This review of research analyzed topics, conceptual models and research methods employed in 62 EDLM studies from Arab societies published between 2000 and 2016. Systematic review methods were used to identify relevant studies published in nine core international EDLM journals. Quantitative analyses identified patterns within this set of Arab studies and benchmarked them against trends in the broader EDLM literature. The review characterised these Arab studies as an ‘emerging literature’, largely of recent vintage. Consistent with other literatures from developing societies, topical coverage was diffuse, disconnected and lacking in programmatic inquiry. Recommendations are offered for strengthening future EDLM research in Arab societies.