Head to Dubai’s Newest Theme ...

Dubai is about to take the world's limelight away from some world-famous theme parks as it opens its own in Shaikh Zayed Road with a 25m square feet o...

First 3D Printed Office Rises in Du...

Dubai has gone first in the industry of construction-level 3D printing after it has established an entire 3D printed office. UAE Prime Minister...

Saudi Arabia Purchases Drones From ...

A Saudi political analyst revealed that the Kingdom purchases drones from Israel through South Africa. Despite disputes between the latter two coun...

Saudi Activists Count Minors Among ...

About 47 men whose sentences were carried out after the New Year had sparked worldwide outrage when it was reported that among the 47 executed were mi...

Head to Dubai’s Newest Theme Park For Three Reasons!

Dubai is about to take the world’s limelight away from some world-famous theme parks as it opens its own in Shaikh Zayed Road with a 25m square feet of space to move around.

By October, that space will have a fully constructed integrated theme park.

According to CEO of Dubai Parks and Resort Raed Kajoor Al Nuaimi, the theme park actually has three theme parks, one water park, a Polynesian themed hotel and a retail and dining district.

The parks would be within walking distance of one another.

Siegfried Boerst, general manager of Lego Land, said: “Lego City is the largest of the six themed areas of lego Land. You will have a driving school and a boating school, where children can experience driving a car or steering a boat all by themselves.”

The Motiongate Dubai Theme Park would feature Studio Central, Sony Pictures Studios, Smurfs Village, Dreamworks and Lionsgate.

What to expect

Riverland: Located in the middle of the resort, the river is one kilometre long and a half-metre deep that will include shops, restaurants, and a hotel. Boats will also be available to take visitors around the park.

Motiongate: The number of attractions at the Hollywood theme park is extensive, but some of the major highlights include: The Green Hornet rollercoaster, Hotel Transylvania, and an entertainment zone at the Hunger Games.

Bollywood Parks: The 850-seat Rajmahal Theatre will feature musical performances several times a week, as well as six themed restaurants.

Legoland: The Dragon roller coaster is 530 meters long and 16 metre high, and can reach speeds of up to 60 kilometres per hour. It will also have Legoland Kingdom and a Legoland City.

First 3D Printed Office Rises in Dubai

Dubai has gone first in the industry of construction-level 3D printing after it has established an entire 3D printed office.

UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed had unveiled the 3D printed office. Adorning the Emirates Towers, the Dubai Future Foundation would use the printed property as its temporary office.

The Organisation’s focus is to deliver smart technologies to the emirate, which would include driverless cars, world future games and other technological innovations.

The 3D printer had used cement and other building materials of US and UAE grade. The printer was tested in China and the United States. Modules made of cements had been “printed” and a robotic arm assisted in the process.

A human monitored the print as it progressed. About 17 other people installed the site’s components, effectively reducing the workforce for constructing buildings by 50 per cent.

Mohammed said during its unveiling:

“We announce today the opening of the first 3D-printed office in the world, after less than a month of launching Dubai 3D printing strategy, which showcases a modern model of construction. This is an experience we present to the world on implementing future technology in our lives, and it represents a new milestone for the UAE as a global leader in strategic achievements.”

He added: “We see this project as a case study that will benefit regulators as well as research and development centres at the regional and international levels on real application of 3D printing technology. We are documenting this experience and building on it to take advantage of the most important lessons, which will serve as a reference point to take this technology to new levels.”

Saudi Arabia Purchases Drones From South Africa And Israel

A Saudi political analyst revealed that the Kingdom purchases drones from Israel through South Africa.

Despite disputes between the latter two countries, the three have continued their activities.

It is in the Kingdom where the drones are assembled during their final shipment.

According to the analyst, claims made by the Saudi Defence Ministry that it would build a drone factory with South Africa are false.

The analyst said Saudi Arabia only intends to purchase drones from Israel through South Africa.

The activity is tantamount to fraud, leaving the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammad bin Salman as a fraudster and is lying to the kingdom.

The informant also stressed that Saudi Arabia’s stance against Israel proves the Prince to be a traitor serving Israel’s interests.

Israel and Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic relations do not exist. However, intelligence agencies have noted behind-the-scenes cooperation between the two countries during times of external conflict.

The original Arab-Israeli conflict had divided the two countries.

In 2005, Saudi Arabia had announced a ban on the shipment of Israeli goods and services. Israel had banned Saudi Arabia as it had openly supported Israel’s long-time enemy the Hamas and Palestinians.

Both countries, however, are opposed to the Iran nuclear deal, which both see as a threat.

Saudi Activists Count Minors Among the 47 Executed By Kingdom

About 47 men whose sentences were carried out after the New Year had sparked worldwide outrage when it was reported that among the 47 executed were minors in the kingdom.

The execution is one of the country’s biggest mass executions for more than 30 years.

It was preceded by the death of a leading Shia cleric that sparked mass Shia protests in Saudi Arabia and different parts of the Middle East. Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr’s death was blamed on the government. In Tehran, the Saudi embassy was mobbed by the angry protesters.

UK Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn raised the cases of al-Nimr’s nephew, Ali Mohammed al-Nimr as one of the minors arrested during the round up in 2012. At the time, it was thought young men were exempted from execution. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said British pressure contributed to the exemption of the minors.

According to anti-torture and capital punishment group Reprieve, one of the four Shia children were 17 at the time of their offences in 2012. Not tried in a juvenile court despite the Saudi constitution stating minors should be tried without death penalty, the case of the minors were kept secret according to the organisation’s sources.

Reprieve said in a statement: “The Saudi authorities did not inform his family of the execution and had kept the location of his burial secret.” According to the group, it proves that Saudi authorities are “quite happy” to execute juvenile protesters if they think no one is looking.

Saudi Arabia Is Both Part Of The Jihadi Problem and Solution

According to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Saudi Arabia is in a difficult situation between thwarting the Islamic State (IS) militants, who they claim have wrongly interpreted Islamic teachings, and being the sponsors of the same militants. Clinton believes the subject needs the utmost attention because of its complexity.

Reports of Saudi Arabians funding the IS or even joining its ranks are plentiful.

Its Own Puritanical Vision of Islam

Saudi Arabia argues the IS has a different view of Islam. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s own version of Islam is puritanical, making their inhabitants vulnerable to supporting such idea of faith.

Belgium, which has the highest numbers of Muslims from Morocco, have exported their own faithful to the Al-Qaeda and even the IS. It had made the country known as one of Europe’s “Jihad Central”, as coined by Brooking’s Institution Foreign Policy Centre Senior Fellow Bruce Riedel.

The Two Solutions To Global Jihad

To combat extremism, the US State Secretary called on both Saudi Arabia and Qatar, two countries with the highest IS sponsors, to ensure their citizens will not fund terrorist groups.

Riedel continued to say that the royalties in Saudi Arabia who are in the government, must place more effort to fight terrorism by introducing talks on sensitive issues including the funding of terrorist groups from their own shores.

Saudi Arabia: Assad Has No Future In Syria

Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has no future in Syria. The conflict between regime and rebels could only mean a transitional council where Assad gives up power and is exiled. Military force is the other option to remove Assad from power, which would mean massive destruction resting in the hands of the Syrian President.

Saudi Arabia made it clear it was supporting “moderate rebels” in the Syrian Civil war to fight against Syria.

A transitional council had almost broken through between the Syrian National Coalition and the Syrian Regime in the early years of the civil war. However, it had failed to create a breakthrough for both sides.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin had defended Assad, saying that his Syrian government is fighting against Islamic State extremists on the ground. Claiming parliamentary clearance, Russia is to provide support to the Syrian regime to quell the rise of IS forces.

US forces confirmed the arrival of 30 Russian aircraft in Western Syria.

Many politicians believe Putin is at an impasse with the aircrafts yet to see any real action. Analysts said Putin’s intention could be to show Russia’s efforts without having to do anything at all.

US President Barack Obama said Assad has nowhere to stay during an Anti-ISIS summit on Tuesday. During the Summit, the US had issued sanctions against 25 individuals and five groups connected to the Islamic State.

Obama said:

“This is not going to be turned around overnight … There are going to be successes and there are going to be setbacks. This is not a conventional battle. This is a long-term campaign – not only against this particular network, but against its ideology.

“But, ultimately, I am optimistic. In Iraq and in Syria, Isil [another acronym for the Islamic State] is surrounded by communities, countries and a broad international coalition committed to its destruction,” he said. “Like terrorists and tyrants throughout history, Isil will eventually lose because it has nothing to offer but suffering and death.”

 

OPEC Subsidies Removal Increases Gas Prices In UAE

The Kingdom has raised its prices for unleaded gasoline by 24 per cent the following month as it becomes the first country to remove subsidies on transport fuel.

Motorists are now to pay AED 2.14 per liter ($0.58) for 95- octane unleaded gasoline starting on August 1. The oil prices will continue to deregulate. This is a huge leap from its original price of AED 1.72 per litre according to the Ministry of Energy’s website.

Analysts say that it is one of the biggest reforms in oil-rich countries. UAE will also be the first country to perform the removal of subsidies from transport fuel.

Senior Emerging Markets Economist at Capital Economics Ltd. In London William Jackson said it is one of the most ambitious reforms within the Gulf countries given the strength of the UAE. He said the move may be to appease its investors that its fiscal position will not deteriorate badly soon.

However, it’s a bear market for oil this quarter as oil prices continue to fall. The energy ministry had set prices for 98-octane unleaded oil at AED2.25 per liter and 91-octane grade at AED2.07 per litre.

Brent crude oil’s price had fallen more than 50% in the last 12 months now at $52.98 a barrel in London.

Libya’s plans to emerge from the financial backwaters

After years of economic uncertainty, Libya seems poised to re-emerge into the global financial community. The plan is to engage in a process of taking back control of investments that have been frozen since 2011’s revolution that toppled Muammar Gaddafi. If successful, it will allow the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) to reinvest billions of dollars of assets that have been forced into dormancy during the last four years.

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In total, the Libyan Investment Authority is applying to regain control of $67 billion of Libya’s national wealth fund, through license applications in a number of different international jurisdictions. If successful, these will kick start a process that will allow a partial management of the funds at stake.

The LIA was set up under Gaddafi’s government to ensure financial stability for Libya’s heavily oil-dependent economy. With Libya’s finances in turmoil since the revolution, these license applications, as well as high-profile court cases, will allow it to make a significant step back towards mainstream international acceptance.

The plans were revealed in an interview given by Hassan Bouhadi to the Telegraph (Arabic). where he discussed plans to sue Goldman Sachs and Societe Generale in the London Courts for what the LIA sees as actions that “squandered” the LIA’s funds. Their claim is that the two banks invested the fund’s assets in high-risk derivative transactions that were wiped out in 2008. The LIA is claiming billions of dollars in compensation in a strongly contested lawsuit.

The LIA is most concerned at present with a 30 percent portion of its $67 billion assets that are in a number of foreign equities, bonds and similar holdings. These assets were frozen under international sanctions in 2011, a status that the new Libyan government wishes to remain in place. At the same time however, these investments need managing to maintain their value – for example where bonds have matured, or the portfolio has become overexposed to risk due to commodity fluctuations.

Following visits to Washington and EU authorities and ambassadors, Mr Bouhadi has been pressing for a method of permitting the preservation of these Libyan investments to prevent the Libyan people’s funds being devalued. The hope is that deals and licenses can be arranged to allow reinvestment of matured bonds in a ring-fenced manner that doesn’t allow them to be cashed in. For example, equity assets, such as the LIA’s 3.2 percent stake in Pearson (owner of the Financial Times), might be allowed to reinvest coupon payments and dividends rather than those funds sitting inactive.

The LIA’s actions are the first steps in a longer process of unfreezing the affected assets, but that outcome is not expected to happen until political stability has been achieved in Libya. The country is still torn by civil war and complex power struggles that have been fought since Gaddafi was overthrown. The internationally-recognised government has been forced out of the nation’s capital, Tripoli, by Islamist militias, and areas of the country are under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Even the LIA has been caught up in these turbulent politics, with the Tripoli-backed former chairman, Abdulmagid Breish, currently attempting to replace Mr Bouhadi. Among the fights currently underway has been Mr Breish’s hiring of law firm Stephenson Harwood in London for an attempt to take control of the lawsuits against Goldman Sacs and Societe Generale.

After Eight Years, Tony Blair Resigns From Middle East Spot

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair had declared his resignation today as Britain’s Middle East Envoy

Tony Blair’s position seeks a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine. In eight years, however, he and a quartet of international representatives were unable to bring much progress.

Blair had written to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon about his resignation.

Meanwhile, the quartet is focusing on the implications of Blair’s resignation. The discussion revolves around his replacement. However, many said that Blair will not “leave the scene” and may act as advisor at crucial times.

After his Prime Minister tenure, Tony Blair immediately took his position as Britain’s Envoy to the Middle East with the aim of helping the Palestinian economy develop and improve its governance. The job, however, was no easy feat.

Much of Britain views the former prime minister quite negatively because of his part-responsibility for the 2003 Iraq invasion. He was also seen closer to Israelis than the Palestinians he was to help.

Blair had been said not to speak out his thoughts or even try to do anything to better the situation.

Saudi Arabia Begins Military Campaign Against Yemen On A “Defensive” Stance

Saudi Arabia announced that it would launch a military campaign against Yemen. A Saudi Official said that it was the first step to restore a Yemeni government that collapsed because of the Shia Houthi rebels. The official said the campaign was to bring Yemen back to its rightful rulers.

Analysts fear the involvement of Iran, whose Shia-heavy population could have a great influence over the Shia Houthi rebels.

Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel al-Jubeir said the air campaign has begun. He said that Saudi Arabia will do everything in its power to protect the legitimate Yemeni Government.

As fighters and army units have joined the Houthi rebels in Aden in finding and capturing the escaped and ousted President Abdurabbuh Mansour Hadi. They have seized a military base and have launched an aerial assault on his home. Just by Wednesday morning, the rebels had captured the al-Anad air base, 35 miles away from Hadi’s Aden refuge.

Before the rebels can capture the President, Saudi chose to intervene.

Meanwhile, analysts said that the country was slipping slowly into a civil war. The presence of terrorist and militant groups al-Qaeda and ISIS may also play a huge role in the conflict’s evolution.