The post-oil strategy of the UAE: An examination of diversification strategies and challenges

Osman Antwi-Boateng, Noura Hamad Salim Al Jaberi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This article aims to highlight and evaluate initiatives of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government to diversify its economy away from oil dependency. This is accomplished via a qualitative methodology by collecting data through in-depth interviews with government officials, experts, and academics to amass different views and perspectives on this matter. The findings show that the government has a clear vision for diversification, which is embodied in laws and policies for effectively executing a post-oil strategy. Driven by economic sustainability and domestic concerns, vertical diversification strategies constitute the majority of UAE's economic diversification strategies and include: investing in research and development, attracting foreign direct investment, developing the petrochemical industry, manufacturing, tourism, aviation, financial services, banking hubs, logistical hubs, digital economy, and the knowledge economy. The UAE's diversification strategy is associated with many challenges. The economic challenges are global economic crises, oil price volatility, and exchange rate regime. The geopolitical challenges include regional conflicts and tensions. There are also cultural and social challenges pertaining to demographic imbalance and low Emirati's participation in the private sector. Related Articles: Howie, Peter. 2018. “Policy Transfer and Diversification in Resource-Dependent Economies: Lessons for Kazakhstan from Alberta.” Politics & Policy 46(1): 110–40. Khodr, Hiba, and Isabella Ruble. 2013. “Energy Policies and Domestic Politics in the MENA Region in the Aftermath of the Arab Upheavals: The Cases of Lebanon, Libya, and KSA.” Politics & Policy 41(5): 656–89. Mahler, Annegret. 2011. “Oil in Venezuela: Triggering Conflicts or Ensuring Stability? A Historical Comparative Analysis.” Politics & Policy 39(4): 583–611.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-407
Number of pages28
JournalPolitics and Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • Dubai
  • GCC
  • Middle East
  • UAE
  • demographic imbalance
  • economic diversification
  • emiratization
  • oil dependence
  • post oil-strategy
  • resource curse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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