The independent resource on global security

Military Spending and Arms Procurement in the Gulf States

Publisher: SIPRI
October, 2010

In September 2010 it was reported that Saudi Arabia had sought the US Government’s permission to purchase large numbers of combat aircraft and helicopters from US companies. This was just the latest indication that Saudi Arabia is planning a new arms-purchasing spree similar to that in the 1990s, raising questions about the possible impacts of military build-ups in the Gulf region, which includes both Iran and Iraq alongside the Arab states of the Gulf. Transparency is poor in most of the Gulf region.

This SIPRI Fact Sheet combines data on known military spending and recent and planned arms imports in the Gulf states: Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.


Pieter D. Wezeman is a Senior Researcher in the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme.