Qatar warns of rising rents in 2013 as population continues to grow

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Expect the cost of living in Qatar to continue to climb next year as more expats flock to the country to support a myriad of mega projects in the run-up to 2022, planning officials have said.

After a three-year lull, house rent in particular is forecast to rise due to high demand, an update to the Qatar Economic Outlook 2012-2013 states.

That is the main reason the 2013 projected consumer inflation rate has been bumped up a point to 3.5 percent, the General Secretariat of Development Planning (GSDP) said.

Rental prices, which had been falling since 2009, first began increasing in August of this year as the population increase began to affect availability of housing, the report states.

Qatar’s population stood at an all-time high of 1.85 million at the end of November, according to the latest figures available from the Statistics Authority.

However, global food prices, which have been on the rise, are expected to fall in 2013 – no small matter for Qatar, which imports 90 percent of its food.

Other factors that could affect Qatar’s economy include “geopolitical tensions” with Iran and numerous project delays due to rising costs of construction materials and planning issues, the report states.

Growth plan

Half of Qatar’s economy will be based on petroleum production next year, but the country said it aims to expand its non-oil and gas sectors over the next three years. 

“We are also expecting growth in high value-added services such as financial services, transportation and communication,” Frank Harrigan, director of the department of economic development at the planning body, Bloomberg reports:

Qatar, which is hosting the 2022 soccer World Cup, plans to spend $138 billion on infrastructure from 2011 to 2016, greater than 10 percent of GDP through 2016, the government said today.

The spending amounts to a 42 percent increase from what was projected by the planners in 2010. The country is building a $35 billion rail and metro network, new highways, sports stadiums, an international port and an international airport.

Read the full report here:

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Credit: Photo by Omar Chatriwala

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