The emergence of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) monarchies as a major player in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is one of the most interesting outcomes of the Arab Spring. The Arab awakening and the deep regional transformations that it has engendered have pushed the Gulf monarchies to assume a more dynamic and assertive stance in the MENA region to protect their interests, preventing a wave of unrest that could have endangered their own stability and influence in regional and internal dynamics.
In reacting to the Arab uprisings the Gulf monarchies did not follow a “one size fits all” approach but rather their own specific geopolitical and economic interests. Whether or not Gulf monarchies’ capital could have a positive role in boosting economic recovery and growth in the Arab Spring countries, questions arise regarding their political role. More Gulf influence in the MENA region would not seem to fit well with the Arab peoples’ demands for political change and democracy.