Reading Room GCC

Read and download the latest World Bank reports on Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Middle East and North Africa for free. Featured studies include development topics such as education, health, jobs, and more.

Harnessing the Potential for Green Growth in Kuwait

Like many countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Kuwait faces considerable environmental challenges due to air pollution, increasingly scarce water resources and deteriorating arable land. Part of the motivation behind the World Bank's cost of environmental degradation report prepared in partnership between the World Bank and the Environment Public Authority (EPA) in Kuwait is to highlight the path to efficient resource allocation by properly costing the externalities that affect the economy. By using the tools of economics to analyze the impacts of environmental degradation and climate change, the report hopes to highlight the positive incentives for good environmental practices, and in particular illustrate how difficult challenges present opportunities to diversify the economy through green growth, and generate sustainable jobs and income for future generations.

Kuwait: Fostering Sustainable Investment through Modern Commercial Law Systems

The Government of Kuwait (GOK) is moving decisively to reform its insolvency and creditor/debtor regime (ICR). Stakeholders recognize that Kuwait's ICR system had fallen behind that required for a modern economy. The GOK's reform agenda aspires to world-class standards, balancing international norms with solutions rooted in Kuwait's unique local customs. The consensus among stakeholders is that an effective insolvency regime would benefit the Kuwait economy.

Steering Dubai's Education Reform through Incentive and Accountability Drivers

As Dubai has grown over the last two decades, the demand for private education has grown with it, a reflection of the number of expatriates settling in the city and the various curricula on offer to cater to expatriates. The knowledge and human development authority (KHDA) has returned to the World Bank requesting a review of the governance initiatives. A World Bank team, working in close collaboration with counterparts in the KHDA, and in consultation with the wider stakeholders in question (private school owners, heads, teachers, and parents), completed the review and the findings are presented in this report.

Capacity Building under Reimbursable Technical Assistance Programs: The Case of Oman's Education Sector

A World Bank team worked closely with the Ministry of Education (MoE) on the Oman education sector study which was launched in October 2012. This report provides a comprehensive review of the Oman pre-tertiary education and offers policy recommendations in light of international experiences. There are certain key steps in ensuring that the World Bank delivers a quality product and transfers knowledge to partners, including: clear roles and responsibilities for the bank and government teams; close collaboration between the teams; a focus on capacity building; a skillful, dedicated, and cohesive team; and focus on results.

Institutional and Governance Structure of Oman’s Transport Sector: Challenges and Options for Reforms

This paper describes a study carried out for the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC), Oman to identify more efficient institutional and governance structures for Oman’s transport sector. The paper has been prepared for a wider readership of transport sector political leaders, public officials and their advisers who may be contemplating the assessment or strengthening of transport sector governance in their own countries. The study also recommended that a new framework for Oman’s freight logistics be established outside the structure of MOTC.


Education in Kuwait: Program Achievement Report

This Program Achievement Report (PAR) captures the accomplishments of the intensive effort the Kuwait Ministry of Education has undertaken in cooperation with the World Bank. This multi-year, integrated modernization program addresses critical issues in Kuwait’s education system: curricular reform, the development of national assessment systems, improvement of school leadership, and creation of professional standards.


Dubai’s Journey towards Improving Private Education

This report offers an in-depth review of the innovative approached adopted by Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) to improve the quality of private school education in Dubai, where almost 90% of all students attend private schools.

My Childhood, My Future: Early Childhood Development in the Arab World

This report provides the first comprehensive analysis of the state of early childhood development in the Middle East and North Africa. The report shows that deficits before, during, and after birth tend to be irreversible and perpetuate cycles of poverty and inequality.


MENA Economic Monitor

The MENA Economic Monitor supplements the World Bank’s Bi-annual MENA Quarterly Economic Brief and presents the short term, macroeconomic outlook and economic challenges facing the countries in the Middle East and North Africa region.


Trust, Voice, and Incentives: Learning from Local Success Stories in Service Delivery in the Middle East and North Africa

This report examines the role of trust, incentives, and engagement as critical determinants of service delivery performance in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Focusing on education and health, the report illustrates how the weak external and internal accountability relationships prevalent in the MENA political and administrative spheres undermine incentives toward policy implementation and performance, and how such a cycle of poor performance can be counteracted.


Jobs or Privileges: Unleashing the Employment Potential of the Middle East and North Africa

This report argues that Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries face a critical choice in their quest for higher private sector growth and more jobs: promote competition, equal opportunities for all entrepreneurs and dismantle existing privileges to specific firms or risk perpetuating the current equilibrium of low job creation.


Accelerating High-Speed Internet Access in the Arab World

This report highlights the need to foster competitive behavior among service providers to bring down prices and stimulate the demand for value-added services to drive future broadband development.

Last Updated: Apr 14, 2016