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Saudi Arabia vs. Qatar

Introduction

Saudi ArabiaQatar
BackgroundSaudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and home to Islam's two holiest shrines in Mecca and Medina. The king's official title is the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. The modern Saudi state was founded in 1932 by ABD AL-AZIZ bin Abd al-Rahman Al SAUD (Ibn Saud) after a 30-year campaign to unify most of the Arabian Peninsula. One of his male descendants rules the country today, as required by the country's 1992 Basic Law. Following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990, Saudi Arabia accepted the Kuwaiti royal family and 400,000 refugees while allowing Western and Arab troops to deploy on its soil for the liberation of Kuwait the following year. The continuing presence of foreign troops on Saudi soil after the liberation of Kuwait became a source of tension between the royal family and the public until all operational US troops left the country in 2003. Major terrorist attacks in May and November 2003 spurred a strong ongoing campaign against domestic terrorism and extremism.
From 2005 to 2015, King ABDALLAH incrementally modernized the Kingdom. Driven by personal ideology and political pragmatism, he introduced a series of social and economic initiatives, including expanding employment and social opportunities for women, attracting foreign investment, increasing the role of the private sector in the economy, and discouraging businesses from hiring foreign workers. Saudi Arabia saw protests during the 2011 Arab Spring but not the level of bloodshed seen in protests elsewhere in the region. Shia Muslims in the Eastern Province protested primarily against the detention of political prisoners, endemic discrimination, and Bahraini and Saudi Government actions in Bahrain. Riyadh took a cautious but firm approach by arresting some protesters but releasing most of them quickly and by using its state-sponsored clerics to counter political and Islamist activism.
The government held its first-ever elections in 2005 and 2011, when Saudis went to the polls to elect municipal councilors. In December 2015, women were allowed to vote and stand as candidates for the first time in municipal council elections, with 19 women winning seats. King SALMAN bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud ascended to the throne in 2015 and placed the first next-generation prince, MUHAMMAD BIN NAIF bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud, in the line of succession as Crown Prince. He designated his son, MUHAMMAD BIN SALMAN bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud, as the Deputy Crown Prince. In March 2015, Saudi Arabia led a coalition of 10 countries in a military campaign to restore the government of Yemen, which had been ousted by Huthi forces allied with former president ALI ABDULLAH al-Salih. The war in Yemen has led to civilian casualties and shortages of basic supplies, which has drawn considerable international criticism. In December 2015, Deputy Crown Prince MUHAMMAD BIN SALMAN announced Saudi Arabia would lead a 34-nation Islamic Coalition to fight terrorism (it has since grown to 41 nations). In January 2016, Saudi Arabia executed 47 people on charges of terrorism, including Shia Muslim cleric NIMR al-Nimr. Iranian protesters overran Saudi diplomatic facilities in Iran to protest al-NIMR’s execution and the Saudi government responded by cutting off diplomatic ties with Iran.
The country remains a leading producer of oil and natural gas and holds about 16% of the world's proven oil reserves as of 2015. The government continues to pursue economic reform and diversification, particularly since Saudi Arabia's accession to the WTO in 2005, and promotes foreign investment in the Kingdom. In April 2016, the Saudi government announced a broad set of socio-economic reforms, known as Vision 2030. Low global oil prices throughout 2015 and 2016 significantly lowered Saudi Arabia’s governmental revenue. In response, the government cut subsidies on water, electricity, and gasoline; reduced government employee compensation packages; and announced limited new land taxes. In coordination with OPEC and some key non-OPEC countries, Saudi Arabia agreed cut oil output in early 2017 to regulate supply and help elevate global prices.
Ruled by the Al Thani family since the mid-1800s, Qatar within the last 60 years transformed itself from a poor British protectorate noted mainly for pearling into an independent state with significant oil and natural gas revenues. The continuous siphoning off of petroleum revenue through the mid-1990s by Qatari amirs permanently residing in Europe had stunted Qatar’s economic growth. Former amir HAMAD bin Khalifa Al Thani, who overthrew his father in a bloodless coup in 1995, ushered in wide-sweeping political and media reforms, unprecedented economic investment, and a growing Qatari regional leadership role, in part through the creation of the pan-Arab satellite news network Al-Jazeera and Qatar's mediation of some regional conflicts. In the 2000s, Qatar resolved its longstanding border disputes with both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and by 2007 had attained the highest per capita income in the world. Qatar did not experience domestic unrest or violence like that seen in other Near Eastern and North African countries in 2010-11, due in part to its immense wealth. Since the outbreak of regional unrest, however, Doha has prided itself on its support for many of these popular revolutions, particularly in Libya and Syria, although to the detriment of Qatar’s relations with Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which temporarily recalled their respective ambassadors from Qatar. In mid-2013, HAMAD transferred power to his 33 year-old son, the current Amir TAMIM bin Hamad - a peaceful abdication rare in the history of Arab Gulf states. TAMIM oversaw a warming of Qatar’s relations with Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE by later in 2014 and prioritized improving the domestic welfare of Qataris, including establishing advanced healthcare and education systems and expanding the country's infrastructure in anticipation of Doha's hosting of the 2022 World Cup.

Geography

Saudi ArabiaQatar
LocationMiddle East, bordering the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, north of Yemen
Middle East, peninsula bordering the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates25 00 N, 45 00 E
25 30 N, 51 15 E
Map referencesMiddle East
Middle East
Areatotal: 2,149,690 sq km
land: 2,149,690 sq km
water: 0 sq km
total: 11,586 sq km
land: 11,586 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly more than one-fifth the size of the US
almost twice the size of Delaware; slightly smaller than Connecticut
Land boundariestotal: 4,272 km
border countries (7): Iraq 811 km, Jordan 731 km, Kuwait 221 km, Oman 658 km, Qatar 87 km, UAE 457 km, Yemen 1,307 km
total: 87 km
border countries (1): Saudi Arabia 87 km
Coastline2,640 km
563 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 18 nm
continental shelf: not specified
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: as determined by bilateral agreements or the median line
Climateharsh, dry desert with great temperature extremes
arid; mild, pleasant winters; very hot, humid summers
Terrainmostly sandy desert
mostly flat and barren desert
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 665 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: Jabal Sawda' 3,133 m
mean elevation: 28 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: Tuwayyir al Hamir 103 m
Natural resourcespetroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, copper
petroleum, natural gas, fish
Land useagricultural land: 80.7%
arable land 1.5%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 79.1%
forest: 0.5%
other: 18.8% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 5.6%
arable land 1.1%; permanent crops 0.2%; permanent pasture 4.3%
forest: 0%
other: 94.4% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land16,200 sq km (2012)
130 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsfrequent sand and dust storms
volcanism: despite many volcanic formations, there has been little activity in the past few centuries; volcanoes include Harrat Rahat, Harrat Khaybar, Harrat Lunayyir, and Jabal Yar
haze, dust storms, sandstorms common
Environment - current issuesdesertification; depletion of underground water resources; the lack of perennial rivers or permanent water bodies has prompted the development of extensive seawater desalination facilities; coastal pollution from oil spills
limited natural freshwater resources are increasing dependence on large-scale desalination facilities
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - noteSaudi Arabia is the largest country in the world without a river; extensive coastlines on the Persian Gulf and Red Sea provide great leverage on shipping (especially crude oil) through the Persian Gulf and Suez Canal
the peninsula occupies a strategic location in the central Persian Gulf near major petroleum deposits
Population distributionhistorically a population that was mostly nomadic or semi-nomadic, the Saudi population has become more settled since petroleum was discovered in the 1930s; most of the economic activities - and with it the country's population - is concentrated in a wide area across the middle of the peninsula, from Ad Dammam in the east, through Riyadh in the interior, to Mecca-Medina in the west near the Red Sea
most of the population is clustered in or around the capital of Doha on the eastern side of the peninsula

Demographics

Saudi ArabiaQatar
Population28,160,273 (July 2016 est.)
note: immigrants make up more than 30% of the total population, according to UN data (2015)
2,258,283 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 26.56% (male 3,835,472/female 3,644,041)
15-24 years: 18.85% (male 2,843,422/female 2,465,027)
25-54 years: 46.4% (male 7,401,654/female 5,663,769)
55-64 years: 4.86% (male 747,307/female 620,100)
65 years and over: 3.34% (male 478,244/female 461,237) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 12.57% (male 143,859/female 140,027)
15-24 years: 12.62% (male 206,775/female 78,271)
25-54 years: 70.45% (male 1,321,973/female 269,072)
55-64 years: 3.41% (male 59,418/female 17,578)
65 years and over: 0.94% (male 13,610/female 7,700) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 27.2 years
male: 27.9 years
female: 26.2 years (2016 est.)
total: 33 years
male: 24.1 years
female: 28.1 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate1.46% (2016 est.)
2.64% (2016 est.)
Birth rate18.4 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
9.7 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate3.3 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
1.5 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-0.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
18.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.15 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.31 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.21 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.05 male(s)/female
total population: 1.19 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 2.64 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 4.91 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 3.38 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.71 male(s)/female
total population: 3.41 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 13.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 15.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 11.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 6.2 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 6.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 75.3 years
male: 73.2 years
female: 77.4 years (2016 est.)
total population: 78.7 years
male: 76.7 years
female: 80.8 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate2.11 children born/woman (2016 est.)
1.9 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rateNA
NA
Nationalitynoun: Saudi(s)
adjective: Saudi or Saudi Arabian
noun: Qatari(s)
adjective: Qatari
Ethnic groupsArab 90%, Afro-Asian 10%
non-Qatari 88.4%, Qatari 11.6% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDSNA
NA
ReligionsMuslim (official; citizens are 85-90% Sunni and 10-15% Shia), other (includes Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, and Sikh) (2012 est.)
note: despite having a large expatriate community of various faiths (more than 30% of the population), most forms of public religious expression inconsistent with the government-sanctioned interpretation of Sunni Islam are restricted; non-Muslims are not allowed to have Saudi citizenship and non-Muslim places of worship are not permitted (2013)
Muslim 67.7%, Christian 13.8%, Hindu 13.8%, Buddhist 3.1%, folk religion <.1%, Jewish <.1%, other 0.7%, unaffiliated 0.9% (2010 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deathsNA
NA
LanguagesArabic (official)
Arabic (official), English commonly used as a second language
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 94.7%
male: 97%
female: 91.1% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.3%
male: 97.4%
female: 96.8% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 16 years
male: 17 years
female: 15 years (2014)
total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 14 years (2011)
Education expenditures5.1% of GDP (2008)
3.5% of GDP (2014)
Urbanizationurban population: 83.1% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.1% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 99.2% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 6.02% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 97% of population
rural: 97% of population
total: 97% of population
unimproved: urban: 3% of population
rural: 3% of population
total: 3% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 98% of population
rural: 98% of population
total: 98% of population
unimproved:
urban: 2% of population
rural: 2% of population
total: 2% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationRIYADH (capital) 6.195 million; Jeddah 4.076 million; Mecca 1.771 million; Medina 1.28 million; Ad Dammam 1.064 million (2015)
DOHA (capital) 718,000 (2015)
Maternal mortality rate12 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
13 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Health expenditures4.7% of GDP (2014)
2.2% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density2.57 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
1.96 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density2.1 beds/1,000 population (2012)
1.2 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate33.7% (2014)
41% (2014)
Contraceptive prevalence rate23.8% (2007)
37.5% (2012)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 45.9
youth dependency ratio: 41.7
elderly dependency ratio: 4.2
potential support ratio: 24 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 20.1
youth dependency ratio: 18.6
elderly dependency ratio: 1.4
potential support ratio: 70.4 (2015 est.)

Government

Saudi ArabiaQatar
Country name"conventional long form: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
conventional short form: Saudi Arabia
local long form: Al Mamlakah al Arabiyah as Suudiyah
local short form: Al Arabiyah as Suudiyah
etymology: named after the ruling dynasty of the country, the House of Saud; the name ""Arabia"" can be traced back many centuries B.C., the ancient Egyptians referred to the region as ""Ar Rabi""
"
"conventional long form: State of Qatar
conventional short form: Qatar
local long form: Dawlat Qatar
local short form: Qatar
note: closest approximation of the native pronunciation is gattar or cottar
etymology: the origin of the name is uncertain, but it dates back at least 2,000 years since a term ""Catharrei"" was used to describe the inhabitants of the peninsula by Pliny the Elder (1st century A.D.), and a ""Catara"" peninsula is depicted on a map by Ptolemy (2nd century A.D.)
"
Government typeabsolute monarchy
absolute monarchy
Capitalname: Riyadh
geographic coordinates: 24 39 N, 46 42 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
name: Doha
geographic coordinates: 25 17 N, 51 32 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions13 provinces (mintaqat, singular - mintaqah); Al Bahah, Al Hudud ash Shamaliyah (Northern Border), Al Jawf, Al Madinah (Medina), Al Qasim, Ar Riyad (Riyadh), Ash Sharqiyah (Eastern), 'Asir, Ha'il, Jazan, Makkah (Mecca), Najran, Tabuk
8 municipalities (baladiyat, singular - baladiyah); Ad Dawhah, Al Khawr wa adh Dhakhirah, Al Wakrah, Ar Rayyan, Ash Shamal, Ash Shihaniyah, Az Za'ayin, Umm Salal
Independence23 September 1932 (unification of the kingdom)
3 September 1971 (from the UK)
National holidaySaudi National Day (Unification of the Kingdom), 23 September (1932)
National Day, 18 December (1878), anniversary of Al Thani family accession to the throne; Independence Day, 3 September (1971)
Constitutionhistory: 1 March 1992 - Basic Law of Government, issued by royal decree, serves as the constitutional framework and is based on the Qur'an and the life and traditions of the Prophet Muhammad
amendments: proposed by the king directly or proposed to the king by the Consultative Assembly or by the Council of Ministers; passage by the king through royal decree; Basic Law amended many times, last in 2005 (2016)
history: previous 1972 (provisional); latest drafted 2 July 2002, approved by referendum 29 April 2003, endorsed 8 June 2004, effective 9 June 2005
amendments: proposed by the emir or by one-third of Advisory Council members; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of Advisory Council members and approval and promulgation by the emir; articles pertaining to the rule of state and its inheritance, functions of the emir, and citizen rights and liberties cannot be amended (2016)
Legal systemIslamic (sharia) legal system with some elements of Egyptian, French, and customary law; note - several secular codes have been introduced; commercial disputes handled by special committees
mixed legal system of civil law and Islamic law (in family and personal matters)
Suffrage21 years of age; male; male and female for municipal elections
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: King and Prime Minister SALMAN bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (since 23 January 2015); Crown Prince MUHAMMAD BIN SALMAN bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (born 31 August 1985); note - the monarch is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: King and Prime Minister SALMAN bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (since 23 January 2015); Crown Prince MUHAMMAD BIN SALMAN bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (born 31 August 1985)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch every 4 years and includes many royal family members
elections/appointments: none; the monarchy is hereditary; note - an Allegiance Council created by royal decree in October 2006 established a committee of Saudi princes for a role in selecting future Saudi kings
chief of state: Amir TAMIM bin Hamad Al Thani (since 25 June 2013)
head of government: Prime Minister ABDALLAH bin Nasir bin Khalifa Al Thani (since 26 June 2013); Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad bin Abdallah al-MAHMUD (since 20 September 2011)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the amir
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the amir
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral Consultative Council or Majlis al-Shura (150 seats; members appointed by the monarch to serve 4-year terms); note - in early 2013, the monarch granted women 30 seats on the Council
description: unicameral Advisory Council or Majlis al-Shura (35 seats; members appointed by the monarch)
note: the 2003 constitution calls for a 45-member council with 30 members directly elected by popular vote for 4-year re-electable terms and 15 appointed by the monarch to serve until resignation or until relieved; election for the new Council was initially scheduled for 2007, but has been extended several times, the latest to June 2019
Judicial branchhighest court(s): High Court (consists of the court chief and organized into circuits with 3-judge panels except the criminal circuit, which has a 5-judge panel for cases involving major punishments)
judge selection and term of office: High Court chief and chiefs of the High Court Circuits appointed by royal decree following the recommendation of the Supreme Judiciary Council, a 10-member body of high-level judges and other judicial heads; new judges and assistant judges serve 1- and 2-year probations, respectively, before permanent assignment
subordinate courts: Court of Appeals; Specialized Criminal Court, first-degree courts composed of general, criminal, personal status, and commercial courts; Labor Court; a hierarchy of administrative courts
highest court(s): Supreme Court or Court of Cassation (consists of the court president and several judges); Supreme Constitutional Court (consists of the chief justice and 6 members)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges nominated by the Supreme Judiciary Council, a 9-member independent body consisting of judiciary heads appointed by the Amir; judges appointed for 3-year renewable terms; Supreme Constitutional Court members nominated by the Supreme Judiciary Council and appointed by the monarch; term of appointment NA
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Administrative Court; courts of first instance; sharia courts; Courts of Justice; Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Center, established in 2009, provides dispute services for institutions and bodies in Qatar, as well as internationally
Political parties and leadersnone
political parties are banned
Political pressure groups and leadersother: gas companies; religious groups
none
International organization participationABEDA, AfDB (nonregional member), AFESD, AMF, BIS, CAEU, CP, FAO, G-20, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, CAEU, CD, CICA (observer), EITI (implementing country), FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador KHALID BIN SALMAN bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (since April 2017)
chancery: 601 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037
telephone: [1] (202) 342-3800
FAX: [1] (202) 944-5983
consulate(s) general: Houston, Los Angeles, New York
chief of mission: Ambassador MISHAL bin Hamad bin Muhammad Al Thani (since 24 April 2017)
chancery: 2555 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20037
telephone: [1] (202) 274-1600
FAX: [1] (202) 237-0682
consulate(s) general: Houston, Los Angeles
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Christopher HENZEL (since 20 January 2017)
embassy: P.O.Box 94309, Riyadh 4693
mailing address: American Embassy, Unit 61307, APO AE 09803-1307; International Mail: P. O. Box 94309, Riyadh 11693
telephone: [966] (11) 488-3800
FAX: [966] (11) 488-7360
consulate(s) general: Dhahran, Jiddah (Jeddah)
chief of mission: Ambassador Dana Shell SMITH (since 8 September 2014)
embassy: 22 February Street, Al Luqta District, Doha
mailing address: P. O. Box 2399, Doha
telephone: [974] 4496-6000
FAX: [974] 4488-4298
Flag description"green, a traditional color in Islamic flags, with the Shahada or Muslim creed in large white Arabic script (translated as ""There is no god but God; Muhammad is the Messenger of God"") above a white horizontal saber (the tip points to the hoist side); design dates to the early twentieth century and is closely associated with the Al Saud family which established the kingdom in 1932; the flag is manufactured with differing obverse and reverse sides so that the Shahada reads - and the sword points - correctly from right to left on both sides
note: the only national flag to display an inscription as its principal design; one of only three national flags that differ on their obverse and reverse sides - the others are Moldova and Paraguay
"
"maroon with a broad white serrated band (nine white points) on the hoist side; maroon represents the blood shed in Qatari wars, white stands for peace; the nine-pointed serrated edge signifies Qatar as the ninth member of the ""reconciled emirates"" in the wake of the Qatari-British treaty of 1916
note: the other eight emirates are the seven that compose the UAE and Bahrain; according to some sources, the dominant color was formerly red, but this darkened to maroon upon exposure to the sun and the new shade was eventually adopted
"
National anthem"name: ""Aash Al Maleek"" (Long Live Our Beloved King)
lyrics/music: Ibrahim KHAFAJI/Abdul Rahman al-KHATEEB
note: music adopted 1947, lyrics adopted 1984
"
"name: ""Al-Salam Al-Amiri"" (The Amiri Salute)
lyrics/music: Sheikh MUBARAK bin Saif al-Thani/Abdul Aziz Nasser OBAIDAN
note: adopted 1996; anthem first performed that year at a meeting of the Gulf Cooperative Council hosted by Qatar
"
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)palm tree surmounting two crossed swords; national colors: green, white
a maroon field surmounted by a white serrated band with nine white points; national colors: maroon, white
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Saudi Arabia; a child born out of wedlock in Saudi Arabia to a Saudi mother and unknown father
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Qatar
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 20 years; 15 years if an Arab national

Economy

Saudi ArabiaQatar
Economy - overviewSaudi Arabia has an oil-based economy with strong government controls over major economic activities. It possesses about 16% of the world's proven petroleum reserves, ranks as the largest exporter of petroleum, and plays a leading role in OPEC. The petroleum sector accounts for roughly 87% of budget revenues, 42% of GDP, and 90% of export earnings.

Saudi Arabia is encouraging the growth of the private sector in order to diversify its economy and to employ more Saudi nationals. Over 6 million foreign workers play an important role in the Saudi economy, particularly in the oil and service sectors; at the same time, however, Riyadh is struggling to reduce unemployment among its own nationals. Saudi officials are particularly focused on employing its large youth population, which generally lacks the education and technical skills the private sector needs.

In 2016, the Kingdom incurred a budget deficit estimated at 13.6% of GDP, which was financed by bond sales and drawing down reserves. Although the Kingdom can finance high deficits for several years by drawing down its considerable foreign assets or by borrowing, it has cut capital spending. Plans to cut deficits include introducing a value-added tax and reducing subsidies on electricity, water, and petroleum products. In January 2016, Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister MUHAMMAD BIN SALMAN announced that Saudi Arabia intends to list shares of its state-owned petroleum company, ARAMCO - another move to increase revenue and outside investment. The government has also looked at privatization and diversification of the economy more closely in the wake of a diminished oil market. Historically, Saudi Arabia has focused diversification efforts on power generation, telecommunications, natural gas exploration, and petrochemical sectors. More recently, the government has approached investors about expanding the role of the private sector in the healthcare, education and tourism industries. While Saudi Arabia has emphasized their goals of diversification for some time, current low oil prices may force the government to make more drastic changes ahead of their long-run timeline.
Qatar’s oil and natural gas resources are the country’s main economic engine and government revenue source, driving Qatar’s high economic growth and per capita income levels, robust state spending on public entitlements, and booming construction spending, particularly as Qatar prepares to host the World Cup in 2022. Although the government has maintained high capital spending levels for ongoing infrastructure projects, low oil and natural gas prices in recent years have led the Qatari Government to tighten some spending to help stem a $12 billion budget deficit in 2016 - 7.8% of GDP.

Qatar’s reliance on oil and natural gas is likely to persist for the foreseeable future. Proved natural gas reserves exceed 25 trillion cubic meters - 13% of the world total and, among countries, third largest in the world - and proved oil reserves exceed 25 billion barrels, allowing production to continue at current levels for about 56 years. Despite the dominance of oil and natural gas, Qatar has made significant gains in strengthening non-oil sectors, such as manufacturing, construction, and financial services, leading non-oil GDP to steadily rise in recent years to just over half of the total.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$1.731 trillion (2016 est.)
$1.711 trillion (2015 est.)
$1.653 trillion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$334.5 billion (2016 est.)
$325.9 billion (2015 est.)
$314.4 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate1.2% (2016 est.)
3.5% (2015 est.)
3.6% (2014 est.)
2.6% (2016 est.)
3.7% (2015 est.)
4% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$54,100 (2016 est.)
$54,500 (2015 est.)
$53,700 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$129,700 (2016 est.)
$134,600 (2015 est.)
$140,700 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 2.4%
industry: 42.9%
services: 54.7% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 0.1%
industry: 51.1%
services: 48.8% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA%
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
lowest 10%: 1.3%
highest 10%: 35.9% (2007)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)4.4% (2016 est.)
2.2% (2015 est.)
3.8% (2016 est.)
1.7% (2015 est.)
Labor force12.02 million
note: about 80% of the labor force is non-national (2016 est.)
1.691 million (2016 est.)
Unemployment rate11.2% (2016 est.)
11.4% (2015 est.)
note: data are for Saudi males only (local bank estimates; some estimates are as high as 25%)
0.7% (2016 est.)
0.4% (2015 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $149.7 billion
expenditures: $236.7 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: $41.71 billion
expenditures: $53.95 billion (2016 est.)
Industriescrude oil production, petroleum refining, basic petrochemicals, ammonia, industrial gases, sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), cement, fertilizer, plastics, metals, commercial ship repair, commercial aircraft repair, construction
liquefied natural gas, crude oil production and refining, ammonia, fertilizers, petrochemicals, steel reinforcing bars, cement, commercial ship repair
Industrial production growth rate0.6% (2016 est.)
1.5% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productswheat, barley, tomatoes, melons, dates, citrus; mutton, chickens, eggs, milk
fruits, vegetables; poultry, dairy products, beef; fish
Exports$205.3 billion (2016 est.)
$202.3 billion (2015 est.)
$64.69 billion (2016 est.)
$77.29 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiespetroleum and petroleum products 90% (2012 est.)
liquefied natural gas (LNG), petroleum products, fertilizers, steel
Exports - partnersChina 13.2%, Japan 10.9%, US 9.6%, India 9.3%, South Korea 8.5% (2015)
Japan 25.4%, India 14.6%, China 8.4%, UAE 6.8%, Singapore 5.6%, UK 5.5%, Thailand 4.2% (2015)
Imports$157.7 billion (2016 est.)
$155 billion (2015 est.)
$33.76 billion (2016 est.)
$28.5 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, motor vehicles, textiles
machinery and transport equipment, food, chemicals
Imports - partnersChina 13.8%, US 12.5%, Germany 7%, South Korea 6%, India 4.4%, Japan 4.3%, UK 4.3% (2015)
China 11.9%, US 11.3%, UAE 9%, Germany 7.7%, Japan 6.7%, UK 5.9%, Italy 4.6%, Saudi Arabia 4.4% (2015)
Debt - external$200.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$169.8 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$159.2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$141.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesSaudi riyals (SAR) per US dollar -
3.75 (2016 est.)
3.75 (2015 est.)
3.75 (2014 est.)
3.75 (2013 est.)
3.75 (2012 est.)
Qatari rials (QAR) per US dollar -
3.64 (2016 est.)
3.64 (2015 est.)
3.64 (2014 est.)
3.64 (2013 est.)
3.64 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
1 April - 31 March
Public debt31% of GDP (2016 est.)
15% of GDP (2015 est.)
55.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
41.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$553.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$616.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$36.03 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$37.26 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$24.91 billion (2016 est.)
-$56.72 billion (2015 est.)
-$3.48 billion (2016 est.)
$13.75 billion (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$637.8 billion (2016 est.)
$156.6 billion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$258.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$250.7 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$35.38 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$34.53 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$42.95 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$37.98 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$52.66 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$49.73 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$421.1 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$483.1 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$467.4 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$142.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$185.9 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$152.6 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Central bank discount rate2.5% (31 December 2008)

4.5% (31 December 2012)
4.93% (31 December 2011)
Commercial bank prime lending rate7.1% (31 December 2016 est.)
6.9% (31 December 2015 est.)
5% (31 December 2016 est.)
4.5% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$221.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$134.1 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$218.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$200.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$295.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$305.5 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$34.45 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$34.87 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$513.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$461.2 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$155.8 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$138.5 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Taxes and other revenues23.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
26.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-13.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
-7.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 30.4%
male: 21.4%
female: 57.9% (2014 est.)
total: 1.1%
male: 0.4%
female: 6.2% (2013 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 42.3%
government consumption: 29.6%
investment in fixed capital: 29.5%
investment in inventories: 5.9%
exports of goods and services: 30.7%
imports of goods and services: -38% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 25.7%
government consumption: 22.6%
investment in fixed capital: 44.8%
investment in inventories: 1.7%
exports of goods and services: 46.5%
imports of goods and services: -41.3% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving25% of GDP (2016 est.)
26.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
38.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
42.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
47% of GDP (2015 est.)
57.6% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

Saudi ArabiaQatar
Electricity - production293 billion kWh (2014 est.)
36 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption272 billion kWh (2014 est.)
34 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports0 kWh (2013 est.)
0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - imports0 kWh (2013 est.)
0 kWh (2013 est.)
Oil - production10.05 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
1.532 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - exports7.416 million bbl/day (2013 est.)
1.303 million bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves269 billion bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
25 billion bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves8.489 trillion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
24.53 trillion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Natural gas - production102.4 billion cu m (2014 est.)
160 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption102.4 billion cu m (2014 est.)
41.07 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2014 est.)
118.9 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - imports0 cu m (2014 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity66 million kW (2014 est.)
8.8 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels99.9% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
98.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources0.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
1.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production1.884 million bbl/day (2013 est.)
286,800 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption3.141 million bbl/day (2014 est.)
238,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports1.45 million bbl/day (2013 est.)
542,900 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports497,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
2,555 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy594 million Mt (2013 est.)
92 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesspopulation without electricity: 200,000
electrification - total population: 98%
electrification - urban areas: 99%
electrification - rural areas: 93% (2013)
population without electricity: 45,165
electrification - total population: 98%
electrification - urban areas: 98%
electrification - rural areas: 93% (2012)

Telecommunications

Saudi ArabiaQatar
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 3,746,906
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 14 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 428,858
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 20 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 52.796 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 190 (July 2015 est.)
total: 3.61 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 164 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: modern system including a combination of extensive microwave radio relays, coaxial cables, and fiber-optic cables
domestic: mobile-cellular subscribership has been increasing rapidly
international: country code - 966; landing point for the international submarine cable Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) and for both the SEA-ME-WE-3 and SEA-ME-WE-4 submarine cable networks providing connectivity to Asia, Middle East, Europe, and US; microwave radio relay to Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Yemen, and Sudan; coaxial cable to Kuwait and Jordan; satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (3 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean), 1 Arabsat, and 1 Inmarsat (Indian Ocean region) (2015)
general assessment: modern system centered in Doha
domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular telephone subscribership exceeds 180 telephones per 100 persons
international: country code - 974; landing point for the Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) submarine cable network that provides links to Asia, Middle East, Europe, and the US; tropospheric scatter to Bahrain; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia and the UAE; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) and 1 Arabsat (2015)
Internet country code.sa
.qa
Internet userstotal: 19.32 million
percent of population: 69.6% (July 2015 est.)
total: 2.039 million
percent of population: 92.9% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast mediabroadcast media are state-controlled; state-run TV operates 4 networks; Saudi Arabia is a major market for pan-Arab satellite TV broadcasters; state-run radio operates several networks; multiple international broadcasters are available (2007)
TV and radio broadcast licensing and access to local media markets are state controlled; home of the satellite TV channel Al-Jazeera, which was originally owned and financed by the Qatari government but has evolved to independent corporate status; Al-Jazeera claims editorial independence in broadcasting; local radio transmissions include state, private, and international broadcasters on FM frequencies in Doha; in August 2013, Qatar's satellite company Es'hailSat launched its first communications satellite Es'hail 1 (manufactured in the US), which entered commercial service in December 2013 to provide improved television broadcasting capability and expand availability of voice and Internet; Es'hailSat expects to launch its second satellite in 2018 (2014)

Transportation

Saudi ArabiaQatar
Roadwaystotal: 221,372 km
paved: 47,529 km (includes 3,891 km of expressways)
unpaved: 173,843 km (2006)
total: 9,830 km (2010)
Pipelinescondensate 209 km; gas 2,940 km; liquid petroleum gas 1,183 km; oil 5,117 km; refined products 1,151 km (2013)
condensate 288 km; condensate/gas 221 km; gas 2,383 km; liquid petroleum gas 90 km; oil 745 km; refined products 103 km (2013)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Ad Dammam, Al Jubayl, Jeddah, Yanbu al Bahr
container port(s) (TEUs): Ad Dammam (1,492,315), Jeddah (4,010,448)
major seaport(s): Doha, Mesaieed (Umaieed), Ra's Laffan
LNG terminal(s) (export): Ras Laffan
Merchant marinetotal: 72
by type: cargo 1, chemical tanker 25, container 4, liquefied gas 2, passenger/cargo 10, petroleum tanker 20, refrigerated cargo 3, roll on/roll off 7
foreign-owned: 15 (Egypt 1, Greece 4, Kuwait 4, UAE 6)
registered in other countries: 55 (Bahamas 16, Dominica 2, Liberia 20, Malta 2, Norway 3, Panama 11, Tanzania 1) (2010)
total: 28
by type: bulk carrier 3, chemical tanker 2, container 13, liquefied gas 6, petroleum tanker 4
foreign-owned: 6 (Kuwait 6)
registered in other countries: 35 (Liberia 5, Marshall Islands 29, Panama 1) (2010)
Airports214 (2013)
6 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 82
over 3,047 m: 33
2,438 to 3,047 m: 16
1,524 to 2,437 m: 27
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 4 (2013)
total: 4
over 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 132
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 72
914 to 1,523 m: 37
under 914 m: 16 (2013)
total: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
Heliports10 (2013)
1 (2013)

Military

Saudi ArabiaQatar
Military branchesMinistry of Defense: Royal Saudi Land Forces, Royal Saudi Naval Forces (includes Marine Forces and Special Forces), Royal Saudi Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Malakiya as-Sa'udiya), Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces, Royal Saudi Strategic Rocket Forces, Ministry of the National Guard (SANG) (2015)
Qatari Emiri Land Force (QELF), Qatari Emiri Navy (QEN), Qatari Emiri Air Force (QEAF) (2013)
Military service age and obligation17 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
conscription for males aged 18-35; 4-month general obligation, 3 months for graduates (2014)

Transnational Issues

Saudi ArabiaQatar
Disputes - internationalSaudi Arabia has reinforced its concrete-filled security barrier along sections of the now fully demarcated border with Yemen to stem illegal cross-border activities; Kuwait and Saudi Arabia continue discussions on a maritime boundary with Iran; Saudi Arabia claims Egyptian-administered islands of Tiran and Sanafir
none
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 30,000 (Yemen) (2017)
stateless persons: 70,000 (2016); note - thousands of biduns (stateless Arabs) are descendants of nomadic tribes who were not officially registered when national borders were established, while others migrated to Saudi Arabia in search of jobs; some have temporary identification cards that must be renewed every five years, but their rights remain restricted; most Palestinians have only legal resident status; some naturalized Yemenis were made stateless after being stripped of their passports when Yemen backed Iraq in its invasion of Kuwait in 1990; Saudi women cannot pass their citizenship on to their children, so if they marry a non-national, their children risk statelessness
stateless persons: 1,200 (2016)
Trafficking in personscurrent situation: Saudi Arabia is a destination country for men and women subjected to forced labor and, to a lesser extent, forced prostitution; men and women from South and East Asia, the Middle East, and Africa who voluntarily travel to Saudi Arabia as domestic servants or low-skilled laborers subsequently face conditions of involuntary servitude, including nonpayment and withholding of passports; some migrant workers are forced to work indefinitely beyond the term of their contract because their employers will not grant them a required exit visa; female domestic workers are particularly vulnerable because of their isolation in private homes; women, primarily from Asian and African countries, are believed to be forced into prostitution in Saudi Arabia, while other foreign women were reportedly kidnapped and forced into prostitution after running away from abusive employers; children from South Asia, East Africa, and Yemen are subjected to forced labor as beggars and street vendors in Saudi Arabia, facilitated by criminal gangs
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Saudi Arabia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; government officials and high-level religious leaders demonstrated greater political will to combat trafficking and publically acknowledged the problem – specifically forced labor; the government reported increased numbers of prosecutions and convictions of trafficking offenders; however, it did not proactively investigate and prosecute employers for potential labor trafficking crimes following their withholding of workers’ wages and passports, which are illegal; authorities did not systematically use formal criteria to proactively identify victims, resulting in some unidentified victims being arrested, detained, deported, and sometimes prosecuted; more victims were identified and referred to protective services in 2014 than the previous year, but victims of sex trafficking and male trafficking victims were not provided with shelter and remained vulnerable to punishment (2015)
current situation: Qatar is a destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor, and, to a much lesser extent, forced prostitution; the predominantly foreign workforce migrates to Qatar legally for low- and semi-skilled work but often experiences situations of forced labor, including debt bondage, delayed or nonpayment of salaries, confiscation of passports, abuse, hazardous working conditions, and squalid living arrangements; foreign female domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to trafficking because of their isolation in private homes and lack of protection under Qatari labor laws; some women who migrate for work are also forced into prostitution
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Qatar does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government investigated 11 trafficking cases but did not prosecute or convict any offenders, including exploitative employers and recruitment agencies; the primary solution for resolving labor violations was to transfer a worker’s sponsorship to a new employer with minimal effort to investigate whether a forced labor violation had occurred; authorities increased their efforts to protect some trafficking victims, although many victims of forced labor, particularly domestic workers, remained unidentified and unprotected and were sometimes punished for immigration violations or running away from an employer or sponsor; authorities visited worksites throughout the country to meet and educate workers and employers on trafficking regulations, but the government failed to abolish or reform the sponsorship system, perpetuating Qatar’s forced labor problem (2015)

Source: CIA Factbook