The countries of the GCC – the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, and Bahrain – continue to be reliant on natural resources as a primary source of fiscal revenue. Their citizen populations expect a range of social services and patronage from the state and its ruling families. Pressures of population growth and expectations of intergenerational equity have put economic policy at the centre of state capacity.
There is new momentum to resolve, or at least begin to shift public policy to address inefficiencies like subsidies, spur private sector and non-oil growth, and create alternate sources of government revenue. The momentum accelerated with a sharp decline in global oil prices in late 2014.
Castlereagh’s Gulf Monitor provides an insight into key developments in economic diversification, monetary and fiscal policy, social policy and foreign relations in line with the collective ambitions of GCC states to change their economies, yet preserve their systems of governance.
Also housed on this page is the Market Watch collection by Karen E. Young, who has followed and mapped closely the GCC states’ policy response since 2015. It is an authoritative guide to understanding policy formation, reaction and hydrocarbon reliance in the GCC in the last five years.
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The major drivers behind the UAE’s commitment to renewable energy are both political and economic in nature.
When Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi confidently addressed Arab Gulf heads of state and foreign ministers and delegates of the Manama Dialogue on Friday, he made no mention of a continued need of Gulf aid and loans to Egypt, instead his remarks focused on regional security cooperation and the preference for Arab state-led intervention in Middle East conflicts.
In the heat of the Gulf summer, Dubai closed a deal to build solar power plants that will produce renewable energy at the world’s lowest production cost, 5.98 U.S.
As early as March, oil and gas producing countries from Angola to Saudi Arabia began selling assets to offset declining energy prices.
Like the oil market, global supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) is increasing.
The equities market rout on Monday left the Shanghai Composite Index down over 40 percent from its peak in June.
Governments generally make bad loan customers, as seizing territory is generally not possible for banks trying to collect unpaid loans.
The United Arab Emirates has done the unthinkable among many rentier economies by reducing petrol subsidies and tying the price of fuel to international markets.
While a nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 is a diplomatic breakthrough, there has also been a massive realignment of investment and infrastructure targets across the Middle East that has been in process for many months, if not years, in anticipation of this week’s announcement.