Before the mid-1970s, Qatar had to rely on the fact that
teachers, teaching materials and curricula were imported
from other Arab countries. A turning point came in 1973 with
the founding of a university with initially two educational
faculties, one for men and one for women. Since then, an
explosive development has taken place by the school system.
A greater part of the students start school at the age of
six and have twelve years of compulsory and free schooling.
Literacy in 2010 was 96%. Among young people, aged 15-24,
reading and writing skills were almost total. At least half
of the students graduating from universities and colleges
are women. In recent years, several branches of well-known
American and British universities have opened in Qatar. Check topschoolsintheusa for test centers of ACT, SAT, and GRE as well high schools in the country of Qatar.
At the end of 1991, a new conflict arose between Qatar and
Bahrain over the right to the many small islands along the
coasts of the two emirates. This was particularly true of
Howard Island and the underground under Dibval and Qitat,
where there may be large oil reserves. The rising tension
between the two countries triggered mediation on the part of
The European, North American and Japanese companies
involved in natural gas exploration had a combined share of
35%, while the state-owned Qatar General Petroleum
Corporation controlled 65%. Production volume was estimated
at 24 billion cubic meters in 1996 and exports began in
In 1993, per. capita income $ 28,000 a year. The
government was able to balance the budget due to the rising
oil exports reaching 400,000 barrels a day.
However, the fall in oil prices on the world market led
to a 20% fall in state revenues that year. In an attempt to
diversify revenues, the government began negotiations in
1994 with a number of Asian companies on natural gas
In June 1995, Crown Prince Hamad ibn Khalifah ath-Thani
overthrew his father and made himself emir of Qatar. The new
ruler vowed to step up efforts to resolve territorial strife
with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The country's continued
membership of the Gulf Cooperation Council was called into
question when it emigrated in December from a meeting of the
In April 1996, Saudi Arabia and Qatar signed an agreement
to resolve the two countries' territorial disputes. A
similar dispute with Bahrain was resolved in March 1997,
when both countries agreed to bring the dispute before the
International Court of Justice in The Hague.
In 1997, Qatar froze its relations with Israel, thus
following the decision of the Arab League to reintroduce the
Arab boycott. At the same time, Qatar made its capital
available for the implementation of the Economic Conference
for the Middle East and North Africa in November. In
October, sheik Abdullah ibn Khalifa ath-Thani was appointed
prime minister. A post that until then had been taken care
of by the emir Hamad.
On March 17, 1998, the 25th Conference of Foreign
Ministers of the Islamic Conference ended in the capital. In
its resolutions, the conference called the Arab states to
reconsider sanctions targeting Israel. Qatar welcomed the
agreement between Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Mexico to
reduce these countries' oil production, and promised to
implement something similar during the year.
In March, Qatar and France conducted joint naval
exercises under the name «Collection of Pearls III». In
April, the emir signed an agreement with Russia on military
cooperation, including the exchange of specialists and
training of officers.
The ban on the employment of Egyptian employees was
lifted in June 1998, and in November of that year a
constitutional reform proposal was published, which talked
about the establishment of a parliament and direct elections
to it. At this time, the emirate was the only Gulf state
with an elected parliament, but voting rights were limited
to men over the age of 18. At the March 1999 local
elections, women were given the right to vote for the first
time. Despite the attention it gave, none of the 6 female
candidates running for the election were elected.
The emir escaped diplomatic activity, contributed to
criticism of US policy towards Iraq and mediated in the
conflict between the Saudi royal house and the United Arab
Emirates (UAE) over agreements with Iran. The UAE complained
that Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council members
were improving their relations with Iran, while the UAE
continued to have a border conflict with this country. A
proposal by the emir Khalifa al-Thani created agreement
between the parties and thus unity in the Council.