Economic Benefits

  • 7.1% growth in 2006
    [CIA Factbook] due to liquidity from oil and the growing non-oil sector

Diversification towards a knowledge & technology based economy

  • Gov’t invested $130 Billion into industrialization
  • policy [Qatar Financial Center]
  • Aggressive investing policy abroad
  • Liberal business environment
  • Few restrictions on corporate remittances

Economic Obstacles

  • Inflation caused by housing prices and construction costs
  • Time required to start-up a company
  • Similar ownership regulations as in UAE, which has become a competitor for investment in the region

Stability of the GCC Region
Economic data demonstrates Qatar as a burgeoning economic environment that competes with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. While not focusing on tourism to the same extent as the UAE, Qatar is focusing on Science and Technology industries and building a knowledge economy. Evidence of this is with the new Science and Technology Park in Doha. Education services companies and foreign universities have already invested in Qatar’s, attracting the likes of Georgetown University and Texas A&M. At a time when many universities are establishing campuses in China, companies looking to establish campuses in the Middle East are finding that Qatar can equally offer a strategic positioning.

As for economic stability, those economies, which are less reliant on tourism and secondly reliant on Arab investment, may well fare better in a global or regional economic crisis. Accordingly, the Abu Dhabi and Qatar markets might well fare better than Dubai were there a global recession.

Despite the demonstrated stability in many GCC markets, other potential risks are still present. Global companies must beware of boycotts of goods from politically sensitive countries. Political instability, terrorism and global economic downturns are concerns for foreign companies and subsidiaries operating in the region.