Measures taken by Saudi Arabia and the UAE to diversify their economies are beginning to undermine pre-existing social contracts that hinge on the paterfamilias figure of the ruler, the tribal care of the state, and the preservation of cultural norms and citizen privileges.
Saudi Arabia is building a new megacity to woo international partners. But the plans may pit Saudi against its long-time partner, the UAE.
The fruitless protracted blockade of Qatar not only failed to reform Doha’s “destabilizing behaviors,” but also strengthened Iranian-Qatari relations for the foreseeable future.
Mohammed bin Salman’s growing repression emboldens opposition abroad and creates more challenges for the rising leader.
GCC countries are caught up in Chinese-U.S. competition over tech infrastructure. A failure to appease both powers risks endangering critical relationships.
While the Egyptian and Ethiopian dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has high stakes for local stability, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are well-positioned to play a leading role in mediating the conflict.
Saudi Arabia’s economic hurdles also pose as opportunities as the country prepares for a post-pandemic world.
The shifting relationships between armies and civil society are revealing new balances within defense structures.
In the last decade, Saudi Arabia’s approach to the porous frontier with Yemen has gradually shifted from patronage for and cooperation with local tribes to incremental militarization.
Following the Riyadh Agreement, Iran’s approach to conflict resolution in Yemen takes a multilateral form.
Aramco’s upcoming IPO is a step toward the expansion of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) into a parallel budget under the control of the crown prince.
Aside from controlling arms spending, Saudi Arabia’s defense sector reform remains stalled.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are trying to downplay concerns about a rift over Yemen, despite their divergent military tactics and positions on South Yemeni independence.
Military infighting between secessionist groups and forces aligned with Hadi’s government in southern Yemen reflect the deep fissures in the country’s political and military landscapes.
Abu Dhabi and Riyadh see a natural partnership with Modi’s government, a cooperation that could change the dynamics of the South Asian-Gulf nexus.
The dramatic death of the former president of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, on June 17th, reignited debate about the future of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and political Islam across the region.
The Houthis’ recent advances into southern and central Yemen reflect the country’s changing political landscape and the Yemeni government’s growing rift with the UAE.
The implementation of Vision 2030 is bypassing state institutions, creating a public policy crisis and further weakening government institutions.
Although cooperation with China can help Saudi Arabia boost production of solar power, global trade dynamics may complicate the kingdom’s renewable energy goals.
Gulf states are expanding the scope of their military education programs to build a new generation of decisionmakers capable of realizing their strategic ambitions.