As a Qatari, I often find myself contemplating the ambitious goals of my country, especially when it comes to Qatarization. This process aims to increase the proportion of Qatari nationals working in various sectors, with a target of 50%. However, when looking at the numbers, it’s evident that we face an uphill battle.
As of February 2023, Qatar’s total population stands at 2,954,947, with Qatari nationals accounting for only a small portion of it. Assuming there are about 300,000 Qatari nationals, including children and the elderly, we can estimate that roughly 100,000 of us are part of the workforce. This means that we represent a mere 4% of the total population, yet we are pushing for 50% Qatarization.
I’ve always believed that Qatar’s aspirations surpass its local population, and to achieve the goals of our country, we must embrace the talents and skills of people from around the world. A prime example of this was the massive success of the 2022 World Cup, which would have been impossible to accomplish with only 200,000 working people in the entire country.
Recent statistics also highlight the demographic challenges we face. The death and birth report of 2017 revealed a decrease in the total fertility rate for Qatari women during the period from 2008 to 2017, dropping from 3.9 children per woman in 2008 to 2.9 children per woman in 2017. Although this rate remains relatively high compared to the global average of 2.5 children per woman, it is still significantly lower than what is needed to achieve our Qatarization target.
In more developed regions, the average fertility rate is 1.7 children per woman, while in less developed regions, it’s 2.6 children per woman. To move closer to our Qatarization goals, it’s evident that Qatari women need to have more children with Qatari fathers.
As a nation, we must acknowledge the challenges ahead and work collectively to find creative solutions. While we should continue encouraging population growth, we also need to foster an environment that attracts and retains global talent. By striking a balance between Qatarization and international collaboration, we can secure a prosperous future for our country.
In conclusion, the path to achieving Qatarization is a complex one. It requires a delicate balance between increasing the local population and welcoming international expertise. By acknowledging these challenges and working together, we can continue to strive towards our ambitious goals, ensuring a brighter future for all who call Qatar home.