Qatar

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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

Location

Middle East, peninsula bordering the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia

Geographic coordinates

25.30° N, 51.15° E

Area 166/257

total: 11,586 sq km

land: 11,586 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative

almost twice the size of Delaware; slightly smaller than Connecticut

Land boundaries

total: 87 km

border countries (1): Saudi Arabia 87 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

Elevation

mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m

highest point: Tuwayyir al Hamir 103 m

Natural resources

petroleum, natural gas, fish

Land use

agricultural land: 5.6%

arable land 1.1%; permanent crops 0.2%; permanent pasture 4.3%

forest: 0%

other: 94.4% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

130 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

0.06 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 0.44 cu km/yr (39%/2%/59%)

per capita: 376.9 cu m/yr (2005)

Natural hazards

haze, dust storms, sandstorms common

Environment - current issues

limited natural freshwater 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

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Qatari(s)

adjective: Qatari

Ethnic groups

Arab 40%, Indian 18%, Pakistani 18%, Iranian 10%, other 14%

Languages

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

Religions

Muslim 77.5%, Christian 8.5%, other (includes mainly Hindu and other Indian religions) 14% (2004 est.)

Population 144/238

2,194,817 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

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.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 20.1%

youth dependency ratio: 18.6%

elderly dependency ratio: 1.4%

potential support ratio: 70.4% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 32.8 years

male: 33.9 years

female: 28.1 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 6/233

3.07% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 199/224

9.84 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 225/225

1.53 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 1/222

22.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 99.2% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 6.02% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

DOHA (capital) 718,000 (2015)

Sex ratio

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.)

Maternal mortality rate 166/184

13 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 163/224

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.)

Life expectancy at birth 53/224

total population: 78.59 years

male: 76.58 years

female: 80.65 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 137/224

1.91 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

38% (2012)

Health expenditures 189/191

2.2% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

7.74 physicians/1,000 population (2010)

Hospital bed density

1.2 beds/1,000 population (2012)

Drinking water source

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.)

Sanitation facility access

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.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths

NA

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 16/191

41% (2014)

Education expenditures 154/173

2.4% of GDP (2008)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 14 years

male: 14 years

female: 14 years (2005)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 134/134

total: 1.1%

male: 0.4%

female: 6.2% (2013 est.)

Government

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 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.)

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

7 municipalities (baladiyat, singular - baladiyah); Ad Dawhah, Al Khawr wa adh Dhakhirah, Al Wakrah, Ar Rayyan, Ash Shamal, Az Za'ayin, Umm Salal

Independence

3 September 1971 (from the UK)

National holiday

National Day, 18 December (1878), anniversary of Al Thani family accession to the throne; Independence Day, 3 September (1971)

Constitution

previous 1972 (provisional); latest drafted 2 July 2002, approved by referendum 29 April 2003, endorsed 8 June 2004, effective 9 June 2005 (2015)

Legal system

mixed legal system of civil law and Islamic law (in family and personal matters)

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Citizenship

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

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

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

Legislative branch

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

Judicial branch

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 and leaders

political parties are banned

Political pressure groups and leaders

none

International organization participation

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

Flag description

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

National symbol(s)

a maroon field surmounted by a white serrated band with nine white points; national colors: maroon, white

National anthem

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

Economy - overview

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.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 52/230

$324.2 billion (2015 est.)

$309.6 billion (2014 est.)

$297.8 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$192.1 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 48/225

4.7% (2015 est.)

4% (2014 est.)

4.6% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 1/230

$145,000 (2015 est.)

$138,500 (2014 est.)

$133,200 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 1/179

51.4% of GDP (2015 est.)

58.5% of GDP (2014 est.)

59.5% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

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.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 0.1%

industry: 58.8%

services: 41.1% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

fruits, vegetables; poultry, dairy products, beef; fish

Industries

liquefied natural gas, crude oil production and refining, ammonia, fertilizers, petrochemicals, steel reinforcing bars, cement, commercial ship repair

Industrial production growth rate 156/202

0.7% (2015 est.)

Labor force 128/233

1.644 million (2015 est.)

Unemployment rate 2/207

0.4% (2015 est.)

0.4% (2014 est.)

Population below poverty line

NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.3%

highest 10%: 35.9% (2007)

Budget

revenues: $77.22 billion

expenditures: $68.65 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 41/219

40.2% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 8/220

4.5% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 111/176

39.9% of GDP (2015 est.)

31.9% of GDP (2014 est.)

Fiscal year

1 April - 31 March

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 90/226

1.6% (2015 est.)

3.2% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 83/156

4.5% (31 December 2012)

4.93% (31 December 2011)

Commercial bank prime lending rate 150/184

4.7% (31 December 2015 est.)

4.5% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 57/192

$37.89 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$34.14 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 48/193

$155.8 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$138.5 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 45/191

$184.1 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$168.9 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares 41/121

$126.4 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

$125.4 billion (31 December 2011)

$123.6 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Current account balance 22/197

$9.686 billion (2015 est.)

$54.84 billion (2014 est.)

Exports 40/224

$77.74 billion (2015 est.)

$131.6 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

liquefied natural gas (LNG), petroleum products, fertilizers, steel

Exports - partners

Japan 25.3%, South Korea 18.8%, India 12.7%, China 7.7%, Singapore 6.2%, UAE 5.1% (2014)

Imports 58/223

$37.15 billion (2015 est.)

$38.23 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

machinery and transport equipment, food, chemicals

Imports - partners

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)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 44/170

$42.77 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$43.32 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 41/206

$156.8 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$149.2 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 65/120

$34.71 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$33.46 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 40/105

$49.14 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$45.71 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Exchange rates

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

Electricity - production 61/220

32.7 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 61/219

30.53 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 186/218

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports 192/219

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 63/214

7.947 million kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 53/214

98.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 169/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 195/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 87/212

1.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 17/214

1.54 million bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 12/214

1.232 million bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 116/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 13/215

25.24 billion bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 42/214

310,900 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 54/212

230,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 11/214

554,300 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 213/213

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 4/216

158.5 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 29/215

32.93 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 2/215

125.5 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 124/214

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 2/212

25.07 trillion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 41/212

99.17 million Mt (2012 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 101/219

total subscriptions: 420,000

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 20 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 134/217

total: 3.3 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 156 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

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)

Broadcast media

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)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 6, FM 5, shortwave 1 (1998)

Television broadcast stations

1 (plus 3 repeaters) (2001)

Internet country code

.qa

Internet hosts 173/232

897 (2012)

Internet users 95/217

total: 2.1 million

percent of population: 96.7% (2014 est.)

Transportation

Airports 178/236

6 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 4

over 3,047 m: 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 2

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Heliports

1 (2013)

Pipelines

condensate 288 km; condensate/gas 221 km; gas 2,383 km; liquid petroleum gas 90 km; oil 745 km; refined products 103 km (2013)

Roadways 136/223

total: 9,830 km (2010)

Merchant marine 87/156

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)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Doha, Mesaieed (Umaieed), Ra's Laffan

LNG terminal(s) (export): Ras Laffan

Military and Security

Military branches

Qatari Emiri Land Force (QELF), Qatari Emiri Navy (QEN), Qatari Emiri Air Force (QEAF) (2013)

Military service age and obligation

conscription for males aged 18-35; 4 month general obligation, 3 months for graduates (2014)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

none

Refugees and internally displaced persons

stateless persons: 1,200 (2014)