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Qatar in brief

December 5, 2004, 09:00 CET

The Emirate of Qatar is situated on a flat peninsula on the western shore of the Persian Gulf. It has borders with Saudi Arabia.

Qatar was a British protectorate from 1916 to 1971, when the country gained independence. Oil and gas production was nationalized in 1977. In 1995 Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani succeeded his father as head of state and initiated a process of reform in the country. Since October 1996 the Prime Minister has been Sheikh Abdulla Bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

Oil and gas production and allied activities represent the most important industrial sector in Qatar. Hydro has enjoyed a 35-year old cooperation with the country, involving fertilizer production and petrochemical operations. Three-quarters of the country's population consists of foreign workers.

  • Form of government: Emirate
  • Area: 11,437 sq. kilometers
  • Capital: Doha
  • Population: Approx. 817,000 inhabitants (2003)
  • Population: 71.4 inhabitants per sq. kilometer
  • Average life-span: 73.1 years
  • Infant mortality: 20.0 per 1000
  • Religion: Islam (95 percent of population)
  • Language: Arabic
  • Currency: Qatar riyal
  • GDP per inhabitant: USD 20,100 (2002)
  • Export articles: Oil, gas, fertilizer
  • National day: 3 September