Gulf Arab states are poised to continue to spend billions of dollars on defense despite low oil prices causing severe budget deficits forcing Gulf States to introduce austerity measures and cut spending.

Saudi Arabia’s total defense budget is forecast at $82 billion in 2016, steadily rising to $87 billion in 2020 while that of UAE is put at $15.1 billion in 2016 reaching $17.0 billion in 2020, according to Teal Group, a U.S-based defense analysis firm which has also forecast increased spending by Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain.

“Defense spending is linked to national security and threat perception, not resource prices,” said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of Teal Group. Oil prices more than halved in 2016 from their peaks in 2014. […]