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Qatar economy grew 1.2pc year on year in q3, 2023

The Gulf state of Qatar’s real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 1.2 percent year on year in the third quarter of 2023, government estimates showed on Thursday. Estimated quarterly GDP at constant prices, adjusted for inflation, stood at 177.3 billion riyals ($48.6 billion) in the quarter, compared with an estimate for the same quarter of 2022 of 175.2 billion riyals, according to the Planning and Statistics Authority. GDP rose 4 percent from the second quarter of last year. Qatar, among the world’s top exporters of liquefied natural gas (LNG), posted a budget surplus of 1.4 billion riyals in the final quarter of 2023, which was used to reduce public debt. It remains heavily reliant on gas revenue for government income despite efforts to diversify economic sectors and revenue streams.

Tourism projected to account for 12pc of UAE GDP in 2024

During the opening day of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2024, the Minister of Economy and Chairman of the Emirates Tourism Council, Abdullah Bin Touq Al Marri, highlighted the significant contribution of the tourism sector to the UAE’s economy, Wego reports. The sector’s GDP increased by 11.7 percent in 2023, amounting to AED 220 billion, and it is expected to reach 12 percent of GDP, which is equivalent to AED 236 billion.

The 31st edition of ATM was held at the Dubai World Trade Centre until May 9th, with a focus on Gulf-wide collaboration, inter-regional travel ease, and infrastructure development.

Furthermore, the benefits of the GCC Unified Tourist Visa have been emphasized. This visa presents the region as connected and accessible, driving tourism metrics such as length of stay, spending, and job creation while ensuring positive impacts on local communities and ecosystems. They also highlighted the role of infrastructure investments, such as airports and the GCC Railway, in enhancing accessibility for both domestic and international visitors.

Overall, the discussions at ATM 2024 highlighted the importance of collaboration, infrastructure, and the unified visa in advancing the GCC tourism industry and fostering economic growth and sustainability in the region.

Bahrain achieves top rankings in DHL’s global connectedness index 2024

Bahrain has achieved impressive results on the Global Connectedness Index 2024, published by international logistics giant DHL, climbing seven ranks to secure the 25th position globally and the most improving country since 2021.

This remarkable progress reflects the kingdom’s growing integration with the global economy. The report measures 181 countries on how well they integrate and connect with the rest of the world based on international flows across the four main domains of Trade, Capital, Information, and People.

In an impressive display of its ability to attract investment, Bahrain now stands as 1st globally in Inward Merger & Acquisitions percentage of GDP, representing 19 percent of its GDP.

This achievement underscores Bahrain’s attractiveness as a destination for investment and indicates the confidence that the international business community has in its business-friendly environment.

Saudi Arabia’s q1 GDP shrinks by estimated 1.8pc y/y

Saudi Arabia’s real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased 1.8 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, flash estimates by the government’s statistical authority showed on Wednesday, as a decline in oil activities continued to hurt overall growth.

The kingdom’s GDP had shrunk 3.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2023, as cuts to oil production and lower crude prices weighed on the economy.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, is pumping around 9 million barrels per day (bpd), well below its around 12 million bpd capacity after it cut production as part of an agreement with OPEC and other oil producers.

Saudi Arabia needs hundreds of billions of dollars to fund its plan to diversify its economy away from oil, known as Vision 2030, which aims to expand the private sector and boost the non-oil economy.

With a projected budget deficit of 79 billion riyals, Saudi Arabia has announced delays to some of its multiple-billion-dollar mega projects.

“There are challenges… we don’t have ego, we will change course, we will adjust, we will extend some of the projects, we will downscale some of the projects, we will accelerate some of the projects,” Saudi Arabia’ Finance Minister Mohammed Al Jadaan said on Sunday, speaking at the World Economic Forum meeting in Riyadh.

Oman: finance minister receives IMF executive director

Sultan Salim Al Habsi, Minister of Finance received in his office Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to discuss several topics of common concern.

The two sides highlighted international and local growth forecasts and the effects of public policies in tackling financial crises, as well as Oman’s efforts in green sustainable financing.

World bank revises Kuwait’s 2024 real GDP upwards: Markaz

Kuwait’s economic growth (real GDP) projection for 2024 was revised by the World Bank to 2.8 percent y/y, higher than the 2.6 percent y/y forecasted earlier in January 2024 owing to expectations of phasing out of OPEC+ production cuts, according to Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz).

However, the IMF has estimated Kuwait’s real GDP to contract by 1.4 percent in 2024, under the assumption that oil production cuts will continue into 2024, making it the only GCC economy which is expected to contract in 2024, stated Markaz in its monthly market review report for April.

Kuwait’s CPI rose by 3.02 percent in March with food and beverage segment rising by 5.71 percent.

According to data from the Ministry of Finance, Kuwait’s project spending during 2023-24 had been at KD345 million ($1.1 billion), amounting to a third of the planned capital expenditure of KD1.1 billion ($3.56 billion).

Project activity had also been muted in Q1 2024, with the value of project awards amounting to $327 million, down from $1.8 billion in Q1 2023. However, going forward, the project market is expected to be active with contractors preparing for big-ticket projects.

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