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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. He was overthrown by his son, the current Amir HAMAD bin Khalifa Al Thani, 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 a per capita income not far below the leading industrial countries of Western Europe.
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
water: 0 sq km
land: 11,437 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Connecticut
Land boundaries:
total: 60 km
border countries: Saudi Arabia 60 km
563 km
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 NM
exclusive economic zone: as determined by bilateral agreements or the median line
territorial sea: 12 NM
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: 1.27%
permanent crops: 0.27%
other: 98.46% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
130 sq km (1998 est.)
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, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - note:
strategic location in central Persian Gulf near major petroleum deposits
People Qatar
817,052 (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 24.7% (male 102,938; female 98,934)
15-64 years: 72.4% (male 415,302; female 176,183)
65 years and over: 2.9% (male 17,199; female 6,496) (2003 est.)
Median age:
total: 31.2 years
male: 36.4 years
female: 21.6 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
2.87% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
15.68 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
4.43 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
17.48 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 2.36 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 2.65 male(s)/female
total population: 1.9 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 20.03 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 16.28 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 23.59 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 73.14 years
male: 70.65 years
female: 75.76 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
3.02 children born/woman (2003 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%, Pakistani 18%, Indian 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: 82.5%
male: 81.4%
female: 85% (2003 est.)
Government Qatar
Country name:
conventional long form: State of Qatar
conventional short form: Qatar
local short form: Qatar
note: closest approximation of the native pronunciation falls between cutter and gutter, but not like guitar
local long form: Dawlat Qatar
Government type:
traditional monarchy
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)
provisional constitution enacted 19 April 1972; in July 1999 Amir HAMAD issued a decree forming a committee to draft a permanent constitution; in the 29 April 2003 referendum, 96.6% of Qatari voters approved the new constitution
Legal system:
discretionary system of law controlled by the amir, although civil codes are being implemented; Islamic 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 JASIM bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, third son of the monarch (selected crown prince by the monarch 22 October 1996); 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); Deputy Prime Minister MUHAMMAD bin Khalifa Al Thani, brother of the monarch (since 20 January 1998)
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 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
Judicial branch:
Court of Appeal
Political parties and leaders:
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Badr Umar al-DAFA
telephone: [1] (202) 274-1600
consulate(s) general: Houston
FAX: [1] (202) 237-0061
chancery: 4200 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Maureen E. QUINN
embassy: Al-Luqtas District, 22 February Road, Doha
mailing address: P. O. Box 2399, Doha
telephone: [974] 488 4101
FAX: [974] 488 4298
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 55% of GDP, roughly 85% of export earnings, and 70% of government revenues. Oil and gas have given Qatar a per capita GDP comparable to that of the leading West European industrial countries. Proved oil reserves of 14.5 billion barrels should ensure continued output at current levels for 23 years. Production and export of natural gas are becoming increasingly important to the economy. Qatar's proved reserves of natural gas exceed 17.9 trillion cubic meters, more than 5% of the world total and third largest in the world. Long-term goals feature the development of offshore natural gas reserves. Since 2000, Qatar has consistently posted trade surpluses largely because of high oil prices and increased natural gas exports, and Qatar's economy is expected to receive an added boost as it begins to increase liquid natural gas exports.
purchasing power parity - $15.91 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
4.6% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $20,100 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 0.4%
industry: 67.6%
services: 32% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.9% (2002)
Labor force:
280,122 (1997 est.)
Unemployment rate:
2.7% (2001)
revenues: $5 billion
expenditures: $5.5 billion, including capital expenditures of $2.2 billion (FY 02/03 est.)
crude oil production and refining, fertilizers, petrochemicals, steel reinforcing bars, cement
Industrial production growth rate:
Electricity - production:
9.264 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
8.616 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
864,200 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
29,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
14.51 billion bbl (37257)
Natural gas - production:
32.4 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
15.86 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
16.54 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
17.93 trillion cu m (37257)
Agriculture - products:
fruits, vegetables; poultry, dairy products, beef; fish
$10.9 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
petroleum products, fertilizers, steel
Exports - partners:
Japan 40.1%, South Korea 16.6%, Singapore 8.2%, US 4.1% (2002)
$3.9 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and transport equipment, food, chemicals
Imports - partners:
France 17.8%, Japan 10.1%, US 8.5%, UK 8.3%, Germany 8%, Italy 6.7%, UAE 5.1%, Saudi Arabia 4.1%, South Korea 4% (2002)
Debt - external:
$15.4 billion (2002 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Qatari rial (QAR)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Qatari rials per US dollar - 3.64 (2002), 3.64 (2001), 3.64 (2000), 3.64 (1999), 3.64 (1998)
Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March
Communications Qatar
Telephones - main lines in use:
142,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
43,476 (1997)
Telephone system:
general assessment: modern system centered in Doha
domestic: NA
international: 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 Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)
Internet users:
75,000 (2001)
Transportation Qatar
0 km
total: 1,230 km
paved: 1,107 km
unpaved: 123 km (1999 est.)
condensate 90 km; condensate/gas 209 km; gas 902 km; liquid petroleum gas 87 km; oil 722 km; oil/gas/water 41 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Doha, Halul Island, Umm Sa'id (Musay'id)
Merchant marine:
total: 23 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 638,815 GRT/995,096 DWT
ships by type: cargo 6, chemical tanker 2, combination ore/oil 2, container 7, petroleum tanker 5, roll on/roll off 1
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Kuwait 1, UAE 3 (2002 est.)
4 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 2
over 3,047 m: 2 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 2
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
914 to 1,523 m: 1
1 (2002)
Military Qatar
Military branches:
Army, Navy, Air Force
Military manpower - military age:
18 years of age (2003 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 320,835
note: includes non-nationals (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 168,416 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 7,192 (2003 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$723 million (FY00)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
10% (FY00)
Transnational Issues Qatar
Disputes - international:

This page was last updated on 18 December, 2003