The Euro-Gulf Monitor
2 - 8 September 2022
by Arnold Koka & Veronica Stigliani
5 Top Points
The President of the EU Council, Charles Michel, toured Qatar and the UAE.
The EU opened its first Delegation to Qatar.
The GCC and Central Asian countries held their first Strategic Dialogue session.
Oman purchased a €1.5 billion (EUR) worth coal business in India.
Kuwait will lead the Arab League’s Human Rights Committee for the next two years.
US President, Joe Biden, concluded his first tour of the Middle East.
Kuwait appointed its fourth Prime Minister since 2020.
The Presidents of the UAE and France met in Paris to discuss expanding energy cooperation.
Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Holding Co invested €229 million in a major European fund manager.
The EU called on the warring parties in Yemen to agree on a truce extension.
‘Round and About the Gulf
Kingdom of Bahrain
Wednesday, 7 September–Bahrain introduced a new 6-month multi-entry electronic visa for training purposes. The measure was included in a wider project of 24 initiatives announced by the Kingdom that seek to boost the issuance of electronic visas.
State of Kuwait
Sunday, 4 September–Kuwait’ will lead the Arab Human Rights Committee (AHRC) for the next two years. Kuwait Assistant Foreign Minister for Human Rights, Talal Al-Mutairi, was appointed by the Arab League Council as the head of the AHRC for a biannual term. The Committee consists of seven experts who will monitor, review and report on human rights issues in the Arab League member states.
Wednesday, 7 September–The long-term Speaker of Kuwait’s Parliament, Marzouq Al-Ghanim, announced he would not run in the parliamentary elections scheduled for 29 September.
Sultanate of Oman
Wednesday, 7 September–The Oman Investment Corporation (OIC) purchased Singapore’s Sembcorp Energy India for €1.5 billion (EUR). The unit operates two coal power plants in India, which will be operated by Oman, as part of the country’s bid to increase investments in strategic sectors such as energy and infrastructure.
State of Qatar
Tuesday, 6 September–Qatar awarded a €1.4 billion (EUR) contract for the development of country’s first sewage treatment plant to a consortium of private-public investment firms. The plant will be located in the areas of Al Wakrah and Al Wukair, and aims to increase Doha’s energy technologies and the sustainable use of the country’s resources.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Tuesday, 6 September–Saudi Arabia signed a deal with MotoGP to host an annual race on a newly-built multi-purpose circuit in the Kingdom. The agreement will also include a training and talent-development programme for young Saudi drivers, in a bid to expand the motorsport sector in the country.
United Arab Emirates
Sunday, 5 September–The Emirati healthcare platform, Pure Health, announced it will invest €500 million (EUR) in the US fourth largest private hospital operator, Ardent, by purchasing a minority equity stake in the firm. The move broadens the Emirates’ investments in the global healthcare sector as part of its wider goal to increase the country’s investment portfolio.
Friday, 2 September—The European External Actions Service (EEAS) announced it opened the EU Delegation in Qatar, the fourth one in the GCC, appointing former EU resident Ambassador to Kuwait, Cristian Tudor, as its new envoy to Doha.
Wednesday, 7 September—The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, travelled to Doha and Abu Dhabi. In Qatar, Michel met with Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and with Energy Minister, Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi. The talks covered EU-Qatari energy partnership, chances of Doha increasing LNG supplies to the bloc, and their respective positions on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Michel also inaugurated the opening of the first EU mission to Doha. In the UAE, the Council’s President was received by the country’s President, Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, discussing energy, investment and EU-Emirati cooperation.
Key Official Visits
Friday, 2 September–India's Foreign Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, travelled to Abu Dhabi to attend the third session of the UAE-India Strategic Dialogue. The Emirati side was chaired by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, who expressed his country's willingness to deepen cooperation in several fields. The meeting focused on ways to achieve common goals, in line with the UAE-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
Sunday, 4 September–The 158th session of the Arab League Council kicked off in the headquarters of the General Secretariat, in Cairo, under the chairmanship of the State of Libya. On the sidelines of the summit, several other sessions took place: the meeting of the Arab Ministerial Committee on Iranian interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries; the Arab Ministerial Committee meeting on Turkish intervention in the internal affairs of Arab countries; the Arab Ministerial Committee meeting on halting Israeli measures in occupied Jerusalem, among others.
Sunday, 4 September–The Saudi Minister of Industry and Minerals, Bandar bin Ibrahim Al-Khorayef, received the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary-General, Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajraf, in Riyadh. The meeting focused on industrial cooperation among the GCC members, aiming to boost industrial capabilities and sustain economic growth.
Wednesday, 7 September—The first Ministerial Meeting of the Strategic Dialogue between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Central Asian countries took place at the GCC General Secretariat headquarters in Riyadh. The meeting gathered the six GCC member states, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, and reviewed the joint action plan for strategic dialogue and cooperation between the GCC and Central Asian countries in several fields, including politics, trade, security, education, health, and culture.