Gulf Economic Barometer

The Gulf Economic Barometer monitors initiatives taken by Gulf states as they seek fiscal, monetary, and labor policy changes to meet the challenge of reduced state revenue from natural resources. The key trend is a major shift in the way the GCC countries have been spending on public sector wages, infrastructure, and social services over the last decade. The GEB documents the policy changes as they are announced and/or implemented by country and by sector and is updated regularly as data becomes available. The information here is neither official nor exhaustive.

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7 Visa Rules Changes in the UAE [Infographic]

7 Visa Rule Changes in the UAE The UAE announced several changes to its visa guidelines in a number of categories, including for workers, students, and tourists. The government will allow people escaping or subject to political violence in their home countries to apply for a 1-year visa with the potential for extension, despite not being a signatory of the U.N. refugee convention.

Abu Dhabi Stimulus Plan [Infographic]

Abu Dhabi Stimulus Plan The government of Abu Dhabi announced a $13.6 billion stimulus package aimed at supporting economic development over three years. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan instructed officials to draw up detailed plans for allocating the funds over the next 90 days. Abu Dhabi's economy has stagnated in recent years as a result of lower oil prices, as well as austerity measures taken by the government to curb the rise in deficits. The new stimulus package includes 10 initiatives designed to streamline bureaucratic regulations and facilitate the ease of doing business in the UAE.

Market Watch: Saudi Economic Reform Update: Saudization and Expat Exodus

Oil worker in Khurais by Karen E. Young The experimental nature of Saudization begs many questions of which sectors are targeted and why, and how smaller businesses will be able to assume higher wage costs of hiring nationals.

Market Watch: As Reform Agenda Waffles, Citizens Take Life to the Streets

by Karen E. Young Despite slowdowns in consumer demand and general economic activity, there is evidence of alternative economic behavior and microenterprise that is thriving in the Gulf.

Market Watch: Easing Labor Market Restrictions in the Gulf

by Karen E. Young In the GCC, there is an effort to recalibrate the relationship between foreign workers and Gulf national economies, in both the reliance on foreign labor and the downward pressure it has on service sector salaries.

Issue Paper: Women’s Labor Force Participation Across the GCC

The current challenge for the oil and gas exporting states of the Gulf Cooperation Council rests in diversification of their economies, and perhaps more importantly, in the activation of a more productive and efficient workforce.

Market Watch: Failing Gulf Megafirms Leave Workers Broke and Stranded

Migrant laborers walk during a protest in the United Arab Emirates on November 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili) by Karen E. Young

The wind down of large construction projects in the GCC states has resulted in foreign laborers being laid off their jobs without pay, access to food, or a way home.

Market Watch: The Perfect Storm: Labor Markets and Economic Downturn in the Gulf

Amid fiscal deficits, bloated public sectors, and accelerated efforts to create jobs and diversify economies, there is a perfect storm on the horizon for GCC states.

Issue Paper: The Economics of Migrant Workers in the GCC

by Omar Al-Ubaydli The presence of large migrant communities has made the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries a lightning rod for an immigration debate.