Qatar’s nominal GDP is forecast to double to $221bn by 2015 after the economy grew 20 per cent in 2010.

About $70bn of development is currently under way in Qatar, including a $25bn rail and metro system, $14bn New Doha International airport, the $7bn deepwater New Doha port, $20bn worth of new roads and road upgrades and the $3bn Qatar-Bahrain Causeway project.

In addition to these projects, Qatar is aiming to build 12 stadiums in order to effectively host the Fifa World Cup in 2022. To accommodate the visitors during the event, Qatar also aims to have 90,000 hotel rooms by 2022, up from between 9,000 and 12,000 available hotel rooms currently, says George Nasra, managing director of International Bank of Qatar (IBQ) during MEED’s Qatar Projects 2011 conference.

The population of Qatar is forecast to rise to 2.3 million people by 2015.

Qatar is in a good position to fund these projects and accommodate the influx of expatriates. The state is expected to generate $130bn in surplus between 2010 and 2015, meaning that all government projects can be cash-funded, says Nasra. Qatar’s banking sector is also set to double its lending book by $80bn in the same timeframe.

Nasra also says that the merger with Al-Khaliji Bank is expected to be finalised in 2011 with a total capital of QR46bn ($12.6bn). This will make it the third largest bank in Qatar.