Empty chairs: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE boycotted the 2017 meeting of the Gulf Cooperation council over their dispute with Qatar.
Underlying issues which led to the three-year dispute have not been resolved.
Sporting events and initiatives could help strengthen ties between the Gulf states and Israel.
Sports diplomacy has eased relationships between nations before – here's how it could help Israel, Bahrain and the UAE as they enter into new peace accords.
These Palestinians aren’t happy with Trump’s Israel deal, which required Israel to make no territorial concessions. Gaza, Aug. 16, 2020.
Mahmoud Issa/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Israel and the United Arab Emirates weren't at war, so their new deal is not really a peace accord. Nor does it satisfy the Palestinians, who need Arab nations to support their drive for statehood.
The gulf between the sexes.
Gulf states have given women great education, but they are still very limited participants in the workplace.
A man is tested for coronavirus at a drive-through facility in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.
The states of the Gulf Cooperation Council have exploited the underlying threats of the virus to bolster their own survival strategies.
In an effort to increase tourism, Saudi Arabia recently eased its strict dress code for foreign women, allowing them to go without the body-shrouding abaya robe still mandatory for Saudi women.
FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images
In countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain, it's now official policy that women should go to college and work outside the home. But cultural pressure to marry and have kids remains strong.
The Manchester derby at Old Trafford in April 2019.
The clubs no longer 'belong' to the fans - they have become instruments in an ideological war between Western capitalism and the rent hungry sheikhs of the Gulf states.
Winners: author Jokha Alharthi (left) and translator Marilyn Booth (right) at the 2019 Man Booker International awards ceremony in May 2019.
Jokha Alharthi is the first woman from Oman to have a book translated into English.
capitanoproductions / shutterstock
A legacy in fossil fuels is likely to help even in the era of renewable energy.
A protest outside Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Istanbul about the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
UK and US relations with Saudi Arabia were already under serious scrutiny – even before the disappearance of a prominent Saudi journalist.
Nearly all of Qatar’s residents live in its capital, Doha.
Doha skyline via www.shutterstock.com
Saudi Arabia and the UAE led a group of countries that have severed all ties to fellow American ally Qatar over its foreign policy. The US will play a key role in whether it accedes to their demands.
US and Gulf Cooperation Council forces conduct field training, in Kuwait in 2017.
U.S. Army, Francis O'Brien/
The ongoing diplomatic spat with Saudi Arabia has isolated Qatar from the rest of the Middle East while also undermining the anti-Iran alliance among the Gulf countries.
The skyline of Doha, Qatar.
Gregory Hawken Kramer
Qatar has used its wealth to adopt policies sometimes rivaling Saudi Arabia’s. Think, for example, of the popular Al-Jazeera. Now the Saudis seem determined to limit Qatari influence as much as possible.
The interventionist foreign policy of the Gulf states is increasingly at odds with their economic security.
Syria and IS may have dominated the news this year, but the Middle East has plenty of other problems on its hands.
Don’t worry, I’m sure the others’ll be here soon.
When is a coalition not a coalition? When you don't tell the founding members they're in it.
Steve Crisp / Reuters
We can live comfortably and sustainably in hot places – but we'll have to ditch the glassy skyscrapers.
Temperatures are set to rocket throughout the 21st century, but design lessons from history could help the gulf states stay cool.
Pristine Dubai is apparently no place for displaced Syrians.
By refusing to take in Syrian refugees, the Gulf States' governments prove they don't care much about the humanitarian crisis on their doorstep.