Gulf Migration and the Family

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

The Journal of Arabian Studies


Sociology & Anthropology


For many decades the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council have served as primary migratory destinations for tens of millions of individuals from South Asia, West Asia, and other points in the Indian Ocean world. While both historic and substantial in scale, these migration flows remain some of the most understudied movements in the contemporary world. This paper begins with an overview of the current state of scholarship concerned with Gulf migration. The remainder of the paper frames Gulf migration through the lens of family. The paper first considers the impact of Gulf migration upon the families and households that remain in the sending countries. Next, the paper explores the particular dilemmas faced by those migrants whose families accompany them to the Gulf States. Finally, the paper concludes with an analysis of the impact of these migration flows upon local families in the Gulf States.