IBUS 6402: Global Enrichment in the United Arab Emirates and Oman

Economic Diversification: Moving Beyond Oil in the United Arab Emirates and Oman


Monday, January 1, 2018 to Saturday, January 13, 2018

Pre-departure classes Fall B term Fridays 4:00-7:00PM plus one session in Spring A term date/time TBD.

This Global Enrichment program is for MBA students.

The Middle East is one of the fastest growing economic areas in the world; it has historically had a heavy reliance on oil exports, but that is changing in many of these countries. This course will focus on three main areas:

  • Oil prices have fluctuated wildly in recent years. How has this affected the economies in the region? What actions and policies are in place to mitigate this risk? How has the oil industry changed in the last decade, and what changes are foreseen for the future?
  • Each of the three areas we will be visiting has a plan in place to diversify away from a reliance on oil income; we will learn about each region’s path for diversification of its economy and witness firsthand progress toward this goal. We will focus on real estate, entrepreneurship, tourism, and infrastructure development.
  • The majority of the population of the Middle East is Muslim. We will study the basic tenets of this religion and discuss how this affects the transition of the economies. How does Sharia Law affect financing of business and how does it affect the role of women in economic development of each region?


“Traveling with other Carlson students to the UAE and Oman was an amazing opportunity to experience Middle Eastern culture firsthand. I particularly enjoyed the program’s balance between business and cultural site visits, and I returned with many unique memories and an enriched global perspective.”  - Brekke Quade, 2016 participant

“The learning was both experiential and inferential, and it challenged my abilities to perceive and process information, and to form my opinions by utilizing ALL the information at my disposal, not just that which was formally presented. I made great friendships on the trip, and I see those strong connections being valuable to me personally and professionally in the future.”  - Tara Young 2016 participant

“The study abroad experience allowed me to re-frame the way I see the world. It completely changed the way I see the Middle East and has made me reconsider my beliefs about other unfamiliar regions. I will draw on this experience for the rest of my life. It has changed the way I view everything from news stories to migrant workers to America’s role in the world."  - Derek Nelson 2016 participant


Program schedule

The program will start in Abu Dhabi and then Dubai, UAE and the second half of the program will be spent in Muscat, Oman. (Transportation between cities is included in the program fee.) The program will start with a welcome dinner and opening city tour. A typical day will include two academic or cultural activities including guest lectures from local university faculty, visits with government officials, NGO's, and businesses both domestic and international. The evenings and two afternoons will be free for independent sight-seeing and exploration. To see a copy of the previous year's schedule please contact Carlson Global Institute at cgi@umn.edu.

Application and Admissions

Please refer to the "Apply" page for more information regarding your application to a Global Enrichment program


The program is open to MBA students from Carlson School of Management

Location details

This program will take place in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE and is also an Emirate, the largest of the seven emirates (states).  As the capital, Abu Dhabi is the political and industrial center of the country as well as an important cultural and commercial hub.  One of the world's largest producers of oil, Abu Dhabi has actively attempted to diversify its economy in recent years through investments in financial services and tourism. 

Dubai, both an emirate of the UAE and the country's largest city, is a global city and a business hub. Although Dubai's economy was built on the oil industry, the emirate's model of business drives its economy, with the effect that its main revenues are now from tourism, real estate, and financial services. Dubai has recently attracted world attention through many innovative large construction projects and sports events.

Muscat, the capital of Oman, is a city for international trade. Since the ascension of Qaboos bin Said as Sultan of Oman in 1970, Muscat has experienced rapid infrastructural development that has led to the growth of a vibrant economy, a multi-ethnic society, and a population of 735,000. Central to Oman's economy is petroleum, but more traditional items like dates, mother of pearl, and fish are also traded in the city.

Housing and Food

Students stay in conveniently-located hotels in each city and will share a room with one or two classmates of their same gender. Because networking and community-building are key parts of the program, students will not have the option of a single room. Guests are not permitted during the program. Breakfast daily, a welcome dinner, and closing dinner are provided.


  • Up to 35 MBA students from Carlson School of Management

Academics and credits

  • 4 graduate credits 
  • Grading is A-F basis

Academic term(s)


Financial Aid and Scholarships

Most financial aid may be applied to study abroad. University of Minnesota students are eligible for education abroad scholarships. Please see Financial Aid and Scholarships for more information.

Cost estimate (Summary)

These estimates will vary based on student preference and exchange rates. All details subject to change based on economic and international factors. Most financial aid may be applied to study abroad programs.

*Calculated based on the estimated 2016-2017 PTMBA tuition rate. Students enrolled in another degree program will be charged the tuition rate for four credits associated with their degree program. Please see One Stop for more information about tuition and fees or contact us with questions.

Cost table

Estimated tuition for Four Academic Credits (not including collegiate, graduate student assembly, or transportation fees)*$5340
Program Fee (including lodging, program events, course materials, breakfast daily, two group meals, and int'l health insurance*)$2,800
International airfare between Minnesota and Oman/UAE$1,900
Passport, Visa & Photos (based on prices for U.S. citizens)$205
Textbooks /Course Materials$35
Hotel Accommodation (included in Program Fee)$0
Daily Living Expenses (local transportation, incidentals, laundry, etc)$400
Meals (lunch and dinners not included in Program Fee)$400

Program Manager

Lauren Dickinson


Helen Moser


Short-Term January

Degree level

Full-time MBA
Masters HRIR
Part-time MBA




United Arab Emirates


Abu Dhabi