CIA World Fact Book, 2004/Qatar

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map of Qatar

Introduction Qatar
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. He was overthrown by his son, the current Amir HAMAD bin Khalifa Al Thani, 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.

Geography Qatar
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
water: 0 sq km
land: 11,437 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, 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

People Qatar
Population: 840,290 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 24.2% (male 103,660; female 99,597)
15-64 years: 72.7% (male 426,559; female 184,067)
65 years and over: 3.1% (male 19,306; female 7,101) (2004 est.)
Median age: total: 31.4 years
male: 36.7 years
female: 22 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.74% (2004 est.)
Birth rate: 15.6 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate: 4.52 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate: 16.29 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 2.32 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 2.72 male(s)/female
total population: 1.89 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 19.32 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 15.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
male: 22.77 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 73.4 years
male: 70.9 years
female: 76.04 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.95 children born/woman (2004 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.)

Government Qatar
Country name: conventional long form: State of Qatar
conventional short form: Qatar
local short form: Qatar
note: closest approximation of the native pronunciation falls between cutter and gutter, but not like guitar
local long form: Dawlat Qatar
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: provisional constitution enacted 19 April 1972; in July 1999 Amir HAMAD issued a decree forming a committee to draft a permanent constitution; in the 29 April 2003 referendum, 96.6% of Qatari voters approved the new constitution; on 8 June 2004 the new constitution came into force
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, have been merged under a higher court, the Court of Cassation, to be 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, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Badr Umar al-DAFA
consulate(s) general: Houston
FAX: [1] (202) 237-0061
telephone: [1] (202) 274-1600 and 274-1603
chancery: 4200 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20016
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Chase UNTERMEYER
embassy: Al-Luqta District, 22 February Road, Doha
mailing address: P. O. Box 2399, Doha
telephone: [974] 488 4101
FAX: [974] 488 4298
Flag description: maroon with a broad white serrated band (nine white points) on the hoist side

Economy Qatar
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 14.5 billion barrels should ensure continued output at current levels for 23 years. Qatar's proved reserves of natural gas exceed 17.9 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. Since 2000, Qatar has consistently posted trade surpluses largely because of high oil prices and increased natural gas exports.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $17.54 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 8.5% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $21,500 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 0.4%
industry: 70.8%
services: 28.8% (2003 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): 23.2% of GDP (2003)
Population below poverty line: NA
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.3% (2003)
Labor force: 140,000 (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate: 2.7% (2001)
Budget: revenues: $8.202 billion
expenditures: $6.981 billion, including capital expenditures of $2.2 billion (2003 est.)
Public debt: 72.7% of GDP (2003)
Agriculture - products: fruits, vegetables; poultry, dairy products, beef; fish
Industries: crude oil production and refining, fertilizers, petrochemicals, steel reinforcing bars, cement
Industrial production growth rate: 10% (2003 est.)
Electricity - production: 9.264 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 8.616 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production: 864,200 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption: 29,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports: NA (2001)
Oil - imports: NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves: 14.51 billion bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production: 32.4 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 15.86 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 16.54 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 17.93 trillion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance: $4.149 billion (2003)
Exports: $12.36 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports - commodities: petroleum products, fertilizers, steel
Exports - partners: Japan 46%, South Korea 18.5%, Singapore 9.5% (2003)
Imports: $5.711 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and transport equipment, food, chemicals
Imports - partners: US 12.2%, Japan 10.5%, Germany 9.6%, UK 8%, Italy 7.4%, UAE 6.7%, Saudi Arabia 5.9%, South Korea 5% (2003)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold: $2.952 billion (2003)
Debt - external: $17.5 billion (2003 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: NA
Currency: Qatari rial (QAR)
Currency code: QAR
Exchange rates: Qatari rials per US dollar - 3.64 (2003), 3.64 (2002), 3.64 (2001), 3.64 (2000), 3.64 (1999)
Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March

Communications Qatar
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)

Transportation Qatar
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
foreign-owned: Cambodia 1, Kuwait 1 (2004 est.)
by type: cargo 4, chemical tanker 4, container 8, petroleum tanker 5, roll on/roll off 1
Airports: 4 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 2
over 3,047 m: 2 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 2
under 914 m: 1 (2004 est.)
914 to 1,523 m: 1
Heliports: 1 (2003 est.)

Military Qatar
Military branches: Land Force, Qatari Amiri Navy (QAN), Amiri Air Force
Military manpower - military age and obligation: 18 years of age for voluntary military service (2001)
Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 324,001
note: includes non-nationals (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 170,266 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually: males: 7,496 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $723 million (FY00)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 10% (FY00)

This page was last updated on 1 January 2003

This is a snapshot of the CIA World Fact Book as it existed on 26 March 2005