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Qatar plans to re-evaluate its population policy

Qatar's ever-growing population continues to put strain on resources, with the Ministry of Development, Planning and Statistics (MDPS) indicating that plans were afoot to re-evaluate the country’s population policy and push Qatarisation to the fore

The number of people in Qatar has reached 2,611,522 last month, according to new government figures.
The number of people in Qatar has reached 2,611,522 last month, according to new government figures.

As Qatar’s population passes 2.6 million mark for the first time, greater focus is being given to Qataraisation.

Recent government figures show that Qatar’s population continues to swell.

The number of people in Qatar has reached 2,611,522 last month, according to new government figures.

This is the first time Qatar’s population has crossed the 2.6 million mark, reflecting an 8% rise from last October, amounting to 200,000 extra people, Doha News reported.

Government officials forecast however, that the population growth will begin dropping around the middle of next year, as various construction projects conclude and expatriates return home.

With a small local population at its core, Qatar is forced to import the vast majority of its workforce, which in turn requires facilities.

This puts a strain on the country’s resources, including healthcare, education and other sectors.

While prior to the drop in oil price the country could manage these additional demands, enforced austerity measures have now highlighted these issues, pushing Qatarisation to the fore.

This week, the Ministry of Development, Planning and Statistics (MDPS) officials said plans were afoot to revaluate the country’s population policy and, part of that included increasing the number of nationals and controlling the recruitment of expat workers.

Captain Abdullah Al Mohannadi, a member of the Permanent Population Committee (PPC) added that focus must be given to balancing nationalities across jobs and removing redundant positions.

The Peninsula noted that the PPC highlighted several other challenges in a two-year assessment study.

For Qataris, this included low birth rate, low fertility and an increase in the average childbearing age of Qatari women.

And for non-nationals, challenges for Qatar included a “high growth rate, disruption of demographics, imbalance of population distribution and imbalance of labour market.”
 

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