Category: Gulf Markets

Saudi Arabia Drills for ‘White Oil’

Saudi Arabia Drills for ‘White Oil’

Tourism has never been a priority in Saudi Arabia, ostensibly because of visitors’ lack of sensitivity to local customs. Peripatetic businessmen are one thing; individual or group travelers wandering about the country are quite another. Better to focus government energies on Muslim arrivals at Jeddah, en route to Mecca and Medina.  More ►

Saudi Sukuk Delay Signals Investor Unease

Saudi Sukuk Delay Signals Investor Unease

Institutional names worldwide appear to be resisting an anticipated mega-sukuk to be offered by Saudi Arabia. If successful, the $10 billion sale would be the largest-ever, dollar-denominated Islamic bond offering. The problem is a complex hybrid structure, more commonly understood in Bahrain or Kuala Lumpur, than London or New York.  More ►

Gulf Investors Bloated on Property

Gulf Investors Bloated on Property

Arabs find affirmation in real assets in ways that Westerners gravitate toward financial assets. But that bias has created a massive property-development glut, with a sharp drop in portfolio-return expectations. One consultancy notes that the value of cancelled projects in the GCC vastly exceeds completed projects. There is  More ►

In Riyadh, Resolve Differs From Reality

In Riyadh, Resolve Differs From Reality

The news from Riyadh on the massive economic shake-up set to unfurl is classic Saudi. Vision 2030 is bold and brash, aligning with a “bigger is better” mindset. It begs sacrifice from a society that has come of age expecting the state to be the provider-of-perpetual-resort; it panders to nationalist sentiment with greater  More ►