Saudi Arabia: The Middle East is set to experience a strong economic landscape, with Saudi Arabia leading the way in GDP growth, according to the latest World Bank report. Projections indicate that Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product is expected to achieve an impressive 4.1% growth in 2024, largely driven by increased non-oil activities.

This growth represents a significant upward revision by the World Bank, raising the economic growth expectations by 0.8% from the June 2023 forecast of 3.3%.

Despite facing voluntary oil production cuts earlier in the year, Saudi Arabia’s economy remains resilient, poised for expansion primarily due to the emphasis on non-oil-related activities. The World Bank’s optimism extends to 2025, with revised projections pegging the growth rate at 4.2%, reflecting a notable 1.7% increase from the June 2023 forecast.

Additionally, the economic outlook for the wider Middle East appears promising, with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) anticipating a growth rate of 3.7% in 2024 and a further uptick to 3.8% in 2025. The GCC countries are also expected to witness substantial growth rates of 3.6% in 2024 and a projected 3.8% in 2025, fueled by a resurgence in oil activity.

Other GCC Economies

A closer look at individual GCC economies reveals distinctive trajectories. Kuwait’s economy is slated to expand by 2.6% in 2024, followed by a subsequent increase to 2.7% in the following year. Bahrain is forecasted to experience growth rates of 3.3% in 2024 and 3.2% in 2025, showcasing steady economic progress.

Qatar and Oman, too, are set to contribute to the regional economic upswing. Qatar’s economy is poised for a 2.5% expansion in 2024, followed by an anticipated growth of 3.1% in the subsequent year. Similarly, Oman’s economy is expected to grow by 2.7% in 2024, with a further increase of 2.9% in 2025.

However, not all parts of the Middle East have experienced the same economic momentum. The MENA region encountered a slowdown in its growth rate, dropping to 1.9% in 2023. Contributing factors include reduced oil production, heightened inflation, and subdued performance in the private sector of oil-importing nations. Despite these challenges, there is a collective expectation of growth rebounding in the coming years, reaching 3.5% in both 2024 and 2025.