World

Saudi budget to tackle record deficit
Dec 22

Saudi budget to tackle record deficit

Riyadh : Saudi Arabia on Thursday releases its first budget since announcing a wide-ranging economic reform plan after collapsed oil prices led to one of the highest deficits in the developing world. "Tough measures" including subsidy cuts are expected as the kingdom seeks to balance the books by 2020, the Arab News...

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'Trump's ME visit must begin with Bahrain'
Dec 13

'Trump's ME visit must begin with Bahrain'

Manama : A meeting between US President – elect Donald Trump and His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa would send a warning to enemies in the Middle East (ME), according to an American daily. When Trump looks to the broader Middle East for allies he will find no leader more reliable and trustworthy...

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Qatar to merge state-owned giant gas producers
Dec 11

Qatar to merge state-owned giant gas producers

Doha : Qatar, the world's largest liquified natural gas producer, announced on Sunday it is to merge state-owned Qatargas and RasGas to create a "truly unique global energy operator". Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, president and chief executive of state-owned Qatar Petroleum, said the move to the merger would begin right...

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American comic’s show cancelled in Saudi Arabia
Dec 11

American comic’s show cancelled in Saudi Arabia

Riyadh : A performance in Saudi Arabia by US stand-up comedian and actor Mike Epps has been cancelled, its organisers said, after complaints from Islamic hardliners. The show, scheduled for next week, was one of numerous events lined up to begin introducing entertainment to kingdom. “Dear clients, we...

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Saudi king on regional tour ahead of GCC summit
Dec 05

Saudi king on regional tour ahead of GCC summit

Saudi Arabia's King Salman arrived in Qatar on Monday as part of a rare regional tour ahead of the annual summit of Arab leaders of the oil-rich Gulf states. The trip comes at the time of a political transition in the United States and as deadly conflicts rage in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. He began his tour in the...

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9,000 ‘illegals’ to leave Qatar
Nov 24

9,000 ‘illegals’ to leave Qatar

Doha : Around 9,000 people living illegally in Qatar are expected to leave the country under an ongoing three-month amnesty for undocumented residents, a senior immigration official has told. The amnesty runs until December 1 and allows those without the correct paperwork to live and work in Qatar to leave...

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Dubai drops case against Briton
Nov 24

Dubai drops case against Briton

Dubai : Prosecutors in Dubai said they have dropped the case against a British woman who had faced possible charges of extramarital sex after accusing two compatriots of rape. A video obtained from the mobile telephone of one of the two men provided evidence that the act “happened with the consent of the...

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Region’s first dedicated infectious  diseases hospital opens in Qatar
Nov 19

Region’s first dedicated infectious diseases hospital opens in Qatar

Doha : The first hospital in the region dedicated to treating and researching infectious diseases has formally opened in Qatar. The Communicable Diseases Centre was inaugurated by the country’s prime minister yesterday. It specialises in illnesses such as Tuberculosis (TB), Middle East Respiratory...

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Prince Charles is in Oman!
Nov 06

Prince Charles is in Oman!

Muscat  : Prince Charles brandished a sword and took part in a traditional dance on Saturday on his trip to Oman with his wife Camilla, the first full day of the couple’s three-nation royal tour of the Gulf. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall arrived in the Middle East on Friday on an official...

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Oman to introduce VAT in two years
Nov 06

Oman to introduce VAT in two years

Muscat : Oman announced yesterday that it will implement value-added tax (VAT) by the beginning of 2018 in a move to diversify its revenues amid the plunge in oil prices. Oman will also raise the prices of various commodities, including those harmful to health such as alcohol, tobacco, ham and fizzy and energy...

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Saudi Arabia population nears 32mn
Nov 06

Saudi Arabia population nears 32mn

Riyadh : The total population of Saudi Arabia in 2016 was 31,742,308, up from 27,236,156 in 2010, official figures indicate. The figures released by the General Authority for Statistics showed a 16.54pc increase at an annual average of 2.54pc. Males represent 57.44pc of the total population while females make...

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Irish jihadi ‘Terry Taliban’ blows himself up in Iraq suicide bombing
Nov 06

Irish jihadi ‘Terry Taliban’ blows himself up in Iraq suicide bombing

Mosul : An Irish jihadi has blown himself up in a suicide attack in Mosul. Khalid Kelly, known as Terry Taliban in Dublin, killed himself on Friday night as fighting continued in Mosul. Kelly, who was calling himself Abu Osama Al-Irlandi, was a former altar boy who was born in the Liberties in Dublin and trained...

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Qatar to grow  16,000 trees
Nov 02

Qatar to grow 16,000 trees

Doha : Desert state Qatar is to grow 16,000 trees for the 2022 football World Cup to plant round stadiums as part of the tournament’s “legacy”, organisers announced yesterday. The trees will be grown at an 880,000-square metre nursery in the northern part of Qatar, then replanted close to the...

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Kuwait bars 47 candidates
Nov 02

Kuwait bars 47 candidates

Kuwait City : Kuwait’s election authorities yesterday barred 47 candidates from contesting parliamentary polls later this month for being convicted in courts or not fulfilling nomination requirements, candidates said. Those barred include former opposition MPs Bader al-Dahum and Safa al-Hashem, as well as...

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Kuwait plans to end subsidies by 2020
Oct 31

Kuwait plans to end subsidies by 2020

Kuwait City : Kuwait, under financial stress due to low oil prices, plans to end all forms of public subsidies by 2020, a report published on Monday said. A committee set up by the finance ministry to review all public subsidies said it plans to gradually reduce subsidies until it ends them completely by 2020,...

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Iran unveils 'suicide drone'
Oct 26

Iran unveils 'suicide drone'

Tehran : Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday they had developed a "suicide drone" capable of delivering explosives to blow up targets at sea and on land.  The new drone is primarily for maritime surveillance and "has not been designed to be armed with missiles," the Tasnim news...

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 Iran calls for more Asian investment
Oct 26

Iran calls for more Asian investment

Singapore : Iran on Wednesday urged more Asian companies to invest in the country, saying the lifting of nuclear-linked sanctions had opened vast opportunities for foreign capital. Central bank governor Valiollah Seif told a business seminar in Singapore that reforms put in place since President Hassan Rouhani...

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Saudi Arabia sign nuclear deal with Kazakhstan
Oct 26

Saudi Arabia sign nuclear deal with Kazakhstan

Riyadh : Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman received President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh on Tuesday. They reviewed bilateral relations and ways of enhancing them in all fields. They also discussed the latest developments on the regional and international...

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Dubai billionaire plans new messaging app for Arabic-speakers
Oct 26

Dubai billionaire plans new messaging app for Arabic-speakers

Dubai : Billionaire Mohamed Alabbar, one of Dubai’s most prominent businessmen, plans a phone messaging service for the Middle East that aims to compete with services such as WhatsApp. Alabbar, who made his fortune as the chairman of Dubai’s largest listed property developer, Emaar Properties, has been...

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Saudi police arrest 'online cross-dresser'
Oct 18

Saudi police arrest 'online cross-dresser'

Riyadh : Saudi police have arrested a man on public order charges after he was accused of cross-dressing online, a report said on late Monday. Police in Qassim, northwest of the capital Riyadh, "arrested a famous Snapchat personality who appeared in video clips dressed like women," the Sabq online newspaper...

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No plan to deport expats above 40, says ministry
Oct 18

No plan to deport expats above 40, says ministry

Jeddah : An official source from the Ministry of Labor and Social Development has denied rumors circulating on social media and online news sites that expatriates over 40 years of age would be deported. The source said that it was a false news story and that such rumors harmed expatriates in Saudi Arabia. He said...

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Iranian woman is now US’s top bikini designer!
Oct 18

Iranian woman is now US’s top bikini designer!

Washington : A Muslim woman who was punished for wearing a miniskirt says she's been heavily criticised for pursuing a career as a swimwear designer. Tala Raassi told FEMAIL how she was sentenced to 40 lashes in her hometown of Tehran for attending a mixed party when she was 16 - but has refused to let her ordeal...

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Warplanes hit Aleppo ahead of new diplomatic push
Oct 14

Warplanes hit Aleppo ahead of new diplomatic push

Beirut : Syrian and Russian warplanes carried out fresh strikes on rebel-held districts of Aleppo early Thursday, after an intense bombardment over the previous two days killed at least 71 civilians, a monitor said. Rebel fire on government-held areas of the city killed at least eight...

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Cholera outbreak hits Yemen: UNICEF
Oct 08

Cholera outbreak hits Yemen: UNICEF

Sanaa : War-torn Yemen is suffering from a cholera outbreak, the UN’s children agency said yesterday, posing a further threat to infants in the impoverished nation.   “This outbreak adds to the misery of millions of children in Yemen,” UNICEF Yemen representative Julien Harneis said in a...

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Egypt lifts block on island transfer
Oct 01

Egypt lifts block on island transfer

Cairo : An Egyptian court suspended on Thursday a previous ruling freezing the controversial transfer of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, which had provoked protests when announced earlier this year. The decision by the urgent matters court may be used by the government as a green light to go ahead with the...

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Egypt MP  ridiculed for  proposing  college  virginity tests
Oct 01

Egypt MP ridiculed for proposing college virginity tests

Cairo : An Egyptian member of parliament is facing ridicule for saying that universities should perform virginity tests on female students. Ilhamy Agina reportedly told an Egyptian newspaper on Thursday that virginity should be a prerequisite for admission to university. He argued that it would help to end the...

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Artillery fire rocks Aleppo as Syria army presses assault
Oct 01

Artillery fire rocks Aleppo as Syria army presses assault

Syria: Heavy artillery exchanges rocked Syria's battleground second city Aleppo throughout the night as government forces pressed a two-pronged assault on rebel-held districts, an AFP correspondent reported on Saturday. The government's offensive to recapture the whole of Aleppo has been bolstered by its Russian...

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UAE to take in 15,000  Syrian  refugees
Sep 24

UAE to take in 15,000 Syrian refugees

The United Arab Emirates has said it will take in 15,000 Syrian refugees over the next five years in a major policy shift.Reem al-Hashimi, the UAE’s minister of international cooperation, told the UN summit on refugees in New York this week that the Gulf state has donated more than $750m to support Syrian...

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Kuwait royal jailed for three years for 'insulting' ruler
Sep 20

Kuwait royal jailed for three years for 'insulting' ruler

Kuwait City:A Kuwaiti court sentenced a ruling family member to three years in prison on Tuesday on charges of insulting the Gulf state's ruler and other royals. Any criticism of Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah can result in charges of insulting him. Dozens of opposition activists have been jailed for the...

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Eight injured in Saudi Aramco fire
Sep 20

Eight injured in Saudi Aramco fire

Riyadh:Eight workers at the Saudi Arabian state oil company Saudi Aramco were injured in an oil terminal fire on Tuesday, the company said. There was no impact on operations at the Gulf coast Ras Tanura facility, Saudi Aramco said in a statement. Emergency services "successfully responded to a minor fire" at about...

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Saudi foils plot to attack targets in the kingdom
Sep 20

Saudi foils plot to attack targets in the kingdom

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia said yesterday it has arrested 17 people from three cells linked to the Islamic State group which planned to attack military and other facilities. The interior ministry said 16 men and one woman were in custody. They are mostly Saudis but include one Yemeni, an Egyptian and a Palestinian. They...

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Saudi hospital staff strike over unpaid wages
Sep 19

Saudi hospital staff strike over unpaid wages

Riyadh:  Staff at a hospital in eastern Saudi Arabia have gone on strike over unpaid wages, workers said Monday, in the kingdom's latest case of corporate financial difficulties. "We are on strike," a nurse at Saad Specialist Hospital in the Gulf coast city of Al-Khobar told AFP by telephone. "We didn't receive...

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Two policemen killed in Saudi Arabia
Sep 19

Two policemen killed in Saudi Arabia

Dammam : Two Saudi policemen have been shot dead by unidentified gunmen in the mainly Shia eastern city of Dammam on Saturday.The officers were patrolling the area in a police car late on Saturday when they came under fire, authorities said, describing the incident as a "terrorist attack".Doctors at the...

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Kuwait plans huge DNA database
Sep 16

Kuwait plans huge DNA database

Kuwait City : Kuwait is planning to build an enormous DNA database that would compile the genetic makeup not only of citizens but also of other residents and visitors. Such a database would be the first of its kind in the world. It would mean that more than 1.3 million...

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Hajj season declared epidemic-free
Sep 15

Hajj season declared epidemic-free

Manama : This year’s Hajj season has been declared epidemic-free, revealed Saudi Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq Al Rabiah, adding that all pilgrims were completely healthy. The ministry has equipped 25 hospitals and 158 health centres and recruited as many as 26,000 health personnel, said Dr. Al...

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‘It was so emotional seeing Holy Kaaba for the first time’
Sep 14

‘It was so emotional seeing Holy Kaaba for the first time’

Jeddah : Filipina TV presenter Habibah Sarip is performing her first pilgrimage. She is part of a group of some 150 international journalists invited by the Ministry of Culture and Information. “This is the first time I’m performing Haj,” she says. “It was so emotional seeing the Kaba for the...

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‘Joint action vital to snuff out terror’ : Bahrain FM
Sep 10

‘Joint action vital to snuff out terror’ : Bahrain FM

Cairo : A collective and realistic action is needed to eliminate terrorism and dry up funding, said Minister of Foreign Affairs Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa.  “Common endeavours should be exerted to eliminate terrorist groups. We should not give them the opportunity to reach their goals and...

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The hajj in numbers
Sep 10

The hajj in numbers

Mecca : The hajj pilgrimage, which got under way in the Muslim holy places in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, is one of the world's largest annual gatherings. Here are some figures illustrating its scale, according to officials and local media:   - More than 1.4 million pilgrims from abroad are expected to join in...

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Work starts on two new Iran nuclear reactors
Sep 10

Work starts on two new Iran nuclear reactors

Tehran : Russian and Iranian firms began work on Saturday on two additional reactors at Iran's nuclear power plant on the Gulf coast at Bushehr, the project manager said. The plant has been a bone of contention with Iran's Gulf Arab neighbours, even after a deal limiting its nuclear ambitions was signed with major...

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New hospital in Oman to offer free consultation
Sep 08

New hospital in Oman to offer free consultation

Muscat : Patients at a new hospital in Oman will receive treatment for a zero consultation fee during the first month of operation, according to the medical group’s chairman. Shifa Al Jazeera Medical Group, a well-established hospital chain in the GCC, will open its first premium polyclinic in Al Khuwair...

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Gulf states accuse Iran of trying to politicise Hajj
Sep 07

Gulf states accuse Iran of trying to politicise Hajj

Riyadh : Gulf Arab states accused Iran on Wednesday of trying to politicise the Hajj after its supreme leader lashed out at Saudi authorities over their management of the annual pilgrimage. The head of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council said that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's remarks accusing Riyadh of "murder" over...

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Tehran-Riyadh war of words hots up as Iranians miss hajj
Sep 07

Tehran-Riyadh war of words hots up as Iranians miss hajj

Tehran : Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused Saudi authorities of "bigoted extremism" late Tuesday in an increasingly bitter war of words over Iran's exclusion from this year's hajj pilgrimage.  Javad Zarif was responding to a claim by Saudi Arabia's most senior cleric, Grand Mufti Abdulaziz...

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British Airways system fails globally, thousands stranded
Sep 06

British Airways system fails globally, thousands stranded

London : Tens of thousands of British Airways passengers face delays and disruption due to what the airline calls "problems with the computer systems".  Overnight, travellers from destinations worldwide - and in particular North America - have been turning up at check-in to discover long queues. At...

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New details emerge on plot to kill Makkah emir
Sep 03

New details emerge on plot to kill Makkah emir

Makkah : New details have emerged on the plot to assassinate Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, emir of Makkah Province and adviser to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. An unknown number of suspects are facing trial in this connection, informed sources told Okaz/Saudi Gazette. The sources added that the assassination plot was...

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Iranian Parliament’s hostile remarks slammed by MPs
Sep 03

Iranian Parliament’s hostile remarks slammed by MPs

Manama : Bahraini lawmakers have taken a potshot at the recent hostile statements made by the Iranian Parliament against the Kingdom.   Commenting on Bahrain’s decision to revoke the citizenship of controversial cleric Isa Qassim for his involvement in illegal activities, the Iranian Islamic...

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Iranian plot to sabotage Saudi-India ties foiled
Sep 03

Iranian plot to sabotage Saudi-India ties foiled

A swift and tactical move by India has put paid to the Iranian trickery of sowing distrust in the strong and time-tested relations between Riyadh and New Delhi. A recent Iranian and Hezbollah-backed Lebanese Al-Alam news channel report claimed that Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj has allegedly played down the...

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GCC to celebrate Eid al Adha on September 12
Sep 03

GCC to celebrate Eid al Adha on September 12

Riyadh/Manama : The Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia after a meeting to analyse the moon reports on Thursday corresponding to 29th of Dhulka'edah 1437 AH announced that Eid al Adha this year will be celebrated on September 12 whereas Youm-ul-Hajj i.e. Arafat Day will be on September 11. "Since no response incoming...

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Selena Gomez takes career break over health issues; gulf concert cancelled
Aug 31

Selena Gomez takes career break over health issues; gulf concert cancelled

Dubai : Selena Gomez has taken a break from music as she battles with the side effects of Lupus, an autoimmune disease that has subsequently caused the singer ‘anxiety, panic attacks and depression’. Fans in UAE will also be devastated to learn Gomez’s November 18 concert at the Autism Rocks Arena...

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Expat woman accused of chopping husband to pieces in Sharjah
Aug 31

Expat woman accused of chopping husband to pieces in Sharjah

Sharjah : The Criminal Court of Sharjah will next week hear a murder case in which a Bangladeshi woman is accused of killing her Pakistani husband, who is identified as A.A.M. According to a report in Arabic daily Al Ittihad, the wife is accused of chopping her husband's body and stuffing it in plastic bags and...

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Doha airport brings in passenger tax
Aug 29

Doha airport brings in passenger tax

Doha : Qatar's international airport said Monday it is to charge passengers an exit tax as the energy-reliant emirate adjusts to falling oil prices. The 35-riyal ($10) levy is to be introduced this week, Hamad International Airport (HIA) said in a statement. The fee, to be added to airline ticket prices, will apply...

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