GCC Nations Are Among the Most Polluted in the World | ExpatWoman.com

GCC Nations Are Among the Most Polluted in the World

They might look clean but pollution goes beyond what you can see...

GCC Nations Are Among the Most Polluted in the World

For most of us people living in the GCC, we’re lucky enough to be able to enjoy great sunny days with blue skies and clean streets, but there’s more to it than the eyes can see.


In a study by The Eco Experts, 135 countries were evaluated based on how toxic they are. There were five factors taken into account in the study: energy consumption, CO2 emissions from fuel combustion, air pollution, deaths caused by air pollution and renewable energy production. In essence, the study not only looked at air pollution levels, but also the work tackling the climate change.

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Out of the top 10, six are GCC nations, even beating countries that are well-known for having severe air pollutions, such as China and India. However, China will be investing $360 billion in renewable energy by 2020. By taking into account that it’s actively trying to improve its environment, its toxicity ranking gets lowered.


The Gulf countries rank so high mainly due to having the lowest renewable energy conditions in the world while being one of the biggest producers of oil. Lately however, there has been a lot of talk about plans to improve these conditions.

The 10 most toxic

1. Saudi Arabia
2. Kuwait
3. Qatar
4. Bahrain
5. United Arab Emirates
6. Oman
7. Turkmenistan
8. Libya
9. Kazakhstan
10. Trinidad and Tobago
Toxic countries map

On the other end of the scale, African countries do so well because they are not industrialised and so they have less polluted air. However, this doesn’t take into account how these countries tend to have water pollution, which is a serious issue in Africa.  

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The 10 least toxic

1. Kenya
2. Tanzania
3. Ethiopia
4. Mozambique
5. Cameroon
6. Zambia
7. Indonesia
8. Zimbabwe
9. Brazil
10. Congo DR

If we were to consider only air pollution levels, the most polluted countries would be Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Cameroon, Mauritania, Nepal, UAE and India.