Arab states of the Persian Gulf
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The Arab states of the Persian Gulf are the seven Arab states which border the Persian Gulf, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). All of these states except Iraq are part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and prefer to use the term "Arabian Gulf" rather than the historical name of the Persian Gulf.[additional citation(s) needed]
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 limited 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. Saudi Arabia and Qatar are the two Arab states and absolute monarchies to have never held elections since their respective establishments as nations in 1932 and 1971.
Freedom of press
Press in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf have varying degrees of freedom with Kuwait topping the league with a lively press that enjoys considerably more freedom than its Persian Gulf counterparts according to Freedom House and Reporters Without Borders. Both organizations rank Kuwait's press as the most free of all Arab states of the Persian Gulf and, in fact, rank amongst the top three most free press in the Arab world. Qatar and Oman come in second and third respectively within the regional ranks.
The six Arab states of the Persian Gulf lie in a volatile region and their six governments, with varying degrees of success and effort, try and advance peace in their own countries and other countries. However, Arab countries in the Persian Gulf region - specifically Saudi Arabia and Qatar - stand accused of funding Islamist militants such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. According to the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP)'s Global Peace Index of 2016, the six governments had varying degrees of success in maintaining peace amongst their respective borders with Qatar ranked number 1 amongst its regional peers as the most peaceful regional and Middle Eastern nation (and ranked 34 worldwide) while Kuwait ranks second in both the regional and the Middle East region (and 51 worldwide) followed by the UAE in the third spot (61 worldwide).
All of these Arab states have significant revenues from petroleum. The United Arab Emirates has been successfully diversifying the economy. 79% of UAE's total GDP comes from non-oil sectors. Oil accounts for only 2% of Dubai's GDP. Bahrain has the Persian 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. The UAE and Bahrain have a high Human Development Index (ranking 31 and 42 worldwide respectively in 2019) and was recognised by the World Bank as high income economies.
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, but the pearling industry collapsed in the 1930s after the development of cultured pearl methods by Japanese scientists.
- Mary Ann Tétreault; Gwenn Okruhlik; Andrzej Kapiszewski (2011). Political Change in the Arab Gulf States: Stuck in Transition.
The authors first focus on the politics of seven Gulf states: Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.
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A leading American diplomat will start a trip to Iraq and six other Arab countries of the Persian Gulf region this week to discuss the Iran-Iraq war, Administration officials said today.
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- "Freedom of the Press 2016". freedomhouse.org. April 26, 2016.
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- "Four huge Middle Eastern powers just cut ties with Qatar over 'terrorism' links". The Independent. June 5, 2017.
- "Global Peace Index 2016" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-06-15.
- "Diversification raises non-oil share of UAE's GDP to 71%". gulfnews.com.
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- "The haves and the have-nots". The Economist. 11 July 2013.
- Madawi Al-Rasheed, ed. (2005). Transnational Connections and the Arab Gulf. ISBN 9780415331357.
- Lawrence G. Potter, ed. (2009). The Persian Gulf in History.
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