Cover of The Report: Qatar 2016

The Report: Qatar 2016

With the fall in oil prices underlining the dangers of an over reliance on hydrocarbons revenues, Qatar has continued to forge ahead with its economic diversification drive in 2016. Non-hydrocarbons growth now outstrips hydrocarbons growth, with several big-ticket construction projects, an increasingly dynamic financial services sector and a growing reputation as a tourist destination all fuelling non-oil expansion.

Qatar’s sizeable oil and natural gas reserves have underpinned its rapid economic growth over the past two decades. Home to the world’s largest non-associated gas field, the country is the world’s fourth-largest producer of dry natural gas and the largest producer of liquefied natural gas, with hydrocarbons revenues forming the bulk of national income as a result. Although the drop in global energy prices has impacted export revenues, rigorous economic diversification drives in recent years have paid dividends, and in 2015 non-hydrocarbons growth reached 7.7%, compared to a 0.1% contraction for hydrocarbons growth during the same period. The country’s financial sector has continued to evolve; Islamic banking in particular has witnessed significant progress. Meanwhile, as the country gears up to host several important sporting events in the coming years, most notably the 2022 FIFA World Cup, numerous big-ticket infrastructure builds continue to expand the construction sector. 

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