UAE is second-richest Arab nation


For many years, Qatar has remained the wealthiest Arab nation, followed by the UAE. The two Gulf countries will likely retain that position in 2012.

Although it is the top global oil exporter and controls a fifth of the world’s crude resources, Saudi Arabia is the sixth richest as it lags behind Bahrain, a tiny Gulf island nation whose oil wealth is negligible.

Kuwait emerged as the third wealthiest Arab country in 2011 and is projected to retain that rank in 2012. Bahrain was the fourth richest , followed by Oman and Saudi Arabia.

Outside the oil-rich Gulf, Lebanon topped the list while Algeria came second  given its massive hydrocarbon wealth. Libya, which was the richest outside the Gulf, was included in the report because of political unrest.

The report by the Kuwaiti-based Inter-Arab Investment Guarantee Corporation (IAIGC) showed Mauritania was the poorest nation in 2011 and is expected to remain so in 2012. Somalia, which had lagged behind Mauritania in previous years, was not listed in 2011-2012 due to persistent instability and the absence of a government.

The report showed Qatar’s GDP per capita, which is calculated by dividing its gross domestic product over the population, stood at

$97,967 in 2011, one of the highest per capita incomes in the world.

It is expected to climb to nearly $98,241 in 2012 due to an expected upsurge in its economy.

Qatar is believed to have topped the list of the world’s richest nations in 2011 and could retain that rank through 2012 because of strong oil prices and a massive increase in its LNG exports following the completion of mega projects to tap its mammoth North Field, the world’s largest single reservoir of non-associated gas with estimated 25 trillion cubic meters.

Per capita in the UAE was estimated at around $66,625 in 2012 and is projected to rise to $67,894 in 2012. Kuwait’s per capita stood at

$46,461 in 2011 and is forecast to edge up to nearly $46,690.

Bahrain’s GDP per capita stood at $29,410 while that in Oman and Saudi Arabia was put at $21,681 and $19,980 respectively.

The report estimated the per capita at $10,970 in Lebanon, $9,001 in Algeria, $4,593 in Tunisia, $4,592 in Jordan, $3,306 in Iraq, $3,162 in Morocco, $3,050 in Syria, $,2922 in Egypt, and $1,939 in Sudan.

Low per capita courtiers included Djibouti with $1,500, Yemen with $1,560 and Mauritania with around $1,207. Palestine was not included in the list given the absence of updated statistics on its economy.

The report showed Egypt remained the largest Arab nation in terms of population, which stood at 79.4 million at the end of 2011. It expected the number to rise to around 80.9 million at the end of 2012.

Algeria came second with 36.7 million, followed by Iraq with 32.8 million, and Sudan and Morocco with 32.7 million each.

The report put the population at 28.2 million in Saudi Arabia, 25.1 million in Yemen, 21.2 million in Syria, 10.7 million in Tunisia, 6.6 million in Libya, 6.3 million in Jordan, 5.4 million in the UAE, four million in Lebanon, 3.7 million in Kuwait, 3.3 million in Mauritania, 3.1 million in Oman, 1.8 million in Qatar, 1.1 million in Bahrain and 0.8 million in Djibouti.

The Arab region’s total population, including that of Somalia and Palestine, stood at 334.8 million at the end of 2011 and is projected to grow by around 1.9 per cent to 341.4 million at the end of 2012.

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