Qatar’s Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani with his Palestinian “friends.” (Photo credit: AP/Osama Faisal/Times of Israel)
The oil-rich Arab nation of Qatar has bought about 10 percent of International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG), becoming the biggest shareholder of the parent company of British Airways and Spain’s Iberia. Once a British protectorate, now the independent country with a population of only 1.8 million people has been throwing its money around Europe, investing in London-based Barclays Bank, Credit Suisse (one of the most profitable banks in the world), Harrods, Porsche, Volkswagen, the Paris Saint-Germain football team, and loads of London real estate like London Bridge Quarter which includes The Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe.
Those are some expensive investments and interesting to say the least, especially for a country with such a small population. Business Insider’s Harrison Jacobs writes of Qatar’s wealth in an article called, “How Qatar Got So Rich So Fast”:
The tiny peninsula has the highest per-capita GDP in the world at $98,800 — 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…