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Qatar



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Introduction

Background: 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. He was overthrown in a bloodless coup by his own son in 1995. Oil and natural gas revenues enable Qatar to have a per capita income not far below the leading industrial countries of Western Europe.

Geography

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
  contiguous zone: 24 nm
  exclusive economic zone: as determined by bilateral agreements, or the median line
  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 Abu al Bawl 103 m

Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, fish

Land use
  arable land: 1%
  permanent crops: 0%
  permanent pastures: 5%
  forests and woodland: 0%
  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, Desertification, 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

People

Population: 744,483 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure
  0-14 years: 26% (male 99,702; female 95,960)
  15-64 years: 71% (male 378,741; female 152,978)
  65 years and over: 3% (male 12,120; female 4,982) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 3.35% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 16.07 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 4.19 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 21.58 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio
  at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
  under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
  15-64 years: 2.48 male(s)/female
  65 years and over: 2.43 male(s)/female
  total population: 1.93 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 22.14 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
  total population: 72.37 years
  male: 69.92 years
  female: 74.94 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.25 children born/woman (2000 est.)

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: 79.4%
  male: 79.2%
  female: 79.9% (1995 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 falls between cutter and gutter, but not like guitar)

Data code: QA

Government type: traditional monarchy

Capital: Doha

Administrative divisions: 9 municipalities (baladiyat, singular - baladiyah); Ad Dawhah, Al Ghuwayriyah, Al Jumayliyah, Al Khawr, Al Wakrah, Ar Rayyan, Jarayan al Batinah, Madinat 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: suffrage is limited to municipal elections

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 monarch (selected crown prince by the monarch 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 monarch (since 30 October 1996); Deputy Prime Minister MUHAMMAD bin Khalifa Al Thani, brother of the monarch (since 20 January 1998)
  cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch
  elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; note - in March 1999 Qatar held elections for representatives to its Central Municipal Council

Legislative branch: unicameral Advisory Council or Majlis al-Shura (35 seats; members appointed) (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 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, OPCW, OPEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

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

Diplomatic representation from the US
  chief of mission: Ambassador Elizabeth MCKUNE
  embassy: 22 February Road, Doha
  mailing address: P. O. Box 2399, Doha
  telephone: [974] 884 101
  FAX: [974] 884 150 (Note: work week is Saturday-Wednesday)

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

Economy

Economy - overview: Oil accounts for more than 30% of GDP, roughly 80% 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 three-fourths that of 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. If high oil prices continue in 2000, Qatar will post its highest ever trade surplus - of more than $4 billion.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $12.3 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 1.5% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $17,000 (1999 est.)

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

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share
  lowest 10%: NA%
  highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2% (1999)

Labor force: 233,000 (1993 est.)

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget
  revenues: $5 billion
  expenditures: $4 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY99/00 est.)

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

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - production: 6.715 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source
  fossil fuel: 100%
  hydro: 0%
  nuclear: 0%
  other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 6.245 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: fruits, vegetables; poultry, dairy products, beef; fish

Exports: $6.7 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

Exports - commodities: petroleum products 80%, fertilizers, steel

Exports - partners: Japan 50%, Singapore 12%, South Korea 9%, US, UAE (1997)

Imports: $4.2 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

Imports - commodities: machinery and transport equipment, food, chemicals

Imports - partners: UK 25%, France 13%, Japan 10%, US 9%, Italy 6% (1997)

Debt - external: $10 billion (1998 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $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

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 146,980 (1995)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 18,469 (1995)

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 6, FM 5, shortwave 1 (1998)

Radios: 256,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 2 (plus three repeaters) (1997)

Televisions: 230,000 (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): NA

Transportation

Railways: 0 km

Highways
  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: 24 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 721,756 GRT/1,132,510 DWT
  ships by type: cargo 10, combination ore/oil 2, container 7, petroleum tanker 5 (1999 est.)

Airports: 4 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways
  total: 2
  over 3,047 m: 2 (1999 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways
  total: 2
  914 to 1,523 m: 1
  under 914 m: 1 (1999 est.)

Heliports: 1 (1999 est.)

Military

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

Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower - availability
  males age 15-49: 306,850 (Note: includes non-nationals (2000 est.))

Military manpower - fit for military service
  males age 15-49: 160,899 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually
  males: 6,471 (2000 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $816 million (FY99/00)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 8.1% (FY99/00)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: the territorial dispute with Bahrain over the Hawar Islands and the maritime boundary dispute with Bahrain are currently before the International Court of Justice (ICJ); June 1999 agreement has furthered the goal of definitively establishing the border with Saudi Arabia

 

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