The Euro-Gulf Monitor
22 - 28 July 2022
by Arnold Koka & Veronica Stigliani
5 Top Points
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.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman Al-Saud, started a tour of Greece and France.
Bahrain joined Egypt, Jordan and the UAE in a regional strategic industrial partnership.
Turkey will deploy CBRN units to Qatar during the FIFA World Cup.
French energy firms, TotalEnergies and Veolia, will build a first-of-its-kind solar plant in Oman.
Qatar discussed expansion of ties with Venezuela, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
‘Round and About the Gulf
Kingdom of Bahrain
Monday, 25 July–Bahrain joined Egypt, Jordan and the UAE in the ‘Industrial Partnership for Sustainable Economic Development’, a two-month old strategic alliance that seeks to bolster Arab economic integration. The partnership aims to establish joint industrial projects across the countries, and collaborate in investments in the chemical, agricultural, pharmaceutical and food industries. The agreement was signed by Bahrain’s Minister of Industry and Commerce, Zayed Al-Zayani, in a meeting with his Jordanian and Emirati counterparts and Egypt’s Minister of Transport.
State of Kuwait
Wednesday, 27 July–Kuwait granted Chinese tech giant, Huawei, the license to provide cloud services in the country, in a bid to enhance its digitalisation process and diversify its economy as part of Kuwait’s Vision 2035. On the same day, telecommunication services firm, Ooredoo Kuwait, announced a partnership with Huawei to provide smart solutions for fiber connections across the country.
Sultanate of Oman
Thursday, 28 July–French energy firms, TotalEnergies and Veolia, signed an agreement to build a 30,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) solar plant in Oman, the first and largest of its kind. The project will be located at the Sharqiyadh Desalination area, aiming to become the largest solar project to provide power to a desalination plant, covering 130,000 square meters. The agreement comes as Muscat aims to cover 30% of its total electricity use with renewable energy by 2030.
State of Qatar
Wednesday, 27 July–Turkey announced it will deploy chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) defence units in Qatar on the occasion of the FIFA World Cup. The measure will come along the deployment of other countries’ personnel for law enforcement, counterterrorism, cybersecurity and border security purposes, including units from the US, UK, France, Morocco and South Korea.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Monday, 25 July–Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman Al-Saud, announced that the Kingdom will establish an €80 billion (EUR) investment fund to support the development of NEOM, which will also be listed on the stock market by 2024. The Crown Prince also unveiled details on the construction of ‘The Line’, an urban project stretching over 100 kilometers that will seek to house over 9 million people.
United Arab Emirates
Wednesday, 27 July–The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) granted a €2 billion (EUR) worth contract for operating the Ghasha & Hail offshore gas project to its drilling subsidiary, ADNOC Drilling. The Ghasha plant is the world’s largest offshore sour gas plant, with the contract seeking to meet domestic and international gas demand. On the same day, ADNOC announced the expansion of its fleet to over 300 vessels through the acquisition of the Abu Dhabi-based vessels operator, Zakher Marine International (ZMI Holdings).
Tuesday, 26 July–The EU Global Facility on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism organised a training session on cryptocurrency investigations in the UAE.
Wednesday, 27 July–The Head of the Saudi Mission to the EU, Saad Alarify, met with Deputy Director General for Energy at the European Commission, Matthew Baldwin. They reviewed EU-Saudi cooperation, with particular reference to the energy agenda.
Key Official Visits
Monday, 26 July–Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman Al-Saud, kicked off a tour of Greece and France. In Athens, the Saudi leader met with Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, signing 16 deals worth over €3.6 billion (EUR). The agreements include the joint development of the ‘East to Med Data Corridor’, a €1 billion (EUR) project to connect Europe and Asia through a submarine data cable, as well as cooperation in the sectors of green hydrogen, defence, food and logistics. He also met with Albania’s Prime Minister, Edi Rama, to discuss investments and cooperation. In Paris, the Saudi Crown Prince will meet with French President, Emmanuel Macron, with talks expected to focus on the EU’s bid to diversify its energy sources and the conflict in Ukraine.
Tuesday, 27 July–Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, toured Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. During the trip, Minister Al-Thani was received by his Mexican counterpart, Marcelo Ebrard Casaubon, as well as with Domincan President, Luis Abinader, and Venezuelan leader, Nicolás Maduro. The talks covered cooperation in the oil, gas, food, and aviation sectors, as well as the upcoming FIFA 2022 World Cup.
Tuesday, 27 July–Qatar’s Deputy Speaker of the Shura Council, Hamda bint Hassan Al-Sulaiti, led a parliamentary delegation to Sweden. The Qatari official held talks with Director-General for Legal Affairs of the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Carl Magnus Nesser, discussing expanding cooperation in parliamentary work through joint projects and exchange of expertise.