Blog archive: Saudi Arabia

  • 17th April 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Migrant workers are bearing the brunt of the coronavirus epidemic in the wealthy Gulf states. Often living in over-crowded accommodation, they are at particular risk of infection. Many are now also jobless. Some have been deported. Thousands more want to return home – but can't. India rejects...
  • 14th April 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Arab states in the Gulf are reporting large numbers of new Covid-19 infections among migrant workers. ● In Bahrain, foreign labourers account for almost half the confirmed cases – more than 600 have tested positive. ● In Kuwait, 679 of the 1,300 confirmed cases are reported to be Indian...
  • 9th April 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    War-torn Yemen is one of the few countries in the world where no Covid-19 cases have yet been reported, but it's widely expected that if the virus does take hold there the result will be catastrophic. Yesterday, at the behest of the UN's special envoy, the Saudi-led coalition which has been...
  • 8th April 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Saudi government warned yesterday that Covid-19 infections in the kingdom could rise to 200,000 over the next few weeks – more than 70 times the current official figure – and appealed for more cooperation from the public. Restrictions on movement and social contact in Saudi Arabia are not...
  • 25th March 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Amid rapidly-growing numbers of new infections and the first two coronavirus-related deaths, Saudi Arabia is sealing off the cities of Riyadh, Mecca and Medina. From tomorrow, no one will be allowed to leave or enter. Movement between the kingdom's 13 administrative regions will also be...
  • 23rd March 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Four Arab countries have now declared nationwide curfews in an effort to check the spread of coronavirus. In Kuwait, a night-time curfew – from 5pm to 4am – came into effect on Sunday. The deputy prime minister said the move was regrettable but had become necessary because people were "failing...
  • 4th November 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    I don't often get emails from the Saudi government, but one arrived yesterday offering me $5,000. It came from the Royal Commission for Riyadh City (RCRC) which is looking for "collaborative input" on plans to transform the Saudi capital into "a sustainable, responsible, inspiring place to...
  • 11th October 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Twitter's hashtags offer a quick and easy way to find out what people are saying on a given topic. But for those who dislike what is being said there's also a quick and easy way to obstruct the discussion: they can summon an army of bots to flood the hashtag with irrelevant tweets. This is a...
  • 9th October 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Contractors in Saudi Arabia have begun levelling the ground for a new section of the Haramain high-speed rail line, with instructions to have it completed within three weeks.  The new track, several hundred metres in length, will bypass Jeddah station which was badly damaged by fire on...
  • 2nd October 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Saudi Arabia's high-speed railway linking the holy cities of Mecca and Medina took 10 years to build and cost more than $16 billion. It was meant to be a triumph of design and engineering but on Sunday, less than a year after carrying its first paying passengers, the line was shut down when one...
  • 21st September 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Twitter announced on Friday that it has closed down a series of accounts connected with the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia as part of its effort to shed more light on "state-backed information operations". Regarding the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, it said: "We have removed a network of...
  • 30th August 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Separatist fighters in southern Yemen who appeared to be on the brink of defeat on Wednesday recovered some lost ground on Thursday as the United Arab Emirates launched airstrikes to support them. This direct intervention by the Emiratis in a conflict between two rival factions which are...

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