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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Has living in Qatar become too expensive?

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In a baffling move, the government has decided to restrict the sale of fruits and vegetables in Central Market to traders on a wholesale basis.

The ban on sales to individuals and families will come into effect May 1, spurring fears about skyrocketing produce prices.

The news comes on the heels of raised Karwa rates and a new law that will lead to the increase of fish prices.

The Peninsula reports:

Prices are expected to shoot up since the retail trade will become a privilege of the neighbourhood groceries, supermarkets and other licenced outlets scattered all over the country. Prices in such shops are already very high compared to that in the central market…

The central market had been attracting large number of nationals and expatriates on a daily basis, mainly families, who were lured by the low prices and the variety of products….

“Two-thirds of our customers are individuals and families and shops come only after that. We are going to lose a major part of our business,” lamented a wholesaler who also runs a retail section in the market.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Environment announced a new law stipulating that fishing boats can sail only if the owner is on board, prompting boat owners to warn a 150%-200% rise in fish prices.

And just this week, Karwa upset riders by suddenly raising its minimum fare to ride a taxi from QR4 to QR10, and its airport minimum from QR18 to QR25.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates Qatar’s per capita income to soar to a whopping $109,900 by year-end, up from $76,160 in 2010.

The Peninsula points out:

The expert lauded Qatar and said high per capita income would mean more liquidity in the country, more inflow of foreign investment and the purchasing power of its people going up.

He, however, did not say that high liquidity and increasing purchasing power of the people would also mount inflationary pressures whose adverse impact is mostly felt by low and middle-income people.

Regardless, most people who live here do not make that kind of cash every year. What do you guys think? Is Qatar getting too expensive to live in?

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