Middle East: Economics & governance

With oil prices set to remain low, the region is looking to diversify. Where is it most likely to succeed?

Oil prices have recovered, but they are unlikely to return to their former highs for some time.  

In this climate, major oil producers are pressing on with the hard work of economic diversification, a goal which has defied the best efforts of many of those countries making the attempt.  For their part, many oil importers are struggling with poor governance -- a rich source of discontent for their volatile, young populations.

The young of the Arab world will not easily be ‘bought off’, even assuming there are the funds to do so. 

  • How will Saudi Arabia move forward with Vision 2030 and the ARAMCO privatisation?
  • As Iran seeks foreign investment in an increasingly hostile world, who will be its partners?
  • The Israeli economy is buoyant but how will its Palestinian and Jordanian neighbours cope with popular discontent arising from its rightward shift?
  • Can Egypt and Tunisia grow fast enough to ward off political challenges?


  • Middle East Region Head
    Oxford Analytica
  • Associate Fellow, Middle East & North Africa Programme
    Chatham House
  • Soudavar Professor of Persian Studies
    University of Oxford
  • Senior Middle East Analyst
    Oxford Analytica

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