Since the mid-1800s, Qatar has grown from a relatively poor British protectorate known for pearling into one of the world's most important oil and natural gas producing countries. Revenues generated from the country’s oil and gas reserves have helped build a solid foundation for economic growth. In addition, free-market policies and low taxes are attracting investors and workers from around the world. The country welcomes foreign labor and views its expatriate workforce as an important economic and cultural asset.
Transitioning Qatar into a knowledge-based economy is an important national priority. Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, wife of H.H. the Emir and internationally recognized for her participation in many United Nations humanitarian initiatives, is Qatar's foremost advocate in education and social reforms. She currently serves as Chair of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development and is the driving force behind many of its initiatives, including Education City and the Al Jazeera Children's Channel. Investments in technology, education and sports are helping to diversify the economy and make Qatar a better place to do business.