The economies of the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) countries are highly dependent on the energy sector, where the hydrocarbon sector constitutes around 40% of their GDP. Moreover, revenues from the oil and gas sector accounts for about 80% of the governments’ budgets.
From the days of antiquity, through to the middle of the twentieth century, economics was largely a deductive and narrative discipline. The leading contributions were dense treatises hundreds of pages in length, with scarcely a number or equation in sight.
In most GCC countries, for some time, over 50% of employed nationals have been working in the public sector—a very large percentage by international standards, as in advanced economies, public sectors usually account for around 20% of total employment.
In response to two recent Abu Dhabi mergers – National Bank of Abu Dhabi with FGB (a combined market value of US$30 billion) and the International Petroleum Investment Company with Mubadala Development Company (with combined assets of $127bn) – one may wonder: why, and why now?
The period following WW2 witnessed the emergence of a military conflict between American and the Soviet union. The capitalist and socialist-communist economic models also crossed swords as a subplot of this global conflict, and the...
Markets are complex, and consumers often struggle to understand pricing decisions, resorting to conspiracy theories. For example, in countries with floating petrol prices – the UAE is a new member of this club after subsidy reforms – consumers are convinced that...
For Saudi Arabia and the remaining Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and United Arab Emirates), which together account for around 40 percent of the world’s oil reserves and the lion’s share of OPEC’s collective output, their future oil strategy should be an exclusively GCC affair, away from the stress and dysfunction of OPEC.
Subsidies in the GCC are a tradition that is particularly difficult to justify, and Twain’s maxim has likely underlain some of the challenges faced by the Gulf governments as they have tried to scale back subsidies. Biases in the way that humans think present additional obstacles to reform.
The governments of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states have long been searching for the best way to diversify their economies, and in the wake of falling oil prices, they have accelerated their search.
When it comes to the Middle East, a former boss of mine once told me “conspiracy theories, are a regional sport”. This to be fair, is still true today, although it has become increasingly hard to counter the tall tales pushed by these enthusiastic theorists.
After five years of continuously worsening conflict in Syria, the chances of any decisive outcome are bleak at best. The superpowers and their allies continue to dither at the negotiating table, exacerbating the conflict and the misery of millions of Syrians.
Game theory was developed in the wake of World War 2 to assist policymakers in analysing interdependent decision-making, which arises when what you want to do depends upon what others want to do, most notably in situations relating to conflict over resources – the alternative is decision theory, where your decision is...
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are an attractive destination for prospective migrants from developing economies due to their high income levels, similar to the countries of the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development).
US presidential candidates have been battling fiercely of late, revealing huge gaps between Democrat and Republican supporters over issues such as taxation, financial sector regulation, firearms ownership laws, and US policy in the Middle East.
Residents of the Middle East are used to attracting the derision of the rest of the globe’s inhabitants with their outlandish conspiracy theories. Local governments’ tendency to offer limited justifications for their policy decisions inadvertently contributes to cloak-and-dagger speculation about unremarkable phenomena.
When the founders of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), convened in Baghdad in 1960, they made life difficult for themselves by violating virtually all of the ideal conditions for operating a cartel.
In light of a series of crises faced by the European Union (EU) during the last ten years, the UK citizenry’s view of the European project has morphed from acceptance to concern, forcing Prime Minister David Cameron to commit to holding a referendum over the UK’s membership of the EU.