Top 5 driest countries in the world

A view of the Lala Lallia star dune of the Sahara Desert, in Erg Chebbi, Morocco, as seen in an undated handout image from 2008 and obtained by Reuters on March 1, 2024. Charlie Bristow/Handout via REUTERS NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY

With the world witnessing unprecedented heatwaves and soaring temperatures, it is no news that water scarcity comes as a pressing global concern.

April 2024, according to The European Union’s climate monitoring service Copernicus, remains the hottest month ever recorded globally.

In regions with arid and semi-arid climates, the scarce rainfall leads to a significant lack of moisture in the atmosphere, resulting in dry conditions.

The 2020 World Bank report reveals the world's driest countries, emphasising their significant struggles. Here's a list of the countries with the lowest average annual rainfall:


Egypt tops the list with an average annual rainfall of around 18mm, making it the driest country in the world. The vast majority of Egypt’s land is desert, and the Nile River is the primary source of water. The country faces challenges related to the management and allocation of Nile waters, particularly with the construction of dams upstream.


Libya, a North African country receives an average annual rainfall of about 56mm. The country’s arid climate and limited water resources have been further strained by political instability and conflict. Libya depends on the Great Man-Made River Project, which transports water from underground aquifers in the desert to coastal cities.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia, with an average annual rainfall of around 59 mm, is predominantly desert. The country faces significant challenges in securing water for its population and agriculture. Desalination and the use of treated wastewater for irrigation are critical components of Saudi Arabia’s water strategy.


Qatar experiences an average annual rainfall of approximately 74mm. This country is characterised by its desert landscape and high temperatures. To combat water scarcity, Qatar has developed advanced desalination technologies and implemented strict water conservation measures.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

The UAE has an average annual rainfall of about 78mm. The country’s rapid urbanisation and population growth have intensified its water scarcity issues. The UAE relies heavily on desalination, and it has also invested in cloud seeding technology to enhance rainfall.

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