The Arab Economic Summit,
19-20 January 2009,
State of Kuwait

The State of Qatar


Head of state

His Highness the Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani

 

Geography

The limestone peninsula, which extends from the western side of the Arabian Gulf into its warm shallow waters, has a total land area of just over 11,437 square kilometers, including its offshore islands and reefs. Many areas of the country lay below sea level, with the highest point approximately 120m above sea level. Salt flats or “sabkha” characterize many of the low-laying areas, where the gypsum formations known as “desert rose” can be found just below the surface.

 

Climate

Qatar enjoys sunshine just about everyday of the year. The average temperatures during the summer range from 38°C to 42°C during the day and 18°C at night, while winter temperatures are 34°C during the day and 10°C at night.

 

Currency

The official currency is the Qatari Riyal (QR), divided into 100 Dirham.

 

Economy

Qatar’s national income primarily derives from oil and natural gas exports. The country has oil estimated at 15 billion barrels, while gas reserves in the giant north field are almost as large as the peninsula itself.

 

While oil and gas will probably remain the backbone of Qatar’s economy for some time to come, the country seeks to stimulate the private sector and develop a “knowledge economy”. For the 15th Asian Games in Doha, it established Sports City, consisting of Khalifa stadium.

 

Qatar is aiming to become a role model for economic and social transformation in the region. Large scale investment in all social and economic sectors will also lead to the development of a strong financial market.

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