Challenges of Economic Diversification in the GCC Countries

  • Ashraf Mishrif
Part of the The Political Economy of the Middle East book series (PEME)


The chapter addresses some of the key challenges facing economic diversification in the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Although GCC countries have made huge strides in economic growth in the past two decades, they continue to struggle with major structural impediments that hinder their economic diversification, including the rentier state model of development, diversification outside the hydrocarbon sector, industrialisation and human capital development. It argues that these challenges are not specific to GCC, and that many developed and developing countries have encountered such challenges in different forms and degrees, depending on their economic systems and levels of economic development. It stresses that GCC countries have the economic, financial and human capabilities to address these challenges, if the political will allows for major structural reforms in the economic system. It highlights a number of case studies from Dubai, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and Germany that are appropriate for reforms and policy adjustment in the GCC economies; these global experiences could provide new insights for policymakers in the GCC countries to overcome successfully similar challenges.


GCC Challenges Diversification Rentier state Oil Industrialisation Human development 


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Copyright information

© Gulf Research Centre Cambridge 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ashraf Mishrif
    • 1
  1. 1.King’s College LondonLondonUK

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