Qatar [Country Flag of Qatar]
Transnational Issues
[Country map of Qatar]



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

Geographic coordinates: 25 30 N, 51 15 E

Map references: Middle East

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:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: desert; hot, dry; humid and sultry in summer

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

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: Qurayn Aba al Bawl 103 m

Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, fish

Land use:
arable land: 1%
permanent crops: NA%
permanent pastures: 5%
forests and woodland: NA%
other: 94% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 80 sq km (1993 est.)

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, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

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


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Population: 697,126 (July 1998 est.)
note: includes 516,508 non-nationals (July 1997 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 27% (male 97,317; female 93,532)
15-64 years: 71% (male 353,700; female 138,564)
65 years and over: 2% (male 9,731; female 4,282) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 3.82% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 16.97 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 3.53 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 24.76 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 2.55 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 2.27 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 18.09 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 73.89 years
male: 71.38 years
female: 76.54 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.5 children born/woman (1998 est.)

noun: Qatari(s)
adjective: Qatari

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

Religions: Muslim 95%

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

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 79.4%
male: 79.2%
female: 79.9% (1995 est.)


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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

Data code: QA

Government type: traditional monarchy

National capital: Doha

Administrative divisions: 9 municipalities (baladiyat, singular—baladiyah); Ad Dawhah, Al Ghuwayriyah, Al Jumayliyah, Al Khawr, Al Wakrah, Ar Rayyan, Jarayan al Batnah, Ash Shamal, Umm Salal

Independence: 3 September 1971 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 3 September (1971)

Constitution: provisional constitution enacted 19 April 1972

Legal system: discretionary system of law controlled by the amir, although civil codes are being implemented; Islamic law is significant in personal matters

Suffrage: none

Executive branch:
chief of state: Amir HAMAD bin Khalifa Al Thani (since 27 June 1995 when, as crown prince, he ousted his father, Amir KHALIFA bin Hamad Al Thani, in a bloodless coup); Crown Prince JASSIM bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, third son of the amir (selected crown prince by the amir 22 October 1996); note—Amir HAMAD also holds the positions of minister of defense and commander-in-chief of the armed forces
head of government: Prime Minister ABDALLAH bin Khalifa Al Thani, brother of the amir (since 30 October 1996); Deputy Prime Minister MUHAMMAD bin Khalifa Al Thani, brother of the amir (since 20 January 1998)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the amir
elections: none; the amir is an absolute monarch

Legislative branch: unicameral Advisory Council or Majlis al-Shura (35 seats; members appointed by the amir)
note: the constitution calls for elections for part of this consultative body, but no elections have been held since 1970, when there were partial elections to the body; Council members have had their terms extended every four years since

Judicial branch: Court of Appeal

Political parties and leaders: none

International organization participation: ABEDA, AFESD, AL, AMF, CCC, ESCWA, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDB, IFAD, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Saad Muhammad al-KUBAYSI
chancery: Suite 200, 4200 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
telephone: [1] (202) 274-1600

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Patrick N. THEROS
embassy: 149 Ahmed Bin Ali St., Fariq Bin Omran (opposite the television station), Doha
mailing address: P. O. Box 2399, Doha; pouch address—AMEMB Doha, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-6130
telephone: [974] 864701 through 864703
FAX: [974] 861669
note: work week is Saturday-Wednesday

Flag description: maroon with a broad white serrated band (nine white points) on the hoist side


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Economy—overview: Oil is the backbone of the economy and accounts for more than 30% of GDP, roughly 70% of export earnings, and 66% of government revenues. Proved oil reserves of 3.7 billion barrels should ensure continued output at current levels for 23 years. Oil has given Qatar a per capita GDP comparable to the leading West European industrial countries. Qatar's proved reserves of natural gas exceed 7 trillion cubic meters, more than 5% of the world total, third largest in the world. Production and export of natural gas are becoming increasingly important. Long-term goals feature the development of off-shore petroleum and the diversification of the economy.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$11.2 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 10% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$16,700 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 1%
industry: 49%
services: 50% (1996 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 2.5% (1996)

Labor force:
total: 233,000 (1993 est.)
note: 83% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national (July 1997 est.)

Unemployment rate: NA%

revenues: $3.7 billion
expenditures: $4.5 billion, including capital expenditures of $700 million (FY97/98 est.)

Industries: crude oil production and refining, fertilizers, petrochemicals, steel reinforcing bars, cement

Industrial production growth rate: -4% (1995)

Electricity—capacity: 1.303 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 5.8 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 10,863 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: fruits, vegetables; poultry, dairy products, beef; fish (all on small scale)

total value: $5.8 billion (f.o.b., 1997 est.)
commodities: petroleum products 80%, fertilizers, steel
partners: Japan 55%, Singapore 11%, South Korea 6%, Australia 3%, UAE 3% (1996)

total value: $5 billion (f.o.b., 1997 est.)
commodities: machinery and equipment, consumer goods, food, chemicals
partners: Italy 14%, UK 12%, France 11%, Japan 10%, Germany 9% (1996)

Debt—external: $11 billion (1997 est.)

Economic aid: $NA

Currency: 1 Qatari riyal (QR) = 100 dirhams

Exchange rates: Qatari riyals (QR) per US$1—3.6400 riyals (fixed rate)

Fiscal year: 1 April—31 March


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Telephones: 160,717 (1992 est.)

Telephone system: modern system centered in Doha
domestic: NA
international: tropospheric scatter to Bahrain; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia and UAE; submarine cable to Bahrain and UAE; satellite earth stations—2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) and 1 Arabsat

Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 3, shortwave 0

Radios: 201,000 (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 3 (1988 est.)

Televisions: 205,000 (1992 est.)


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Railways: 0 km

total: 1,230 km
paved: 1,107 km
unpaved: 123 km (1996 est.)

Pipelines: crude oil 235 km; natural gas 400 km

Ports and harbors: Doha, Halul Island, Umm Sa'id

Merchant marine:
total: 21 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 618,447 GRT/1,031,135 DWT
ships by type: combination ore/oil 2, container 3, cargo 11, oil tanker 5 (1997 est.)

Airports: 4 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 2
over 3,047 m: 2 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (1997 est.)

Heliports: 1 (1997 est.)


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Military branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Public Security

Military manpower—military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 294,205 (1998 est.)
note: includes non-nationals

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 154,436 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—reaching military age annually:
males: 5,777 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: $400 million (1996 est.)

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: 3.5% (1996 est.)

Transnational Issues

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Disputes—international: territorial dispute with Bahrain over the Hawar Islands and maritime boundary dispute with Bahrain currently before the International Court of Justice (ICJ); in 1996, agreed with Saudi Arabia to demarcate border per 1992 accord; that process is ongoing