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List of GCC countries and nations

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List of GCC countries, Gulf countries

Qatar diplomatic crisis - information moved to separate page. Diplomatic and transport links cut by Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and UAE in June 2017.

List of six Arab GCC (or AGCC) countries (Gulf countries), citizen nationalities, nations, or member states is Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE. Yemen and Iran are Muslim countries but not GCC members. Population statistics, foreign expat resident percentages, currency, land area, other figures and data.

  1. Bahrain - or Kingdom of Bahrain
  2. Kuwait
  3. Oman - or Sultanate of Oman
  4. Qatar
  5. Saudi Arabia - or Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)
  6. UAE - United Arab Emirates

Countries not part of the GCC

Total and average figures for GCC countries

  Bahrain Kuwait Oman Qatar Saudi Arabi (KSA) UAE
Capital Manama Kuwait City Muscat Doha Riyadh Abu Dhabi
Ruler Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Title, date King, since Mar 1999     Emir from Jun 2013 King from 23 Jan 2015 President, since Nov 2004
Population2,3 1,314,089 (2014, CIA) 2,742,711 (2014, CIA) 3,219,775 (2014, CIA) 2,123,160 (2014, CIA) 27,345,986 (2014, CIA) 9.2m (2013, World Bank)4
Population2 1,106,509 (July 2008, CIO) 3,996,899 (2014, PACI)   2,224,583 (2015, QSA)   8,264,070 (2010, NBS)4
Land Area 741 sq km       2.15m sq km 83,600 sq km
Currency Bahraini Riyal Kuwaiti Dinar Omani Riyal Qatari Riyal Saudi Riyal Dirham AED
Citizens Bahrainis Kuwaitis Omanis Qataris Saudis or Saudi Arabians Emiratis
Citizenship Father, not birthplace Father, not birthplace Father, not birthplace Father, not birthplace Father, not birthplace Father, not birthplace1
Percentage expats5 55% (UN, 2013) 70% (PACI, 2014) 30% (UN, 2013) 85% (2014, estimate) 30% (UN, 2013) 80-90%5
Airlines Gulf Air6 Kuwait Airways6 Oman Air Qatar Airways Saudia6 Etihad Airways6
  1. See country notes and updates section (sections) below.
  2. Population figures are often unreliable, a second source might be given for comparison.
  3. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2119rank.html - CIA World Factbook population figures reference.
  4. UAE population estimate of 5,628,805 given by the CIA for Jul 2014 is misleading as it is based on a UAE NBS figure from the 2005 census, which was probably too low at the time anyway (a number of residents did not participate in the census). The World Bank 2013 estimate is possibly too high but there is no question the population has increased substantially since 2005. The UAE NBS figure for 2010 might be a reasonable estimate for 2014-2015. As of Jan 2015, the most recent population figures released by the NBS (the official government statistics department) were 8.2m as a 2010 estimate, and 5.6m for the 2005 census.
  5. Variation of up to 5% higher or lower is common depending on which source, also varies over time but not as much. For the UAE, UN 2013 estimate is 80%, UAE NBS 2010 estimate is 89%. But trend is decreasing proportion of citizens, increasing proportion of expat foreigners, so UN estimate is likely to be too low.
  6. Airline notes (commercial operators with scheduled flights only):

Country updates - see also country notes section below [merge]

Saudi Arabia
United Arab Emirates

Arab Gulf Cooperation Council (AGCC, GCC)

GCC Geography and Members

Arabian Gulf vs Persian Gulf

GCC union

The GCC countries are in discussion (during 2011 ... 2012 ...) about forming a political, economic, and military union similar to the European Union (EU). A customs union and common currency have been agreed upon, at least in principle. Implementation timeline unknown or undecided.

GCC currency union

A common currency and monetary union between the 6 GCC countries, similar to the EU monetary union and currency, was originally planned with a launch date in or before 2010. That has been delayed to 2015 at least, or indefinitely is more likely.

GCC countries shared economics, politics, culture, religion

GCC tourist visa

GCC nationals in the UAE - data and statistics for 2009

From report issued by the GCC and Arab Countries Affairs Department at the UAE Ministry of Finance (MOF) (press release 28 August 2010):

Living and working in the GCC

A guide to living in and working in any GCC country will vary depending on the target audience. Life is very different depending on where you come from, your nationality, what sort of work you do, which GCC country you live in, and even where you live within that country.

Below is a very brief guide to GCC countries for Western expats and other nationalities who want to wear what they like, eat pork, drink alcohol, and/or have sex with someone they are not married to. Those three issues are singled out (or tripled out?) because they seem to be the most frequently asked about by westerners thinking of moving to a GCC country. In all GCC countries it is illegal for unmarried people to have sex, and for married people to commit adultery. Punishments according to the law are severe (jail and deportation at least), tolerance and risk of getting caught varies significantly; women, especially Muslim and/or Asian women, are often treated more harshly if caught.

Country notes


Saudi Arabia

Israel and the GCC

Travel and visa information for Israel and the GCC by country

Last update Monday 18-Feb-2019. Page development 4L 5C.
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