Benefit of expat presence in Qatar outweighs disadvantages

Published:  29 Sep at 6 PM
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Tagged: USA, Money, Jobs
Whatever the local feelings about the huge number of expats in Qatar, it’s a fact the emirate benefits enormously from their expertise, economic stimulus and cost effectiveness.

Qatar’s total population is around 2.3 million, with expats in the emirate far outweighing the number of Qatari nationals. Frequent complaints are heard about the imbalance, usually focused on threats to Arab culture, traditions and heritage, but the truth is that Qatar would be in a far worse situation without its expat input.

The majority of sectors in the emirate’s economy depend heavily on expats, whether low or high-skilled. Qatar’s stunningly fast development would not have taken place without the expat workforce, and the maintenance necessary to keep infrastructure up to standard simply would not be taking place.

Expat salaries in Qatar are a boost for the economy, as almost all are spent on living costs. The amount flooding into the emirate’s economy is far more that the cost of training up locals to do similar jobs. Qatari companies are, in fact, getting more work for less money.

Although a proportion of the salaries paid to foreign workers are sent back to their home countries or saved as a nest egg, economic activity in the emirate benefits considerably from expat spending. Food costs, rents, shopping , car purchase, transportation, entertainment and suchlike all puts money into Qatari companies, money which would be sadly missed should foreign workers all go home.

Another, more controversial, contribution to Qatar by its expat workers is the knowledge about other cultures and traditions which comes with a multicultural population. Doha is regarded as one of the most interesting cites in the world, and the country itself is changing for the better via multicultural input.

The dream of hosting the FIFA 2022 World Cup event wouldn’t have existed had Qatar not been a hub for expat workers. The World Cup is a primary part of Qatar’s strategy for its 2030 World Vision, and would not have been possible without the development of state-of-the-art infrastructure using tens of thousands of expat workers across the board. Significant foreign investment is another result, and the hospitality sector is booming.
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