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Migrant Workers to Qatar - Article Example

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It has been ruled by Al Thani family from mid-1800s. The country contains significant oil and gas reserves. The Amir of Qatar crippled the Qatari economy by stashing the oil and gas…
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Migrant Workers to Qatar Source: Lonely Planet .Map of Qatar Migrant Workers to Qatar Qatar used to be a British protectorate popular for pearling until it attained independence. It has been ruled by Al Thani family from mid-1800s. The country contains significant oil and gas reserves. The Amir of Qatar crippled the Qatari economy by stashing the oil and gas revenues for himself. The Amir was overthrown by his own son Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani in 1995 in a bloodless coup after having ruled the country since the year 1972 (Central Intelligence Agency, 2014). He ruled until 2013. Hamad saw the creation of Al Jazeera, an Arab broadcasting satellite network and pursued Qatar’s role in mediating conflicts in the Arab region. At the start of the century, Qatar resolved its disputes border disputes with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Owing to enormous revenues from oil and natural gas, Qatar attained the highest per capita GDP in the world as of 2007. Partly because of vast wealth, Qatar was not affected by the uprising that affected the Arab world in the 2010-2011. Doha has however supported many of these revolutions specifically in Libya and Syria. In 2013, Hamad stepped down and left power to Tamim bin Hamad his son aged 33 in a peaceful transfer of power which is uncommon in the Gulf States. Tamim has embarked on improving the welfare of Qataris in terms of healthcare, education, and infrastructure. Qatar is also on a massive expansion of infrastructure particularly in anticipation of the 2022 World Cup that it’s hosting.
The economy of Qatar is a vibrant one. Because of the vast energy reserves, Qatar boasts the highest income per capita in the world. The country also has the lowest unemployment in the world. During the financial crisis that hit the world, the government focused on protecting the domestic banking sector. This was through direct investments into the local banks. The GDP of Qatar is mostly driven by the oil and gas sector. The government policy is however focused on improving the investment in the non-energy sector although oil
and gas still contribute more than fifty percent of GDP, around 85% of earnings from exports and half of government revenues (Central Intelligence Agency, 2014). Qatar has proven oil reserves in the range of twenty five billion barrels which at the current extraction rate should last another 57 years (Central Intelligence Agency, 2014). Qatar has proven natural gas reserves in the excess of twenty five trillion cubic metres; this is the third largest in the entire world and 13% of the world’s total. Qatar was successful in winning the 2022 world cup bid which has spurred investment in enormous infrastructural projects such as the Qatar metro, construction of a new port, light rail system, stadiums, roads and more sporting infrastructure. Hamad International Airport which should have an annual capacity of twenty four million initially and fifty million after completion is planned to open in 2014.
The Role of Foreign Labour in the Economy
Out of the ten countries with the highest income per capita in the world, seven are Asia or the Middle East. These countries have a significant number of foreign migrant workers (FMWs) which contribute immensely to the growth of these economies. Much research has focused on the impact of foreign workers on the domestic labour market such as downward trend in local wages. Little research has been done on the contribution of these workers to the economic growth of these countries (Tan, 2013). He also argues that the reason for this omission is due to completeness because evaluating the effect of FMWs must take into consideration the direct effects on the economy such as crowding the job market and also the long-term impact for the productivity of the host county. Tan, 2013, also argues that the workers could have consequences due to accumulation of experience and learning in the receiving country. Statistics (Tan, 2013) show that Qatar ranked the first in comparison with other countries with high GDP in terms of per capita income. Most of these countries have
low populations but have immense wealth mostly natural gas and oil. In terms of rate of increase in employment, Qatar is close to Singapore. In the aftermath of the global crisis Qatar and Singapore created more employment than could be met by domestic workers. Because of lack of native population base in Qatar, its employment growth can only be attributed to availability of foreign workers. The economic prosperity of Qatar being a recent phenomenon resulting from the leadership change in the early 90s, it needed foreign workers to exploit its vast oil wealth.
The Role of Oil and Natural Gas in Attracting Foreign
The economy of Qatar is dependent on oil and gas revenues. The revenue from the energy sector accounts for half the GDP as well as 85% of export earnings and seventy percent of government revenue (Gulfbase, n.d., para. 1).
This map shows locations of oil and natural gas in Qatar
Source: EIA
Figure 2 shows major energy infrastructure in Qatar. Being a major producer of oil and gas, Qatar has extensive oil and natural gas pipelines. These serve to ensure that the products are efficiently transported from source to industries and terminals. The figure also shows the key oil and natural gas field that the country relies on for the petroleum products. As can be seen from the map, the North field is Qatar’s largest oil and natural gas field. While the country has a vast oil and natural gas resource, the processing of these products is carried out at two main refineries; one at Umm Said, and another close to the North field at Rass Laffan. There are several ports and terminals that serve the country in receiving and distributing oil and natural gas both within and outside the country. Some of these ports and terminals are located in Umm Said, Doha, and Ras Laffan.
The energy revenues have made Qatar among the fastest growing economies in the entire world and one of the highest income percapita in the world. The prices of oil and gas had been consistently high until 2008 which helped Qatar to build its budget and enabled it to attain a surplus in balance of trade and massive foreign reserves. Qatar is the wealthiest
among the GCC countries in natural gas reserves which according to 2008 statistics stood at 25 trillion cubic metres representing 61% of the GCC countries and 14% of the world total (Gulfbase, n.d., para. 1).
Qatar’s prosperity can be attributed partly to the natural resource endowment and also prudent economic management. It is one of the most stable countries in the Arab Gulf. The boom in the economic growth continued until 2008 reaping from high global demand in energy. During the period between 2002 and 2008, the economy grew more than 5 times in size at an average rate of 31.6% annually. This represented a growth from $19.4 billion to $100.4billion in 2002 and 2008 respectively (Gulfbase, n.d., para. 1). Qatar has significant investment in its gas fields in the last decade and is poised to become the leading exporter of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in the world soon. Qatar is also trying to develop its non-energy industry by liberalizing the economy further.
World Cup
Qatar won the bid to host the World Cup in 2022. Qatar plans to build 8 stadiums for the World Cup. Qatar was in jubilation for being the pioneer in the Arab world to host the world cup. In 2013 with the projects well underway, the spotlight was turned to the abuse of migrant workers in the work sites. There were reports of forced labour and deplorable conditions. The International Trade Union warned that workers will die in the excess of 4000 before the start of the 2022 World Cup. Stakeholders met and voted against the World Cup tournament being held in the summer when temperatures can rise as high as 50 degrees Celsius. Project owners are now under pressure from the government that has made a pledge to act on enforcing labour laws. There is also pressure against time given the number of projects that are supposed to be complete before then (Gants, 2014, para. 3). There is $100 billion slated for the projects. Some of the projects that are to be undertaken include at least 8 stadiums, the Qatari metro and a railway network, a causeway link to Bahrain, an airport and about 29 hotels for fans. There is also a new Lusail city that will be the venue for opening and final matches (Gants, 2014, para. 3). A senior engineer is quoted as saying that at the peak of the project construction, Qatar will require hundreds of thousands of additional foreign professionals and labourers. Gants, 2014 in paragraph 4 says that Qatar’s reliance on foreign labour cannot be overstated: out of the two million residents in Qatar, about 1.2 million are foreign workers and only 250000 are citizens. Qatari authorities are however reassuring everyone that they will host the World Cup successfully and will be stern to errant contractors (Gants, 2014, para. 4).
As it prepares to host the world event, Qatar is preparing several stadiums to meet stringent international standards. Some of the main stadiums that are under preparation for use during the Wiorld cup include the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Doha, and the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan. These stadiums have the capacity to host several different games at the same time. Qatar is making serious strides toward constructing new stadiums that have the capoaity to host tens of thousands of spectators. The newly constructed Lusail Iconic Stadium in Lusail, for example, has the capacity to seat at least 86, 250 people (usqbc.org 2014). The magnificent stadium is surrounded by water and is inspired by a traditional dhow. Another remarkable stadium that is being constructed in Qatar is the Doha Port Stadium located in Doha. Having a capacity of about 45,000 seats, the stadium is located in a man-made peninsular in the Gulf (usqbc.org 2014). Yet another inspirational stadium that is under construction in the country is the Sports City Stadium that has a capacity of seating roughly 47, 500 individuals. This particular stadium is one of a kind, having retractable stands, roof, and pitch. Other notable stadiums in the country include Al-Khor, Al-Rayyan, Al-Wakrah Stadium, Al-Shamal Stadium, and Umm Slal Stadium, each with its specific inspiration and exceptional features (usqbc.org 2014).
The construction and renovation of stadiums in Qatar has come at a high cost to the government and the people of Qatar. Apart from the high financial resources that have been committed to the projects, several lives have been lost in the course of their implementation. According to Gibson (2014), there are more than 1.4 million migrant workers that are somehow participating in the construction of Qatar’s new cities and stadiums. Statistics indicate that in 2013 alone, more than 184 Nepali migrant workers lost their lives as a direct result of the poor working conditions at the project sites. According to Eveleth (2014), in excess of 900 workers have died in the process of setting up the world cup infrastructure. It is estimated that at least 4,000 workers engaged in the setting up of the world cup infrastructure will die before the world event kicks off (Eveleth, 2014).
Source: Vietnam breaking news
Legal and illegal Immigrants in Qatar
For a foreigner to reside in Qatar for work purposes, they have to have a visa and a residence permit. The exception to this is if one is from a GCC country. To apply for an employment visa, one must the Qatari consulate or embassy in their home country. This must on the basis of a formal offer of an employment opportunity. Such work permits are issued by the immigration department(Qatarlaw, n.d., para. 1). Princeton.edu reports that foreign works possessing temporary residence constitute four fifths of the population. Most of these are from SOUTH Asia, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, and Iran. As of 2001, about five thousand US citizens resided in Qatar (Princeton.edu para. 3)
The Role of Foreign Labour in the Demographics
The total workforce of Qatar stood at 1.3 million people out of a total population of 1.8 million people (Soman, 2013, para. 1). A report is sad to have attributed the large to labour needs in the construction sector which is the largest employer compared to all the other sectors in the economy of Qatar. The private sector accounts for 74% of the total employment with expats dominating the job market. Most Qataris prefer public sector jobs due to better payment and perks. The report is said to have indicated that pay increments by the government in 2011 made it even harder for private sector companies to attract Qatari natives. The government is however committed to increase the proportion of Qatari nationals in the private sector to fifteen percent by 2016. According to the report, upcoming infrastructure projects will be more labour-intensive therefore requiring more foreign labourers (Soman, 2013, para. 2).
Marriage System and Naturalization
Qatar being a Muslim country, marriage laws are based on the teachings of the Quran. It is however possible for people from other religions to get married. The religion of those of those who want to get married will determine the procedures that they will have to follow and where the wedding/marriage ceremony will take place. In Qatar, marriage must be between a man and a woman; homosexuality is prohibited by the law so same sex marriage cannot be an option. People of the same religion can marry marriage that involves Qatari men and non-Qatari women can occur if permission is granted by the Marriages Committee. Marriage between a Qatari Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man is prohibited. Weddings between Muslims must occur in a Sharia Court. Weddings involving non-Muslims are permitted to take place in several designated churches in the city that if one of those getting married is a Christian(Angloinfo, n.d., para. 1-3). Before a couple gets married, one must confer with their embassy if it is allowed to marry in Qatar. The procedure for foreign residents to get married is first to consult with their country’s consulate in Qatar to learn of the necessary procedures. In most countries, the only requirement is to obtain a certificate proving that they can marry. This involves filling paperwork with the embassy and such procedures for different countries.
Nationalities of Foreign Labour
There are 545 Indians, 185000 Filipinos, 34000 Jordanians, 20000 Brits, 7000 Turks, 5000 Kenyans, 2500 Koreans, 800 Brazilians and 40 Liberians alongside the 278000 nationals in Qatar (Snoj, 2013, para. 1 ). This data was obtained from respective embassies.
The top five nationalities in Qatar are as in the chart shown below.
Top 5 nationalities in Qatar. Adapted from “Population of Qatar,” by Jure Snoj, 2013
Foreign Investment in Qatar
According to (Moorestephens, 2013, para. 1) the Qatar investment law also known as Foreign Capital Investment is bestowed with regulating the flow of foreign capital into the country. In general, investors from other countries are allowed to invest in any sector of the Qatari economy as long as they have a Qatari national as a partner and provided the partner owns at least 51% stake in the investment and that the company is incorporated according to the provisions of Qatari law. Essentially what this law requires is that foreign investors cannot own more than 49% of holdings in a company. For foreign investment banks and insurance companies, approval from the Council of Ministers is a prerequisite. Special adjustment is allowed for foreign investors to own up to 100% of a company in sectors such as agriculture, health, education, energy, tourism. This can be achieved with permission from the Minister of Business and Trade under article (2) of Foreign Capital Investment. The condition for this is that the said projects go along with the development objectives of the
country; prioritize the optimization of utilizing and value addition of the local products and raw materials; is export oriented; introduces new products; uses new technology; seeks the introduction of internationally known industries or to develop the country’s human resources (Moorestephens, 2013, para. 3).
Companies that are listed in have a limitation of 25% foreign ownership in total unless specified otherwise in the articles and memorandum of association. Commercial companies are regulated by Commercial Companies Code particularly Law No. 5 as amended in 2002. Article 68 of the Law permits companies that are state owned or are an entity of the state (the state has at least 51%) to establish at least one shareholding company solely or jointly with at least national or foreign company. The said companies are to be exempt from the Code unless clearly stipulated in the memorandum and articles of association of the company. Entities that provide financial services are regulated by the Qatar Financial Center. The Qatar Financial Centre permits financial companies offering financial services specifically reinsurance, asset and captive managers the privilege of a more sophisticated regulation in addition to allowing complete foreign ownership (Moorestephens, 2013, para. 5). For investment incentive, Qatar offers a solid investment package. The country is stable politically and socially and conditions favour heavy power consuming industries at the back of the country’s vast energy resources that give it immense advantage in economic development. The location of the country in the centre of the gulf region and the fact that it is a peninsula gives it long shorelines meaning more maritime link with the rest of the globe. This gives it an edge in terms of attracting foreign investment. Moreover, the economy of Qatar is market –oriented; the government regularly enacts updates on regulation to foster economic liberty with the rest of the world (Moorestephens, 2013, para. 12). Custom charges and bureaucracy is to the minimum or does not exist with respect to all transactions even
those involving repatriation of capital. Qatar has also instituted legislation to provide incentives and facilities which will aid in improving profit margins for businesses. Qatar has also put in place infrastructure such as roads, ports and communication systems so as to diversify their economy and attract foreign investors and help increase national income sources.
As a country, Qatar relies on an able disciplined force to keep it secure and free from external threats. Unlike most of the countries in the world, Qataris form only about 30% of the army, the remaining percentage being foreigners. This percentage comprises individuals from at least 20 different countries.The U.S. has its largest military base in the gulf in Qatar.The Qatari government is the one that lobbied for the airbase to be set there. The emir of Qatar is said to have offered to fully finance it(Al Arabiya News, 2012, para. 1). Foreigners and expatriates can therefore feel safe because they know that in case of any aggression from enemies, the US military can step in to assist. It is also comforting to know that the Qatari government is allies with the West.
Urban Development
The immense oil and gas wealth in Qatar, diversification of the economy started later than the other countries in the GCC. In addition to oil, the largest gas field in the entire world was discovered here in the 70s. Production of liquefied natural gas however did not start until 1991 after the completion of RasLaffan Industrial City. During the late 90s, the establishment of state and semi-privatised corporations resulted in rapid growth of Doha and the metropolitan region which grew from about half a million inhabitants at the turn of the millennium to 1.5 million inhabitants in 2011. The opening of Doha for international sporting events also helped spur investment in sporting facilities. This success story began with the
Qatar openand later followed by Qatar hosting the Asian games in 2006. This necessitated to the development of the Aspire Zone, a 250 hectare project. The success of Qatar in hosting major events culminated when it won the bid to host the world cup in 2022. There has also been a real estate boom in Qatar that started in 2004after the approval of Foreign Ownership of Real Estate Law which allowed for development of freehold properties by international investors in specifically designated areas. Ownership foreign ownership of real estate is restricted to a renewable lease of 99 years. The QIA is in charge of the Qatari Diar Real Estate Company founded in 2004 and is a state-owned company that is profit-oriented responsible for real estate projects inside Qatar and in other countries.it is in charge of Doha Exhibition Centre, Qatar Railways Project and a multi-purpose project in Ras Al Khor and the Lusail City. The Lusail City is being constructed in 37 square kilometre area north of Doha. 190000 people are expected to reside there with working space for 170000 and host an additional 90000 visitors after it is completed in 2025. The Qatar Diar also has 45% stake in the largest listed company in Qatar, Barwa. Another private shareholding company in real estate that cannot escape our attention is the United Development Company of which Qatari investors have 75% ownership. One of its signature projects is the Pearl Qatar which is a reclaimed island in the south of Lusail.
Educational Development in Qatar
The education in Qatar at every level is directed and regulated by The Supreme Education Council together with the Ministry of Education. Primary education is mandatory for all children and is free in state-owned public schools. The education here is very diverse. Different international schools and universities have campuses in the Doha (Qatar Foundation 2014). Regulation of the education is a responsibility shared jointly by the Supreme Education Council and the Ministry of education. Funding to the education ministry has been reduced and a lot of schools have been transferred to the Supreme Education Council. The Council was established by a decree in 2002. The council is mandated with regulating the education in Qatar from elementary to university. The Council is looking to better the quality of education in secondary schools by increasing their independence such that they control themselves more (Qatar Foundation 2014). The Ministry of Education inspects facilities for private schools and provides free water and electricity. It encompasses schools and kindergartens that are privately owned as well as education services and training centres as well as university centres.
The Qatar Foundation was founded in 1995 for Education, Science as well as Community Development. It is a private non-profit organisation and is chartered. Under its umbrella are Education City, and Qatar Science and Technology Park. The education city comprises a few foreign universities as well as programs for training and academics. The Foundation also launched WISE which stands for World Innovation Summit for Education. It is an annual forum that gathers stakeholders in education from world-over to discuss matters of education (Qatar Foundation 2014).
Expatriates prefer to send their children to the large number of private international schools that are present in Qatar. These schools include the Qatar Academy, Doha College, American School of Doha, The Gulf English School, International Academic Society, Doha Academy, Park House English School, The Cambridge School, Compass International School, The International School of Choueifat just to name a few. Some of the curricula offered in these schools are The UK Curriculum for England, CBSE, IB curriculum, etc. Several Universities also have satellite campuses in Qatar. Some of these universities are Cornell University, Carnegie Mellon University, Weill Medical College, Virginia Commonwealth University, Georgetown University, and Texas A&M University from the United States. Universities from Canada include University of Calgary- Qatar and College of the North Atlantic-Qatar. The Dutch Stenden University also has a branch in Qatar. The first university from Britain to open a branch in Qatar is the University College of London (Qatar Foundation 2014).
Religious Freedom in Qatar
The constitution of Qatar states that Islam is the state religion and the national law contains both aspects of Sharia and secular law. Sunni and Shia Islam is practiced freely (UNHCR, 2012, para. 2). Followers of other religions generally worship in specially designated locations. The law forbids conversion by non-Muslims and restricts worshiping publicly. The government monitors religious expression in the internet and registration of religious organisations is required by the law. The law doesn’t recognize the religions of Hindu, Buddhism, and the Baha’i. The government does not demonstrate a tendency to improve the situation so that people can worship freely. In practice however, the government enforces legal and policy protection of freedom of religion. Practitioners of most of the other religions worship with no interference from the government although there are restrictions. According to the report, there have been reports of cases of societal abuse based on religious affiliations, practice or belief and prominent leaders took steps to promote freedom of religion(UNHCR, 2012, para. 2).. There was however a few incidences of anti-Semitism noted in the media. The US government has discussed religious freedom with the Qatari government as part of a policy to promote human rights (UNHCR, 2012, para. 3). The US embassy has continued to meet with foreign embassies and representatives of religious communities to discuss matters of religious freedom such as protecting the rights of minority congregations.
Religious Demography
The citizen population constitutes 13% of the resident population. Out of these 13%, Sunni Muslims are the majority while Shia Muslims are estimated to be around 5-15 percent. Most non-citizens are Muslims -Shia or Sunni, Hindus, Buddhists or Christians. The government never releases data concerning religious affiliations but estimates from embassies and religious communities can help. The Hindu community comprising migrants from India and Nepal make up 30% of the non-citizens. The unofficial estimate for Roman Catholics is 20% while that of Buddhists mainly from South, South East Asia and East Asia are roughly 75 of the non-citizens. Groups comprising less than five percent of the population are Anglicans, Greek, Orthodox, Egyptian Copts and the Baha’i (UNHCR, 2012, para. 4).
Government’s Respect of Other Religions
The constitution of Qatar has provisions for freedom of association, assembly and worship within the limits of public order and morals. The law does not allow proselytizing by people who are not Muslims and restricts worshipping publicly. Islam is the religion ofthe state and Sharia is the basis of legislation. A Muslim converting to another religion is apostasy and a capital offense; there has however never been recorded a punishment for apostasy since the country attained independence in 1971(UNHCR, 2012, para. 5). The ruling family and the government have strong connection to Islam. The ruling family members are all Muslims and practically all citizens are Muslims. Since most government positions are reserved for citizens, most officials in the government are Muslims. The Ministry of Islamic affairs was in charge of constructing new mosques, Islamic education of adults and the newly converted and clerical affairs. The emir takes part in public prayers during Eid holidays and has personally paid for some people’s pilgrimage to Mecca (UNHCR, 2012, para. 6).
According to the law, anybody caught proselytizing for another religion that is not Islam could be sentenced to up to 10 years in jail. Proselytizing on one’s own accord for any other religion that is not Islam can make one be sentenced to up to five years in prison (UNHCR, 2012, para. 6). Anybody in possession of materials that are for missionary activities can receive a sentence of two years in jail or a fine of 10000 Qatari riyals equivalent to $2746(UNHCR, 2012, para. 6). The government has however not convicted anybody for proselytizing since the law was incepted in 1973. In practice, people caught proselytizing are deported without legal consequences.
There is a common court that tries both Muslims and non-Muslims. The law constitutes both aspects of Sharia and secular law. There is a separate dispute resolution system for resolving financial disputes between companies offering financial services. It is under the management of the Qatar Financial centre. In family law cases, the unified courts apply Islamic law. These include inheritance, marriage, child custody, divorce. Non-Muslims are subject to Sharia law in cases involving child custody. In certain criminal cases such as drunkenness, Muslims can be tried and punished in accordance with the Islamic law. The government controls publishing, importing, and distributing of religious materials and books. In practice however, individuals and religious organisations are not forbidden to import religious material for individual or congregational use.
Religious groups are required to register with Ministry of Foreign Affairs so as to be recognised legally. The government maintains a register of approved major religious denominations. Christian denominations that have been granted legal status for having membership of at least 1500 members in Qatar include the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Syrian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Indian Christian Churches and Coptic (UNHCR, 2012, para. 2). The Ministry of Foreign Affairs requires smaller congregations to worship under the umbrella
of the six recognized churches which are all located in the outskirts of Doha in a place called Mesaymir. In the UNHCR report, some evangelical groups that had not met the threshold for registration organised services and were provided with security from the government. Religions including Hinduism, Baha’i faith, and Buddhism are not recognised legally although followers are allowed to privately worship in their homes or with others.
It is compulsory for Muslims attending public schools to receive Islamic instruction. Despite there being no restriction for non-Muslims to instruct their children religiously in private, most foreigners take their children to secular schools. Muslim children are not prohibited from attending secular private schools.
Cultures
Expatarrivals (n.d., para. 1) reports that foreigners entering Qatar are likely to encounter culture shock especially because the country is largely Islamic. They however say that it may not be as difficult to adapt in Qatar as it is in other Middle-Eastern countries. Although foreigners who are not Muslims are not expected to follow Islamic law, it is expected of them to be aware of it and respect it. Due to the fact that Qataris are profoundly outnumbered by foreigners, they have learned to be liberal in their attitudes probably as a survival mechanism (Expatarrivals, n.d., para. 3). The country is behind Dubai and Abu Dhabi in terms of freedom. Women here have the freedom to move and can buy alcohol at designated places, but the country is far from liberal. Foreign women in Qatar are not expected to adhere to the Islamic dress code of hijabs or Abaya but should dress in a modest manner so as not to offend the locals. Dresses, skirts and pants should be knee-length. Tank-tops and blouses should cover the shoulder and the midriff areas (Expatarrivals, n.d., para. 4). Men are not expected to dress in robes like the locals but should also dress properly. Shorts should be knee-length and they should avoid cut-off t-shirts (Expatarrivals, n.d., para. 3). Bathing suits and sportswear should be worn only in appropriate places and both women and men should especially watch their dressing during Ramadan. The official language in Qatar is Arabic but most people can understand and speak English which is becoming the lingua franca for business.
Crime and Drugs
US Department of State, 2014 reports about the rate of crime in Qatar to be low although Qatar’s Ministry of Interior says that the rate of crime has increased considerably in the recent years due to the influx of nationals from third country. According to the report by the Ministry, areas where there is construction going on are said to experience higher crime rates due to concentration of labourers. The media has reported an increase in commercial and residential burglary as well as rise in petty street crime. The rate of burglary is 25 for every 100000 inhabitants. The global average is 100 for every 100000 in habitants (US Department of State, 2014, para. 3). Violent crime in Qatar is not common but has been reported in the Third Country National (TCN) labour camps and in the industrial areas. There was an incident in 2012 where an American citizen was assaulted sexually and murdered at her residence in Doha. The national murder rate in Qatar is 0.5 per 100000 inhabitants while the global average is 4 for every 100000 (US Department of State, 2014). Drugs have been seized in Qatar mainly at ports and coastal waters. Drugs seized in the last four-year period include 1.449 kg of heroin, 557 kg of hashish, 6.868 kg of opium, 414 kg of khat, and 2.933 kg of other drug tablets. The United Nations says Qatar is continuing to be a centre for trafficking from Latin America (US Department of State, 2014, para. 12).
Conclusion
Qatar is a country immensely endowed with natural resources. It has also experienced good governance since Hamad bin Al Thani seized power form his father in 1995. It is clear that having natural wealth is not a guarantee that a country will prosper; it must be coupled with good leadership. It is also very prudent that Qatar is looking to diversify its industries outside of oil and gas because even though Qatar is massively endowed, these resources are finite. The country has several oil and natural gas fields that are connected to processing and supply points by pipelines, terminals and ports. The country of Qatar is very blessed with natural resources; it can therefore afford to undertake projects that are of very huge scale; it however does not have a large native population which necessitates the entry of foreign expertise. For this reason the citizens are ridiculously outnumbered by the foreign migrants that work there. Qatar is preparing to host the world cup in the near future and has to rely massively on migrant workers to accomplish the task of preparing its stadiums and cities for the world event. However, what stands out is the poor working conditions that the country is offering the migrant workers. While at least 900 workers have so far lost their lives in the line of duty, it is estimated that at least 4000 individuals will have died before the world cup kicks off. One question that can be asked is why not just naturalize everybody and live in a diverse society once and for all? I do not think Qatar is ready for such a consideration. It is a very conservative state and will not consider such a suggestion. What an expatriate can do is just accomplish what took them there and when time comes for them to depart, they depart.
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