Lower oil prices are challenging the traditional labor system in the Gulf states, built largely from a migrant labor force.
The Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington hosted a panel discussion examining labor dynamics in the Gulf states focusing on the rules that regulate labor inside the Gulf Cooperation Council states, and some of the economic benefits of imported labor, as well as the challenges for rights protection and knowledge transfer.
The discussion covers shifting labor demographics in the Gulf with the decline in oil prices and what the economic downturn will mean for the labor market and the overall economy of GCC states. The panelists delve into labor market reform and diversification efforts as well as the development of knowledge economies in the Gulf.
Attiya Ahmad: Assistant Professor of Anthropology, George Washington University
Omar Al-Ubaydli: Program Director for International and Geo-Political Studies at the Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies
Kristian Coates Ulrichsen: Baker Institute Fellow for the Middle East, Rice University
Karen Young, Senior Resident Scholar, Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington (Moderator)