Country Information


The Qatari riyal, denoted by QAR, is the official currency of Qatar. Divided into 100 dirhams, the riyal is issued by the Qatar Central Bank. Banknotes are denominated in 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, and 500 riyals, while coins are denominated in 25 and 50 dirhams. Since 1980, the riyal has been fixed against the U.S. Dollar at a ratio of about 3.64 to 1.

Moody's Rating

Aa2, 24 Jul 2007

S&P Rating


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Political Structure

The Qatari government is a traditional monarchy. The head of state, called the Amir, is responsible for making all major executive decisions while staying in agreement with Islamic teachings. The Amir also serves as the minister of defense and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The legislative branch in Qatar is made up of the Council of Ministers, which consists of the leaders of the 15 ministries and the Advisory Council, which is 35 members from all of society's sectors appointed by the Amir. The Council of Ministries proposes the laws and decrees that is reviewed by the Advisory Council until they come to the amir for approval. The judicial branch consists of the Court of Appeal. Civil and criminal laws are jurisdiction of the secular courts.

Prominent Figures

Chief of State Amir HAMAD bin Khalifa al-Thani (since 27 June 1995 when, as heir apparent, he ousted his father, Amir KHALIFA bin Hamad al-Thani, in a bloodless coup); Heir Apparent TAMIM bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, fourth son of the amir (selected Heir Apparent by the amir on 5 August 2003); note - Amir HAMAD also holds the positions of Minister of Defense and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Head of Government Prime Minister HAMAD bin Jasim bin Jabir al-Thani (since 3 April 2007); Deputy Prime Minister Abdallah bin Hamad al-ATIYAH (since 3 April 2007) Cabinet Council of Ministers appointed by the amir Elections the amir is hereditary note: in April 2007, Qatar held nationwide elections for a 29-member Central Municipal Council (CMC), which has limited consultative powers aimed at improving the provision of municipal services; the first election for the CMC was held in March 1999

Key Economic Factors

Economic Overview:

Qatar is extremely dependent on oil, as it serves as the backbone of the economy, accounting for more than 85% of export income, 55% of GDP, and 70% of government revenues. There has been proven oil reserves of about 14.5 billion barrels in Qatar, which will guarantee output at current levels for another 23 years. Natural gas reserves have exceeded 17.9 trillion cubic meters, which accounts for more than 5% of the world total and places Qatar as the third largest provider in the world. Qatar holds the North Field gas reserve, the vast underwater field that began production in 1990. A long-term plan for Qatar is to balance what will be an eventual decline in oil production by highlighting the development of offshore natural gas reserves. (*All figures are 2004 estimates.)

Key Industries:

Crude oil production and refining, ammonia, fertilizers, petrochemicals, steel reinforcing bars, cement and commercial ship repair.

Agricultural Products:

Fruits, vegetables, poultry, dairy products, beef and fish.

Export Commodities:

Liquefied natural gas (LNG), petroleum products, fertilizers and steel.

Import Commodities:

Machinery and transport equipment, food and chemicals.

Exchange Rates


Hamad International Starting from

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