With reporting from Elysia Windrum
Qatar’s population continued its upward climb in October, with new government figures showing that nearly 200,000 more people were in the country last month, compared to the same time last year.
The increase comes as several of the state’s major projects, including the Doha Metro, 2022 World Cup stadium construction and various road improvements get into full swing.
According to figures released by the Ministry of Development, Planning and Statistics today, there were 2,216,500 people in Qatar at the end of last month. That’s a 9.43 percent increase from October 2013’s numbers.
The pace of growth is ahead of the projected population growth rate forecast by Qatar National Bank (QNB) in a report published earlier this year.
The bank predicts that the number of people living in Qatar will grow by about 7.4 percent annually, to reach 2.5 million by 2016.
The latest numbers also show that there were just over 29,000 more people in Qatar in October than in September this year, equivalent to a 1.3 percent rise.
This is an unusual increase for this time of year, when Qatar has previously seen a slight dip in the numbers. For example, between September and October last year, there were just over 10,000 fewer people officially recorded in Qatar, equivalent to a drop of 0.5 percent month-to-month.
And in 2012, the population shrank by more than 5 percent, or nearly 87,000 people from September to October.
Qatar’s population patterns usually show spikes in May and September, as these are common times for new contracts to start and for people to move here.
However, Qatar is entering a crucial phase in its numerous infrastructure projects, many of which have completion deadlines ahead of the World Cup, and recruitment across many sectors continues to be robust.
Earlier this year, one of the construction industry’s largest expos, Project Qatar, estimated that more than US$200 billion worth of infrastructure work is scheduled for completion in the coming 15 years.
Demand appears to be strongest for semi- and unskilled labor, but the Qatar job market also looks positive for other sectors.
According to the Middle East Job Index Survey, which was conducted by recruitment agency bayt.com and polling group YouGov, nearly two-thirds of Qatar employers surveyed said they planned to recruit staff over the final quarter of 2014, much of it related to the construction boom.
For example, one of the areas of expertise most in demand by employers, according to the survey statistics, was civil engineering. Some 18 percent of companies said they were looking to fill roles in this sector. Foremen and mechanical engineers are also sought after.
Reflecting this, one of the qualifications currently most desired by Qatar employers is engineering, as 34 percent of companies said they were looking for candidates with these credentials.
Meanwhile, one manpower agency, Al Noof Recruitment Service, told Doha News that there were particularly looking for workers from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Sri lanka, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya and Indonesia.
I think it might be time to leave, I pity the poor Qataris that have no where to go. Soon it will look like an Indian market on trading day just after they have announced a 50% discount on chappatis…..
You wait until 2016, you’ll see so many people squeezed onto the corniche. A density not seen since the Poppadum Riots of 1946 in Madrass
i’m a chappati and i find this very indian
There was a time when we made fun of the emiraties because they were a minority in their country and made fun of Kuwaitis because of their excessive lifestyle… Now were the joke…
I remember it was oct or nov 2010 when Doha erupted celebrating the 2022 award… I told family and friends in five years we’ll regret the award because winning the bid .. putting a successful WC event will be so painful… Allah Kareem .. I hope I’m wrong
It was December 2010 and I said the very same thing – ‘be careful what you wish for’. And I am an expat! I take comfort in the fact that I simply cannot see Qatar ever becoming like Dubai. Ever. I hope I’m right…
I don’t particularly like Dubai as a city, but it does have a more liberal regime and atmosphere.
As a journalist, completely disagree with you re UAE having a more liberal regime.
It’s the Magaluf of the Gulf. Awful.
You cannot make an omelette without cracking eggs. One day Qatar will have a more sensible expat level that only works in gas stations, restaurants, and washing 4×4’s.
but from my understanding things Qatar is building (apart from stadiums) are things they actually need to sustain themselves in the future.
Is Qatar building a the world’s largest immigration warehouse to store 29,000 confiscated passports?
Just finish ONE project before going on to 1000 more. I have a friend who is working on the Industrial Area road that is, and has been for quite some time, at a standstill because they don’t have asphalt. Too many projects, not enough materials. And as I was driving the Shamal Road from near Landmark to Waab yesterday I couldn’t help but think “who had the foresight to build such a road” as I sat in bumper to bumper traffic for nearly 1 hour. At 1pm. Not even rush hour and no accidents. If you ever witness the Emirati projects they build huge roads that today may be over kill, but tomorrow will be just right. Shamal was obsolete the minute it opened.