On December 9, 2018, Saudi Arabia hosted the 39th summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Riyadh. Qatar sent its state minister to represent the country, despite its blockade in June 2017, by the other three members of the GCC, namely Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates (UAE). Since then, the GCC has held two summits in Kuwait and Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) respectively. This is the second time that the member states have missed the opportunity to initiate a rigorous dialogue under the GCC platform and end the diplomatic crisis. The war in Yemen, blockade of Qatar, and Saudi regime’s critic, Jamal Khashoggi’s murder have overshadowed the true issues of the region. This is not the first time that the GCC member states locked horns over a dispute. In 1986, a border dispute erupted between Bahrain and Qatar, which was ultimately resolved in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2001. However, the GCC prevented the conflict escalation between the two countries through the Commission for the Settlements of Disputes. Other member countries such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait also played a constructive role during this border dispute. However, the current crisis is more serious than the previous one since it has bitterly divided the Council members into two opposite competing camps – Qatar and Oman on one hand, and Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain on the other. The only remaining member – Kuwait- is desperately struggling to bridge the divide between the two warring sides. Resultantly, it is very difficult for GCC to focus on its primary objectives i.e., ensuring regional connectivity and collective security. These intra-feuds within the GCC have greatly affected the efficacy of the regional group. Though, the organization’s Supreme Council has the mandate of dispute settlement among the member states, however, it has failed to address the issue due to the presence of a strong Saudi block within the GCC. Joint aspirations, such as single currency of member states, NATO-style defence force and regional connectivity through railways have a bleak future amid the strong rifts between the two-third member states of the GCC. Now, holding the summit itself has been portrayed as an achievement by Saudi Arabia, which demonstrates a lack of confidence in the future of the GCC. The fact that Qatar has not withdrawn its membership from the GCC despite worsening relations with Saudi Arabia and UAE, testifies to the fact that it gives tremendous importance to the historical, political and ethnic ties it enjoys with other members of the regional group While Iran was initially perceived as a major external threat to the GCC members, the recent hegemonic behaviour of Saudi Arabia as exhibited in the case of Qatar crisis poses a serious threat to the future of the GCC. The problem with the GCC and other organizations in the region, such as the Arab League is that Saudi Arabia wants to dominate them in pursuit of its own interests. Resultantly, these organizations either become a mouthpiece of Saudi Arabia or fail to realize their potential in the regional security architecture. However, the recent overtures by Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, for a dialogue to end the crisis is a positive indicator. Moreover, the Saudi King, Shah Salman bin Abdul Aziz, deliberately avoided mentioning Qatar’s blockade in his speech during the summit, which might thaw ice between the two nations. The fact that Qatar has not withdrawn its membership from the GCC despite worsening relations with Saudi Arabia and UAE, testifies to the fact that it gives tremendous importance to the historical, political and ethnic ties it enjoys with other members of the regional group. Rather, it is still striving for political dialogue and an end to the diplomatic impasse. To conclude, despite its impotence, the GCC remains relevant in the current Middle Eastern political environment due to asymmetric threats like the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), Houthi rebels etc. The strengthening of the GCC would lead to stability in the realm of security and will ensure uninterrupted supply of oil and merchandise through the sea lanes of communication passing through the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. Its fragmentation means the fragmentation of the Arab world, which would lead to a much more destabilized Middle East. The writer is a PhD candidate at NUST and Researcher at IPRI Published in Daily Times, December 28th 2018.