The transformation of Arabia and the Gulf States from traditional societies to modern states has been one of the most remarkable developments of the twentieth century. In the space of just a few decades many of these countries have gone from being among the least developed countries of the world to the most developed. Unlike other transformations around the world, the rapid economic development of this region and its rise to key international importance are changes that have been paralleled by remarkable continuity in political institutions, social organisation and religious beliefs. This book, first published in 1986, presents a wide-ranging overview of the transformation of the region. It begins by surveying traditional society and goes on to consider the changes in all the countries of the region. Throughout, it examines the full range of economic, social, political and cultural affairs. The book concludes by surveying the role of oil through the twin filters of literature and economics, and the legal position of women in the UAE.
Part 1. The Roots of Traditional Society 1. Arabia Felix: Israelites, Jews and Christians J.R. Porter 2. The Desert and the Sown in Eastern Arabian History Hugh Kennedy 3. Arabia and the Pilgrim Paradigm of Ibn Battuta: a Braudelian Approach Ian Richard Netton 4. Some Western Views of the Arab Gulf Paul Auchterlonie 5. Hispano-Arabic Historiography: the Legacy of J.A. Conde Richard Hitchcock Part 2. The Political, Social and Cultural Evolution of the Gulf 6. Wahhabite Polity Aziz al-Azmeh 7. Saudi Arabia: Political and Social Evolution Keith McLachlan 8. Hashemite Iraq and Pahlavi Iran Anthony Parsons 9. One Yemen or Two? Michael Adams 10. Oman: Change or Continuity? B.R. Pridham 11. Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates: Political and Social Evolution Glen Balfour-Paul 12. Bahrain in Transition Anthony Parsons 13. Human Resources in the Gulf Roger Webster 14. Language Development in the Gulf: Lexical Interference of English in the Gulf Dialects J.R. Smart 15. Cities of Salt: a Literary View of the Theme of Oil and Change in the Gulf Rasheed El-Enany 16. Oil: Current Trends and Future Prospects Walid Khadduri 17. Women and the Law in the United Arab Emirates Doreen Hinchcliffe