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Qatar, Land and Population

The land is stony and largely barren. An extremely hot, arid climate prevails. Humidity is high during the summer (May to October), but the average annual rainfall is less than 127 mm (5 in). Petroleum and natural gas are the natural resources.

Qatar relies heavily on imports of food because it has virtually no agricultural land. Water is scarce, and underground aquifers are useless because of a high mineral content.

The population of Qatar (2002 estimate) is 793,341. This figure includes a large number of migrant laborers from neighboring states. The official language is Arabic, although English is widely used in government and commerce. Most native Qataris belong to the Islamic Wahhabi sect, an orthodox branch of Sunni Muslims. The capital and leading port is Doha, with a population (1986) of 217,294.

 
 

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