Qatar is an Arab Emirate with the second highest GDP per capita in the world. The country has a growing population of approximately a million. The discovery of oil, beginning in the 1940s, completely transformed the state’s economy. Now the country has a high standard of living, with many social services offered to its citizens and all the amenities of any modern state.
Qatar has experienced rapid economic growth over the last several years on the back of high oil prices, and in 2008 posted its eighth consecutive budget surplus. Economic policy is focused on developing Qatar’s nonassociated natural gas reserves and increasing private and foreign investment in non-energy sectors, but oil and gas still account for more than 50% of GDP, roughly 85% of export earnings, and 70% of government revenues.