This year, efforts to resolve the most serious crisis to date within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have failed, and it will be carried into 2018. What will happen next year is difficult to predict because, as we witnessed in 2017, a lot of the key developments did not follow the standard rules of international diplomacy. This is because decision-making in some GCC countries is not necessarily institutionalised and is, in fact, highly dependent on unstable and unpredictable personal attitudes and ambitions of a handful of people. Strategic planning, rules of diplomacy and the risks that regional instability holds are not necessarily priority considerations for these individuals. In this sense, just as the crisis erupted out of the blue, it could easily end in the same way, without a good reason.