Arab States Weekly Review 28 Nov – 4 Dec 09

Heavy rainfall in Saudi Arabia has led to floods resulting in around 100 deaths, according to local officials. Dozen are still said to be missing, raising fears the death will rise further. The heaviest flooding was reported in Jeddah and Mecca. Heavy rainstorms on Wednesday already hampered the start of the annual Hajj pilgrimage, however no casualties were reported in Mecca.

Three people have died in an explosion at a petrol station in Damascus, capital of Syria. The Syrian interior minister ruled out a terrorist attack, and said the tyre of the bus exploded as it was being pumped. The bus was carrying Iranian pilgrims visiting the Sayyida Zeinab shrine for Shia Muslims.

Dubai World outlined its plans to restructure $26bn in debt, following last week’s request for a six-month delay on debt payments. The issue raised fears in the Gulf region and hit global stockmarkets. Abu Dhabi, Dubai’s Emirate neighbour, was reluctant to intervene immediately with a bail-out, and said to review situations on per-case basis.

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