Qatar’s growth beat expectations and accelerated to 6.5 percent in 2013, even when hydrocarbons fell sharply at the end of 2013, non-oil performance remained very strong and that’s what is driving the economy forward, 10% annually. Qatar has also become a political powerhouse, active in crises from Yemen to the occupied territories
With “Vision 2030”, a program with four pillars of development; economic, social, human and environmental, Qatar wants to reach new peaks of prosperity. We offer you the 7 reasons to invest in Qatar.
- A new Emir for a new era
His father worked tirelessly to put Qatar on the map, now it is the job of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to strengthen its position on it. His major challenges: dealing with Gulf neighbors and economic diversification.
The Emir’s slogan and vision is connected to the future of the country: rational management of resources, professional standards, and distinguished production, serving the public good and extreme care for the welfare of citizens. Qatar has the world’s highest per-capita income but aspires for more.
- $205 billion for infrastructure projects through to 2018
Qatar is wisely investing its vast hydrocarbon wealth in the construction of infrastructure, which is leading the non-oil boom, while subsequently paving the way for other sectors to lead economic growth in the future. Highlighted large-scale projects such as: a rail and metro network, new roads, a network of new hotels, the new Doha Port as well as the new Hamad International Airport.
- The tiny emirate positions itself as a global financial heavyweight
International recognition confirms Qatar’s status; named the Middle East’s most competitive by the World Economic Forum; QNB recognized as “World’s Strongest Bank” by Bloomberg Markets and Qatar Financial Centre, the beating heart of Qatar’s economy, is ranked number one in the Gulf and MENA regions in Global Financial Centre Index.
- Energy focus will move from liquid gold to green
With ambitious plans to generate 20% of its energy from clean sources by 2024, the sultanate will invest $125bn in renewable energy development over the coming years. With proven oil reserves to last 57 years and with 13% of world’s proven gas reserves, Qatar, like its gulf neighbors, can continue to thrive solely from oil and gas exports as well as comfortably meet their growing domestic energy demand for years to come. Nevertheless, Qatar is leading the way in the Gulf when it comes to renewable energy investment. This offers mouthwatering opportunities for investors, particularly in solar, considering every square kilometer of land in Qatar receives yearly solar energy equivalent to 1.5 million barrels of crude oil.
- 2013 marks turning point in tourism industry
“2013 was a turning point in the history of the tourism industry in Qatar. Stakeholders are engaged and the private sector is leading the change in the sector” (Hassan Al-Ibrahim, QTA’s director of strategy development)
Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) set a target of adding 3 percent to the country’s gross domestic product by 2030; Tourism currently accounts for less than 1 percent of the nation’s annual GDP. The QTA has pledged billions of dollars developing the sector in large part by subsidizing new attractions and training more hospitality workers. In 2013 tourists to Qatar up 8.3 percent last year to 1.3 million with the authorities highlighting Qatar’s natural beauty, culture, architecture, heritage, gastronomy, etc… besides Qatar Airways will expand its services to the US and other countries with daily flights.
- New page on U.S. relations
The U.S. trade and investment in Qatar has been centered on the hydrocarbons industry but U.S. Secretary of Commerce said during a trade mission to Qatar in March that there are many opportunities for U.S. businesses due to the country’s growing economy as well as investments in infrastructure and transportation, as part of the National Vision 2030. Qatar must diversify its exports to the U.S. as demand for gas falls due to U.S. domestic shale production, but new contracts, as the $19bn Boeing deal (In November 2013, Qatar Airways signed a letter of intent to purchase 50 additional Boeing 777 airplanes) may be the beginning of a new era.
- U.S. becomes favored destination for Qatari investors
Qatar investors have invested heavily in London and Europe, but now they have turned their attention to the U.S., with hundred-million-dollar investments ranging from real estate to the media and the movies. Qatar bought Current TV for $500 million, hired 800 journalists and launched Al Jazeera America last year; Qatar Holding bought Miramax Studios in a JV with Filmyard Holdings in 2010. Qatar’s investments in big U.S. cities are part of its overall plan to diversify its economy, as well as expanding and diversifying its business relations with the U.S. beyond energy.