Oil slump prompts Gulf states to take shine off cushy government jobs

Ahmed, a Qatari civil servant, used to arrive at his office at a government ministry in Doha late in the morning and leave for home after lunch, collecting a monthly salary of 40,000 rial ($11,000) and a generous housing and travel allowance. But last month a government official made a surprise spot check on the ministry’s offices and found dozens of employees absent. “Punctuality is a duty,” said a letter Ahmed received from the minister’s office. “Qatar expects the best of its citizens.” For a country whose tiny population is the world’s wealthiest per capita and which sits upon its largest natural gas reserves, increasing the productivity of its […]

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