Qatar now world's richest nation, says IMF

International Monetary Fund data shows Gulf state overtook Luxembourg to take top spot
Qatar’s gross domestic product per capita was $88,221 in 2010

Qatar’s gross domestic product per capita was $88,221 in 2010

Qatar surpassed Luxembourg as the world’s richest nation in 2010 and is set to pull away with wealth that’s almost twice that of the US, latest estimates from the International Monetary Fund show.

The IMF's Chart of the Day shows Qatar’s gross domestic product per capita at $88,221 in 2010, beating Luxembourg for the top spot, according to IMF data.

The figure may reach $111,963 by 2016, surpassing Luxembourg’s $94,621 and Singapore’s $70,992, the IMF said.

US GDP per capita is forecast at $55,622 in five years, from $46,860 in 2010.

“It’s the combination of wealth, growth and a small population,” said Paul Cooper, Dubai-based managing director at Sarasin-Alpen & Partners, which oversees more than $500 million in the Middle East.

Qatar, the host of the 2022 soccer World Cup, forecasts economic growth of about 16 percent in 2011 and projects a budget surplus of $6.1 billion this fiscal year.

The IMF estimates the Gulf nation will have the world’s fastest-growing economy for a second year. Qatar, which is smaller than Connecticut, has a population of about 848,000, according to the CIA World Factbook.

The country, the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, has reached its target of 77 million tons of annual production.

Qatar is expected to keep posting budget surpluses in the coming years and the OPEC member's nominal gross domestic product should jump to QR547bn ($150bn) this year, its central bank governor said earlier this month.

Qatar, one of the largest global investors through its sovereign wealth fund, plans to spend over $125bn in the next five years on construction and energy projects according to its plan.

Qatar's nominal GDP reached QR463bn in 2010. The government 2011 estimate is putting its growth at 18 percent at current prices, according to Reuters calculations.

Analysts polled by Reuters in June forecast Qatar's real GDP to expand by 16.7 percent in 2011.

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Katara

Qatar is a boring place with deadly roads and bad traffic. But what i like about Qatar is that besides the modernity theys still dont forget their culture and heritage unlike dubai. They have also good salary, accomodation and healthcare. Besides that you good chance to have a job here in Qatar because the economy is booming.

But if your more on gimmicks and night life Qatar is a one the boring place in the world. And thats a Fact

Posted by: Rob

A top schoolboy athlete will not perform as well as the 25 year old athlete. But one day, with the right coaching & years of hard work, he could do so.

Qatar is just beginning its journey and has the advantage of learning from the many mistakes that other nations in the region have made.

QNV 2030 and the 2011-2016 National Development Strategy are aspirational and ambitious. Many incredible initiatives have already begun, which most people won't discover until complete.

Providing the right people are brought in to help achieve the medium and long term objectives, Qatar will become far more than financially rich.

A great motivator is the fact that the 2022 world cup commitment is to the world, not just to Qatar.

Posted by: Sam

Any nation can be the richest in the world if they have abundant natural resources! Thats never A FACT and NEWS! Qatar or Doha is the richest because they have got plenty of natural gas but it doesnt mean that they have achieved everything. I have been travelling to Dubai and Doha for the past 5 to 6 years and I dont see Doha anywhere near to Dubai's success and history, Doha is way behind Dubai in terms of infrastructure, quality housing, transportation, education, healthcare and all the other glitz and glamour. Even the business environment and the day to day life is almost dead and dull in Doha while in Dubai its got a lot of energy. Anyone whos been to Dubai would get to know what Dubai's soul is. Right now Dubai might be in a financial crisis, but take their last year's business details, they are obviously catching up! and ofcourse if its business, it needs to have some ups and downs! Dubai hardearns its money while Doha has got it all!

Posted by: Ex-Doha-expat

@Terry: healthcare of world standard? Is that why many Qatari locals go abroad for medical treatment? Don't make me laugh.

Posted by: Qatari

Well said Terry.

I also think that people in this region should focus more about integration than competition.

I mean we are happy for what Dubai has become today and all, but people should understand that Qatar has a different vision than building a tourism city. I suggest people to read more about Qatar National Vision 2030 to know what I am talking about.

Posted by: Terry

What a stupid comment!
The article is not about Qatar's achievements or glitz and glamour. It just states the fact that Qatar has the highest GDP per capita in the world. Thats it.
Also, you obviously have no idea what you are taling about when you make comments regarding infrastructure, quality housing. transportation, education, healthcare etc. Have you ever lived in Dubai and Doha?
I have!! 3 years in Dubai and the last 2 in Doha. It is absurd to make the comparison you do. Dubai is all about tourism and until the market crashed, making as much money as possible with real estate. Look what happened.
Doha has taken a much more measured approached, like Abu Dhabi and is slowly building up their various industries. 2 of them that you are mentioning, Healthcare and Education are of world standard and arguably better than in Dubai.
I probably should not have spent 10 minutes wasting time arguing your daft and uninformed comment but I just could not help it.

Posted by: Qatari

Jealousy Kills, haters =)

Posted by: Qatari

No procan, shame on those who post comments without any respect to my country nor my culture. Comments which are based only on stereotypes. Generalizing people's mindset in a negative way is what I see as hatred. Why should I NOT call them haters.

Posted by: Robinson

All the stuff about Qatar's local mindset is false. I lived there myself for alot of my childhood and i have great memories, we had a lot of fun, theres always stuff to do if you just go looking for it. Qatar isn't decades behind Dubai and i feel i can say this with some local insight as i have also lived in Dubai for around 3 years now. Respect Qatar and it's government for what it's trying to do.

Posted by: Lionheart

You're wrong , it is light years behind The Emirates in terms of buisiness , infrastructure , red tape , standards , engineering , commerce , hospitality and attitude and i could go on . Remember we're in 2011 not 1985 when a few villas a tarmac road and The Rugby Club were considered high living.
I've been in and out of Qatar for 15 years and it is struggling with the change and the pressure of delivery . Just having the money isn't good enough and definitly not when you profess to be a world leader in a variety of disicplines.
Qatar has the chance to create a great city and a fantastic living environment but they must open up and cast the chains aside , there's no other way possible , you cannot live in a gilded cage

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

More from Arabian Business

Dubai sees over 1,300 traffic accidents during Eid holiday

Power play: Influence can be won and lost

More than 3,000 private healthcare facilities now in Dubai

Dubai cruise tourists grow 18% as city targets 1m by 2020

Oil falls below $44 as report of supply build stuns market

Community comes first: CEO of iCare Insure, Leena Parwani Q+A