Qatar( Middle East )

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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 short order, HAMAD oversaw the creation of the pan-Arab satellite news network Al-Jazeera and Qatar's pursuit of a leadership role in mediating regional conflicts. In the 2000s, 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 domestic unrest or violence like that seen in other Near Eastern and North African countries in 2010-11, due in part to its immense wealth. Since the outbreak of regional unrest, however, Doha has prided itself on its support for many of these popular revolutions, particularly in Libya and Syria. In mid-2013, HAMAD transferred power to his 33 year-old son, TAMIM bin Hamad - a peaceful abdication rare in the history of Arab Gulf states. TAMIM has prioritized improving the domestic welfare of Qataris, including establishing advanced healthcare and education systems and expanding the country's infrastructure in anticipation of Doha's hosting of the 2022 World Cup.
Middle East, peninsula bordering the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates:
25 30 N, 51 15 E
total: 11,586 sq km
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
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: 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 or industrial or 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
noun: Qatari(s)
adjective: Qatari
Ethnic groups:
Arab 40%, Indian 18%, Pakistani 18%, Iranian 10%, other 14%
Arabic (official), English commonly used as a second language
Muslim 77.5%, Christian 8.5%, other (includes mainly Hindu and other Indian religions) 14% (2004 est.)
2,123,160 (July 2014 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 12.5% (male 134,477/female 130,640)
15-24 years: 13.4% (male 208,278/female 75,889)
25-54 years: 69.9% (male 1,228,151/female 256,099)
55-64 years: 3.4% (male 55,386/female 16,156)
65 years and over: 0.8% (male 11,226/female 6,858) (2014 est.)
Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio: 17.1 %
youth dependency ratio: 16 %
elderly dependency ratio: 1.1 %
potential support ratio: 87.4 (2014 est.)
Median age:
total: 32.6 years
male: 33.6 years
female: 28 years (2014 est.)
Population growth rate:
3.58% (2014 est.)
Birth rate:
9.95 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Death rate:
1.53 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Net migration rate:
27.35 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
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) 567,000 (2011)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 2.75 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 4.8 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 3.37 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.5 male(s)/female
total population: 3.29 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 6.42 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 6.67 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.16 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
Maternal mortality rate:
7 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.38 years
male: 76.4 years
female: 80.4 years (2014 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.92 children born/woman (2014 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate:
Health expenditures:
1.9% of GDP (2011)
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
unimproved: urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
0% of population (2012 est.)
Sanitation facility access:
improved: urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved: urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2012 est.)
HIV or AIDS adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2009 est.)
HIV or AIDS people living with HIV or AIDS:
fewer than 200 (2009 est.)
HIV or AIDS deaths:
fewer than 100 (2009 est.)
Obesity adult prevalence rate:
33.2% (2008)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
Education expenditures:
2.5% of GDP (2008)
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: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 14 years (2005)
Child labor children ages 5-14:
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
total: 1.3%
male: 0.4%
female: 8.9% (2011)
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 is cutter
Government type:
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
3 September 1971 (from the UK)
National holiday:
National Day, 18 December (1878), anniversary of Al Thani family accession to the throne; Independence Day, 3 September (1971)
previous 1972 (provisional); latest drafted 2 July 2002, approved by referendum 29 April 2003, endorsed 8 June 2004, effective 9 June 2005 (2013)
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
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 were expected to be held in 2013, but HAMAD postponed them in a final legislative act prior to handing over power to TAMIN; there is currently no date set for Advisory Council elections; in principle 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:
Political pressure groups and leaders:
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 Jaham A.A. KUWARI (since 10 March 2014)
chancery: 2555 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20037
telephone: [1] (202) 274-1600 and 274-1603
FAX: [1] (202) 237-0061
consulates: Houston, Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Susan L. ZIADEH (since 11 September 2011)
embassy: Al-Luqta District, 22 February Road, Doha
mailing address: P. O. Box 2399, Doha
telephone: [974] 4496-6000
FAX: [974] 4488 4298
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
National symbol(s):
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 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 is driven largely by changes in oil prices and by investment in the energy sector. 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 50% 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 about 57 years. Qatar's proved reserves of natural gas exceed 25 trillion cubic meters, about 13% of the world total and third largest in the world. Qatar's successful 2022 World Cup bid is accelerating large-scale infrastructure projects such as Qatar's metro system, light rail system, the construction of a new port, roads, stadiums and related sporting infrastructure. The new Hamad International Airport is expected to open in mid-2014 with an annual passenger capacity of 24 million on initial opening and 50 million when complete.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$198.7 billion (2013 est.)
$185.3 billion (2012 est.)
$171.4 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$213.1 billion (2013 est.)
GDP real growth rate:
5.5% (2013 est.)
8.1% (2012 est.)
13% (2011 est.)
GDP per capita (PPP):
$102,100 (2013 est.)
$100,900 (2012 est.)
$100,400 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
Gross national saving:
54.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
62.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
59.8% of GDP (2011 est.)
GDP composition, by end use:
household consumption: 13.5%
government consumption: 13.8%
investment in fixed capital: 29.3%
investment in inventories: 2.5%
exports of goods and services: 71.7%
imports of goods and services: -30.8%
(2013 est.)
GDP composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 0.1%
industry: 72.2%
services: 27.7% (2013 est.)
Agriculture products:
fruits, vegetables; poultry, dairy products, beef; fish
liquefied natural gas, crude oil production and refining, ammonia, fertilizers, petrochemicals, steel reinforcing bars, cement, commercial ship repair
Industrial production growth rate:
2.9% (2013 est.)
Labor force:
1.424 million (2013 est.)
Labor force by occupation:
Unemployment rate:
0.3% (2013 est.)
0.5% (2012 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.3%
highest 10%: 35.9% (2007)
Distribution of family income Gini index:
revenues: $77.54 billion
expenditures: $57.25 billion (2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues:
38.8% of GDP (2013 est.)
Budget surplus or deficit:
Public debt:
30.6% of GDP (2013 est.)
32.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.1% (2013 est.)
1.9% (2012 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
4.5% (31 December 2012 est.)
4.93% (31 December 2011 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
5.3% (31 December 2013 est.)
5.38% (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of narrow money:
$29.98 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$24.98 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of broad money:
$136 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$104.7 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of domestic credit:
$170.1 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$149.1 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$126.4 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$125.4 billion (31 December 2011)
$123.6 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Current account balance:
$47.56 billion (2013 est.)
$61.59 billion (2012 est.)
$12.7 billion (2013 est.)
$133 billion (2012 est.)
Exports commodities:
liquefied natural gas (LNG), petroleum products, fertilizers, steel
Exports partners:
Japan 26.7%, South Korea 19%, India 12.1%, Singapore 5.7%, China 5.4% (2013 est.)
$39.58 billion (2013 est.)
$27.73 billion (2012 est.)
Imports commodities:
machinery and transport equipment, food, chemicals
Imports partners:
US 14.2%, UAE 11.1%, Saudi Arabia 8.6%, UK 6.4%, Japan 6%, China 4.8%, Germany 4.7%, Italy 4.4%, France 4.4% (2013 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$40.09 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$33.19 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Debt external:
$149.4 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$139.2 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment at home:
$33.48 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$32.17 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment abroad:
$28.86 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$26.86 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Exchange rates:
Qatari rials (QAR) per US dollar -
3.64 (2013 est.)
3.64 (2012 est.)
3.64 (2010 est.)
3.64 (2009)
3.64 (2008)
Electricity production:
32.34 billion kWh (2011 est.)
Electricity consumption:
20.51 billion kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity exports:
0 kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity imports:
0 kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity installed generating capacity:
7.83 million kW (2011 est.)
Electricity from fossil fuels:
100% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Electricity from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Electricity from hydroelectric plants:
0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Electricity from other renewable sources:
0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Crude oil production:
1.579 million bbl/day (2012 est.)
Crude oil exports:
1.389 million bbl/day (2012 est.)
Crude oil imports:
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Crude oil proved reserves:
25.38 billion bbl (1 January 2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products production:
287,500 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Refined petroleum products consumption:
189,700 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products exports:
210,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Refined petroleum products imports:
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Natural gas production:
133.2 billion cu m (2011 est.)
Natural gas consumption:
19.53 billion cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas exports:
113.7 billion cu m (2011 est.)
Natural gas imports:
0 cu m (2011 est.)
Natural gas proved reserves:
25.2 trillion cu m (1 January 2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
64.46 million Mt (2011 est.)
Telephones mobile cellular:
2.6 million (2012)
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)
Telephones main lines in use:
327,000 (2012)
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; in August 2013, Qatar's satellite company Es'hailSat launched its first communications satellite Es'hail 1 (manufactured in the US), which entered commercial service in December 2013 to provide improved television broadcasting capability and expand availability of voice and internet; Es'hailSat released a request for proposals in March 2014 for its second satellite to launch in 2016 (2014)
Internet country code:
Internet users:
563,800 (2009)
Internet hosts:
897 (2012)
6 (2013)
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)
1 (2013)
condensate 288 km; condensate/gas 221 km; gas 2,383 km; liquid petroleum gas 90 km; oil 745 km; refined products 103 km (2013)
total: 9,830 km (2010)
Merchant marine:
total: 28
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:
major seaport(s): Doha, Mesaieed (Umaieed), Ra's Laffan
Military branches:
Qatari Emiri Land Force (QELF), Qatari Emiri Navy (QEN), Qatari Emiri Air Force (QEAF) (2013)
Military service age and obligation:
conscription for males aged 18-35 (2014)
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:
Transnational Issues
Disputes international:
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
stateless persons: 1,200 (2012)
Trafficking in persons: