Gulf-spoken Arab in Qatar

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Saudi Arabia is home to a number of different Arab groups. Saudi Arabs (more commonly known as the Gulf Arab) live primarily along the southern edges of the Arabian Desert in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. Saudi Arabs in Qatar speak a language called Arabiya or, as it is more commonly known, Gulf Arabic.

The Arab culture was developed by tribes of nomads and villagers who lived in the Arabian Desert. From there, some of them later migrated into northern Africa. There are two basic classes of Arab: the true nomads and the fellahin-those who have embraced farming. The nomads are best known for their treks across barren deserts on camels, occasionally raiding caravans crossing their paths. The fellahin are more settled, living on the edge of the desert. Most Saudi Arab are herdsmen, who move into the desert during the rainy winter season, then back to the desert's edge in the dry, hot summer.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Life for Saudi Arabs is one of harsh existence with few material belongings. Their main possession is the home - a long tent made from woven goat or animal hair. These tents are not permanent dwellings and are divided into two parts by a decorative partition called a gata. Typically, half of the tent is for the women, children, cooking utensils, and storage, while the other half is for the men. The men's section, which contains a fireplace built in the dirt, is used for entertaining guests. Men sit and make plans for the group, while the women do most of the work.

Animals are very important to the Saudi Arab lifestyle. Those who stay close to the desert's edge herd goats and sheep; whereas, those who travel and raid in the desert rely solely on camels. Sheep and goats are raised for monetary value, and camels are used for transportation.

Dairy products have been the traditional food source for Saudi Arabs. Camel's and goat's milk is drunk fresh or made into yogurt and a kind of butter called ghee. Most Arab meals consist of a bowl of milk or yogurt, or rice covered with ghee. Round loaves of unleavened bread are also served when available. Dates, which can be found in desert oases, are eaten as desserts after meals. Meat is served only on special occasions, such as for guests, marriage feasts, or special ceremonies.

Reflecting the influence of their Muslim religion, the Saudi Arab practice endogamous marriages (marriage within a small social circle). Inheritance is patrilineal (inherited by the next male family member). Saudi Arab clothing is designed for the harsh climate. It is made of lightweight, light-colored fabric and is also loose-fitting, allowing for the circulation of air.

In the past, the Saudi Arab considered it shameful and degrading to have jobs doing manual labor. However, this has changed somewhat in recent years. Because of the need for better health care, improved living conditions, and more income, some have accepted wage-paying jobs. Nevertheless, most Arab still despise such positions.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The founding of Islam in the seventh century profoundly altered the course of Saudi history. Today, the great majority of Saudi Arabs in Qatar are Hanbalite (Wahhabite) Muslims. In the mid-1700s, Mohammed ibn Abd al-Wahhab formed his fundamentalist sect, and today, the Saudi see themselves as the preservers of the true Islamic faith. The Wahhabites reject all innovations introduced into Islam after the third century of its existence and are very traditional in their practice of Islam. Their desire is to maintain and propagate what they see as the "true" path of Islam.

What Are Their Needs?

There are no known Christians among Saudi Arabs in Qatar. A profession of faith in Jesus may cost a person his family, honor, job, or even his life. Evangelization of this group will be challenging, due to the nature of the Arabs' lifestyle and belief system. Prayer is the key to reaching them with the Gospel.

Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to open the doors of Qatar to the preaching of the Gospel.
Ask the Lord to save key leaders among Saudi Arabs who will boldly proclaim that Jesus is Lord.
Ask God to raise up a mighty army of prayer warriors who will intercede for Saudi Arabs.
Pray that strong local Christian fellowships will be raised up among Saudi Arabs.

Scripture Prayers for the Arab, Arabic Gulf Spoken in Qatar.

Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

People Name General Arab, Arabic Gulf Spoken
People Name in Country Arab, Arabic Gulf Spoken
Natural Name Gulf-spoken Arab
Pronunciation gulf AE-rub
Alternate Names Al-Hasaa; Arab; Arab, Gulf Arabic Speaking; Bahraini Arab; Emirian; Gulf Arab; Gulf Arabic Speaking; Gulf Arabs; Gulf Speaking; Iranian Arab; Saudi Arab
Population this Country 532,000
Population all Countries 7,157,000
Total Countries 12
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed 11
People ID 10376
ROP3 Code 100427
ROP25 Code 300401
ROP25 Name Arab, Gulf
Country Qatar
Region Africa, North and Middle East
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 40  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Country Qatar
Region Africa, North and Middle East
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 40  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.08 %)
0.50 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
99.50 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Arabic, Gulf
Language Code afb   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Arabic, Gulf
Language Code afb   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Arabic, Gulf

Primary Language:  Arabic, Gulf

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (2013)
Bible-New Testament No
Bible-Complete No
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Arabic Bible Online Arabic Bible Outreach Ministry
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Film / Video God's Love Story General / Other
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Arabic, Gulf Spoken Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
Text / Printed Matter Tools for faith conversations Campus Crusade for Christ
Photo Source Hella Nijssen - Pixabay 
Map Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Profile Source Bethany World Prayer Center 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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