The United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) represents a unique form of rentier state in the Gulf region, with its vast resources of oil and natural gas and its political and economic systems characterized by the exploitation and export of natural resources. The U.A.E. is a global leader in carbon dioxide emissions and pollution, but has recently begun to diversify its energy resources by establishing various renewable energy initiatives. This new strategy has involved new domestic policies that make important adjustments to the conventional fossil-fuel economic model. The main question addressed in this study is the following: What are the drivers that make a rentier state such as the U.A.E. adopt new policies to encourage alternative energy sources, given that its oil reserves are secured for almost the next 50 years? The study argues that current dynamics in the U.A.E. cannot be explained by rentier state theory but can be described as a post-rentierism moment, a phenomenon that did not emerge from a vacuum and will not last long. It is a transitional stage and a turning point in the complex development of a country that trying to use and benefit from the available opportunities and overcome any challenges. The results indicate that the adoption of new renewable energy policies by a pioneering rentier state such as the U.A.E. can best be explained by the policy transfer approach, at two levels: domestic growth policy and environmental consciousness and responsibility.

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