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There is no doubt that sports never fail to bring the world together. It provides a platform for national unity and city pride. Hosting international sports events such as the Olympics, Fifa World Cup, or the Super Bowl is the reason for a significant amount of economic development in countries. However, these economic developments can be beneficial but also very costly for host countries. 

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Business dislikes uncertainty, and there’s plenty of it now in the Gulf of Arabia region.  In case you missed it, a coalition of Gulf states led by Saudi Arabia are making life difficult for Qatar because of its alleged support of terrorist groups.  Qatar has hotly denied the charges, accusing coalition members of ganging up and attempting a takeover of the tiny sheikdom, which currently hosts 10,000 U.S. troops who are fighting the terrorists Qatar is accused of harboring and funding. 

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On June 5, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, the Maldives, and Libya all cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, citing the country's alleged financial ties to extremist groups. Although Qatar has denied the allegations, more countries are following suit—Senegal and Mauritania likewise broke ties on June 7, and the Philippines, which has been dealing with extremist militants in Marawi City, has temporarily forbidden workers from travelling to Qatar. The immediate economic shockwaves following the announcement have been immense—Qatar's stock market has plunged by 7.27%, costs of food have shot up, oil prices have dropped, the riyal currency has sharply depreciated, transport from and in to the country has been disrupted, and entire trade and import routes have been eliminated altogether. Although Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world, it will have to make monumental adjustments to its economic structure to adjust to these rifts. 

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As Brazil is busy finishing the last construction for the 2014 World Cup, Qatar, the host of the 2022 World Cup, has started its infrastructure improvement plan to welcome its guests from all over the world. This preparation has really brought Qatar into the eyes of investors with high expectations for economic gains. Qatar is not alone, as we see millions of “host money” from foreign investors has pushed the UAE’s stock market also to a new high. This blog will give you the overviews of Qatar’s and the UAE’s economy in the recent years and will explain the reason why Qatar and the UAE have experienced growth in foreign investment.

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Qatar has said it is looking at spending $100 billion as it is currently trying to revamp its infrastructure in preparation for the 2022 World Cup.  In response to the government of Qatar’s request, the United States government is sponsoring a trade mission to Qatar in June this year.  The country has been growing rapidly and is looking to build multiple new stadiums to host the event.  The growth potential in this country and for this trip is phenomenal.

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Lately, Qatar has been working hard to become a distinct country with a refreshed vision. As a matter of fact, its leadership has begun implementing a plan which will help the country arrive at significant goals and transform by the year 2030. In a conversation between Doug Barry, a U.S.-based International Trade Specialist at the Commercial Service and Dao Le, a Qatar-based U.S. diplomat, some of the opportunities for United States Businesses were outlined.

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If the norm at the moment is that countries don’t want to invest in other countries due to the economic downturn and volatile markets, then the exceptions are Qatar and Germany. Currently, the country of Qatar is looking to invest heavily into the exporting powerhouse, and they have the money to do it. As of 2007, Qatar has attained the highest per capita income in the world, primarily through the means of oil and natural gas revenues. So what interests Qatar so much about Germany?

Surprisingly enough, Qatar has its sights set on Germany’s auto industry. The oil giant is primarily concerned with the German brands Volkswagen and Porsche, brands which are very numerous and very popular in the Arab world, especially in the country looking to invest, which had an $80,900 GDP per capita in 2007.

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I am a huge fan of pretty much everything that Monocle publishes. They are always on the cutting edge, whether the topic is public affairs, business, or even culture and design. Recently they partnered with UK Trade & Investment to produce a series of videos on the business climate in different sectors and countries around the world. So far the topics have been: Doha, Boston, UK Creative Sector, UK Motorsport, London, São Paulo, Guangzhou, and Sofia.