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Qatar’s economy offers promising opportunities

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Qatar’s economy holds promise of several opportunities. Hosting the biggest sporting event – the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and the strategic national goal of diversifying the economy away from hydrocarbons attracts foreign investment according to a recent report by EY.

The report entitled ‘Qatar Investment Outlook Pulse 2022’ stated that Qatar is on the world stage with the prestigious football tournament, the North Field South (NFS) expansion underway, a new global sporting event on the horizon with the award of the 2030 Asian Games, and the strategic national goal of diversifying the economy away from hydrocarbons. All these considerations have drawn the attention of foreign investors and resulted in positioning Qatar as an investment destination of choice.

Executives in Qatar remain bullish about future prospects for the country, with around 82 percent expecting the economic growth of the coming five years to meet or exceed forecasts.

“The past two years have been turbulent and challenging globally, from both economic and social perspectives. Qatar has also faced challenges but has shown resilience and resolutely navigated unique as well as challenging regional and global events. On the social and public health front, Qatar brought the COVID-19 pandemic under control through an efficient and agile vaccination program. On the economic front, Qatar maintained balanced growth rates of its GDP in 2021 and 2022. This was achieved through the economic policies adopted in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030 to develop a diversified and competitive knowledge-based economy,” the report noted.

It further added that recent initiatives and mega projects such as the development of Hamad Port Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA), the significant expansion of Hamad International Airport, the establishment of the Investment Promotion Agency, and the development of Media City as well as Doha Metro are a few such examples of strategic initiatives and projects that bolstered the resilience of the Qatari economy and aided in its sustained growth.

fDi Markets data from 2016 to 2022 shows that foreign direct investments (FDIs) in Qatar have exhibited a significant compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32 percent in projects, 28 percent in jobs and 19 percent in capex. Leading global businesses including Google, DB Schenker, Volkswagen, DHL and UPS choosing Qatar as their business hub exemplify the achievement of the country in enhancing its position as a key business destination in the region.

This report aims to provide insights into investment and economic sentiments in Qatar and the publication is based on extensive one-on-one discussions we have had, from Q4 2021 to Q1 2022, with executive decision-makers across the largest businesses in Qatar. The report revealed that 82 percent of interviewed executives believe that hosting the prestigious football event would make a ‘strong’ to a ‘very strong’ impact in shifting the perception of Qatar as a global tourism hub, ultimately resulting in improved tourism flows and spending. While 55 percent indicated that they have invested in projects specifically to capitalise on the opportunities presented by the football event. Half of these investments went into tourism, hospitality, and real estate.

Source and image credit: The Peninsula.