The gulf airlines, in their very own operations, had a very good business model. A Hyper-developed Hub n’ Spoke structure in a privileged location, granting connectivity to most of the globe. It had everything to succeed. Until Etihad, and later Qatar Airways decide that it was time to buy European and Latin-american airlines that were real money-burners.
Meanwhile, Emirates focused on their own strenghts and is on a much better position.