Even Qatar's wealthiest are feeling the 'social curse' of living way beyond their means

Generous government salaries and free healthcare, funded by vast natural gas reserves in a country with only about 300,000 citizens, do not always translate into healthy bank balances for ordinary Qataris. Instead, they can come under intense social pressure to live way beyond their means, spending lavishly on everything from the latest smart phones and designer fashions to family weddings. Now their problems are deepening as diving global energy prices mean even the Qatari welfare state is becoming less generous. Many are borrowing enormous sums from local banks to finance lifestyles they cannot afford, according to a study by Qatar University.