Report highlights lack of integration among Qatar residents

Qataris prefer Qatari neighbors, or at least Arab ones, and have little trust in Western expats and migrant workers, a new report by Qatar University’s Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI) has found.

“It is a universal trait that people generally have more trust in those from the same culture and speak the same language,” SESRI director Dr. Darwish al-Emadi said, as quoted by the Gulf Times.

The findings of “From Fareej to Metropolis: A Social Capital Survey of Qatar,” while obvious, demonstrate just how unintegrated Qatar’s various communities remain, largely due to socio-economic and cultural differences.

Gulf Times reports:

On a scale from 0 to 10 where 0 denotes no trust at all and 10 represents complete trust, Qataris gave high ratings to fellow countrymen (mean rating of 8) and Arab expatriates (6.1).

Excluding migrant labourers, Qataris gave the lowest trust ratings (3.6) to Western expatriates, whereas expatriates from other nationalities scored a higher mean rating of 4.4. With regard to migrant labourers, Qataris trust Arabs moderately (4) as compared to others (3.1).

White-collar expatriates showed a high trust in Qataris (7.4), Arab expatriates (6.4) and to a lesser extent in Westerners (5.3) and other expatriates (5.6).

The survey, which covered 2,268 respondents above the age of 18, including 800 nationals, 637 white-collar expats and 831 workers, sought to define “social capital” as a means of assessing the sustainability of Qatar’s development. 

“Social capital embodies the relationships that connect people outside the family to society as a whole, it is the glue that holds the society together,” researcher Majed Mohamed al-Ansari said.

These results will serve as a baseline as SESRI revisits the trust issue every three years for the next decade in the run=up to the 2022 World Cup.

Last year, in a post I wrote about why it’s so hard to make Qatari friends, I referred to the country as a melting pot – a term many on Twitter took issue with, because it implied a glued-together society.

If this study is an indication, it appear the sentiment hasn’t changed much since then.

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo by Isabell Schulz

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