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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Survey: Qatar youth say large expat presence threatens local culture


Qatar should not sacrifice its culture and traditions for the sake of urban development, a majority of young nationals recently asserted in a survey by the Permanent Population Committee.

As the country develops at a breakneck pace in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup, it is importing a large foreign workforce to fuel its expansion.

But a majority of young Qataris – two-thirds of those surveyed – said it was possible to maintain the current pace of development while reducing the recruitment of foreign workers.

Less than a quarter (22 percent) disagreed with that idea, while the rest (15 percent) surveyed said they did not know.

The survey, which doesn’t state how many people it interviewed, also found that Qataris supported the idea of a knowledge economy as a way to address the imbalance of foreign to national workers here.

That includes rising support for more Qatari women – who far outpace their male colleagues in pursuing higher education – to enter the workforce, the study found.

But Qatar has a long way to go to reduce its dependence on expat labor, no matter the impact this population has on local customs and identity.

In 2010, foreign workers accounted for a whopping 94 percent of the economically active population in the country, according to the Qatar Statistics Authority.


Credit: Photo by Omar Chatriwala

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