Marketers, economists and politicians across the Middle Eastern region have been predicting for decades that market-driven economies will thrive as they do in much of the developed world.
But in the region, where the vast majority of businesses are concentrated in cities and large areas, this optimism is being questioned by the rise of what some see as the Arab Spring, as the uprisings of 2011 and 2013 drove economic disruption in many parts of the Middle east and north Africa.
The rise of these new political movements has seen Arab Spring-inspired social unrest spread to other parts of Africa and the rest of the world.
In the Arab world, where most governments are in place to serve a largely Muslim, conservative population, a backlash has begun.
In the Middle Kingdom, a region that includes the country of Saudi Arabia and neighbouring Bahrain, the crisis was exacerbated by the deaths of prominent politicians in recent months.
As a result, some observers believe the Arab economies could be heading for a long recession, even as the population grows.
“If we look at the market-based economies of the Arab World, there is no way that the economies will survive for long,” says Abdullah al-Fawaz, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley.
However, as more countries become more reliant on market-led economies, they are expected to adopt a more market-friendly approach, which is likely to be more conducive to the Arab economy.
That could be a big win for the Arab market, and could also help the economies that rely on a market-like approach.
Many countries are already embracing this trend, including the UAE, which has recently been trying to develop a market economy.
The UAE’s government has promised to invest $200bn in the sector, which aims to make it “the hub of innovation, entrepreneurship and finance in the Gulf”.
In an interview with Al Jazeera, Abu Dhabi Governor Faisal bin Isa Al Thani said the country was “looking at ways to bring in markets, which will provide more opportunities for the people”.
“It’s not only about the market; it’s about creating new opportunities, opening up more markets and creating new jobs,” he said.
Analysts predict that this approach will have a positive effect on the Middle West, which, at the moment, has been largely closed off to the world’s markets.
Even though the Arab states are not known for their openness to markets, many countries are now moving to do just that.
Jordan is now one of the most open economies in the world, while in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, Iraq and Jordan are all adopting the market model.
Although some analysts are sceptical that this will translate into an economic boom, analysts are hoping that this shift will lead to the creation of a new type of market.
Market-based economics have been shown to boost economies, increase productivity and help create a virtuous cycle that can improve productivity and lower unemployment.
While the Arab countries may not be able to compete with the US and other western countries on this front, the benefits will be huge.
Arab economies have seen significant growth in recent years, from an average annual rate of 2.2 per cent in the early 1990s to 4.4 per cent this year.
The region’s average per capita income rose from $1,000 in 1990 to $10,000 this year, according to the International Monetary Fund.
What does this mean for the Middle Ages?
As market economies are now seen as being a necessary part of the economy, many in the Arab worlds believe that the Middle Age could be coming to an end.
And the Middle Kings may not have to worry about that, at least for a while.