The Gulf monarchies have been experiencing deep economic, social and generational changes; at the same time, open rivalries and subtle competitions are undermining the Arab Gulf (khaleeji) identity as a shared value. National history museums, art exhibitions, traditional festivals and military symbols are increasingly adopted by the governments as top-down tools of nation-building. What are the strategies to instil national awareness, and in which direction? How are concepts like citizenship, nationhood and belonging redefined in the post-oil era? Why has the GCC crisis triggered rising nationalism among neighbouring monarchies? This ISPI Dossier analyses the cultural, symbolic and collective vectors of nation-building in the area, highlighting state-led engineering projects to explore what “nation” currently means in the Gulf monarchies.