1. Sanctions on Iran to be lifted: The oil and financial sanctions on Iran are expected to be lifted within the first three months of 2016 and, once they are, many businesses could be affected or could be offered many new opportunities with the Iranian market
2. FIFA’s new president: Earlier this year, FIFA president Sepp Blatter was banned from soccer for eight years after he allegedly made a payment of $2.1 million to the head of the governing body of European soccer, UEFA. Therefore, FIFA will elect its next president from among five candidates on February 26, 2016.
3. Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank opens: The China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) – seen as a potential rival to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank – has been formally established and is expected to be operational in early 2016. According to news reports, the bank will hold its opening ceremony in mid-January and formally elect its president.
4. Switzerland to unveil one of the world’s longest and deepest railway tunnels: In June 2016, Switzerland will reveal a much-needed shortcut through the Alps, with the opening of one of the longest and deepest railway tunnels in the world.
5. UEFA Euro 2016 in France: Football seems to be a big thing next year, with the 2016 European Football Championship set to be hosted by France for one month from June 10 until July 10.
6. Rio de Janeiro to host the Olympic Games: Rio de Janeiro will become the first South American city to host the Olympic Games. The event will take place throughout August 2016.
7. US presidential elections: The 58th US presidential election will be held on November 8, 2016. The current president of the United States, Barack Obama, is ineligible to be elected for a third term and, therefore, a new president will be chosen.
8. FIFA Club World Cup in Japan: The 13th edition of the FIFA Club World Cup will take place in Japan in December 2016. The FIFA-organized international club football tournament will welcome continental confederations as well as the national league champion, to battle it out for the cup.
9. Dubai Eye: Expected to be the largest Ferris wheel in the world, the Dubai Eye, located on Bluewaters Island, off of the coast of Jumeirah Beach Residence, is predicted to be ready in 2016.
10. Louvre Abu Dhabi: According to recent news reports, the Louvre in Abu Dhabi is expected to open in late 2016. The museum, located in the capital of the UAE, will be the second-ever Louvre in the world and will be one of the premier cultural institutions located in the heart of the Saadiyat Cultural District.
11. VAT could come to the GCC: The six nations of the GCC have been debating the introduction of VAT since 2007 to broaden their revenue base. So, is 2016 the year? Rumors continue to spread around town that this will indeed be the case.
(This report first appeared on AMEinfo’s sister website www.kippreport.com)