Spurred by high oil revenues, credit growth and economic diversification, real GDP growth rates in the GCC countries have been high in international comparison. They have been comparable to those of other emerging and developing markets and considerably higher than those of the world or the advanced economies on average (see Figure 1). Qatar and UAE, in particular, have witnessed breakneck development with growth rates in double digit territory until 2008. In 2009, only two GCC countries faced a mild recession (Kuwait and the UAE). While the IMF expects GCC growth to lag emerging and developing economies in the years to 2015, it will still remain at or above the world average. Together with growth in intra-GCC trade in the wake of the GCC customs union, this will inexorably lead to increased demand for financial services.