Mei Zhang is an independent researcher based in Suzhou, China. Her interest in the GCC countries stems from her work experience in Dubai from 1995 to 1999. She earned MA and PhD degrees from Exeter University (UK). Her doctoral dissertation is entitled "Dubai: A Developmental State?" Since returning to China, her research interests have expanded to encompass various aspects of China-GCC economic and energy relations. She is currently focusing on ways to facilitate business relations between China and the UAE.