Interpreting Middle East Economic News and Analyzing Market Trends

Category: Bahrain

Amnesty exposes Qatar’s slave labor practices, Qatar hires law firm to investigate itself, other GCC countries continue with similar practices

qatar-laborers

All of Qatar’s construction workers are from poor neighboring countries such as India and Bangladesh

 

Last week Amnesty International exposed Qatar’s inhumane labor practices some describe as modern-day slavery.  In its investigation, Amnesty interviewed laborers, companies and government officials.  This story made worldwide headlines as Qatar has taken center stage recently as it prepares for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.  Amnesty should have gone further and expand its investigation beyond Qatar.  These poor labor practices are not unique to Qatar, all neighboring GCC* countries are guilty of these same practices.

Read more ...

Gulf countries to ban visas for gays using medical test to ‘detect’ homosexuality

Dubai Airport Immigration

 

It’s no secret that Gulf countries ban homosexuality and have been known to give jail time for those caught in ‘homosexual’ acts.  Now, however, they are going a step further and will soon ban visas for homosexuals and transgender individuals based on a medical test to ‘detect’ them.  This story will surely go down as one of those ‘what were they thinking?!’ stories.

 

Read more ...

Earthquakes in Iran shake Gulf country leaders into discussing nuclear safety

http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/66906000/gif/_66906677_iran_earthquake_624_3.gif

Source: BBC News

  

Two earthquakes one week apart near Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant not only shook buildings across the Gulf, but also shook the leaders of Gulf countries.  They are now rushing to take a close look at nuclear safety.  The Bushehr power plant sits right across the Gulf from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia’s main oil export terminals.  Any Fukushima-type event in Bushehr will affect millions of people in the region and will surely hit world markets as the Gulf’s main oil export routes are only a short distance away.

 

Read more ...

Egypt close to default and Bahrain one step away from junk bond status

Cyprus has been dominating the financial news over the past two weeks.  The crisis seemed to come out of nowhere and rattle financial markets.  There are many questions that come up with events like these.  One key question is, did this crisis really come out of nowhere?  Another key question is, how can we spot potential crisis in the future?  What about the Middle East and the GCC in particular, are there any trouble spots?

 

Read more ...

Gulf Air can only be saved by government handouts

As Gulf Air struggles to stay relevant, Bahrain Air closes down.  Local unrest and a slowdown of business and tourist traffic to Bahrain is partially to blame, but the leading media in the region are missing the full story.  Here are two recent articles, the first on Bahrain Air and the next on Gulf Air.

Read more ...