Total Pageviews

Sunday, November 7, 2010


The Emirate of Qatar is less than half the area of Hawaii with about the same number of people, about 1.3 million.  However, somewhere near 75% are foreign guest workers, around 200,000 from the Philippines.

The latest data (from 2007) show that the per capita carbon dioxide emission (metric tons/year) of Qatar is 55.4, the worst by far in the world, with a bunch of Arab countries and Caribbean islands around 30.  The USA is #11 at 18.9.  You would think it's the air conditioning, but, while the July high and low are 115/84, the average in November is 84/66, and will drop to 72/55 in January, much colder than Hawaii.

The al-Thani family has been ruling the country since the mid-1800s.  Independence from the British came in 1971 and in 1995, the current leader, Amir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani (photo right), overthrew his father in a bloodless coup, changing the nature of the country.  Electricity generation, for example, has zoomed by 600% since then and the country is either number one or two in GDP/capita, with these numbers wildly different depending on the report.  The International Monetary fund has Luxembourg over Qatar, with both around $78,000, and the CIA Factbook lists Lichstenstein at $122,100 and Qatar at $121,700, with Luxembourg at $78,000.

They are rich because the country produces 1.2 million barrels of oil/day, worth around $40 billion/year at $89/barrel. Japan buys more than a third of this petroleum, which is ironic because Japan pearl culture seriously hurt the Qatar pearl business before the advent of pestroleum.  More so, the country has the third largest proven natural gas reserves.  The combination of four more decades of oil, plus a lot of natural gas, will raise the relative worth of this country as fossil prices escalate.  The exchange rate is a constant 3.64 rials.

USA universities have several campuses here.  Texas A&M is co-sponsoring this energy gathering I am attending, and their engineering program has been established here since 2003.  There is a Cornell medical school, Virginia Commonwealth fashion curriculum, Carnegie-Mellon information systems focus, and Georgetown foreign service degree program.

Qatar was the headquarters for the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.  However, they earlier this year signed a military security agreement with Iran and supports their nuclear power ambitions.

I bet you thought Al Jazeera came from Saudi Arabia?  Nope, Doha, Qatar is where it all began with a series of loans by Amir al-Thani, who selected the logo in a competiton.  However, this now prominent news/TV network is reasonably independent.

I asked the concierge for a city tour, but they were all booked today.  I could have hired a driver for a three hour personal tour, but that would have cost $200.  So above and below are views from my room:

Visitors to blog site          55,102
Visitors this week                 637
Number of countries            156


1 comment:

buy assignment online said...

That is really good post, it contains all the information about qatar that one need to know about. Thank you for sharing it with us, going to pass on it with others