The economy of the Gulf Cooperation Council nations is set to quadruple to $2 trillion (£1.1 trillion) by 2030, making it the sixth- or seventh-largest trading block in the world.
Research conducted by the Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) also indicated China would push the US economy off the top spot by that time, India would be in third place, Europe fourth and Japan fifth or sixth.
The Middle East's population is expected to treble from 35 million to 90 million, with eight of the region's cities - including Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah and Kuwait City - each reaching more than five million people.
Dubai Airport is expected to process 70 million passengers once expansion plans are completed in 2012. Jebel Ali Airport, also in Dubai, is set to manage 145 million by 2030.