In February, inflation rose to a 27-year high of 8.7 per cent, driven by property prices and food inflation, the twin drivers of inflation throughout the GCC.

“If inflation continues to grow at the same pace as previous months, then it will rise to and exceed 10 per cent,” says Hamad Saudi al-Sayyari, governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority.

Al-Sayyari says that inflation could fall slightly in the later half of the year, depending on the effects of the slowdown in the US economy.

At the same time the new economy minister of the UAE, Sultan bin Saed al-Mansouri has admitted that hitting the country’s 5 per cent inflation target would take “a miracle”.