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  • Locations: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Muscat, Oman
  • Program Terms: Winter Break
  • Budget Sheets: Winter Break
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.25 Minimum GPA (Graduate): 3.0
Language of Instruction: English Housing: Hotel
Number of Credits Offered: 3 Eligible Population: 01 Freshman, 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior, Graduate
Type of Program: Faculty-led Area of Study: Middle East Studies, Geography and Geoinformation Science, Government and International Policy, Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Economics, Anthropology, Global Affairs, Integrative Studies
Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program Description:
Oil Politics Middle East

Oil Politics in the Middle East

This course will focus on the strategic global policies of oil and natural gas and its political, economic and social impact on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries specifically the Kuwait, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. Course Topics will cover:
  • Overview of the global energy industry- companies and governments; markets and politics; and the position of the GCC within this industry
  • The global energy balance- present status, future trends (alternative energy & implications), and strategic responses from a GCC perspective
  • Resource nationalism and market power (I)- OPEC and the challenges
  • Resource nationalism and market power (II)- The GCC, Iran, Iraq, and the future of hydrocarbon production in the Arabian Gulf
  • The impact of oil boom on the political economies of the GCC- the political economy through its transition from rentierism to developmentalism.
  • The social dimension and impact of the oil boom in the GCC

Program Details


  • Conflict Analysis and Resolution (CONF) 397: Study Abroad Special Topics- Global Politics of Oil
  • Conflict Analysis and Resolution (CONF) 385: International Field Experience
  • Economics (ECON) 492: Study Abroad in Oman and the UAE
  • Global Affairs (GLOA) 480: Study Abroad in Oman and the UAE
  • Government (GOVT) 398: Study Abroad in Oman and the UAE
  • Conflict Analysis and Resolution (CONF) 695: Selected Topics- Global Politics of Oil
  • Integrative Studies (INTS) 595: Experiential Learning
  • This program has been approved to count as an elective for the MA, Middle East and Islamic Studies program


This program is open to all undergraduate and graduate students including students who do not attend George Mason University


Double or triple occupancy in hotels

Program Cost (Winter 2018): $5818

  • Round-trip airfare from the U.S. to Kuwait City, Kuwait and from Muscat, Oman to the U.S.
  • Tuition (3 credits)
  • Housing
  • Guest lectures and seminars
  • Some meals
  • Cultural excursions and site visits
  • In-country travel to all program activities
  • Airfare from Kuwait to the UAE and the UAE to Oman.
  • Pre-Departure Orientation
  • International Travel Insurance
Not Included:
  • Other transportation
  • Some meals
  • Personal spending

Program Itinerary*

Day 1** Students arrive in Kuwait City, Kuwait (group flight)
Day 2-3 Classes at American University of Kuwait
Day 4 Cultural Excursions in Kuwait City
Day 5 Travel to Abu Dhabi
Day 6-9 Classes at Petroleum Institute
Day 10 Cultural Excursions in Abu Dhabi; Depart for Dubai
Day 11 Cultural Excursions in Dubai
Day 12 Travel to Muscat, Oman
Day 13-15 Classes at Sultan Qaboos University
Day 16 Cultural Excursions in Muscat
Day 17 Students depart Muscat, Oman for the U.S. (group flight)

*Instructor reserves the right to modify the course schedule as needed.
**The group flight will depart the U.S. on January 1st.

Links and Resources

Winter Break 2016: The Petroleum Institute Holds 'Energy' Seminar for George Mason University Students

Contact Information

Program Officer

Laura Scobey

Academic Director

Heba El-Shazli

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.