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 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.

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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.

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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.

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New Opportunities and High Stakes for Gulf-South Asia Relations

The strategic implications of interregional engagement between the Gulf and South Asia are becoming clearer and more pronounced.

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Saudi Arabia Takes Steps to Assure Foreign Investors

The economic components of Saudi Arabia’s ambitious transformation, in which local and foreign investments play a pivotal role, ultimately hinge on the government’s ability to improve the transparency of commercial processes.

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Year-on-Year Deficits Brewing in Gulf Economies

More spending, low growth, and recurring deficits are not a recipe for long-term economic sustainability, but this concoction may be a necessary pill for Gulf states to swallow as the hard work of economic reform sets in.

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Uber’s Acquisition of Careem Strengthens the Gulf’s Tech Credentials

Uber’s acquisition of its Dubai-based rival Careem signals a promising new phase for the Gulf’s technology sector.

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Gulf States Help Defuse South Asia Tensions, Protect Economic Interests

Three processes of interregional engagement – labor dynamics, energy cooperation, and strategic investments – are crucial for understanding how Gulf Arab states will exercise economic power in South Asia over the coming years.

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Saudi-Moroccan Political Tensions Challenge Quiet Economic Ties

A series of political disputes is testing bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and Morocco, but growing economic engagement between the two monarchies offers an incentive for both sides to prevent simmering tensions from boiling over into commercial spheres.

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Qatar Balances Fraught Regionalism Against Uncertain Globalization

In order to remain a relevant actor in the global economic order, Qatar has established a middle ground between the trends of regionalism and globalization through a strategic strengthening of bilateral partnerships.

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Saudi-Indian Economic Partnership Charting New Course

The economic relationship between Saudi Arabia and India should be a fruitful one. However, domestic policy decisions and geopolitical tensions pose new – but ultimately surmountable – obstacles.