Cruising to Qatar
Ruled by the al-Thani family since the mid-1800s, Qatar transformed itself from a poor British protectorate noted mainly for pearling into an independent state with significant oil and natural gas revenues. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Qatari economy was crippled by a continuous siphoning off of petroleum revenues by the amir, who had ruled the country since 1972.
His son, the current Amir HAMAD bin Khalifa al-Thani, overthrew him in a bloodless coup in 1995. In 2001, Qatar resolved its longstanding border disputes with both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Oil and natural gas revenues enable Qatar to have one of the highest per capita incomes in the world.
Location: Middle East, peninsula bordering the Persian Gulf and Saudi
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Arid; mild, pleasant winters; very hot, humid summers
Mostly flat and barren desert covered with loose sand and gravel
Lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
Oil and gas account for more than 60% of GDP, roughly 85% of export earnings, and 70% of government revenues. Oil and gas have given Qatar a per capita GDP about 80% of that of the leading West European industrial countries. Proved oil reserves of 16 billion barrels should ensure continued output at current levels for 23 years. Qatar's proved reserves of natural gas exceed 25 trillion cubic meters, more than 5% of the world total and third largest in the world.
Qatar has permitted substantial foreign investment in the development of its gas fields during the last decade and is expected to become the world's top liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter by 2007. In recent years, Qatar has consistently posted trade surpluses largely because of high oil prices and increased natural gas exports, becoming one of the world's fastest growing and highest per-capita income countries.
Airports: 5 (2005)
Total: 21 ships (1000 GRT or over) 579,533 GRT/852,015 DWT
Sailing Specifics: Ports and terminals
Other Sailing Destinations in the Region
Bahrain - Christmas Islands - Cocos Keeling - Comoros - Djibouti - Eritrea - India - Jordan - Kenya - Kuwait - Madagascar - Maldives - Mauritius - Mayotte - Mozambique - Oman - Pakistan - Qatar - Reunion Island - Saudi Arabia - Seychelles - Somalia - Sri Lanka - Sudan - Tanzania - United Arab Emirates - Yemen