The Euro-Gulf Monitor
25 November - 1 December 2022
by Arnold Koka & Veronica Stigliani
5 Top Points
QatarEnergy signed two 15-year deals to provide LNG to Germany.
Saudi Arabia and the EU discussed climate change and joint efforts against terrorism.
Kuwait and France kicked off the ‘Pearl of the West 2022’ joint military drill.
Oman-based steel manufacturer will invest €4 billion (EUR) in ‘green steel’ projects.
The UAE will establish one of the largest gas firms in the region, ADNOC Gas.
‘Round and About the Gulf
Kingdom of Bahrain
Monday, 28 November—Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa issued a decree appointing 40 members of the Shura Council, the Upper Chamber of the Parliament, including 13 new members, for the 6th legislative term. Ali bin Saleh Al-Saleh was appointed as Chairman of the Council. The move came two weeks after the Bahraini citizens elected 40 members of the Council of Representatives, the Parliament’s Lower Chamber.
State of Kuwait
Monday, 28 November—Kuwait and France kicked off the joint ‘Pearl of the West 2022’ military exercise, which will last until 7 December. The drill will increase French-Kuwaiti coordination in joint operations and combat readiness by exchanging combat experience and collaborative group training.
Wednesday, 30 November—The Kuwait-based telecommunications firm, Zain Group, announced a five-year €800 million (EUR) investment in Sudan. The projects will include providing digital banking and fiber optic services in a bid to aid the strengthening of Sudan’s economy and finances.
Sultanate of Oman
Wednesday, 30 November—The Oman-based steel manufacturer, Jindal Shadeed Iron & Steel (JSIS), announced a €4 billion (EUR) investment in ‘green steel’ projects in the Sultanate, the largest investment of its kind in the GCC. The plan includes the establishment of hydrogen- and renewable energy-driven integrated ecosystem and the decarbonisation of the firm’s existing assets in Oman.
State of Qatar
Tuesday, 29 November—QatarEnergy and US energy firm, CoconocoPhillips, signed two 15-year agreements for the delivery of of Qatari liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Germany, starting from 2026. The deals were announced by Energy Minister, Saad Al-Kaabi, and they will provide Germany with 2 million tonnes of LNG per year. The agreements came as Berlin seeks to reduce its reliance on Russian energy imports amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Wednesday, 30 November—The US State Department approved the potential €1 billion (EUR)
sale of 10 FS-LIDS anti-drone systems to Qatar. The deal will also include counter unmanned
electronic warfare systems (CUAEWS) as well as fielding, training and sustainment activities,
aiming to improve Doha’s ability to counter drone threats.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Monday, 28 November—Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Mohammed bin Salman Al-Saud, announced the building of a new mega-airport in Riyadh. The new complex is expected to generate over 100 thousand jobs and process 120 million passengers by 2030, adding €6.8 billion (EUR) to the Kingdom’s economy as part of the country’s bid to diversify its revenues.
United Arab Emirates
Monday, 28 November—The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) approved a €143 billion (EUR) budget for the next five years, announcing the establishment of one of the largest gas firms in the region, ADNOC Gas, (January 2023) and the pursuit of a net-zero emissions target by 2050. The new gas entity will be created by a merger of two major gas subsidiaries, ADNOC LNG and ADNOC Gas Processing, in a move that seeks to boost the firm’s gas production and reserves. The measures were announced by the Emirati President, Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, in line with the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative and the country’s aim to boost energy efficiency.
Tuesday, 29 November–Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Climate Envoy, Adel Al-Jubeir, travelled to Brussels, where he held meetings with several EU officials, notably Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, Chair of the EU Political and Security Committee, Delphine Pronk, Commissioner for Promoting our European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, and EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson. The talks included enhancing EU-Saudi collaboration in combating terrorism, tackling climate change and developments in the EU Green Deal.
Wednesday, 30 November—The Deputy Secretary-General of the European External Action
Service (EEAS), Enrique Mora, received Chairman of Oman’s Shura Council, Khalid Al-Maawali, in Brussels. They discussed the EU-Oman parliamentary partnership as well as wider political engagement with the GCC countries.
Key Official Visits
Friday, 25 November—The Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Nayef
Falah Al-Hajraf, and the Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, announced the intention to negotiate an India-GCC free trade agreement (FTA). The accord, presented during a meeting between the two officials in New Delhi, aims to boost trade, commercial and economic relations between India and the Gulf countries.
Monday, 28 November—The 3 rd Saudi-Swiss Financial Dialogue took place in Riyadh, co-chaired by the countries’ Finance Ministers, Mohamed bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan and Ueli Maurer. The two Ministers signed an agreement to enhance cooperation in the sectors of financial technology, sustainable finance, banking services and insurance, while emphasising the effective Saudi-Swiss collaboration in economic affairs.
Wednesday, 30 November—Bahrain’s Interior Minister, Rashid bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa, travelled to the UAE for a meeting with his Emirati counterpart, Saif bin Zayed Al-Nahyan. The talks reviewed ways to strengthen security cooperation, with a focus on technology and tourism.
Wednesday, 30 November—Kuwait’s Foreign Minister, Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah,
travelled to Riyadh for his first visit to the Kingdom since assuming the office. He met with his Saudi counterpart, Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, to discuss bilateral economic, political and security cooperation, and agreed to convene the 2 nd Kuwaiti-Saudi Coordination Council meeting in the first quarter of 2023.
Tuesday, 1 December—Saudi Arabia hosted the World Travel and Tourism Council Global
Summit, a three-day event focusing on enhancing the international and regional tourism sector via sustainable and innovative projects. The event gathered around 100 high-level private and public stakeholders, including Ministers of Tourism of Bahrain, Egypt, Greece, Jordan, Oman, Spain, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.