“This is certainly the beginning of the end of oil wealth at this sustained level,” said Karen Young, senior researcher at Columbia’s Center on Global Energy Policy.
“Today’s boom is different because it’s more than an oil crisis,” Young said. “It’s a major shift in the fabric of how we meet global energy needs.”
“Often construction projects are started and then halted when oil money runs out,” said Ellen Wald, a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC. “Because they have so much to spend, there is often not much oversight and there has been a lot of corruption historically.”
According to Omar Al-Ubaydli, director of research at Bahrain-based think tank Derasat, there has also traditionally been a strong emphasis on increasing public sector hires and public sector salaries through bonuses or raises.
The focus on investment in the energy transition is crucial as many parts of the world accelerate their transition to renewable energy, the report said.
Gulf states have resisted the idea that hydrocarbons could be phased out as a primary energy source as environmentally conscious countries shift to alternative sources. Oil is and will remain crucial to the global economy, they say.
Critics say it is in the interest of oil exporters to push that narrative, but oil states have pointed to the surge in crude oil demand that has coincided with the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions around the world.
The United Arab Emirates, one of the world’s largest oil exporters, has warned that too rapid a transition of hydrocarbons could trigger an economic crisis.
Young of Columbia’s Center on Global Energy Policy said that even if economies moved away from oil as an energy source, there would still be demand for oil-based products such as petrochemicals and plastics materials.
Still, experts say Gulf states are realizing that, even if oil demand is still there, such price hikes may not happen again to the same degree or frequency.
“There is a palpable sense that this is a passing boom, and that this could be the last sustained increase in oil prices,” Al-Ubaydli said. “The governments and the people believe that this is an opportunity that should be used to the full, rather than wasted by short-sighted decision-making.”
Iranian woman dies after falling into coma while in vice in custody
- Background: On Tuesday evening, Mahsa Amini and her family, who had traveled from Iran’s Kurdistan region to visit relatives in the capital Tehran, were stopped by a vice squad – a unit that imposes strict dress codes on women. According to IranWire, human rights activists who spoke to the family say police grabbed Amini and forced her into a police vehicle. On Thursday, Tehran police said Amini had suffered a “heart attack.” Iranian officials said on Saturday an autopsy had been performed and the results would be made public after an investigation by experts.
- Why it matters: The incident sparked global outrage, with many using the hashtag #MahsaAmini in English and Farsi on social media to protest Iran’s morality police and the aggression faced by women regarding the country’s strict hijab rules. It also follows recent protests on social media in Tehran against the “National Day of Hijab and Chastity”.
Erdogan wants Turkey to join Shanghai Cooperation Organization
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he was targeting membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) for NATO member Turkey, Reuters reported on Saturday, citing Turkish broadcaster NTV and other media outlets. He spoke to reporters after attending the SCO summit in Uzbekistan. “Our relations with these countries will be in a very different position with this move,” Erdogan said. When asked if he meant membership in the SCO, he said, “Sure, that’s the goal.”
- Background: Turkey is currently a dialogue partner of the SCO, an economic, political and security group whose members are China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
- Why it matters: Joining the SCO would bring Ankara closer to Russia and China as the war in Ukraine polarizes global politics. NATO member Turkey has maintained good relations with Russia during the war and has refrained from joining its Western allies in sanctioning the country.
Images show Iran’s leader at the event amid reports of deteriorating health
Photos and a video published on Iranian government websites and state media show the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, sitting in a mosque in Tehran, attending Arbaeen’s mourning ceremony, end of a 40-day period to mourn the murder of one of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandsons, a day later reports of the ayatollah’s deteriorating health.
- Background: The New York Times reported Friday that Khamenei canceled all public appearances last week after he became “seriously ill” and was under the observation of a team of doctors. Citing four anonymous people familiar with his health, the NYT said Khamenei was on bed rest after undergoing surgery for a bowel obstruction sometime last week.
- Why it matters: Khamenei has been the leader of Iran for the past three decades and is one of the longest-serving rulers in the Middle East. It remains unclear who will succeed the leader, but it is expected that upon his death, the Assembly of Experts will meet to discuss his successor.
what to watch
Queen Rania of Jordan speaks to Becky Anderson of CNN about the advice given to her by the late British Queen Elizabeth II and says it sticks with her to this day.
Watch the interview here:
Around the region
The 24-year-old Casablanca native defeated England golfer Meghan MacLaren in a play-off on Saturday and said her win at the Ladies Open de France would be something she would remember “for the rest of my life,” as she continues her historic victory fourth. in Deauville alongside her husband, Ali, who is also her caddy.
“It feels great,” said Laklalech, the Ladies European Tour website reported. “It’s special to hear it. I have no words to describe this.”
She added that “Morocco is doing a great job promoting golf” and that “winning a Moroccan on a major tour will be huge for the country and for the Arab world in general.”
Laklalech also said she is a big fan of Tunisian tennis star Ons Jabeur, who became the first African woman to play in a grand slam final when she reached both the Wimbledon and US Open finals this year.
By Aimee Lewis
Photo of the day
This article has been updated to correct Karen Young’s designation.