Qatar (State of)

History of Relations | Diplomatic Representation | Travel Info | Health Requirements | Climate Info | Currency Info | Trade Info | Visits and Meetings | Agreements | Interest Groups/ Organisations

History of Relations

Diplomatic relations between South Africa & the State Qatar were established on 10 May 1994. The evolvement of bilateral relations were subsequently supported by official visits to Qatar of Presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki as well as visits by senior South African cabinet ministers responsible for foreign affairs, defence and public enterprises. The Deputy Prime Minister of Qatar attended President Mbeki's first inauguration in 1998. That was followed by official visits to South Africa by the Qatari Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in 2001 and the Under-secretary for Foreign Affairs in 2002.

These diplomatic interactions culminated in the State Visit to South Africa of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, in May 2002. This visit led to the opening of an Embassy of South Africa in Doha, the capital of Qatar, in September 2002. The Embassy was officially opened by Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Africa, on 21 October 2003. Qatar opened its embassy in Pretoria in January 2003.

Apart from Minister Dlamini Zuma's official visit to Qatar in 2003, South Africa's former Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alec Erwin; Minister of Defence, Mr Mosiuoa Lekota and the former Minister of Minerals & Energy, Ms Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka, paid official visits to Qatar in 2003 to expand bilateral relations. In 2004, Qatar's Minister of Energy & Industry, Abdullah Al-Attiyah undertook an official visit to South Africa.

Diplomatic Representation

South African Representation in Qatar

H E Mr S Cachalia
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

South African Embassy

Qatar Representation in South Africa

Embassy of the State of Qatar

H E Mr S A S Al-Jaber
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Travel Info

Visa requirements for South Africans

Holders of South African passports must be in possession of a valid visa before entering the State of Qatar. Visas are currently not issued by Qatari Embassies abroad and must therefore be applied for by the sponsor in Qatar. Visa fees are approximately R 220.00 (USD 60.00) for a single entry and R 440.00 (USD 120.00) for a multiple entry visa.

Temporary South African passports are not recognised as valid travel documents and citizens travelling on these passports will be denied entry into the State of Qatar.

For further info: www.qataron-line.com


Health requirements

Persons intending to work in the State of Qatar will have to supply proof that they are not HIV positive. In some cases a yellow fever vaccination certificate has been required.

For further info: www.arab.net/qatar/tour


Climate Info

The State of Qatar has a desert climate with a hot summer and a relatively mild winter.

In summer the temperature ranges between 25 C and 47 C with a humidity of between 80 - 100%. There is some rainfall in winter but on average it does not exceed 75.2 mm annually.

For up-to-date information click here


Currency Info

Legal tender in Qatar is the Qatari Riyal. The Riyal is divided into 100 dirhams. Notes exist for 1,5,10 50,100 and 500 Riyals and coins for 25 and 50 dirhams. The currency is pegged at a fixed rate to the US$ at 1US$= QR3.64

For more info: www.qatar-info.com/general/currency.htm

State and Official Visits / Bilateral Meetings

Fuel-energy co-operation

Mr Alec Erwin, South Africa's former Minister of Trade and Industry, led a senior Sasol delegation to the State of Qatar on an official visit from 6-8 December 2003. Minister Erwin attended the Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony of the USD 900 million Sasol/Qatar Petroleum Oryx Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) plant and delivered a speech conveying the support of the Government of South Africa for the project and its planned expansion. Technip- Coflexip of Italy is constructing the plant at Ras Laffan Industrial City. The project will be expanded to increase production from
34 000 bpd in 2005, when the plant will come on stream, to 120 000 bpd of GTL in 2007/8.

Planned Large-scale Fuel Grade Methanol Project

On 13 & 14 September 2003, Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the former Minister of Minerals and Energy, and a PetroWorld delegation, paid an official visit to Qatar and co-signed a Heads of Agreement on a planned USD 1 billion Large Scale Fuel Grade Methanol Project with the Qatari Second Deputy Premier, Minister of Energy and Industry and Qatar Petroleum chairperson, Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah. This joint venture between PetroWorld Ltd (49%) (Transworld & PetroSA partnership) and Qatar Petroleum (51%) will use South Africa's industrial expertise. It will apply PetroSA's operating and project implementation experience for the start-up, operation and management of the plant.

Bilateral Agreements

If you have any queries with regard to treaties please contact the Treaty Section at 012 351 0872/0851/0837.

Trade Statistics

The main commodities South Africa imports from Qatar are mineral products, chemicals and plastic products.

The main commodities South Africa exports to Qatar are machinery and mechanical appliances, base metals and chemicals.

For current information on trade statistics between South Africa and Qatar, visit the website of the South African Revenue Service at www.sars.gov.za

Interest Groups and Information

The South African community in Qatar numbers approximately 650 and is steadily growing as trade relations between the two countries expands. The South African Social Committee (SASCOM) was established to assist newcomers to Qatar. The Committee also organises numerous social events during the year where all South African citizens and friends are welcome to participate.

Frequently Asked Questions

For more information on the do's and don'ts of Qatari culture, the required dress codes and the rules governing Islamic etiquette, please consult the following websites:

www.qatar-info.com/practica/utilitie.htm
www.arab.net/qatar

 

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa