Robert Mogielnicki

Resident Scholar

Robert Mogielnicki is a resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. An expert in the political economy of the Middle East and North Africa, he previously served as a senior analyst with the Siwa Group and head of public relations and marketing for Oxford Strategic Consulting, a United Kingdom/Gulf Cooperation Council-focused research consultancy. Prior to his consulting career, he worked as a journalist covering political and economic developments in post-revolutionary Egypt and Tunisia. His work and commentary on the region have appeared in Axios, Forbes Middle East, Al Jazeera’s Inside Story, MEED, Al Bawaba, The National (UAE), Gulf Daily News, Tunisia Live, Egypt Oil and Gas Magazine, and Egypt Daily News.

Mogielnicki received his PhD from the University of Oxford’s Magdalen College, where he conducted research in conjunction with the Oriental Institute and Middle East Centre. Drawing on extensive fieldwork in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait, his dissertation examines the political economy of free zones in Gulf Arab countries. He earned his MA in modern Middle Eastern studies from St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, and completed a master’s thesis on labor policy formulation and implementation in the emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. He received his BA from Georgetown University as a double major in Arabic and government, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.

Mogielnicki specializes in the intersection of politics and economics across Gulf Arab states. He is particularly interested in how these geostrategic states engage in processes of economic transformation through trade and investment policies, labor market interventions, economic diversification, and technological innovation.

Mogielnicki speaks Modern Standard Arabic and the Egyptian dialect, and possesses a working knowledge of the Tunisian dialect. He is a former recipient of the Sultan Qaboos Arabic Language Scholarship (2007-11) and served as a Critical Language Scholar in Tunisia in 2011. Mogielnicki has lived in the UAE, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey, and Jerusalem.

Blog Post content-type in which the post is published

The Contradiction at the Heart of the Aramco IPO

The Saudi government does not see a viable, long-term future in oil and gas but continues to hope that investors will measure the country’s crown jewel, Saudi Aramco, differently.

Blog Post content-type in which the post is published

Expectation Gap Clouds Saudi Arabia’s Investment Climate

Global investors’ interest in Saudi Arabia’s ambitious economic transformation hinges on their ability to secure lucrative commercial opportunities in the country.

Blog Post content-type in which the post is published

Iran May Pay To Play in Crypto Amid Sanctions, Financial Tensions

Cryptocurrency activity is unlikely to offer the Iranian regime an immediate avenue for evading crippling U.S. sanctions.

Blog Post content-type in which the post is published

One Year On, the Iraqi National Oil Company is Everything and Nothing

While facing bureaucratic and legal hurdles, INOC’s fate rests upon competing visions for the future of Iraq’s oil and gas sector.

Blog Post content-type in which the post is published

As Personnel Shuffle, the PIF Marches Steadily to Saudi Vision 2030 Beat

The reshuffling of top officials in Saudi Arabia’s flagship state-owned firms and key ministries underscores the growing authority of the Public Investment Fund.

Blog Post content-type in which the post is published

Bahrain and Abu Dhabi Compete to be Gulf’s Cryptocurrency Hub

The heightened interest in cryptocurrencies across the Gulf is taking place alongside global efforts to both regulate digital assets and attract cryptocurrency firms.

Blog Post content-type in which the post is published

Diversified Investment in UAE Shaping China’s Economic Role in the Gulf

Despite a large appetite among Gulf Arab states for Chinese investment and trade, the UAE has emerged as China’s primary economic partner in the region.

Blog Post content-type in which the post is published

Fiscal and Security Pressures Highlight, and Threaten, Oman’s Unique Position in the Region

As fiscal constraints increase, tensions in the Gulf rise, and uncertainties surrounding political transition loom, Oman’s role in the Gulf Arab region could come under pressure.

Blog Post content-type in which the post is published

The Political Ramifications of the Gulf’s Digital Transformation

Gulf Arab states are striving to become tech-driven, knowledge economies, but the digital path ahead is bound to be bumpy.