Qatar. Qatar has two problems. Firstly, it is the criticism of the sporting events one organizes (this year’s Athletics World Cup and the Soccer World Cup 2022), and secondly, it is the ongoing boycott of neighboring countries, which has its basis in allegations that Qatar favors terrorism.
In May, the head of a Qatari TV sports channel, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, was accused of paying bribes for Qatar to host the 2019 Athletics Championships, and in June, French football star Michel Platini was arrested for involvement in a scandal that gave the country Soccer World Cup 2022. According to the British newspaper Sunday Times, Qatar should have paid the equivalent of more than SEK 9 billion to the International Football Association (FIFA) to take care of the football party.
Linked to these sports scandals is also the large number of guest workers in Qatar. Every year, hundreds of guest workers die of heat stroke in the country. During the summer, hundreds of thousands of people worked in heat up to 45 degrees, including the construction of the 2022 Soccer World Cup. According to the authorities, there is a ban on body work in direct sunlight in the middle of the day, but the heat can still be fatal at other times of the day. It is often young men who lose their lives due to heart problems – or “natural causes,” as the authorities call it.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG: Click to see the meanings of 3-letter acronym and abbreviation of QAT in general and in geography as Qatar in particular.
During the year most of the last parts of the so-called Kafal system were scrapped. It was a refined job trafficking system, which meant that in order to obtain a residence and work permit, someone, usually the employer, had to guarantee their stay in the country. The employer could therefore seize the employee’s passport and also sell/rent the employee’s services. The new rules do not require permission from the employer to change jobs or leave the country, and the promised minimum wage will start to apply at the end of 2019/20.
The Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, announced in November that the country was doing well during the two-year boycott and that national elections could soon be held. Whether this is done before or after the World Cup 2022 is not clear. Probably it will be after.
On January 1, the VAT on alcohol was increased to 100%. Sales of alcohol in hotels and clubs are allowed in Qatar, but now it was twice as expensive.
According to CountryAAH, the population of Qatar in 2019 was 2,831,956, ranking number 141 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.810% yearly, and the population density was 243.9334 people per km2.