Gulf In Focus

Remarkable performance of Qatar in 2021

Despite the repercussion of the COVID-19 pandemic, which continued to threaten the world’s economies during 2021, the Qatari economy recorded a remarkable positive performance at various levels due to rational policies, a flexible economic approach to crisis management, and forward-looking plans, which enhanced Qatar’s ability to quickly recover and adapt to changes, ensure business continuity and complete vital projects in the infrastructure sector and other sectors. It was not surprising that Qatar ranked first in the Gulf region in COVID Economic Recovery Index, scoring four points, according to the global economic magazine ‘MEED’ published last August. The index confirmed that Doha is the holder of the highest score in the economic recovery index, as its revenues depend mainly on natural gas, not oil, making its financial position more robust.

Kuwaiti oil minister optimistic about continued recovery

Kuwaiti Oil Minister Mohammad Al-Fares voiced optimism for continued recovery of the global economy despite concerns about the Omicron coronavirus variant, the state news agency said late on Tuesday. Earlier in the day, the OPEC+ group agreed to stick to its planned increase in oil output for February because it expects the Omicron coronavirus to have a short-lived impact on global energy demand. The group of producers comprising the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia has raised its output target each month since August by 400,000 barrels per day (bpd). “Opec+ strategy to raise production is successful amid market challenges” the agency quoted the minister as saying.

Oman approves 2022 budget with spending at $31.5bn

Oman has approved its annual budget for 2022, allocating 12.13 billion Omani riyals ($31.5bn) for spending, with a focus on basic public services, from health to social support, stimulating investment. This year’s budget, which is an increase on the previous year’s budget of 12.167bn riyals, is based on an oil price assumption of $50 per barrel, the state-run Oman News Agency (ONA) reported on Sunday. The government expects its revenue to reach 10.58bn riyals in 2022, with more than half (68 percent) coming from oil and gas revenue of 7.24bn riyals, ONA reported. Non-oil revenue is estimated to reach 3.34bn riyals, or 32 percent of total government revenue. Oman’s budget deficit in 2022 is expected to reach an estimated 1.5bn riyals, or 5 percent of gross domestic product, with the estimated deficit in line with the country’s medium-term financial plan, launched by the Gulf state last year to fix its finances.

Turkey’s Erdogan will visit Saudi Arabia in Feb

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he will travel to Saudi Arabia next month, the Turkish leader’s first visit since the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.

Rocky relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia worsened significantly after the brutal killing of Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018.

“They expect me in February. They made a promise and I will pay a visit to Saudi Arabia in February,” Erdogan said in a video posted on social media on Monday.

The comment came in response to a question about Turkish exporters’ issues with Saudi Arabia on the sidelines of a trade event in Istanbul.

UAE posts rapid non-oil economic growth in December

The UAE economy posted rapid growth in the non-oil private sector economic activity in December according to the latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) data.

The PMI data published by IHS Markit showed growth running at a marked pace throughout the fourth quarter amid the start of the Expo 2020 and an easing of travel restrictions.

Dubai budget aligns short and medium fiscal goals

The Government of Dubai on Sunday approved AED181 billion ($49 billion) three-year budget for fiscal years 2022-2024, taking a long-term view on financial and strategic planning for the emirate’s economy.

Within the three-year fiscal plan, the government has unveiled a AED60 billion spending plan for the year 2022 with government revenues estimated at AED57.5 billion. “Although the budget envisages a small deficit in the first year of the three-year fiscal framework, towards the end of the term, the plan sees balancing of both revenue and expenditure,” Gulf News wrote in its editorial.

“Dubai’s economy has been on a fast recovery path from early 2021, thanks to the proactive government support, boost from Expo 2020-related projects and strong revival in key sectors such as travel, tourism and real estate. The government’s accelerated spending plan for the next three years is a clear affirmation of its commitment to economic revival,” the paper added.

Sharjah ruler approves $9.37bn budget for 2022

Sharjah’s ruler Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi has approved the emirate’s Dh34.42 billion ($9.37bln) budget for 2022, according to a tweet by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau.

Out of the total budget expenditure, 44 percent will be allocated to the infrastructure sector, 27 percent to the economic development and 21 percent to social development sector, the Sharjah Government Media Bureau tweeted.

Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, said: “ “The Sharjah government’s budget for the year 2022 follows the directives and comes with the blessing of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, to complete the emirate’s march in achieving the highest levels of excellence, success and sustainable development in all sectors and fields. It is set to help the emirate continue to build on what has already been achieved, according to His Highness’s insightful vision.”

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