All information about rich State of Qatar – General Information

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Qatar National Profile


The State of Qatar is a sovereign and independent state in the Middle East, occupying a peninsula that juts into the Arabian Gulf. Since its complete independence from Britain in 1971, Qatar has emerged as one of the world’s most important producers of oil and gas. It is an Islamic State whose laws and customs follow the Islamic tradition. Since 2013, the country has been governed by HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani.


Location

The State of Qatar is a peninsula located amid the western coast of the Arabian Gulf. The peninsular is approximately 100km across and extends 200km into the Gulf. Qatar includes several islands the largest of which are, Halul, Shraouh and Al-Asshat.. shares its southern border with Saudi Arabia and a maritime border Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Iran.


Local Time

GMT +3 hours.

Population

2,5 million.


Capital City

Doha.


Language

Arabic is the official language of the country, though English is widely spoken.


Religion

Islam.


Major Cities

Doha (capital), Al-Wakrah, Al-Khor, Dukhan, Al-Shamal, Msaieed, Ras Lafan and others.


Government

Hereditary monarchy.


Climate

Qatar has a desert climate with year-round sunshine, hot summers and mild winters. Mean monthly temperatures range from 17°C in January to 36°C in July, sometimes reaching highs of 40°C+ during the summer. Rain is infrequent, falling in brief showers mainly in winter.

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Qatar flag


National Flag

The national flag is maroon color with a broad vertical white stripe at the pole, the two colors separated with a nine-point serrated line.


Official Holidays

  • Fridays and Saturdays are official days off in Qatar
  • Qatar National Day: December 18 (annually)
  • National Sport Day on Tuesday of the second week of February (annually)
  • The holy Eid Al-Fitr
  • The holy Eid Al-Adha

Business hours

The workweek is from Sunday to Thursday, with most offices closed on Friday and Saturday.

  • Ministries and Government Entities: from 7am to 2 pm
  • Private Companies and Organizations: from 8am to 12pm and from 4pm to 8pm
  • Banks: from 7:30am to 1pm

Currency

The monetary unit of Qatar is the riyal (abbreviated to QR or QAR). The exchange rate is fixed at US $1 = QR3.64. There are no foreign exchange controls. ATMs can be found in many locations and most shops and restaurants accept major credit cards.


Customs regulations

  • Tobacco allowance: 400 cigarettes.
  • Personal items and gifts up to a maximum value of QAR 3,000.
  • Imports of alcohol and narcotics are prohibited

Medical matters

There are no major health risks and no special inoculations required by visitors. The quality of healthcare is generally very high. There are many well-stocked pharmacies, with English speaking staff, throughout Doha city, including some open 24 hours.


Safety

Qatar has among the lowest crime rates in the world. It is a safe destination with religious and political stability. While normal precautions should be observed, visitors need have little concern walking in any part of the city..


Disabled visitors

Leading hotels, the airports, shopping malls, larger banks and other new or recently-restored public buildings offer wheelchair access, disabled toilets and allocated parking, but visitors with special requirements are advised to check the situation at other locations. 


System of Government

Before its independence from Britain in 1971, Qatar enacted its provisional constitution. This constitution embodied Qatar’s first provisional basic law of governance. One year after Qatar’s national independence, the provisional constitution was amended to be compatible with both the requirements and responsibilities of this new era.

This constitutional amendment determined Qatar’s image. In addition, it specified objectives of Qatar’s policies. Furthermore, it underscored Qatar’s Gulf Arab and Islamic affinity. Together with this constitutional development, the expertise of Qatari authorities grew further. As those governmental entities developed their practices constructively at home and abroad.

The constitution legislative amendments addressed some provisions of the Amended Provisional Constitution, with respect to the

 executive authority and the provisions relating to the succession rule in the State and an update of the constitutional situation in the country. The enactment of the Judiciary Law and other fundamental laws governing civil and commercial transactions,  was a step on the road to complete the building of the state systems (Legal State) and to the establishment of the foundations of the state of institutions and law. And for this purpose, an Emiri decree was issued to form a committee to draft a permanent constitution for the country in July 1999, in line with the achievements of the State of Qatar.

It is worth mentioning that in 1999 Qatar witnessed the first elections for the Central Municipal Council. That was a historic event as those elections represented the first steps of the country towards democracy in its civil sense, and a pioneering development that encouraged women to run as candidates cast their votes and participate for the first time in public affairs and in the process of decision taking.

Constitutional Authorities

According to the permanent constitution, people are deemed to be the source of authority in Qatar. They shall exercise it in accordance with the provisions of the constitution. The system of government is based on the separation of powers. It shall be exercised in collaboration with the manner specified in this constitution. The Legislative Authority shall be vested in Al-Shoura Council as prescribed in this constitution. The Executive Authority shall be vested in the Emir and he shall be assisted by the Council of Ministers as specified in this constitution. The Judicial Authority shall be vested in courts of law as prescribed in this constitution. Court judgments shall be pronounced in the name of His Highness the Emir.

Emir of the State of Qatar 

His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani

The Emir is the Head of State. His person shall be inviolable and he must be respected by all. The Emir is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. He shall supervise the same with the assistance of the Defense Council, which is set under his direct authority.

The Emir shall represent the State internally and externally and in all international relations.

HH Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani was born on 3rd June 1980. HH the Emir received his high school diploma from Sherborne School in the United Kingdom in 1997 and graduated from the Sandhurst Royal Military Academy in the United Kingdom in 1998. He was appointed as Qatar’s Heir Apparent on 5th August 2003, and became Emir of Qatar on 25th June 2013.

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HH Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani

The Emir shall discharge the following functions:

  • Drawing up the general policy of the State with the assistance of the Council of Ministers.
  • Ratification and promulgation of laws; and no such law may be issued unless it is ratified by the Emir.
  • Summoning the Council of Ministers to convene at any time deemed necessary for public interest; and the Emir shall preside over the meetings of the Council of Ministers that he attends.
  • Appointment of civil servants and military personnel and terminating their service in accordance with the law.
  • Accrediting the heads of diplomatic and consular missions.
  • Granting pardon or commuting penalties in accordance with the law.
  • Conferring civilian and military orders and badges of honor in accordance with the law.
  • Establishing and regulating ministries and other governmental organs and determining its functions.
  • Establishing, organizing, supervising and specifying the functions of the consultative bodies that assist him in directing the high policies of the state.

The Drafting Committee of the Permanent Constitution

On 13th of July 1999, Qatar passed into a new era of its modern history.  HH the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani issued decree no (11) in 1999. In a historic speech on this occasion, HH announced the formation of a drafting committee of the permanent constitution.

Referendum on the Constitution

After 30 years of living under the umbrella of the Amended Provisional Constitution, Qataris were ready to transfer into a new era of participatory democratic freedom on 29th April 2003.  The Amended Provisional Constitution was not compatible with the increasing contemporary demands any more.     This new era was marked with the establishment of the Permanent Constitution of Qatar. This constitution would guarantee personal freedom, the principle of equality in public rights and duties. In addition, this permanent constitution would confirm that no citizen shall be banished neither shall he be denied re-entry to his country.
Furthermore, this constitution would guarantee freedom of expression of opinion, and would guarantee freedom of press, printing and publication. Moreover, it would guarantee the freedom to practice religious rites. In accordance to the provisions of this constitution, people are deemed to be the source of authority in

Qatar, and an elected legislative council” Al-Shoura Council”, would function as the legislative authority in Qatar.
H.H. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Father Emir of the State of Qatar, ratified the Constitution on June 8, 2004. Article (1), and (2) of the Qatari permanent constitution determined the identity of the State of Qatar as the following:
“Qatar is an independent sovereign Arab State. Its religion is Islam and Shari’a law shall be the main source of its legislations. Its political system is democratic. The Arabic Language shall be its official language. The people of Qatar are a part of the Arab nation.
The capital of the State is Doha City; and it may be transferred to any other place by a law. The State shall exercise its sovereignty on its territory and it may not relinquish its sovereignty neither may it cede any part of its territory.”

Council of Ministers

According to Chapter (3) “The Executive Authority “of the Permanent Constitution of the State of Qatar, The formation of the Council of Ministers shall be established by an Emiri Order on a proposal by the Prime Minister. The Emir may entrust the Prime Minister or any other Minister with the functions of one or more ministries. The law shall specify the powers of Ministers.

The Prime Minister shall, preside over the sessions of the Council. He shall organize its proceedings and supervise coordination of work among the various Ministries to achieve unity and harmony among the Governmental organs of the State. The Prime Minister shall sign, in the name and on behalf of the Council of Ministers, decisions made by the Council.

He shall also submit to the Emir the decisions of the Council on matters requiring an Emiri Resolution for approval and issuance in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution. Article (121) of the of the Permanent Constitution of the State of Qatar defined The Council of Minsters as functioning as “as the highest executive organ, to administer all the internal and external affairs falling within its jurisdiction as determined in this Constitution and the provisions of the law”.
Also, it has determined the following functions of the the Council of Ministers:

  • Proposal of draft laws and decrees and submission of the same to Al-Shoura Council for debates. If such proposed laws are approved by the Advisory Council, they shall be referred to the Emir for ratification and promulgation in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.
  • Approval of the regulations and decisions prepared by the Ministries.
  • Supervision of the implementation of laws, decrees, regulations, and resolutions.
  • Proposals of establishing and organizing of the Government departments, public authorities and corporate bodies according to the law.
  • Appointment and dismissal of civil servants in the cases where such appointment and dismissal do not fall within the jurisdiction of the Emir or the power of the Ministers as specified by the law.
  • Drawing up the general regulations that adequately ensure the maintenance of internal security and public order in all parts of the State in accordance with the law.
  • Administration of the finance of the State and preparation of its draft budget as determined by this Constitution and the provisions of the law.
  • Approval of economic project and methods of their implementation.
  • Supervision of the means for preserving the interests of the State abroad and maintenance of its international relations and foreign affairs.
  • Preparation of a report at the beginning of every fiscal year including a detailed survey of the tasks accomplished internally and abroad. The report shall be accompanied with a plan drawing up the most adequate ways for achieving comprehensive development of the State, providing the necessary conditions for its development and prosperity, and consolidating its security and stability in accordance with the basic guiding principles of the policy of the State as stated in this Constitution. The said report shall be submitted to the Emir for approval.
  • Any other functions vested upon it by this Constitution or the law.

The Advisory Council

Qatar’s Advisory Council (Shura Council) was established in 1972 following the provisions of an interim political order issued on 19 April 1972, related to the regulation of the State’s new institutions, including the Shura Council.

The current Advisory Council comprises a total of 45 members, 30 of whom are directly elected in a secret general ballot, whilst the remaining 15 are appointed by HH the Amir. The terms of service of the appointed members end either when they resign or when they are relieved from their posts.

The Shura Council has legislative powers, is responsible for determining the general budget, and it also checks the executive powers. The Council is responsible for deliberating and making suggestions on a number of issues, including:

  • Proposed laws and decrees referred by the Council of Ministers
  • State policy which concerns economic, administrative and political issues referred by the Council of Ministers
  • All state affairs related to social and cultural issues, through its own initiative or referred by the Council of Ministers
  • The general budget for public projects
  • The Council’s budget and its final accounts
  • Following up and tracking progress of previously discussed issues referred by the Cabinet and also addressing any queries
  • Addressing questions to ministers to get clarification on matters related to their expertise
  • Requesting additional detail on matters concerning government and ministerial policy
  • Proposing and putting forward recommendations on Council issues

The Council’s annual session lasts eight months, which commences and closes upon convocation by His Highness the Amir in October of each year. His Highness the Amir, or his deputy, opens the annual session by giving a comprehensive speech in which he addresses the affairs of the state.

His Highness the Amir may issue a decree to convoke an extraordinary session by the Council, in cases of emergency or a request by a majority of the members. In extraordinary sessions, the Council may only look into matters that it was specifically convoked for.

Central Municipal Council

Qatar’s first Municipal Council was formed in the early 1950s.

On 08/03/1999, free elections were held to choose the members of the Central Municipal Council (CMC) through direct representation. Both men and women participated in the elections.

The Council, which comprises 29 elected members representing 29 constituencies from more than 242 regions in the State of Qatar, is an independent entity that carries out its responsibilities without interference.

CMC elections are held every four years, and are counted from the date of its first meeting.

The Council operates according to the provisions of Law No. 12 of 1998 concerning the Regulations of the Central Municipal Council, and it expresses its opinions through making recommendations and issuing decisions.

The Council is headed by a Chairman who is elected directly by the members in their first assembly meeting. He has three administrative units: Office of the Chairman, Council Office and Public Relations.

According to Article 8 of Law No. 12 of 1998 concerning the Regulation of the Central Municipal, the CMC aims to use all available means to develop the country in municipal matters. In order to achieve this goal, the CMC has the following responsibilities:

  • Monitoring the implementation of laws, decrees and regulations that fall under the responsibilities of the Ministry and the Council, including laws, decrees and regulations related to urban and industrial planning, infrastructure and other public system
  • Overseeing the economic, financial and administrative management of municipal affairs and agriculture

Under the supervision of the Chairman, the Council forms a Secretariat General and recommends a Secretary General who is appointed by a decree issued by the Minister of Municipality and Environment. The Secretariat General comprises of 5 administrative units: Secretary General Office, Legal Affairs Unit, Meeting and Members Affairs, Studies and Development and Common Services.

Members determine their work programme and budget, and make recommendations to the Ministry of Municipality and Environment. Regular Council meetings with at least two thirds of its members are held in public in Doha every two weeks.


Qatar’s National Vision 2030

Qatar’s National Vision aims that – by 2030 – Qatar becomes an advanced society capable of sustaining its development and providing a high standard of living for its people. Qatar’s National Vision defines the long-term goals for the country and provides a framework in which national strategies and implementation plans can be developed.

The National Vision addresses five major challenges facing Qatar:

  •   Modernisation and preservation of traditions
  • The needs of the current generation and of future generations
  • Managed growth and uncontrolled expansion
  • The size and quality of the expatriate labour force and the selected path of development
  • Economic growth, social development, and environmental management

Development Pillars:

–         Economic Development

Development of a competitive and diversified economy capable of meeting the needs of, and securing a high standard of living for, all its people both for the present and for the future

–         Social Development

Development of a just and caring society based on high moral standards, and capable of playing a significant role in global partnerships for development

–         Human Development

Development of all its people to enable them to sustain a prosperous society

–         Environmental Development

Management of the environment such that there is harmony between economic growth, social development and environmental protection


The Judiciary

The judicial authority law, issued in 2003, defines the manner in which courts of law shall play their role in society. It stipulates that Judges are independent and shall not be subject to removal from office except in cases specified by the law; and the independence of the judiciary is inviolable and is protected by law against interference from other authorities.

Courts of law are divided into the following categories: Court of Cassation, Court of Appeal, Preliminary Court each court decides on the cases referred to it in accordance with the law. Other preliminary courts can be formed in other towns as per a decision from the judiciary supreme council.

The Judiciary Supreme Council

www.sjc.gov.qa

The Judiciary Supreme Council was set up in 1999 to ensure the independence of the judiciary. It focuses on giving opinion on issues related to the judiciary, and studying and proposing the special legislation to develop the judicial system, the appointment, promotion, transference, secondment and retirement of judges in accordance with the law, and deciding on the grievances related to judges affairs, where the council’s decision shall be final.

Public Prosecution

www.pp.gov.qa

Public Prosecution conducts public actions in the name of the people, supervises the law enforcement and ensures the enforcement of criminal laws. The law specifies the conditions and guarantees pertaining to the staff discharging the functions of the same and clarifies conditions and guarantees pertaining to those empowered to carry out its functions.


State Ministries


Historical Overview

Human habitation of the Qatar Peninsula dates far back to nearly four thousand years BC, according to archaeological evidences, excavations, inscriptions and scarce potteries found in various areas of the country. 

In the 5th century BC, the Greek historian Herodotus referred that the first dwellers of Qatar were the Canaanite tribes, who were known for their navigation and naval commerce. Furthermore, the Greek geographer Ptolemy’s so-called Map of Arabia included as well what Ptolemy himself then called “Qatra”, which is thought to be a reference to the Zubara city, being previously one of the most important commercial ports in the Gulf area.

Qatar played a vital role as narrated by the Arab-Muslim historical sources. The Qatari dwellers involved themselves in preparing the first naval fleet to transport armies during the Muslim conquests. 

Under the Abbasid rule during the eighth Hijri century (14th AD), Qatar witnessed a period of economic prosperity as made evident by the written records found in the Maroub Fort on the western coast that represents the Abbasid architectural character.

Upon their military alliance with the Turks during the tenth Hijri century (16th AD), the Qataris could drive the Portuguese away, and that was the beginning of the rule of the Ottoman Empire over the whole Arabian Peninsula including Qatar for about four successive centuries.

The Turkish rule in the region, however, declined with the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 and a treaty was entered with Britain in 1916 providing for the protection of the Qatari lands and people. The British authority was restricted mostly to its supervision on some administrative affairs.

Qatar was ruled by the Al-Thani Dynasty, after its leader Thani bin Mohammad — father of Sheikh Mohammad bin Thani, who was the first sheikh later on to have an actual power over the Qatari Peninsula during the mid-nineteenth century.

Being a descendent of the Bani Tameem Tribe with their ancestral lineage dating back to Mudhar bin Nizar, the Al-Thanis settled on the Jibrin Oasis in the south of Nejd prior to their movement to the north of the Qatari Peninsula. Then, they moved to Doha in the mid nineteenth century under the leadership of Sheikh Mohammad bin Thani.

Under the Abbasid rule during the eighth Hijri century (14th AD), Qatar witnessed a period of economic prosperity as made evident by the written records found in the Maroub Fort on the western coast that represents the Abbasid architectural character.

Upon their military alliance with the Turks during the tenth Hijri century (16th AD), the Qataris could drive the Portuguese away, and that was the beginning of the rule of the Ottoman Empire over the whole Arabian Peninsula including Qatar for about four successive centuries.

The Turkish rule in the region, however, declined with the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 and a treaty was entered with Britain in 1916 providing for the protection of the Qatari lands and people. The British authority was restricted mostly to its supervision on some administrative affairs.

Qatar was ruled by the Al-Thani Dynasty, after its leader Thani bin Mohammad — father of Sheikh Mohammad bin Thani, who was the first sheikh later on to have an actual power over the Qatari Peninsula during the mid-nineteenth century.

Being a descendent of the Bani Tameem Tribe with their ancestral lineage dating back to Mudhar bin Nizar, the Al-Thanis settled on the Jibrin Oasis in the south of Nejd prior to their movement to the north of the Qatari Peninsula. Then, they moved to Doha in the mid nineteenth century under the leadership of Sheikh Mohammad bin Thani.

Qatar’s Rulers

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Thani (1851 – 1878)

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Thani is the first Ruler of Qatar and one of its eminent leaders. He united the Qatari tribes and the country in a difficult stage, and was known of wisdom, far-sightedness and love of literature and poetry.

Sheikh Jassim Bin Mohammed Bin Thani (1878 – 1913)

Sheikh Jassim Bin Mohammed Bin Thani is The founder of the State of Qatar. A military leader, judge and scholar, knight and poet possessing both gallantry and magnanimity. For the sake of defending Qatar he fought many wars, and perils could not impede his inclination to defy hardships, end injustice and protect the oppressed.

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Jassim Al Thani (1913 – 1949)

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Jassim Al Thani is the third Ruler of the State of Qatar. He was known for his piety, righteousness and vast knowledge. During his tenure the first oil well was drilled in the country. He proved himself as a shrewd and gifted negotiator during the negotiations with oil companies. He was a far-sighted statesman.

Sheikh Ali Bin Abdullah Al Thani (1949 – 1960)

Sheikh Ali Bin Abdullah Al Thani is the fourth Ruler of the State of Qatar. He was known by  solemnity wisdom, forbearance, pursuance of a path of conciliation and consolidation of common word, the high moral character, high  personal traits and noble qualities. During his tenure the country exported the first oil shipment, marking the actual entry into the oil age, and a new period of social and economic development.

Sheikh Ahmad Bin Ali Al Thani (1960 – 1972)

The Fifth Ruler of Qatar and the first Ruler to bear the title “Amir”. He was noted for his solemnity, wisdom and careful discretion in tackling issues. He followed a path of conciliation and consolidation of common word, during his reign the Shura (advisory) Council was formed and the first interim basic law was promulgated.

Sheikh Khalifa Bin Hamad Al Thani (1972 – 1995 )

Sheikh Khalifa Bin Hamad Al Thani is the Sixth Ruler of the State of Qatar. His reign had seen many achievements such as the re-organization of the government, the Interim Basic law was amended, the country concluded a number of agreements to extract and market oil, schools and colleges were set up and the first university in the country was established.

HH The Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (1995 – 2013)

Former Amir of the State of Qatar, one of its iconic leaders, and the architect of its modern revival. During his reign, which witnessed massive economic, social and cultural development, the State of Qatar extended its status among the Arab and international community. The  GDP increased by more than 24 folds, and per capita GDP by about six folds, while gross value added in the hydrocarbon sector jumped from 11 billion to 403 billion Qatari Riyals.

During his tenure the country’s permanent constitution was promulgated, and “Qatar National Vision 2030”, which seeks to promote a drive towards a knowledge-based economy, and transform Qatar into an advanced country capable of achieving sustainable development and ensuring the continuation of a decent life for its people, generation after generation, was framed.

On 25 June 2013, His Highness Sheikh Hamad handed over the reins of leadership to his Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad.

Education

The State of Qatar attaches great importance to human development thanks to its wise leadership that continually emphasizes the importance of the human factor being a primary contributor to development.

Public education was established in the State of Qatar in 1952. Since then, a comprehensive education policy has been crystallizing based on well-established principles to preserve the heritage and conservative character of the Muslim nation, develop the curricula and educational systems and continue to benefit from the modern technological achievements and recent educational experiences.

The State has established many schools, universities, colleges and research and training centers that have contributed to the development of its human resources skills. In addition, it has attracted many schools and universities, and worked on the rehabilitation of its youths abilities to meet the country’s needs for development.



The State of Qatar launched an initiative to develop the country’s public education in 2004 under the slogan “Education for a New Era”. It aims to provide better methods of education for the children of Qatar. The Ministry of Education and Higher Education takes on the responsibility of establishing the State’s educational policy. It is also responsible for developing the education plan and overseeing its implementation, in order to achieve Qatar’s 2030 vision of developing the Qatari individual to be able to actively participate in all aspects of life.

Qatar aims at developing a world-class educational system that meets modern international standards and provide citizens with opportunities to develop their abilities and capacities, and best training to succeed in a world with increasing educational requirements. Such system would also promote analytical and critical thinking, develops creativity and innovation, emphasizes the promotion of social cohesion and respect for the values and heritage of Qatari society and calls for constructive engagement with the peoples of the world.

Ministry of Education and Higher Education

www.edu.gov.qa

Governmental University Education

Qatar is concerned with providing opportunities for higher education and scientific research in the fields and disciplines to raise the efficiency and quality of educational outputs and there are several universities:
Qatar University  www.qu.edu.qa
Community College of Qatar www.ccq.edu.qa

Qatar Foundation / Education City

Early in 1995, His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Father Amir, shared a vision with Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser while sitting under a tent at Umm Qrayba farm. Together, they conceived a plan for the future development of their country that would provide Qatari citizens with a greater choice in education, health and social progress than ever before. They then set about turning this dream into reality and, in August that year, founded Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, right in the very heart of Qatar.

Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development is a private, non-profit organization that serves the people of Qatar by supporting and operating programs in three core mission areas: education, science and research, and community development. The Foundation strives to nurture the future leaders of Qatar. By example and by sharing its experience, the Foundation also contributes to human development nationally, regionally, and internationally. In all of its activities, the Foundation promotes a culture of excellence in Qatar and furthers its role in supporting an innovative and open society that aspires to develop sustainable human capacity, social, and economic prosperity for a knowledge-based economy. Since 1996, eight International Universities opened branch campuses in Qatar: Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, Texas A&M University at Qatar, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Georgetown University in Qatar, Northwestern University in Qatar, HEC Paris in Qatar, and UCL Qatar.

Health and Welfare

A considerable progress has been achieved by the heath sector in Qatar either in providing the best medical devices and equipment or attracting the best medical and technical cadres. The scope of health services coverage has been expanded by opening a large number of primary health centers and hospitals throughout the country.

As the supreme authority responsible for healthcare in the country, the Ministry of Public Health, www.moph.gov.qa, sets the country’s national healthcare strategy in light of Qatar’s National Vision. The Ministry also develops the plans and programs that emanate from the strategy and identifies the necessary systems of oversight and follow-up to implement the health strategy as a whole. The Ministry provides preventive and curative health services at an internationally and globally recognized standard through healthcare services that oversee (23) primary healthcare centers distributed across Qatar. In addition, the medial commission provides disease screenings for all those who come to the country to work or on visit. The Ministry also issues licenses to medical practitioners, and health and pharmaceutical establishments.   Its Pharmacy and Drug Control Department proposes the drug policy, and the Department of Medical Offices Abroad is responsible for overseeing the treatment of cases abroad.

Hamad Medical Corporation

www.hmc.org.qa

Established in 1982, HMC is one of the region’s most distinguished specialized medical establishments. Presently, the corporation supervises the following hospitals: Hamad General Hospital, Rumaila Hospital, Women Hospital, Al-Khoor Hospital, Al-Amal Hospital, Heart Hospital, Al wakrah Hospital and the Cuban Hospital. It won the JCI certification for quality health facilities.

Hamad Medical City Complex (HMCC)

It is one of the largest medical treatment cities in the Middle East. It comprises three specialized hospitals for children and orthopedics, a physiotherapy hospital along with a dialysis unit, a daily surgery unit and a nursing home.

Sidra Medical & Research Center

Sidra Medical and Research Center is a groundbreaking hospital, research, and education institution, currently under construction in Doha that will focus on the health and wellbeing of women and children regionally and globally.

Private Health Sector

The private health sector in Qatar has developed a great deal. More and more private hospitals and clinics now play vital roles and contribute effectively to the health services offered in in the country. There are 219 complexes and clinics along with 4 multi-specialty hospitals.

Culture, Arts and Heritage

The State of Qatar has established many important strategies and objectives aimed at making it one of the most important cultural countries on both an international and local scale. It aims to do so through its organization of cultural events such as festivals, seminars, lectures, evenings, art galleries, book fairs, workshops, comprehensive training for beginners and focusing on the promising younger generation and supporting it.

The State promotes its interest in heritage by collecting and documenting folklore materials and establishing an archive for it, organizing and reviving national events and occasions, and supporting the people working in the field.

Qatar sponsors varied cultural events through the Ministry of Arts, Culture and heritage which organizes cultural events like festivals, seminars, lectures, arts exhibitions, book exhibitions, workshops and training in cultural, arts and heritage domain.

The ministry nurtures the cultural and arts movement, holds several regular national cultural and artistic weeks and events at home and abroad; organizes lectures, symposia and poetry recitation evenings; licenses various folklore, theatrical and musical troupes and supervises Qatar’s National Theatre.

Press and Publications

The ministry protects its copyrights and trademarks over the broadcast materials it produces, and issues permits for others to use them. It is also concerned with examining and issuing the necessary licenses for newspapers; publishing houses; bookshops; book importing, exporting and distributing firms; advertising, public relations and artistic production companies; shops selling and distributing artistic production; censoring local and foreign publications and artistic products; issuing newsletters and publications on various aspects of development in the country, which are provided to embassies and diplomatic missions in coordination with the relevant departments.

The Emiri Decree No. (11) for the year 2003 was issued to give out the State Appreciative award to scientists and innovators in recognition of their overall scientific and creative talents under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and Arts. In addition to giving the State Incentive Awards to promising researchers and innovators with outstanding talents.  

Qatar National Library

www.qnl.qa

Qatar National Library (QNL), a member of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development, acts as a steward of Qatar’s national heritage by collecting, preserving and making available the country’s recorded history. In its role as a research library with a preeminent heritage library, QNL fosters and promotes greater global insight into the history and culture of the Gulf region. As a public library, QNL provides equal access for all Qatari residents to an environment that supports creativity, independent decision-making, and cultural development. Through all its functions, QNL provides leadership to the country’s library and cultural heritage sector.

Theatre in Qatar

The State fosters the cultural and artistic movement through the establishment of cultural and artistic Qatari festivals and weeks both locally and abroad. It also supports it through poetry evenings, licensing the establishment of folk, theatre and music troupes, artworks and concerts, in addition to supervising Qatar’s National Theater.

The State has been keen to develop Qatari talents in the theatrical arts since 1972. It has participated in various theatrical festivals, promotes youth film initiatives, developed the annual local theater festival, and expanded the field in Doha by establishing theatrical production groups, and theatrical groups for children. The Ministerial Decree No. (299) for the year 2014 was issued to form a committee to prepare the list for the Children’s Theater Festival, which falls within the strategy of Qatar’s National Vision (2030). In addition, the establishment of a specialized academic institute to study theatrical arts, music, audio-visuals and cinema.

Theatres of Qatar

In Qatar, there are three large theatres equipped with advanced instruments and equipment:

  • Qatar National Theatre, which was opened in 1986 and is considered to be one of the best theatres in the region. It is equipped with advance technologies and is of vast capacity for various theatrical, ballet and folk shows.
  • The Cultural village (Katara) theatres
  • Souq Waqif theatre

The most important cultural places in Qatar:

Sports

Qatar is currently playing an increasingly prominent and effective role in the field of sport. Qatar is using sport as a reason to forge friendship and to enhance the relations with nations worldwide.

Qatar has expressed the wish to be active around the world as an outward looking state dedicated to the improvement of relations between nations through sport.

The government cares a great deal for sports. It set Tuesday in the second week of February every year as the National Sports Day, in which everyone is encouraged to exercise. National Sports Day is a national holiday, in which all ministries, other government departments and public authorities and their affiliated organs, alongside with all entities operating in the country including the private sector establishments organize sports activities and exercises for their employees compatible with their conditions and ages with a view to spread the awareness of the significance of sports and their role in the well being of individuals and societies.

Qatar Olympic Committee

www.qatarolympics.org

Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) is responsible for the administrative and technical supervision of the national sports federations and institutions. There are 24 sports federations and assemblies along with 10 first-class sports clubs and 6 second-class clubs, to which all QOC provides both human and financial capabilities so that they can fulfill their missions. QOC also supervises the Girl Sports Committee.

The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy

www.sc.qa

The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) is tasked with delivering proposed tournament venues and projects for the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ – the first to be held in the Middle East – while ensuring that its preparations align with the Qatar National Vision 2030. The SC is currently focused on achieving the goals set out in its 2015-18 Strategic Plan.

Sports Facilities

There are one hundred and fifty (150) sports facilities in Qatari, most prominently:

  • Khalifa Olympic City
  • Aspire Zone Complex
  • Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex
  • Sports Medicine Center
  • Doha Golf Club
  • Hamad Complex for Water Sports
  •  Women’s Tennis Hall
  • Al-Wajbah Centre for Girls Training

Regional and International Championships Held in Qatar

Qatar hosts many international championships that have confirmed its position on the Gulf, Arab and international sports map, and attracted the attention of the world.

H.H. Heir Apparent Football Final Cup, Qatar International Bowling Championship, H.H. The Emir Arabian Camel Race Cup, Qatar Masters Squash Championship, H.H. The Emir Volleyball Cup, Qatar Gymnastics Grand Prize, HH the Emir Football Final Cup, H.H. The Emir Basketball Final Cup, Qatar Cycling Tour, Qatar Motor Rally, Qatar International Sailing Regatta, Qatar masters gold championship, Qatar International Equestrian Festival.

Qatari Women

The State of Qatar has long endeavored to establish a model of Qatari Family characterized by amity, compassion and empathy. The State of Qatar firmly believes in the high status of the Qatari woman and her aptitude to assume the highest positions and to carry out duties assigned to her in a manner marked by vigor, effectiveness and responsibility. Perhaps, this is best illustrated by woman’s issues and concerns topping the list of priorities mandated by the Emiri Decree on the establishment of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs. 

Roles of Women

Women in the Field of Education

The field of education was the doorway through which women entered into the labor market. The statistics of the Ministry of Education indicate that the number of Qatari female students in the State-owned schools has risen at greater rates compared to the number of male students. Qatari women also account for more than 50% of the total workforce of the Ministry of Education.

Women’s presence in the University of Qatar, either as faculty members or administrative staff, account for more than 50% of the total workforce of the University. Women assumed high ranking public posts. H.E. Mrs. Sheikha Al-Mahmoud was appointed as Minister of Education on May 6, 2003, to be the first lady ever in Qatar and the GCC region to occupy such an important ministerial post. Her appointment comes as a reaffirmation by H.H. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani to activate the Qatari woman’s role in the country’s educational renaissance. Similarly, Dr. Sheikha Al-Misnad was appointed to the post of President of Qatar University; being the first Qatari woman to assume such post.

Qatari Women in the field of Health

The Qatari woman occupies high positions in the field of health. Sheikha Ghalia bint Mohammad Al-Thani was appointed as the Minster of Health in 2008, and Director of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) to be responsible for managing nursing, pharmacology and medical centres as well as other fields.

Qatari Women and Law

Qatari women work at the Ministry of Justice where they lead several sections of the ministry such as the legislation, translation and official gazette sections. There are also several lady legal advisors.

The appointment of Mrs. Mariam Abdullah Al-Jaber as the first District Attorney in the Gulf region was a phenomenal development in the region.

Qatari Women in Tourism

Some Qatari female graduates specializing in history, archaeology and management are at the General Authority. A number of Qatari girls have joined the workforce of Doha hotels too, in a growing tendency led by Qatar National Hotels Company.

Qatari Women in the Diplomatic Field

Qatari women are not excluded from diplomatic work. Sheikha Alia Ahmad Al-Thani was appointed as the first female ambassador and assumed the post of the permanent delegate of the State of Qatar in the Europe-based United Nations headquarters in Geneva. She had previously served as an advisor to the permanent delegate of the State of Qatar in the United Nations in New York.

Women in Finance and Investment

Qatar Ladies Investment Company, the first of its kind in the whole region, was established in 1998. It is equally shared by a group of Qatari ladies and Qatar National Bank. The Company is managed by a Qatari lady, Sheikha Hanadi bint Nasser Al-Thani. In November 2000, the Businesswomen Forum, was launched based on the approval of Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which considered the Forum as one of the Chamber’s committees. By doing so, the Chamber aimed to provide a stimulating social climate for women to play their role in the development process, actively contribute to the establishment small trades and industrial enterprises and promote the role of Qatari woman in economic decision making.

Role of H.H. the Wife of H.H. the Emir

H.H. Sheikha Mozah gives high priority to all aspects that promote the role of Qatari women and motivate them to perform their social obligations and participate in the public life. Her Highness sponsors women conferences which discuss women’s issues and recommend solutions for their problems and challenges that face women in the work market.

Her Highness has spared no effort to bring about a qualitative change in the standards of education to produce a generation capable of keeping pace with the developments and technologies of the modern life. She has been a supporter of Qatar Foundation (QF) for Education, Science and Community Development, established in 1996 by H.H. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, as a private independent organization, chaired by H.H. Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser. Among the most prominent achievements of QF was the establishment of Qatar Academy, Social Development Centre and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)-Qatar College of Design Arts. 

H.H. Sheikha Mozah plays several and various roles, to name a few:

  • Sidra Medical & Research center.
  • Silatech initiative
  • Arab Democracy Foundation based in Doha.
  • International Fund for Higher Education.
  • The Shafallah Center.
  • College of Islamic studies.
  • “A Flower Each Spring” program.
  • Member of the Fine Arts Academy in the Institute of France.
  • She was appointed by the UNESCO as the Special Envoy of Basic and Higher Education.
  • She was also selected in 2005 to be one of the members of UN Higher Group on Civilization Alliance

Tourist Hotspots

Qatar has many touristic characters with its natural reserves, historic forts, international resorts and five star hotels, public parks, restaurants and malls.

Qatar is considered one of the safest tourist destinations in the world, where the tourist will be able to observe the generous hospitality which characterize the Arabic culture, a lot of interesting information for tourists are available on the website of Qatar Tourism Authority www.qatartourism.gov.qa

Corniche (Doha’s Waterfront Promenade)

A seven-kilometre long waterfront promenade around Doha Bay, the Corniche offers spectacular vistas of the city, from the dramatic high rise towers of the central business district to the bold shapes of the Museum of Islamic Art. Traditional wooden dhows lining the Bay evoke echoes of Qatar’s great seafaring past. The Corniche provides a green, vehicle-free pedestrian space in the heart of the capital.

Souq Wagif

A stroll down the bustling alleys of Souq Waqif provides an authentic taste of traditional commerce, architecture and culture. The maze of small shops offer a dazzling array of Middle Eastern merchandise from spices and seasonal delicacies to perfumes, jewellery, clothing, handicrafts and a treasure trove of souvenir bargains. Traditional music, art and cultural shows add to the ambience of this special place. Relax and soak up the vitality and atmosphere at one of its eclectic mix of great restaurants and cafes.

Al Zubarah Fort

Located on Qatar’s north-west coast and comprising the immaculately restored Al Zubarah Fort and surrounding 60-hectare archaeological works, this UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the most extensive and best preserved examples of an 18th–19th century settlement in the region. It covers the remains of a walled coastal town that once ranked as one of the Gulf’s most important pearl diving and trading centres with links extending to the Indian Ocean. The fort houses a visitor’s centre.

Khor Al-Udeid (Inland Sea)

Some 60 km from Doha in the south-eastern corner of the country lies one of Qatar’s most impressive natural wonders, the ‘Inland Sea’ or Khor Al Adaid. A UNESCO recognized natural reserve with its own ecosystem, this is one of the few places in the world where the sea encroaches deep into the heart of the desert. Inaccessible by road, this tranquil expanse of water can only be reached by across the rolling dunes.

The Pearl Qatar

The Pearl-Qatar is a man-made island off the West Bay coast featuring Mediterranean-style yacht-lined marinas, residential towers, villas and hotels, as well as luxury shopping at top brand name boutiques and showrooms. A popular dining spot, its waterfront promenades are lined with cafes and restaurants serving every taste – from a refreshing ice cream to a five-star dining experience. The Pearl is a popular visitor attraction by virtue of its chic elegance, inviting description as the ‘Arabian Riviera’.

Katara

An innovative interpretation of the region’s architectural heritage, this purpose-built development’s impressive theatres, galleries and performance venues stage a lively year-round programme of concerts, shows and exhibitions. Among Katara’s recreational attractions are a wide choice of dining options, including top class restaurants offering a variety of cuisines, and a spacious, well-maintained public beach with water sports.

Museum of Islamic Art

Experience 14 centuries of great art in a few hours. The MIA’s magnificent and imaginatively presented displays of the finest art and artefacts from across the Islamic world have earned it recognition among the world’s top cultural institutions. No visitor can fail to be impressed by the quality and diversity the collections, housed in a modern architectural masterpiece designed by IM Pei. The museum ensures fresh interest through its constantly changing programme of special exhibitions. A fee may be charged for these temporary shows, but admission to the permanent galleries is free.

Transportation

Land Transport

www.ashghal.gov.qa

Over the past few years, Qatar has witnessed rapid population growth together with strong economic growth. These developments have required further enhancements to the land transport infrastructure to support the expansion in the industrial, commercial and service sectors.

Land transport has become a key enabler of the Qatari economy and a cornerstoneof its growth, and the Land Transport Sector continues its efforts to develop a state-of-the-art transport network in line with the goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030.

To this end, the State of Qatar is investing massively in land transport infrastructure projects which will see the highways network expanded to 8,500km by 2020, including the building of some 200 new bridges and 30 new tunnels.

The Public Works Authority ‘Ashghal’ was established in 2004 to be responsible for the planning, design, procurement, construction, delivery, and asset management of all infrastructure projects and public buildings in Qatar.

Ashghal contributes to achieving the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030 by leading the transformation of Qatar’s infrastructure and public buildings so as to develop the nation into one of the most advanced countries in the world in this field.

The authority is managing and coordinating projects worth more than 100 billion Qatari Riyals. Adopting best practices in infrastructure development and management, Ashghal has employed a powerful model of strategic outsourcing and partnership with world leading project management organisations to ensure Qatar’s infrastructure is on par with the most developed nations worldwide.

Ashghal is currently working on a wide range of infrastructure programmes across the country, including: the Expressway Programme which will deliver some of the largest expressways in Qatar, and the Local Roads & Drainage Programme which will deliver many roads and integrated infrastructure projects in local areas. Ashghal is also cooperating with working relevant Qatari authorities on significant building projects that include healthcare, educational, and general sector projects.

Within Ashghal, the Asset Affairs directorate manages the operations and maintenance of all roads and drainage systems, which includes over 1.2 million unique assets.

Qatar Ports

www.mwani.com.qa

The start of partial operations at Hamad Port, which is one of the largest multi-purpose ports in the region, was a major milestone for this mega project that will modernise the way Qatar handles ocean imports and exports and help facilitate the growth and diversification of the country’s economy.

As part of the partial operations, Hamad Port opened its general cargo and “roll-on roll-off” facilities and cleared its operations for the delivery of general goods, vehicle imports and construction equipment.

The start of Hamad Port’s partial operations also increased the container capacity at Doha Port.

Hamad Port is an important addition to Qatar Ports and will handle 6mn containers a year once fully operational. It has a general cargo terminal that can handle 1.7mn tonnes of general goods, 1mn tonnes of foodgrains and 500,000 vehicles. It will also have a livestock terminal, a multi-use terminal, an offshore supply base, a coast guard facility, and a port marine unit.

Along with regional transport development plans, Hamad Port will provide transshipment links by rail, sea or road to GCC and other Arabian Gulf states making use of its advanced safety, security system, and dedicated customs inspection area with latest technologies to speed the clearance of goods.

With the establishment of an economic zone adjacent to it, Hamad Port will facilitate manufacturing industries and help the nation to increase its non-oil and gas exports.

Along with the new expressway interchanges, the port will facilitate cost-effective cargo handling and will position Qatar as the new regional shipping hub.

In addition to Hamad Port, the start of the first phase of the port of Ruwais began in January 2015.

Railroads

www.qr.com.qa

Qatar is a growing country, and to accommodate this growth, a new, sustainable, and efficient way of getting both people and freight around the country was needed. Established by Emiri decree in 2011, Qatar Rail was given the mandate to design and develop the country’s rail network, and after the rail projects are completed, manage, operate, and maintain them.

Qatar Rail’s answer to Qatar’s transportation challenges lies in three major projects:

• The Doha Metro: a mostly underground rail network which connects communities within Doha and its suburbs

• The Lusail Tram (LT): a tram network providing comfortable and convenient travel within the new city of Lusail

• The Long Distance Rail: connecting cities in the north and west with Doha, and the country with the forthcoming GCC rail system

Once all the projects are completed by 2030, the three networks will act as one integrated system, allowing passengers to easily transfer between them.

Ethics and Social Codes of Conduct

There are certain ethics and social codes that visitors and new residents in Qatar should observe. They should know that courtesy and hospitality are of the virtues that are highly appreciated and respected in the Arab world. They will surely feel how friendly and gentle the Qatari people are. A visitor or a resident in Qatar is required to observe the following codes of conduct:

  • Costume: It is expected to wear decent clothes in public places, and both men and women should avoid walking around in their swimming suits away from beaches or swimming pools.
  • Car driving: motorists should not insult others or showing extreme anger while driving as this may subject him/her to severe penalties including imprisonment. Traffic violations are also punishable and may have severe consequences and penalties.
  • Alcohol: Non- Muslims are permitted to have alcoholic drinks at hotels (provided there is a special permit for this) or their homes. However, it is prohibited to drive a car while or after drinking, or appear in public while drunk.
  • Ramadan: This holy month of Ramadan is a celebration of the first revelation of the Holy Quran. It is also the sacred fasting month for Muslims during which they abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to dust. Non-Muslims are not required to fast during the month, however, they should abstain from eating, drinking and smoking in public.
  • Other religions: Though Islam is the official religion of Qatar in accordance with the Qatari constitution, other religions are completely respected and tolerated. Qatar has allowed the establishment of a church in its territory.
  • National holidays: National days represent the most important Islamic and national events. As Islamic calendar depends on the sighting of the phases of the moon, the corresponding Gregorian dates of such days vary from year to another.
  • Entering an Arab guest room (majlis): One should not forget to take off his shoes as he gets in a Majlis (the place of receiving guests in a private house). If a woman accompanies you, you should direct her to another hall for ladies. Take some food or drink before you talk about anything. Sharing your host a meal would please him.

Other Tips

  • Some emotions may not be publicly expressed; because this may subject you to be arrested and jailed as per the Law.
  • Avoid taking photographs of military installations or other people without their consent, especially Arab ladies.
  • It is important that you stand up to greet or welcome new comers, particularly the elderly people or high ranking people. You should initiate the Islamic greeting ‘Salamu alaykum’ to the older people.
  • When a man meets a Qatari woman, he should avoid shaking hand with her unless she first offers her hand for shaking.
  • Use your right hand to accept drinks offered to you.
  • You should not offer your Muslim guests any alcoholic drinks or foods with pig meat contents.
  • You should not lift your shoes in front of people or make a gesture with your feet to anyone.
  • You should avoid using your finger to ask (gesture) anyone to come to you; instead you may use your hand-palm.
  • One should shake the (Arabian) coffee cup if you do not want more.

Information Technology

The Government of Qatar endeavors to build a vibrant ICT sector that will spur the development of an advanced knowledge economy and a prosperous future for its people. To serve that purpose, the Ministry attaches particular importance to digital government and cyber security initiatives.

Qatar Digital Government initiatives aim to support government agencies to enact digital transformations in line with the Qatar Digital Government 2020 Strategy to make Qatar’s government more efficient, effective, accessible, and customer-centric, allowing the public to better interact with the government, and executives to have access to information and tools that will promote better-informed decision-making.

Hukoomi – Qatar’s official online information and e-services government portal – has grown exponentially in recent years, offering around 400 services of which companies, citizens, residents, and visitors can complete more than 150 electronically. To take advantage of all available information and services, visit Hukoomi.

As cyber threats across the world evolve at a fast pace, the Ministry has launched several Cyber Security initiatives with the sole aim of protecting Qatar’s critical ICT infrastructure and systems and sensitive information,  through working with government agencies, private and public sector organizations and members of the society and ensuring that online threats are monitored and risks are contained. The Ministry also cooperates with counterparts across the globe to maintain an open and secure cyberspace.

Oil and Gas Sector

Oil and Gas constitute the backbone of Qatar’s Economy. The State of Qatar exerts efforts to diversify its sources to alleviate the country’s dependence on these natural resources.
The Qatari leadership endeavors to increase production capacity of the liquefied natural Gas (LNG) the majority of the GDP relies on Oil and Gas and the relevant industrial activities.

Established in 1974, the government-owned Qatar Petroleum is responsible for all oil and gas industry in Qatar. Oil is produced from onshore and offshore fields, the most important of which are:Dukhan onshore field; Al Idd Al Sharqi; Maydan Mahzam, Bul Hanain, Al Bunduk, Al Shaheen, Al Rayan, Al Khalij, Al Karkara and offshore Tabakat (A).

The North Gas Field

Discovered in 1971, this field lies mainly offshore to the northeast of the Qatar peninsula under water depths ranging from 15 to 70 meters. It covers about 6000 square kilometers, almost half the area of mainland Qatar. NGF is the largest single concentration of non-associated natural gas in the world with total proven reserves of more than 900 trillion cubic feet, representing 20% of world total, and making Qatar the third country in the world with the largest reserves of natural gas after Russia and Iran.

The most important institutions and oil companies in Qatar

Industry

Within a short period of time, the State of Qatar has made great strides in all fields of economy especially the industrial ones. Oil revenues have been well utilized to establish a solid base for oil and gas related industries and other basic industries, and build an advanced infrastructure capable of serving national industries and responding to its future needs and challenges.

The Ministry of Industry and Energy works to build a strong industrial base, import industrial products, diversify national income sources and increase the contribution of the industrial sector in the gross domestic product (GDP) with a view to achieve a balanced economic growth aside from oil revenues.

The major shift in the path of industrial development came after the enactment of Law No. (1) for the year 1980 on the industrial organization which stipulated the provision of many incentives for the national investors in the industrial field.

The Ministry of Energy and Industry

www.mei.gov.qa

The Ministry works on building a strong industrial production base, importing industrial goods, diversifying sources of national income and increasing the industrial sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product, to achieve balanced economic growth far from oil revenues as the sole source of income. 

Qatar Development Bank (QDB)

www.qdb.qa

This bank aims at contributing to the development of the national economy and diversifying production structure through participation in and provision of funding on easy terms for new industrial projects, supporting existing industries and assisting them to get the necessary funding requirements from local and international sources, and obtaining technology on equitable terms.

Ras Laffan Industrial City

Ras Laffan is the latest industrial city in Qatar and it includes  liquefied natural gas plants, an industrial and commercial port and multiple industrial facilities. In addition to setting up  the infrastructure,  Ras Laffan offers a wide range of services for industrial and commercial companies. The two companies operating in the city are Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company Limited “RasGas” and Qatargas.  

Mesaieed Industrial City

Mesaieed Industrial City has a diverse industrial base including crude oil refinery; hydrocarbon; petrochemicals; iron and steel and light and supporting industries; and a modern port that operates round the clock to meet the requirement for exporting and importing various products and materials.

Qatar Petroleum Gas complex and Qatar petroleum refinery are based in Mesaieed Industrial City. The daily output capacity of the refinery is 731 thousand barrel, which will cover domestic consumption requirements until 2020.

Doha Industrial Zone

This industrial zone has been established for light and medium projects. It includes all services (visible and non-visible) like roads, lighting, gas, sewage and an integrated service facility.

The zone accommodates hundreds of projects distributed among nine main sectors in such a way as to facilitate integration and coordination and provide a valuable addition to the national economy.

City of Halul

The city of Halul includes a number of factories including a Sweet Gas fuel plant, a Sour Gas fuel plant, a waste incineration plant, a sewage treatment plant and a nitrogen plant.

Dukhan Oil City

Dukhan is the first site in which oil exploration and production started. Nowadays a urban strategic plan is being implemented to improve QP concession area. This plan started in 2003 and it will continue until 2022. 193 projects have been selected to be implemented in four phases in the following 20 years.

Trade

www.mbt.gov.qaQatar possesses a competitive advantage based on its stable foundations represented in  the form of globally efficient institutional frameworks, a stable economic environment and the possession of an active market for goods. Qatar’s economy is characterized by its ability to maintain its rapid growth, as it becomes one of the world’s fastest growing economies due to the economic policies adopted by the state.

Ministry of Economy and Commerce

www.mec.gov.qa

 The ministry represents the body responsible of the development of the programs necessary for carrying out the policies of promoting the business and trade sector, supervising commercial activity and lining it with the requirements of national  development, proposing and implementing the policies and programs that aim to attract investments, supporting export development, developing the methods and procedures of the provision of public services for the business and investment sector and overseeing the practices of the commercial professions.

Foreign Trade


The European Union group is the most important trade partner of Qatar as the relative share ratio of the Qatari imports from this group holds the first position among the county’s export from all other economic blocs. Qatari exports from north American countries, most of which come from the United States of America, take the fourth place in terms of their relative ratio.

Exports


The States’ exports have shown positive growth due to high oil prices. Commodities necessary to industrial infrastructure, food products and personal belongings are exempt from customs duties. Only 4% import tax is imposed on most of the other commodities. In addition, protection fees are imposed on products that compete with locally manufactured commodities; and these include 20% on imported iron and steel and 30% on urea. Customs duties on tobacco are 50%, and on CDs and musical instruments are 15%; and commodities imported from the GCC country are exempted from customs duties.


The States’ exports have shown positive growth due to high oil prices. Commodities necessary to industrial infrastructure, food products and personal belongings are exempt from customs duties. Only 4% import tax is imposed on most of the other commodities. In addition, protection fees are imposed on products that compete with locally manufactured commodities; and these include 20% on imported iron and steel and 30% on urea. Customs duties on tobacco are 50%, and on CDs and musical instruments are 15%; and commodities imported from the GCC country are exempted from customs duties.

QATAR CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY (QCCI)

www.qatarchamber.com

Qatar chamber of commerce and industry was established in 1963. The members of the board of directors were appointed by an Emiri decree until the law No 11 for 1966 was issued to stipulate that these members be chosen by free direct ballot.

The chamber is concerned with the collection of information and statistics of interest to those working in the field of trade, industry and agriculture, and with providing government authorities with the required data and information on trade, industry and agriculture. Moreover it provides consultations about the establishment of stock markets and the organization of trade, industrial and agricultural exhibitions and markets.

As a committed member of the World Trade Organization and international financing organizations, Qatar has completed its integration in the international free trade and economy order. It does not levy personal income taxes or export fees. Customs duties are as low as 4%. With a distinguished banking system and no restrictions on the movement of capitals from the country, the whole of Qatar represents a free economic zone in which investors can make considerable gains.

Qatar fully integrates into the international free trade and economy system, and represents a committed member to the World Trade Organization, in addition to being a member of the international financing bodies. Qatar is distinguished by having a good banking sector, as there are no restrictions on the transfer of capital abroad; making it a free trade zone that investors can make significant financial profits from.

Financial and Banking System


The Qatari economy has witnessed a huge progress in various economic and social fields in recent years supported by the government policy based on free market principle. This is evident in the structure of the national economy which is designed to cater for the global economic changes in such a way as to protect the best interests of the country, and in the improvement made by the financial and banking system which is characterized by responsiveness to the achievements made by the Qatari economy in terms of overall economic variables.

Central Bank of Qatar

www.qcb.gov.qa

Established in 1993, Qatar Central Bank is authorized by law to issue the national currency and act as the bank of the government and the bank of banks, in addition to its main task of managing the monetary policy of the country. Its paid capital has been raised in line with the development witnessed by the national financial and banking sector. 

Qatar Exchange

www.qe.com.qa

Qatar Exchange (former Doha Securities Market) was established by law No 14 for 1995 and started operation on the 26th of May1997. On 14th September 2005, Law No 33 for 2005 amended by law #14 for 2007 establishing Qatar Financial Markets Authority and Doha Securities Market was issued. According to this law, the legislative and organizational task is assigned to the Authority, whereas the executive functions in regards to stocks and their ownership and transfer and financial settlements between brokers is given to Doha Securities Market.

The market entered a new phase since the issuance of law No 33 for 2009, which led to the transformation of Doha Securities Markets into a joint stock company under the name of (Qatar Exchange). This was intended to make a new structural shift so as to turn it into an international stock market operating in accordance to the most advanced systems. To achieve this goal a decision was taken to establish a partnership with Euronext holding with 20% shareholding, after which Qatar Exchange started operating under its new name on 21.6.2009.

Investment System in Qatar Exchange

GCC citizens are allowed to invest in industry and services sector at no more than 25%. On May 29th, 2002, the council of ministers approved investment funds draft which allow the non-Qatari investors to invest in Qatari shareholding Companies traded in Qatar Exchange (QE). Examples of these mutual funds include; Al Waseela Fund, Al Watani Fund II (WATANI2), and Qatar Gate Fund (QGF)

Qatar Exchange has opened investment in the stocks listed in Qatar Exchange for non-Qatari investors in execution of the law No 2 for 2005 by amending some of the provisions of law No 13 for 2000 on the organization of foreign capitals.

Qatar Financial Markets Authority

www.qfma.org.qa

Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA) is an independent Qatari governmental body that acts as Qatar’s securities markets regulator. QFMA seeks to set a strong groundwork for creating a world-class capital market in the State of Qatar enabling it to top a leading position in the region.

Commercial Banks

There are (20) commercial banks operating in the Qatar. Among them there are (12) national banks, (4) of which are Islamic banks; and they all operate through 223 local branches.

Exchange Companies

Exchange companies play an important role to meet the local needs for foreign currencies and precious metals for various purposes, especially those purposes related to meeting the non-visible economic transactions, there are about 20 exchange companies in Qatar

Insurance Companies

Insurance sector is considered one of the most important components of the financial and banking system. Demand for insurance has been increasing along with the increasing daily life complexity, especially economic activities in which risk and loss rates have hit high levels.

Insurance services have varied to cover other types of risks like insurance against accidents, fire, sea insurance, land insurance, health insurance …etc. Insurance companies are (10) companies, (5) of which are national and the other(5) are agencies or branches of Arab or foreign insurance companies. 

Investment

Qatar utilizes the revenues of its vast wealth of oil and gas in other sectors with a view to expand the economic base and develop a strong private sector; and through its full and active membership the World Trade Organization and flexible business regulations it works to attract foreign investors to engage in other economic sectors besides oil and gas in the country.

Qatar provides many investment incentives including low electricity, water and gas rates; nominal lease rate of only (5) Qatari Riyals per square meter per year for industrial land sites for the first three years from site assignment and project operation, after which lease rate will increase to (10) Qatari Riyals; exemption from import taxes on heavy duty machinery and their spare parts and raw materials; exemption from import taxes; unlimited quantities of imported materials; no restrictions on money exchange and transfer of profits abroad; and flexible regulations and procedures to import skilled and unskilled workforce.

Investment Sectors

 Based on law No 13 for 2000 on the organization of non-Qatari capital investment, non-Qatari investors can invest in all fields with a shareholding of 49% and 100% in the following sectors: Agriculture, Industry, Health, Education, Tourism, Development and utilization of natural resources, mining, Consultation services, Art work services, Information technology, Cultural services, Art work services, Sports services and Entertainment services. As for banking sector, it is possible to establish a bank by a decision from the council of ministers. Foreigners have the right to own real estate at certain locations in the country.

Law No. (2) of the year 2000 was issued to regulate the possession of real estate by GCC citizens. This law limits their activity to three estates for residential purposes at an area of not more than three thousand square meters. The law also requires five years to pass before naturalized citizens can own real estate in the country. Within the State’s framework to encourage foreign investment in Qatar’s real estate market Law No. (17) for the year 2004 regarding organization of ownership and use of real estate and residential units by non-Qataris was issued. This law authorized the usufruct of real estate in the Pearl of the Gulf Island, the West Bay Lagoon Project, and Al Khor Resort Project. The law also authorized the usufruct over real estate for a term of ninety nine (99) years renewable for similar terms in the Investment Areas decided by the Council of Ministers’ Decision. Law No. (6) for the year 2006 issued by the Council of Ministers, identified eighteen (18) areas of the state real estate may be usufruct by non-Qataris.

General Exemptions

  • The foreign investor has the right to import for his investment project what is necessary for the establishment, operation or expansion.
  • The invested foreign capital is exempted from tax income for no more than ten years from the day the project was operated.
  • Customs exemption on industrial project on its imports of raw materials or half manufactured goods necessary for production and not available in the local market.

Incentives Offered to Investors

  • Allow investment opportunity and prepare primary studies for industrial projects.
  • Assist licensed industrial projects to obtain loans from bank of industrial development and other financial organizations.
  • Provide the project with power, petroleum, water and natural gas at competitive prices.

Economic Institutions and Organizations


Supreme Council for Economic Affairs and Investment

The Council, in general, specializes in all matters relating to the economy, energy, investment of the state’s reserves, the development of public policies in the fields of economy, finance, commercial and energy. It also approves the plans required for the implementation and follow-up of these mattes, and approves the special projects for utilizing the state’s natural resources, major industrial and economic projects undertaken by the state or authorities or institutions or public companies.

 The Council proceeds with its functions related to the investment of the state’s reserves by identifying objectives to be achieved from this reserve investment within the state’s overall strategy. The Council also develops long-term policy for the reserve investment and investments in annual programs, in addition to identifying the banks and financial institutions that the reserve investment can be with or through them.

Qatar Financial Center

www.qfc.com.qa

Qatar Financial Center (QFC) aims at enhancing the economic activity in line with the global economic progress and providing the appropriate atmosphere for investment to stimulate development and open new horizons in this field.

The Center is authorized to license companies, individuals and business institutions to establish economic activities. It also authorizes the establishment of banks, investment projects, finance companies, insurance companies, all sorts of stock and securities markets, asset management and all kinds of brokerage services. It offers its services in the field of categorization and evaluation, financial representation, consultation, financial facilities, holdings and operations and management of offshore companies.

Qatar Investment Authority QIA

Is a sovereign wealth fund specialized in local and foreign investment, established in 2005 to enhance the State of Qatar’s economy through diversifying investments, creating new departments, and managing the surplus of oil and natural gas as a result of the fund’s strategic strategy to reduce the risk of Qatar’s depending on energy prices. The fund  predominantly invests in global markets (The United States, Europe, Asia-Pacific countries), in addition to investing in Qatar beyond the energy sector. The fund aims to be a major international center for finance and investment in the region.

World Cup

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The 2022 FIFA World Cup™ will be a tournament like no other. It will be connected, green and personalised to your individual preferences. It will be the first time the world’s biggest football tournament is held in the Middle East, and the first FIFA World Cup™ where the stadiums are so closely linked that fans can easily attend two matches in a single day.

None of the FIFA World Cup™ stadiums in Qatar will be more than an hour’s travel time from any other. This will mean that fans can cheer on their favourite team in Al Wakrah Stadium, south of Doha, in the afternoon – and be soaking up the atmosphere in Al Bayt Stadium – Al Khor City in northern Qatar on the very same evening.

Fans will travel to matches via metro, car, rail, bike or even water taxi, using advanced transport systems that will help to make this the greenest FIFA World Cup™ ever. All accommodation, from budget options to luxurious hotels, will also be within easy reach of tournament venues.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup™ will be an event that gives football fans convenience and complete choice, allowing them to create their own experiences.

Qatar’s Preparations

Qatar’s Preparations

Qatar was awarded the right to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ on 2 December 2010.

Soon after, in 2011, the State of Qatar established the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) to deliver the required infrastructure and host country planning and operations for Qatar to host an amazing and historic 2022 FIFA World Cup™ which accelerates progress towards achieving national development goals and creates a lasting legacy for Qatar, the Middle East, Asia and the world.

The stadiums, non-competition venues and other infrastructure the SC and our stakeholders are delivering will contribute to a compact and connected FIFA World Cup™ with sustainability and accessibility at its heart. After the tournament, the stadiums and surrounding precincts will become vibrant hubs of community life – an integral part of the legacy we are building.

Working closely with the Qatar 2022 Local Organising Committee (LOC), the SC is also responsible for 2022 FIFA World Cup™ host country planning and operations. Families and groups of fans arriving from around the world will experience a secure, human-centred tournament that both celebrates and exemplifies the hospitality for which Qatar and the region are known.

Finally, through programmes including Generation Amazing (corporate social responsibility), Challenge 22 (supporting regional innovators) and Workers’ Welfare (ensuring the safety and security of workers on our projects), and initiatives such as Community Engagement and Josoor Institute (career development), the SC harnesses the power of football to stimulate human, social, economic and environmental development in communities across Qatar, the region and Asia.

Stadiums

Stadiums

Khalifa International Stadium

Design inspiration: An ultra-modern stadium that honours Qatar’s sporting history

2022 matches: Up to the quarter-final stage

2022 capacity: 40,000

Legacy: Home stadium of Qatar’s national team

Legacy capacity: 40,000

Al Bayt Stadium – Al Khor City

Al Bayt Stadium – Al Khor City

Design inspiration: The bayt al-sha’ar of nomadic peoples who have lived in Qatar’s deserts for millennia

2022 matches: Up to the semi-final stage

2022 capacity: 60,000

Legacy: Home of Al Khor Sports Club

Legacy capacity: 32,000

Al Wakrah Stadium

Al Janoub Stadium 

Design inspiration: The sails of traditional dhow boats

2022 matches: Up to the quarter-final stage

2022 capacity: 40,000

Legacy: Home of Al Wakrah Sports Club

Legacy capacity: 20,000

Al Rayyan Stadium

Al Rayyan Stadium

Design inspiration: Qatar’s story – the importance of family, beauty of the desert, and native flora and fauna

2022 matches: Up to the quarter-final stage

2022 capacity: 40,000

Legacy: Home of Al Rayyan Sports Club

Legacy capacity: 20,000

Qatar Foundation Stadium

Education City stadium

Design inspiration: The rich history of Islamic architecture blended with striking modernity

2022 matches: Up to the quarter-final stage

2022 capacity: 40,000

Legacy: Facilities for the Qatar Foundation community and general public

Legacy capacity: 20,000

Al Thumama Stadium

Al Thumama Stadium

Design inspiration: The gahfiya (traditional woven cap) worn by men and boys in the Middle East

2022 matches: Up to the quarter-final stage

2022 capacity: 40,000

Legacy: Home of a local football club

Legacy capacity: 20,000

Ras Abu Aboud Stadium

Ras Abu Aboud Stadium

Design inspiration: A beacon of innovation and sustainability on the shores of the Gulf

2022 matches: Up to the quarter-final stage

2022 capacity: 40,000

Legacy: A seafront development on the stadium site and multiple sporting facilities around Qatar

Legacy capacity: 0 (fully demountable stadium)

Opportunities

Opportunities

Countless opportunities have emerged, and will continue to emerge, from Qatar hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ – for individuals and businesses, inside the country and overseas

Opportunities for Businesses

Qatar’s preparations to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ present an unprecedented opportunity for local, regional and international businesses.

We welcome all enterprises that wish to help us deliver the infrastructure for an amazing tournament that leaves a lasting legacy of sustainable economic, environmental, social and human development for Qatar.  
 
Click here to register as a supplier or learn more about procurement opportunities.  
 

Career Opportunities

The SC is committed to finding the best talent in Qatar, the Middle East and globally. Joining the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) means becoming an integral part of delivering the first ever FIFA World Cup™ in the Middle East. It means shaping the future of football in Qatar and the region, and doing what was once thought impossible. It means joining a team of creative and dedicated professionals, from more than 50 countries and counting.

Click here if you or someone you know is interested in joining our team.

Opportunities for Volunteers

The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) is investing in skills training for volunteers. Through participation in SC events, our volunteers are also receiving invaluable experience. In tandem with the skills they acquire, this experience will significantly boost their future career prospects.

Organising volunteering opportunities also lets us get close to the people who are actively contributing to the future of Qatar and the surrounding region. They help us to spread enthusiasm for the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ and often provide insightful ideas on what we can achieve with the tournament.

Note that, with rare exceptions, all volunteering activities take place in Qatar.

Click here to register your interest in our volunteer opportunities.

Permanent Mission of The State of Qatar to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar
809 United Nations Plaza
4th floor 
New York
NY 10017, U.S.A

+12124869335

+12127584952

pmun@mofa.gov.qaTwitter

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2019) Privacy PolicyTerms and Conditions


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