With the ongoing preparations to host the FIFA World Cup 2022 and the Qatar National Vision 2030, Qatar continues to strengthen its role as one of the most appealing markets in the GCC region and worldwide.
According to the World Factbook published by the Central Intelligence Agency, despite of the low oil prices, Qatar has prospered in the last several years with continued high real GDP growth. The CIA revealed that Qatar was the only Gulf Cooperation Council member that did not experience a budget deficit in 2015, but it projects a $12.8 billion deficit, 6% of GDP in 2016.
The CIA noted that the Qatar’s GDP is driven largely by the oil and gas sector, however, growth in manufacturing, construction, and financial services have lifted the non-oil sectors to just over half of its nominal GDP.
Economic policy actually focuses on increasing private and foreign investment in non-energy sectors, but oil and gas still account for roughly 92% of export earnings, and 56% of government revenues. Oil and gas have made Qatar the world's highest per-capita income country and the country with the lowest unemployment. Proved oil reserves in excess of 25 billion barrels should enable continued output at current levels for about 56 years.
The CIA highlighted that Qatar's successful 2022 World Cup bid is accelerating large-scale infrastructure projects such as Qatar's metro system, light rail system, construction of a new port, roads, stadiums and related sporting infrastructure.