Dawlat Qatar (State of Qatar)
Reference work entry


  • Capital: Doha

  • Population estimate, 2015: 2.24 m.

  • GNI per capita, 2014: (PPP$) 123,124

  • HDI/world rank, 2014: 0.850/32=

  • Internet domain extension: .qa

Civil Aviation

The flag carrier is Qatar Airways, which is state-owned and carried 18 m. passengers in 2012–13. Qatar’s airport is Hamad International Airport, which opened in April 2014 to replace the old Doha International Airport (where passenger numbers had quadrupled between 2003 and 2013).


The climate is hot and humid. Doha, Jan. 62 °F (16.7 °C), July 98 °F (36.7 °C). Annual rainfall 2.5″ (62 mm).

Constitution and Government

Qatar is ruled by an Amir. HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (b. 1980) assumed power after his father, HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, KCMG, abdicated on 25 June 2013. The heir apparent was Sheikh Hamad’s third son, Sheikh Jasim bin Hamad Al Thani (b. 1978), but in Aug. 2003 he named his fourth son, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, as heir apparent instead. Qatar’s first written constitution was approved in June 2004 and came into force on 9 June 2005. It allows for a 45-member Consultative Assembly or Majlis al-Shura, with 30 members directly elected and 15 appointed by the Amir. A Council of Ministers is assisted by a 35-member nominated Advisory Council.


The unit of currency is the Qatari riyal (QAR) of 100 dirhams, introduced in 1973.


Defence expenditure in 2011 totalled an estimated US$3,476 m. (approximately US$1,880 per capita), representing around 2% of GDP.


Oil, natural gas and other mining contributed 51.7% to GDP in 2010; followed by finance and real estate, 13.4%; manufacturing (excluding oil- and natural gas-related manufacturing), 10.6%; and public administration and defence, 7.7%.


In 2011 the economically active population totalled 1,271,100. Males constituted 88% of the labour force in 2011; foreigners make up 94% of the workforce. Qatar has the lowest percentages of females in the workforce of any country.


There are four Arabic language daily newspapers—Al-Rayah, Al-Sharq, Al-Watan and Al-Arab. The Gulf Times, The Peninsula and Qatar Tribune are English dailies. In 2008 the combined circulation was 115,000. Qatar Chronicle, launched in 2012, is an online news portal published on a daily basis in English and Arabic.


The population is predominantly Muslim, although there is a small Christian minority among expatriates.


In 2007 there were about 7,790 km of roads. Vehicles in use in 2007 totalled 605,700. In 2007 there were 199 fatalities as a result of road accidents.

Social Statistics

Births, 2008, 17,210; deaths, 1,942; marriages, 3,235; divorces, 939. 2008 rates per 1,000 population: births, 11.9; deaths, 1.3. Qatar’s 2008 death rate was among the lowest in the world. Infant mortality, 2010 (per 1,000 live births), 7. Expectation of life in 2013 was 77.8 years for males and 79.5 for females. Annual population growth rate, 200–08, 9.1% (the highest in the world). Fertility rate, 2008, 2.4 births per woman.


In 2013 there were an estimated 413,000 main (fixed) telephone lines; mobile phone subscribers numbered an estimated 3,310,000 in the same year. 69.3% of the population were internet users in 2012. In March 2012 there were 481,000 Facebook users.

Territory and Population

Qatar is a peninsula running north into the Persian Gulf. It is bounded in the south by Saudi Arabia. The territory includes a number of islands in the coastal waters of the peninsula, the most important of which is Halul, the storage and export terminal for the offshore oilfields. The area of Qatar is 11,571 km2. Population at the census of April 2010, 1,699,435; density 146.9 per km2. In 2011, 95.9% of the population lived in urban areas. The capital is Doha, which is the main port, and had a census population in 2010 of 521,283. Other towns are Dukhan (the centre of oil production), Umm Said (the oil terminal of Qatar), Ruwais, Wakra, Al Khour, Umm Salal Mohammad and Umm Bab. About 40% of the population are Arabs, 18% Indian, 18% Pakistani and 10% Iranian. Other nationalities make up the remaining 14%. Only about 10% of the population are Qatari citizens. The official language is Arabic.


In 2008, 1,405,000 non-resident tourists stayed in hotels (964,000 in 2007).

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© Springer Nature Limited 2019

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