Middle East, North Africa region countries to spend $118bn during next 3 years – report

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Governments in the Middle East and North Africa region are likely to spend a fortune of $118.2bn per year on military hardware in order to ward off Arab Spring-like uprisings, a new report revealed.

A study conducted by Cayman Islands-based Al Masah Capital showed the entire region spent $91bn on arms in 2010. The report suggested the figures are expected to rise during the next three years as Arab regimes consolidate their authority and security.

Saudi Arabia claimed the lion’s share of the spending ($45.2bn), the most populous Gulf nation, followed by the UAE, which spent $16.1bn on military equipment in 2010.

According to study conducted by Al Masah, military expenditure averaged 5.5% of GDP between 2001 and 2010, compared to the global average of just 2.5%, which suggests that military spending in the Middle East and North Africa region is significantly higher compared to other parts of the world.

The study also disclosed that 83% of the budget was spent on acquiring aircraft, armoured personnel carriers and missiles, with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Algeria leading the way in terms of purchasing these weapons.

Al Masah Capital reported the US, India and China were the biggest spenders on military hardware on a global basis.

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