UK newspaper the Daily Mail recently ran an article entitled Size really DOESN’T matter: Tiny Qatar, Luxembourg and Singapore are the three richest countries in the world! and it’s true, in general the majority of Qataris enjoy a standard of living that would be reserved for the elite in the US and Western Europe.
Qatar is an oil and energy rich Middle-Eastern nation of just 2.1 million inhabitants only one quarter of which are actual Qatari citizens. In 2013 Qatar became the richest country in the world based on their GDP (Gross Domestic Product) which was $105,000 per person, twice that of the US and UK. 15% of Qataris are millionaires or richer. The capital city Doha is as breathtakingly opulent as its more well-known rival Dubai is in the UAE, and its popularity is already rivalling that of its more high-profile neighbor. Both Qatar and the UAE are the most Westernized and on the face of it most secular countries in the Middle East.
Qatar is so wealthy it campaigned for and won the right to stage the 2022 FIFA World Cup, even though it will cost them an estimated $200 billion to do so!
So, if life in Qatar is that good, what would you get the man or woman who has everything? Well, if they are Qatari citizens, you could start with a legal second passport to an EU nation!
Why Second Citizenship?
Like the UAE and Dubai, Qatar represents a country where foreign nationals can live and work with a level of freedom that is rare in the Middle East. Likewise, tourists also can enjoy fabulous holidays in palatial hotels, and even indulge in alcohol (in the right locations) without fear of punishment. However, foreign nationals and tourists are free to leave Qatar at any time, and if they are EU, US or Australian passports holders, travel to pretty much anywhere they want to go visa free.
That is not the case for Qataris; the passport of Qatar – like most such documents in the Middle East is severely limited in its power in that its holder has a restricted field of visa-free travel. A passport’s power is measured by the number of countries its owner can travel to without the need of a visa. Germans are privy to the most powerful passport on the planet, with access to 177 of the world’s 196 countries visa-free. UK passport holders are almost as fortunate, with access to 175 countries, one more than Americans, with 174.
All EU nations have passports whose power extends to visa-free access to some 160+ countries. Also scoring highly on the passport power rankings are Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea. The highest ranking passport in the Middle East is that of the UAE, with access to a respectable if unspectacular 122 countries. By comparison, the passport of Qatar has access to just 70 countries visa-free.
Citizenship by Investment
Of course, that freedom-of-movement oversight could be rectified by becoming a dual citizen and taking out ownership of an EU passport via Citizenship by Investment (CBI). This is the practice of making a financial investment into a country usually by purchasing real estate and in return receiving that country’s citizenship and passport. If that sounds too good to be true, it’s not: EU nations like Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary and Malta have CBI programs, while even Germany has their own investment for citizenship program.
Prices for such programs vary from as much as 2 million in the case of Austria, to just 75,000 for Hungarian citizenship and a passport. A Hungarian passport has access to 167 countries visa-free, and as an EU citizen you are free to live and work in any European Union nation indefinitely.
The Best Kept Secret In The Middle East
But dual citizenship is not allowed in Qatar we hear you cry.
We at 2ndPassports.com are now going to let you into a little secret. While the official stance in all Middle Eastern nations is that dual citizenship and ownership of a second passport is not strictly legal, the reality is that most high net-worth individuals in the Arab world either own a second passport, or employ people who do. Countries like Qatar and the UAE rely on doing business with the rest of the world to stay at the top of their game. A typical Qatari business person will log thousands of hours and millions of miles in air travel throughout their careers. Do you really think they will be queueing up for visas every time they need to fly to London or New York or Berlin or Paris?
Proof if Proof Were Needed
In July 2016 the Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr. Timothy Harris traveled to the Middle East and visited Qatar, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. In three keynote addresses, Prime Minister Harris extolled the virtues of second citizenship to his country. St Kitts and Nevis is one of the world’s primary banking and tax havens, and also the founding fathers of Citizenship by Investment, setting up the first ever program back in 1984. Prime Minister Harris later described the visit as a sterling success.
If dual citizenship in Qatar and Dubai was such a no-no, how could A) Dr. Harris have been allowed to make such blatant promotional visits, and B) left the Middle East clearly satisfied that even more wealthy Arabs would be seeking his nations citizenship? The answer is while the governments of Qatar and the UAE must still appear to toe the official no dual-citizenship line, unofficially, so long as you don’t do something stupid like denounce your country, if you are adding to their economy, they really don’t care.
If this article has sparked your interest in Citizenship by Investment and the ownership of an EU or even a Caribbean passport, why not take a look at the 2ndPassports.com homepage and see what programs are on offer and what they entail?
You will find full details of all of the very best CBI programs currently available in the world, including nations that you may not have realized had CBI programs like Germany, the UK and the USA. You will also find all of our contact details on our homepage. Feel free to email us or contact us by WhatsApp or Telegram for more information or a quote. If you prefer, you can phone or Skype us and speak directly to one of our expert representatives. All calls are fully encrypted.
REQUEST A FREE CONSULTATION
Fill out the form below to receive a free and confidential consultation.
This is a secure online application protected by SSL encryption