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About the Gulf   PDF  Print  E-mail 

The Arabian Peninsula is home to approximately 45 million people. Here, people from over 200 countries of the world live and work side by side with nationals of this region. Millions of migrant and expatriate workers form India to Ireland and South Africa to South Korea have come here to make a livelihood or chase dreams.

The Arabian Peninsula is a land of stark contrasts. Vast oil reserves lie hidden under equally vast uninhabited deserts. Enormous wealth is displayed in gleaming modern cities, while nomadic tribesmen in the desert cling tenaciously to their ancient way of life. The Arabian Peninsula is the very heart of Islam, and its cultures are isolationist by nature. It is also a land in great transition. To reap a financial harvest from the enormous oil reserves, the Peninsula’s national leaders have turned to western technology. After centuries of protective isolation, the people of the Arabian Peninsula have been brought face-to-face with the rest of the world during the last half-century. The Peninsula has been considered by some to be impenetrable with the gospel, but God is miraculously moving in the region today.

Gulf is only one word, but it includes seven countries in the Arabian Peninsula: Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Sultanate of Oman, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. All these countries (excluding Yemen) are unified under what is known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). This Council maintains strong political, economic, social and even cultural ties with its member countries. The inhabitants vary between natives and expatriates. The percentage of foreigners living in the area can vary between 50-80 %. The majority is laborers with very limited income. Asians constitute a high proportion, with a large number of Indians. The official language in all these countries is Arabic.

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