The downturn has hit the region harder than expected but despite declining oil prices we still believe that the GCC will remain grow in 2009. Tighter liquidity will impact the region and budgetary adjustments will have to be made.
The question then becomes, will that growth be adequate to starve off political concerns. In that respect, the GCC countries with greater socioeconomic challenges, such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, will come under more scrutiny. The others, like Qatar and the UAE will have to carefully manage reserves.