My old friend told thirty years ago, crossing Qatar by car was an adventure. Like many in the Gulf States, the road from the airport in the east to western Dukhan was a dirt track flattened by Mil workers with a blade grader and smothered in crude oil.
Now, Qatar, on the west coast of the Arabian Gulf, is one of the fastest-growing members of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council. The capital city, Doha, lies on the east coast and is home to about 60% of the country’s inhabitants.
To predict about Qatar for the next 10 years, let’s see back the history: The transformation of Qatar into a modern state began with the exploitation of oil from the 1940s, and gathered momentum once the gas from the North Field came on stream in the 1990s. Major projects now underway or planned for the near future include road systems, schools, hospitals, hotels, and sports facilities.
The successfully 15th Asian Games in 2006 becomes a momentum to show the world about Qatar. Everybody will know the State of Qatar has all the basic components that attract foreign investment, mainly political and social stability as well as effectively contribute to the diversification of the Gross National Product.
Qatar enjoys a unique geographical location in the Gulf region. Being a peninsula of the Persian Gulf gives it an added advantage of having a number of beaches and ports, which increases Qatar’s chances of becoming an investment hub.
The government has expanded exploration projects in oil and gas fields, and offered incentives to attract foreign capitals to carry out similar projects in Qatar. In this regard, it has issued several laws to simplify investment procedures and liberated economy and developed the techniques of marketing gas from giant plants.
With the little population and much resources, at the next 10 years Qatar will be the strongest economic country in the world. It will happen, if Qatar also develop the human resources and keep the social stability.