Singapore University of Social Sciences

Non-traditional Commerce in Dubai (OEL311)

Synopsis

The objective of OEL311 is to provide students with the environments and tools to cultivate a deep understanding of non-traditional commerce in Dubai, the UAE. This objective is achieved through a combination of experiential learning, e-learning, classroom activities, and participation in an overseas trip to the United Arab Emirates. The UAE monarchy has been relying heavily on its oil wealth as a means of consolidating and exercising geopolitical power. This has brought the Emirates relative insulation from the instability plaguing the rest of the middle-eastern countries, because of its citizens’ willingness to exchange limitations on their freedom for a share of oil wealth. Alternative energies technologies and a slump in oil prices have, however, begun to threaten the UAE’s grip over its hegemony. In preparation for this “post-oil era”, stakeholders in the UAE who have built their fortunes on oil have begun to initiate economic restructuring towards new forms of commercial practices, but face many challenges in their attempts to re-write the social contract that governs the relationship between UAE citizens and the monarchy. This course encourages students to critically analyse the complexities in establishing new commercial practices in the Dubai and the UAE, through comparing how cultural, political, social and economic factors shape institutions, ideologies, and policies governing economic transformation in resource-rich countries.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every January

Topics

  • Experiential Learning
  • Geopolitical relationships between the Gulf and the world
  • Structures shaping the UAE: history, politics, and culture
  • New commercial practices in the UAE
  • Social contracts in the UAE
  • Transforming economies in resource-rich countries

Learning Outcome

  • Identify the challenges and opportunities for new commercial practices in the UAE
  • Examine the factors influencing how the resource-rich countries transform their economies
  • Explain the roles that the UAE government, businesses, and communities play in balancing economic transformation with social stability
  • Apply social scientific perspectives to make sense of the relationships between new commercial practices and economic transformation by resource-rich countries
  • Deconstruct preconceptions about UAE and its approach towards establishing new commercial practices, economic transformation, and maintain social stability
  • Construct new approaches to address the challenges in establishing new commercial practices that considers the native contexts
  • Examine how the assumptions behind new approaches shape the way selected issues are addressed
  • Verify new approaches with stakeholders
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