Abu Dhabi's Economic Security Priority as a Driver of Economic Institutions: A Case of ADGM

  • Mohammed Al Neyadi

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Mohammed Al Neyadi, 'Abu Dhabi's Economic Security Priority as a Driver of Economic Institutions: A Case of ADGM', M.A. Thesis, M. A. in International and Civil Security, Institute of International and Civil Security, Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research, United Arab Emirates, December 2016. The Abu Dhabi Emirate is well known for heavy dependence on oil and gas as a single commodity. Despite effort directed at diversification, over 80% of the Emirate's public expenditure still emanates from oil and gas. Economic shocks, unstable economic conditions and low economic growth rates are only a few of the dangers associated with economic insecurity. It is yet intriguing to realize that economic security of Abu Dhabi has remained undefined and the concept is neglected in Government reports and policy agendas. The degree to which economic security priorities of Abu Dhabi informs the goals and strategies of economic institutions is also unknown. Building on the case study research strategy with reference to the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the study had as part of its objectives to define Abu Dhabi economic security priorities and investigate the extent to which these priorities drive the objectives and competitive strategies and infrastructural strategies of ADGM. An initial phase is conducted to define Abu Dhabi Economic security priorities by combining a quantitative content analysis of key economic reports with perceived levels of importance from a sample of employees in UAE economic institutions. Findings indicate that GDP Growth, institutional knowledge development and citizen education are the three most important areas of economic security at the macro (state), meso (institutional) and micro (individual) levels respectively. A second phase combines four interview discussions with a survey of ADGM employees on how ADGM goals and strategies are informed by top economic security priorities. Findings indicate that economic security priorities inform ADGM Goals and Strategies even though micro economic priorities are not significant predictors of ADGM goals and competitiveness. Administrative mechanisms through which economic initiatives channel down into economic institutions include MoUs, open communication systems, sharing of Board members among others. It is recommended that future researchers remodel the concept of economic security at the three levels into a model that can lead to needed reforms and economic policies. Moreover, ADGM must pay closer attention to Micro economic security factors in their goals and strategic make-up. The Abu Dhabi Government must define economic security as the findings of the present study implicates. This definition must inform reforms and economic policy agendas. Finally, the Abu Dhabi Government must align state interest with perceived importance of economic security indicators. The difference infringes on the smooth and efficient implementation of economic policies and reforms.
Date of AwardDec 2016
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorAshley Rossiter (Supervisor)


  • Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM); Economic Security priorities; Oil and Gas; Abu Dhabi.

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