Located just south of Saudi Arabia, on a peninsula sticking out into the Persian Gulf is the world fastest growing and biggest up-an-coming travel destinations that you have never heard of. The nation of Qatar, roughly the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island, is a nation rich with history and Islamic culture, with traditions dating back thousands of years. It also happens to be rich with, y’know, actual money, according to Forbes magazine, which just ranked Qatar as the richest country in the world. Because of this combination of beauty, history, and wealth, Qatar is fast becoming a hot destination for the wealthy tourist, and if you happen to be able to go, this handy guide to Qatar travel will explain what you need to know before spending that cash flow.
The strangest thing is Qatar boasts a per capita income of more than $88,000, almost beating the industrial nations of Western Europe, but it wasn’t always this way. Did you hear that? The average citizen earns $88,000 per year. That’s not the 1%, that is the 50%.
In the mid-1800s, Qatar was a British protectorate, mainly know for harvesting pearls, which is a less lucrative industry than you may think. However, in the latter half of the 20th century and the beginning of the 2000’s, Qatar’s production of liquefied natural gas skyrocketed, to an unprecedented 77 million tons in 2011. The government and private industry turned this luck into more than just that, similar to Dubai and their extravagant skyscrapers.
Last year, Qatar launched ten oil, gas and petrochemical industry installations, as well as $17.8 billion USD in aluminum and power generation projects. By the way, the official currency of Qatar is the Riyal (QAR), and $1 USD = 3.64 QAR. This means that a gallon of gas in Qatar costs 1QAR, which is about 27 cents in America. So unlike in the United States, the new rich can afford to both buy and actually use their vehicles. All too often I see ignorant Americans buying cars they can barely afford. When it comes time to fill up the car, well, let’s just say it ends up sitting in the driveway all to often.
The business in Qatar will only get better in the future, as bridges and trade routes to the United Arab Emirates (Dubai and Abu Dhabi) are built, making it an important Middle Eastern trade hub. It’s one thing to invest in an up-and-coming start-up company. It’s another, bolder, thing entirely to invest in an up-and-coming promising country like Qatar. The thing about Qatar is that it is not trying to duplicate the sketchy banking systems like the Cayman Islands and Switzerland. Instead, Qatar is building a legitimate economy with a sound financial and banking system to make banking in Qatar the best option.
But it’s not just the cheap gas that brings people into Qatar. Sports fans flock to the capital city of Doha, home of the 2006 Asian Games and the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Doha is home to Khalifa Stadium, a 50,000-capacity sports venue, next door to the renowned Aspire Sports Academy. Shopping is also one of the advantages of Qatar travel. We may have five-star hotels in the Western world, but Qatar boasts five-star shopping malls. Dozens of local and international retailers, selling wares that many travelers can run up their credit card bills quickly with. If you’re more the haggling type, there’s the Souq marketplace is full of tiny shops and stalls.
There are tons of other reasons for any 20-something tourist to invest in Qatar travel. They’ve got clubbing. They’ve got art galleries. They’ve got theme parks, markets, restaurants, coffee shops and all the stuff you ever look for, with the added benefit of being in the richest country in the world. I really can’t emphasize this enough. It is the richest. Country. In The World. On top of all that, Qatar is one of the safest, most inviting countries in the Middle East. The city of Doha blends modern ideals with historic culture, allowing women to drive, and selling alcohol at international hotel chains. (Though the locals don’t partake.) Whether you’re an investor, or just a tourist who prides themselves on being ahead of the trends, Qatar travel is worth your time, and your money. (Who knows, you may walk away with more than you started with.)