Gulf in the News – October 31, 2013

Qatar has major petrochemical expansion plans

Source: The Peninsula (Read full story)

Qatar has greater petrochemical expansion plans than any other country in the region over the next 5-10 years and is well positioned for success, a global team of chemicals experts said ahead of their  two-day  visit to Qatar to meet with CEOs and CFOs of leading petrochemical companies in Qatar and discuss key issues facing this industry. Paul Harnick, COO of KPMG’s global chemicals practice, based in the US remarked: “Qatar is taking good steps to continue their success in the petrochemical industry and is responding to potential threats from the international marketplace.  As US producers are now benefitting from low cost shale gas as a feedstock, it will make the US the cheapest place in the world to manufacture petrochemicals.

Oman Air backs women at work

Source: Times of Oman (Read full story)

Oman Air has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting women at the workplace. The national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman pursues a proactive policy of recognising talented and qualified women and providing appropriate levels of support to assist them in excelling within their chosen careers. The percentage of women employed by the airline currently stands at more than 30 per cent,  representing a range of roles, including cabin crew, flight operations, engineering, airport management, airport services, marketing, customer services, sales and communications. Oman Air’s positive approach to the employment and career development of women is in line with His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s directives regarding the empowerment of women, as mirrored in broader Omani society.

Brahimi hopes Saudi will take part in Syria talks

Source: Khaleej Times (Read full story)

UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi hopes rebel backer Saudi Arabia will take part in proposed peace talks to end the raging conflict, his spokeswoman said on Wednesday. Brahimi “appreciates the role the (Saudi) kingdom can play in giving the peace process the push it needs,” said Khawla Matar. The statement came as Brahimi met with the ambassador of Saudi arch-rival Iran in Damascus. The envoy had previously called on Iran, which backs Damascus, to take part in a US-Russian peace initiative for Syria dubbed Geneva II. He “hopes (Saudi Arabia) will take part in the Geneva II conference”, which has tentatively been scheduled for November 23. Arab media have reported tension between Saudi authorities and Brahimi over Geneva II, and that Riyadh had refused to welcome the envoy during his regional tour to garner support for the talks.

Adasani surprisingly files to grill prime minister – Other MPs plan grillings, Dashti under fire

Source: Kuwait Times (Read full story)

Opposition MP Riyadh Al- Adasani surprised everyone yesterday by filing a request to grill Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah over allegations of failing to solve the housing crisis and rife corruption in government agencies. The move came just two days after the Assembly opened its new term with calls by HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah for reforms and an appeal for cooperation between MPs and the government. Adasani said the government is responsible for the chronic housing problem in which 106,707 Kuwaiti families or a total of 400,000 citizens are without houses because of government delays in projects and due to the skyrocketing prices of land.

UAE President Sheikh Khalifa named one of the world’s most powerful people

Source: The National (Read full story)

The President, Sheikh Khalifa, welcomed the emir of Qatar and his delegation on Thursday, and they discussed prospects for co-operation and development of relations between the countries. They also discussed ways to strengthen the march of the GCC and the latest developments and situation in the region. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani expressed his admiration for the cultural development achieved in the UAE under the leadership of Sheikh Khalifa, who has been named the 34th most powerful person in the world in the latest Forbes magazine. Sheikh Tamim stressed the need to achieve greater cooperation and co-ordination among Arabian Gulf countries to face the challenges ahead.