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 Foreign Policy, Bloomberg, Axios, Forbes, Reuters, Financial Times, The Banker, The Washington Post, Vox, Los Angeles Times, S&P Global, and the Nikkei Asian Review, among other prominent outlets.

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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Oil Price War Tests Saudi-Russian Investment Cooperation

The collapse of the OPEC+ production agreement and the ensuing oil price war place pressure on joint investment initiatives spearheaded by Saudi and Russian sovereign wealth funds.

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Oil Outlook, Coronavirus Challenge Gulf’s Economic Diversification

The region’s digital economy is poised to play a greater role in economic diversification strategies as crisis management measures give way to longer-term planning.

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Free to Game: E-sports in the Gulf

Discussions over establishing an e-sports free zone in Dubai reflect the high-growth potential of competitive online gaming across the broader Gulf region.

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Water Worries: The Future of Desalination in the UAE

With few available alternatives for accessing water resources, the UAE is continuing to expand existing desalination facilities and construct new desalination plants.

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Saudi Fund of Funds Bets $1.07 Billion on Small, Local Firms

Saudi Arabia’s new $1.07 billion fund, Jada, aims to redirect investments toward small and medium-sized enterprises in the country’s domestic market.

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The Yemeni E-rial: A Digital Projection of Monetary Authority

The Houthis are unlikely to find immediate solutions in their nascent electronic currency, but this financial technology nevertheless serves a political purpose for the rebel group.

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U.S.-Iranian Tensions: Gulf Economic Implications

Robert Mogielnicki assesses the potential economic implications of tensions between the United States and Iran across the Gulf.

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Qaboos Successor Must Focus on Economic Prioritization

Oman’s political transition presents the new sultan and his government with a choice to maintain the status quo of economic policy or undertake a deeper, structural transformation of the energy-dependent economy.

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U.S.-Iranian Tensions Offer Stress Test for Gulf Arab Economies

Despite a subdued response by global and Gulf markets, the state of U.S.-Iranian relations poses long-term risks to Gulf Arab economies.