10 March 2011

There have not been any protests in Qatar so far. A Facebook group is calling for demonstrations to be held on 16 March and the removal of the emir. However a protest originally planned for 27 February failed to win widespread support. Qatar’s successful bid to stage the 2022 World Cup saw scenes of jubilation on the streets of Doha just three months ago. The euphoria has yet to die down.

Government actions:

  • None so far, although the Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jaber al-Thani said in early March that long delayed elections to the consultative council would take place “soon”

Political Risk assessment

With one of the highest per capita gross domestic product in the world, Qatar is considered to be the most stable country in the region and unlikely to experience any significant protests.

23 February 2011

Close proximity to Bahrain and uncertainty resulting from unrest in the wider Arab world caused some jitters on Qatar’s financial markets, but it is unlikely that the political order in this tiny, gas-rich emirate will be shaken.

Revenues from gas exports have pushed per capita income above $80,000 in recent years, a figure that reduces scope for unrest among the peninsula’s population of 250,000 native Qataris.  While the ruling Al-Thani family does not allow much scrutiny of its affairs and controls the domestic media tightly, the social climate is more tolerant. Doha’s successful bid to stage the 2022 World Cup and its role as the headquarters of the Al-Jazeera news channel reflect a desire to maintain a sound global reputation.