In 2010, Qatar produced 76.98 billion cubic metres of natural gas as well as an average of 1.213 million barrels of oil per day. However present rates of production will cause Qatar’s oil reserves to run dry by 2023. The Qatari government has diverted its focus and resources to the production of natural gas as a result. Qatar possesses 25.47 trillion cubic metres of natural gas in its proven reserves, accounting for 15 percent of the world’s reserves. Qatar has the third largest proven natural gas reserves in the world behind Russia and Iran.
Economic diversification remains a long-term plan for Qatar outlined in its “National Vision for 2030”. The “National Vision for 2030” reveals Qatar’s desire for a diversified economy with an enhanced private sector free from dependence on hydrocarbon industries. Qatar aims to achieve this through:
In 2010, Qatar usurped Luxembourg’s position as the world’s wealthiest nation according to GDP Per Capita (PPP). In the same year, Qatar’s GDP (PPP) grew by 16.95 percent from US$128.26 billion in 2009 to US$149.995 billion.
Rising world oil prices will raise Qatar’s GDP (PPP) further in 2011. By the end of 2011, Qatar’s GDP (PPP) is expected to reach US$180.05 billion, signaling a 20.05 percent growth. Qatar’s GDP Per Capita (PPP) is also expected to grow by 15.41 percent in the same period from US$88,232.51 to US$101,826.85.
By 2015, Qatar’s GDP Per Capita (PPP) is projected to be significantly higher than its nearest competitor, Luxembourg, at US$116,996.84 with annual growth between 2.15 percent and 6.54 percent. Qatar’s exponential GDP (PPP) growth is unlikely to last more than a few years, and is expected to slow down from 2013 onwards. Nevertheless, this will still mean a GDP (PPP) of US$241.986 billion by 2015.
Qatar has the second lowest unemployment rate in the world at 0.5 percent. There have been no official forecasts in to unemployment figures, however historic data from the past 4 years suggests it's unlikely to increase.
One possible reason for Qatar’s low unemployment rate is the amount of expatriates who currently reside and work in Qatar. While official statistics don't provide precise numbers, it's estimated nearly three-quarters of Qatar’s 1.7 million population in 2010 were foreign nationals with temporary residency status.
Foreign nationals also represented a large majority of Qatar’s 1.202 million labour force. According to a 2008 report by Qatar’s General Secretariat for Developmental Planning, 93 percent of the labour force were non-Qataris. The influx of non-Qataris is expected to fuel Qatar’s population growth over the next few years with an annual growth rate of between 3.97 to 4.03 percent from 2010 to 2014, reaching a total population of 2.068 million in 2015.