The increase in Qatar's population, over the last decades, has not been caused primarily by a natural growth of indigenous population, but by the influx of migrant workers (MW). During past last four decades, Qatar population multiplied 15 times from 111,000 to 1,624,761 in July 2011 (Permanent Population Committee, 2011). The total number of MW in Qatar increased during the period 2004-2014 from 400,000 to 1,400,000, with annual growth rate of 14.7 percentage, 70 percentage are semi/unskilled workers in the private sector (4th Qatar Human Development Report, 2015: 48). Overtime, the MW has become one of the most dynamic economic factors in Qatar. More recently, the employment of large numbers of MW has been a structural imperative in Qatar, as the oil and gas-related projects, construction development, Education City, specific projects as the Pearl, Lusial, Qatar Rail, and Qatar 2022 depends on the importation of foreign technologies and require knowledge and skills. Such uncontrolled growth resulted in population imbalances in terms of nationality for the sake of non-Qataris and gender for the sake of male population imbalances, as well as labor market segmentation, mainly government/public and private, and skilled and un-semi-skilled market, where the former is dominated by the Qataris while the latter is dominated by the MS. Over the last two decades, Qatar has revised its policies related to migration in order to monitor and supervise the influx of MW. In turn, this led to the establishment of some local institutions, membership of some international institutions, and issuing some rules and regulations that conform to international standards. This paper discuss those policies, with special focus on sponsorship system, kafala, and to what extent it supported Qatar»s need of Highly-Skilled Migrants (HSM) in driving its economy.


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