Qatar and the UAE were the wealthiest Arab countries in 2008 while Mauritania and Yemen maintained their position as the poorest in the region. According to the figures published in the Arab League’s 2009 economic report, Qatar’s nominal GDP per capita stood at $70,651 in 2008 for a population of 1.448 million and gross domestic product of $102.3bn.
Meanwhile, the UAE’s per capita stood at $52,574 for a population of 4.76 million and a nominal GDP of $250.6bn last year, the second-largest Arab economy after Saudi Arabia, the Arab League figures showed. Kuwait was the third-richest Arab country in 2008, with its GDP per capita peaking at $43,046. Its population was estimated at 3.43 million and GDP at $148.1bn.
Bahrain was the fourth wealthiest despite its negligible oil wealth. But the country has one of the biggest offshore banking systems in the region. Its GDP per capita stood at $21,675 in 2008, with a population of 1.123 million and GDP of $24.3bn.
Oman had the fifth highest GDP per capita of $20,908 last year. Its population was estimated at 2.86 million and nominal GDP at $59.9bn. Saudi Arabia was the sixth richest although it has the largest Arab economy, with its GDP per capita standing at $18,903. The report put its population at 24.8 million and nominal GDP at $468.8bn.
Outside the Gulf, Libya was the richest given its relatively high oil exports and small population of 7.2 million. The report put its per capita at $10,519 and GDP at $76.6bn. Lebanon had the eighth highest per capita of $7,479 followed by Algeria, Tunisia, Jordan, Iraq, Morocco, Egypt, Syria and Sudan. Mauritania was the poorest Arab country and Yemen was the second poorest.
As for GDP, the report showed Saudi Arabia has the largest Arab economy, accounting for nearly 25 per cent of the total Arab GDP of $1.898 trillion. It was followed by the UAE, Algeria, Egypt, Kuwait, Iraq, Qatar, Morocco, Libya and Sudan. The combined Arab population grew by around 2.42 per cent to 334.5 million at the end of 2008 from 326.7 million at the end of 2007