ECONOMY | Gulf Economies Seen Shrinking Sharply In 2020, To Pick Up In 2021: Reuters Poll

DUBAI – Economic activity in the Gulf will contract sharply this year before recovering in 2021, hit by the double shock of the coronavirus pandemic and an oil price crash, a quarterly Reuters poll showed on Tuesday.

Analysts in the July 7-20 poll see a deep economic contraction in the hydrocarbon – producing region this year as oil prices were hit on the supply and demand sides simultaneously.

Saudi Arabia’s GDP was seen shrinking 5.2% this year before rebounding to 3.1% growth next year. A similar poll conducted three months ago saw the region’s biggest economy and world’s largest oil exporter growing 1.0% in 2020 and 2.0% in 2021.

In March, a Saudi-Russian price was caused oil prices to plummet, and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies subsequently implemented output cuts.

‘Three months ago, most forecasts didn’t yet factor in the oil production cuts or the full extent of the COVID-19 fallout’, said Maya Senussi, senior economist at Oxford Economics, adding that limiting the Hajj Pilgrimage, an important source of tourism revenue, also weighed on Saudi Arabia’s outlook.

Kuwait’s GDP was seen shrinking the most out of the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, contracting 6.1% in 2020 before 2.5% next year. Three months ago, it was seen shrinking 2.9% in 2020 and growing 2.0% next year.

Medians forecast a 5.1% contraction for the United Arab Emirates’ economy this year and 2.6% growth in 2021. Three months ago, they expected the economy to shrink 0.4% this year.

Tourism, a major source of revenue for the Emirate of Dubai, has been hit hard by lockdown measures and travel restrictions.

‘We expect revenues for the tourism and hospitality sectors to be under particular pressure given an expected sharp decline in the visitors numbers’, S&P Global Ratings said in a research note, adding that it continues to observe ‘broad-based pressures across various sectors’ in the GCC.

Qatar, Oman and Bahrain’s outlooks also worsened for this year, with analysts expecting their economies to shrink 4.0%, 4.7% and 4.4.% respectively. Their growth outlooks for 2021 improved from expectation three months ago.

‘While actively is now picking up across much of the region as lockdown restrictions are relaxed, the pace of recovery in H2 and beyond may disappoint, particularly with the coronavirus set to linger’, Oxford Economics said in a research note.


NEWS ALERT | In U.N. Debut, Saudi King Calls For Comprehensive Solution On Iran

NEW YORK  – Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abudlaziz on Wednesday called for a comprehensive solution on Iran and disarming its affiliate Hezbollah in Lebanon, and expressed support for U.S. efforts to start talks between Israel and the Palestinians during his first address to the United Nations General Assembly. He said Iran has exploited a … Continue reading NEWS ALERT | In U.N. Debut, Saudi King Calls For Comprehensive Solution On Iran

ARTS & CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT | Jeddah Host The Red Sea Museum

The Saudi Ministry of Culture announced the establishment of the Red Sea Museum, which will open its doors in 2020, in Bab Al Banat in the Historic Jeddah. The ministry says the museum will include manuscripts, photos, and books, which tell the story of the Bab al-Bunt’s heritage and demonstrate its role as a historical … Continue reading ARTS & CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT | Jeddah Host The Red Sea Museum

NEWS | Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Hopes Peace Is Restored In Yemen Based On Riyadh Agreement

RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman said Tuesday that the Kingdom is looking forward to the establishment  of ‘comprehensive and lasting peace in Yemen through the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement’. On the occasion of the International Day of Peace, he said: ‘We look forward to the day … Continue reading NEWS | Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Hopes Peace Is Restored In Yemen Based On Riyadh Agreement

ARTS & CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT | The New Digital – Art Museum Is Coming To Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture has announced a collaboration with international art collective teamLab to create a digital-art museum as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. The museum will be located in Jeddah, and is set to be called TeamLab Borderless Jeddah and will open in 2023. The 10 – year collaboration agreement between Saudi … Continue reading ARTS & CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT | The New Digital – Art Museum Is Coming To Saudi Arabia

FASHION | Billy Porter’s 2020 Emmys Ensemble Was Custom – Made By This Saudi Label

Billy Porter is known for his unapologetic style and statement red carpet looks. Despite this year’s Emmy Awards being held digitally, porter didn’t hold back from bringing his show-stopping outfits to the event, wearing a custom-made ensemble by Saudi label, Ashi Studio. The actor, who was nominated for the award for outstanding lead actor in … Continue reading FASHION | Billy Porter’s 2020 Emmys Ensemble Was Custom – Made By This Saudi Label

NEWS | Bahrain Says Foiled ‘Terrorist Attack’ Backed By Iran In Early 2020

Bahrain’s interior ministry said on Sunday it had foiled a ‘terrorist attack’ early this year that was backed by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The statement confirmed earlier media reports about an alleged planned attack and added a timeframe. Earlier on Sunday Saudi state television Al-Ekhbariya and Bahraini newspaper Akhbar Al-Khaleej reported that interior ministry … Continue reading NEWS | Bahrain Says Foiled ‘Terrorist Attack’ Backed By Iran In Early 2020

BUSINESS | LVMH Submit Disputed Tiffany Takeover For EU Clearance

PARIS | FRANCE – LVMH said on Friday it had submitted its troubled takeover of Tiffany, which is now at the centre of  a legal dispute between the two groups, for EU approval as it seeks to counter accusations that it deliberately stalled antitrust proceedings. The French group’s $16 billion acquisition of the U.S. jeweler … Continue reading BUSINESS | LVMH Submit Disputed Tiffany Takeover For EU Clearance

TRAVEL | What You Need To Know About Travel Guidelines In Saudi Arabia

The Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has released its updated traveler’s guide, which accommodates the ongoing pandemic after approving international travel for some exceptional cases. The new regulations entail that non – Saudis who are entering the Kingdom must provide a medical report of their coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test and its negative results, … Continue reading TRAVEL | What You Need To Know About Travel Guidelines In Saudi Arabia

WORLD NEWS | Trump Awards Kuwaiti Emir ‘Prestigious’ Decoration, White House Says

WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump awarded the U.S. Legion of Merit, Degree Chief Commander, to Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, the White House said in a statement on Friday, adding that it was the first time the honor had been given since 1991. The 91-year-old emir arrived in the United States in July … Continue reading WORLD NEWS | Trump Awards Kuwaiti Emir ‘Prestigious’ Decoration, White House Says

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi – Led Coalition Says Intercepts Drone, Houthis Say Abha Airport Hit

MILAN | ITALY – A Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said on Thursday it had intercepted and destroyed an explosive drone launched towards the kingdom as Yemen’s Houthi group said it had it a target at Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport. In a statement published by Saudi state news agency SPA, a spokesman for the coalition … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi – Led Coalition Says Intercepts Drone, Houthis Say Abha Airport Hit

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