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By Location > Visit Detail > Country Facts for Qatar
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Map of Qatar
IntroductionTop
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.
GeographyTop
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% (2001)

Irrigated land:130 sq km (1998 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, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:strategic location in central Persian Gulf near major petroleum deposits
PeopleTop
Population:863,051 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:0-14 years: 23.7% (male 104,453/female 100,295)
15-64 years: 72.9% (male 437,118/female 191,830)
65 years and over: 3.4% (male 21,599/female 7,756) (2005 est.)

Median age:total: 31.57 years
male: 36.87 years
female: 22.33 years (2005 est.)

Population growth rate:2.61% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:15.54 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:4.61 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:15.17 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio:at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 2.28 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 2.78 male(s)/female
total population: 1.88 male(s)/female (2005 est.)

Infant mortality rate:total: 18.61 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 21.95 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 15.11 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:total population: 73.67 years
male: 71.15 years
female: 76.32 years (2005 est.)

Total fertility rate:2.87 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:0.09% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:NA
Nationality: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
Literacy:definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 82.5%
male: 81.4%
female: 85% (2003 est.)

GovernmentTop
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:traditional monarchy
Capital:Doha
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)
Constitution:ratified by the Qatari public on 29 April 2003, endorsed by the Emir on 8 June 2004, came into force on 9 June 2005
Legal system:discretionary system of law controlled by the amir, although civil codes are being implemented; Islamic law dominates family and personal matters
Suffrage:18 years of age; universal
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 TAMIM bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, third 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 ABDALLAH bin Khalifa Al Thani, brother of the monarch (since 30 October 1996); Deputy Prime Minister MUHAMMAD bin Khalifa Al Thani, brother of the monarch (since 20 January 1998); First Deputy Prime Minister HAMAD bin JASIM bin JABIR Al Thani (since 16 September 2003; also Foreign Minister since 1992); Second Deputy Prime Minister Abdallah bin Hamad al-ATTIYAH (since 16 September 2003; also Energy Minister since NA 1992)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary
note: in April 2003, Qatar held nationwide elections for a 29-member Central Municipal Council (CMC), which has 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 four years since; the new constitution, which came into force on 8 June 2004, provides for a 45-member Consultative Council, or Majlis al-Shura; the public would elect two-thirds of the Majlis al-Shura; the amir would appoint the remaining members

Judicial branch:Court of Appeal
note: under the new judiciary law issued in 2003, the former two court systems, civil and Islamic law, were merged under a higher court, the Court of Cassation, established for appeals

Political parties and leaders:none
Political pressure groups and leaders:none
International organization participation:ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDB, IFAD, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OPEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, WToO
Flag description:maroon with a broad white serrated band (nine white points) on the hoist side
EconomyTop
Economy - overview:Oil and gas account for more than 55% of GDP, roughly 85% of export earnings, and 70% of government revenues. Oil and gas have given Qatar a per capita GDP about 80% of that of the leading West European industrial countries. Proved oil reserves of 16 billion barrels should ensure continued output at current levels for 23 years. Qatar's proved reserves of natural gas exceed 14 trillion cubic meters, more than 5% of the world total and third largest in the world. Long-term goals feature the development of offshore natural gas reserves to offset the ultimate decline in oil production. In recent years, Qatar has consistently posted trade surpluses largely because of high oil prices and increased natural gas exports, becoming one of the world's fastest growing and highest per-capita income countries.
GDP:purchasing power parity - $19.49 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:8.7% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:purchasing power parity - $23,200 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:agriculture: 0.3%
industry: 58.2%
services: 41.5% (2004 est.)

Labor force:140,000 (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate:2.7% (2001)
Population below poverty line:NA
Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA

Inflation rate (consumer prices):3% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):22.9% of GDP (2004 est.)
Budget:revenues: $10.17 billion
expenditures: $7.61 billion, including capital expenditures of $2.2 billion (2004 est.)

Public debt:NA
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:10% (2003 est.)
Electricity - production:9.727 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - production by source:fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - consumption:9.046 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports:0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:0 kWh (2002)
Oil - production:790,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption:30,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:NA
Oil - imports:NA
Oil - proved reserves:16 billion bbl (2004 est.)
Natural gas - production:32.4 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:15.86 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:18.2 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - imports:0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:14.41 trillion cu m (2004)
Current account balance:$5.187 billion (2004 est.)
Exports:$15 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:liquefied natural gas (LNG), petroleum products, fertilizers, steel
Exports - partners:Japan 43.8%, South Korea 16.1%, Singapore 10.8% (2004)
Imports:$6.15 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:machinery and transport equipment, food, chemicals
Imports - partners:France 24.4%, UK 8.9%, Germany 8.8%, Japan 8.7%, US 6.2%, Italy 5.5%, UAE 4.1% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$3.351 billion (2004 est.)
Debt - external:$18.62 billion (2004 est.)
Currency (code):Qatari rial (QAR)
Currency code:QAR
Exchange rates:Qatari rials per US dollar - 3.64 (2004), 3.64 (2003), 3.64 (2002), 3.64 (2001), 3.64 (2000)
Fiscal year:1 April - 31 March
CommunicationsTop
Telephones - main lines in use:184,500 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:376,500 (2003)
Telephone system:general assessment: modern system centered in Doha
domestic: NA
international: country code - 974; 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 6, FM 5, shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios:256,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:1 (plus three repeaters) (2001)
Televisions:230,000 (1997)
Internet country code:.qa
Internet hosts:221 (2004)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):1 (2000)
Internet users:126,000 (2003)
TransportationTop
Highways:total: 1,230 km
paved: 1,107 km
unpaved: 123 km (1999 est.)

Pipelines:condensate 319 km; condensate/gas 209 km; gas 1,024 km; liquid petroleum gas 87 km; oil 702 km; oil/gas/water 41 km (2004)
Ports and harbors:Doha, Halul Island, Umm Sa'id (Musay'id)
Merchant marine:total: 22 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 525,051 GRT/772,635 DWT
by type: cargo 3, chemical tanker 5, container 8, liquefied gas 2, petroleum tanker 3, roll on/roll off 1
foreign-owned: 6 (Kuwait 6) (2005)

Airports:4 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:total: 2
over 3,047 m: 2 (2004 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:total: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2004 est.)

Heliports:1 (2004 est.)
MilitaryTop
Military branches:Qatari Amiri Land Force (QALF), Qatari Amiri Navy (QAN), Qatari Amiri Air Force (QAAF)
Military manpower - military age and obligation:18 years of age for voluntary military service; Land Force's enlisted personnel are largely nonprofessional foreign nationals (2005)
Military manpower - availability:males age 18-49: 302,873
note: includes non-nationals (2005 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:males age 18-49: 238,566 (2005 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:males: 7,851 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:$723 million (FY00)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:10% (FY00)
Transnational IssuesTop
Disputes - international:none



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