A more specific Arabian civ I’d love to see would be the Omani Empire!
A powerful maritime empire that had influence and control in West Africa, Perisa and Pakistan.
Though I’m not sure what existing ‘mechanic/gimmick’ they would have (not and Asian Dynasty nor an African civ), I’m sure if Persia were to be added, you can add them both as Middle East/Western Asia region civs with their very own regional mechanic - possibly something to do with the quite extensive use of camels (they could even have old-school Aoe2-style Camel Caravans to generate their own XP/selected resource as a nod to the regions great use of land trade, or even something focused on their educational establishments.
The orientalism and stereotype here in OP is horrific. A fascinating and diverse culture reduced down to cartoonish caricature.
I’ve thought about the idea of having Arabs as a conglomeration of Omanis, Mamluks, and the Barbary States, but I’m still working on a design that would respect three very diverse histories while remaining balanced.
Then again, if this hypothetical Arab civ comes to exist, we will definitely see years of constant bickering over proposals for an Arab split like we with the Germans.
Umbrella civs can be fine though it seems lumping the Omanis in with Barbary States would be too much of a stretch, distance-wise and diverse cultural aspect in mind (somewhat clashing with your first sentence!).
Barbary States (and I’d love to see a proper Barbary pirate civ) are a huge melting pot of Berbers, Moorish and Arabs were piratical by nature and autonomous states of the Ottoman Empire (in the loosest sense - they did as they want, much like with Malta being a subject state of Siciily at the time). They’re pretty different to the Omani Empire who themselves had more in common and were closer in distance to Persia (giving the Safavid dynasty a bloody nose in battle around 1717).
Ideally Barbary States or Morocco should be their own civilization, but I don’t think the developers would add both, because both are tied together closely and are too culturally similarly as parts of the Maghrebi world. In fact, I fear that the developers regard Hausa as being close enough to the Maghreb culturally, and thus chose to give them Corsair Marksmen, Xebecs, and Berber allies.
Yeah, I totally get that perspective. I’d personally want both Morroco and the Barbary States though they blend in at certain multiple points, despite some unique differences.
The compromise is through a civ called ‘Barbary Coast’ which covers the Ottoman autonomous Barbary States (which doesn’t actually apply to Morocco) of Tunis, Algier and Tripoli, plus Morocco who were independent and had their own Sultanate, as ultimately Barbary pirates used ports along all of the coast. Maybe that way you could switch from Ottoman support to Moroccan when needed so you can ship some Turkish or Berber units.
These need to be separate civs. Oman for sure since they were a colonial power. Morocco was also a major power and could represent the Berbers and Arabs of the Maghreb. Barbary States is best suited to a revolution since it would be kinda redundant alongside Morocco. Mamelukes were technically part of the Ottoman Empire but we’re defacto independent so they could be a full civ instead of just a revolution. And then the rest of the Arabs could be represented with a Bedouin minor civ.