It’s no secret that relations between Qatar and its GCC neighbours of the Saudi-led bloc have been fraught since airspace and trade embargoes against Qatar began on June 5, 2017. However, it’s very clear that in terms of resources and talent, Qatar has plenty to offer the MENA region, and the world as a whole. The sanctions that have been placed on Qatar and its people have been problematic in humanitarian and business terms; however, the importance Qatar has in terms of resources and trade has never been overlooked, and its global allies have sympathised with Qatar during these periods of travel and trade limitations.
Qatari growth due to hydrocarbon
A recent study by BMI Analysis discovered that the hydrocarbon industry in Qatar is something that’s likely to play a vital role in the country's fate in the coming years. They believe Qatar and the UAE are expected to outperform the rest of the GCC in terms of hydrocarbon production and sales in the coming years, and that this will be extremely important in terms of global energy, as well as reinforcing Qatar’s economic strength and self-sufficiency. This projection towards an invigorated hydrocarbon production runs in tandem with the country’s equally crucial emphasis as part of its National Vision 2030 to grow and strengthen its knowledge-based economy, which would eventually reduce its reliance on carbon products.
The oil price debacle
Of course, one of the contributing factors in the Middle East’s and GCC's performance over the past year has been the OPEC and non-OPEC agreement to limit oil production. This was something deemed necessary globally because there was a very large oil surplus which was driving prices down and, equally, people were using oil less – favouring other forms of energy like natural gas in many countries.
If you’re not involved in the oil industry and are concerned with things like share CFD trading, these changes were interesting. However, for countries reliant on oil production, they’ve been some tough times. Qatar is actually very lucky in this situation because it’s a country rich in non-oil energy resources, and hydrocarbon is one of these. While oil production has been limited, for at least until March 2018 by the mutual agreement of the OPEC and non-OPEC oil producing nations, Qatar still has a lot of resources that are not limited and are needed elsewhere in the world.
Qatar and tourism
Another point to consider is that Qatar is going to be the host nation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. This will bring a huge amount of tourism to the country, and will also mean there will be a lot of development projects that will create jobs and place demand on those who supply materials. This will be one of the most significant global events to hit the Middle East in decades, and will attract the attention of people from all over the world.
While Qatar does have plenty of ways to keep itself afloat due to the people who live there and the natural resources that can be taken and sold from the country, something like a major international sports tournament is certain to have a big impact on how the eyes of the world see our nation. It will also help with economic growth – and this is something we can be sure of. Major sporting events like the Olympics or the World Cup always inspire both tourism and investment, and this is something Qatar can look forward to.
In fact, just this last week Qatar played host to the 2017 United Nations World Tourism Day, outlining a new five-year plan for its National Tourism Strategy and a complete restructuring of its tourism governance structure with the creation of a new National Tourism Council to replace its current Qatar Tourism Authority.
Qatar is, on paper, the GCC country that can look forward to the most significant economic growth in the near future – that is, from now up until the 2022 World Cup and beyond. It’s good to see that Qatar, in the face of regional adversity, has the ability to remain strong and really prosper.
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