Fast Facts

Doha; 286,000
11,521 square kilometers (4,448 square miles)
Arabic, English
Qatari rial
Life Expectancy:
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $67,000
Literacy Percent:
Flag: Qatar
Map: Qatar

Qatar occupies a peninsula that extends into the Persian Gulf. This oil-rich nation, under British protection until 1971, chose not to join the United Arab Emirates. Qatar has exported oil since 1949, and as reserves decline, the nation has turned to its natural gas. The North Field (half the size of the entire country) is the largest single reservoir of natural gas in the world. The current emir has instituted political reforms, including allowing women to vote and hold office.


  • Industry: Crude oil production and refining, fertilizers, petrochemicals, steel reinforcing bars, cement
  • Agriculture: Fruits, vegetables; poultry, dairy products, beef; fish
  • Exports: Petroleum products, fertilizers, steel

—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

Related Features

  • <p>Photo: Woman with cow</p>

    The End of Cheap Oil

    The biggest oil field discovered in U.S. territory in three decades lies under the Gulf of Mexico. Learn more about its estimated one billion barrels of oil, and what it means for the industry.

  • <p>Photo: City of Dubai</p>

    Sudden City

    A feverish dream of the future springs from the sands in Dubai.

  • <p>Photo: Desert ecolodge</p>

    50 Top Ecolodges: Deserts

    Preserving the last big empties—Adventure magazine presents the best places to stay and play without leaving a footprint.

Take a Nat Geo Trip

Select a destination or trip type to find a trip:

See All Trips »

2016 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

  • Picture of a volcano on Reunion Island

    Who Will Win?

    Browse photos of nature, cities, and people and share your favorite photos.

Take a Nat Geo Trip

Select a destination or trip type to find a trip:

See All Trips »

Get Social With Nat Geo Travel