Oil in The Gulf Cooperation Council and Its Effect on The Quality of Life

Subject: Sociology
Type: Compare and Contrast Essay
Pages: 5
Word count: 1457
Topics: Social Issues, Food


In many of the states of Arab Gulf, various citizens have appreciation for their life quality. The rate of such appreciation is even higher than the European nations’ people. For example, UAE, Qatar, Oman, and other GCC countries secured their positions higher on the list. The Qatar’s people always prefer personal security in their lives. Even the people of these countries are optimistic as well. Interestingly, conflicts are quite high in the countries of GCC yet the people have earned an adequate amount of security and stability. In the Middle East nations, wealth has surged rapidly due to the last decade’s energy boom, especially in the gas and oil-rich GCC regions. The people of those places have also embraced a distinct lifestyle. Therefore, a strong relationship can be witnessed between the people of a particular region and the exceptional prosperity and growth, wealth-wise. It has led to a handful of diseases as well thereby leading to several lifestyle-oriented healthcare concerns. For instance, many of the GCC nations’ dwellers are suffering from diabetes

Chapter 1: Exceptional economic growth due to the gas and oil exploitation

There are mostly three countries such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait which export oil to various other nations. On the other hand, the prices and demand for the natural gas as well as oil have surged greatly, in these countries. It helped them to join the list of richest economics, across the globe. In 2011, it was accounted that the Qatar’s per capital GDP surpassed various other high-earning OECD nations, for example, Sweden, Switzerland, and United States. Oftentimes, the prosperity can be achieved only at the cost of nothing but public health (Klautzer, Becker & Mattke, 2014). Alternatively, during that period, different countries of the GCC cluster experienced chronic diseases and rise in obesity. For example, within the age group of 30 to 60 years, many of the Saudi Arabians suffered from obesity, annually, right after the nation’s economic achievement. On the contrary, obesity is the primary step that can distort an individual’s health largely. Apart from all these aspects, fertility rate, life expectancy, and infant mortality have surged as well. One of the most important aspects of a good quality life is the proper health condition. Contradictorily, the overall development is also dependent on the urbanization (Toone, 2012). Many places have developed at a very high rate. Even though the economy of GCC nations is mostly, labor-based in nature yet some of the technological advancement helped in the enhancement of life expectancy. The same has definitely contributed to the practice of sedentary lifestyle. On one hand, a better life quality contributed towards the development of several no communicable diseases; on the other hand, the nutrient-deficiency and the occurrence of different infectious diseases have lessened to a large extent (Cherif & Hasanov, 2014). As a result, the mortality rate has surged to a great extent. Other than these, in the GCC nationals, who are educated or have undergone the secondary education, are likely to encounter reduced health issues. 

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Chapter 2: Change in food habits and diets

The GCC region’s dietary regime is distinct from various Western nations. For instance, in the previous eras, the people of Middle East areas consumed milk, dates, fruits, vegetables, whole wheat breads, and fish, predominantly. However, things changed to a large extent. Most of them had high saturated fat. On the other hand, people take low dietary fibers and more carbohydrates, in this era. It is because the people have started to consume more meat, which shows a distinction between their previous lifestyle and the newer one (Al-Moamary et al., 2012). Interestingly, in the same period, GCC people declined their cereal intake. After all, the plant-based diets are considered to be healthier than the animal-based ones. The change has occurred over the last thirty years or so.

Chapter 3: Fluctuating oil prices and introduction of alternative strategies for betterment of standard of living 

The oil price revolution led to the transformation of societies, in the GCC nations. It occurred mostly, during the years 1973 and 1974. A large amount was invested in the infrastructural projects and socioeconomic development because of the tripling of national income. During the 1980s, oil prices declined extensively (Musaiger, Takruri, Hassan & Abu-Tarboush, 2012). It made the GCC’s national governments realize that the growth cannot solely depend on the oil mines and their incomes (The Economist, 2016). Thus, they opted for diversified earnings. However, some of the scarcity was innate in nature. For example, the skilled population, minerals, arable lands, and capital were not adequate. Thus, the creation of knowledge-economy was crucial, which can indirectly affect the individuals’ quality of life within the jurisdictions of GCC areas (Neuhof, 2013). At certain point of time, the dependency on an oil-based economy decreased the scope of improving the people’s life quality. For instance, in the past few years, many employees had been outsourced from various nations in the GCC. As a result, many infrastructures grew revolving these foreigners. For example, the existing healthcare centers were not enough, earlier. Nowadays, a new knowledge-based progression includes the components of tailored education, early detection of several diseases, successful counseling pertaining to the changes in lifestyles, and optimal self-management. Hence, a holistic approach for enhancing the people’s life quality has been rolled out, by the GCC nations’ healthcare department. Previously, all these aspects were explicitly absent. The care for children is not available sparingly. Despite of many scopes for works, often the local people as well as the expats cannot access a higher quality of education, which is largely dependent on an economy, based on knowledge. 

Chapter 4: Payments in the oil sector of GCC and their effects on its nationals

The local working staffs pertaining to the national oil organizations of the GCC countries largely enjoy twice the average salary that is received in various parts of the world. In 2013, the total average grew by a rate of 8.5 percent. Some of the factors which drove such salary surges are the downstream developments, high oil prices, and a shortage of skills. Thus, the purchasing power of the residents of GCC increased as well. In these types of scenarios, many of the shopping malls and hotels witness an abrupt increase of the customers’ footfalls (Prasad & Espinoza, 2012). Simply, it can be said that a large part of GCC has been affected by the Westernization. Most importantly, the salary hikes never remain confined up to the nationals of GCC rather the expats have also observed the same. Both the UAE and Dubai are considered to be the attractive regions for many of the expats and nationals, equally. It is because the people can not only maintain a balance between the play and their works but also, they experience an enhanced quality of life. Being an import-dependent region, GCC witnessed both the soaring prices and power shortages, in bits and pieces. Therefore, presence of the resource such as oil may not eradicate the problems associated with those nations, completely, until and unless a few alternatives are not formulated. Even though the higher payments, definitely, attract expats yet the career prospects remain deficit (Zogby, 2016). On the contrary, most of the expats remain dissatisfied with the options to spend their leisurely time. In Middle East, the political instability is quite high. However, the same does not affect the personal safety of the GCC nationals. It is primarily, because of the stringent laws and regulations in those nations thereby leading to a lower percentage of crimes (Brookings, 2016). Contradictorily, the manufacturing-based sectors such as the oil mining, petroleum product-making, and others fail to attract the female expats. The GCC nations are somewhat unsafe for the women, mainly, due to the societal structure, culture, stereotyped gender roles and oil-based economy. 


It can be inferred from the above-analysis how both the pros and cons exist for the presence of several oil mines, in different states of GCC. People may start living a higher quality life if more investments are done in the genres such as new infrastructure and medical developments. Firstly, the drinking water production and generation of electricity are extremely substantial. The work-life balance may vary from one organization to another as well. Furthermore, too many oil mines have made the GCC countries unsuitable for the families. Hence, these nations are not optimally family-friendly. As a result, the cares prevalent for a large family and especially, the children are quite less. At times, the quality of life may not be optimal in nature because of the excessive expenses. It is again the con of oil mines’ presence. 

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  1. Al-Moamary, M. S., Tamim, H. M., Al-Mutairi, S. S., Al-Khouzaie, T. H., Mahboub, B. H., Al-Jawder, S. E., & Al Ghobain, M. O. (2012). Quality of life of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. Saudi Medical Journal, 33(10), 1111-1117.
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  8. The Economist. (2016). Oil and the Gulf states. Retrieved from: https://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21695539-low-oil-price-manageable-short-term-gulf-states-must-make. 
  9. Toone, J. E. (2012). Mirage in the Gulf: Examining the upsurge in FDI in the GCC and its legal and economic implications for the MENA region. Emory Int’l L. Rev., 26, 677-700.
  10. Zogby, J. (2016). GCC countries score high in ‘quality of life’ survey. Retrieved from: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-zogby/gcc-countries-score-high_b_12594894.html. 
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