Qatar Politics

Qatar Politics, Population and Geography

Background: Ruled by the Al-Thani dynasty since the mid-1800s, Qatar has gone from being a poor British protectorate known primarily for its pearls to an independent state with significant oil and gas revenues. In the late 1980s – early 1990s. Qatar’s economy was weakened by a constant drain on oil revenues due to the actions of the emir, who had ruled the country since 1972. In 1995, he was overthrown by his son in a bloodless coup. In 2001, Qatar settled a longstanding border dispute with Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Revenues from oil and natural gas production allow Qatar to have a per capita income slightly lower than in the leading industrial countries of Western Europe.


Location: Middle East, located on a peninsula jutting into the Persian Gulf, bordering Saudi Arabia. See to know more about Qatar Geography.
Geographic coordinates: 25° 30′ N. latitude, 51° 15′ E
Reference map: Middle East.
Area: total: 11,437 km2; land surface area: 11,437 km2; water surface area: 0 km2
Comparative area: slightly smaller than the state of Connecticut.
Land borders: total: 60 km; with neighboring states: with Saudi Arabia 60 km.
Coastline: 563 km.
Maritime claims: neutral waters: 24 nautical miles; ; exclusive economic zone: defined by bilateral agreements or median line; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: desert, hot, dry; humid and muggy in summer.
Terrain: Mostly flat barren deserts composed of sand and gravel.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m; highest point: Qurain Abu al-Baul 103 m.
Natural resources: oil, natural gas, fish.
Land use: arable land: 1%; cultivated land: 0%; pastures: 5%; forests and plantations: 0%; others: 94% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 80 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural Hazards: fogs, dust storms, frequent sandstorms.
Current Environmental Issues: Limited natural fresh water supplies increase dependence on large desalination plants.
International agreements on environmental protection: member: Biodiversity, Climate change, Desertification, Hazardous wastes, Protection of the ozone layer; signed but not ratified: Law of the Sea.
Note to the Geography section: strategic location in the center of the Persian Gulf, close to major oil fields.


Population: 769,152 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 25.77% (male 101,155; female 97,086); 15 to 64 years old: 71.75% (male 391,178; female 160,665); over 65: 2.48% (male 13,625; female 5,443) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 3.18% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 15.91 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 4.26 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 20.12 people / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male/female; under 15: 1.04 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 2.43 male/female; over 65: 2.5 male/female; for the general population: 1.92 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 21.44 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 72.62 years; men: 70.16 years; women: 75.21 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 3.17 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 0.09% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: no data.
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: Qatari; adjective: Qatari.
Ethnic groups: Arabs 40%, Pakistanis 18%, Indians 18%, Iranians 10%, others 14%.
Believers: Muslims 95%.
Language(s): Arabic (official), English is often used as a second language.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 79.4%; men: 79.2%; women: 79.9% (1995 est.).


Common long form: State of Qatar;
conventional short form: Qatar; local long form: Dawlat Qatar local short form: Qatar note: the local pronunciation of the name of the country is most similar to a cross between the English words “cutter” and “gutter”, but not “guitar”.
State structure: traditional monarchy.
Capital: Doha.
Administrative division: 9 municipalities (baladiyah): Al-Rayan, al-Shamal, Jarayan al-Batin, Umm Salal, Ed-Doha, El-Wakra, Al-Jamalia, Howr, Huwayr.
Independence: from September 3, 1971 (until 1971 – under the protectorate of Great Britain).
National holiday: Independence Day, 3 September (1971).
Constitution: provisional constitution enacted 19 April 1972; in July 1999 Emir HAMAD formed a committee by decree to draft a permanent constitution.
Legal system: absolute monarchy, although civil law also applies; Islamic law plays an important role in interpersonal relations.
Suffrage: limited to the level of municipal elections.
head of state: Emir HAMAD bin Khalifa Al Thani (since June 27, 1995, when, as Crown Prince, he overthrew his father, Emir KHALIFA bin Hamad Al Thani, in a bloodless coup) ); heir to the throne Prince JASIM bin Hamad Khalifa Al Thani (JASSIM bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani), third son of the monarch (appointed by the monarch as heir to the throne on October 22, 1996); note – Emir HAMAD also holds the posts 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 Emir (since 30 October 1996); Deputy Prime Minister MUHAMMAD bin Khalifa Al Thani, brother of the Emir (since January 20, 1998);
Government: a council of ministers appointed by the monarch; elections: not held; hereditary monarchy; note – In March 1999, Qatar held elections for representatives to the Central Municipal Council, which performs an advisory function to improve the quality of municipal services provided.
Legislature: unicameral Advisory Council (Majlis al-Shura) (35 seats; members appointed); note: according to the constitution, some of the members of the Advisory Council must be elected, but after 1970, when partial elections to the council were held, no elections were held; every four years, the term of office of council members is renewed.
Judiciary: Court of Appeal.
Political parties and leaders: no.
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: 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 USA: head of mission: Ambassador Badr al-DAFA (Badr Umar al-DAFA); office: 4200 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016; phone: [1] (202) 274-1600; fax: [\] (202) 237-0061; Consulates General: Houston.
US Diplomatic Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador Elizabeth MCKUNE; embassy: 22 February Road, Doha; mailing address: R. O. Box 2399, Doha; phone: [974] 488 4101; fax: [974] 488 4298; Note: The working week is from Saturday to Wednesday.
Flag Description: Maroon with a wide white barb with crenellations (nine white crenellations) on the side adjacent to the pole.

Qatar Politics