Dubai’s port authority has extended the UAE’s reputation to far-off locations – for better or worse. Now the city’s leadership must focus on narrowing the space for DP World’s vulnerabilities to have negative impacts on the Emirate as a commercial hub. An intriguing political dynamic further colours this nuanced case-study.
President Sisi's war on the judiciary is just getting started. Victory in April will grant him four more years at the helm and entail four more years of vying for influence vis-à-vis the judiciary. Cairo's top brass will stop at nothing to undercut rival institutions; the Courts are currently the prime target.
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Cairo's top brass waxes lyrical about its anti-corruption stance, but actions speak louder than words. Egypt's various supervisory bodies have been increasingly curtailed by the President's manipulation of the country's legal framework; empowering himself at the expense of genuine anti-corruption actors.
Elite networks in Egypt are gearing up for a big year in 2018. The presidential election will capture headlines; but power plays - that reveal much about Cairo’s incumbent decision makers and their intentions if they win a second official mandate - will continue to fly under the radar.
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As an attempt to draw upon the populist political platform erected by Abdel Fatah El Sisi in 2014, the Tahya Misr Fund was set up to breathe life into a faltering economy. Three years on, questions remain about its raison d’etre of Tahya Misr as well as those who stands to benefit most from it.
Sources suggests that Egypt’s ‘deep state’ is lobbying to improve its reputation in the United States. By agreeing contracts with various PR firms, the mukhabarat is now assuming a role that was once upon a time the remit of official state institutions. This highlights the bloated role Egypt’s intelligence community now plays, which may have profound implications on the economic and investment prospects.
As legitimate actors in the tobacco industry clamp down on the illicit cigarette trade, under regulated enclaves such as the Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone in Dubai continue to award space for contraband and counterfeits. This may be fuelling international terrorist groups and presents a severe business risk to investors.
As GCC countries lock horns over the direction that regional policy should take, a geopolitical realignment could feasibly crystallize in the Persian Gulf in the period ahead. Should Saudi and Emirati divestment across certain sectors occur, Qatar’s elite will invariably turn towards a cadre of new partners to plug the gaps in its economy. Enter Iran.
With Youssef Chahed ramping up the fight against corruption in Tunisia, many questions are left unasnwered. Chief among them is the Prime Minister’s intentions behind the crackdown and to what end it will be pursued going forward. The fate of the country’s businessmen exposed to the previous regime will also be determined.
Historically, Syria has represented a safe space for armed groups that follow the regime’s line with regards to domestic and international policies. These groups are somewhat of a double-edged sword that have spread terrorism and instability in the region, to the detriment of even the Syrian regime.
Depending on which stance is adopted, Egypt and Sudan are simultaneously the best of friends and the worst of enemies. It is no secret that these countries have their differences, with notable issues playing out publically. However, there is much that binds these two African nations and the recent friction must be understood in context, to gain a deeper understanding of the impact this may have on investments.
In Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, the tribal Bedouin are more influential than the state. This has a bearing on both the types of businesses flourishing in the region as well as the overall security dynamics.