Arab states of the Persian Gulf
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"Arab states of the Persian Gulf", "Gulf states", "Gulf Arab states" or "Arab Gulf states" are terms that refer to the Arab states bordering the Persian Gulf, namely Kuwait, Iraq, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Most of these nations are part of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (formerly the Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC).
Geographically, the Arabic-speaking Gulf is solely Eastern Arabia. The borders of the Gulf do not extend beyond eastern Arabia. Hejaz, Najd and southern Arabia are not part of the Gulf. The Arabs of eastern Arabia speak a dialect known as Gulf Arabic. Most Saudis do not speak Gulf Arabic because most Saudis do not live in eastern Arabia. There are only 200,000 Gulf Arabic speakers in Saudi Arabia, mostly in the coastal eastern province. Gulf Arabic is distinct from Saudi Arabic. The vast majority of Saudi citizens speak Hejazi Arabic, Najdi Arabic and Bareqi Arabic dialects - which are not dialects of Gulf Arabic.
All of these Arab states have significant revenues from petroleum. Bahrain has the Gulf's first "post-oil" economy because the Bahraini economy does not rely on oil. Since the late 20th century, Bahrain has heavily invested in the banking and tourism sectors. The country's capital, Manama is home to many large financial structures. Bahrain has a high Human Development Index (ranked 48th in the world) and was recognised by the World Bank as a high income economy. The United Arab Emirates has been successfully diversifying the economy. 71% of UAE's total GDP comes from non-oil sectors. Oil accounts for only 2% of Dubai's GDP.
In addition, the small coastal states (especially Bahrain and Kuwait) were successful centers of trade and commerce prior to oil. Eastern Arabia also had significant pearl banks, the pearling industry collapsed in the 1930s after the development of cultured pearl methods by Japanese scientists.
Culture and politics
The native inhabitants of Eastern Arabia's Gulf coast share similar cultures and music styles such as sawt, fijiri, and liwa. Until very recently, the whole of eastern Arabia, from southern Iraq to the mountains of Oman, was a place where people moved around, settled and married unconcerned by national borders. The people of eastern Arabia shared a culture based on the sea. The cultural homogeneity of eastern Arabia existed in pre-Islamic times (especially during Dilmun).
A dialect known as Gulf Arabic is spoken in eastern Arabia's Gulf coast. Only Arabs of eastern Arabia speak Gulf Arabic. Most Saudis do not speak Gulf Arabic because most Saudis do not live in eastern Arabia. Less than 15% of Saudis live in eastern Arabia, the vast majority of Saudis live in Hejaz and Najd. There are only 200,000 Gulf Arabic speakers in Saudi Arabia, mostly in the coastal eastern province. Gulf Arabic is distinct from Saudi Arabic. The vast majority of Saudi citizens speak Hejazi Arabic, Najdi Arabic and Bareqi Arabic dialects - which are not dialects of Gulf Arabic. Most of the native inhabitants of the coastal Gulf region originate from the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Before the GCC was formed in 1981, the term "Khaleeji" was solely used to refer to the inhabitants of eastern Arabia. The term "Khaleejis" (Gulf Arabs) is often misused to identify all the inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula.
The Sultanate of Oman also has an advisory council (Majlis ash-Shura) that is popularly elected. In the UAE, a federation of seven monarchical emirates, the Federal National Council functions only as an advisory body, but some of its members are now chosen via a small electoral college nominated by the seven rulers. Saudi Arabia remains a hereditary monarchy with limited political representation. In Qatar, an elected national parliament has been mooted and is written into the new constitution, but elections are yet to be held.
- Eastern Arabia
- Persian Gulf
- Arab League
- Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, originally (and still) known as the "Gulf Cooperation Council" (GCC).
- Iran-Arab relations
- List of the busiest airports in the Arab states of Persian Gulf
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