Gulf States Gas Reserves
If you believe the market talk then we have less than a century of gas reserves in the gulf states. That means that for many of the GCC States their over reliance on natural gases has to come to an end sooner rather than later. For some of the smaller GCC states such as Oman there is less than twenty years of natural gases. This could be catestrophic for a state which relies upon the oil revenues. Many of the gulf counrties are now looking at other alternatives for their growing economies. This usually points towards tourism and other service related industries. The truth however lies somewhere in between for the next decade as oil will continue to dominate state budgets as oil prices continue to rise and even with lower production output the higher price of the oil will compensate and should balance out revenues.
Alternative GCC States Scenarios
With the radical nature of the terrorism world of today many different courses of action could be taken by governments in the gulf states. Heavy military and police reliance
on supressing negative sentiment could wane in the event that state budgets need to be curtailed. This is almosty true for all the middle east states other than the UAE (Dubai) that has a vibrant and diverse economy.
Many of the states could take the Dubai example set by the UAE as a way to secure their countries futures. In fact this is already being seen in Qatar and Oman in some respects. Both Qatar and Oman are pushing hard at improving their tourism outlook and have many developments around this sector. Qatar Airways is a prime example of this with large sums of money being pushed into the airline in an attempt to make it a global competitor like Emirates airways.
Next Generation GCC
What will the next generation of GCC states look like? The facts show that GCC states populations have grown with many more educated local people. The oil riches have been squandered in some part but as the oil reserves are being depleted a more concerted effort is being made to create value other than to sit on the gravy train. Having said this there are still many obstacles to over come such as expat populations living in the GCC states and democracy in the western sense. None of these pressing questions of citizenship of rights is being answered right now, but for many third generation expats this will be a very real concern.
Lets hope that equality for woman can also be secured as for half the population of the middle east this is still just a pipe dream. Watch this space for events.