In the Gulf monarchies, power is still highly centralized and personalized. However, policy-making is no longer exclusively centred around royal families, religious establishments, and traditional bureaucracies. Indeed, the post-hydrocarbon transition reveals the significant presence — besides that of rulers — of national technocrats, non-royal elites, diplomats, and experts. In other words, the GCC states have been quietly shifting from traditional royal elites to more varied ruling classes: these are broader than royal dynasties, younger, and with a higher female presence than previous Gulf bureaucracies, combining their international background with national education programmes. As the EU Commission launches a Strategic Partnership with the Gulf, the time is ripe for a thorough analysis of the evolution of Gulf policy-making players and trends. How are the so-called “Visions” driving power transformation? What about sub-power, centralization, and religion?