Economic Overview: Qatar

16 Aug 2014

Qatar like most Middle Eastern nations is primarily dependent on petroleum for its economy. Petroleum accounts for more than 70% of the governments revenues and nearly constitutes 85% of its exports. This trade has enabled Qatar to have the highest per capita GDP in the world. But over the recent years Qatar has looked at diversifying its economy and reducing its high dependence on the energy sector. Along with diversification Qatar is also looking at developing off-shore petroleum production. This has also given rise to several heavy industry projects such as refineries and since Qatar has a low population it has largely looked to expatriate labour to run their factories. In the heavy industries Qatar runs refineries, fertilizer plants, petrochemical products and steel production units.

Most recently with Qatar choosing to open itself up to a more diverse economy – there has been a boom in the architecture and construction industry. The subsidiary industries associated to this have also increased. Qatar was also declared as one of the fastest growing economies in 2009. Tourism is another industry that Qatar has been aiming to popularize. With a very ambitious plan to increase the number of visitors to Qatar, they have started and developed many tourist friendly attractions and have invested millions into developing their infrastructure to handle large tourist numbers. They are also adding special festivals to attract crowds from around the Middle East and other nations. Sports tourism is also another arena into which Qatar has shown a great interest to invest. They are developing a home grown football team to take part in the international arena and are also developing training centres and stadiums of world class quality to ensure that the Qatari people get access to the best in class sport training and entertainment.

As part of its growing economy, Qatar has also started to invest into a good public transportation system that would help grow their economy. They have developed their port system and with the increase in expat’s living in the country; they are now also looking at improving their public transportation system.

Internet technology entrepreneurs are a new breed that is rising in Qatar with their innovative ideas that are making an impact in the private and government sector. These entrepreneurs are taking to the internet and social media to promote their business, find new partners and grow their customer base. This has also changed the way Qatari’s do business as the traditional rules of business do not apply to this and there is a whole new breed of entrepreneurs that are venturing into this space. This space has also allowed for more women to start their careers and this has helped Qatar attract and retain good talent from foreign nations.

Economic diversification has started in Qatar and in another decade there should be a significant change in the way Qatar does business with the world.

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