The increasing foreign policy activism of certain Gulf states in the past decade—the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Oman most notably—has challenged traditional hierarchies in the region, in which Saudi Arabia was the main driver in regional and international affairs. Today, other countries are searching for new roles as a post-hydrocarbons era looms in the coming decades. Rival ambitions helped push the isolation of Qatar in 2017–2021, while Saudi-Emirati differences have characterized more recent developments. At the same time, Gulf Cooperation Council states have had an uneasy relationship with Iran, which they fear aims to expand its influence at their expense. 

The panel will examine current trends in the Gulf and address how they might affect the broader Middle East in the coming years. 

Join us on Thursday, December 9 from 17:30-18:30 EET for a public panel discussion with Yasmine Farouk, Jane Kinninmont and Kristian Ulrichsen chaired by Yezid Sayigh. The discussion will be held in English and livestreamed on YouTube and Facebook.

For more information, please contact Josiane Matar at