I received an email recently about a new program being put together by Etihad, called Etihad Airways Partners. From the looks of it, you could deduce that Etihad might be wanting to create its own special airline "alliance" based out of the Middle East.
You can read more about it here.
I'm not that opposed to such a notion - in fact, with American Airlines being an Etihad partner, there might be a future option to make use of a variety of different airline partners should they join in. Making connections to Doha or even the Maldives is appealing for my travel options, and I imagine others would find similar synergies.
Can't wait to see how this is received - and if other airlines join!