The United Arab Emirates may have no active military reserves. However, this does not mean that the country does not invest on its defence. In fact, it was recently found that the UAE has the highest military spending per capita in the world.
This was one of the findings of the 2014 Global Firepower Index. The study has measured the firepower of over 100 countries by focusing on different factors and subfactors like manpower, land system, air power, naval power, defence finances, resources and others.
In the global ranking, the United Arab Emirates is listed at the 42nd position. Nevertheless, the country ranks second in the Gulf region. Saudi Arabia (25) is the only GCC country which managed to perform better than the UAE.
As it was mentioned before, the study also found that the United Arab Emirates has the highest military spending per capita in the world. The country is reported to invest over $14 billion per year on defence. In comparison, the defence budget of the United States, which leads the ranking this year, is estimated at $615.5 billion. However, in comparison to UAE’s population of 9.2 million, that of the U.S. amounts to more than 313.9 million.
In addition, the available manpower of the United Arab Emirates is reported to be more than 3.6 million people. Despite that, the country’s current active frontline personnel is just 65,000.
When compared to the Gulf region’s leader on the index, Saudi Arabia, the UAE lacks in almost every category. However, there are a few exceptions in which the country performs better than its neighbor. Among them is UAE’s total naval ship power in which the country ranks 33rd in the world. Saudi Arabia’s naval ship strength is estimated at 55, whereas that of the United Arab Emirates is 75. Similar is the situation with the two countries’ total navy corvette (a type of vessel equipped with weapon systems) strength. The UAE takes the lead with five corvette vessels, while Saudi Arabia is said to have four. Even though five may sound like a small number, it is enough to place the United Arab Emirates on the 22nd place in the world in this category.
The firepower performance of the UAE is quite impressive, give that the purpose of the country’s military is mainly defensive.
Here are the top 10 countries in this year’s Global Firepower Index:
1. Untied States
5. United Kingdom
9. South Korea
42. United Arab Emirates
It should be noted, however, that the research has not taken into account nuclear capability. If it had, the ranking would have certainly looked different.