The New Normal in the Khaleej

Saudi petropolitics just nudged the Gulf into a post hydrocarbon future. Low oil prices, large employable populations and COVID-19 will make the next few months interesting for the world. The disruptive decade has started.

There are fundamental recalibrating pivots that are needed. The question is whether there is the political capital to expend ? Kuwait (a quasi democracy) and UAE (Abu Dhabi has enough for a rainy day) are safe as is Qatar (population is small) while Oman, Bahrain and KSA will need severe reforms to adjust to the new normal.

What is the role which Indians shall play? The Banias were there before oil and will be there after it as a dear friend quipped. It does not matter for us as Oman and UAE are maritime neighbours. 8 million Indian workers are there in the Gulf with 40 billion in remittances. Gulf in India and India in the Gulf both matter.

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