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Gulf Cooperation Council

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Title: Gulf Cooperation Council  
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Subject: List of bilateral free trade agreements, Expatriates in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain–Saudi Arabia relations, Ali Abdullah Saleh, Kuwait–Saudi Arabia relations
Collection: 1981 Establishments in the United Arab Emirates, 1981 in Economics, Continental Unions, Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, Economic Integration, Intellectual Property Organizations, Intergovernmental Organizations Established by Treaty, International Economic Organizations, International Organizations of Asia, International Organizations of the Middle East, Organizations Established in 1981, Pan-Arabism, Proposed Currencies, Supranational Unions, Trade Blocs
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Gulf Cooperation Council

مجلس التعاون لدول الخليج العربي
Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf
Map indicating CCASG members.
Map indicating CCASG members.
Headquarters Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Official languages Arabic
Type Trade bloc
 -  Secretary General A. bin Rashid Al Zayani
 -  Supreme Council Presidency  Kuwait[1]
 -  As the GCC 25 May 1981 (1981-05-25) 
 -  Total 2,673,108 km2
1,032,093 sq mi
 -  Water (%) 0.6
 -  2014 estimate 50,761,260
 -  Density 17.37/km2
45/sq mi
GDP (nominal) 2013 estimate
 -  Total $1,665 billion
 -  Per capita $33,005
Currency Khaleeji (proposed)
a. Sum of component states' populations.

The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (intergovernmental political and economic union consisting of all Arab states of the Persian Gulf, except for Iraq. Its member states are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.[2][3]

Amidst the Bahraini uprising, Saudi Arabia and the UAE sent ground troops to Bahrain in order to quell Bahraini protests.[4] Kuwait and Oman refrained from sending troops.[4] In December 2011, Saudi Arabia proposed that the GCC form a confederation.[4] Objections have been raised against the proposal by the other countries.[5][6] There have been discussions regarding the future membership of Jordan, Morocco, and Yemen.[7][8] All current member states are monarchies, including three constitutional monarchies (Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain), two absolute monarchies (Saudi Arabia and Oman), and one federal monarchy (the United Arab Emirates), which in fact is composed of seven member states, each with their own emir.

During a two-day summit on 10 December 2013, talks on the formation of a "Gulf Union" topped the agenda.[9] On 12 August 2014 Bahrain's prime minister, Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, showed renewed interest in the establishment of a gulf union. He has stated that current events in the region highlighted the importance of the proposal.[10]


  • Founding 1
    • Objectives 1.1
    • Logo 1.2
  • Economy 2
    • Internal market 2.1
    • Monetary union 2.2
    • Infrastructure 2.3
  • Politics and governance 3
    • Supreme council 3.1
    • Ministerial Council 3.2
    • Secretariat General 3.3
    • Monetary Council 3.4
    • Patent Office 3.5
    • Peninsula Shield Force 3.6
    • GCC Standardization Organization (GSO) 3.7
  • Secretaries-General 4
  • Member states 5
  • Macro-economic trend 6
  • Sports 7
  • 2014 Saudi–Qatari rift 8
  • Related states 9
    • Iraq 9.1
    • Iran 9.2
    • Jordan and Morocco 9.3
    • Yemen 9.4
  • Related organizations 10
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


Heads of states of the GCC in Abu Dhabi, 1981.

Established in Abu Dhabi on 25 May 1981,[11][12] the original union comprised the 630-million-acre (2,500,000 km2) Persian Gulf states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The unified economic agreement between the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council was signed on 11 November 1981 in Abu Dhabi. These countries are often referred to as "the GCC states".


Among the stated objectives are:

  • Formulating similar regulations in various fields such as religion, finance, trade, customs, tourism, legislation, and administration
  • Fostering scientific and technical progress in industry, mining, agriculture, water and animal resources
  • Establishing scientific research centers
  • Setting up joint ventures
  • Unified military (Peninsula Shield Force)
  • Encouraging cooperation of the private sector
  • Strengthening ties between their peoples
  • Establishing a common currency[13][14][15][16]
However, Oman announced in December 2006 it would not be able to meet the target date. Following the announcement that the central bank for the monetary union would be located in Riyadh and not in the UAE, the UAE announced their withdrawal from the monetary union project in May 2009. The name Khaleeji has been proposed as a name for this currency. If realised, the GCC monetary union would be the second largest supranational monetary union in the world, measured by GDP of the common-currency area.[14]

This area has some of the fastest growing economies in the world, mostly due to a boom in oil and natural gas revenues coupled with a building and investment boom backed by decades of saved petroleum revenues. In an effort to build a tax base and economic foundation before the reserves run out, the UAE's investment arms, including Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, retain over $900 billion in assets. Other regional funds also have several hundreds of billions of dollars of assets under management.

The region is also an emerging hotspot for events, including the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar. Doha also submitted an unsuccessful application for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Qatar was later chosen to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, but it is possible that Qatar might lose the right to host the game because of its poor human rights records. [17]

Recovery plans have been criticized for crowding out the private sector, failing to set clear priorities for growth, failing to restore weak consumer and investor confidence, and undermining long-term stability.[18]

The logo of the GCC consists of two concentric circles. On the upper part of the larger circle, the Bismillah phrase is written in Arabic and on the lower part the Council's full name, in Arabic. The inner circle contains an embossed hexagonal shape representing the Council's six member countries. The inside of the hexagon is filled by a map encompassing the Arabian Peninsula, on which the areas of the member countries are shown in brown and on the topmost are the flags of 6 gcc countries


Internal market

A common market was launched on 1 January 2008 with plans to realise a fully integrated single market.[19] It eased the movement of goods and services. However, implementation lagged behind after the 2009 financial crisis. The creation of a customs union began in 2003 and was completed and fully operational on 1 January 2015.[20] In January 2015, the common market was also further integrated, allowing full equality among GCC citizens to work in the government and private sectors, social insurance and retirement coverage, real estate ownership, capital movement, access to education, health and other social services in all member states. However, some barriers remained in the free movement of goods and services.[21] The coordination of taxation systems, accounting standards and civil legislation is currently in progress. The interoperability of professional qualifications, insurance certificates and identity documents is also underway.[22]

Monetary union

In 2014, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia took major steps to ensure the creation of a single currency. Kuwait's finance minister said the four members are pushing ahead with the monetary union but said some “technical points” need to be cleared. "A common market and common central bank would also position the GCC as one entity that would have great “influence on the international financial system" he added. The implementation of a single currency and the creation of a central bank is overseen by the Monetary Council.[23]

There is currently a degree to which a nominal GCC single currency already exists. Businesses trade using a basket of GCC currencies, just as before the euro was introduced, the European Currency Unit (ECU) was long used beforehand as a nominal medium of exchange.[22] Plans to introduce a single currency had been drawn up as far back as 2009, however due to the financial crisis and political differences, the UAE and Oman withdrew their membership.


The Gulf Cooperation Council launched common economic projects to promote and facilitate integration. The member states have cooperated in order to connect their power grids. A water connection project was launched and plans to be partly in use by 2020. A project to create common air transport was also unveiled.[24]

The GCC also launched major rail projects in order to connect the peninsula. The railways are expected to fuel intra-regional trade while helping reduce fuel consumption. Over $200 billion will be invested to develop about 40,000 kilometres of rail network across the GCC, according to Oman’s Minister of Transport and Communications. The project, estimated to be worth $15.5 billion, is scheduled to be completed by 2018. “It will link the six member states as a regional transport corridor, further integrating with the national railway projects, deepening economic social and political integration, and it is developed from a sustainable perspective.” stated, Ramiz Al Assar, Resident World Bank advisor for the GCC.[25]

Saudi Arabian Railways, Etihad Rail, and national governments have poured billions in railway infrastructure to create rail networks for transporting freight, connecting cities and reducing transport times.[25]

Politics and governance

Supreme council

The supreme council is the highest authority of the organization. It is composed of the heads of the member states. It is the highest decision-making entity of the GCC. The supreme council sets the vision and the goals of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Decisions on substantive issues require unanimous approval, while issues on procedural matters require a majority. Every member state has one vote.[26]

Ministerial Council

The Ministerial Council is composed of the Foreign Ministers of all the Member States. It convenes every 3 months. It primarily formulates policies and makes recommendations to promote cooperation and achieve coordination among the member states when implementing ongoing projects. Its decisions are submitted in the form of recommendations to the Supreme Council for its approval. The Ministerial Council is also responsible for preparations of meetings of the Supreme Council and its agenda. The voting procedure in the Ministerial Council is the same as in the Supreme Council.[26]

Secretariat General

The Secretariat is the executive arm of the Gulf Cooperation Council. It takes decisions within its authority and implements decisions approved by the Supreme or Ministerial Council. The Secretariat also compiles studies relating to cooperation, coordination, and planning for common action. It prepares periodical reports regarding the work done by the GCC as a whole and regarding the implementation of its own decisions.[26]

Monetary Council

On 15 December 2009, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia announced the creation of a Monetary Council to introduce a single currency for the union. The board of the council, which set a timetable and action plan for establishing a central bank and choose a currency regime, will met for the first time on 30 March 2010. Kuwaiti foreign minister Mohammad Sabah Al-Sabah said on 8 December 2009 that a single currency may take up to ten years to establish. The original target was in 2010. Oman and the UAE later announced their withdrawal of the proposed currency.

In 2014, major moves were taken to ensure the launch of a single currency. Kuwait's finance minister stated that a currency should be implemented without delay. Negotiations with the UAE and Oman to expand the monetary union were renewed.[23]

Patent Office

The GCC Patent Office was approved in 1992 and established soon after in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.[27] Applications are filed and prosecuted in the Arabic language before the GCC Patent Office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which is a separate office from the Saudi Arabian Patent Office.

Peninsula Shield Force

Amidst the Bahraini uprising, Saudi Arabia and the UAE sent ground troops to Bahrain in order to quell Bahraini protests.[28][29][30] Kuwait and Oman refrained from sending troops.[4] Instead, Kuwait sent a navy unit.[31]

In September 2014 GCC members Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar plus pending member Jordan, commenced air operations against ISIL in Syria cooperation. Saudi Arabia and the UAE however are among the nations that oppose the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, whereas Qatar has historically supported it. They also pledged other support including operating training facilities for Syrian Rebels (Saudi Arabia) and allowing the use of their airbases by other countries fighting ISIL.

GCC Standardization Organization (GSO)

This is the standardization organization of the GCC, and

  • The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf - Secretariat General
  • The Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC)

External links

  1. ^ "Kuwait hopes emir visit to Iran will boost Gulf peace". Gulf News. Retrieved 23 July 2014. 
  2. ^ Sara Hamdan (4 January 2012). "A Call for Private Investment in Gulf Health Care".  
  3. ^ "U.A.E. Quits Gulf Monetary Union".  
  4. ^ a b c d "GCC Members Consider Future of Union - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 15 April 2015. 
  5. ^ "Saudi Arabia Seeks Union of Monarchies in Region." The New York Times, 14 May 2012.
  6. ^ Ian Black (14 May 2012). "Gulf unity plan on hold amid Iranian warning".  
  7. ^ Asma Alsharif (10 May 2011). "1-Gulf bloc to consider Jordan, Morocco membership". Reuters. Retrieved 10 May 2011. 
  8. ^ a b "Yemen to join GCC by 2015". Arabian Business. Retrieved 15 April 2015. 
  9. ^ "Gulf Union on agenda at annual GCC summit". (Al Arabiya News). 10 December 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "'"Gulf Union 'crucial for stability. (Gulf Daily News). 12 August 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  11. ^ "Gulf Cooperation Council". Deutsch Federal Foreign Office. Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
  12. ^ Bandar Salman Al Saud (1997). "The GCC security convention" (PDF). University of Glasgow. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  13. ^ Khan, Mohsin S. (April 2009). The GCC Monetary Union: Choice of Exchange Rate Regime (PDF). Washington DC: Peterson Institute for International Economics. Retrieved 11 May 2009. 
  14. ^ a b Sturm, Michael; Siegfried, Nikolaus (June 2005). Regional Monetary Integration in the Member States of the Gulf Cooperation Council (PDF). Frankfurt am Main, Germany: European Central Bank.  
  15. ^ Abed, George T.; Erbas, S. Nuri; Guerami, Behrouz (1 April 2003). The GCC Monetary Union: Some Considerations for the Exchange Rate Regime (PDF). Washington DC, USA: International Monetary Fund (IMF).  
  16. ^ "Gulf Currency". Retrieved 15 April 2015. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ Ibrahim Saif; Farah Choucair (14 May 2009). "Arab Countries Stumble in the Face of Growing Economic Crisis". Carnegie Endowment. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  19. ^ GCC states to launch joint market today Arab Times
  20. ^ "GCC customs union fully operational". The Peninsula. 3 January 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  21. ^ "GCC ‘common market achieves most goals’". The Peninsula. 9 January 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  22. ^ a b "GCC Summit: A Show of Unity – Arab News Editorial". Saudi-US Information Service. 12 December 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  23. ^ a b "GCC tries to persuade UAE, Oman to join currency talks". Arab News. 29 June 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  24. ^ "The GCC and the Supreme Council Summits – Infographics". Saudi-US Relations Information Service. 11 December 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  25. ^ a b "GCC Rail Projects To See Investments Worth $200bn". Gulf Business. 11 January 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  26. ^ a b c "The Organizational Structure". Gulf Cooperation Council. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  27. ^ "GCC Patent Office page of the GCC website". Retrieved 12 February 2008. 
  28. ^ "(ABC News Australia)". ABC News. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  29. ^ Bahrain protests CNN. 2011
  30. ^ Gulf forces intervene in Bahrain after violent clashes Daily India.
  31. ^ "Kuwait naval units join Bahrain mission ... ‘Plot foiled’". Arab Times. Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
  32. ^ GSO homepage.
  33. ^ "Bishara, Abdullah". Rulers. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  34. ^ "Profile". ECSSR. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  35. ^ Malcolm C. Peck (12 April 2010). The A to Z of the Gulf Arab States. Scarecrow Press. p. 111.  
  36. ^ Toumi, Habib (29 November 2009). "Oman endorses Al Mutawa". Gulf News. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  37. ^ GCC Youth and Sports Ministers meet in Doha. The Peninsula Qatar (2015-03-05). Retrieved on 2015-03-20.
  38. ^ Sports sector becoming growth driver in the GCC. Saudi Gazette (2014-11-08). Retrieved on 2015-03-20.
  39. ^ Sambridge, Andy (2011-04-07). Bahrain to host first GCC Games in October. Arabian Business. Retrieved on 2015-03-20.
  40. ^ Gulf Cooperation Council Athletics Championships. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2015-03-20.
  41. ^ 6th GCC Sailing Championships 2014, Qatar. Icarus Sailing Media. Retrieved on 2015-03-20.
  42. ^ GCC 3x3 Basketball championship to conclude on Saturday. Qatar Olympic Committee. Retrieved on 2015-03-20.
  43. ^ Swimmers sparkle in GCC Championships. Qatar Olympic Committee (2013-04-14). Retrieved on 2015-03-20.
  44. ^ Preparations on for GCC championships . Gulf Daily News (2014-10-29). Retrieved on 2015-03-20.
  45. ^ s Gymnastics ChampionshipArab Gymnastic officials applaud GCC Men. Kuwait News Agency (2012-02-24). Retrieved on 2015-03-20.
  46. ^ Qatar top ’em all at GCC Championships. Doha Stadium Plus Qatar (2014-02-26). Retrieved on 2015-03-20.
  47. ^ Oman’s Suhail al Kulaibi walks and lifts his way to glory. International Weightlifting Federation (2012-02-26). Retrieved on 2015-03-20.
  48. ^ Kuwait wins GCC Futsal Championship Title. Qatar Olympic Committee (2015-03-18). Retrieved on 2015-03-20.
  49. ^ UAE extend lease over GCC title. UAE Interact (2005-01-03). Retrieved on 2015-03-20.
  50. ^ Kuwait Passes Tests with Honours as Bahrain Sets Tests for Global Gathering. International Table Tennis Federation. Retrieved on 2015-03-20.
  51. ^ David Blair and Richard Spencer (20 September 2014). "How Qatar is funding the rise of Islamist extremists". Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  52. ^ "Hamas's BFFs". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  53. ^ Kirkpatrick, David D. (7 September 2014). "Qatar's Support of Islamists Alienates Allies Near and Far." New York Times. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  54. ^ "3 Gulf Countries Pull Ambassadors From Qatar Over Its Support of Islamists". New York Times. 5 March 2014. 
  55. ^ " "UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain recall their ambassadors from Qatar" 5 Mar 2014". Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  56. ^ "Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain withdraw envoys from Qatar". CNN. 2014-03-05. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  57. ^ Firzli, M. Nicolas J. (6 April 2014). "A GCC House Divided: Country Risk Implications of the Saudi-Qatari Rift". Al-Hayat (London). Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  58. ^ a b Islam Hassan (31 March 2015). "GCC's 2014 Crisis: Causes, Issues and Solutions". Al Jazeera Research Center. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  59. ^ a b c Yahoo! "GCC discusses economic plan for Jordan, Morocco". 11 September 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  60. ^ Low, Linda; Carlos Salazar, Lorraine (2011). The Gulf Cooperation Council: A Rising Power and Lessons for ASEAN.  
  61. ^ Wuthnow, Joel (6 June 2013). "China and the Iran Nuclear Issue: Beyond the Limited Partnership" (PDF).  
  62. ^ MENAFN. "- MENAFN.COM". Retrieved 15 April 2015. 
  63. ^ Dulaimi confirmed that Iraq sought to join the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
  64. ^ "Kuwait stresses necessity for Iraq to join GCC". Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  65. ^ "GCC states slam Iran interference in region." Al Jazeera. 25 December 2012.
  66. ^ Jordan, Morocco to join [P]GCC
  67. ^ Mu Xuequan (11 May 2011). "GCC welcomes Jordan's request to join the council". Xinhua. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  68. ^ Al-Rantawi, Oraib (17 July 2011). "GCC membership may be a burden on Jordan’s security". Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  69. ^ "Yemen joined GOIC in 2009". Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  70. ^ See the Closing Statement of the Twenty-Second Session GCC the Final Communiqué of the 29th Session


See also

The GCC members and Yemen are also members of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA). However, this is unlikely to affect the agenda of the GCC significantly as it has a more aggressive timetable than GAFTA and is seeking greater integration.

Related organizations

[70]. The Council issued directives that all the necessary legal measures be taken so that Yemen would have the same rights and obligations of GCC member states in those institutions.Gulf Cup Football Tournament GCC Auditing and Accounting Authority, Gulf Radio and TV Authority, GCC Council of Health Ministers, GCC Education and Training Bureau, GCC Council of Labour and Social Affairs Ministers, and [69]


As Jordan and Morocco are the only two Arab monarchies not currently in the council, the current members see them as strong potential allies. Jordan borders member Saudi Arabia and is economically connected to the Persian Gulf States. Although Morocco is not near the Persian Gulf, the Moroccan foreign minister Taieb Fassi Fihri notes that "geographical distance is no obstacle to a strong relationship".[59]

In May 2011, Jordan's request to join the GCC, which had been first submitted 15 years earlier, was accepted and Morocco was invited to join the union.[66][67][68] In September 2011 a five-year economic plan for both countries was put forward after a meeting between the foreign ministers of both countries and those of the GCC States, the first GCC meeting since May which included the Jordanian and Moroccan ministers. Although a plan for accession was being looked into, it was noted that there was no timetable for either's accession, and that discussions would continue.[59]

Jordan and Morocco

At the December 2012 Manama summit, the GCC states called for an end to Iranian interference in their internal affairs.[65]


In 2012, Iraqi Defence Minister Saadoun al-Dulaimi stated that Iraq wants to join the GCC.[63] Kuwait supports Iraq joining the GCC.[64]

Iraq is the only Arab country bordering the Persian Gulf that is not a member of the council. The associate membership of Iraq was discontinued in 1990 after its invasion of Kuwait in the Gulf War.[60][61] In 2009, it was reported that Iraq was set to join the cartel of the GCC Chambers of Commerce.[62]


Some GCC countries have land borders with Iraq, Jordan and Yemen, and sea borders with Iran, Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, and Pakistan.

Since the creation of the council in 1981 its membership has not expanded, with all members being Arab monarchies.[59]

Related states

When the ambassadors withdrew, the GCC was probably already on the verge of a crisis linked to the emergence of distinct political blocs with conflicting interests. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain were beginning to engage in a political struggle with Qatar, while Oman and Kuwait represent a non-aligned bloc within the GCC.[58] The ambassadors crisis also seriously threatened the GCC’s activities, adversely affected its functioning and could arguably even have led to its dissolution.[58]

Some financial economists have interpreted the 2014 Saudi–Qatari rift as the tangible political sign of a growing economic rivalry between oil and natural gas producers, which could "have deep and long-lasting consequences" beyond the MENA area.[57]

Qatar's support for the Muslim Brotherhood across the MENA area, Hamas and extremist Islamists in Libya have led to increasing tensions with other Arab states of the Persian Gulf.[51][52][53] These came to a head during a March 2014 meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council, after which the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain announced the recall of their ambassadors to Qatar.[54][55][56]

2014 Saudi–Qatari rift

The GCC Games, a quadrennial multi-sport event, was established by the union and first held in 2011.[39] There are numerous long-running GCC Championships for individual sports, including: the Gulf Cooperation Council Athletics Championships (first held in 1986; youth section from 2000)[40] sailing,[41] basketball,[42] swimming,[43] tennis,[44] gymnastics (senior and youth levels),[45][46] weightlifting,[47] futsal,[48] snooker,[49] and table tennis.[50]

The union has served as a grouping for sports co-operation and competition. The GCC states have an annual Meeting of the Youth and Sports ministers to boost youth and sports initiatives in the region; in 2015, this gathering was held for the 29th time.[37] The promotion of the hosting of international sports events has also served an economic purpose for the union's countries, leading to investment and development in the region.[38]


GDP per capita
(as % of USA's GDP per capita)
1980 $250,675 152.00
1985 $183,069 60.19
1990 $207,735 41.28
1995 $261,072 37.10
2000 $375,483 36.26
2005 $664,582 45.19
2010 $1,084,647 56.56

Macro-economic trend

Flag Common name Official name Type of government
in English in romanized Arabic
Bahrain Kingdom of Bahrain Mamlakat al-Baḥrayn Constitutional monarchy
Kuwait State of Kuwait Dawlat al-Kuwayt Parliamentary system, constitutional monarchy
Oman Sultanate of Oman Salṭanat ʻUmān Absolute monarchy
Qatar State of Qatar Dawlat Qaṭar Constitutional monarchy
Saudi Arabia Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Al-Mamlaka al-ʻArabiyya as-Suʻūdiyya Absolute monarchy
United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates Al-Imārāt al-‘Arabīyah al-Muttaḥidah Federal monarchya
a Elective by monarchs de jure, hereditary de facto.

There are six member states of the union:

Member states

Tenure Name Country
26 May 1981 – April 1993 Abdullah Bishara[33] Kuwait
April 1993 – April 1996 Fahim bin Sultan Al Qasimi[34] United Arab Emirates
April 1996 – 31 March 2002 Jamil Ibrahim Hejailan[35] Saudi Arabia
1 April 2002 – 31 March 2011 Abdul Rahman bin Hamad Al Attiyah[36] Qatar
1 April 2011 – present Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani Bahrain



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