Introduction

Middle East :: Qatar

Background:
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 the father 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. Qatar has not experienced the level of unrest or violence seen in other Near Eastern and North African countries in 2010-11, due in part to its immense wealth. Qatar's international image is bolstered in part by the Doha-based Al Jazeera news network, which has provided comprehensive coverage of the Near East and North African Arab revolutions. Additionally, Qatar played a significant role in the Libyan revolution by pressing the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab League to assist the Libyan rebel movement.

Geography

Location:
Middle East, peninsula bordering the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia

Geographic coordinates:
25 30 N, 51 15 E

Map references:
Middle East

Area:
Total: 11,586 sq km
Country comparison to the world: 166
Land: 11,586 sq km
Water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Connecticut

Land boundaries:
Total: 60 km
Border countries: Saudi Arabia 60 km

Coastline:
563 km

Maritime claims:
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Exclusive economic zone: as determined by bilateral agreements or the median line

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

Terrain:
mostly flat and barren desert covered with loose sand and gravel

Elevation extremes:
Lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
Highest point: Tuwayyir al Hamir 103 m

Natural resources:
petroleum, natural gas, fish

Land use:
Arable land: 1.21%
Permanent crops: 0.17%
Other: 98.62% (2011)

Irrigated land:
129.4 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:
0.06 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Total: 0.44 cu km/yr (39%/2%/59%)
Per capita: 376.9 cu m/yr (2005)

Natural hazards:
haze, dust storms, sandstorms common

Environment - current issues:
limited natural freshwater 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, Ship Pollution
Signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

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

People and Society

Nationality:
Noun: Qatari(s)
Adjective: Qatari

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

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

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

Population:
2,042,444 (July 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 146

Age structure:
0-14 years: 12.5% (male 129,465/female 125,623)
15-24 years: 13.9% (male 208,625/female 74,881)
25-54 years: 69.5% (male 1,170,547/female 248,369)
55-64 years: 3.3% (male 52,799/female 15,411)
65 years and over: 0.8% (male 10,214/female 6,510) (2013 est.)

Dependency ratios:
Total dependency ratio: 17.2 %
Youth dependency ratio: 16 %
Elderly dependency ratio: 1.2 %
Potential support ratio: 83.9 (2013)

Median age:
Total: 32.4 years
Male: 33.4 years
Female: 28 years (2013 est.)

Population growth rate:
4.19% (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 4

Birth rate:
10.08 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 194

Death rate:
1.54 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 225

Net migration rate:
33.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 2

Urbanization:
Urban population: 98.8% of total population (2011)
Rate of urbanization: 3.01% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population:
DOHA (capital) 427,000 (2009)

Sex ratio:
At birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 2.83 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 4.61 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 3.41 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.5 male(s)/female
Total population: 3.29 male(s)/female (2013 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:
7 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 167

Infant mortality rate:
Total: 6.6 deaths/1,000 live births
Country comparison to the world: 165
Male: 6.86 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 6.33 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
Total population: 78.24 years
Country comparison to the world: 54
Male: 76.27 years
Female: 80.25 years (2013 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.92 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 138

Contraceptive prevalence rate:
43.2% (1998)

Health expenditures:
1.8% of GDP (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 191

Physicians density:
2.76 physicians/1,000 population (2006)

Hospital bed density:
1.2 beds/1,000 population (2009)

Drinking water source:
Improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population (2010 est.)

Sanitation facility access:
Improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population (2010 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 161

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
fewer than 200 (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 157

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 100 (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 121

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
33.2% (2008)
Country comparison to the world: 16

Education expenditures:
2.5% of GDP (2008)
Country comparison to the world: 157

Literacy:
Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 96.3%
Male: 96.5%
Female: 95.4% (2010 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
Total: 13 years
Male: 12 years
Female: 14 years (2011)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
Total: 1.3%
Country comparison to the world: 142
Male: 0.4%
Female: 8.9% (2011)

Government

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:
emirate

Capital:
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:
7 municipalities (baladiyat, singular - baladiyah); Ad Dawhah, Al Khawr wa adh Dhakhirah, Al Wakrah, Ar Rayyan, Ash Shamal, Az Za'ayin, Umm Salal

Independence:
3 September 1971 (from the UK)

National holiday:
Independence Day, 3 September (1971); also observed is National Day, 18 December (1878) (anniversary of Al Thani family accession to the throne)

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

Legal system:
mixed legal system of civil law and Islamic law (in family and personal matters)

International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
Chief of state: Amir TAMIM bin Hamad Al Thani (since 25 June 2013)
Head of government: Prime Minister ABDALLAH bin Nasir bin Khalifa Al Thani (since 26 June 2013); Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad bin Abdallah al-MAHMUD (since 20 September 2011)
Cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the amir
Elections: the position of amir is hereditary

Legislative branch:
unicameral Advisory Council or Majlis al-Shura (45 seats; 15 members appointed; 30 members to be elected by popular vote beginning mid- or late 2013, per the 2003 constitutional referendum)
note: the Advisory Council has limited legislative authority to draft and approve laws, but the Amir has final say on all matters; Qatar's first legislative elections are expected to be held in 2013 in which the public would elect 30 members and the Amir would appoint 15; the Advisory Council would have authority to approve the national budget, hold ministers accountable through no-confidence votes, and propose legislation; Qatar in May 2011 held nationwide elections for the 29-member Central Municipal Council (CMC) - first elected in 1999 - which has limited consultative authority aimed at improving municipal services

Judicial branch:
Highest court(s): Court of Cassation (consists of the court president and several judges); Supreme Constitutional Court (consists of the chief justice and 6 members)
note - the Supreme Constitutional Court and the Judicial Supreme Council were established in 1999
Judge selection and term of office: Cassation Court judges nominated by the Judicial Supreme Council, a 9-member independent body consisting of judiciary heads appointed by the monarch; judges appointed for 3-year renewable terms; Supreme Constitutional Court members nominated by the Judicial Supreme Council and appointed by the monarch; term of appointment NA
Subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Courts of First Instance; Sharia Courts; Courts of Justice

Political parties and leaders:
none

Political pressure groups and leaders:
none

International organization participation:
ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, CAEU, CD, CICA (observer), EITI (implementing country), FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Muhammad bin Abdallah bin Mitib al-RUMAYHI
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 Susan L. ZIADEH
Embassy: Al-Luqta District, 22 February Road, Doha
Mailing address: P. O. Box 2399, Doha
Telephone: [974] 4496-6000
FAX: [974] 4488 4298

National anthem:
Name: "Al-Salam Al-Amiri" (The Peace for the Anthem)

Lyrics/music: Sheikh MUBARAK bin Saif al-Thani/Abdul Aziz Nasser OBAIDAN
note: adopted 1996; the anthem was first performed that year at a meeting of the Gulf Cooperative Council hosted by Qatar

Economy

Economy - overview:
Qatar has prospered in the last several years with continued high real GDP growth. Throughout the financial crisis Qatari authorities sought to protect the local banking sector with direct investments into domestic banks. GDP grew sharply in 2010 largely due to the increase in oil prices, and 2011's growth was supported by Qatar's investment in expanding its gas sector. GDP slowed to 6.6% in 2012 as Qatar''s gas sector expansion moved toward completion. 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 world's highest per-capita income country and the country with the lowest unemployment. Proved oil reserves in excess of 25 billion barrels should enable continued output at current levels for 57 years. Qatar''s proved reserves of natural gas exceed 25 trillion cubic meters, more than 13% of the world total and third largest in the world. Qatar''s successful 2022 World Cup bid will likely accelerate large-scale infrastructure projects such as Qatar''s metro system, light rail system, and the Qatar-Bahrain causeway. The Hamad International Airport is projected to open by the end of 2013 with an annual passenger capacity of 24 million.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$191 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 59
$179.2 billion (2011 est.)
$158.6 billion (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$183.4 billion (2012 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
6.6% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 32
13% (2011 est.)
16.7% (2010 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$103,900 (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 1
$101,400 (2011 est.)
$93,300 (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

Gross national saving:
63% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 1
59.9% of GDP (2011 est.)
52.8% of GDP (2010 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use:
Household consumption: 13.1%
Government consumption: 12.1%
Investment in fixed capital: 30.6%
Investment in inventories: -8.9%
Exports of goods and services: 78.6%
Imports of goods and services: -25.5%
(2012 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
Agriculture: 0.1%
Industry: 73.6%
Services: 26.3% (2012 est.)

Agriculture - products:
fruits, vegetables; poultry, dairy products, beef; fish

Industries:
liquefied natural gas, crude oil production and refining, ammonia, fertilizers, petrochemicals, steel reinforcing bars, cement, commercial ship repair

Industrial production growth rate:
4.6% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 59

Labor force:
1.43 million (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 132

Unemployment rate:
0.5% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 3
0.4% (2011 est.)

Population below poverty line:
NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Lowest 10%: 1.3%
Highest 10%: 35.9% (2007)

Budget:
Revenues: $69.76 billion
Expenditures: $49.32 billion (2012 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:
38% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 51

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
11.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 7

Public debt:
32.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 111
34.4% of GDP (2011 est.)

Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.9% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 39
1.9% (2011 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
4.5% (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 80
4.5% (31 December 2011 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
5.38% (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 152
5.49% (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of narrow money:
$24.98 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 64
$22.49 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of broad money:
$97.97 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 54
$85.16 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$149.1 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 44
$121.5 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$125.4 billion (31 December 2011)
Country comparison to the world: 37
$123.6 billion (31 December 2010)
$87.86 billion (31 December 2009)

Current account balance:
$58.57 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 10
$53.57 billion (2011 est.)

Exports:
$133.7 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 33
$114.3 billion (2011 est.)

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

Exports - partners:
Japan 26.6%, South Korea 19%, India 12%, Singapore 5.7%, China 5.4% (2012)

Imports:
$30.79 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 66
$26.93 billion (2011 est.)

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

Imports - partners:
US 14.2%, UAE 11%, Saudi Arabia 8.3%, UK 6.4%, Japan 6%, China 4.8%, Germany 4.7%, Italy 4.4%, France 4.4% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$33.19 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 49
$16.82 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Debt - external:
$134.8 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 40
$128 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$32.17 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 59
$31.84 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$26.86 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 43
$25.02 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Exchange rates:
Qatari rials (QAR) per US dollar -
3.64 (2012 est.)
3.64 (2011 est.)
3.64 (2010 est.)
3.64 (2009)
3.64 (2008)

Energy

Electricity - production:
28.14 billion kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 66

Electricity - consumption:
26.38 billion kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 65

Electricity - exports:
200,000 kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 87

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 122

Electricity - installed generating capacity:
3.893 million kW (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 79

Electricity - from fossil fuels:
100% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 32

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 164

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 191

Electricity - from other renewable sources:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 176

Crude oil - production:
1.631 million bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 18

Crude oil - exports:
704,300 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 18

Crude oil - imports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 113

Crude oil - proved reserves:
25.57 billion bbl (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 13

Refined petroleum products - production:
153,800 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 66

Refined petroleum products - consumption:
169,900 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 62

Refined petroleum products - exports:
53,230 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 55

Refined petroleum products - imports:
11,940 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 128

Natural gas - production:
116.7 billion cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 6

Natural gas - consumption:
21.8 billion cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 35

Natural gas - exports:
113.4 billion cu m (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 2

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 119

Natural gas - proved reserves:
25.2 trillion cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 3

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
64.68 million Mt (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 50

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use:
306,700 (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 114

Telephones - mobile cellular:
2.302 million (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 135

Telephone system:
General assessment: modern system centered in Doha
Domestic: combined fixed and mobile-cellular telephone subscribership exceeds 130 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 (2011)

Broadcast media:
TV and radio broadcast licensing and access to local media markets are state controlled; home of the satellite TV channel Al-Jazeera, which was originally owned and financed by the Qatari government, but has evolved to independent corporate status; Al-Jazeera claims editorial independence in broadcasting; local radio transmissions include state, private, and international broadcasters on FM frequencies in Doha (2012)

Internet country code:
.qa

Internet hosts:
897 (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 173

Internet users:
563,800 (2009)
Country comparison to the world: 117

Transportation

Airports:
6 (2013)
Country comparison to the world: 178

Airports - with paved runways:
Total: 4
Over 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
Total: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
Under 914 m:
1 (2013)

Heliports:
1 (2013)

Pipelines:
condensate 288 km; condensate/gas 221 km; gas 2,383 km; liquid petroleum gas 90 km; oil 745 km; refined products 103 km (2013)

Roadways:
Total: 7,790 km (2006)
Country comparison to the world: 142

Merchant marine:
Total: 28
Country comparison to the world: 87
By type: bulk carrier 3, chemical tanker 2, container 13, liquefied gas 6, petroleum tanker 4
Foreign-owned: 6 (Kuwait 6)
Registered in other countries: 35 (Liberia 5, Marshall Islands 29, Panama 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals:
Doha, Mesaieed (Umaieed), Ra's Laffan

Military

Military branches:
Qatari Emiri Land Force (QELF), Qatari Emiri Navy (QEN), Qatari Emiri Air Force (QEAF) (2013)

Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2013)

Manpower available for military service:
Males age 16-49: 389,487
Females age 16-49: 165,572 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
Males age 16-49: 321,974
Females age 16-49: 140,176 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Male: 6,429
Female: 5,162 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
10% of GDP (2005 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 2

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:
none

Refugees and internally displaced persons:
Stateless persons: 1,200 (2012)

Flag of Qatar



Flag description:
maroon with a broad white serrated band (nine white points) on the hoist side; maroon represents the blood shed in Qatari wars, white stands for peace; the nine-pointed serrated edge signifies Qatar as the ninth member of the "reconciled emirates" in the wake of the Qatari-British treaty of 1916
note: the other eight emirates are the seven that compose the UAE and Bahrain; according to some sources, the dominant color was formerly red, but this darkened to maroon upon exposure to the sun and the new shade was eventually adopted