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About Qatar

Business and Finance

Qatar is a global energy leader with ambitious economic goals.

Revenues generated from the country’s oil and gas reserves have helped build a solid foundation for economic growth. In addition, free-market policies and low taxes are attracting investors and workers from around the world.

Despite the global financial crisis, the country has continued to maintain steady economic growth in 2009, registering more than 9% growth in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Qatar ranks as one of the richest countries in the world – with a GDP per capita of more than $121,000, according to the CIA World Fact Book.

The State enjoys an extremely low unemployment rate of less than 1%. The country welcomes foreign labor and views its expatriate workforce as an important economic and cultural asset.

Oil and gas accounts for more than 50% of the country’s GDP. Proven oil reserves of 15 billion barrels should enable current levels of output for 37 years. At the same time, proven reserves of natural gas exceed 25 trillion cubic meters – about 14% of the world total and third largest in the world.

As Qatar continues to diversity its economy, investments are made in all sectors, including agriculture, industry, health, education, trade, technology, tourism and others.

Tourism, Culture and Leisure

Qatar’s combination of desert landscape, traditional Arab culture and modern development provides an interesting mix of sites to visit and plenty of activities to suit all ages.

The country’s vast desert, natural beaches and surrounding waters are impossible to ignore. They are ideal locations for all kinds of outdoor activities, including camping, sand-duning, jet-skiing, diving and snorkeling.

The capital city of Doha, meanwhile, is home to an impressive number of world-class sport facilities, malls, mosques, art and cultural centers, hotels and other tourist attractions.

For those who live and work in Qatar, a number of yearly festivals and cultural and sporting events provide entertainment for the whole family. World-class musicians and artists are also often invited to perform in Doha, offering citizens and residents a private glimpse into the best of the arts.

Education and Research

Education and research are central to Qatar’s plan for a sustainable future. The wide range of choices in education from early-childhood to postgraduate levels enables the country to secure a thriving economy and society.

From a young age, children in Qatar are exposed to a high standard of education. Schools are divided into public and private sectors, while specialized schools provide more targeted education.

Qatar’s unique position allows educators and researchers to adopt international standards while preserving regional values. One of the best examples is Education City, where internationally renowned universities have set up programs to help inspire innovative research and develop human capital.

Since its inception in 1973, Qatar University has remained as the sole national institution of higher education. With a 13-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio and more than 60 specializations in seven colleges, it is a prime center and community focal point for education, research and cultural interaction.

The government has plans to increase the number of educational facilities in the coming years. The building of new nurseries, schools, colleges and universities will help elevate the education level among citizens and residents, while inspiring innovation in education and research.

Tourism, Culture and Leisure

Qatar’s combination of desert landscape, traditional Arab culture and modern development provides an interesting mix of sites to visit and plenty of activities to suit all ages.

The country’s vast desert, natural beaches and surrounding waters are impossible to ignore. They are ideal locations for all kinds of outdoor activities, including camping, sand-duning, jet-skiing, diving and snorkeling.

The capital city of Doha, meanwhile, is home to an impressive number of world-class sport facilities, malls, mosques, art and cultural centers, hotels and other tourist attractions.

For those who live and work in Qatar, a number of yearly festivals and cultural and sporting events provide entertainment for the whole family. World-class musicians and artists are also often invited to perform in Doha, offering citizens and residents a private glimpse into the best of the arts.

Public Services and Transportation

Recent economic growths have helped trigger a huge expansion of public services in Qatar. Those include transportation, telecommunications, utilities and media. As a result, citizen, residents and visitors are able to enjoy all the amenities of a modern, efficient society.

The public transportation provider is Mowasalat, popularly known as “The Transport Company.” Its services include taxis, limousines and buses. Mowasalat’s Karwa vehicles can be spotted throughout the country by their iconic aquamarine color.

Qatar has an expanding telecommunications market. Two major service providers – Qtel and Vodafone – offer a host of telephone, wireless and Internet choices to consumers, while a third provider, Virgin Mobile, has partnered with Qtel to operate in the country.

The people of Qatar enjoy a free flow of information. Qatar-based Al Jazeera remains a world-class news provider, broadcasting internationally in Arabic and English. A number of newspapers, magazines and broadcasters also thrive under Qatar’s progressive publication laws.

As the country continues to develop, consumers will be handed with even more choices. The ease and convenience that these public services bring are expected to help improve the country’s productivity and standard of living.

Family, Community and Religion

Family and religion are the fundamental units of Qatari society. They are the cornerstones of a happy and healthy community – one which the government aims to protect, cherish and promote.

The population of Qatar totals over 1.5 million, according to the latest estimates from the Statistics Authority. A significant portion of that population is non-Qatari, due to the high influx of expatriate workers in recent years.

The majority of Qatari citizens follow the Hanbali branch of Islam. Sharia Law is observed in everyday life. It is also applied to the country’s justice system.

Qatar is an Islamic state with mosques spread throughout the country. The government and the people are tolerant of other religions.

The traditional family unit – consisting of husband, wife and children – is the basic building block of Qatari society. As the population continues to grow, the government is committed to keeping Qatar a family-oriented country with strong Islamic values and traditions. People are encouraged to incorporate the Five Pillars of Islam into their daily lives.

Health Care & Well-being

Qatar’s health care sector has come a long way since the country’s first hospital opened in 1957. Today, citizens and residents enjoy state-of-the-art health and medical services from both public and private health care providers.

Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is the premier non-profit health care provider. Established in 1979, it manages five specialized hospitals and 24 primary health care centers. HMC offers the most comprehensive health care in Qatar, covering every area of medicine and wellness from oncology to psychiatry.

Access to public health care services is affordable and efficient with the government-issued Health Card.

A wide selection of private health care clinics has also opened in Qatar. Private practices operate under strict national standards. However, their services are not covered by the Health Card.

The Supreme Council of Health (SCH) is responsible for regulating both public and private health care. Its mandate is to provide the most effective and advanced health care possible, and propel Qatar’s health care system into one of the best in the world. To help fulfill this national goal, the government is dedicating significant resources into upgrading the health infrastructure and promoting healthy living. It believes that quality health care and education are key to building a healthy nation.

Environment and Natural Resources

Qatar is a peninsula located in the Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia. The total area of the country is close to 11,500 sq. kilometer. Mostly flat and rocky, the country’s notable features include the majestic sand dunes in the southeast, natural beaches along the coast, and elevated limestone foundations in the west.

According to its geographical location and climate, Qatar is classified as a hot subtropical desert. The weather is hot and humid in the summer, but mild and pleasant in the winter. Though it rarely rains, sandstorms are a common occurrence. The scarcity of fresh water resources has led the government to adopt and develop desalination technology. Although water continues to be drawn from underground sources, most of it is obtained by desalination of seawater.

Although much of the landscape is covered with sand, natural vegetations – such as trees, reeds and shrubs – can be found in some regions. Greenhouse technology is also used to grow local produce, such as tomatoes and cucumbers.

Beneath the land of Qatar and its surrounding waters lie some of the biggest oil and gas deposits in the world. The discovery of oil has led to a financial rebirth of the country, while the abundance of natural gas reserves will help secure its future.

The government is committed to preserving the environment. Laws and regulations are in place to limit pollution and protect wild life. Environmental assessments are made on all potential industrial sites to ensure new projects comply with national rules.

Real Estate and Property

Qatar’s construction and real estate industry has witnessed intense growth in recent years. The skyline of Doha’s business district is often described as having been transformed overnight into what is now a panorama of strikingly unique skyscrapers.

The construction industry is expected continue to grow in the coming years, as the country opens up to foreign property investment. Under current legislation, non-Qataris may invest in selected real estate projects, such as the West Bay Lagoon and The Pearl – Qatar. As part of the incentive to attract foreign investment, real estate visas can now be granted to buyers, allowing them to live in the country without sponsorship.

For most residents, though, renting remains the living arrangement of choice. Those who wish to rent an apartment, villa or room have a wide selection to choose from in every area of the city. After years of escalation, rental prices have stabilized as new projects mature and vacancy rates increase. The rights and obligations of tenants and landlords are outlined in the rental laws.

The Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning oversees the preparation of all records related to the selling, leasing, waiver and bequeathing of real estate. Some selected records and documents must bear the approval of the Real Estate and Residences Registration Office to be considered valid. Land owners should visit the office before completing their real estate registrations at the Ministry of Justice.

Qatar Contacts

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