Middle East :: 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. 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 ::Qatar

People and Society ::Qatar

Government ::Qatar

    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
    emirate
    name: Doha
    geographic coordinates: 25 17 N, 51 32 E
    time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    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)
    Independence Day, 3 September (1971); also observed is National Day, 18 December (1878) (anniversary of Al Thani family accession to the throne)
    ratified by public referendum 29 April 2003; endorsed by the Amir 8 June 2004, effective 9 June 2005
    mixed legal system of civil law and Islamic law (in family and personal matters)
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    18 years of age; universal
    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
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: the position of amir is hereditary
    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
    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
    none
    none
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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 ::Qatar

    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.
    $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
    $183.4 billion (2012 est.)
    6.6% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    13% (2011 est.)
    16.7% (2010 est.)
    $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
    63% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    59.9% of GDP (2011 est.)
    52.8% of GDP (2010 est.)
    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.)
    agriculture: 0.1%
    industry: 73.6%
    services: 26.3% (2012 est.)
    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
    4.6% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    1.43 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    0.5% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 3
    0.4% (2011 est.)
    NA%
    lowest 10%: 1.3%
    highest 10%: 35.9% (2007)
    revenues: $69.76 billion
    expenditures: $49.32 billion (2012 est.)
    38% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    11.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    32.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    34.4% of GDP (2011 est.)
    1 April - 31 March
    1.9% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    1.9% (2011 est.)
    4.5% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    4.5% (31 December 2011 est.)
    5.38% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    5.49% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $24.98 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    $22.49 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $97.97 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    $85.16 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $149.1 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    $121.5 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $125.4 billion (31 December 2011)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    $123.6 billion (31 December 2010)
    $87.86 billion (31 December 2009)
    $58.57 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    $53.57 billion (2011 est.)
    $133.7 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    $114.3 billion (2011 est.)
    liquefied natural gas (LNG), petroleum products, fertilizers, steel
    Japan 26.6%, South Korea 19%, India 12%, Singapore 5.7%, China 5.4% (2012)
    $30.79 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    $26.93 billion (2011 est.)
    machinery and transport equipment, food, chemicals
    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)
    $33.19 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    $16.82 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $134.8 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    $128 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $32.17 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    $31.84 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $26.86 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    $25.02 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    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 ::Qatar

Communications ::Qatar

    306,700 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    2.302 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    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)
    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)
    .qa
    897 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    563,800 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 117

Transportation ::Qatar

    6 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    total: 4
    over 3,047 m: 3
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
    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: 7,790 km (2006)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    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)
    Doha, Mesaieed (Umaieed), Ra's Laffan

Military ::Qatar