When oil was discovered in the Arabian Peninsula during the 1930’s and 40’s, the full extent of its impact on Arabian society could not truly be appreciated. It was only during the 1970’s, after OPEC flexed its muscles during the oil embargo, that the countries of the Arabian Gulf truly began to benefit from their massive oil deposits.
However, the influx of huge amounts of petro-dollars was a huge shock to countries such as Saudi Arabia, where Bedouins still roamed the desert and tribal chieftains carried huge political power. Saudi society was overwhelmed by its new wealth, and its booming oil economy quickly ran out of control. Read more