Qatarisation : challenging or impossible ?

Qatarisation 615 years of Qatarisation : Qatar’s first-ever Strategic Plan was decided upon in 2000.

It first established a quota requiring 50% participation of nationals in the energy, oil, and gas sector.

Efforts to promote Qatarisation across all sectors of industry, trade and business with at least 20% of Qatari national participation in all private and semi-private employment were required.

As expected in support of the country’s rapid growth and economic development, Qataris currently representing less than 10% of the total population needed to import large numbers of foreign labour mainly from southeast Asia for the country’s blue-collar workforce .  Other communities of European and Arab nationals occupy the lower to middle ranks of managements.

Qatarisation policies as envisaged by Qatar’s leadership seeking to reduce the Qatar’s dependency on foreign workers of both categories described above and in so doing allow more nationals to benefit from economic growth in the country.   As a matter of fact and considering the reluctance of the average Qatari for any private sector’s employment, the government of Qatar has set the employment and development of Qatari talent in the private sector as a top priority for the country.

A qualitative assessment of the experience shows that while employment trends among Qataris are improving, the long-term feasibility of achieving such high levels of quality participation in the private sector could be challenging.

A study by Oxford Strategic Consulting on Qatarisation revealed a huge gap in perceptions of the national workforce between employers and future employees.

It presented a fairly comprehensive view of the Qatarization, its qualitative impact based on employer experience as well as possible policy responses to increase Qatar’s competitiveness in the global labour market.

It covered all aspects of the employment generally but with a particular emphasis of development of Qatari talent.

For instance, asked about what factors motivate Qatari nationals the most, employers said it was :

  1. Money for 75% of respondents,
  2. Easy life for 57% and
  3. Pride for 47%,

Qatari youth named as most important motivators the following

  1. Challenge for 48%,
  2. Contributing to Society for 46% and
  3. Development and influence within Qatari society for 38%.

There were also some differences regarding the appeal of organizations and the workplace.  46% of youth said they were most looking forward to work/life balance when entering the workforce, and employers saw it as the most important thing Qataris are looking for 90%, followed by salary and allowances.

The report also proposes a number of actions employers should undertake to attract top national talent.  Among them are the following recommendations:

  • Employers should enter the educational system in Qatar and promote the private sector
  • Educational campaigns should position private sector careers as exciting; and as important for the country
  • Positive contribution to the modern history of the nation
  • Employers must be more visible in the media with regular, good news stories
  • Early contact whilst in education and offer of mentoring opportunities, internships, graduate schemes and academic scholarships

This research study has identified key recommendations to maximize the employment of Qatari nationals in the private sector insisting that all actions that employers should take, should be without depending on or waiting for government or educational initiatives.  For that the consultant will be developing a set of tools and guides for all the recommendation areas as well as an accompanying set of webinars available for any Qatar based employer.

Further reading of the original report is at :