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||Contents -- Introduction 1 -- The gulf: a strategic space between the sea and the desert -- A semi-enclosed sea 6 an area of continual movement 8 the crossroads of civilizations 10 a muslim world 12 characteristic states 14 water scarcity 16 oases and pastoral -- Nomadism 18 marine resources 20 -- The gulf: the heart of the world's energy reserves -- Petroleum, a complex sector 24 oil production and reserves 26 gas production and reserves 28 processing and transport of oil and gas 30 numerous tensions 32 -- A speedy and radical transformation -- Influx of migrants 36 spectacular urban growth 38 quality infrastructure 40 developing an industrial sector 42 free zones and special economic zones 44 explosion of finance and -- Real estate sectors 46 rise of tourism 48 toward a knowledge society 50 the gulf cooperation council 52 -- Dissimilar territories -- The state of kuwait saudi arabia's eastern province the kingdom of bahrain the emirate of qatar the federation of the united arab emirates the emirates of abu dhabi and -- Dubai the emirates of ajman and sharjah the northern emirates north oman the iranian coast of the gulf the iraqi governorate of basra -- Urban societies -- Basra city kuwait city greater dammam the oasis city of al-ahsa manama, an island capital greater doha the island and the city of abu dhabi the coastal conurbation of -- Dubai-sharjah-ajman the al-ain-buraimi oases muscat's capital region sohar and sur: two cities on the gulf of oman the port city of bandar abbas abadan and khorramshahr: -- Oil cities integration of metropolitan areas -- Conclusion bibliographyindex 56 58 60 62 64 66 68 70 72 74 76 -- 82 84 86 88 90 92 94 96 98 100 102 104 106 -- 111 115 -- -- 2/6/2013 8:35:23 pm -- Introduction -- In the vast expanse of land dominated by muslim countries, it is customary -- To distinguish between the arab world, which stretches from the persian -- Gulf to the atlantic ocean and encompasses countries bordering the red -- Sea and the mediterranean, and the turco-iranian world, which extends -- From the dardanelle straits to the indus river and the western borders of -- China. those who support this view, claim that despite the differences in -- Geographical, linguistic, and political conditions, the turco-iranian world -- Has a unity which stems from the interpenetration of the iranian and -- Turkish civilizations in the course of history. as for the arab world, it is -- Characterized by the principle of unity in diversity. the perennial or -- Seasonal shortage of water, the use of the arabic language, and the -- Presence of oil deposits constitute distinctive common denominators, and -- Paradoxically also the reason for internal differences. the feeling of unity -- Strengthened by memories of a glorious shared past, combined with a -- Common religion and later exalted by the ideology of pan-arabism, is -- Founded on a common written language. at the same time, the diversity -- Asserted by groups and individuals, who believe that belonging to a -- Particular nation, region or locality takes precedence over a transnational -- Arab identity, is also visible in the landscape, social conditions, dress, food -- Habits, dialect, etc. the sense of belonging to the umma, or community of -- Believers, competes with the feeling, among christian minorities, of -- Belonging to the arab world. colonization, followed by independence, led -- To the emergence of a national patriotism so strong that in some countries -- There are now demands that dialectal arabic, which only used to be spoken -- But is now in the process of also being written, be recognized as national -- Languages. ultimately, belonging to a particular tribe or community -- Remains an important reality -- Considering the dialectics between unity in diversity inherent to the -- Geographical approach, arab geographers contrast maghreb (the west) to -- Mashriq(the east), while western geographers divide the arab world into -- Sub-regions with a variable geometry. beyond multiple variants from one -- Author to the other, there is a tendency to distinguish between the -- Maghreb, the countries of nile valley, the horn of africa, the countries of -- The fertile crescent, and the arabian peninsula. like any division, it is not -- A simple recording of facts but the result of an intellectual construction; -- Therefore, it cannot be confined within normative limits because there are -- Peripheral areas and transitional areas. further, it is not permanent -- Because the world is continually changing and the geographer must be -- Cognizant of these changes -- With regard to the today's importance of the middle east in the field of -- Energy, the traditional division of the arab world is no longer pertinent. it -- Means dissociating iraq, one of the major countries of the fertile crescent -- (a term first used at the end of the nineteenth century to describe an area -- Known for archaeological riches and achievements in the history of irriga- -- Tion) from its other oil-rich neighbours, particularly kuwait and saudi -- Arabia situated in the arabian peninsula, which serves as a bridge between -- Africa and asia. its physical demarcation is not difficult, but it presents an -- Internal diversity not to be underestimated. in addition, however true it -- May be, the cleavage between the arab and persian worlds must be -- Discussed. iran is an oil-producing country like its neighbours on the -- Opposite shore of the gulf. we have therefore decided to include in the -- Same group iran and the arab countries bordering the arabo-persian gulf -- I.e., iraq and the countries of the arabian peninsula, with the exception of -- Yemen. including the sultanate of oman among the gulf countries may -- Give rise to debate since it is situated mainly on the gulf of oman and the -- Arabian sea, with some twenty-odd kilo-metres bordering the persian gulf -- But the country's centrepiece, situated in its north, resembles the northern -- Part of the united arab emirates -- The decision to prepare this atlas of the gulf countries was not based on -- The sole consideration that these countries are among the world's major oil -- Exporters. it is also based on an understanding of civilization that does not -- Always stress divisive factors at the cost of those that unite. when -- Geography is considered from the orientalist viewpoint, which has few -- Followers today, thepersian gulf appears as a dividing line between two -- Distinct cultural areas, thesemitic and the indo-european. this -- Interpretation is based on archaeological arguments that have been -- Discredited by the excavations conducted over thepast thirty years and.