The Richest Member States Of The Arab League

The skyline of Doha, Qatar's most populous city and capital.
The skyline of Doha, Qatar's most populous city and capital.

What Is The Arab League?

The Arab League is a regional organization of Arab countries based in Arabia, the Horn of Africa, and in and around North Africa. Also known as the League of Arab States, the organization includes 22 member countries and was founded in Cairo on March 22, 1945.

The Arab League is well-known for the enormous reserves of oil and natural gas of some of the League’s member states. The telecommunications industry is also a flourishing industry in the region. The economic achievements of the Arab League include the establishment of the Arab Gas Pipeline. A significant difference in economic conditions also exists between the member states of the League. While some like Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia have a thriving oil-based economy, others like Somalia, Sudan, Yemen have a long way to go to achieve economic stability. The tourism industry in the region is led by Egypt, UAE, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Jordan. The fertile lands of southern Sudan are referred to as the “food basket of the Arab World.” Here we discuss the top member states of the Arab League by GDP per capita.

The Three Richest Countries Of The Arab League


As per the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as of 2016, Qatar has the fourth highest GDP per capita in the world. It also has the highest GDP per capital value among the countries of the Arab League. The country relies heavily on migrant workers to grow its economy. In fact, foreign workers constitute 94% of the country’s workforce and 86% of the population of the country. The economy of Qatar is heavily dependent on the petroleum and natural gas industry and has been so since the 1940’s. Fishing and pearl hunting were the two dominant industries of Qatar prior to the discovery of oil in the country in the Dukhan Field in 1940. The country does not levy any income taxes on its citizens, and according to corporate law, Qatari nationals must be assured a 51% share of any venture in the Emirate. The country is the world’s leader in the export of liquefied natural gas. Due to the surplus profit generated from the country’s oil and gas industry, the government of Qatar has managed to direct investments into many foreign countries across the world, triggering a massive growth of the Qatari economy.


Kuwait has the second highest GDP per capita among the Arab League nations. The Kuwaiti currency, the dinar, is the world’s highest valued currency. The country has a petroleum-based economy where petroleum accounts for nearly 50% of the GDP of the country and 90% of the government income. Financial services is the biggest among the non-petroleum industries. Small business start-ups and entrepreneurship has flourished in the country in recent times. Kuwait houses 10% of the world’s oil reserves, and as per the nation’s constitution, the state owns all natural resources. The country has also directed investments in foreign lands. Tourism accounts for only 1.5% of the GDP of Kuwait. In 2015, tourism in the country generated about $500 million in revenue.

United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), after independence in 1971, has witnessed an economic growth of 231 times to 1.45 trillion AED in 2013. The country has the third highest per capita income among the countries of the Arab League. UAE is also ranked as the world’s 26th best nation for doing business. The country has a diversified economy, but oil plays the dominant role in most parts of UAE with the exception of Dubai where non-oil related businesses also contribute in a major way to the economy. Dubai is also the biggest tourist destination in the entire Middle East and the world’s fifth most popular destination for tourists. The UAE also boasts of the best infrastructure in the region.

The Richest Member States Of The Arab League

RankCountryGDP per capita (Int$)
1 Qatar140,649
2 Kuwait73,246
3 United Arab Emirates67,674
4 Saudi Arabia52,010
5 Bahrain45,500
6 Oman38,631
7 Lebanon17,462
8 Libya15,597
9 Iraq15,057
10 Algeria14,193
11 Jordan12,050
12 Tunisia11,436
13 Egypt10,533
14 Morocco7,491
15 Palestine4,509
16 Syria5,100
17 Sudan4,069
18 Mauritania3,912
19 Yemen3,785
20 Djibouti3,270
21 Comoros1,429
22 Somalia600

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