Gaza, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Egypt are all part of a region which has been consumed by anarchy, violence and destruction since 2011. But there is another part of the Middle East which is a striking contrast to all that: the Gulf. Many outsiders think it’s only a matter of time before the turmoil that has swept other Arab countries also overtakes the rulers of the Arab Gulf. They’ve been thinking that for close to a century.
The economies of the Gulf oil exporters are expanding. Over the last decade vast wealth has been accumulated which affords the Gulf countries a level of resilience that few in the emerging markets can match. Gulf currencies which are pegged to the greenback have offered additional stability. The elevated level of oil prices – at above $100 per barrel – is providing oil producing countries with a fiscal cushion. Thus, even as many other emerging markets try to find an equilibrium, Gulf countries will continue to do well and accumulate more reserves while sustaining high spending. Continue reading »