About us

The EU-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Dialogue on Economic Diversification project was launched in 2018 by the European Union through its Partnership Instrument.

The overall objective of the project is to contribute to stronger EU-GCC relations by tapping on the EU experience to support the GCC member countries diversify their economies from a dependence on the hydrocarbon sector.

The project is addressing a number of key issues to support and enhance trade and investment links between the EU and GCC member countries. The promotion of GCC Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and networking with their European counterparts is a particular focus for project activities as is encouraging and supporting the participation of women business stakeholders from both the EU and GCC across all project activities.

The project has established an extensive network of stakeholders both in Europe and the GCC to discuss and cooperate on issues such as climate-friendly trade and investment. Stakeholders include both public administrations and policymakers from both Europe and the Gulf and businesses and industries with an existing or potential interest in the GCC.

Scope of Work

The purpose of the project is to promote climate-friendly trade, investment, and economic affairs-related policy analysis, dialogue, and cooperation between stakeholders from the EU and GCC at both regional and individual country levels. The project contributes to consolidating the EU’s status as a partner of choice for GCC countries for cooperation on economic diversification strategies, macroeconomic stability, trade, and investment, and research and innovation.

In all of its components and activities, the project supports the Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy objective of a balanced engagement with the GCC and individual Gulf countries by deepening dialogue and fostering the space for cooperation and diplomacy.

Project activities are focused on three components:

Component One - Events

The project designs and implements events to strengthen cooperation and dialogue between EU and GCC countries in the areas of Trade, Investment, and Economic Affairs. These events include topic-based roundtables and workshops, Business Fora, and Technical Working Groups. In addition, the project provides coordination and policy support services for the EU-GCC Trade and Investment Dialogue and EU high-level visits to the GCC.

Component Two - Policy Analysis

The project carries out a number of activities to strengthen policy analysis related to EU-GCC Trade, Investment, and Economic Affairs. Current examples include policy advice and position papers in areas such as access to GCC markets for SMEs and the preparation of Country Fiches providing a statistical profile on trade and socio-economic characteristics of GCC member countries.

Component Three - Communications

The project seeks to ensure a steady flow of enhanced up-to-date information between EU and GCC stakeholders in the fields of Trade, Investment, and Economic Affairs. Communication tools used include the production and transmission of digital newsletters on a bi-weekly and bi-monthly basis, daily social media postings, and a presence on EU Delegation websites in the GCC region.


GCC Info

Country Fiches

Country fiches are prepared every 6 months to reflect the most current information for each of the GCC countries on:

  • Key Facts – Gross Domestic Product (GDP), GDP growth, GDP per capita, inflation rate, population;
  • Economic policies and EU – GCC country economic relations;
  • GCC trade in goods with EU27 and the World;
  • Economic competitiveness indicators;
  • Population structure and availability of human capital;
  • Sectors with potential investment opportunities;
  • Important contacts.


GCC Info

FDI Reports

The Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) report for each of the GCC countries provides:

  • The FDI between the GCC country and the world partners;
  • The trends in FDI between the EU27 and GCC region for 2015-2019 and details for 2019, the most current year for which data are available from the European Commission;
  • The EU27 and the GCC FDI at the region level;
  • Details of FDI between the GCC country and individual EU27 Member States;
  • A short overview of the GCC country’s economic competitiveness;
  • A brief overview of incentives offered by each country’s investment authorities.

GCC Info


This section includes briefings on international rankings and reports relevant to the EU and GCC economic relations, produced by World Economic Outlook (WEO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), and other international organizations.


The Gulf is a dynamic neighbouring region and an important gateway between Europe, Asia, and Africa. The security and stability situation of the Gulf region bears direct consequences for the EU. Likewise, the EU has a lot to offer to the Gulf partners, as the world’s biggest single market, trading bloc, and investor, a leader in research and innovation, and an important mediator and promoter of multilateralism, democracy, and social transformation including human rights and gender equality. There is increased momentum and a strong mutual interest in ensuring EU-GCC relations have a more strategic focus and in strengthening the institutional arrangements for cooperation.

Policy papers focusing on topical economic issues and opportunities for EU actions in support of GCC economic diversification objectives are currently in preparation and will be published in due course. Topics being researched include:
•    Localisation programmes in GCC Countries, issue identification & potential solutions for EU businesses
•    Scoping and opportunity identification study of Cultural and Creative Industries in Selected GCC countries
•    A study on the Establishment of EU Chambers of Commerce in the UAE and Saudi Arabia


Upcoming Events

Post-event Reports

Monthly newsletters

Newsletters Archive

Past editions of newsletters published can be viewed here:

Team Members

Douglas Aitkenhead

Team Leader
Douglas Aitkenhead

Rania Nseir

Event Management & Communications Expert
Rania Nseir

E-mail: rnseir@eugcc.eu   /   LinkedIn

Daniela Stratulativ

International Trade and Foreign Direct Investment Expert
Daniela Stratulativ

E-mail: dstratulativ@eugcc.eu   /   LinkedIn 

Dana Masoud

Operations Manager
Dana Masoud

Our office location

MBC Makateb, Tourist Club
Makeen Tower, 15th floor
P.O. Box 35243, Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates
Tel:00971-2-657 3415

Social media

To learn more about our projects, forthcoming events, webinars and recent updates, please follow us on:

Your feedback counts

As always, we welcome your feedback on the topics and sectors that interest you most. Please contact Rania Nseir, Event Management & Communications Expert at rnseir@eugcc.eu for any suggestions and to subscribe or unsubscribe to any of our publications.

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