faces some near-term maturity of debt racked up during pre-crisis years but the prospects are not gloomy, analysts say. Dubai is likely to manage the forthcoming obligations, part of total debt amounting to 100 percent of its gross domestic product, according to Masood Ahmed, the Middle East director at the International Monetary Fund. “Yes, it can manage,” he said, highlighting the need to be open about the process.

 New Powers of “Arrest”

Source: Gulf Daily News (Read full story)

Residents in Muharraq have been given special powers to stop rising acts of vandalism and sabotage. Scores of people have been issued identity cards that will give them the authority to hold suspected offenders until police arrive. The Municipal Friends scheme hopes to protect public parks and gardens, roads and sewage networks and electricity substations.

The Gulf Military Balance Volume I: The Conventional and Asymmetric Dimensions

Source: CSIS (Read full story)

An accurate assessment of the trends in the military balance in the Gulf is a critical part of US and allied decision making, and the conventional military balance is only one side of the story. Iran’s current strategy is to develop a combination of conventional and asymmetric forces that present a wide range of significant challenges to US policy makers, Arab Gulf states, and other allies and regional powers.

US, Turkey, Qatar call for UN rights debate on Syria

Source: Saudi Gazette (Read full story)

The United States, Turkey and Qatar called Friday for an urgent debate on Syria at the UN’s top human rights body next week, citing the escalating conflict and the regime’s assault on the central town of Qusayr. “We have the honour to request the Human Rights Council to hold an urgent debate on the deteriorating situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic, and the recent killings in Al Qusayr,” the ambassadors of the three countries wrote in their request to council president Remigiusz Hencze.