Difference Between Dubai and Qatar

The Gulf region contributes to a major part of the world’s economy and GDP. The Gulf region comprises 7 Arab countries, which are Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

All these countries have oil as their major resource and are highly developed because of foreign investment and infrastructure. Here’s everything you need to know about the difference between Dubai and Qatar.

Dubai vs Qatar

The main difference between Dubai and Qatar is that Dubai is a city and one of the seven Emirates of the United Arab Emirates, whereas Qatar is an independent and sovereign country situated in the Gulf region. Both Qatar and Dubai have an abundance of oil and natural gas as their natural resources.

Dubai vs Qatar

Dubai is one of the most advanced and developed cities in the world. It is located in the Eastern part of the Persian Gulf. It is home to around 3.5 million people, which has a high percentage of immigrants.

It also has large reserves of natural gas and petroleum, but the city’s economy runs on tourism, businesses, and marvelous infrastructure.

Qatar is a peninsula on the western coast of the Persian Gulf. As most of the country is occupied by deserts and has a hot climate throughout, the population is relatively low and unevenly distributed.

Qatar is connected to its historical roots and heritage. Industrialization and development are taking place at a fast pace.

Comparison Table Between Dubai and Qatar

Parameters of ComparisonDubaiQatar
GeographyIt is one of the seven emirates of the UAE with a population of about 3.38 million. It is a country in the Gulf region, with a population of about 2.9 million.
CurrencyThe official currency of Dubai is Emirati Dinar, also known as AED. The official currency of Qatar is Riyal, also known as QR.
Ruling DynastiesIt is ruled by the Maktoum dynasty and its Prime Minister is Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al MaktoumIt is ruled by the Thani dynasty and its President or emir is Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Economic ActivitiesThe major economic activities of Dubai are tourism, real estate ventures, construction, petroleum, natural gas, etc.Oil and natural gas are the main resources of the country and the economy is hugely dependent on them.
Important Tourist AttractionsThe important tourist attractions of Dubai are Burj Khalifa, Palm Jumeirah, skydiving, deep-sea diving, Burj Al Arab, etc.The important tourist attractions of Qatar are Souq Waqif, Al Zubarah Fort, Doha’s Corniche, etc.

What is Dubai?

Dubai is one of the most expensive and luxurious cities in the world, which has a westernized outlook and approach towards development. It is highly advanced in technology, and the city is flooded with gigantic skyscrapers.

From beaches and tourist attractions to modern architecture and business hubs, the city has everything to offer. Initially, Dubai’s main economic activity used to be fishing and pearl diving.

The Maktoum dynasty has been ruling over Dubai, which was inspired by the western institutional development and had envisioned developing Dubai on the same level.

The rulers always welcomed industries and business houses from all over the world to set up their ventures in Dubai. Oil was discovered in the city in 1966 and was free from British protection in 1971.

The Sheikhs of Dubai always maintained cordial relations with the West and had plans to diversify the city’s economy, such as trade, foreign investment, real estate, tourism, etc.

The liberal economy and a relatively tax-free environment attracted a lot of skilled professionals and unskilled labor from all over the world.

The main attractions for tourists include magnificent nightlife, exquisite shopping malls, beaches, diving points, and multicultural cuisine. Burj Khalifa, which is the tallest building in the world, is also in Dubai.

What is Qatar?

This desert peninsula is surrounded by the Persian Gulf on its eastern boundary while sharing most of its western boundary with Saudi Arabia.

The country has a high annual temperature, saline soil, few freshwater sources, and an abundance of desert areas, which affects its wildlife and natural vegetation.

The country has been historically under foreign subjugation at different points in time. The Thani dynasty has been in power for a long period of time, and Britain handled Qatar’s foreign policy till its independence in 1971.

Islam is the state religion of the country but is not practiced very orthodontically, and there is great religious and cultural tolerance.

Doha, its capital, has been going through rapid development in recent years and has a high population density. Since the discovery of oil and natural gas in 1949, it has been the major source of the country’s economy.

The extraction is done both by the state-owned and national and international privately-owned industries, which provides employment to a large population.

The country has a strong economic and social infrastructure, currency, and employment opportunities, which encourage migration from all over the world for a better life.

Education and health care are free for all its citizens, and there is no tax on income, which makes the country a lucrative haven.

Main Differences Between Dubai and Qatar

  1. Dubai is a modern city, which is one of the seven Emirates of the UAE located on the coast of the Persian Gulf. Qatar is a sovereign independent country located on the western bank of the Persian Gulf.
  2. Dubai’s currency is called Emirati Dinar and is abbreviated as AED. Qatar’s currency is called Riyal and is abbreviated as QR.
  3. Dubai is very liberal in many senses, such as economy, religion, politics, society, etc. Qatar is developing rapidly but still not modernizing on the cost of forsaking Islam as a society.
  4. Dubai’s economy is very diversified and depends on tourism, real estate, trade, etc., other than petroleum and natural gas. Qatar’s economy hugely depends on oil and natural gas but is slowly trying to reduce this dependency.
  5. Dubai is developed on the model of western developed nations where the tall skyscrapers and other architectures are its key features. Qatar is also getting modernized but is still maintaining its old traditionalistic model.
Difference Between Dubai and Qatar


In conclusion, we can say that both Dubai and Qatar have many differences and similarities. Both of them are two of the fastest-growing economies of the Gulf region as well as the world.

Dubai has been rushing towards more and more development at a very fast pace which has not always been beneficial. Qatar is trying to learn from these mistakes while they are on their path of development.

Both these countries have strong ties with the western countries such as the United States, England, France, etc., which not only have set up their businesses and industries in Dubai and Qatar but also help them militarily and diplomatically.


  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13683500.2012.754411
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Eddy-Tukamushaba/publication/302536289_Qatar_tourism/links/577398ef08ae1b18a7de001c/Qatar-tourism.pdf
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