World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide



Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of Countries
Map of The Middel East

Qatar Travelling Guide
Qatar Travelling Guide

General 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 a per capita income not far below the leading industrial countries of Western Europe.

Area comparative: Slightly smaller than Connecticut.

Climate: Arid; mild, pleasant winters; very hot, humid summers

Terrain: Mostly flat and barren desert covered with loose sand and gravel.

Population: 793,341 (July 2002 est.)

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

Religions: Muslim 95%

Language: Arabic (official), English commonly used as a second language

Government type: Traditional monarchy

Capital: Doha

Legal system: Discretionary system of law controlled by the amir, although civil codes are being implemented; Islamic law dominates family and personal matters.

Economic overview: Oil accounts for more than 30% of GDP, roughly 80% of export earnings, and 58% 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 comparable to 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 offshore natural gas reserves. In 2000, Qatar posted its highest ever trade surplus of $7 billion, due mainly to high oil prices and increased natural gas exports, and managed to maintain the surplus in 2001.

Communication/Telephone system: Modern system

Places of interest:

Travel tips: Qatar is considered safe and secure for foreigners although demonstrations and other political gatherings are best avoided.