Regional Security Forecast The Year Ahead in the Middle East

The presentation is aimed at providing stakeholders with insight on the existing and emerging security risks in the Middle East, and the outlook for the year ahead. Understanding the political, cultural, and sectarian dynamics in the Middle East is key to identifying the main security risks, and helps travel security managers take a proactive approach to increase their organizations' preparedness and resilience. The presentation should help business personnel and security risk managers reconcile a strategic security watch-list for the year ahead.

Key Business Impacts of the session

  • For Risk Managers: Provides risk managers with forward looking analysis on potential threats and helps them anticipate potential travel security risks, and advise staff accordingly
  • For other business sectors: Understanding travel security risks is a key component in decision making across all sectors/functions of any business. This is particularly relevant to HR departments that manage the recruitment and assignment of staff in different locations. It is also relevant to almost every function that requires travel in the process of conducting business.
  • Long term relevance: The topics discussed will definitely shape the year ahead in the Middle East, but it is uncertain that the threats emanating from extremist militancy are likely to significantly increase next year. There are some early indications of a potential uptick in extremist activity as demonstrated in the first two weeks of 2016, but this requires close monitoring in the coming weeks and months so as to establish whether the threat is going to multiply or simple persist as is, with flare ups every now and then (consistent with 2015).


Mr Hussein Abdallah, Regional Security Information Analyst, International SOS & Control Risks, UAE

Career International SOS and Control Risks – Coordinating Security Information Manager British American Tobacco – ME Security Analyst (2 years) US Embassy Doha, Qatar – Open Source Intelligence Analyst (2.5 years) The Daily Star newspaper – MENA desk editor (2 years), published journalist Educational background Political Studies graduate – American University of Beirut

Henry Smith, Association Director, Control Risks, UAE

Henry leads Control Risks’ political risk consulting for companies considering new opportunities and risk management in the Middle East and North Africa. Henry has spent five years as a country analyst with Control Risks, conducting on-the-ground research for our clients across the region.

Before Control Risks, Henry delivered market entry strategies for a consulting company focusing on North Africa. He has a first-class BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of York and a postgraduate degree in Middle East Politics from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), in which he focused on Iranian domestic politics and foreign policy.