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دولة قطر

Daulat Qatar
State of Qatar
Flag of Qatar
Coat of arms of Qatar
flag emblem
Official language Arabic
Capital Doha
State and form of government Absolute Monarchy
Head of state Emir
Sheikh Tamīm bin Hamad ath-Thānī
Head of government Prime Minister
Sheikh Abdullah ibn Nāsir ibn Chalifa ath-Thānī
surface 11,627 km²
population 2,700,000
Population density 227 inhabitants per km²
Population development   + 2.9% per year
gross domestic product
  • Total (nominal)
  • Total ( PPP )
  • GDP / inh. (nominal)
  • GDP / inh. (KKP)
  • $ 175.8 billion ( 55th )
  • $ 265.8 billion ( 60th )
  • 62,919 USD ( 9. )
  • 95,108 USD ( 4. )
Human Development Index   0.848 ( 45th ) (2019)
currency Qatari Riyal (QAR)
independence December 18, 1878
September 3, 1971
(from the United Kingdom )
National anthem As-Salam al-Amiri
Time zone UTC + 3
License Plate Q
ISO 3166 QA , QAT, 634
Internet TLD .qa
Phone code +974
Bahrain Katar Kuwait Saudi-Arabien Irak Iran Vereinigte Arabische Emirate Oman Jordanien Syrien Afghanistan Pakistan Sudan Ägypten Israel Libanon Indien JemenQatar in its region.svg
About this picture
Qatar rel95.jpg
Template: Infobox State / Maintenance / TRANSCRIPTION
Template: Infobox State / Maintenance / NAME-GERMAN
Satellite image of Qatar
Desert landscape in Qatar

Qatar ( Arabic قطر Qatar , DMG Qaṭar , in the local dialect Qiṭar ) is an emirate in Western Asia on the east coast of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf . The country isruledas an absolute monarchy . The state religion is Islam and Sharia is the main source of legislation.

The state of Qatar is located on a peninsula and borders Saudi Arabia in the south . The Kingdom of Bahrain lies off the coast in the northwest . The country stretches around 180 kilometers from south to north and 80 kilometers from west to east. The national territory includes several islands. The Hawar Islands in the west are, however, Bahraini national territory.

The state has been criticized for its support for the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamic groups as well as terrorist organizations and has been boycotted by key states in the region since June 2017 .


Topography / surface

Salt marshes and desert strips separate Qatar from the rest of the Arabian Peninsula. The salt pans - so-called sabchas  - at sea level are relics from the time when Qatar was still an island. The connection to the Arab mainland was only established through a slight uplift in the country. From these swamps the gently undulating hill country rises to the north, which is characteristic for the whole of Qatar. The highest point of Qatar is the mountain Qurain Abu l-Baul with 103 m in the south of Qatar. To the east the land slopes gently towards the sea. The predominantly flat land is characterized by scree and gravel desert. Sand dunes are only found sporadically, mostly on the coast in the extreme southeast. The coast is divided by several elongated bays. There are numerous coral reefs in front of it, especially on the east side.

The groundwater has a high salinity; Drinking water is obtained in seawater desalination plants. In the southeast is the Chaur al-Udaid marine lagoon .


With the low annual precipitation of less than 100 mm, Qatar is one of the driest landscapes on earth. Due to its proximity to the Persian Gulf , the climate is humid, subtropical and hot all year round. The humidity is 85%. In summer temperatures of 45 ° C are not uncommon, in winter they drop to an average of 17 ° C. However, temperatures below 10 ° C have also occurred more frequently in the last few winters. Often the dry, dusty north- westerly wind blows Shamal .

Flora and fauna

Qatar is barren and deserted in many places and even more inhospitable than the other Arab desert states. Desert hyacinths , palm trees and thorn bushes only grow in the north, where rainfall is a little more frequent . After the rare rain, grasses and herbs sprout, blossom and fruit in a very short time and wither again immediately. Sparse salt-loving grasses and shrubs ( halophytes ) grow in the salt pans .

Few animal species -  gerbils , hedgehogs , geckos and monitor lizards  - can exist in the extreme living conditions of the desert. Migratory birds rest on the northern coast in winter. There are around 30 native bird species. A wildlife park has been set up south of Doha for the endangered oryx . The waters of the Persian Gulf are very rich in fish. Sometimes sperm whales , dolphins and the comparatively rare manatees can also be found. On the north coast there are egg-laying beaches for sea ​​turtles west of Ras Laffan .

In the Al-Wabra Wildlife Park there are 50 of the 80 Spix's Macaws living in human care .


Qatar has had one of the fastest growing populations in the world for the past few decades. Due to a relatively high birth rate and heavy immigration, the population of Qatar has grown from around 50,000 in 1950 to 2,700,000 in 2017. Of these, however, only around 300,000 are Qatar, i. H. only about every ninth inhabitant is a native. One in three is Indian or Pakistani , one in six is ​​of Nepalese descent, and about seven percent are from other Arab countries. Many migrant workers in Qatar use the Kafala system . Population growth between 1994 and 2004 was 4.2%. The proportion of under 15-year-olds was 12.6% in 2016. In the same year, 99.2% of the population lived in cities. Because almost all guest workers are male, Qatar has the most unbalanced gender ratio in the world. In 2016, there were 3.4 men for every woman in Qatar. The Sunni Islam is the state religion and most residents are devout Wahhabi while among foreigners Shiites predominate. Furthermore, the proportion of Hindus with 340,000 and Christians with 310,000 is considerable. 90,000 Buddhists and up to 10,000 Jews also live in Qatar. The official language is Arabic , the commercial languages ​​are Persian and English . In addition to Urdu and other Indo-Aryan languages spoken.

As a state with one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, Qatar has a very good social welfare system. Those in need receive fixed monthly payments. Medical care is good and available free of charge. There is general compulsory schooling , school lessons are free at all levels of education in the Qatari mainstream schools, but paid for in the numerous private schools. The illiteracy rate was below 3% in 2015. Since 1973 Qatar has had its own university, the University of Qatar . According to the April 2010 census, the largest cities are: Doha with 521,283 inhabitants, ar-Rayyan with 392,428 inhabitants, ar-Rayyan Industrial Area with 260,726 inhabitants, adh-Dhachira with 128,574 inhabitants, al-Chaur with 80,220 inhabitants, al-Wakra with 79,457 Inhabitants, Umm Salal with 60,509 inhabitants, Ash-Shaḥānīyah with 35,393 inhabitants and Musay'īd with 35,150 inhabitants.

Life expectancy in 2015 was 77.6 years (men: 77.1 years, women: 79.7 years).

Population pyramid Qatar 2016:
Qatar has a high surplus of men due to the guest workers in the country.
Population development
year Residents Qatar share
1950 47,000
1960 59,000
1970 111,000 40%
1978 201,000
1986 369,000
1996 658,000
1997 28%
2004 744,000 24%
2005 863.051
2008 928,635
2010 1,699,435
2013 2,100,000
2016 2,637,000 12%


Qatar on the map by Adolf Stieler (1891)

The area of ​​today's Emirate of Qatar had rich vegetation in earlier millennia and was already settled in the Stone Age. In the 5th millennium BC Qatar experienced a heyday. Climate changes led to the emergence of today's desert landscape and an exodus of the population. In the following millennia, Qatar was only populated sporadically. Christianity had entered the region in the 5th century AD. With the arrival of Islam, however, it almost completely disappeared from the Arabian Peninsula two centuries later. In 628 AD, the residents of Qatar joined the prophet Mohammed and converted to Islam . But even in the period that followed, the land was of little importance because of the lack of water. Apart from sporadic trading settlements on the coast, the country was only inhabited by Bedouins . Around 1760 nomadic Bedouin tribes moved from their traditional pastures in the interior of the Arabian Peninsula to what is now Qatar. These Bedouins also included the Al Thani clan, who founded the village of al-Bid, today's Doha . Sheikh Muhammad Al Thani gradually gained power over the desert peninsula and became the founder of the current dynasty . The following 100 years were marked by power struggles with the Al Chalifa clan , who invaded the peninsula from what is now Kuwait and founded the settlement az-Zubara. In 1783 the Al Chalifa succeeded in conquering Bahrain , after which a large part of the tribe settled on the island.

At the end of the 18th century, Saudi Wahhabis , followers of a strictly orthodox Islamic sect , invaded the peninsula and temporarily conquered al-Bid. Since then there have been close ties to Saudi Arabia . Until well into the 1850s, the coast of Qatar, like that of today's United Arab Emirates, was notorious as the “ pirate coast ”. Only the intervention of the British East India Company , which saw its trade routes to India threatened, put an end to piracy . In 1867 there was another fierce battle for rule in Qatar between the Al Thani and the Al Chalifa of Bahrain. The UK intervened and forced a peace. The following year, a protection treaty was signed between Qatar and Great Britain, which brought the country under British influence. This recognition of Al Thani led to the final separation of Qatar and the island of Bahrain (December 18, 1878, national holiday). In the second half of the 19th century, the Ottomans tried harder to enforce their claims on Qatar. So parts of the country were occupied. Qasim Al Thani then turned to the Wahhabis for help. In 1913 the United Kingdom stepped in again to eliminate Ottoman and Wahhabi influence. In 1915 the last Ottoman troops had to leave the country. In the following years, Great Britain enforced its political and economic influence.

The first oil deposits were discovered in 1939, which soon made oil production the new economic mainstay of Qatar. In the period that followed, with growing wealth, a profound modernization of the state and economy took place. When the British announced the withdrawal of troops "east of Suez " for 1971 at the end of the 1960s , Qatar proclaimed its independence on September 3, 1971 (national holiday) and thus, like Bahrain, refused to join the United Arab Emirates. Nevertheless, a friendship treaty was concluded with the United Kingdom. The sheikhs of Qatar also now accepted the title of emir . In the same year, the northern field, the largest natural gas field in the world, was discovered. In 1972, Emir Ahmad ibn Ali was overthrown by Khalifa ibn Hamad (1972–1995), who in the following years increasingly tried to promote the country's economic development and the establishment of industry. The absolute rule of the dynasty continued to exist. In 1974 all oil and gas companies were nationalized. In 1981 the Gulf Cooperation Council was founded with Oman , the United Arab Emirates , Bahrain , Saudi Arabia and Kuwait . In 1995 Khalifa ibn Hamad was overthrown by his son Hamad ibn Khalifa , who began to initiate reforms. Since 1998, Qatar is the seat of the headquarters of US forces in the Middle East and was also command center in the US war against Iraq in March 2003. Since June 25, 2013 Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Emir of Qatar.


The Qatar University in Doha , founded in 1973, follows Anglo-Saxon models: Bachelor and master degrees can be acquired in six colleges. A special feature is that the Western legal system as well as Islamic law such as Sharia and historical Islamic studies can be practiced side by side. Among the 7660 students in the 2005/2006 winter semester, the university had a comparatively high proportion of women, around 70%; In the 2013/2014 academic year, the university had around 15,000 students. With the Education City project , Qatar has founded six “offshoots” of well-known American universities and has operated them since 2002.

The literacy rate was 97.8% in 2015.


Political system

On April 29, 2003, the citizens of Qatar approved the first constitution since independence from the United Kingdom by a majority of 98.39%, which came into force in 2005.

According to the constitution, Qatar is an emirate . The state religion is Islam and, according to Article 1, Sharia is the main source of legislation. The political system describes the constitution as "democratic". The Emir of Qatar is both head of state and supreme holder of executive and legislative powers; the government is also solely responsible to him. The constitution defines the people as the source of state power. There is no parliament or political parties. The emir only appoints the 35 members of the Consultative Assembly (Majlis asch-Shura). According to the constitution, two-thirds of the Consultative Assembly should be elected by the people, but the elections have been postponed several times and the term of office of the existing assembly has been extended several times by the emir. At the end of 2017, Emir Tamim announced that the government was preparing the elections. An exact point in time has not yet been given. The country is divided into five regions. Five courts judge “in the name of the emir”, and there are also courts for religious questions.

Citizens of Qatar, women and men alike, elect from among their members local councils and organs of the chambers of industry and commerce . In 1998 women were given active and passive voting rights at the municipal level by decree number 17 . Women exercised their right to vote for the first time in the election of March 8, 1999 (elections to the Doha Municipal Council). There were six candidates for the March 8, 1999 election to Doha City Council, but none won a seat. In 2003, Sheika Yousef Hassan al-Jufairi became the first woman to be elected to a City Council member in a Gulf state . Another source states, however, that up to the fifth such elections in 2015 women were not represented there, and in 2015 two women were then elected.

The women's suffrage at the national level Consultative Assembly ( Majlis ash-Shura ) was introduced of 2003. 30 of the 45 members are to be elected in accordance with Article 77 of the Constitution, the remainder being appointed by the President. But the first national elections were postponed until at least 2019.

In the 2020 Democracy Index of the British magazine The Economist, Qatar ranks 126th out of 167 countries, making it one of the “authoritarian systems”. In the country report Freedom in the World 2017 by the US non-governmental organization Freedom House , the country's political system is rated as “not free”.

The founding of Education City and the further development of Qatar University in cooperation with various international universities are seen by observers as a promising path.

After his abdication on June 25, 2013, Sheikh Hamad bin Chalifa passed the official duties on to his son Tamim bin Hamad . Hamad bin Khalifa thus became the first ruler of an Arab country in the Gulf region to voluntarily relinquish power without bloodshed “and with clear awareness”.

Foreign policy

Hillary Clinton in Qatar in January 2011
Countries with diplomatic missions from Qatar

The emirate of Qatar is a member of the United Nations (since September 21, 1971), the Arab League , OAPEC , OPEC and the Gulf Cooperation Council . The increasingly influential role that the emirate wants to play with its ambitious foreign policy among the Arab states in the Mediterranean region raises questions about the goals and ways of this influence, especially with regard to the development of Libya and Syria as well as Islamism in general . Tunisian analysts in particular criticize Qatar's increasing influence on Tunisian politics. Qatar is a country that worries worldwide as a financier of Salafists and extremists.

The Taliban in Afghanistan have expressed the intention 3 January 2012 to set up an office in Qatar. The news magazine Der Spiegel reported in October 2012 that both the Islamist Hamas and the Taliban have their own diplomatic missions in Qatar and that the country itself has a diplomatic representation office in Gaza. That year, Qatar rose to the top of the Gaza Strip's financial backers, ahead of the US and the European Union. With half a billion US dollars, the transport infrastructure is to be expanded and an entire city built. Qatar is also funding rebels in other Mediterranean countries, such as Syria and earlier in Libya.

Qatar is the only country in the Islamist-ruled north of Mali that is officially permanently represented by a non-governmental organization (NGO) (as of 2013). On Malian television, Mohammed Diko from the country's High Islamic Council said: "We have to completely rethink our relationship with Qatar." The US also accused Qatar's government of providing financial support to the Al-Shabaab militias in Somalia . As Qatar is accused of supporting the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood , Saudi Arabia , the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain withdrew their ambassadors from the country in 2014. Qatar's support for extremist Salafist groups in other states sparked massive public protests in Egypt and Libya, including burning Qatari flags. In September 2019, the Qatar State announced a funding program aimed at strengthening the influence of political Islam across Europe by funding 140 mosques, cultural centers and schools, all of which are related to the Muslim Brotherhood . According to ARD research, the connections of the Muslim Brotherhood extend to the top of the state of Qatar and the ruling Al-Thani family .

The country is also accused of being one of the main financiers of the Islamic State terrorist militia . Germany's Development Minister Gerd Müller (CSU) mentioned the “keyword Qatar” in an interview in June 2017 in connection with IS financing; In a subsequent interview, Angela Merkel indirectly distanced herself from this accusation. The CDU Vice Chairman Thomas Strobl indirectly questioned Qatar's suitability as a major investor in Germany (Volkswagen, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Bank, Siemens). Qatar's distancing itself from this allegation is generally believed to be implausible. The green member of the Bundestag Katja Keul said that Qatar is promoting Islamist and terrorist organizations in Egypt, Mali, Syria, Iraq and Libya. In particular, Qatar refuses to criminalize the participation of its own nationals in fighting abroad and the call to participate in such fights, thereby complying with UN resolution 2170 . Unlike in Saudi Arabia, the promotion of ISIS, the recruitment of fighters and the support of donations for Qatar is still possible without any consequences. In 2014, Ralf Stegner (SPD) called Qatar's influence on the conflicts in the region “not exactly defusing the crisis”.

According to the country's defense minister, Qatar is aiming for full membership in NATO .

Qatar crisis

At the beginning of June 2017, Egypt , Bahrain , Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates severed diplomatic contact with Qatar and declared all national, air and sea borders closed. The reason they cited was that Qatar supported terrorism. Diplomats were asked to leave within 48 hours, while Qatari citizens were given two weeks to do so. Bahrain imposed a travel ban to Qatar. The governments of Yemen , Libya , the Maldives and Mauritius have also declared that they have cut ties with Qatar. The airlines Emirates , Etihad Airways , Saudi Arabian Airlines , Gulf Air and Egypt Air announced to suspend its flights to Qatar. The Turkey stood on the side of Qatar.

In June 2017, US President Donald Trump accused Qatar of having been a financier of terrorism for years and at a very high level. A few days later, US Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis and the Qatari Secretary of Defense signed a long-prepared purchase agreement for 36 F-15 fighter jets . Qatar is paying twelve billion US dollars for this.

Human rights

The working and living conditions of migrant workers in Qatar are in some cases inhumane. In November 2013, the United Nations called on Qatar to improve the situation of migrant workers with a view to the 2022 World Cup . "Many immigrants have human rights violated in their workplaces, some do not receive their wages or are paid less than agreed," said the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Migrants, François Crépeau .

environmental Protection

World Bank statistics identify Qatar as the country with by far the highest CO 2 emissions per capita worldwide . In 2011, each inhabitant of Qatar caused an average of 31 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) per year  (for comparison: the USA an average of 17.3 tonnes, China an average of 7.2 tonnes and Germany an average of 9.9 tonnes of CO 2 per capita per year; Qatar's total emissions corresponded to this roughly that of Berlin and Hamburg combined). The emirate of Qatar has rich deposits of crude oil , the combustion of which is made partly responsible for climate change . The UN climate conference took place in Doha in 2012. The UN climate conference in 2012 in the country with the world's highest CO 2 emissions per capita apparently illustrates the renewed failure of global climate protection policy according to the "Emissions Gap Report 2012" of the UN environmental protection program UNEP .


The Armed Forces of Qatar ( Arabic القوات المسلحة القطرية) consist of an army (10,000 men), air force (2,000 men) and navy (including maritime police) (2,000 men) (as of 2020).

The armed forces of Qatar participated in the military intervention in Yemen since 2015 with around 1,000 soldiers and 10 fighters until the Qatar crisis in 2017 .

Great Britain has four C-130 of the Royal Air Force stationed in Qatar. The USA operates a joint HBCT equipment warehouse (APS) for the Army , Air Force , Navy and Marines with 430 members in Qatar .

In 2017, the country spent almost 2.5 percent of its economic output on its armed forces. Defense spending was around $ 6.0 billion in 2021.

Administrative structure

Map of the municipalities in Qatar

The administrative structure of Qatar has consisted of eight municipalities (Arabic: baladiyya ) since 2014 :

location local community Administrative
as of 2015
in km²
per km²
Ad Dawhah in Qatar 2015.svg Doha Doha 956.457 234 4,087
Al Khor in Qatar 2015.svg al-Khaur al-Khaur 202.031 1,613.3 125
Al Daayen in Qatar 2015.svg ad-Daʿayan 43,176 236 183
Al Rayyan in Qatar 2015.svg ar-Rayyan ar-Rayyan 605.712 2,450 247
Al Wakrah in Qatar 2015.svg al-Wakra al-Wakra 299.037 2,578 116
Al Shahaniya in Qatar 2015.svg al-Shahaniyah al-Shahaniyah 187.571 3,309 57
Al Shamal in Qatar 2015.svg ash-shamal Madinat al-Shamal 7,975 902 8.8
Umm Salal in Qatar 2015.svg Umm Salal Umm Salal 90,835 318 286

For statistical purposes, the municipalities are further subdivided into 98 zones (as of 2015) and these further into blocks.

The Hawar Islands to the west have long been disputed with Bahrain. On March 16, 2001, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that these islands were awarded to Bahrain.


In the 2016 ranking according to the human development index , Qatar is 33rd out of 188 countries evaluated with a value of 0.856 and is thus in the highest evaluation group “ very high human development ”.

The most important sources of income are natural gas (Qatar owns around 13 percent of the world's gas reserves; in 2016 it supplied a third of the total amount of liquefied gas worldwide), crude oil , petrochemical products (e.g. fertilizers) and the paid provision of military camps and rest areas for the US Army . In 2004, 0.2% of the gross domestic product was generated in agriculture , 62.2% in industry and 37.6% in the service sector. In 2001, 2% of the workforce was employed in agriculture, 38% in industry and 60% in the service sector. The inflation averaged about 2.5 percent in the years 2011 to 2015th Qatar is (as of 2019) the fourth richest country in the world in terms of its gross domestic product (adjusted for purchasing power). After the Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International was Qatar in 2017 by 176 countries, along with Taiwan and Portugal on the 29th place, with 63 out of a maximum 100 points.

The unemployment rate was 0.6% in 2017, making it one of the lowest in the world. The total number of employees is estimated at 1.9 million for 2017. Only 14.1% of the workforce are women.

In the Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, Qatar ranks 25th out of 137 countries (as of 2017-2018). In 2017, the country was ranked 29th out of 180 countries in the Index for Economic Freedom .

Qatar Investment Authority

Qatar endeavors to diversify its income from the oil and gas business and invest it in international investments . For this was 2005 state fund Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), whose capital stock of several hundred billion dollars includes (as of April 2017: 335 billion USD). The volume of the fund thus already exceeds Qatar's actual economic output.

At the beginning of June 2009 z. B. Discussions led to the fund's equity stake in Porsche AG . At the beginning of December 2010 it was announced that QIA was trying to acquire a stake in Hochtief AG , which would counteract the impending takeover by the Spanish construction group Grupo ACS . Such investments are very desirable because these funds usually do not intend to influence the operational business activity, but only look for a long-term capital investment. An example of such a capital investment is QIA's five percent stake in the French environmental service provider Veolia Environnement . The stake was bought in April 2010.

From mid-2009 to June 2013, Qatar Holding , which is part of the company , held 10% of the ordinary shares of Porsche Automobil Holding .

On the 8th / 9th In June 2011, Qatar agreed a strategic partnership with Luxembourg , which would initially focus on the aviation ( Cargolux ), satellite services ( SES Astra ) and banking sectors . As part of the implementation of this agreement, Precision Capital S.A. , whose board of directors are members of the Qatari ruling family, bought the Luxembourg private bank branch KBL European Private Bankers from the Belgian KBC banking group for EUR 1.05 billion. The same financial group took over the Luxembourg Dexia subsidiary Dexia-BIL, which was valued at 730 million euros at the time of the transaction, with the Luxembourg state taking a 10% stake in the capital.

In 2016, QIA acquired a stake in Rosneft . In September 2017 the share was 4.7%, after QIA together with Glencore acquired a share of 14.2% in CEFC China Energy Company Ltd. had sold. The stake in Hapag-Lloyd was given as 14.4% in August 2017.

As of 2019, QIA held 5.21% of Credit Suisse .


Despite ambitious government projects, agriculture can only meet a small percentage of domestic demand. Only 0.3% of the national territory is designated as arable land, which also has to be artificially irrigated. The main crops are tomatoes , pumpkins , cereals , dates , vegetables and citrus fruits . The once purely nomadic cattle industry was restructured through the establishment of cattle ranches. Fishing is being expanded.

In 2011, 90% of the food consumed in Qatar was imported. The Qatar National Food Security Program (QNFSP) under Director Fahad al-Attaiyah is supposed to ensure the supply. With a decree of the heir to the throne Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (Emiri Directive No. 45 of 2011), a working group was set up that is responsible for ensuring the food supply. A food security plan should be drawn up by 2013 and implemented between 2013 and 2023. The export of food is to be stopped.


The pearl trade had been around since the Dilmun culture in 3200 BC. BC, which was based on Bahrain and had trade links as far as India , was the most important source of income in Qatar, before natural pearls were replaced by cheaper cultured pearls and many people lost their livelihoods as a result. After 1930, the boom in the pearl trade in the Gulf largely collapsed due to the appearance of Japanese cultured pearls. This led to a severe economic crisis that forced many Qataris to emigrate.

Natural resources

After Russia and Iran, Qatar has the world's third largest conventional natural gas reserves with a share of 15% . Around 60% of the gross domestic product is still generated today with the fossil natural resources gas and oil . In addition, Qatar has minable limestone, gravel, clay and gypsum deposits.


When oil was first found at Jabal Dhukan in 1938 , Qatar was given the chance of a new source of income to offset the losses from the collapsed pearl trade. Commercial production began just a year later, but due to the Second World War, Qatari oil did not leave the country until 1949. As a result, there was an oil boom. In 1961, Qatar joined OPEC . Qatar was heavily modernized and, as it were, catapulted from the Middle Ages directly into the modern era, which was accompanied by a social upheaval. Guest workers came to the country mainly from Pakistan , Sri Lanka , Nepal and the Philippines , up to now a total of around 600,000 people. As a result, the population grew enormously and now the number of foreigners in the country far exceeds that of the locals. In 1972 the state took over the oil companies. Qatar was thus the first small oil producing country in the Gulf to dispose of one hundred percent of its reserves itself. Rising oil prices also made Qatar richer and richer and resulted in a very high per capita income. The total oil reserves are estimated at more than 25 billion barrels . Qatar is one of the countries that are in the so-called strategic ellipse .

In November 2018, Qatar announced that it would leave OPEC.

natural gas

Qatar's greatest wealth lies in the natural gas sector . Under the ocean floor lies the North Gas Field , which is the largest natural gas field on earth with 381,000 billion cubic feet of reserves. According to QP (QatarPetrol), Qatar has approximately 25.5 trillion cubic meters of natural gas. Qatar has become a world leader in gas processing over the past few years. The center of the gas industry is the Ras Laffan Industrial City in the north . There are two companies that are represented in the gas business. The commissioning of a natural gas liquefaction plant enables the economical removal of the liquefied natural gas (LNG). The main buyers are the GCC countries. Due to increasing demand, Qatar is increasingly exporting liquefied gas. The small emirate was the world's largest liquefied gas exporter as early as 2006.


The industrial operations include a steel mill, a fertilizer factory, a petrochemical plant, a grain mill and seawater desalination plants, the main locations of which are Mesaid and Ras Laffan . Qatar is home to one of the largest primary aluminum plants in the world, Qatalum , a joint venture between Norsk Hydro and Qatar Petroleum . The annual production volume in October 2012 was 585,000 tons. In 2012, Qatar planned to set up its own solar cell industry.

Foreign trade

In terms of imports, the USA with USD 3.1 billion in 2015, followed by China with USD 2.9 billion, the United Arab Emirates with USD 2.3 billion, Germany with USD 1.9 billion and Japan with 1 . $ 7 billion up front. The largest customer countries were Japan, Korea and India. While imports increased from USD 28.5 billion in 2015 to USD 31.9 billion in 2016, exports fell sharply from USD 77.3 billion in 2015 to USD 57.3 billion in 2016 due to the low oil and gas prices .

State budget

The state budget in 2016 comprised expenditures equivalent to US $ 53.9 billion , which was offset by income equivalent to US $ 41.7 billion. The national debt was 47.6% of GDP in 2016.

In 2006 the share of government expenditure (as a percentage of GDP) was in the following areas:

Key figures

Change in gross domestic product (GDP), real World Bank
year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Change in% yoy 26.2 18.0 17.7 12.0 19.6 13.4 4.7 4.4 4.0 3.6 2.2 1.6
Development of GDP (nominal), World Bank
absolute (in billion USD) per inhabitant (in thousands of USD)
year 2015 2016 2017 year 2015 2016 2017
GDP in billions of euros 164.6 152.5 167.6 GDP per inhabitant (in € thousand) 66.3 59.3 63.5
Foreign Trade Development (GTAI)
in billion US dollars and its year-on-year change as a percentage
2013 2014 2015
Billion USD % yoy Billion USD % yoy Billion USD % year-on-year
import 27.0 −12.2 30.4 +12.6 32.6 +7.1
export 136.9 +2.3 131.6 −3.8 78.0 −40.7
balance +109.8 +101.1 +45.4
Qatar's main trading partner (2015), source: GTAI
Export (in percent) to Import (in percent) of
JapanJapan Japan 20.8 China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China 11.5
Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea 17.3 United StatesUnited States United States 11.0
IndiaIndia India 11.9 United Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates 8.8
China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China 6.7 GermanyGermany Germany 7.5
United Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates 6.1 JapanJapan Japan 6.5
SingaporeSingapore Singapore 4.5 United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom 5.7
United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom 4.5 ItalyItaly Italy 4.4
other countries 28.2 other countries 44.6

Transport and infrastructure

Boat in front of the
Doha skyline


The well-developed asphalt road network covers around 9800 kilometers. There are road links with the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. The most important ports are Ras Laffan , where, in addition to general cargo and containers , mainly gas is handled, and Umm Sa'id , where bulk cargo and general cargo as well as oil are handled. The port of the capital Doha is mainly called by dhows , which operate on the traditional routes of the Persian Gulf, but also to southern India. A new small port facility in the Bay of Doha enables general cargo and containers to be handled here as well. The ports of al-Chaur (north of Doha) and al-Wakra (south of Doha) are essentially fishing ports with little coastal shipping. Ar-Ruwais on the north coast is a fishing port. The Doha International Airport has daily flights from several European capitals and is home to the airline Qatar Airways . Tourism is economically insignificant and is administered by the Qatar Tourism Authority.

Several spectacular construction projects are currently underway, for example a 400 hectare artificial island called “ The Pearl ”. This artificial island is located 20 kilometers north of the new international airport, Hamad International Airport . This airport, which opened in spring 2014, is designed for the landing of the Airbus A380 and serves among other things. to further expand Doha's function as a hub for international airlines.

Two bridges are designed to reduce dependence on Saudi Arabia . The friendship bridge with a length of 45 kilometers will connect Qatar with Bahrain , which is itself connected to the Saudi Arabian mainland by a bridge. The second bridge will connect to the United Arab Emirates .

In a joint venture between Deutsche Bahn and the Qatari state, Qatar Railways is developing a combined rail / metro system within the Qatari peninsula.

Electricity and water supply

Electricity and water are free for Qatari nationals. For industrial customers the electricity price is 19  US dollars per MWh , for all others it is 30 US dollars per MWh. The per capita consumption of electricity in Qatar is one of the highest in the world. However, the annual per capita consumption has decreased from 16,231 kWh in 2004 to 15,309 kWh in 2014. This puts Qatar in fifth place internationally.

The state-owned monopoly Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (KAHRAMAA), founded in 2000, operates the transmission and distribution networks for electricity and water. The production of electricity and water was transferred to the Qatar Electricity & Water Company (QEWC) in the course of privatization in 2002 . As of 2014, QEWC's share of total generation capacity in Qatar is 62% for electricity and 79% for water.

Vision 2030

In 2008 Qatar launched a medium-term development program for an efficient infrastructure under the motto Qatar National Vision 2030 . With an estimated cost of 50 billion US dollars, the desert state is to be developed into one of the most modern in the world. The following projects have already been specified in terms of planning:

At the end of 2009, Deutsche Bahn received the order to set up a 325-kilometer rail network for passenger and freight traffic in Qatar . This includes a 180-kilometer high- speed line with a top speed of 350 km / h , which connects the airport to neighboring Bahrain via Doha, a 100-kilometer connection to Saudi Arabia, which will allow a top speed of 200 km / h, and the construction a 300-kilometer regional light rail network , including four lines in Doha, the Doha Metro .


Qatar's society is strictly Islamic. Islam is the state religion . The local population adheres to the Orthodox Sunni - Wahhabi Islam. The country is outwardly liberal, but homosexuality is forbidden in Qatar.

According to a 2010 study, 67.7% of the country's population is Muslim, Christians and Hindus each make up 13.8% of the population, 3.1% were Buddhists, 0.9% belonged to no religious community and 0.7% % were members of another religion. Almost all non-Muslims in Qatar are guest workers or foreign citizens.

Tourist Attractions

The Museum of Islamic Art , opened in 2008, and the Arab Museum of Modern Art , opened in 2010, are located in the capital Doha or in its periphery. These two museums show parts of the ruling house's international art collections.


The news channel Al Jazeera is based in Qatar. English-language newspapers read The Peninsula , the Gulf Times , Qatar Tribune and the Khaleej Times from Dubai. There are also increasing numbers of articles that are socially critical and deal with the situation of non-Qatari workers in particular.

At the end of 2005 it was reported that the monopoly Qatar Telecom (Qtel, renamed Ooredoo in 2013 ) was blocking audio and video communication services such as MSN Messenger , Yahoo Messenger or Google Talk in its own data network , which was also confirmed by a spokeswoman for the company. This approach is particularly explosive, as around 80% of Qatar's residents are foreigners ( guest workers, etc.), for whom this type of communication is the only affordable one. However, this seems to have been loosened or lifted in part, as you can at least make calls and chat over Skype without restriction.

Some websites are subject to censorship. When calling up some pages, the user is redirected to a Qatar Telecom page. There you will find the note: "This site has been blocked by Internet Qatar as the content contains material Which are prohibited in the State of Qatar." (The page has been blocked from Internet Qatar because the content includes material that is prohibited in the State of Qatar is.) This is done, among others, when calling from sites with pornographic or sexual content, but for example also in the call to the Yahoo groups and similar communities.

In the 2017 Press Freedom Ranking published by Reporters Without Borders , Qatar was ranked 123rd out of 180 countries. According to the NGO report, the press freedom situation in the country is "difficult". There is talk of massive censorship, especially in publications that are critical of the system. The press law passed in 1979 has never been reformed and is so flexible that the government can extend the bans at any time. Journalists in Qatar lacks any union or advocacy group to support journalists in disputes with the government.

In March 2014, it was announced that the Qatari satellite Es'hail-2 would bring an amateur radio relay station to a geostationary position, a joint project of the Qatari Amateur Radio Association QARS, the Qatar Satellite Company and the German Amateur Radio Satellite Association AMSAT -DL. Two transponders should enable radio amateurs from Brazil to Europe to India to set up radio links with one another. The start is planned for 2018 [obsolete] , the position is planned to be 25.5 degrees east. The uplink will be in the 2.400 to 2.450 GHz range and the downlink in the 10.450 to 10.500 GHz range within the respective amateur radio assignments.

Several radio and television stations are easy to receive over the Internet, such as B. Broadcast Qatar. The state-run Qatar Broadcasting Service (QBS) transmits its domestic programming on both VHF and medium wave . If the propagation conditions are good, the medium wave transmitter can also be received in Europe at 675 kHz in the evening and at night. English-language reception reports are confirmed by the station with QSL cards .

In 2016, 92.0% of the population used the internet.

Sport, in general

Sport plays an important social and political role in Qatar. The national soccer league has been played since 1963 , the Qatar Stars League , which has been able to sign numerous foreign stars with lucrative contracts, such as Mario Basler , Gabriel Batistuta , Marcel Desailly , Fernando Hierro and Hakan Yakin .

Since 1994 - with three exceptions - the Qatar Open of Tennis has taken place in Doha every year and is now part of the Super Series , the highest category of the ITTF World Tour . In addition, the men's ATP Doha tournament will take place at the beginning of January . From 2008 to 2010, the WTA Tour Championships also hosted .

In 2004, Qatar hosted the 2004 World Table Tennis Championships . So far, Doha has hosted the men's squash world championship four times and once for the women. With the Qatar Classic , a PSA World Series tournament takes place in Doha every year.

Also in 2004, Qatar held races for the motorcycle world championship and the superbike world championship for the first time on the Losail International Circuit near Doha . In 2008 the first night race of the motorcycle world championship was held there. Later the new Motodrom was built north of Doha for these competitions.

In cycling , the Tour of Qatar with the opening race Doha International GP is an important station for professionals; Sun took Erik Zabel fond of this race for the start of the season, as Tom Boonen and Alessandro Petacchi , as of 2007.

In 2004, with the construction of the Aspire Academy in Doha, one of the world's largest training and competition facilities for top athletes was created. Six years later, the 2010 World Indoor Athletics Championships took place there. Back in 2005, Qatar had the West Asian Games aligned and also the World Weightlifting Championships in 2005 and the following year, the 2006 Asian Games .

In the years after the award of the 2022 FIFA World Cup from other sports were held in Qatar World Championships, so in swimming the 2014 FINA World Swimming Championships and a year later, the 2015 World Men's Handball Championship , where Qatar against France, Poland, Denmark and Norway had given preference. Thanks to extensive investments, especially in the naturalization of experienced players from other countries, the local team surprisingly came in second. The 2015 World Boxing Championships and the 2016 UCI Road World Championships also took place here . With the 2018 World Gymnastics Championships and the 2019 World Athletics Championships , Qatar then hosted two even more important major sporting events.

Football World Cup 2022

After all, Doha applied for the first time to host one of the world's three largest sporting events, the 2016 Summer Olympics , but was eliminated from the preliminary round. As a result, an application was made to host the 2022 World Cup , this time successfully, which FIFA announced in December 2010. The emirate prevailed against the applications from Australia, Japan, South Korea and the USA. The master plan for this major event, which convinced the elected FIFA officials, came from the Frankfurt planning office AS&P of the architect Albert Speer junior .

Concerns about Qatar's bid, especially because of the hot summer climate , became so massive over time that the event was postponed to winter in March 2015, although this would affect the schedule of all national and international club leagues. In addition, the conditions of the construction workers for the new stadiums led to criticism (see Football World Cup 2022 # human rights situation ).

Immediately after the announcement, the 2011 Asian Football Championship took place in Qatar in January 2011 .

See also

Portal: Qatar  - Overview of Wikipedia content on Qatar


  • Christian Chesnot, Georges Malbrunot: Qatar Papers. This is how the Gulf state influences Islam in Europe. Seifert, Vienna 2020, ISBN 978-3-904123-38-9 (German first edition of the French original edition).
  • Erich Follath : Like Dubai, only more exclusive . In: Der Spiegel . No. 28 , 2006, pp. 100 ff . ( online ).

Web links

Wiktionary: Qatar  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Qatar  - collection of images
Wikivoyage: Qatar  Travel Guide


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Coordinates: 25 °  N , 51 °  E