Gulf in the News – May 8, 2013

Saudi Aramco to Open 3 US Research Centers

Source: Energy Tribune (Read full story)


Saudi Aramco has announced the opening of three research centers in the United States with Houston named one of the cities to house a new facility focused on upstream research. Houston joins two other U.S.- based centers in Cambridge, Mass. and Detroit designed to extend the energy giant’s global research and development (R&D) network. The Houston Research Center, expected to be operational later this year, will consist of teams spanning upstream subsurface domains. Saudi Aramco is currently hiring experts from around the world to work in this center that has state-of-the-art laboratory to develop technology to advance the discovery and recovery of oil and gas.

Iran willing to talk to UAE on islands row

Source: The Peninsula (Read full story)

Mellowing down its tough stand on the three islands with which it has a serious dispute with the UAE, Iran said yesterday it is willing to talk to the Emirates on the issue. Tehran has also made a startling claim that Bahrain has urged it to help end its stand-off with the opposition and bring the two sides (the government and the opposition) to the negotiating table. But, according to the Iranian foreign minister, Bahrain wants his country to help it resolve issues with the opposition secretly—a proposal not acceptable to Tehran.

Call to ration use of power

Source: Times of Oman (Read full story)

There is an urgent need to ration the use of electricity, especially during summers, according to experts. Zahran Zahir Al Ruqeishi, corporate communication specialist at MEDC (Muscat Electricity Distribution Company SAOC) said, “The need is not just from the ‘saving money’ point of view, but also due to environmental factors.” Al Ruqeishi explained that the public does not realize that careless use of electricity translates into higher bills.

Emirates to recruit nationals

Source: Khaleej Times (Read full story)

 Emirates, Dubai’s flagship airline, will be adding 5,000-6,000 new employees to its global workforce annually over the next five years to meet its fast-track expansion plan, according to Gary Chapman, president of Group Services and dnata. The carrier, one of the fastest-growing legacy airlines in the world, currently employs over 60,000 staff globally, including 40,000 within the UAE. Chapman said employment of the Emirati workforce remained a priority in Emirates’ recruitment policy. At present, the carrier has 2,500 Emiratis in its workforce following the addition of 850 in 2012.

Convictions of spy ring upheld, oppn slams Iran

Source: Kuwait Times (Read full story)

The court of cassation yesterday upheld life terms on two Iranians, a Kuwaiti and a stateless man for being members of a spying ring that passed information about the Kuwaiti and US militaries to Iran. The court also upheld the acquittal of two Iranians, including the only woman in the ring, and a Syrian national. The two Iranians and the Kuwaiti who received life terms were active soldiers in the Kuwaiti army when they were arrested in May 2010, while the fourth man is an ex-soldier in the Kuwaiti army. The two Iranians and the stateless are brothers while the Kuwaiti is the husband of the woman defendant who is also the daughter of one of the Iranians sentenced to life in prison.

U.S. requests talks with Bahrain over 2011 labor crackdown

Source: Reuters (Read full story)

The United States on Tuesday accused Bahrain of failing to protect workers’ rights in its response to a March 2011 general strike at the time of the Arab Spring and asked for formal consultations under a free trade pact. “Ensuring that workers in Bahrain – and in other countries – can exercise their fundamental labor rights is a top priority for the Obama Administration,” acting U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis said in a statement.