Qatar's economy grew by more than 6 percent in 2014, official figures showed, driven by spending on huge construction projects ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
Shrugging off fears regarding the oil price slump, the energy-rich Gulf economy expanded by 6.2 percent last year, according to the Qatari Ministry of Development, Planning and Statistics. The strong performance is evidence of "the resilience of the Qatari economy and its ability to withstand the decline in oil prices thanks to its strong macroeconomic fundamentals," the Qatar National Bank (QNB) said in a commentary on the figures. Qatar has made efforts to diversify its economy away from oil and gas. A key driver of growth last year was the construction sector, which expanded 18 percent, QNB noted.
Qatar has embarked on a huge $200 billion infrastructure spending splurge ahead of hosting football's premier competition in seven years. Among the major projects Qatar has approved are plans to develop the country's railway network - including the construction of a metro system for the capital Doha and surrounding areas - developing the city that will host the World Cup final, Lusail, and a new port construction project. Other non-energy growth drivers last year included financial services and the hotel and restaurant trade.