on assignment, Dubai

on assignment, Dubai

Our insight

Collective intelligence


Soleimani killing puts spotlight on Iraqi militias

The US killing of Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani has focused attention on Iran's involvement in Iraq, in particular its support for Shia militias, or Popular Mobilisation Forces.more >

Questions raised over Mexican leader’s war on graft

Lopez Obrador looks to be fulfilling his pledge to tackle corruption but his attitude towards independent institutions does not bode well. more >

Health checks for FDI projects could boost emerging market investment

US-led vetting and certification of big-ticket projects may go a long way to allaying western investor concerns about rule of law and transparency issues.more >

Regardless of the future, Libra has made its presence felt

Facebook’s controversial cryptocurrency may not survive the scrutiny, but the debate it has sparked has done much to progress digital asset regulation.more >

Can blockchain help to rid tech products of ‘conflict minerals’?

Distributed ledger technology used in efforts to remove minerals linked to conflicts from supply chains – but it doesn’t have all the answers. more >

Rogue states look to cryptocurrencies to counter sanctions

Rogue states subject to punitive international sanctions are reportedly turning to cryptocurrencies to try to mitigate their impact. Iran, Venezuela, Russia and North Korea are said to be experimenting with blockchain technology to get around prohibitions on dollar-denominated transactions. more >

Impact of new Syrian crisis on Turkish-Iraqi Kurd relations

The Turkish incursion into northern Syria has left the leaders of the Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq in a difficult position. While the KRG has expressed concerns for ethnic kin in Syria, it has to be careful not to jeopardise its crucial, some would say lifeline, commercial trade with Turkey. more >

How effective are western sanctions against Russia?

Sanctions have steadily increased in recent years yet the Russian economy, though struggling, appears to be surprisingly resilient.more >

US weighs lifting terror-related sanctions against Sudan

Removal of restrictions may be key to consolidating the fragile new power-sharing administration. more >

Headstrong Saudi Crown Prince confronts sobering realities

Mohammed bin Salman billed himself as the young strongman who could transform Saudi Arabia. Two years later, he has little to show for it.more >

Notes from the field

Our work takes us all over the world. Here we share some of our more personal perspectives on some of the destinations we have visited, filed on location.

Beirut experiences controversial facelift

Although it is summer and the high season, there is an eeriness about Beirut’s city centre shopping arcades. The fashionable boutiques feature top international brands, yet but for the odd smattering of well-heeled shoppers, the stores appear largely devoid of customers. Nearby gleaming office blocks likewise seem bereft of activity. And some of the area’s glittering new apartment complexes also look distinctly vacant.