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Gulf and Red Sea Regions

Stories under this heading cover the Gulf and the Red Sea regions, including the Arabian Peninsula, Iran and the countries bordering the Red Sea.

Dubai scraps 30% alcohol tax and fees for personal alcohol licences

The UAE emirate of Dubai has announced that it has scrapped the 30% tax on alcohol, and will no longer charge for personal alcohol licences.

Known as the Gulf's "party capital", where expatriates outnumber nationals by nine to one, Dubai has historically been more attractive to tourists and wealthy foreign workers than its neighbours, partially because of its tolerance of a more liberal lifestyle.

Despite this, the high alcohol tax had led to residents often driving to Umm al-Quwain and other emirates to buy alcohol in bulk.

patrickn97 Mon, 01/02/2023 - 10:33 The free market in foreign policy on display as Xi meets the Arabs
It appears that the principles of the free market now dominate the international system, not only in areas of trade, but also in defence, security and foreign policy, writes Dennis Sammut in today's Monday Commentary on commonspace.eu. Bigger countries are wooing smaller countries, unashamedly displaying their goods, and dismissing those of others. China’s president Xi was in Saudi Arabia last week, to seal China’s new partnership with the Arabs. This week, it will Joe Biden’s turn to host African leaders at the White House. "For the moment small countries are making the most out of this new free market atmosphere in the international system. But they must also keep in mind that, as in the market, demand sometimes slumps abruptly. It is at this point countries will not need just customers, but also friends."
dennis2020 Mon, 12/12/2022 - 05:29

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Israel says it does not oppose "a good nuclear deal" with Iran

Israel says it does not oppose "a good nuclear deal" with Iran

Israeli leaders appear to have recently softened their position as regards a nuclear deal with Iran, saying they would not oppose "a good deal". Israel’s foreign minister, Yair Lapid, said that Israel would have no problem with a strong nuclear deal with Iran on condition that the deal permanently limits Iran’s ability to assemble a nuclear weapon.
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The editorial team at commonspace.eu wish all our readers and subscribers a very happy new year 2022

The editorial team at commonspace.eu wish all our readers and subscribers a very happy new year 2022

We wish health, peace, and prosperity to all our readers and subscribers in Europe and Eurasia, the Caucasus Region, the Middle East and world wide. Happy New Year!
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Sudan's Hamdok to resign

Sudan's Hamdok to resign

The Sudanese prime minister, Abdulla Hamdok has told a group of national political and civil society figures that he intends to resign today (22 December). The group had called on Hamdok to stay in office but sources claim he insists on leaving.
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JCPOA: No clear end to Vienna negotiations, but IAEA-Iran reach agreement on surveillance cameras

JCPOA: No clear end to Vienna negotiations, but IAEA-Iran reach agreement on surveillance cameras

Negotiations in Vienna to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), are “rapidly reaching the end of the road”, warned European negotiators. The negotiators retuned home for the second time after the talks resumed following a long summer break. Negotiators are still committed to constructive efforts and to move at a faster pace. However, media accounts at Palais Coburg on Friday (17 December) said the mood was somber. 
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Seventh round of nuclear talks with Iran leaves Europeans disappointed

Seventh round of nuclear talks with Iran leaves Europeans disappointed

The seventh round of talks between the JCPOA countries and Iran — and the first one with the new Iranian government — have been suspended on Friday (3 December) after European countries claimed that Iran walked back from all previous diplomatic progress. The talks are suspended till next week as negotiators are likely to head back to their capitals to seek instruction on the new situation.