Does highest GDP guarantee highest quality of life?

6 June 2017

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 caplta, 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.

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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 ut only for a limited amount of time.

According to an article by Emirates 2417, 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 factors that are making living standards better, the fact that only a third of the population which adds up to about 350,000 are actual citizens of the country still remains a problem. Due to the massive gas supply, electricity and water supply Is completely free for the Qataris and there obviously Is a problem of overuse.

The foreign citizens don’t necessarily have to worry about the environmental future f the country and the lack of nationalism among the residents will turn Qatar into lust an exploitable good. How can a country succeed If majority of its country remains to be non citizens who are to work? Although Qatar might be more of a liberal state than some Arab States, it still Is very limiting compared other liberal states of the Persian Gulf. It is true that there is a civil law applied to the state, but some parts of the legal Issues are applied according to the Islamic law. According to the Travel. State.

Gov, although “incidents of violence are t Of2 are, attacks against western targets nave occurred”. I nere nave Deen al-Qalaa affiliated attacks on Westerners and there has been a suicide bomber attack in Doha back in 2005. With the growing population of foreigners, there have noticeable instances of clash between the locals and the expatriate workers. In order to prevent such social disorder, there is a large police force present throughout the country. Although a larger police force might sound reassuring, it can be very limiting at the same time, as one of the main reasons for visiting Qatar is for a relaxing vacation free f constraints.

These police forces can be especially more strict with foreigners and since Qatari law is based partly on the Islamic laws, some laws are severe than that of other countries like Korea or the United States. Crimes that might be considered as minor in other countries can be severely punished with imprisonment or deportation. Like the saying, “money cant buy everything”, highest GDP per capita does equate to the best quality of life in the case of Qatar as the country faces a problem of exploitation and instability.

Petroleum is bound to be depleted and even if Qatar develops and funds its non energy sector, it still will not match up to the wealth accumulated by the oil business. As GDP is not only a sign of wealth but also a sign of spending, the country will reach a point where its citizens are overspending money compared to the income that they are making. This will eventually cause the residents to leave Qatar as no longer will their presence be economically profitable. The country, already faced with problems regarding trouble with the foreigners, will become an empty city.

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