The Middle East

An energy crisis and geopolitics are creating a new-look Gulf

It will be richer, more powerful – and more volatile.

An oil worker in Saudi Arabia. In response to tight energy markets, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are ramping up capital investment in oil. PHOTO: REUTERS
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In eight weeks roughly 1 million football fans will descend on Qatar for the World Cup, many of them travelling via neighbouring cities such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi. They will find a Gulf in the midst of a US$3.5 trillion (S$5 trillion) energy bonanza, courtesy of Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine. Western politicians facing a cost-of-living crisis are once again paying homage to the royalty of the fossil-fuel economy. 

Olaf Scholz, Germany’s Chancellor, is due to visit on Saturday; in July President Joe Biden fist-bumped Muhammad bin Salman, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, a country he had branded a pariah for its human-rights abuses.

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