The World Factbook (1990)/Qatar


World Factbook (1990) Qatar.jpg

See regional map VI


Total area: 11,000 km²; land area: 11,000 km²

Comparative area: slightly smaller than Connecticut

Land boundaries: 60 km total; Saudi Arabia 40 km, UAE 20 km

Coastline: 563 km

Maritime claims:

Continental shelf: not specific
Exclusive fishing zone: as delimited with neighboring states, or to limit of shelf, or to median line
Extended economic zone: to median line
Territorial sea: 3 nm

Disputes: boundary with UAE is in dispute; territorial dispute with Bahrain over the Ḥawār Islands

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

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

Natural resources: crude oil, natural gas, fish

Land use: NEGL% arable land; 0% permanent crops; 5% meadows and pastures; 0% forest and woodland; 95% other

Environment: haze, duststorms, sandstorms common; limited freshwater resources mean increasing dependence on large-scale desalination facilities

Note: strategic location in central Persian Gulf near major crude oil sources


Population: 490,897 (July 1990), growth rate 5.7% (1990)

Birth rate: 22 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 3 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: 38 migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 25 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 69 years male, 73 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 4.2 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Qatari(s); adjective—Qatari

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

Religion: 95% Muslim

Language: Arabic (official); English is commonly used as second language

Literacy: 40%

Labor force: 104,000; 85% non-Qatari in private sector (1983)

Organized labor: trade unions are illegal


Long-form name: State of Qatar

Type: traditional monarchy

Capital: Doha

Administrative divisions: none

Independence: 3 September 1971 (from UK)

Constitution: provisional constitution enacted 2 April 1970

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

National holiday: Independence Day, 3 September (1971)

Executive branch: amir, Council of Ministers (cabinet)

Legislative branch: unicameral Advisory Council (Majlis al-Shura)

Judicial branch: Court of Appeal

Leaders: Chief of State and Head of Government—Amir and Prime Minister Khalifa bin Hamad Al THANI (since 22 February 1972); Heir Apparent Hamad bin Khalifa AL THANI (appointed 31 May 1977; son of Amir)

Political parties and leaders: none

Suffrage: none Elections: Advisory Council—constitution calls for elections for part of this consultative body, but no elections have been held; seats—(30 total)

Member of: Arab League, FAO, G-77, GATT (de facto), GCC, IBRD, ICAO, IDB—Islamic Development Bank, IFAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPEC, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO

Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Hamad ‘Abd al-‘Aziz AL-KAWARI, Chancery at Suite 1180, 600 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington DC 20037; telephone (202) 338-0111; US—Ambassador Mark G. HAMBLEY; Embassy at Fariq Bin Omran (opposite the television station), Doha (mailing address is P. O. Box 2399, Doha); telephone [974] 864701 through 864703

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


Overview: Oil is the backbone of the economy and accounts for 90% of export earnings and more than 80% of government revenues. Proved oil reserves of 3.3 billion barrels should ensure continued output at current levels for about 25 years. Oil has given Qatar a per capita GDP of about $17,000, among the highest in the world.

GDP: $5.4 billion, per capita $17,070; real growth rate 9.0% (1987)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.6% (1987)

Unemployment rate: NA% Budget: revenues $1.7 billion; expenditures $3.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY88 est.)

Exports: $2.2 billion (f.o.b., 1988 est.); commodities—petroleum products 90%, steel, fertilizers; partners—France, FRG, Italy, Japan, Spain

Imports: $1.0 billion (f.o.b., 1988 est.), excluding military equipment; commodities—foodstuffs, beverages, animal and vegetable oils, chemicals, machinery and equipment; partners—EC, Japan, Arab countries, US, Australia

External debt: $1.1 billion (December 1989 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate 0.6% (1987)

Electricity: 1,514,000 kW capacity; 4,000 million kWh produced, 8,540 kWh per capita (1989)

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

Agriculture: farming and grazing on small scale, less than 2% of GDP; commercial fishing increasing in importance; most food imported

Aid: donor—pledged $2.7 billion in ODA to less developed countries (1979-88)

Currency: Qatari riyal (plural—riyals); 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


Highways: 1,500 km total; 1,000 km bituminous, 500 km gravel or natural surface (est.)

Pipelines: crude oil, 235 km; natural gas, 400km

Ports: Doha, Musayid, Halul Island

Merchant marine: 12 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 273,318 GRT/420,227 DWT; includes 7 cargo, 3 container, 2 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker

Civil air: 3 major transport aircraft

Airports: 4 total, 4 usable; 1 with permanent-surface runways; 1 with runways over 3,659 m; none with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 2 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: modern system centered in Doha; 110,000 telephones; tropospheric scatter to Bahrain; radio relay to Saudi Arabia; submarine cable to Bahrain and UAE; stations—2 AM, 1 FM, 3 TV; satellite earth stations—1 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT, 1 Indian Ocean INTELSAT, 1 ARABSAT

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Police Department

Military manpower: males 15-49, 255,474; 120,614 fit for military service; 3,982 reach military age (18) annually

Defense expenditures: NA