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  Introduction Back To Top

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. As of 2007, oil and natural gas revenues had enabled Qatar to attain the highest per capita income in the world.

  Geography Back To Top

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 0.29 cu km/yr (24%/3%/72%)
per capita: 358 cu m/yr (2000)

Total renewable water resources:
0.1 cu km (1997)

Land boundaries:
total: 60 km
border countries: Saudi Arabia 60 km

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

arid; mild, pleasant winters; very hot, humid summers

Map references:
Middle East

Geographic coordinates:
25 30 N, 51 15 E

Natural resources:
petroleum, natural gas, fish

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: Qurayn Abu al Bawl 103 m

mostly flat and barren desert covered with loose sand and gravel

Geography - note:
strategic location in central Persian Gulf near major petroleum deposits

total: 11,437 sq km
land: 11,437 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Middle East, peninsula bordering the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia

563 km

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Connecticut

Irrigated land:
130 sq km (2002)

Environment - current issues:
limited natural fresh water resources are increasing dependence on large-scale desalination facilities

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: as determined by bilateral agreements or the median line

Natural hazards:
haze, dust storms, sandstorms common

Land use:
arable land: 1.64%
permanent crops: 0.27%
other: 98.09% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
2.47 children born/woman (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 2.47 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.4 male(s)/female
total population: 2.01 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.09% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.19 years
male: 73.5 years
female: 76.98 years (2008 est.)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 89%
male: 89.1%
female: 88.6% (2004 census)

Net migration rate:
-2.28 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Ethnic groups:
Arab 40%, Indian 18%, Pakistani 18%, Iranian 10%, other 14%

Median age:
total: 30.7 years
male: 32.8 years
female: 25.4 years (2008 est.)

824,789 (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:
3.3% of GDP (2005)

Population growth rate:
1.093% (2008 est.)

Arabic (official), English commonly used as a second language

Death rate:
2.47 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 13.09 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 13.99 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 12.13 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 14 years (2006)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 21.8% (male 92,896/female 87,201)
15-64 years: 76.8% (male 451,127/female 182,330)
65 years and over: 1.4% (male 6,545/female 4,690) (2008 est.)

Birth rate:
15.69 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Muslim 77.5%, Christian 8.5%, other 14% (2004 census)

noun: Qatari(s)
adjective: Qatari

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Joseph E. LEBARON
embassy: Al-Luqta District, 22 February Road, Doha
mailing address: P. O. Box 2399, Doha
telephone: [974] 488 4161
FAX: [974] 488 4150

National holiday:
Independence Day, 3 September (1971); also observed is National Day, 18 December

18 years of age; universal

Government type:

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Ali Fahad al-Shahwany al-HAJRI
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

International organization participation:

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 year since the new constitution came into force on 9 June 2005; the constitution provides for a new 45-member Advisory 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

Legal system:
based on Islamic and civil law codes; discretionary system of law controlled by the Amir, although civil codes are being implemented; Islamic law dominates family and personal matters; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Flag description:
maroon with a broad white serrated band (nine white points) on the hoist side

3 September 1971 (from UK)

Country name (Goverment):
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

Political parties and leaders:

name: Doha
geographic coordinates: 25 17 N, 51 32 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

ratified by public referendum on 29 April 2003, endorsed by the Amir on 8 June 2004, effective on 9 June 2005

Executive branch:
chief of state: Amir HAMAD bin Khalifa al-Thani (since 27 June 1995 when, as heir apparent, he ousted his father, Amir KHALIFA bin Hamad al-Thani, in a bloodless coup); Heir Apparent 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 HAMAD bin Jasim bin Jabir al-Thani (since 3 April 2007); Deputy Prime Minister Abdallah bin Hamad al-ATIYAH (since 3 April 2007)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch
elections: the monarch is hereditary
note: in April 2007, Qatar held nationwide elections for a 29-member Central Municipal Council (CMC), which has limited consultative powers aimed at improving the provision of municipal services; the first election for the CMC was held in March 1999

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

Judicial branch:
Courts of First Instance, Appeal, and Cassation; an Administrative Court and a Constitutional Court were established in 2007; note - all judges are appointed by Amiri Decree based on the recommendation of the Supreme Judiciary Council for renewable three-year terms

  Economy Back To Top

Exports - partners:
Japan 39.9%, South Korea 19.9%, Singapore 9.9%, India 5.1%, Thailand 4.9%, UAE 4% (2007)

Electricity - consumption:
13.19 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Current account balance:
$22.71 billion (2008 est.)

Debt - external:
$48.91 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Unemployment rate:
0.6% (2008 est.)

Oil - exports:
1.026 million bbl/day (2005)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$101,000 (2008 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):
41.4% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$30.52 billion (31 December 2007)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$83.29 billion (2008 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$116.9 billion (2008 est.)

Exchange rates:
Qatari rials (QAR) per US dollar - 3.64 (2008 est.), 3.64 (2007), 3.64 (2006), 3.64 (2005), 3.64 (2004)

GDP - real growth rate:
11.8% (2008 est.)

Stock of money:
$9.718 billion (31 December 2007)

Labor force:
1.124 million (2008 est.)

Imports - partners:
US 13.3%, Italy 10.8%, Japan 8.9%, France 7.9%, Germany 7.3%, UK 5.7%, South Korea 5.6%, UAE 5.1%, Saudi Arabia 4.3% (2007)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
15.2% (2008 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 0.1%
industry: 79.4%
services: 20.5% (2008 est.)

Oil - imports:
0 bbl/day (2005)

$62.44 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:
20.5 billion cu m (2007 est.)

Currency (code):
Qatari rial (QAR)

Economy - overview:
Qatar has experienced rapid economic growth over the last several years on the back of high oil prices, and in 2008 posted its eighth consecutive budget surplus. Economic policy is focused on developing Qatar's nonassociated natural gas reserves and increasing private and foreign investment in non-energy sectors, but oil and gas still account for more than 50% of GDP, roughly 85% of export earnings, and 70% of government revenues. Oil and gas have made Qatar the highest per-capita income country and one of the world's fastest growing. Proved oil reserves of 15 billion barrels should enable continued output at current levels for 37 years. Qatar's proved reserves of natural gas are nearly 26 trillion cubic meters, about 14% of the world total and third largest in the world. The drop in oil prices in late 2008 and the global financial crisis will reduce Qatar's budget surplus and may slow the pace of investment and development projects in 2009.

Natural gas - exports:
39.3 billion cu m (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities:
machinery and transport equipment, food, chemicals

crude oil production and refining, ammonia, fertilizers, petrochemicals, steel reinforcing bars, cement, commercial ship repair

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line:

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
7.43% (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$22.6 billion (31 December 2007)

Electricity - production:
14.41 billion kWh (2006 est.)

$24.96 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:
15.21 billion bbl (1 January 2008 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
25.63 trillion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$16.81 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Oil - consumption:
108,900 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$9.143 billion (2008 est.)

Public debt:
6% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$3.627 billion (2008 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$95.49 billion (31 December 2007)

Currency code:

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Exports - commodities:
liquefied natural gas (LNG), petroleum products, fertilizers, steel

Economic aid - recipient:
$2.18 million (2004)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
59.8 billion cu m (2007 est.)

revenues: $40.36 billion
expenditures: $28.08 billion (2008 est.)

Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March

Oil - production:
1.125 million bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
351,000 (2007)

Telephones - main lines in use:
237,400 (2007)

230,000 (1997)

Internet country code:

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 6, FM 5, shortwave 1 (1998)

256,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
1.264 million (2007)

Television broadcast stations:
1 (plus 3 repeaters) (2001)

Telephone system:
general assessment: modern system centered in Doha
domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular telephone density is roughly 165 telephones per 100 persons
international: country code - 974; landing point for the Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) submarine cable network that provides links to Asia, Middle East, Europe, and the US; tropospheric scatter to Bahrain; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia and the UAE; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) and 1 Arabsat

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)

Internet hosts:
563 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

condensate 322 km; condensate/gas 209 km; gas 1,970 km; liquid petroleum gas 87 km; oil 741 km (2007)

Ports and terminals:
Doha, Ra's Laffan

1 (2007)

Merchant marine:
total: 22
by type: bulk carrier 2, cargo 2, chemical tanker 2, container 8, liquefied gas 4, petroleum tanker 4
foreign-owned: 7 (Kuwait 7)
registered in other countries: 5 (Liberia 4, Panama 1) (2008)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 3
over 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2007)

total: 7,790 km (2006)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2007)

5 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2008)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 320,383
females age 16-49: 167,475 (2008 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 258,159
females age 16-49: 143,999 (2008 est.)

Military branches:
Qatari Amiri Land Force (QALF), Qatari Amiri Navy (QAN), Qatari Amiri Air Force (QAAF) (2007)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 6,224
female: 4,845 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures:
10% of GDP (2005 est.)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

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, and, to a lesser extent, commercial sexual exploitation; the most common offense was forcing workers to accept worse contract terms than those under which they were recruited; other conditions include bonded labor, withholding of pay, restrictions on movement, arbitrary detention, and physical, mental, and sexual abuse
tier rating: Tier 3 - Qatar failed, for the second consecutive year, to enforce criminal laws against traffickers, or to provide an effective mechanism to identify and protect victims; it continues to detain and deport victims rather than providing them protection; the government made little progress to increase prosecutions for trafficking in a meaningful way in 2007; workers complaining of working conditions or non-payment of wages were sometimes penalized (2008)

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