This study explores the motives of small Arab donors for the provision of aid. The existing literature of financial assistance separates donors into two main categories, namely large donors, who are geopolitically motivated, and small donors, who allocate aid according to recipients’ needs. Contrary to this practice in the literature, this article argues that there is a third category, that is, small Arab donors. This third category combines elements from the other two. By utilising multiple documentary sources, this article finds that the moral obligations of aid are often side-lined, as aid decisions are determined by the domestic and foreign policy agendas of donors. Although considered as small donors, this situation results in the use of aid as an instrument to promote donors’ interests in the region. The three case studies (Kuwait, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates) reveal the different strategies that small Arab donors pursue in order to achieve their geopolitical and economic objectives.