Geography and landscapes Qatar
As big as a large French department, Qatar forms a large peninsula pointing towards the Persian Gulf. Stretched over 160 km long and 55 to 90 km wide, it has some 563 km of coastline, alternating beaches interminable, depressions with salty soils (sebkhas) and last vestiges of mangrove swamp.
This flat and desolate land rises to just 103m along the road to neighboring Saudi Arabia.
It is on this side, south of Doha, that we find the most interesting geographical element: a splendid sea of sand with moving dunes, 40 m high and more, enclosing in the south-east of the peninsula a double bay with the appearance of a lake, known under the name of Inland Sea (Khor al-Adaid). It is linked to the Persian Gulf by a narrow arm of the sea over 10 km long - a unique case in the world!
No natural river or lake exists: Qatar depends exclusively on groundwater and its desalination plants.
Offshore float some low islands and islets surrounded by shallow waters and coral reefs - sometimes badly damaged by the effects of national constructivity… The most important archipelago, Hawar, lies to the west, just over 1 km from the coast, but it belongs to neighboring Bahrain (Qatar claimed it until 2001). Let us also mention, about 100 km to the east, in the middle of the Persian Gulf, the island of Halul, where oil from off-shore fields is stored and loaded on ships.
In fact, more than the surface, it is the Qatari subsoil that is the most remarkable! The country, despite its chip size, has the third largest gas reserves in the world (13%) - and produces 77 million tonnes per year. Oil, although less important in comparison, is not to be outdone, with 15 billion barrels of proven reserves, which should allow the country to continue supplying the rest of the world at the current rate for about forty years. The discovery of oil in the emirate dates back only to 1938 and its first exports to 1949.
Qatar is one of the six member nations of the GCC, the Gulf Cooperation Council, to which Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman also belong.