The GCC, founded in 1981, groups Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The present study provides a comprehensive economic analysis and evaluation of the GCC. Dutch Disease and rentier state models help to understand the GCC’s difficulties. Cooperative solution strategies (from free trade area and customs union to complete economic integration) are studied in the GCC context. Cooperation efforts are listed in detail and grouped. The performance of GCC’s free trade area is measured with an econometric model. Opinion surveys and interviews with the GCC Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs and some 40 other experts point to the specific problems yet to be overcome. Intrinsic explanations and underlying reasons for GCC’s economic performance are provided.