We all know the headlines by now: the Middle East is burning, right? So it seems, as Palestinians and Iraqis wage civil war, Lebanon seethes, Syria and Israel trade barbs and Iran spits defiance. Yet beyond the smoke a very different story is emerging nearby. In the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, times have never been better. Business is booming. And political conflict has become a foreign phenomenon, watched on flat-screen TVs in the air-conditioned living rooms of Doha, Dubai, Kuwait City, Muscat and Riyadh.