Options for Economies Based on Sources of Energy

586 words | 2 page(s)

The Middle East is an area that for better or for worse is a staple in news reports across the world. Many of these stories are focused on violence and international conflicts though the region is perhaps even more relevant due to its oil supplies and subsequent grip on energy markets. While other nations including those in the West have been desperately trying to reorganize their energy usage and development methods most within the Middle East remain dependent on their vast but quickly dwindling oil reserves that are estimated to be dry by 2050 as global demand continues to increase exponentially. This issue is compounded by the lack of local development in most Middle East oil producing economies as profits have remained in the control of those who run the country and companies. The autocratic nature of most Middle East countries combined with various interpretations of highly influential theological doctrines has left many locals with very little benefit from oil producing activities. The depletion of oil reserves without preparation would still lead to instability in these community economies because of the potential chaos that could occur at the governing level along with a trickle-down effect.

The energy based economy of the Middle East at large is facing a very real threat as oil reserves disappear. Several strategies can and likely must be taken in order to insulate the area from complete economic collapse including mending international relations, developing sustainable alternative markets within the region using remaining gains from oil, and capitalizing on the opportunity to remain an energy superpower by capitalizing on the natural climate. It is no secret that many Middle East nations are at odds with potential international economic partners. The friction has come from many areas of interaction including political, geographical, and theological sources and all have resulted in the alienation of many Middle East countries from other parts of the world. Economic sanctions are among the most common responses from countries that are opposed to actions that they deem serious like nuclear armament, excessive punishment and attacks on citizens. Debates have been plentiful about the validity of these complaints but regardless of the perspective the end result is severely damaging to the international trade prospects of several Middle East countries.

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Local investment by the wealthy few who control autocratic governments in the Middle East is essential to strengthening the post-oil economy. Dubai is a good example of how this concept can be successfully implemented. The area is now considered a top international location for both finance and leisure for wealthy locals and tourists. The development has brought in money from international sources and has also provided a range of employment opportunities for those within the region. These benefits have only been possible with the initial investment funds gained from oil reserve operations. Tourism and finance are just two examples of economic structures that can be built throughout much of the Middle East using the vast wealth currently held by an exclusive few in the region.

Strengthening international trade relations and developing local economies with current wealth can be useful to carbon energy based economies facing depletion throughout the world but the most promising approach may involve the continuing health of energy markets. These forms of energy must instead be renewable and could include wind farming, hydroelectricity, and biofuel development. The most obvious source of alternative energy in the Middle East is the Sun. For example Qatar has already established a massive facility to reap the benefits of solar power available to the area.

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