State capacity is an ambiguous concept; the literature is often at odds as to what constitutes state capacity, how to operationalize it, and how to measure it. Nevertheless, it is important for us to attempt this endeavor given the importance of state capacity, and its effect on a number of political and social dynamics. With the proliferation of quality surveys in the Arab world in recent years, we also have an unprecedented opportunity to examine state capacity in a new light, according to citizen perceptions in addition to material measures. Thus, in this paper, we will examine variations of state capacity measurements using the Arab Opinion Index data. We will begin by reviewing the literature on measurement of state capacity. Then we will deduce the most relevant aspects for an assessment of Arab states. Finally we will present preliminary findings, and outline prospects for future research.