Different from the nature of the gatekeepers of the oil-boom era, who are long gone, their functions are still felt, although they are held by lower-class individuals. An example of these personalities is the Tuwajiri family that works closely with Saudi Arabia’ s king, Mr. Abdallah. Others are the Tayer, Ghurair and the Tajir families of the UAE, who are close allies to the ruling class (Hertog 292). Many of them, but not all, take advantage to monetize the control of resources, but all of them can act as contact points for the exchange of large-scale state resources to ordinary classes.
Due to the highly centralized nature of the government models at the Gulf region, as well as the unrestricted power of leaders, the information and resource-filtering role of gatekeepers are of critical importance (Hertog 293). Gatekeepers are viewed as relatively more powerful when compared to common people holding senior positions like cabinet offices, as their responsibilities are highly technocratic. Gatekeepers – ordinarily – come from non-tribal lineages, and therefore will characteristically have no status group to associate with (Hertog 293). More than their role as contract brokers, their role has greatly impacted the social mobility witnessed in these nations.
An example from Saudi Arabia is that of Id Bin Salem who changed from an ordinary mechanic to attain the keeper position, where he advised King Sand and was also the Privy Purse – during the 950s. Another case is that of the Darwish family, which had a very humble non-Arabic origin, but rose to take leading advisory positions at the “ Al-Thani Rulers court of Qatar” (Hertog 293). The family acted as the mediation agents between foreign corporations and the Qatar people.
The ‘ rentier state’ theory, which is commonly used as a model explanation for the survival of Arabian monarchies, contributes to the conception of political stability in the Gulf region. The Persian Gulf, commonly referred as the Arabian Gulf by the Arabs has proved to be a fast-growing economic center globally (Beblawi 87-88).
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