Dynamic Computable General Equilibrium Modelling Course in the Middle East

General Information


Date: 26 – 30 November, 2017
Location: Radisson Blu Hotel – Deira Creek [map]
Bani Yas Road
476 Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 4 222 7171
Offered by: Centre of Policy Studies, Victoria University, Melbourne
Course Fee: US$ 2,300 (academic or student)
US$ 3,000 (government)
US$ 5,000 (consulting firms)
Logistical Details: Course fee and registration
Visa requirements
Contact us

Information about the course


The Centre of Policy Studies at Victoria University (Melbourne, Australia) will offer an intensive five day course introducing participants to Dynamic Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) modelling for the Middle East. This is a laptop based course, with all modelling undertaken using GEMPACK software. The course will be taught in English.

The course will be based around the Victoria University Middle East Dynamic (VUMED) model, calibrated to a database for a hypothetical country in the Middle East. VUMED has been developed by CoPS for commissioned work in a number of Middle Eastern countries. The hypothetical economy is oil and gas dependent for income, employment and fiscal revenues. The economy’s labour market is segmented, with nationals supplying most of the high–wage jobs, and non–nationals supplying most of the low–wage jobs. Large energy subsidies are in place, and industry policy is directed towards diversification away from primary energy production.

Using GEMPACK Software participants will construct a year–by–year baseline forecast for the period 2015 to 2030. This forecast is advised by extraneous macro forecasts. Participants will then undertake policy simulations showing the year–by–year effects of shocks as deviations from the baseline.

During this course participants will:

At the core of VUMED is the ORANI-G model. ORANI-G has been used as the basis of many single-country models including models of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, Uganda, South Africa, Thailand, China, Brazil, Pakistan and the Philippines. GEMPACK software is used by research workers in over 650 different locations in about 85 countries around the world.

We expect for this course that demand will exceed supply, so book early. Please note that participants need to bring their own laptops, and install GEMPACK before the course.

Rationale for the Practical GE Modelling Course

The course should appeal to those:

Course Outcomes

By the end of the course, participants will have acquired thorough knowledge of:

Course Program

The course program will consist of lectures integrated with hands-on experience with modelling in GEMPACK. It is intensive, with fairly long work hours. The program schedule allows for prayer times. Times and meal arrangements vary according to course location, but typically the course material and program are as follows.

Sunday: Commence 8.30am
The basic structure of a dynamic CGE model
Introduction to the VUMED model
Overview of GEMPACK software
Computing: Illustrative simulation of the short-run effects of a change in wage structure
Monday: Commence 8.30am
The theoretical structure of VUMED (continued)
Computing: Reviewing the database
Computing: Simulation of the effects of removing energy subsidies.
Tuesday: Commence 8.30am
Computing: adding new data, variables, and equations
structure of VUMED (continued)
Simulation of the effects of increased diversification through investment in a large start-up project
Wednesday: Commence 8.30am
Top-down regional CGE modelling
Group simulations with VUMED
Group simulations with VUMED: Analysis of results.
Thursday: Commence 8.30am
Group simulations with VUMED: Report preparation
Group presentation of reports on VUMED
Course ends 3.00pm

Documentation and Software

Course participants receive a folder, containing

At the end of the course participants receive a USB containing

Assumed Background

Previous hands-on experience in solving GE models is advisable but not necessary. We expect that course participants have:

Preparing for the course

You should study some material prior to the course. Download and work through the MINIMAL course material. The MINIMAL model and course are simplified versions of the VUMED model and course -- and use similar notation and software. To go further, you could download and read the ORANI-G document.

Course fee and registration

US$ 2,300 (academic or student)
US$ 3,000 (government)
US$ 5,000 (consulting firms)

The fee covers course materials (including software), morning and afternoon teas and 5 lunches. It does not cover airfare, visa costs, transport, accommodation, breakfast or dinner.


A registration form can be downloaded, completed, and emailed to Louise Pinchen. Options for payment can be found on the registration form.


All cancellations must be mailed to Louise Pinchen. Registered participants who are unable to attend will receive an 85% refund until 14 November, 2017. No refunds will be offered after this date.

Visa requirements

Participants need to determine if they require a visa before travelling to the United Arab Emirates. Participants can visit the UAE Visa and Passport Information for more information and/or contact the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in your country for further information.


Participants are responsible for arranging and paying for their own accommodation. We strongly recommend participants to stay at the venue.

There are a number of hotels near the Radisson Blu Deira Creek. For rates and availability at these hotels, participants should contact each directly and/or check sites such as booking.com and trip advisor.


Participants are responsible for arranging and paying for their own transport. Transport information for the Radisson Blu is available here. You can also visit sites such as Dubai airport or Viator for more information.


Historically Dubai weather in November is warm but not hot. Check the current conditions closer to time of travel.

Contact us

If you require any further information, please contact:
Dr Louise Roos phone: from Australia (03) 9919 1491 from overseas +613 9919 1491
Ms Louise Pinchen phone: from Australia (03) 9919 1877 from overseas +613 9919 1877