Qatar occupies a small peninsula that extends in to the gulf from the east side of the Arabian Penisula countries bordering it are Saudi Arabia to the west and the United Arab Emirates to the south it’s located in the Middle East and borders Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia. Its population is approximately 907,229 with a population growth of 2. 4 %. The birth rate is 15. 6/1000 and has an infant mortality of 17. 5/1000. The life expectancy is 74. 1 and the population density per square meter is 214. Males from 0-14 years and 15-64 years are more than females and generally males are more than females.
The death rate is currently 4. 82/1000. The total fertility rate is 2. 75 children per woman. Life expectancy is 76 years for women and 71 years for men. The population is under threat as women are marrying later in life and the abortion rates are increasing The official language in Qatar is Arabic and English is the second common language. The highest percentage of its population is Arab that forms approximately 40% the Pakistan and Indians constitute each 18% of the total population while Iranian and other races form 24%. 95% of its citizens are Muslim. Qatar’s total area is 11,437 km2 all of which is on land.
The climate is arid mild and has pleasant winters but very hot and humid summers. The terrain is mostly flat and barren desert that is covered with loose Island and gravel. The natural resources in this state are petroleum and natural gas. Qatar territories include a number of islands and the most renowned Island is Hawar Island. Halul is the export terminal for the offshore oil fields. (http://www. infoplease. com/ce6/world/A0840678. html) It consists of flat rocky surfaces but has some hills and sand dunes, which reach an altitude of 40m above the sea level, in the western and northern parts.
It has a rainwater-draining basis in the North and Central areas. The climate is a desert one with hot summers and mild winter. Coral reefs along the ports and shallow waters make navigation difficult especially on those areas where channels have not been dredged. Long summers from June through September have intense heat and alternating dryness and humidity with temperatures exceeding 55 degrees centigrade. From November through May there are moderate temperatures. Winter temperatures can fall to 17 degrees centigrade. The country receives very little rainfall that fills small ravines and the dry wadis.
Water is saline and hence unsuitable for drinking or for irrigation purposes due to the high mineral content. Desalination of seawater is a common practice in Qatar. Through desalination In the North West there are jagged limestone outcroppings that rise over 40 meters high. To the South, impressive sand dunes rise up to 60 meters. Other notable features include coastal salt pans that are elevated by limestone formations along the west coast where Durkhan Oil fields and massive sand dunes surrounding Khor al Udaid which is an inlet of the gulf in the South East known as inland sea.
Halul, the most important island, lies about 90 kilometers east of Doha and it serves as a storage area and as a loading terminal for oil from surrounding offshore fields. Qatar is limestone and dolomite peninsula of both flat and rocky surfaces and extreme desert conditions. The coasts are generally low with marine terraces and Sabkhas in several places. The sand dunes have moved progressively southwards due to the effect of the prevailing winds. Major Sand dunes are situated in the south eastern parts while limestones are to the western and northern parts of the country.
Most land is quiet, uncultivated and scenically beautiful. It contains geographical features that are peculiar to the western side of the Arabian Gulf. There are the rainwater draining basin to the north and central parts which are considered the most fertile and attract heavy agricultural investment. Khor al-Udaid is a deep inlet from the sea on the south east coast. It is a ‘water sanctuary’ and fishing for commercial purposes is banned. It is a sea bay that harbors sea animals like sea turtles, water fowls, and sea birds. It is also an important breeding ground for dolphins. Flamingos also gather there during winter.
It also has ponds like the Umm-Said sewage pond and Salwa road ponds. Al-Aliyah Island is also an important feature. It is located 13kilometers to the north east of the capital, Doha. It consist weathered limestone rocks and has uneven patches of salt tolerant bushes. It is an abode of shore birds, gulls, and* Al-Dhakita mangrove located 7 km north Al Khor consist of a group salt water bays. With dense mangrove growth with broad mud flats and salt marshy vegetation. It has valuable fish and shrimp stocks and is important destination for wintering birds and water ducks and flamingoes.
Sabkha refers to flat saline areas of sand or silt lying above the water table and often containing soft nodules and veins of gypsum and a hydrite that was deposited over a long time by the action of wind blown sand. They have a crust of halite and gypsum. Caves or dulus are also widespread in Qatar. Ground water and rainwater reaction with soft surface and subsurface dissolves in limestone and gypsum creating cavities and the ceilings may collapse exposing the interior. It contains ten substantial caves although most have collapsed to form depressions and dolines of the northern Qatar.
Sand dunes are also prominent features in Qatar. They have a crescent shape as the wind ward face is ripped off by the wind action. The leeward side collapses under the driving wind. Qatar has an interesting plateau of tertiary limestone standing out in the desert about 20meters high. This is between Dukhan through Umm Bab towards the Saudi Arabian border. Low hills are mushroom shaped due to erosion of underlying softer rocks. Gypsum crystals are also common. They are found south of Umm Said and are formed when high tides bring sea water into Sabkha.
As the water evaporates, it forms gypsum crystals that appear as low crystalline forms. To the western side Geodes are found. Natural hazards that are dominant here are haze dust storms and the common sand storms. Most of its population is literate and the illiteracy levels are very minimal. Political system The government type of Qatar is emirate. The capital city is Doha. There are 10 municipalities that include. Al Dawhah, Al Ghuwayriyah, Al Jumaliyah, Al Khawr, Al Wakrah, Ar Rayyan, Jarayan, Al Batinah, Madinat ash Shamal, Umm Said and Umm Salal. The 3rdSeptember is the national holiday when people commemorate their independence.
The capita city Doha is located on the central East Coast and it’s major functions are administrative, commercial and it is a population center. It is located on a harbour. Other ports include Umm Said Al Khor and Al Wakrah, Umm Said and Doha handle commercial shipping . The legal system is based on Islamic and civil law codes and the Amir controls the discretionary system of law. However civil codes are being implemented. The Islamic law dominates family and personal matters. Amir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani has been the chief of the state since 27th June 1995 after a bloodless coup.
His father was not able to handle the country’s economic reforms. Since it is a monarchial government the father did not lose his title as much power was already in his sons. Crown prince Jassim did not want to be king and he abdicated in favor of his younger brother. He rose to power after outdoing his father Amir Khalifa. The government is constitutional monarchy and the president’s fourth son Tamin bin Hamad is the selected heir. Amir Hamad was the Armed forces commander and defense minister when he seized power from his father who was out of the country.
He retains that title to date. He survived an attempted coup in 1996. He had also taken his father t court on alleged state fund misappropriation. However this matter was solved outside the court. Amir Hamad Khalifa father had deposed his cousin Emir Al-Thani family continued to hold power after independence in 1971. Government departments are responsible for ensuring economic and social progress. The emir’s leadership is influenced by consultation’s consensus and personal appeal. He is not accountable to anyone and he cannot violate the Islamic laws sharia.
In per taking his functions he must seek the opinion of the leading notable and religious leaders. Expatriate and residents are excluded from elections. The role of municipal council is not executive but offering advice to the minister. . The prime minister is Hamad bin Jasim bin Jabir al-Thani since April 3rd 2007. His deputy is Abdullah bin Hamad al-Atiyah. He replaced Abdullah bin Khalifa who resigned April 2007. The cabinet comprises of council of ministers all of which are appointed by the monarchy. Elections are rarely done since the system of ruling is monarchial.
However in April 2003 it held nationwide election for a 29-member central municipal council (CMC). The CMC has consultative powers geared to improving the efficiency in provision of municipal service. The advisory council or Maljis al-shura has 35 members who are appointed by the monarchy. Council members have their terms extended after every four years. However since the establishment of a new constitution in 2005, 10 more positions were to be introduced and the public had a chance to elect 2/3 of the seats while Amir the president appoints the other 1/3.
Introduction of the first constitution would guarantee freedom expression assembly and religion and increment of parliament seats. Elections are to be conducted late this year. Amir appoints all judges based on recommendations of supreme judiciary council. The branches of the judiciary are courts of first instance appeal and cassation. Since it’s a monarchial government there are no political leaders or parties and political pressure groups. Women were allowed to vote for the first time in 1999 and municipal consisted of 29 members.
Democracy is being incorporated ever since Amir brought liberal changes in to the economy. Economy Oil and gas are the dominant trade goods. They both account for more than 60% of the countries GDP. They also contribute to a tune of 85% of the country’s export earnings and 70% of the government’s revenue. They are the reasons the country is one of the world fastest growing countries. They have seen it’s per capital rise to equal that of European Union. Due to sustained high oil prices the country is able to build its budget trade surpluses and foreign reserves.
The oil reserves in this country are more than 15 billion barrels and they can sustain continued surplus for more than 20 years. Natural gas reserves are also abundant. They exceed 25 trillion cubic meters, which is more than 5% of the word total and 3rd largest in the world. The country is undertaking measures to develop its gas field in ensuring that the country becomes the world’s top liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter. Foreign investment is also being encouraged so that non- energy projects can be improved by liberalizing the economy further. The country’s GDP real growth rate in 2006 was 7.
1% and the per capita GDP was $29,800. Composition of the GDP is mainly industry, which is 75. 8%, and service sector, which is 24. 1%. The unemployment rate was 3. 2% in 2006 and the inflation rate was 11. 8%. The major trading partners with Qatar are Japan, South Korea, Singapore, India, France, U. S, Saudi Arabia, united Arabs emirates, Germany and UK. Major imports are machinery and transport equipments manufactured goods, food and live animals. Japan receives the largest proportion of Qatar exports. Other important trading partners include South Korea and France.
The service sector accounts for approximately a ? of the total GDP and creates employment for the Qatar people. The government is promoting the tourism sector in an effort to trying to make it match other industries in the economy. Qatar is the richest country in the Islam-dominated countries rising global demand for oil ensure increase prices of oil and this leads to increase economic growth. The economy of this country is not diversified it depends so much on oil and gas. Qatar’s industrial plants are located in Umm Said. There is a fertilizer plant for urea and ammonia a steel plant and a petrochemical plant.
These industries use gas as their source of energy ands they are owned by state or European and Japanese firms. http://www. nationsencyclopedia. com/economies/Asia-and-the-Pacific/Qatar. html To control the influx of expatriate workers Qatar is tightening the administration of its foreign manpower programs. Foreign educated Qatar’s are returning back home to develop their home country. Development of other industries will enable the economy to withstand future possible negative oil shocks. Real economic growth had slowed down in 2002 after OPEC enforced oil output cuts. The gas industry was however not affected.
Private investment is encouraged to ensure that the country’s economic growth does not decline with changes in the market. Steel industries have been making profits for the past 10 years, non-oil sectors in Qatar are building and construction, real estate communication, agriculture, fishing water and electricity and banking. The state provides incentives to foreign investors, which include security loans from Qatar Industrial bank QIB eliminates quantitative quotas on imports no income tax on salaries of expatriates no export duties and no taxes on corporate profit for pre determined periods.
The country has a comparatively high public sector external debt. Debt has been incurred to finance LNG and other industrial products. The GDP is raising and thus the ratio of public external debt to GDP is declining. http://www. nationsencyclopedia. com/economies/Asia-and-the-Pacific/Qatar. html The economic challenge that the country faces is to maintain global competitiveness. There is need to improve on the macro-economic management and the public sector institutions. Absorption of new technologies ought to be done at a faster rate.
This translates to more revenues being redirected in imports over reliance on one industry is an issue that needs to be addressed. Diversifying the economy is a safe approach of ensuring toast hock ups in oil industry will not adversely affect the countries economy. Investment in quality education will also be a wise approach of addressing the country’s issue. It will reduce the number of foreign employees in the country by substituting them with the locals. Leadership or quality of government also ought to be changed.
Democracy will go along way in maintaining economic stability in the long run. The monarchial system needs to be reformed. Levels of unemployment ought to be completely eradicated investing heavily in human capita and education city project sponsored by the Qatar foundation has seen worlds top universities and research centers to the country. Qatar joined other emirates of the Tricia coast in forming the United Arab Emirates but together with Bahrain they disagreed about the merger but instead formed independent nations.
(Crystal Jill,1995) A border dispute with Saudi Arabia was settled in 1992 although the dispute with Bahrain remains unsolved. It signed a defense pact with the US and it became the third country in the Gulf to do so. It is home of the immensely popular but controversial Arabic Satellite Television Network Al Jazeera. Contraversial because it is accused of not being free and fair in its broadcasts. Al Jazeera is not only popular in the Arab world but also globally.
It was the only channel allowed to operate from Afghanistan and the first to air Osama bin Laden’s statement in October 2001. It favors those who are its allies and does not criticize or air anything negative about its own Government. (El-Nawawy et al, 2002) Pollution from oil and gas industries has negative impact on the diversity of species. It is an issue that ought to be addressed. Qatar is surrounded by sea on three sides and its territorial waters encompass 35,000 square kilometers. Marine life has to adapt to the harsh conditions of salty water and soaring temperatures.