Arabian Peninsula consists of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar,
the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman. Together, these
countries constitute the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Founded on 26
May 1981, the aim of this collective is to promote coordination
between member states in all fields in order to achieve unity. In this
summary the countries of the GCC will be introduced.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE)
UAE is a federation of seven
sheikhdoms located in the southeastern corner of the Arabian
Peninsula. Bordered by the Sultanate of Oman and the
to the east, Saudi Arabia to the south and west, and by the Arabian
Gulf to the north, the total land area, including 20 islands, is
83,000 sq km (32,278 sq mi). The seven emirates are Abu Dhabi, Dubai,
Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Qaiwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah. The
capital and the largest city of the federation,
is located in the emirate of the same name.
population of the UAE was 5.6 million in 2007. Arabic is the official
language and Islam is the state religion. The currency is the Arab
Emirates Dirham ($1 US is equivalent to around 3.6 dirhams). The UAE
has one of the world's highest standards of living and the average
life expectancy is 72 years.
The UAE was formerly
known as the
or Trucial Coast. From 1820 onwards, Britain established its presence
in the region with the signing of several agreements including a
maritime truce, which gave the area its name. In 1968, having
maintained its presence in the Gulf for well over a century, Britain
declared its intention to withdraw by the end of 1971.
of Saudi Arabia (KSA)
is the largest country on the peninsula. Located in the southwestern
corner of Asia, Saudi Arabia covers an area of about 2,240,000 square
kilometres or 864,900 square miles (estimates vary) of which more than
half is desert. The country is bordered by the Red Sea and the Gulf of
Aqaba to the west, by the Republic of Yemen and the Sultanate of Oman
to the south, the Arabian Gulf, the
United Arab Emirates
and Qatar to the east, and Jordan, Iraq and Kuwait to the north. The
richest oil fields in the world are found in the eastern region.
Riyadh, the capital and largest city, is located in the east central
region of the country. Jeddah, the second largest city, is the
country's main port on the Red Sea. It is also the main port through
which pilgrims enter to perform Umrah, Haj, or to visit the holy
cities of Mecca and Medina.
Oil is the most
important industry in Saudi Arabia . The Kingdom has the world's
largest proven reserves and is the largest producer in OPEC, totalling
one-third of output.
has the capacity to produce 10 million barrels per day (bpd).
Area: 27.163.977 sq km
Population: 29,195,895 (2012)
Main cities: Riyadh (The capital)
Makkah: (The most sacred place to Muslims, and their praying
Al Madinah: (Second most sacred place)
Jeddah: (Saudi capital of business, an important port, and a major
gateway to pilgrims) .
Dammam: (Capital of Eastern region, well-off oil, and an important
Dhahran: (A military city, the location of Saudi Aramco`s headquarter
which the largest oil company in the world .
ArAr: (Capital of Northern region)
Overview of Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia is located in the South-west of
Bounded by the red sea from the west. Jordan, Iraq, and Kuwait from
the North. Arabian Gulf, Bahrain, Qatar, and United Emirates from the
East. Yemen and Oman from the South.
Climate: Continental weather
Summer: very hot
Judicial law: The constitution of Saudi Arabia is Quran and Sunnah,
all legislative regulations have been derived from these two sources.
The regime in Saudi Arabia is a monarchy system.
Currency: Saudi Riyal
National day: 23rd, September. (1932 A.D)
Symbol: Two crossed curved swords which symbolize strength and
justice. A palm tree on the top symbolizes prosperity.
Timing: GMT + 3:00
Internet code: sa
Phone code: 00966
Calendar: Saudi Arabia follows the Muslims Hijra calendar, which is
the day when Prophet Mohammad (Peace be Upon him) migrated from Makkah
to Al Madinah corresponding to 622 A.D . Hijra year has 12 months.
However, it's ten or eleven days less than the calendar year.
In the hijra calendar, the month ranges between 29 to 30 days .
Working days: Sunday to Thursday (Regarding to public sector).
Public Sector: 7:30 a.m to 2:30 p.m
Banks: 9:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m
Weekends: Friday - Saturday
Kingdom of Bahrain
archipelago of thirty-three islands, the
largest island, Bahrain (from the Arabic word for "two seas"), is
believed to have separated from the Arabian Peninsula around 6000 BC.
Located in the Arabian Gulf, the islands are about twenty-four
kilometres from the east coast of Saudi Arabia and twenty-eight
kilometres from Qatar. The total area of the islands is about 678
square kilometres or 262 square miles (estimates vary). The capital,
Manama, is located on the northeastern tip of the
The main port, Mina Salman, and the major petroleum refining
facilities and commercial centers are also located on the island.
Causeways and bridges connect Bahrain to adjacent islands and to the
Al Muharraq, the second largest island, is linked to Bahrain by the
oldest causeway, originally constructed in 1929. The country's second
largest city, Al Muharraq, and the international airport are located
an independent state with a traditional monarchy. On 14 February 2002,
a new constitution was published and
declared itself a kingdom. The ruling family of
the Al Khalifa, arrived in the islands in the mid-18th century after
they first established a settlement in the peninsula of present-day
Qatar. Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa is the King, and has ruled
Bahrain since 6 March 1999. Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa is
the prime minister.
located in the northeastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula. Bordered
on the north, northwest and by Saudi Arabia on the south, southwest,
it fronts the Arabian Gulf to the east. A small state of 17,818 square
kilometres (6,880 square miles), Kuwait includes nine gulf islands
within its territory. In addition to being the country's capital and
centre for trade and commerce,
is an important port for oil and the production of petroleum products.
A prominent geographic feature is Kuwait Bay, which extends for 48
kilometres (30 miles) inland.
Kuwait is a
constitutional monarchy governed by the Al Sabah family, the ruling
family since 1756. The constitution, which was approved on 11 November
1962, authorizes the Al Sabah family council to select the Emir,
traditionally from the Al Sabah line. Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber
Al Sabah is the current Emir of Kuwait.
State of Qatar
Qatar occupies a peninsula, which extends northward for
about 180 kilometres (100 miles) into the
Arabian Gulf from
the Arabian Peninsula. The country is bordered to the south by
for a stretch of 56 kilometres or 35 miles. The total area of Qatar is
11,437 square kilometres or 4,260 square miles.
the capital city, is located on the east coast.
monarchy, the State of Qatar is ruled by the Al Thani family. The Al
Thani family arrived in
in the early part of the 18th century, originally settling in the
northern region of the country, and moving to Doha in the mid-19th
century. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani has been Emir since early
1995. Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifah Al Thani is the prime minister. In
1999 the country's first elections were held, to elect a 29-member
municipal council. Women were allowed to vote and stand for office in
The State of Qatar
produces less than 1% of the world's oil output. Crude oil and
liquefied natural gas account for about 80% of the country's exports.
The banking sector also plays an important role in Qatar's economy.
southeastern coast of the
the Sultanate of Oman covers an area of about 212,457 square
kilometres (82,030 square miles); however, estimates do vary
considerably. Oman proper is bordered by Yemen to the southwest, Saudi
Arabia to the west, the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, the
Gulf of Oman to the north, and by the Arabian Sea to the east and
south. Muscat, the capital of Oman since 1741, is located on the Gulf
of Oman coast. The country was known as Muscat and Oman until 1970.
Oman is a monarchy. The ruling family, the Al Said, first
came to rule in 1744 after the expulsion of the Iranians from
Qaboos bin Said Al Said has ruled since 1970. The sultan also holds
the posts of prime minister, minister of defence, minister of foreign
affairs, and minister of finance. There is a Council of State for
Oman's principal natural resources are petroleum and
natural gas. The proved petroleum reserves (4 billion barrels) are not
substantial, and the government is aiming to transform
Oman into a major
natural gas exporter. Manufacturing is growing in importance. Major
products include textiles, cement blocks, furniture, fertilizers, and
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