I know very little about the ME, but I think most, including myself, would agree that Dubai is an anomaly. The Saudi’s seems to have a bit of a handle of other sources of investment, but given their handling of the recent oil crisis, I’d say they generally have their heads up their butts. They seem completely unwilling to negotiate, all the while several EM oil producing nations are on the brink of insolvency due to low oil. It’s almost like the collective bargaining we see here in The States with our bankrupt schools/municipalities. Both side know we’re fucked, but neither is willing to meet anywhere near the middle.
Side note of interest, I just learned that Mexico, one of the top 10 oil producers, went into 2013-now nearly 100% hedged. They basically own the oil futures market through 2016.
They’re working hard to develop technology (energy, water, and food technologies are going to be huge over the next 100 years), engineering (land reclamation – both from the sea and from the desert – could be a big business as available land becomes more scarce), entertainment, and finance industries to continue their prosperity, so the oft-touted condescension that they’ll be nothing once the oil runs out will likely ring hollow.
They’re aiming to join the likes of the European finance and entertainment-based principalities like Switzerland, Luxembourg, Monaco, Andorra, and Lichtenstein. I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t succeed, given the money and effort they’re putting into it. Once you have a lot of money it’s a lot easier to make more money off of it if you don’t act too stupidly. Money attracts money and finance is a great way to make a ton of money just holding and managing other people’s money (especially if you’re morally and/or ethically flexible). They’ve put so much money into their entertainment sector as well that if they just relax their conservative values a bit in the future they could rely on that as a large, constant stream of capital.
Also, you can do AMAZING things really quickly when you have a workforce you can treat as slaves and you don’t give a shit about human life or dignity. Truly amazing things. Those dirty towel-head goat-fucking terrorists will be fine.
Umar ibn Khattab (Allah be well pleased with him) said: “As we were sitting one day before the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), a man suddenly appeared. He wore pure white clothes and his hair was dark black—yet there were no signs of travel on him, and none of us knew him. He came and sat down in front of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), placing his knees against his, and his hands on his thighs. He said, “O Muhammad! Tell me about Islam.”
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “Islam is to bear witness that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God; and to perform the prayer; pay zakat; fast Ramadan; and to perform Hajj to the House if you are able.”
The man said, “You have spoken the truth,” and we were surprised that he asked and then confirmed the answer. Then, he asked, “Tell me about belief (iman).”
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “It is to believe in Allah; His Angels; His Books; His Messengers; the Last Day; and in destiny—its good and bad.”
The man said, “You have spoken the truth. Now, tell me about spiritual excellence (ihsan).”
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “It is to serve Allah as though you behold Him; and if you don’t behold him, (know that) He surely sees you.”
“Now, tell me of the Last Hour,” asked the man.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “The one asked knows no more of it than the one asking.”
“Then tell me about its signs,” said the man.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “That slave women give birth to their mistresses; and that you see barefoot, unclothed, beginning shepherds competing in the construction of tall buildings.
Then the visitor left, and I waited a long time. Then the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) asked me, “Do you know, Umar, who the questioner was?” I replied, “Allah and His Messenger know best.”He said (Allah bless him and give him peace), “It was Jibril(Angel Gabriel). He came to you to teach you your religion.”Sahih Muslim”