Lots of countries have fossil fuels, but few have done as well as Qatar to take advantage of them.
While Venezuela, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, and others have fallen victim to the resource curse, when an abundance of resources leads to economic distortions and limited growth, Qatar has done much to reinvest energy money and diversify its economy.
Support from the U.S. as well as decades of proven reserves have also fostered stability.
The tiny peninsula has the highest per-capita GDP in the world at $US98,800 — and even that number may vastly understate the actual wealth of Qatar’s 280,000 citizens. Qatar has enough money to build a huge metropolis in the desert and to win the right to host the 2022 World Cup, allegedly through millions of dollars in bribes.
We’ve gathered photos to tell the incredible story of Qatar.
In 1945, American GIs try their hand at diving for pearls with professional pearl divers in Bahrain, one of Qatar's neighbours.
Doha's commercial district in 1968.
An aerial view of Doha, Qatar in the 1940s.
A Qatari tanker in 1971 offloading oil offshore.
The mouth of the Suez Canal in 1951.
This is the Amiri Diwan or presidential palace in 1971. The grounds are not even complete yet.
A Qatari Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) tanker ship is loaded up with LNG at Raslaffans Sea Port, northern Qatar.
This is the Amiri Diwan or presidential palace.
Source: SWF Institute
This Qatari tanker is the largest in the world.
A bathroom at a migrant camp outside Doha.
Ex-FIFA VP Mohamed Bin Hammam, often referred to as the Qatari Machiavelli, is said to have spent millions on bribes and gifts to secure Qatar's bid.
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