x

Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Beyond the Headlines podcast: Saudi Arabia's great change, the GCC in 2018 and Iraq rebuilding

Naser Al Wasmi is joined by his colleagues on The National's foreign desk, Dana Moukhallati and Mina Al Droubi, to look at what might be in stock for the region in 2018.

Of the six GCC countries, Saudi Arabia and the UAE look set to definitely implement VAT. Guiseppe Cacace/ AFP
Of the six GCC countries, Saudi Arabia and the UAE look set to definitely implement VAT. Guiseppe Cacace/ AFP

The Middle East in 2017 could end up looking relatively tame, given the region has become characterised by extreme, often dramatic, changes.

While the Arab world has been a stage for an ever-shifting political reality, with coups, civil wars, and millions of people displaced by conflict in the last decade, the Arabian Gulf, has remained relatively peaceful as its leaders have a policy of prioritizing stability.

But this year was different. Three of the biggest stories of 2017 came out of the Arabian Gulf: the reform policies of Saudi Arabia, the GCC crisis and the major changes within Iraq.