Looking down on the city of Dubai

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

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

Program Dates:


Overseas Program: Sunday, January 5th - Saturday, January 18th, 2020

Pre-departure classes: Fall B term, Thursdays 5:45 - 8:05PM. Two post-travel sessions will be held in Spring A term; date/time TBD.

(The overseas program hotels are confirmed for January 5-18, 2020. Students should plan to arrive in Dubai no later than Sunday, January 5th and depart from Muscat after 6pm on Saturday, January 18th). 

Program Details

    This Global Enrichment program is for Carlson graduate 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?

    "The best part about my time in the UAE/Oman was learning about the rapid development in this part of the world. We learned that it was not just oil that led to explosive growth in the region, but charismatic and visionary leaders, room to grow, and a tremendous openness to expat labor that made economic development at this rate possible. Visiting developers, architects, the US consulate, and Masdar City helped us understand the unique development landscape."  - Ashley Ver Burg Soukup, 2018 MBA Participant

    "Our trip to Oman and the UAE was an amazing opportunity to immerse ourselves in different cultures and start to peel back each nation’s layers to gain a better appreciation for doing business in these locations. I had always wanted to visit the Middle East, but up until this point, I never felt like I had the most fulfilling agenda identified to make such a visit possible. When I first heard about this class trip, it quickly turned into the top selling point for me to apply to Carlson. After taking the class, I am pleased to say that my excitement was justified. Not usually a fan of planned, group travel, I can confidently say that I would never have had the access to industry, nor would I have gained the understanding that I have come to appreciate if I had made this visit outside the bounds of CGI. This is a class that I highly recommend to all current and future students!" - Sean Wiley, MBA 2018 Participant

    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.

    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 lunch, and closing dinner are provided.

    • 4 graduate credits 
    • Grading is A-F basis

    This program is open to up to 30 Carlson School graduate students in good academic standing with a minimum GPA of 3.0 at the time of application. The application process can be competitive, and space is limited. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance.

    U.S. citizens will need a valid passport to travel to the U.A.E and Oman. If you already have a passport, you need to check the expiration date and confirm that it is more than seven months after the program ends. If you do not have a passport, or your passport needs to be renewed, you will need to apply for one immediately upon confirmation.

    A visa is a document that proves that travel into a particular country has been approved by their governing body. U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter the U.A.E, but do need to obtain a visa to enter Oman. Students are responsible for obtaining this electronic visa prior to the program's start date. Non-U.S. passport holders should check with the U.A.E and Omani consulates regarding visa requirements and fees. A consulate is a foreign government's official place of residence and representation in a foreign country. While consulates provide passports, birth registration, and many other services, they also have consular sections which issue visas for foreign citizens to visit, study, and work in their country. If you carry a passport other than a U.S. passport and are required to carry a visa into the U.A.E and Oman, you will be responsible for securing your visa; you will work closely with the Program Manager (Emily Sauey) to make sure you have any University-specific documentation that you need.

      To submit your application, please visit the Apply page. Students will be charged a $50 application fee. The priority deadline is June 15th. Applications for programs that do not fill by the priority deadline will be accepted on a rolling basis until full. Applications will be reviewed and students will be informed of their status within 4 weeks of the priority deadline. 

      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.

      • Up to 30 graduate students from Carlson School of Management

      Fall B term Thursdays 5:45 - 8:05PM

      Two post-travel sessions will be held in Spring A term; date/time TBD.

      The program will start in Dubai, and then Abu Dhabi 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 a sample schedule of the 2020 program based on last year's programming, click here. 

    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 2019-2020 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.

    Estimated tuition for Four PTMBA Academic Credits (not including collegiate, graduate student assembly, or transportation fees)* $6,140
    Program Fee (including lodging, program events, course materials, breakfast daily, two group meals, and int'l health insurance*) $2,900
    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
    Total $11,980


    Helen Moser
    Academic term(s)
    Short-Term January
    Degree level
    Full-time MBA
    Masters HRIR
    Part-time MBA
    United Arab Emirates
    Abu Dhabi