Go back

Qatar: The elusiveness of excellence

The Qatar Foundation’s annual conference, which came to an end on 18 November, began to address a long-standing problem: the lack of home-grown researchers.

Qatar is a country at a crossroads. Situated on the Gulf peninsula, it is halfway between Berlin and Beijing and has endured Ottoman as well as British occupation. When Qatar became independent in 1972, Doha, the capital city, had only one two-storey building. But with independence came the oil boom, and within 40 years Qatar rose to be the country with the highest GDP, as well as the highest carbon emissions, per capita in the world.

The country’s wealth and living standards have increased astronomically, but social and political developments are lagging—something that most Qataris acknowledge, albeit reluctantly. To many international expatriates in Qatar, who outnumber the 250,000 citizens, it is “a developing country with unlimited resources”. But within closed-off government circles and at the dining tables of many Qatari families, a debate is going on about how social developments—such as healthcare and benefits provision, political education and science activities—can be encouraged and fostered.

This article on Research Professional News is only available to Research Professional or Pivot-RP users.

Research Professional users can log in and view the article via this link

Pivot-RP users can log in and view the article via this link.