Gulf Countries

The Arab states of the Persian Gulf – also known as Gulf countries or the “Arabian Gulf” – is a set of Arab states that border the Persian Gulf. There is a total of seven countries that are part of this region. Almost all of the countries with the exception of just one (Iraq) are members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, a regional intergovernmental union. Iran is also located along the Persian Gulf but this non-Arab state is not included as part of the Arabian Gulf.

Many of these countries share very similar cultures and values. From pastime activities such as theater, radio and soap operas to music styles and a maritime-focused lifestyle, there are many similarities found in residents throughout the region. They also have similar economies, bringing in significant revenue from petroleum. However, many of the nations are becoming less reliant on petroleum and have branched out into other sectors, including banking and tourism.

The states do have their differences, however, particularly when it comes to political structures. Some of the nations have a constitutional monarchy, while states like Saudi Arabia are hereditary monarchies and the Sultanate of Oman has an advisory council that is elected.

As mentioned, there are seven Gulf countries. These countries are:

Of these nations, Iraq is the most populous with a population of over 36 million people. Bahrain is the least populous nation, with about 1.78 million residents per recent projections.

Flag Name Area Population 2018 Growth Rate
Iraq438,317 km²39,339,7532.78%
Saudi Arabia2,149,690 km²33,554,3431.87%
United Arab Emirates83,600 km²9,541,6151.50%
Oman309,500 km²4,829,9464.18%
Kuwait17,818 km²4,197,1281.46%
Qatar11,586 km²2,694,8492.11%
Bahrain765 km²1,566,9934.99%