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Why is QATAR the RICHEST Country on EARTH? - VisualPolitik EN

Jun 01, 2021
Located in the Persian Gulf, Qatar is a

country

with an area of ​​just over 10,000 square kilometers. Just to give you an idea of ​​how small it is, it's almost 40 times smaller than California. So when this

country

gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1971, Qatar was a distant, hostile and very poor place. In fact, it was one of the poorest territories in the United Kingdom. And that made a lot of sense… The Qatar Peninsula is a place where temperatures can reach 50º Celsius in summer, is almost completely covered by desert and was undoubtedly one of the most uninhabitable places on Earth.
why is qatar the richest country on earth   visualpolitik en
But it didn't stay that way forever and today Qatar is the

richest

country on the planet. That's right, the citizens of this small country enjoy a per capita income of more than $125,000, which is almost three times the income of France and five times that of Chile... This is a country that was almost uninhabited, a country which could hardly survive thanks to its fishing industry, and today looks like Scrooge McDuck's safe. The Qatari government has investments and properties around the world. It is the birthplace of Al Jazeera, the largest Arab media outlet, and then there is Doha, the capital, which is a sea of ​​skyscrapers, shopping malls and luxury cars. “A mix of Monaco and Las Vegas, but without alcohol or gambling.
why is qatar the richest country on earth   visualpolitik en

More Interesting Facts About,

why is qatar the richest country on earth visualpolitik en...

There is no room for simplicity, everything is sumptuous, huge and sparkling in Doha.” Ángel Sastre, reporter for Conflict Zones. Qatar has gone from being a dark haven for Wahhabist preachers to becoming what people might consider the most open country in the Middle East. (Aside from Dubai, of course, but as you know, Dubai is an emirate and not a country). In today's Doha we can find international universities or the so-called "City of Churches": a complex of Protestant, Orthodox and Catholic churches... such as the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary. "The $20 million Catholic church, with a capacity of 2,700, is located on the southern outskirts of the city, on land donated by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, emir of Qatar." So now the question, of course, has to be: How did Qatar achieve this remarkable transformation?
why is qatar the richest country on earth   visualpolitik en
Well, let's take a look at that. THE BLESSING OF LNG: LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS In other videos we have discussed some of the keys to why some countries are so rich. But in the case of Qatar it is much simpler and can be summarized in two things: Oil and, more importantly, natural gas… a huge amount of natural gas. Yes, that's it... Disappointed? Well, wait a moment because it's actually a pretty interesting story... The first oil fields were found in the 40s, and in the 60s exploitation was already consolidated. And things in the poor country of Qatar changed... but not much.
why is qatar the richest country on earth   visualpolitik en
It was not until the early 1970s that Shell found this country's greatest treasure: “The North Field”, the largest gas field in the world. But… at that time natural gas really wasn't that profitable. You see, at that time gas could only be transported through pipelines and Qatar was too far from anywhere gas could be used. Even Shell soon forgot about it... But, well, things were about to change. In 1996, former emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani (who abdicated in 2013) staged a coup while his father was in Switzerland. This emir came to power with a very clear idea: the future of Qatar was gas, its enormous fields had to be exploited.
And so he did it. The new emir decided to invest in an underdeveloped and uncommon technology: liquefaction, which is the ability to transport natural gas in liquid form so that it can be transported in large ships as if it were oil. To do this, the gas needs to be cooled and maintained at a temperature of -161º Celsius (-258 F). Which is a bit awkward… So Qatar decided to invest huge amounts of resources to drive the development of this technology so that it could be used on a massive scale. Thanks to that investment, Qatar is now the world's largest LNG exporter.
With this technology, Qatar can export its huge gas reserves to the rest of the world. In fact, last year, three-quarters of Qatar's gas went to Asian countries such as China, India, South Korea and Japan. And there is more: the industrial complex that Qatar has developed is so large, of such a large scale, that the country has managed to have the cheapest extraction and liquefaction costs in the world. To illustrate this, an LNG tanker is four times cheaper in Qatar than in the United States! And this, dear viewer, is the great secret of this small and rich country.
Now, this is only part of the equation. A country not only needs to exploit resources, but also needs to use the money it generates well, or it will end up like Angola or Venezuela... So, in addition to this innovative process, Qatar has other keys to its success. THE POWER OF QATAR Since Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani came to power in 1995, things have changed significantly. In his 18 years at the helm of the country, Qatar's population has multiplied by 5, at the same time becoming the

richest

country on Earth. Thus, the old emir has every reason to feel proud of himself.
But let's move on... Qatar began to generate a lot of economic resources and, well, what do you think they are doing with that money? Well, despite what it may seem, they have mainly invested it (both nationally and internationally). Qatar has created the “Qatar Investment Authority”, a huge fund to invest money around the world. It is known as “the power of Qatar” because they can have more than 330 billion dollars in their hands!! And well, the population of Qatar is less than 3 million, but of those 3 million people... only 300,000 are Qatari citizens, so, well, you can do the math.
This fund has made important real estate investments around the world... In London, a large part of the city belongs to Qatar, including hotels, offices, apartments... and in the United States, Qatar was, in 2016, the fourth largest investor in offices. in the country. In Manhattan alone, this fund has invested $5 billion in the last two years. And it's not just about the real estate sector, this fund also has important shares in many multinationals: Qatar is, for example, one of the largest shareholders in companies such as Volkswagen, Iberdrola, Barclays Bank, Tiffany & co, Shell or even the giant Rosneft . the Russian government oil company.
In the image that we are going to show you can see how foreign investment has increased as gas and oil production has grown: And it is not just international investment, they are also investing many resources within the country: dozens of dollars have been spent thousands of millions. on highways, ports, airports, research centers, financial centers...etc. And well, what is the objective of all this? Well, that is being able, in the future, to substitute with the income that they get from oil and gas, with the income from these investments... But the moment when the gas business is over is still too far away to really be a problem. "There are no analysts who can say when the demand for gas will decrease.
In the case of oil, there are those who predict a peak in demand in 2030, others in 2042, but in the case of gas, demand is constantly growing." This idea they have of investing, instead of spending money, on natural resources could be one of the most important differences between Qatar and other countries that are also rich in natural resources. Most of them find it too easy to spend money today and not think too much about the future... TOWARDS EFFECTIVE INDEPENDENCE When Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani came to power, he also had something else on his mind: Qatar had to win international rights. influence.
He see, for years Qatar was controlled, de facto, by Saudi Arabia and the new emir simply couldn't forget about the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. If Qatar was to survive it needed to reclaim its identity and gain international influence. Otherwise, any conflict with Riyadh could compromise the country's independence. Plus, natural gas could pay the bills now... So, in 2003, when Saudi Arabia “requested” that the United States remove American troops from its country, Qatar did not hesitate to offer itself as a destination for those troops. They didn't even blink an eye when it came to spending around $1 billion to build the military bases... "The sprawling base 20 miles southwest of Qatar's capital, Doha, is home to some 11,000 U.S. military personnel." In fact, you could say that Qatar has taken out a very comprehensive insurance policy… And then we have the founding of Al Jazeera.
This is meant to gain global influence, and they succeeded, something we covered in a previous video! They also developed a foreign policy that led to international influence. THE BLOCKADE This whole political strategy made both the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia very angry. In June 2017 they announced a blockade, accusing Qatar of supporting fundamentalist and terrorist groups. Pot calling the kettle black Saudi Arabia? Hmm? Now, it is true that Qatar has some dark secrets, it is an absolute monarchy after all… But the country is a good ally for the West, especially the United States, and is one of the most open countries in the region.
The truth is that the boycott had a different objective: to reduce Qatar's international influence strategy and essentially put them in their place... However, the blockade has been a total failure... First of all, Riyadh's position does not It is so strong... Very few countries have supported it, not even Kuwait or Oman. Furthermore, Qatar has developed better relations with Turkey and even Iran... Qatar has simply proven that it is strong enough to weather the storm. "Qatar defies Saudi Arabia by restoring diplomatic relations with Iran". And finally, we must make something clear: there are many gray areas in Qatar: working conditions more in line with those of a poor country, the situation of women and the lack of democracy.
Furthermore, the system needs to demonstrate that it can function without the government because, unlike Dubai, leadership has been taken by public initiative, not private. And this is one of the reasons why Dubai continues to be above Qatar in almost every aspect. But hey, it wouldn't be fair to recognize what they are doing well, such as their ability to save, their productive investment and their openness. And now it's your turn, who do you think will win this battle of the Persian Gulf countries? Saudi Arabia or Qatar? Leave your response in the comments below, as well as in this poll.
Also, don't forget to subscribe to our channel to see new videos every Monday and Thursday. Also, don't forget to check out our friends at the Reconsider Media Podcast – they provided the voices in this episode that weren't mine! And as always, thanks for watching!

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