Reference > World Factbook, 2008
  The World Factbook.  2008.
Flag of Qatar                                Map of 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 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.
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: 11,437 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
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: 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)
Total renewable water resources:0.1 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):total: 0.29 cu km/yr (24%/3%/72%)
per capita: 358 cu m/yr (2000)
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, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography—note:strategic location in central Persian Gulf near major petroleum deposits
Population:907,229 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:0-14 years: 23.1% (male 106,853/female 102,713)
15-64 years: 72.9% (male 455,631/female 206,099)
65 years and over: 4% (male 26,689/female 9,244) (2007 est.)
Median age:total: 31.9 years
male: 37.3 years
female: 23.1 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:2.386% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:15.56 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:4.82 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:13.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 2.211 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 2.887 male(s)/female
total population: 1.852 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:total: 17.46 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 20.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 14.16 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:total population: 74.14 years
male: 71.6 years
female: 76.82 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:2.75 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS—adult prevalence rate:0.09% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS—people living with HIV/AIDS:NA
Nationality:noun: Qatari(s)
adjective: Qatari
Ethnic groups:Arab 40%, Indian 18%, Pakistani 18%, Iranian 10%, other 14%
Religions:Muslim 77.5%, Christian 8.5%, other 14% (2004 census)
Languages:Arabic (official), English commonly used as a second language
Literacy:definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 89%
male: 89.1%
female: 88.6% (2004 census)
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: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
Independence:3 September 1971 (from UK)
National holiday:Independence Day, 3 September (1971); also observed is National Day, 18 December
Constitution:ratified by public referendum on 29 April 2003, endorsed by the Amir on 8 June 2004, effective on 9 June 2005
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
Suffrage:18 years of age; universal
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: none; 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
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
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
Political parties and leaders:none
Political pressure groups and leaders:none
International organization participation:ABEDA, ACC, AFESD, AMF, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:chief of mission: Ambassador Ali Fahad al-Shahwany al-HAJRID
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 (vacant); charge d'Affaires Michael A. RATNEY
embassy: Al-Luqta District, 22 February Road, Doha
mailing address: P. O. Box 2399, Doha
telephone: [974] 488 4298
FAX: [974] 488 4176
Flag description:maroon with a broad white serrated band (nine white points) on the hoist side
Economy—overview:Qatar is in the midst of an economic boom supported by its expanding production of natural gas and oil. Economic policy is focused on development of Qatar's nonassociated natural gas reserves and increasing private and foreign investment in non-energy sectors. Oil and gas account for more than 60% of GDP, roughly 85% of export earnings, and 70% of government revenues. Oil and gas have made Qatar one of the world's faster growing and higher per-capita income countries - equal to the EU in 2007 per-capita income. 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 22 years. Qatar's proved reserves of natural gas are roughly 25 trillion cubic meters, about 15% 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 became the world's top liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter in 2007.
GDP (purchasing power parity):$68.87 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):$65.81 billion (2007 est.)
GDP—real growth rate:7.8% (2007 est.)
GDP—per capita (PPP):$75,900 (2007 est.)
GDP—composition by sector:agriculture: 0.1%
industry: 73.5%
services: 26.4% (2007 est.)
Labor force:638,000 (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate:0.7% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line:NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):12% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):43.5% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget:revenues: $23.5 billion
expenditures: $19.61 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt:23.2% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture—products:fruits, vegetables; poultry, dairy products, beef; fish
Industries:crude oil production and refining, ammonia, fertilizers, petrochemicals, steel reinforcing bars, cement, commercial ship repair
Industrial production growth rate:8% (2007 est.)
Electricity—production:13.54 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity—consumption:12.52 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity—exports:0 kWh (2005)
Electricity—imports:0 kWh (2005)
Oil—production:1.111 million bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil—consumption:95,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil—exports:960,600 bbl/day (2004)
Oil—imports:0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil—proved reserves:15.21 billion bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas—production:43.93 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—consumption:17.93 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—exports:25.99 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—imports:0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas—proved reserves:24.73 trillion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:$7.733 billion (2007 est.)
Exports:$33.28 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports—commodities:liquefied natural gas (LNG), petroleum products, fertilizers, steel
Exports—partners:Japan 40.2%, South Korea 16.4%, Singapore 6.5%, Thailand 4.1% (2006)
Imports:$15.32 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports—commodities:machinery and transport equipment, food, chemicals
Imports—partners:France 13.3%, Japan 10.2%, US 9.3%, Italy 8.9%, Germany 7.9%, UK 6.2%, Saudi Arabia 5.7%, South Korea 4.7% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$6.368 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt—external:$31.07 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment—at home:$10.63 billion (2006 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment—abroad:$2.525 billion (2006 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:$61.56 billion (2006)
Economic aid—recipient:$2.18 million (2004)
Currency (code):Qatari rial (QAR)
Exchange rates:Qatari rials per US dollar - 3.64 (2007), 3.64 (2006), 3.64 (2005), 3.64 (2004), 3.64 (2003)
Fiscal year:1 April - 31 March
Telephones—main lines in use:228,300 (2006)
Telephones—mobile cellular:919,800 (2006)
Telephone system:general assessment: modern system centered in Doha
domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular telephone density is roughly 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 US; tropospheric scatter to Bahrain; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia 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)
Television broadcast stations:1 (plus 3 repeaters) (2001)
Internet country
Internet hosts:19 (2007)
Internet users:289,900 (2006)
Airports:5 (2007)
Airports—with paved runways:total: 3
over 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2007)
Airports—with unpaved runways:total: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2007)
Heliports:1 (2007)
Pipelines:condensate 322 km; condensate/gas 209 km; gas 1,970 km; liquid petroleum gas 87 km; oil 741 km (2007)
Roadways:total: 1,230 km
paved: 1,107 km
unpaved: 123 km (1999)
Merchant marine:total: 20 ships (1000 GRT or over) 574,969 GRT/856,057 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 2, chemical tanker 2, container 8, liquefied gas 2, petroleum tanker 4, roll on/roll off 1
foreign-owned: 7 (Kuwait 7)
registered in other countries: 3 (Liberia 2, Panama 1) (2007)
Ports and terminals:Doha, Ra's Laffan
Military branches:Qatari Amiri Land Force (QALF), Qatari Amiri Navy (QAN), Qatari Amiri Air Force (QAAF) (2007)
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—percent of GDP:10% (2005 est.)
Transnational Issues
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's rating was downgraded to Tier 3 in the 2007 report for continuing to detain and deport victims rather than providing them protection; the government also failed to increase prosecutions for trafficking in a meaningful way in 2006; workers complaining of working conditions or non-payment of wages were sometimes prosecuted under false charges in retaliation


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