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Middle East :: Qatar
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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, 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, the current Amir 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.
  • Geography :: QATAR

  • Middle East, peninsula bordering the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia
    25 30 N, 51 15 E
    Middle East
    total: 11,586 sq km
    land: 11,586 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 166
    almost twice the size of Delaware; slightly smaller than Connecticut
    Area comparison map:
    total: 87 km
    border countries (1): Saudi Arabia 87 km
    563 km
    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
    mean elevation: 28 m
    elevation extremes: lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
    highest point: Tuwayyir al Hamir 103 m
    petroleum, natural gas, fish
    agricultural land: 5.6%
    arable land 1.1%; permanent crops 0.2%; permanent pasture 4.3%
    forest: 0%
    other: 94.4% (2011 est.)
    130 sq km (2012)
    0.06 cu km (2011)
    total: 0.44 cu km/yr (39%/2%/59%)
    per capita: 376.9 cu m/yr (2005)
    haze, dust storms, sandstorms common
    limited natural freshwater resources are increasing dependence on large-scale desalination facilities
    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
    the peninsula occupies a strategic location in the central Persian Gulf near major petroleum deposits
  • People and Society :: QATAR

  • noun: Qatari(s)
    adjective: Qatari
    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.)
    religious affiliation:
    2,194,817 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    0-14 years: 12.52% (male 139,353/female 135,514)
    15-24 years: 12.96% (male 207,493/female 76,879)
    25-54 years: 70.23% (male 1,278,442/female 263,051)
    55-64 years: 3.39% (male 57,581/female 16,886)
    65 years and over: 0.89% (male 12,365/female 7,253) (2015 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 20.1%
    youth dependency ratio: 18.6%
    elderly dependency ratio: 1.4%
    potential support ratio: 70.4% (2015 est.)
    total: 32.8 years
    male: 33.9 years
    female: 28.1 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    3.07% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    9.84 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 199
    1.53 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 225
    22.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    urban population: 99.2% of total population (2015)
    rate of urbanization: 6.02% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    DOHA (capital) 718,000 (2015)
    at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 2.7 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 4.86 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 3.41 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 1.71 male(s)/female
    total population: 3.39 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
    13 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 166
    total: 6.32 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 6.61 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 6.02 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    total population: 78.59 years
    male: 76.58 years
    female: 80.65 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    1.91 children born/woman (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    38% (2012)
    2.2% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    7.74 physicians/1,000 population (2010)
    1.2 beds/1,000 population (2012)
    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 (2015 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 98% of population
    rural: 98% of population
    total: 98% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 2% of population
    rural: 2% of population
    total: 2% of population (2015 est.)
    NA
    NA
    NA
    41% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    2.4% of GDP (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 97.3%
    male: 97.4%
    female: 96.8% (2015 est.)
    total: 14 years
    male: 14 years
    female: 14 years (2005)
    total: 1.1%
    male: 0.4%
    female: 6.2% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
  • 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 is cutter
    etymology: the origin of the name is uncertain, but it dates back at least 2,000 years since a term "Catharrei" was used to describe the inhabitants of the peninsula by Pliny the Elder (1st century A.D.) and a "Catara" peninsula is depicted on a map by Ptolemy (2nd century A.D.)
    absolute monarchy
    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)
    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 (2016)
    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
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Qatar
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 20 years; 15 years if an Arab national
    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
    elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the amir
    description: unicameral Advisory Council or Majlis al-Shura (15 seats; members appointed by the monarch); note - the 2003 constitutional referendum called for the election of 30 members, however, the first election scheduled for 2013 was postponed and current term extended until 2016
    note: although the Advisory Council has limited legislative authority to draft and approve laws, the Amir has final vote on all legislation; 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 TAMIM; 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; the 29-member Central Municipal Council - first elected in 1999 - has limited consultative authority aimed at improving municipal services; members elected for a 4-year term; next election scheduled for May 2019
    highest court(s): Supreme Court or 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 was established in 1999, but has not been fully implemented
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges nominated by the Supreme Judiciary Council, a 9-member independent body consisting of judiciary heads appointed by the Amir; judges appointed for 3-year renewable terms; Supreme Constitutional Court members nominated by the Supreme 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; Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Center, established in 2009, provides dispute services for institutions and bodies in Qatar, as well as internationally
    political parties are banned
    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, OIF, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador Muhammad bin Jaham Abd al-Aziz al-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
    consulate(s) general: Houton, Los Angeles
    chief of mission: Ambassador Dana Shell SMITH (8 September 2014)
    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
    a maroon field surmounted by a white serrated band with nine white points; national colors: maroon, white
    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; anthem 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, but low oil prices have dampened the outlook. Qatar was the only Gulf Cooperation Council member that did not experience a budget deficit in 2015, but it projects a $12.8 billion deficit, 6% of GDP in 2016.
    GDP is driven largely by the oil and gas sector, however, growth in manufacturing, construction, and financial services have lifted the non-oil sectors to just over half of Qatar’s nominal GDP. Economic policy is focused on sustaining Qatar's non-associated natural gas reserves and increasing private and foreign investment in non-energy sectors, but oil and gas still account for roughly 92% of export earnings, and 56% 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 56 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, construction of a new port, roads, stadiums and related sporting infrastructure.
    $324.2 billion (2015 est.)
    $309.6 billion (2014 est.)
    $297.8 billion (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 52
    $192.1 billion (2015 est.)
    4.7% (2015 est.)
    4% (2014 est.)
    4.6% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    $145,000 (2015 est.)
    $138,500 (2014 est.)
    $133,200 (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 1
    51.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
    58.5% of GDP (2014 est.)
    59.5% of GDP (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    household consumption: 18.8%
    government consumption: 17.8%
    investment in fixed capital: 44.6%
    investment in inventories: -1.3%
    exports of goods and services: 49.9%
    imports of goods and services: -29.8% (2015 est.)
    agriculture: 0.1%
    industry: 58.8%
    services: 41.1% (2015 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
    0.7% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    1.644 million (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    0.4% (2015 est.)
    0.4% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    NA%
    lowest 10%: 1.3%
    highest 10%: 35.9% (2007)
    revenues: $77.22 billion
    expenditures: $68.65 billion (2015 est.)
    40.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    4.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    39.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
    31.9% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 113
    1 April - 31 March
    1.6% (2015 est.)
    3.2% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    4.5% (31 December 2012)
    4.93% (31 December 2011)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    4.7% (31 December 2015 est.)
    4.5% (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    $37.89 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $34.14 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    $155.8 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $138.5 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    $184.1 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $168.9 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    $126.4 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    $125.4 billion (31 December 2011)
    $123.6 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    $9.686 billion (2015 est.)
    $54.84 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    $77.74 billion (2015 est.)
    $131.6 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    liquefied natural gas (LNG), petroleum products, fertilizers, steel
    Japan 25.3%, South Korea 18.8%, India 12.7%, China 7.7%, Singapore 6.2%, UAE 5.1% (2014)
    $37.15 billion (2015 est.)
    $38.23 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    machinery and transport equipment, food, chemicals
    US 11.5%, China 10.6%, UAE 8.2%, Germany 7.1%, Japan 6.4%, UK 5.5%, Italy 4.9%, Saudi Arabia 4.6% (2014)
    $42.77 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $43.32 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    $156.8 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $149.2 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    $34.71 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $33.46 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    $49.14 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $45.71 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    Qatari rials (QAR) per US dollar -
    3.64 (2015 est.)
    3.64 (2014 est.)
    3.64 (2013 est.)
    3.64 (2012 est.)
    3.64 (2011 est.)
  • Energy :: QATAR

  • 32.7 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    30.53 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    7.947 million kW (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    98.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    1.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    1.54 million bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    1.232 million bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    25.24 billion bbl (1 January 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    310,900 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    230,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    554,300 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 213
    158.5 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    32.93 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    125.5 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    25.07 trillion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 3
    99.17 million Mt (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
  • Communications :: QATAR

  • total subscriptions: 420,000
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 20 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    total: 3.3 million
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 156 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    general assessment: modern system centered in Doha
    domestic: combined fixed-line 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; 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)
    AM 6, FM 5, shortwave 1 (1998)
    1 (plus 3 repeaters) (2001)
    .qa
    897 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    total: 2.1 million
    percent of population: 96.7% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 95
  • 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: 9,830 km (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    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)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    major seaport(s): Doha, Mesaieed (Umaieed), Ra's Laffan
    LNG terminal(s) (export): Ras Laffan
  • Military and Security :: QATAR

  • Qatari Emiri Land Force (QELF), Qatari Emiri Navy (QEN), Qatari Emiri Air Force (QEAF) (2013)
    conscription for males aged 18-35; 4-month general obligation, 3 months for graduates (2014)
  • Transnational Issues :: QATAR

  • none
    stateless persons: 1,200 (2014)
    current situation: Qatar is a destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor, and, to a much lesser extent, forced prostitution; the predominantly foreign workforce migrates to Qatar legally for low- and semi-skilled work but often experiences situations of forced labor, including debt bondage, delayed or nonpayment of salaries, confiscation of passports, abuse, hazardous working conditions, and squalid living arrangements; foreign female domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to trafficking because of their isolation in private homes and lack of protection under Qatari labor laws; some women who migrate for work are also forced into prostitution
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Qatar does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government investigated 11 trafficking cases but did not prosecute or convict any offenders, including exploitative employers and recruitment agencies; the primary solution for resolving labor violations was to transfer a worker’s sponsorship to a new employer with minimal effort to investigate whether a forced labor violation had occurred; authorities increased their efforts to protect some trafficking victims, although many victims of forced labor, particularly domestic workers, remained unidentified and unprotected and were sometimes punished for immigration violations or running away from an employer or sponsor; authorities visited worksites throughout the country to meet and educate workers and employers on trafficking regulations, but the government failed to abolish or reform the sponsorship system, perpetuating Qatar’s forced labor problem (2015)
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