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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Qatar: the new Venice?

Gondolas line up in Venice at sunset
The Independent today has published an article today questioning whether Qatar is becoming the new Venice. The article is not referring to the new developments taking place in West Bay - which the Pearl will be disappointed about - or even the canal and gondolas in Villagio shopping mall. Instead it is comparing Qatar's growing economic muscle with the former trading ability of Venice, which despite its small size was able to dominate shipping; at the zenith of its power the city state had 36,000 sailors operating 3000 trading ships.

According to The Independent Qatar's domination will be over finance rather than the seas. In addition to the huge revenue Qatar is generating and investing as a result of its financial activities, it is also seeking to become a source of finance for other Middle East countries looking to raise finance. To do so, it has brought in the NYSE as a 25% partner - more for its skills, resources and connections than for the $250 million the American stock exchange paid for the privilige: a drop in the oil well for rich Qatar.

Read the full article on the Independent:

Margareta Pagano: Qatar is the new Venice and London has missed the boat

Gondolas glide along a canal - not in Venice, but in Qatar's Villagio!

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