Blog archive: Saudi Arabia

  • 29th November 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Reports from Saudi Arabia say Prince Miteb – one of the royals held as involuntary guests at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh – has agreed to hand over $1 billion to the authorities after admitting to corruption charges. An unknown number of princes, ex-ministers and...
  • 26th November 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    An anonymously-written book produced by a seemingly fictitious organisation and promoted by a group of French-language websites appears to be the latest weapon in the Saudi-Emirati propaganda war with Qatar. "Qatar: Le Livre Noir" (Qatar: The Black Book) is said to have been compiled by...
  • 31st October 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A week after Saudi Arabia unveiled plans to build a $500 billion futuristic megacity free from the kingdom's usual religious restrictions, there's confusion over what, exactly, will be allowed. A video presentation last week envisaged men and women working side by side in the new city, women...
  • 30th October 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is on a mission to shake up Saudi Arabia, the most change-resistant of Arab countries. Though still only 32 and not actually king, he appears to have been given unlimited power and is determined to make use of it. Last week alone, he...
  • 24th October 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A Saudi court has decided that no one was to blame for the disaster that struck Mecca two years ago when a crane toppled on to the Grand Mosque, killing at least 108 people and injuring more than 200 others. The crane, which had not been properly secured during a storm, was operated...
  • 22nd October 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The shadowy figures behind the London Centre for Public Affairs – an apparently bogus PR firm with Qatari connections – have now set up a second organisation. This time it's a mysterious NGO which purports to be monitoring the activities of the United Nations. The new body, known as Independent...
  • 2nd October 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In an uncharacteristically magnanimous decision, a Saudi court has cleared 13 people of blame for the disaster that struck Mecca two years ago when a crane toppled on to the Grand Mosque, killing more than 100 people. The crane had been operated by the Saudi Binladin company (founded by...
  • 15th September 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The London conference on Qatar, which has caused much hullabaloo over the last couple of weeks, took place yesterday – attended by numerous video cameras and a rather sparse audience of around 150 people, many of whom had badges saying "staff" or "press". The controversial event had been...
  • 13th September 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Despite having assistance from two PR firms – one headed by an American who used to organise events at the White House – the controversial and much-heralded "Qatar opposition" conference due to be held in London tomorrow is looking rather shambolic. After sending out vaguely-worded...
  • 11th September 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The controversial and much-heralded "Qatari opposition" conference due to be held in London on Thursday will be attended by "hundreds of world-renowned political figures, policy makers, academics, commentators and Qataris", according to a press release. However, the venue, conference programme...
  • 9th September 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Qatar, which is reportedly paying a public relations firm $50,000 month to "improve ties with the Jewish community worldwide", has accused the UAE of employing "Zionists" to organise an anti-Qatar conference. A news item published in Arabic by the Qatari-owned al-Jazeera on Thursday began...
  • 8th September 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Saudi/Emirati squabble with Qatar which began in May with a fake news item on a hacked website has continued in the form of a virtual reality game which almost nobody outside the Gulf views as seriously as the protagonists themselves.  The latest round of cat-fighting relates to a...

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