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Gulf economies
in the energy transition era

Economic Diversification

Tourism, logistics, technology, finance, manufacturing and agriculture are some of the industries deemed promising and strategic by the Gulf Arab states in a bid to attenuate the correlation of their economies to the volatility of oil prices.


Energy Industry

Global vehicle electrification is unlikely to crash oil demand in the short term, which is increasingly driven by the consumption of products made from oil, such as plastic items. Beyond expanding their petrochemical capacities, the Gulf states invest in hydrogen production, as well as solar and wind energy, to retain their position as global energy suppliers.

  • Gulf oil exporters bet on being the last man standing, despite U.S. President’s green energy platform - Al-Monitor, United States.

  • Why Gulf states lag behind on renewables while having some of the highest solar exposures in the world? - Al-Monitor, United States.

  • Gulf states’ quest to find ‘new oil’ turns to hydrogen, in part to leverage significant gas reserves - Al-Monitor, United States.

  • Oil giant Saudi Aramco escaped ESG scrutiny and mislead investors’ climate risk assessments - Al-Monitor, United States.

  • Qatar LNG expansion plan turns the spotlight back on the industry's dirty secret: methane emissions - Al-Monitor, United States.

Sovereign Wealth Fund

Gulf's state-owned investment funds control more than two trillion dollars, invested domestically and internationally. The mandate of these oil-revenues-funded entities, such as Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, play a key role to build local economies tailored for a decarbonising world.


Labour Market

Asian and African migrant workers account for the vast majority of private-sector employees in the Gulf states. On the other hand, nationals favour employments in the public sector, creating unbalanced labour markets.



Public Debt

Most Gulf states have failed to balance their annual budget ever since the 2014 oil price slump, pushing governments on a borrowing binge to plug budget gaps. Oman's debt to GDP jumped from 5 to 80% in just six years.



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