Does highest GDP guarantee highest quality of life?

Topics: Petroleum, Qatar, United Arab Emirates Pages: 2 (795 words) Published: December 21, 2013
Founded little over 200 years ago, Qatar isn’t just famous for the fact that it is the host country of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Qatar has been listed as number one in the world for the highest GDP per capita by the World Bank, CIA World Factbook, and the International Monetary Fund. Although a high GDP will sound attractive, the question of whether GDP truly is a measure of prosperity comes to mind and casts doubt. Despite its high GDP per capita, Qatar does not have the best quality of life as its economy is highly based on a nonreusuable resource and its government system is still unstable.

Qatar has faced the fastest economic growth in the world, but the growth was due to its abundance in a depleting natural resource: petroleum. Qatar, with its abundance in gas, became the largest liquefied natural gas supplier among the OPEC countries and is one of the leading trade partners of the United States. Ever since Qatar has increased its production and exports of petroleum to the world and its economy had burst and turned the country into the “richest nation” on the earth. As gas prices increase all over the world, the extra petroleum in Qatar will guarantee prosperity but only for a limited amount of time. According to an article by Emirates 24/7, the country is supposed to continue produce and export petroleum for another 40 years with the stored oil reserves. However, the growth in the economy will sharply slow down after 2012, when the mega gas projects that have been initiated back in early 1990s are completed.

This outlines another problem that Qatari economy is heavily based on foreign labor, reaching over 90% of its labor force being foreigners. Qatar’s main source of wealth comes from oil which is mainly exported and its other sectors aren’t as profitable. The profit accumulated in the oil business goes basically to foreign workers who are bound to go back to their home countries. Although the country is improving itself by investing in social...
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