||This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2014)
Khaliji (also spelled Khaleeji; Arabic: الموسيقى الخليجية meaning Gulf music) is a type of modern contemporary music characteristic of Central and Eastern Arabia (see Arab states of the Persian Gulf) and popular across the Arab world. It is characterized by heavy use of the oud and other string instruments such as the violin, the occasional use of bagpipes, and the inclusion of percussion instruments such as the mirwas, tabl, and duff drums. Khaliji incorporates elements of African, Indian, and Iranian music overlaying indigenous Arabian genres such as Samri, Liwa, and Sawt. Kuwait pioneered the Khaliji genre into its modern form in the second half of the 20th century and soon became the focal point of the industry in a fashion similar to Cairo and Beirut in the case of Arabic pop music. Kuwaitis, in addition to Saudis, were also among the first commercial recording artists and composers in the Persian Gulf region and the Khaliji scene continues to be dominated primarily by Saudi, Kuwaiti, and Bahraini artists and composers today. Among the most prominent performers of the genre are Talal Maddah, Etab, Abadi Al-Johar, Mohammed Abdu, Rashed Al-Majed, Rabeh Sager, Abdul Majeed Abdullah, and Waed in Saudi Arabia, Aisha Al-Murta, Abdulkareem Abdulkader, Nawal El Kuwaitia, Abdallah Al Rowaished, Nabil Shuail, and Shams in Kuwait, Ahlam and Hind in Bahrain, and Hussain Al Jasmi, Balqees, and Shamma Hamdan in the United Arab Emirates. Starting in the 1990s, several artists from outside the Gulf Cooperation Council have attempted cross-overs into the industry. Prominent examples include Rajae Belmlih from Morocco, Thekra and Latifa from Tunisia, Assala Nasri from Syria, and Diana Haddad, Yara, and Myriam Fares from Lebanon.