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Qatar :: Middle East



Ruled by the Al Thani family since the mid-1800s, Qatar within the last 60 years transformed itself from a poor British protectorate noted mainly for pearling into an independent state with significant oil and natural gas revenues. Former Amir HAMAD bin Khalifa Al Thani, who overthrew his father in a bloodless coup in 1995, ushered in wide-sweeping political and media reforms, unprecedented economic investment, and a growing Qatari regional leadership role, in part through the creation of the pan-Arab satellite news network Al-Jazeera and Qatar's mediation of some regional conflicts. In the 2000s, Qatar resolved its longstanding border disputes with both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and by 2007 had attained the highest per capita income in the world. Qatar did not experience domestic unrest or violence like that seen in other Near Eastern and North African countries in 2011, due in part to its immense wealth and patronage network. In mid-2013, HAMAD peacefully abdicated, transferring power to his son, the current Amir TAMIM bin Hamad. TAMIM is popular with the Qatari public, for his role in shepherding the country through an economic embargo by some other regional countries, for his efforts to improve the country's healthcare and education systems, and for his expansion of the country's infrastructure in anticipation of Doha's hosting of the 2022 World Cup. Recently, Qatar's relationships with its neighbors have been tense, although since the fall of 2019 there have been signs of improved prospects for a thaw. Following the outbreak of regional unrest in 2011, Doha prided itself on its support for many popular revolutions, particularly in Libya and Syria. This stance was to the detriment of Qatar's relations with Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which temporarily recalled their respective ambassadors from Doha in March 2014. TAMIM later oversaw a warming of Qatar's relations with Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE in November 2014 following Kuwaiti mediation and signing of the Riyadh Agreement. This reconciliation, however, was short-lived. In June 2017, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE (the "Quartet") cut diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar in response to alleged violations of the agreement, among other complaints.



Middle East, peninsula bordering the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia

Geographic coordinates:

25 30 N, 51 15 E

Map references:

Middle East


total: 11,586 sq km
land: 11,586 sq km
water: 0 sq km
country comparison to the world: 164

Area - comparative:

almost twice the size of Delaware; slightly smaller than Connecticut

Land boundaries:

total: 87 km
border countries (1): Saudi Arabia 87 km


563 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: as determined by bilateral agreements or the median line
contiguous zone: 24 nm


arid; mild, pleasant winters; very hot, humid summers


mostly flat and barren desert


mean elevation: 28 m
lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: Tuwayyir al Hamir 103 m

Natural resources:

petroleum, fish, natural gas

Land use:

agricultural land: 5.6% (2011 est.)
arable land: 1.1% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0.2% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 4.3% (2011 est.)
forest: 0% (2011 est.)
other: 94.4% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land:

130 sq km (2012)

Population distribution:

most of the population is clustered in or around the capital of Doha on the eastern side of the peninsula

Natural hazards:

haze, dust storms, sandstorms common

Environment - current issues:

air, land, and water pollution are significant environmental issues; limited natural freshwater resources are increasing dependence on large-scale desalination facilities; other issues include conservation of oil supplies and preservation of the natural wildlife heritage

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

the peninsula occupies a strategic location in the central Persian Gulf near major petroleum deposits

People and Society


2,444,174 (July 2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143


noun: Qatari(s)
adjective: Qatari

Ethnic groups:

non-Qatari 88.4%, Qatari 11.6% (2015 est.)


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


Muslim 67.7%, Christian 13.8%, Hindu 13.8%, Buddhist 3.1%, folk religion <.1%, Jewish <.1%, other 0.7%, unaffiliated 0.9% (2010 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 12.84% (male 158,702/female 155,211)
15-24 years: 11.78% (male 203,703/female 84,323)
25-54 years: 70.66% (male 1,439,364/female 287,575)
55-64 years: 3.53% (male 66,561/female 19,600)
65 years and over: 1.19% (male 19,067/female 10,068) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios:

total dependency ratio: 18.1
youth dependency ratio: 16.1
elderly dependency ratio: 2
potential support ratio: 50.1 (2020 est.)

Median age:

total: 33.7 years
male: 35 years
female: 28.2 years (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96

Population growth rate:

1.55% (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65

Birth rate:

9.3 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 200

Death rate:

1.6 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 228

Net migration rate:

6.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 18

Population distribution:

most of the population is clustered in or around the capital of Doha on the eastern side of the peninsula


urban population: 99.2% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 2.41% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population:

641,000 DOHA (capital) (2020)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 2.42 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 5.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 3.4 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.89 male(s)/female
total population: 3.39 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:

9 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149

Infant mortality rate:

total: 5.7 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 166

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 79.4 years
male: 77.2 years
female: 81.6 years (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54

Total fertility rate:

1.88 children born/woman (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134

Contraceptive prevalence rate:

37.5% (2012)

Drinking water source:

improved: total: 100% of population
unimproved: total: 0% of population (2017 est.)

Current Health Expenditure:

2.6% (2017)

Physicians density:

2.69 physicians/1,000 population (2016)

Hospital bed density:

1.3 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access:

improved: total: 100% of population (2015 est.)
unimproved: total: 0% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.1% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

<500 (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

<100 (2017 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:

35.1% (2016)
country comparison to the world: 15

Education expenditures:

2.7% of GDP (2019)
country comparison to the world: 145


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.5%
male: 92.4%
female: 94.7% (2017)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 14 years (2019)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:

total: 0.4%
male: 0.2%
female: 1.5% (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 181


Country name:

conventional long form: State of Qatar
conventional short form: Qatar
local long form: Dawlat Qatar
local short form: Qatar
etymology: the origin of the name is uncertain, but it dates back at least 2,000 years since a term "Catharrei" was used to describe the inhabitants of the peninsula by Pliny the Elder (1st century A.D.), and a "Catara" peninsula is depicted on a map by Ptolemy (2nd century A.D.)
note: closest approximation of the native pronunciation is gattar or cottar

Government type:

absolute monarchy


name: Doha
geographic coordinates: 25 17 N, 51 32 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: derives from the Arabic term "dohat," meaning "roundness," and refers to the small rounded bays along the area's coastline

Administrative divisions:

8 municipalities (baladiyat, singular - baladiyah); Ad Dawhah, Al Khawr wa adh Dhakhirah, Al Wakrah, Ar Rayyan, Ash Shamal, Ash Shihaniyah, Az Za'ayin, Umm Salal


3 September 1971 (from the UK)

National holiday:

National Day, 18 December (1878), anniversary of Al Thani family accession to the throne; Independence Day, 3 September (1971)


history: previous 1972 (provisional); latest drafted 2 July 2002, approved by referendum 29 April 2003, endorsed 8 June 2004, effective 9 June 2005
amendments: proposed by the Amir or by one third of Advisory Council members; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of Advisory Council members and approval and promulgation by the emir; articles pertaining to the rule of state and its inheritance, functions of the emir, and citizen rights and liberties cannot be amended

Legal system:

mixed legal system of civil law and Islamic (sharia) law (in family and personal matters)

International law organization participation:

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Qatar
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 20 years; 15 years if an Arab national


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: Amir TAMIM bin Hamad Al Thani (since 25 June 2013)
head of government: Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh KHALID ibn Khalifa ibn Abdul Aziz Al Thani (since 28 January 2020); Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defense Affairs KHALID bin Mohamed AL Attiyah (since 14 November 2017); Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs MOHAMED bin Abdulrahman Al Thani (since 14 November 2017)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the amir
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the amir

Legislative branch:

description: unicameral Advisory Council or Majlis al-Shura (45 seats; 30 members directly elected by popular vote for 4-year re-electable terms; 15 members appointed by the monarch to serve until resignation or until relieved; note - legislative drafting authority rests with the Council of Ministers and is reviewed by the Advisory Council or Majlis al-Shura
elections: last on 17 June 2016 (next in 2019); note - in late 2019, the amir announced the formation of a committee to oversee preparations for the first elected council, although Doha has not selected a date for elections
election results: NA; composition - men 41, women 4, percent of women 8.9%

Judicial branch:

highest courts: Supreme Court or Court of Cassation (consists of the court president and several judges); Supreme Constitutional Court (consists of the chief justice and 6 members)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges nominated by the Supreme Judiciary Council, a 9-member independent body consisting of judiciary heads appointed by the Amir; judges appointed for 3-year renewable terms; Supreme Constitutional Court members nominated by the Supreme Judiciary Council and appointed by the monarch; term of appointment NA
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Administrative Court; Courts of First Instance; sharia courts; Courts of Justice; Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Center, established in 2009, provides dispute resolution services for institutions and bodies in Qatar, as well as internationally

Political parties and leaders:

political parties are banned

International organization participation:

ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, CAEU, CD, CICA (observer), EITI (implementing country), FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador MISHAL bin Hamad bin Muhammad Al Thani (since 24 April 2017)
chancery: 2555 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20037
telephone: [1] (202) 274-1600
FAX: [1] (202) 237-0682
consulate(s) general: Houston, Los Angeles

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Ambassador Greta C. HOLTZ (since 14 June 2020)
telephone: [974] 4496-6000
embassy: 22 February Street, Al Luqta District, P. O. Box 2399, Doha
mailing address: P. O. Box 2399, Doha
FAX: [974] 4488-4298

Flag description:

maroon with a broad white serrated band (nine white points) on the hoist side; maroon represents the blood shed in Qatari wars, white stands for peace; the nine-pointed serrated edge signifies Qatar as the ninth member of the "reconciled emirates" in the wake of the Qatari-British treaty of 1916
note: the other eight emirates are the seven that compose the UAE and Bahrain; according to some sources, the dominant color was formerly red, but this darkened to maroon upon exposure to the sun and the new shade was eventually adopted

National symbol(s):

a maroon field surmounted by a white serrated band with nine white points; national colors: maroon, white

National anthem:

name: "Al-Salam Al-Amiri" (The Amiri Salute)
lyrics/music: Sheikh MUBARAK bin Saif al-Thani/Abdul Aziz Nasser OBAIDAN
note: adopted 1996; anthem first performed that year at a meeting of the Gulf Cooperative Council hosted by Qatar


Economic overview:

Qatar's oil and natural gas resources are the country's main economic engine and government revenue source, driving Qatar's high economic growth and per capita income levels, robust state spending on public entitlements, and booming construction spending, particularly as Qatar prepares to host the World Cup in 2022. Although the government has maintained high capital spending levels for ongoing infrastructure projects, low oil and natural gas prices in recent years have led the Qatari Government to tighten some spending to help stem its budget deficit. ++ Qatar's reliance on oil and natural gas is likely to persist for the foreseeable future. Proved natural gas reserves exceed 25 trillion cubic meters - 13% of the world total and, among countries, third largest in the world. Proved oil reserves exceed 25 billion barrels, allowing production to continue at current levels for about 56 years. Despite the dominance of oil and natural gas, Qatar has made significant gains in strengthening non-oil sectors, such as manufacturing, construction, and financial services, leading non-oil GDP to steadily rise in recent years to just over half the total. ++ Following trade restriction imposed by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt in 2017, Qatar established new trade routes with other countries to maintain access to imports.

GDP real growth rate:

1.6% (2017 est.)
2.1% (2016 est.)
3.7% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

-0.6% (2019 est.)
0.2% (2018 est.)
0.3% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11

Credit ratings:

Fitch rating: AA- (2017)
Moody's rating: Aa3 (2017)
Standard & Poors rating: AA- (2017)

GDP (purchasing power parity) - real:

$344.108 billion (2019 est.)
$344.74 billion (2018 est.)
$339.668 billion (2017 est.)
note: data are in 2010 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$191.29 billion (2018 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$62,019 (2019 est.)
$63,259 (2018 est.)
$63,631 (2017 est.)
note: data are in 2010 dollars
country comparison to the world: 16

Gross national saving:

50.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
42.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
47.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:

agriculture: 0.2% (2017 est.)
industry: 50.3% (2017 est.)
services: 49.5% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use:

household consumption: 24.6% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 17% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 43.1% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 1.5% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 51% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -37.3% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores:

86.1 (2020)

Agriculture - products:

fruits, vegetables; poultry, dairy products, beef; fish


liquefied natural gas, crude oil production and refining, ammonia, fertilizer, petrochemicals, steel reinforcing bars, cement, commercial ship repair

Industrial production growth rate:

3% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105

Labor force:

1.953 million (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122

Unemployment rate:

8.9% (2017 est.)
11.1% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136

Population below poverty line:


Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 1.3%
highest 10%: 35.9% (2007)


revenues: 44.1 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 53.82 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:

26.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

-5.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 179

Public debt:

53.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
46.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88

Fiscal year:

1 April - 31 March

Current account balance:

$6.426 billion (2017 est.)
-$8.27 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29


$67.5 billion (2017 est.)
$57.25 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56

Exports - partners:

Japan 17.3%, South Korea 16%, India 12.6%, China 11.2%, Singapore 8.2%, UAE 6.4% (2017)

Exports - commodities:

liquefied natural gas (LNG), petroleum products, fertilizers, steel


$30.77 billion (2017 est.)
$31.93 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71

Imports - commodities:

machinery and transport equipment, food, chemicals

Imports - partners:

China 10.9%, US 8.9%, UAE 8.5%, Germany 8.1%, UK 5.5%, India 5.4%, Japan 5.3%, Italy 4.3% (2017)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$15.01 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$31.89 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68

Debt - external:

$167.8 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$157.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39

Exchange rates:

Qatari rials (QAR) per US dollar -
3.641 (2020 est.)
3.641 (2019 est.)
3.641 (2018 est.)
3.64 (2014 est.)
3.64 (2013 est.)


Electricity access:

electrification - total population: 100% (2020)

Electricity - production:

39.78 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58

Electricity - consumption:

37.24 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 186

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 188

Electricity - installed generating capacity:

8.796 million kW (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66

Electricity - from fossil fuels:

100% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:

0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 169

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:

0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 193

Electricity - from other renewable sources:

1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163

Crude oil - production:

1.464 million bbl/day (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17

Crude oil - exports:

1.15 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13

Crude oil - imports:

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 183

Crude oil - proved reserves:

25.24 billion bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13

Refined petroleum products - production:

273,800 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46

Refined petroleum products - consumption:

277,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45

Refined petroleum products - exports:

485,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 18

Refined petroleum products - imports:

12,300 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143

Natural gas - production:

166.4 billion cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4

Natural gas - consumption:

39.9 billion cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 26

Natural gas - exports:

126.5 billion cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 176

Natural gas - proved reserves:

24.07 trillion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:

114.2 million Mt (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 40


Telephones - fixed lines:

total subscriptions: 392,048
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 16.29 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101

Telephones - mobile cellular:

total subscriptions: 3,329,155
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 138.33 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138

Telecommunication systems:

general assessment: regional leaders in telecom; highest fixed-line and mobile penetrations in Middle East; deployed over 90 5G base stations for 5G launch, claiming 1st commercial launch of 5G in the world May 2018; telecom system centered in Doha; steady LTE networks; good broadband penetration, ADSL, (Fiber-to-the-Home/Premises) FttP, wireless and mobile services; largest users of the Internet and use of OTT services and bundled services (2020)
domestic: fixed-line 16 per 100 and mobile-cellular telephone subscribership 138 telephones per 100 persons (209)
international: country code - 974; landing points for the Qatar-UAE Submarine Cable System, AAE-1, FOG, GBICS/East North Africa MENA and the FALCON submarine cable network that provides links to Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Southeast Asia; tropospheric scatter to Bahrain; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia and the UAE; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) and 1 Arabsat; retains full ownership of two commercial satellites, Es'hailSat 1 and 2 (2019)
note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated

Broadcast media:

TV and radio broadcast licensing and access to local media markets are state controlled; home of the satellite TV channel Al-Jazeera, which was originally owned and financed by the Qatari government but has evolved to independent corporate status; Al-Jazeera claims editorial independence in broadcasting; local radio transmissions include state, private, and international broadcasters on FM frequencies in Doha; in August 2013, Qatar's satellite company Es'hailSat launched its first communications satellite Es'hail 1 (manufactured in the US), which entered commercial service in December 2013 to provide improved television broadcasting capability and expand availability of voice and Internet; Es'hailSat launched its second commercial satellite in 2018 with aid of SpaceX (2019)

Internet country code:


Internet users:

total: 2,355,297
percent of population: 99.65% (July 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112

Broadband - fixed subscriptions:

total: 267,906
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 11 (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105


National air transport system:

number of registered air carriers: 3 (2020)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 251
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 29,178,923 (2018)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 12,666,710,000 mt-km (2018)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:

A7 (2016)


6 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 175

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 4 (2017)
over 3,047 m: 3 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2017)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 2 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
under 914 m: 1 (2013)


1 (2013)


288 km condensate, 221 km condensate/gas, 2383 km gas, 90 km liquid petroleum gas, 745 km oil, 103 km refined products (2013)


total: 7,039 km (2016)
country comparison to the world: 142

Merchant marine:

total: 136
by type: bulk carrier 9, container ship 6, general cargo 5, oil tanker 7, other 109 (2019)
country comparison to the world: 77

Ports and terminals:

major seaport(s): Doha, Musay'id, Ra's Laffan
LNG terminal(s) (export): Ras Laffan

Military and Security

Military and security forces:

Qatari Amiri Land Force (QALF, includes Emiri Guard), Qatari Amiri Navy (QAN, includes Coast Guard), Qatari Amiri Air Force (QAAF); Internal Security Forces: Mobile Gendarmerie (2019)

Military and security service personnel strengths:

size assessments for the Qatari Amiri military vary; approximately 14,000 active personnel (10,000 Land Force, including Emiri Guard; 2,000 Navy, including Coast Guard; 2,000 Air Force); est. 5,000 Internal Security Forces (2019)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions:

the Qatari military's inventory includes a mix of older and modern weapons systems, mostly from the US and Europe, particularly France, Germany, and the UK; the leading providers of armaments to Qatar since 2010 are France, Germany, and the US; Qatar is scheduled to receive several ships from Italy beginning in 2021 and a large shipment of fighter aircraft from the UK in 2022 (2019 est.)

Military service age and obligation:

conscription for males aged 18-35; compulsory service times range from 4 months to up to a year, depending on the cadets educational and professional circumstances; women are permitted to serve in the armed forces, including as uniformed officers and pilots (2019)


Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:


Refugees and internally displaced persons:

stateless persons: 1,200 (2019)

Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Qatar is a destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor, and, to a much lesser extent, forced prostitution; the predominantly foreign workforce migrates to Qatar legally for low- and semi-skilled work but often experiences situations of forced labor, including debt bondage, delayed or nonpayment of salaries, confiscation of passports, abuse, hazardous working conditions, and squalid living arrangements; foreign female domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to trafficking because of their isolation in private homes and lack of protection under Qatari labor laws; some women who migrate for work are also forced into prostitution
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Qatar does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government investigated 11 trafficking cases but did not prosecute or convict any offenders, including exploitative employers and recruitment agencies; the primary solution for resolving labor violations was to transfer a worker's sponsorship to a new employer with minimal effort to investigate whether a forced labor violation had occurred; authorities increased their efforts to protect some trafficking victims, although many victims of forced labor, particularly domestic workers, remained unidentified and unprotected and were sometimes punished for immigration violations or running away from an employer or sponsor; authorities visited worksites throughout the country to meet and educate workers and employers on trafficking regulations, but the government failed to abolish or reform the sponsorship system, perpetuating Qatar's forced labor problem (2015)