'Bahrain is considered more vulnerable than most other regimes in the region, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, because of its restive 70 percent Shiite majority, which has long chafed under the nation's Sunni monarchy.
But as the first Persian Gulf nation to discover oil, and the first to be running out of it, Bahrain confronts problems that other gulf nations may also eventually confront, including a growing fiscal deficit and an expanding population that cannot find jobs, said Jane Kinninmont of the London-based Economist Intelligence Unit.
"You could see Bahrain having an impact on Kuwait and the eastern provinces of Saudi Arabia," where there is a Shiite majority, she said. "Bahrain is being watched quite closely there. Bahrain is different because of its sectarian makeup, but it also has problems that other gulf countries are going to have to deal with," Kinninmont said.'