QSE & Qatar Economy

A Statement by H.H. The Emir of Qatar: “The State of Qatar has gone along way towards supporting and diversifying the economy, and promoting social services”

General Information about Qatar:

Qatar is a peninsula situated halfway along the West Coast of the Arabian Gulf. It has a number of islands; the most important ones are Halool, Shira’aw, Al-Ashart and others. Its topography consists of a rocky flat surface with some limestone outcrops in Dukhan area in the west and Fuwairit area in the north. The surface is full with characteristic depressions called Rawdat, particularly in the north and central plants.

Land Area:

The total land area of Qatar including the islands is approximately 11,521 square kilometers.


The total population within the State of Qatar is 1,670,389 persons (as of 30 April, 2010) as compared to 1,650,139 persons in the last year census (i.e. as of 30 April, 2009).

This number represents persons of all ages (Qataris and Non-Qataris) within the boundaries of the State of Qatar and does not include:

- Qatari nationals who were outside the State boundaries on 30-4-2010
- Non-Qataris with residency permits who were outside the state boundaries on 30-4-2010

Capital City:


Official Language:

Arabic is the official language in Qatar, and English is widely spoken.


Islam is the official religion of the country, and the Shariah (Islamic Law) is the principal source of legislation in the country.


Qatar has a moderate desert climate with long hot summers and short mild winters and little rain in winter.

Major Towns:

Doha, Al Wakrah, Al Khor, Dukhan, Al Shamal, Mesaieed, Ras Lafan and others.


The official currency is the Qatari Riyal (QR), which is divided into 100 dirhams. The Exchange parity has been set at the fixed rate of US $ = 3.65QR's.

National Day:

18th of December.

27 June 1995:

On the 27th of June 1995 His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani assumed the rule of the State of Qatar supported by the ruling family and the Qatari people.

Work Hours:

Sunday to Thursday
Government offices: 7 am to 1 pm for clients

Banks and Financial Institutions: 7:30am to 2:00 pm
Private Sectors: Two shifts: 8:00 am to 12:00 pm, and 4 pm to 8 pm

Local Time:

3 hours + Greenwich Mean Time.

An Overview of Qatar’s Economy

Qatar is one of the smallest Gulf Countries in terms of population and geographical area but the second largest gas reserves in the world representing more than 5% of the world total. The prosperity of natural resources coupled with the growing and diversifying economy means enormous access to investment opportunities and incentives. The Qatari government adopts a policy aiming at diversifying income resources and developing economic infrastructure. Specifically, the government expanded the exploration projects in oil and gas sectors and offered numerous incentives to attract foreign investors to carry out similar projects. The Qatari economy is one of the most rapidly growing economies in the world offering the international community a variety of world-class and cutting- edge products and services. With its strong and open economy, the government of Qatar is committed to international standards and practices. The country is concentrating on establishing business presence in the world community in order to leverage on globalization basis. Continuous improvements have seen as central to the country’s growth and advancement as summarized below:

  • Qatar is a stable and pro-business country with clear vision and direct focus.
  • Qatar has the highest GDP per capita income in the world estimated at US $68,467 in 2008.
  • Qatar’s nominal GDP growth continues to reach record levels, averaging 25% over the past five years.
  • Qatar has a strong trade surplus over the years with revenues mainly driven from oil and gas exports.
  • Qatar is a country of creative energy, a leader in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) sector and one of the desirable investment destinations of the world.
  • Qatar welcomes foreign participation in joint venture to invest in all the various sectors of national economy with 51% Qatari participation.
  • Qatar is rated with AA-long term and A1 short term on foreign and local currency sovereign credit by Standards and Poor’s, Aa2 with stable long-term outlook by Moody’s and A+ by Capital Intelligence in 2007.
  • Qatar’s Equity Markets has been among the most exuberant in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), accumulating significant gains since 2003.
  • The positive growth rate in QSE is largely backed by strong macro-economic fundamentals and sound financial performance of corporate sectors.

Sources: World Economic Outlook, IMF, EIU and Qatar Economic Review (QNB), Qatar Statistics Authority (QSA)