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Qatar’s sudden appeal

Qatar’s sudden appeal

Working in Qatar never looked more appealing: The IMF is predicting 20 percent growth in the country as it prepares to spend big following its World Cup win.

December 14, 2010 3:48 by

In these troubled financial times, when countries are seeking bail outs, and companies are declaring bankruptcy or restructuring billions in debt, reading about a 20 percent growth rate is good reason for us to dedicate an article to current developments in Qatar. Yes, we have done it before, and yes, pretty much all the news channels are jammed with news about how well the tiny Gulf country is doing, but in a way that’s a measure of… well, how well the tiny Gulf country is doing.

The International Monetary Fund predicted this week that Qatar is likely to enjoy a growth rate as high as 20 percent in the coming year. Despite that incredible figure, the IMF says Qatar’s inflation is likely to stay relatively low, at around 3 percent. And, though the boom Qatar is likely to enjoy (thanks to its ‘vibrant natural gas sector’) is susceptible to a sharp drop in energy prices, the country boasts a strong banking system which the IMF said is “resilient to credit and market risks.”

Such outstanding economic growth is probably just as well, given that experts are predicting the country will need to spend more than $86 billion to host the FIFA World Cup. Shuaa Capital released a report that estimates Qatar’s bill for infrastructure will be 57 per cent more than the government estimates of $55 billion. Less than half of the amount will be spent investing in a railway system ($25 billion) and in new roads ($20 billion). The rest will be spent developing hotels and tourism infrastructures, developing their air ports, deep water seaports, and constructing and renovating 12 of the stadiums that will be used for the tournament.

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