Almutawa, Omar profile picMA Graduate – Class of 2017

I am thrilled and blessed to be part of a program that specializes in globalization, a phenomenon that has caught my attention as I have witnessed my hometown, Dubai, transform from a fishing village in the Arabian Peninsula into a cosmopolitan beacon of innovation in the Middle East, demonstrating the power of thinking globally and acting locally. Furthermore, the driving force behind thriving cities and nations is its people. The power of people is astounding, and harnessing it is the key to inflicting positive change in the world. Accordingly, at a broad level I am interested in studying how to harness this power in context of globalization, urbanism and policymaking. I have come to appreciate the power of individuals through my participation in simulations of United Nations (UN) committees. This has sparked a personal interest in international organizations, which has taught me that, within the international community, there are various issues that cannot be addressed by states independently. These issues are global in scale, and can only be resolved with collective, globally minded action.

Research Interests

My initial area of research is about how to strengthen coordination between members of the international community, translating well-meaning rhetoric into measurable progress. This can be achieved by changing our approach—such as looking into the role of cities—and evaluating the current mechanisms of cooperation, suggesting ways to reform them. For instance, standing out as a city brand, Dubai utilizes its image to drive critical conversations about a wide range of topics through hosting international events. These events highlight topics such as good governance, entrepreneurship, women’s empowerment and current and future trends in technology. Soon, Dubai will also host the World Expo. Cities like Dubai have become highly connected global event cities. With such remarkable developments occurring in my immediate environment, conducting research that focuses on the role of cities specifically in engaging with the world will prove valuable. Within states, cities are increasing in importance. Trends such as rural-urban migration are a testament to that as they impact the world in myriad ways.


  • B.A., International Studies and International Relations, American University of Sharjah, 2012-2016