Rich Arabs and Poor Arabs: An Introduction to Intra-Arab Issues

  • Kunibert Raffer
  • M. A. Mohamed Salih


In contrast to widely held views associating the Arabs with oil and wealth, the economies of the Arab World are in fact highly heterogeneous. Arab countries can be found in all the income categories grouped by the IBRD according to GNP per head. Together with OECD countries, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or the UAE are ‘High-Income Economies’, Algeria or Iraq are examples of ‘Upper-Middle-Income Economies’, Morocco or Jordan are ‘Lower-Middle-Income Economies’, and Sudan or Somalia are examples of ‘Low-Income Economies’. The economic differences within the Arab world may be illustrated by comparing Somalia, which had a GNP per caput of $290 in 1987, with the UAE’s $15,830 or Kuwait’s $14,610 (IBRD, 1989).


Middle East Arab Country Arab World Islamic Bank Arab State 
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© Kunibert Raffer and M. A. Mohamed Salih 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kunibert Raffer
  • M. A. Mohamed Salih

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