Qatar Economics and Business


Since Qatar has few exploitable natural resources and less than 1 percent of its land is suitable for agriculture, Qatar was one of the world’s poorest countries before oil was discovered in 1939. Traditional business was based primarily on fishing, pearl fishing and some nomadic livestock management. Exploitation of oil and gas deposits has since made Qatar one of the world’s richest countries, measured in per capita GDP.

Qatar GDP (Nominal, $USD) 2003-2017


Inflation rate 0.40%
Unemployment rate 8.9%
Gross domestic product (GDP) $ 339,500,000,000
GDP growth rate 1.60%
GDP per capita $ 124,100
GDP by sector
Agriculture 0.20%
Industry 50.30%
Service 49.50%
State budget
Revenue 20.84 billion
Expenditure 16.89 billion
Proportion of the population below the national poverty line
Distribution of household income
Top 10% 35.9
Lower 10% 1.3
Industrial production growth rate 1.50%
Investment volume 32.6% of GDP
National debt 53.80% of GDP
Foreign exchange reserves $ 16,890,000,000
Tourism 2014
Visitors 2,826,000
Revenue $ 10,576,000,000

The state influence on the economy is significant. The oil sector was nationalized in 1976, and the state owns all agricultural land and is responsible for most of the other economic activities. The private sector is mainly in the trade and service industries; Qatar has developed into an important banking center. However, the state has tried to increase the private sector’s share of the economy.

Note: the capital city of Qatar is Doha with a population of 1.3 million suburban residents (2014 estimate). Other major cities include Rayyan with a population of 388,500 (2010 estimate).

Abbreviated as QAT by, Qatar is a prominent oil country; oil production contributes one third to the country’s GDP. In recent years, however, the importance of natural gas production has increased and natural gas deposits are among the largest in the world. To reduce oil and natural gas dependence, Qatar has invested in developing a heavy, capital-intensive industry with natural gas as an energy source. Umm Said, the country’s leading industrial city, produces manure, steel, cement and refined petroleum products. Doha has small-scale, lighter textile, food and furniture industries. Demand for water is high, and important plants for electricity generation and desalination of seawater are located in Ras Abu Abud and Ras Abu Fontas.

  • COUNTRYAAH: Find major trading partners of Qatar, including major exports and major imports with latest trade value and market share as well as growth rate.

Foreign trade

As long as oil and natural gas demand is high, Qatar will have a surplus in the trade balance. Oil is still the most important export commodity, but the importance of gas exports has increased in recent years. In addition to oil and gas, smaller quantities of steel and manure are exported. The most important markets are Japan, South Korea and India. Imports mainly comprise machinery, transport and food. It comes primarily from the United States, China and the United Arab Emirates.

Qatar Economics and Business

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