Notwithstanding the decline in oil prices, the combined GDP of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is projected to expand by 5.8% to peak at $1.6 trillion at current rates, a new report has said.
Qatar will lead growth in the region with around 8.7%, while growth will be about 6% each in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, 4.5% in the UAE, 4.2% in Oman and 3.1% in Bahrain, the report by Kuwait-based Gulf Investment Company (GIC) said.
It added that the recent decline in oil prices will not affect the economies of Gulf hydrocarbon exporters given the high public spending and reforms being implemented by most members.
"Despite speculation about a further oil price decline, the GCC economies are still expanding as they are based on real growth pillars," it said.
"The first and most important pillar is the high public spending in most member states as it accounts for nearly 35% of GDP...This is coupled with the implementation of massive projects worth nearly $1.1 trillion, almost a quarter of the world's investment in infrastructure and energy," it explained.
The report showed Saudi Arabia and Qatar would account for the bulk of those projects which cover oil, gas, electricity and construction.