It’s the most expensive FIFA World Cup in history.
Despite often seismic political upheavals over the years, most Middle Eastern royal families have been able to weather the storms.
The Qatari government has expressed its regret for distressed caused to female travellers who were subjected to invasive examinations after a newborn baby was found abandoned at Doha airport.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne has described the invasive searching of 13 Australian women as “grossly disturbing”.
Gulf monarchies emerged from the Arab Spring relatively unscathed, while some Middle East republics were devastated by civil war. Here’s how they managed — and how education may have played a part.
In countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain, it’s now official policy that women should go to college and work outside the home. But cultural pressure to marry and have kids remains strong.
To ensure its energy security and influence in the Gulf region, the United Kingdom will likely deepen its relations with GCC nations in a post-Brexit world.
With the opening of a synagogue in Dubai and warmer relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel, some Arab states suddenly appear to be more open to friendship with Israel and Jews. Why?
Despite the calls for a boycott, millions of Muslims will make the pilgrimage to Mecca, one of the five pillars of Islamic practice.
The ongoing conflict between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours could be about to spill onto the football fields of northern England.
FIFA boss Gianni Infantino wants to bring forward plans to expend the tournament from 32 to 48 countries. But it’s not going to be easy.
The oil-exporting organization may have mustered the political will to cut production, but its disunity remains intact.
Qatar’s decision to aid Turkey in the face of American sanctions against the country may finally be a snub too far for its close relationship with the US.
New! Mega sports events wash your government’s tarnished reputation whiter-than-white.
It seems likely that football will remain a pawn in an intensifying proxy war.
Without strategic clarity from the US, the Saudis and their allies are under little pressure to thaw their frozen relationship with Qatar.
Political ethics and sports don’t match well. The recent deal between Rwanda and Arsenal is potentially a case in point.
The Libyan warlord and presidential hopeful looks likely to avoid a summons to The Hague.
There are strong signs that Riyadh has begun a campaign to promote regime change. But the Saudi strategy appears to be backfiring.
Kuwait has first-hand experience of how financial and political shocks can stifle investor confidence in the entire region.