The following is a guest post.
If your banking expertise happens to stretch beyond the ins and outs of the average personal or savings account then perhaps a move to the Persian Gulf state of Qatar might be worthy of serious consideration. That’s because the banks there are looking to grow domestically and internationally and also aiming to up their game in terms of modernisation. So they’re actively recruiting the best of both local and overseas staff. Sounds like there’s an opportunity or two ready to be exploited, by the right people, of course. So, could you be one of them?
Qatar, although a tiny country as far as area goes, has been an expat hotspot over the last few decades with many foreign workers attracted by the large salaries on offer across a whole variety of industries and sectors, from oil and gas to construction, tourism, financial services and others. As the country gears up to host the 2022 FIFA world Cup, there’s a lot more spending on infrastructure on the way which means thousands more expatriates setting their sights on this rather diminutive Persian Gulf state. Yes, small it may be but the oft-repeated description that Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world is an accurate one. Its influence in the region also stretches well beyond its peninsular confines and the sole land border it shares with mighty neighbour Saudi Arabia.
However, despite impressions to the contrary, Qatar is much more than the sum of its huge petrochemical sector or even as the home of the hard-hitting satellite TV station Al-Jazeera. Travel and tourism, for example, both directly and indirectly, contributes nearly 7% towards the country’s GDP. And that impressive figure is expected to grow steadily at an annual rate of some 4%.
Of course, much of the estimated planned spending of $20 billion over the rest of the decade, which will see no less than some 5,000 new hotel rooms being built annually, is directly connected with hosting the World Cup, a much-anticipated event all across the Arab world. The event will be a first for the region and a showcase of everything that’s positive and forward-looking about the Middle East.
But Qatar is not just building its future on the back of a single football competition, lucrative and appealing though that event has undoubtedly become. Yes, the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) sees the competition as a landmark, although not the only event towards which the travel and tourism sector should be geared.