Experts estimate Qatar’s revenues from hosting the world cup 2022 at some $25 billion after it had injected investments touching $200 billion to prepare the infrastructure, stadiums and hotels. Those massive investments reflected positively on the country’s economic fabric and GDP growth rates, which saw unprecedented growth between 2000 and 2014. Those growth rates were counted amongst the highest worldwide over the last 15 years.
The economy is expected to continue benefiting from government increasing spending on FIFA World Cup 2022 related infrastructure projects. This represents a great propeller for all other economic activities. The IMF sees a growth rate of 2.8% in 2018 and 3% in 2019.
Capital expenditure on world cup 2022 projects is estimated at $200 billion. And those projects are being carried out and delivered smoothly and firmly within the planned timelines and work will continue through 2021.
Minister of Finance HE Ali Shareef Al Emadi said in previous remarks that Qatar is spending $500 million a week on major infrastructure projects as it prepares for the FIFA World Cup 2022.
Tourism is one of the largest benefitting sectors in Qatar. Qatar Tourism Authority works within the framework of a general economic system in Qatar, aiming for sustainable development. The next phase of the national strategy for tourism sector 2018-2023 has set many objectives, one of them is to attract 5.6 million visitors to Qatar a year, of them 67% visits Qatar for leisure and relaxation. This goal requires the provision and development of new touristic products and services, on top of which is developing the hospitality industry to accommodate that expected growth.
QTA expects spending on tourism establishments in Qatar to hit $40 billoin-$45 billion from 2013 through 2030 with revenues making up $18 billion of GDP.
QTA also launched and began applying a new hotel rating scheme to ensure they continue provide the best they can. Qatar’s hospitality sector ranked first in the Middle East in terms of guest experience, according to the Olery Report 2017. It also began applying an online licensing system to reduce procedures and time for investors.
Moreover, planning is underway for the development of Sealine, Khor Al Adaid and Bin Ghanam Island. The aim is to provide fresh investment opportunities to establish new resorts and great tourist experiences for a better visitor stay. It also helps boost Qatar’s position as a global tourism destination. All such projects are being carried out in association with public and private sector partners.
Non-Oil Sector’s Fast-Paced Growth
the FIFA World Cup 2022 projects in Qatar have remarkably and significantly reflected on non-oil sectors. Financial services, building and construction, trade, hotel and restaurants have been playing a key role in pushing the growth rates forward. Building and construction sector recorded an annual growth rate of 20% against the background of the ongoing infrastructure projects.
The Doha Metro project is valued at $40 billion. There are several real estate projects. One of them is the $5.5-billoin Msheireb Downtown Doha, the $45 billion Lusail City project north of Doha, venues, streets and expressways and expansion works at Hamad International Airport.
The same project reflected on the demographic growth rate. As more foreign workers come to Qatar for megaprojects, demand on services grew and financial services sector reported a significant growth rate in terms of trade, restaurants, hotels and government services.
GDP rose to $222 billion in 2017 from $218 billion a year back, an annual growth of 1.6% at constant prices.
Oil and gas sector contribution to GDP at constant prices reached 48% in 2017, versus more than 52% for the non-oil sector.
Official figures say Qatar’s external trade grew 16% last year to $103 billion, from $89 billion a year back.
The country’s exports also went up 18% and recorded $67 billion in 2017 from $57 billion in 2016.
Trade balance surplus also grew 49.9% from $25.18 billion in 2016 to $37.75 billion last year.
The World Bank expects Qatari economy to grow by 2.8% this year and 3% on average between 2019 and 2020.
Qatar leapfrogged the world’s largest economies on several international indicators and reports, according to Qatari minister of economy and commerce, such as the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018.
Qatar was ranked first among all Arab countries and 20th worldwide on Economic Environment indicator, first worldwide in terms of Inflation Stability and third worldwide in government purchasing of advanced IT products.
According to World Competitiveness Yearbook Report 2018 released by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), Qatar ranks third worldwide on Workforce Indicator, third worldwide on Government Regulation Efficiency Indicator and fourth worldwide on Transparency Indicator.
Qatar also ranks as the richest Arab country in terms of wealth per capita in 2018, according to WB rankings and ranks second, behind Norway, at the world level.
Global rating agencies stressed Qatari banking system’s steadfastness against shocks and challenges thanks to the precautionary, conservative credit policies Qatar Central Bank has been following for many years now. The Qatari riyal has been one of the most stable and reliable currencies for decades thanks to strong national economy, central bank reserve and the sovereign wealth fund.
Moody’s also upgraded the outlook of 10 Qatari banks to stable from negative and kept the rest of its ratings unchanged after it had upgraded its outlook of Qatar to stable with affirming the country’s credit rating at AA3. Qatar is home to large reserves. Its sovereign wealth fund assets are estimated at $300 billion, in addition to its LNG assets.
The ongoing development and infrastructure projects are expected to boost ICT market in Qatar, which was estimated at $3.9 billion in 2017. This industry is expected to grow by 2.3% on an annual basis to hit $4.4 billion by 2021. Sectors associated with the establishment of infrastructure in telecom sector are going to be active due to increasing spending. IDC latest researches say software market in Qatar is expected to reach QR1.550 billion by 2021. It also said IT services market is expected to grow beyond QR1 billion and infrastructure market more than QR800 billion by 2021.
Friendly Business Environment
Qatar allows 100% ownership for foreign investors in all economic and business sectors and activities and has taken steps to exempt the foreign capital invested from income tax for as long as 10 years, on specific investment projects.
Investors are also exempted from customs duties and fees when they import equipment and raw materials. They can also send revenues abroad and transfer ownership freely.
Work is underway now to issue a law for regulating non-Qatari capital investment, which is hoped to help encourage more foreign investors into Qatari market, HE Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al-Thani said in an interview with Anadolu Agency.
He concluded his interview by highlighting the advantages of the Investment Free Zones Law that aims to remove all obstructions and restrictions facing capital and investment and open a gateway for introducing advanced technology in projects.