Conflict & Justice

Qatar: the richest country in the world


The Al-Rayyan stadium is pictured in this artists impression as Qatar 2022 World Cup bid unveils it's stadiums on September 16, 2010 in Doha, Qatar. It has been designed to include a "media facade" that includes a membrane that acts as a screen for projections; news, commercials, sports updates and current tournament information and matches. (Photo by Qatar 2022 via Getty Images)



Unhappy days on Wall Street and in Europe? Not in the tiny Gulf sheikdom of Qatar.

Qatar has now become the richest country in the world, surpassing Luxembourg in terms of gross domestic product per capita in 2010, according to new International Monetary Fund data reported by Arabian Business.

Qatar’s GDP per capita (based on purchasing power parity) last year was reported as $88,222, compared to $81,466 for Luxembourg and just $46,860 for the United States.

And experts believe the future World Cup host is only going to keep on growing.

Qatar’s per capita wealth could reach nearly $112,000 by 2016, more than doubling similar expectations for the U.S., according to the IMF data released on September 20.

“It’s the combination of wealth, growth and a small population,” Paul Cooper, the managing director of Sarasin-Alpen & Partners in the UAE, told Bloomberg on the recent GDP per capita figures for Qatar.

Qatar certainly isn’t alone. Take a look at Business Insider’s list of the top 10 richest countries in the world.

More from GlobalPost in the Gulf: Reinventing the desert oasis as a green Mecca

Of course, sitting on a massive lake of natural gas certainly makes things easier for Qatar.

The Connecticut-sized kingdom is the single largest exporter of liquified natural gas and claims the third-largest deposit of natural gas in the world.

Soaring oil revenues will help Qatar, which is getting ready to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, construct some of the most expensive soccer stadiums ever built. The nation's ambitious designs for air-conditioned stadiums, including one with a 360-degree exterior “media facade” built with a wall of televisions, could cost upwards of $200 billion.

Take a look at some of Qatar’s proposed World Cup stadiums in the video below.