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Flag of Qatar
Map of Qatar
Introduction Qatar
Ruled by the al-Thani family since the mid-1800s, Qatar transformed itself from a poor British protectorate noted mainly for pearling into an independent state with significant oil and natural gas revenues. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Qatari economy was crippled by a continuous siphoning off of petroleum revenues by the amir, who had ruled the country since 1972. His son, the current Amir HAMAD bin Khalifa al-Thani, overthrew him in a bloodless coup in 1995. In 2001, Qatar resolved its longstanding border disputes with both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Oil and natural gas revenues enable Qatar to have one of the highest per capita incomes in the world.
Geography Qatar
Middle East, peninsula bordering the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates:
25 30 N, 51 15 E
Map references:
Middle East
total: 11,437 sq km
land: 11,437 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Connecticut
Land boundaries:
total: 60 km
border countries: Saudi Arabia 60 km
563 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: as determined by bilateral agreements or the median line
arid; mild, pleasant winters; very hot, humid summers
mostly flat and barren desert covered with loose sand and gravel
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: Qurayn Abu al Bawl 103 m
Natural resources:
petroleum, natural gas, fish
Land use:
arable land: 1.64%
permanent crops: 0.27%
other: 98.09% (2005)
Irrigated land:
130 sq km (2002)
Natural hazards:
haze, dust storms, sandstorms common
Environment - current issues:
limited natural fresh water resources are increasing dependence on large-scale desalination facilities
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
strategic location in central Persian Gulf near major petroleum deposits
People Qatar
885,359 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 23.4% (male 105,546/female 101,371)
15-64 years: 73% (male 446,779/female 199,133)
65 years and over: 3.7% (male 24,059/female 8,471) (2006 est.)
Median age:
total: 31.7 years
male: 37.1 years
female: 22.7 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
2.5% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
15.56 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
4.72 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
14.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 2.24 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 2.84 male(s)/female
total population: 1.87 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 18.04 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 21.27 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 14.63 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 73.9 years
male: 71.37 years
female: 76.57 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.81 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.09% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Qatari(s)
adjective: Qatari
Ethnic groups:
Arab 40%, Indian 18%, Pakistani 18%, Iranian 10%, other 14%
Muslim 95%
Arabic (official), English commonly used as a second language
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 89%
male: 89.1%
female: 88.6% (2004 est.)
Government Qatar
Country name:
conventional long form: State of Qatar
conventional short form: Qatar
local long form: Dawlat Qatar
local short form: Qatar
note: closest approximation of the native pronunciation falls between cutter and gutter, but not like guitar
Government type:
traditional emirate
name: Doha
geographic coordinates: 25 17 N, 51 32 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
10 municipalities (baladiyat, singular - baladiyah); Ad Dawhah, Al Ghuwayriyah, Al Jumayliyah, Al Khawr, Al Wakrah, Ar Rayyan, Jarayan al Batinah, Madinat ash Shamal, Umm Sa'id, Umm Salal
3 September 1971 (from UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 3 September (1971)
ratified by public referendum on 29 April 2003, endorsed by the amir on 8 June 2004, effective on 9 June 2005
Legal system:
discretionary system of law controlled by the amir, although civil codes are being implemented; Shari'a law dominates family and personal matters
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: Amir HAMAD bin Khalifa al-Thani (since 27 June 1995 when, as crown prince, he ousted his father, Amir KHALIFA bin Hamad al-Thani, in a bloodless coup); Crown Prince TAMIM bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, fourth son of the monarch (selected Heir Apparent by the monarch on 5 August 2003); note - Amir HAMAD also holds the positions of Minister of Defense and Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces
head of government: Prime Minister ABDALLAH bin Khalifa al-Thani, brother of the monarch (since 30 October 1996); First Deputy Prime Minister HAMAD bin Jasim bin Jabir al-Thani (since 16 September 2003, also Foreign Minister since 1992); Second Deputy Prime Minister Abdallah bin Hamad al-ATIYAH (since 16 September 2003, also Electricity and Water Minister since 1999 and Energy and Industry Minister since 1992)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary
note: in April 2003, Qatar held nationwide elections for a 29-member Central Municipal Council (CMC), which has consultative powers aimed at improving the provision of municipal services; the first election for the CMC was held in March 1999
Legislative branch:
unicameral Advisory Council or Majlis al-Shura (35 seats; members appointed)
note: no legislative elections have been held since 1970 when there were partial elections to the body; Council members have had their terms extended every four years since; the new constitution, which came into force on 9 June 2005, provides for a 45-member Consultative Council, or Majlis al-Shura; the public would elect two-thirds of the Majlis al-Shura; the amir would appoint the remaining members; preparations are underway to conduct elections to the Majlis al-Shura in early 2007
Judicial branch:
Court of Appeal
note: under a judiciary law issued in 2003, the former two court systems, civil and Islamic law, were merged under a higher court, the Court of Cassation, established for appeals
Political parties and leaders:
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Nasir bin Hamad bin Mubarak al-KHALIFA
chancery: 2555 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20037
telephone: [1] (202) 274-1600 and 274-1603
FAX: [1] (202) 237-0061
consulate(s) general: Houston
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Chase UNTERMEYER
embassy: Al-Luqta District, 22 February Road, Doha
mailing address: P. O. Box 2399, Doha
telephone: [974] 488 4101
FAX: [974] 488 4176
Flag description:
maroon with a broad white serrated band (nine white points) on the hoist side
Economy Qatar
Economy - overview:
Oil and gas account for more than 60% of GDP, roughly 85% of export earnings, and 70% of government revenues. Oil and gas have given Qatar a per capita GDP about 80% of that of the leading West European industrial countries. Sustained high oil prices and increased natural gas exports in recent years have helped build Qatar's budget and trade surpluses and foreign reserves. Proved oil reserves of more than 15 billion barrels should ensure continued output at current levels for 23 years. Qatar's proved reserves of natural gas exceed 25 trillion cubic meters, more than 5% of the world total and third largest in the world. Qatar has permitted substantial foreign investment in the development of its gas fields during the last decade and is expected to become the world's top liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter in 2007. Qatar is also trying to attract foreign investment in the development of its non-energy projects by further liberalizing the economy. Qatar has become one of the world's fastest growing and highest per-capita income countries.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$26.05 billion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$30.76 billion (2006 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
7.1% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$29,400 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 0.1%
industry: 77.2%
services: 22.6% (2006 est.)
Labor force:
508,000 (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate:
3.2% (2006 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
7.2% (2006 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
33.2% of GDP (2006 est.)
revenues: $22.51 billion
expenditures: $16.89 billion; including capital expenditures of $2.2 billion (2006 est.)
Public debt:
23.6% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products:
fruits, vegetables; poultry, dairy products, beef; fish
crude oil production and refining, ammonia, fertilizers, petrochemicals, steel reinforcing bars, cement, commercial ship repair
Industrial production growth rate:
10% (2003 est.)
Electricity - production:
12.4 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
11.53 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2004)
Oil - production:
790,500 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:
80,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
NA bbl/day
Oil - proved reserves:
15.2 billion bbl (2006 est.)
Natural gas - production:
39.17 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
15.11 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
24.06 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
25.77 trillion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)
Current account balance:
$12.51 billion (2006 est.)
$33.25 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities:
liquefied natural gas (LNG), petroleum products, fertilizers, steel
Exports - partners:
Japan 36.9%, South Korea 19.4%, Singapore 8.2% (2005)
$12.36 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and transport equipment, food, chemicals
Imports - partners:
France 11.4%, Japan 10.4%, US 10.3%, Germany 8.3%, Saudi Arabia 7.2%, UK 6.9%, Italy 6.4%, South Korea 5.5%, UAE 4.8% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$5.755 billion (2006 est.)
Debt - external:
$25.7 billion (2006 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Currency (code):
Qatari rial (QAR)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Qatari rials per US dollar - 3.64 (2006), 3.64 (2005), 3.64 (2004), 3.64 (2003), 3.64 (2002)
Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March
Communications Qatar
Telephones - main lines in use:
205,400 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
716,800 (2005)
Telephone system:
general assessment: modern system centered in Doha
domestic: NA
international: country code - 974; tropospheric scatter to Bahrain; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia and UAE; submarine cable to Bahrain and UAE; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) and 1 Arabsat
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 6, FM 5, shortwave 1 (1998)
256,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (plus three repeaters) (2001)
230,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
301 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)
Internet users:
219,000 (2005)
Transportation Qatar
5 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 3
over 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2006)
1 (2006)
condensate 319 km; condensate/gas 209 km; gas 1,024 km; liquid petroleum gas 87 km; oil 844 km (2006)
total: 1,230 km
paved: 1,107 km
unpaved: 123 km (1999)
Merchant marine:
total: 23 ships (1000 GRT or over) 750,669 GRT/1,177,673 DWT
by type: cargo 2, chemical tanker 3, container 8, liquefied gas 2, petroleum tanker 7, roll on/roll off 1
foreign-owned: 8 (Kuwait 7, US 1)
registered in other countries: 4 (Honduras 1, Liberia 2, Panama 1) (2006)
Ports and terminals:
Military Qatar
Military branches:
Qatari Amiri Land Force (QALF), Qatari Amiri Navy (QAN), Qatari Amiri Air Force (QAAF)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for voluntary military service; land forces enlisted personnel are largely unprofessional foreign nationals (2005)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 302,873
females age 18-49: 137,856 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 238,566
females age 18-49: 116,595 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males age 18-49: 7,851
females age 18-49: 7,040 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$723 million (FY00)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
10% (FY00)
Transnational Issues Qatar
Disputes - international:
Trafficking in persons:
current situation: Qatar is a destination country for men and women from South and Southeast Asia who migrate willingly, but are subsequently trafficked into involuntary servitude as domestic workers and laborers; the problem of trafficking of foreign children as camel jockeys was thoroughly addressed by government action in 2005, but independent confirmation of the problem's complete elimination is not yet available
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Qatar has made noticeable progress in rescuing and repatriating child camel jockeys, establishing a shelter for abused domestic workers, and creating hotlines to register complaints; however, Qatar is placed on the Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide sufficient evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons in 2005, particularly with regard to labor exploitation

This page was last updated on 18 January, 2007