“The strongest clusters of emerging markets are in the Arabian Gulf and Southeast Asia, thanks to business-friendly conditions and core strengths that draw logistics activity. In the Gulf, UAE (No. 3), Saudi Arabia (6), Qatar (7), Oman (14), Bahrain (15) and Kuwait (19) rank strongly.”

-Agility.com published its 2020 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index, which ranks countries by factors that make them attractive to logistics providers, freight forwarders, shipping lines, air cargo carriers and distributors.  Saudi Arabia was also ranked top 3 for ‘best business fundamentals.’ [Yahoo Finance]



Saudi Arabia and Kuwait Agree to Resume Oil Production from Neutral Zone Fields

Domestic energy subsidies may be targeted by Saudi authorities.

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will resume joint production at two oilfields from a shared neutral zone between the countries, according to Bloomberg, ending a five-year dispute that sidelined production from the area. [more]




Pompeo, Saudi Counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan Meet in Washington Wednesday


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan in Washington Wednesday to discuss Iran, Yemen, and other issues of mutual interest. [more]




Weaker Demand for Oil as Coronavirus Spreads, Pushing Prices Down

Domestic energy subsidies may be targeted by Saudi authorities.

Saudi Arabia and other oil producing nations that form the OPEC+ group are seeking common ground on how to keep oil prices from tumbling further in the face of weak demand from the spread of the Coronavirus. [more]




Al-Ula Planners, Developers Keen to Keep Historic Beauty of Site Intact with Millions Expected Annually

Elephant Rock near Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia.

Planners and developers working on making Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ula UNESCO heritage site easier and more enjoyable to visit are keen to keep intact the natural beauty and wonder of the site, the UAE-based The National reports, citing an interview with Francesca Arici, the site’s chief planning officer. [more]



Giga projects drive tourism in Saudi Arabia

in breakingtravelnews.com : The PIF has announced that Amaala will sit alongside Neom and the Red Sea Project as part of the giga-projects investment portfolio, helping to establish a unique tourism ecosystem, supporting economic diversification and creating high-value job opportunities.

Oil Set for Biggest Weekly Gain in 5 Months as Virus Fear Eases

Via Alex Longley and Grant Smith in yahoo.com via Bloomberg : After several weeks of falling crude prices, Chinese refiners are now snapping up cheap cargoes, taking many traders by surprise. That follows the World Health Organization’s view that the sharp increase in the number of virus cases reported in China’s Hubei province this week doesn’t necessarily reflect a sudden jump in new infections.

Love on Saudi Arabia’s silver screens

Via Deema Al-Khudair in arabnews.com : The love story is a relatively new concept in Saudi movies, but filmmakers and actors are finding they are increasingly able to portray this aspect of life from the Kingdom’s perspective.



Netflix screening ‘big boost’ to Saudi filmmakers

“Six Windows in the Desert,” a series of short films created by Saudis, will make its Netflix debut on Thursday, streaming in 190 countries. After buying...[via arabnews.com]


Saudi Officials Hold Talks with US Special Envoy for Syria

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah has met with US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Levant Affairs and Special Envoy for Syria Joel...[via aawsat.com]


More Than A Dozen Saudi Oil Firms Book Hefty Losses In 2019

A total of 14 Saudi companies in the energy sector booked hefty losses last year, Middle East Monitor reported on Wednesday, quoting analysts who had...[By Tsvetana Paraskova via oilprice.com]


Trekking to the Most Beautiful Wadi in the Middle East

Wadi Lejab is this magical spot somewhere on the map of the Al-Raith mountains in Saudi Arabia. After driving for 2 days from Riyadh, we...[By Eva zu Beck via youtube.com]


Inaugural Saudi Cup To Be Televised On FS1

Live coverage of the inaugural Saudi Cup airs Saturday, Feb. 29 at noon Eastern on FS1. The field for the Saudi Cup, the world's richest...[via paulickreport.com]


Can I Fly to Riyadh? Emirates Air to Limit Access to Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia suspended entry for nationalities holding tourist visas and coming from: Greater China, Iran, Italy, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Philippines, Singapore,...[By Layan Odeh via bloomberg.com]


Sports minister launches Saudi Games, Kingdom’s largest sporting event

The event will feature 40 games with the participation of 35 sports federations in 18 venues within Riyadh....[via arabnews.com]



Lebanon weighs defaulting Eurobond next month

Lebanon’s finance minister said Thursday that its new government is weighing whether to pay or default on its $1.2 billion Eurobond maturing next month, amid...[via arabnews.com]



U.S. sailors say threat level after Soleimani’s death was unlike anything they had seen in years

With the warning and an elevated threat level, the sailors prepared for potential combat. Additional precautions put in place on the Normandy required them to...[By Dan Lamothe via washingtonpost.com]


U.S. Congress

Senate passes resolution to limit Trump’s power to order military action against Iran

Eight Republicans joined all Democrats in voting 55 to 45 for the measure, despite sharp warnings from Trump that challenging his war powers would “show...[By Karoun Demirjian via washingtonpost.com]



Turkey-Syria clashes escalate as 800,000 displaced people battle bitter temperatures

Despite continued talks between Russia and Turkey no new cease-fire or de-escalation agreement has been reached between the two sides. Instead, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan...[By Saphora Smith and Aziz Akyavas via nbcnews.com]



Perspective: Macron’s Plan to End the Libyan Conflict Only Made Things Worse

Today Libya is a nation in name only. Haftar’s forces have laid siege to Tripoli for 10 months, and France is increasingly marginalized in a...[By Ania Nussbaum, John Follain, and Sylvia Westall via bloomberg.com]


Gulf Shipping

US warship seizes suspected Iranian weapons in Arabian Sea

The US military said in a statement on Thursday that its guided-missile cruiser, the USS Normandy, boarded a dhow, a traditional sailing vessel, in the Arabian Sea on...[via middleeasteye.net]



Is tourism the antidote to youth unemployment in Oman?

“I am pretty sure the economy will dictate certain unavoidable reforms in the next few years,” John Sfakianakis, the chief economist of the Saudi Arabia-based Gulf...[By Sebastian Castelier via al-monitor.com]


Middle East Peace

Top EU diplomat wants European strategy for Middle East peace

Criticizing the US Middle East peace plan, the EU's foreign policy chief said the bloc needs a strategy to end unrest between Israelis and Palestinians....[By Davis VanOpdorp via dw.com]


U.S. Foreign Policy

Pompeo makes first trip to Africa with conflicting US signals

Pompeo on Saturday begins a trip to Senegal, Angola and Ethiopia, chosen for their leaders' attachment to democratic values in a continent that has seen...[via rfi.fr]


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