Gulf countries: recent trends in the defence sector

This article provides high-level thoughts from the point of view of a legal professional living in the Gulf and advising international defence contractors on some of the recent trends in the defence sector in the region.

Gulf countries are amongst the largest purchasers of defence products globally, with Saudi Arabia and the UAE allocating the largest military budgets in the region. both in absolute terms and in percentage of their GDP.

Over the recent years, a number of geopolitical factors have led Gulf countries to increase their military spending: the war in Yemen, the perception of Iran and its regional proxies as a threat, the perceived disengagement by the US, and the diplomatic discord between Qatar and certain of its neighbours.

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