Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates spend more on military defence than any other country
Abu Dhabi – Jamal Al Majaida
Arab countries have spent a whopping $300bn on defence equipment in the last two years, according to estimates posted by a leading security source.
The anonymous source has revealed that the sum was estimated
based on expenditure figures from Arab countries over the past two years. These figures show that countries in the Arab League spent a colossal $760bn in 2011 and $840bn dollars in 2012.
With defence spending believed to be around 26 percent of total expenditure, the estimated figure is likely to be $312bn, said the source.
If accurate, then the figure suggests that Arab countries will maintain their position as the biggest consumers in the world in terms of military spending, as a percentage of their Gross Domestic Product.
Estimates cited by the Arab Monetary Fund and the Arab Institution for Investment, show that defence spending in the region in the past 10 years formed on average more than 7 percent of GDP - one of the highest rates in the world.
According to informed sources Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which between them control about 40 percent of the world’s total oil reserves, are believed to be the biggest spenders in terms of defence.
Astonishingly, estimates by the Arab Institution for Investment, show that Arab expenditure for 2012 is expected to be higher than any other year, at $842bn. Saudi Arabia is believed to have spent 25 percent of that sum, at $228bn
Meanwhile other countries such as Iraq spent $106bn, UAE ($86bn), Egypt ($85bn) and Qatar ($50bn).