This paper presents an overview of Qatari citizens’ attitudes toward expatriate and labor migrant workers in Qatar. It is based on the first ‘scientific’ survey of Qatari citizens and residents (expatriates and labor migrants) conducted by the Qatar University Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI) in May/June 2010. The main objectives of this paper were threefold: first, to assess Qatari attitudes towards the presence of these expatriate and labor migrant workers in Qatar. Do Qatari citizens support or oppose the restrictions on the number of foreign workers in the country? How do they evaluate the number of expatriate and labor migrant workers present in the country? Second, to evaluate whether these attitudes translate into negative or positive attitudes toward migrant workers and their contribution to Qatar? Do Qatari citizens think that expatriate and labor migrant workers strengthen their country and help to build its economy, or do they think they weaken the country and put a strain on its resources? Finally, the paper will present and analyze Qatari citizens’ attitudes toward the sponsorship system or Kafala. Do Qatari citizens support the change of the sponsorship system to make the migrant workers more dependent on their employees, less dependent on their employees, or do they want to maintain the status quo. The paper makes use of univariate, bivariate and multivariate analyses and differences will be determined using chi-squared and t-tests. The mean number of responses to certain questions will be compared across the demographic groups to highlight subgroup differences.


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  1. A. Diop, K. Le, D. Alemadi, Attitudes toward expatriate and labor migrant workersin the Arab Gulf countries: mixed results from Qatar, QFARF Proceedings, 2010, AHO6.
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