Qatar Basic Information

By | July 21, 2022
Basic data
Capital Doha
Population million
Language Arabic (commonly used English)
Religion Islam
State system monarchy (emirate)
Head of State Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
Head of government Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
Currency name Qatari riyal (QAR)

Qatar Basic Information

Travel
Time shift + 1 hour (summer); + 2 hours (winter)
Economy 2021 (EIU estimate)
Nominal GDP (billion USD) 171.7
Economic growth (%) 2.9
Inflation rate (%) 1.6
Unemployment rate (%) 0.3

The State of Qatar is a monarchy (emirate) with elements of absolutist and constitutional monarchy. It gained independence in 1971. The head of state is the emir, who is always chosen from the Al-Thani family. The Emir exercises executive power through the government, which he himself appoints and dismisses. As the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, he is directly subordinate to the Defense Council, which performs the usual functions of the Ministry of Defence. The judiciary is controlled by the Emir, who appoints and dismisses judges. The 2005 Constitution establishes a Parliament (Majlis al-Shura) of 45 members, of which 2/3 (30 members) are to be directly elected and 1/3 (15 members) are appointed by the Emir from members of the government and other personalities. Political parties are not allowed in Qatar.

Qatar is among the economies with a dominant orientation towards the extraction and processing of oil and natural gas. Revenues from the sale of oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) traditionally account for around 70% of budget revenues, account for 90% of exports and account for 60% of the country’s GDP, but Qatar is managing to diversify its economy. Today, the second largest generator of GDP with a share of 30-40% is services, primarily financial services and tourism. Due to limited local production, most of the country’s needs are covered by imports. Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world – in terms of per capita (per capita) in PPP, the country’s GDP is more than 92 thousand according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). USD. The country has the 3rd largest reserves of natural gas in the world and is its largest exporter. Gas is exported to more than two dozen countries on 4 continents.

Until recently, Qatar was one of the fastest growing economies in the Gulf, but growth has slowed in recent years. In 2020, the country’s GDP fell by 3% due to the global epidemic of COVID-19 and the decline in global natural gas prices. In 2021, however, he expects recovery and GDP growth of 2.9% and even 4.5% in 2022 (EIU). The main engine of the country’s growth has traditionally been strong domestic investment demand, which is driven by Qatar’s long-term investment plans and supported by massive construction linked to the hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Since 2015, the era of surpluses has passed and Qatar is running deficit budgets. This should change in 2021, when the budget is again expected to reach a surplus of 2.1% and in 2022 even 6.5% of GDP. As of 2019, Qatar is suffering from deflation, which turned into inflation again in 2021 (1.6%). The unemployment rate in 2020 was again negligible (0.5%), in 2021 it was 0.3. It should remain at a similar level in the following years. Qatar continues to maintain the region’s highest AA (Standards & Poor’s) and AA (Fitch) A ratings with a stable outlook. Qatar’s fiscal situation is significantly improved by the accumulated foreign exchange reserves from previous years, which are estimated at approximately USD 300 billion (this amount exceeds 150% of the country’s GDP). The reserves are for the most part long-term invested abroad and a smaller part are then deposited in domestic assets. The manager of the reserve assets is the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), a sovereign wealth fund that invests the assets through its subsidiary Qatar Holding.

The drop in oil and gas prices and the related drop in state revenues after 2014 did not change Qatar’s grandiose investment plans until 2030 (approx. USD 200 billion in infrastructure investments), and according to available information, even the current COVID-19 pandemic has no greater influence on them. Following the imposition of an economic blockade and import embargo on Qatar by its neighbors the UAE, KSA and Bahrain in June 2017, the Qatari economy suffered losses, but stabilized again relatively quickly. It has refocused on new suppliers and business partners, and the Qatari government has maximized its efforts to build a domestic consumer and high-tech industry to ensure the country’s self-sufficiency in supply.

Basic information about the territory

Subchapters:

  • System of governance and political tendencies in the country
  • Foreign policy of the country
  • Population

The system of governance and political tendencies in the country

The official name of the state is in Czech: State of Qatar, in Arabic Dawlat Al Qatar, in English: The State of Qatar. The State of Qatar is a monarchy (emirate) with elements of absolutist and constitutional monarchy. It gained independence in 1971. The head of state is the emir, who is always chosen from the Al-Thani family. The Emir exercises executive power through the government, which he himself appoints and dismisses. As the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, he is directly subordinate to the Defense Council, which performs the usual functions of the Ministry of Defence. The judiciary is controlled by the Emir, who appoints and dismisses judges. The 2005 Constitution establishes a Parliament (Majlis al-Shura) of 45 members, of which 2/3 (30 members) are to be directly elected and 1/3 (15 members) are appointed by the Emir from members of the government and other personalities. Political parties are not allowed in Qatar. Check equzhou to learn more about Qatar political system.

Foreign policy of the country

Qatar is a small country with an advantageous geographical location for trade, but surrounded by the instability of political events. Qatar’s foreign policy has recently been strongly negatively affected by the conflict within the region, which resulted in the blockade of Qatar and the interruption of supplies from the GCC countries. This prompted Qatar to build its own autonomy in a number of areas and secure supplies through Iran. Which Qatar has largely succeeded in doing. Qatar is home to the largest US military base in the Middle East, yet Qatar maintains strong ties with Iran, the US’s main regional rival. Since 2017, Turkish troops have also been stationed in Qatar. After concentrated pressure from the US, Saudi Arabia confirmed in early January that it was resuming diplomatic relations with Qatar. After failing to extract concessions from Qatar and weakening its relations with Iran and Turkey, it appeared that the boycott weakens Saudi Arabia by decreasing export earnings to Qatar, helped spur diplomatic efforts to end Qatar’s isolation, which the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt quickly followed. The end of the blockade is positive for stability in the region of Arab countries, which is also strengthened by the turbulent situation between Israel and Palestine. Qatar, like other like-minded states in the region, stands firmly on the side of Palestine. Qatar’s foreign ministry has confirmed it continues to communicate with the US and Iran to speed up progress on renewing the EU’s Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Iran nuclear deal that Trump abandoned in 2018 but which the Biden administration is seeking to restore. As one of the few countries in the region that maintains strong ties with both Iran and the US, Qatar sees itself as an effective broker for the supposed return of the US to the EU JCPOA. Qatar also maintains close relations with Russia. Russian President Putin has described Qatar as an “important and reliable partner” in the region, and the relationship is set to continue to develop by building stronger common trade and security interests. Similarly, growing trade relations with China and Asia with an aspect of lucrative projects and hydrocarbon trade are to be developed.┬áCheck recipesinthebox for Qatar defense and foreign policy.

Population

The population of Qatar is million. The population density is 125 people per km 2. The share of the economically active population is approximately 60%. Qataris only account for roughly 12% of the total population. Long-term foreigners are recruited both from Arab countries (mainly Egyptians, Syrians, Lebanese, about 30% in total) and from Asian countries (Pakistanis 14%, Indians 14%, Iranians 14%, others 14%, i.e. Bangladeshis, Filipinos, Sri Lankans) and the rest are Europeans and Americans. The official religion of the country is Islam, Islamic Sharia law is the main source of legislation. Qataris are 95% Muslim, of which 92% are Sunni and 8% Shia of the Wahhabi school, based on strict adherence to the principles of early Islam. The official language is Arabic, alongside it is commonly used English.