Definition of Youth

There is no official definition of youth. However, the Expanding the Capacities of Qatari Youth (2012) report uses a definition of 15-24 years.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 18
  • 0
  • XX
  • Female
  • 16
  • 0
  • XX

  • No minimum age for marriage with parental consent, and permitted only when in conformity with religious and cultural norms and with permission of a competent court. Homosexual acts illegal. Source: UN Child Rights Periodic Report (2008) UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Source:  Law No. 22 Regarding Promulgating the Civil Code

Majority Age


Voting Age


Qatar's first elections were due to be held in 2013 with a voting age of 18 but they were indefinitely postponed.
Source:  BBC

Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 99.41% Male (15-24) %
  • 99.93% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • 90.56%Male %
  • 100.00% Female %

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 25.20% Male (13-15) %
  • 13.10% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
Qatar has a youth develop­ment report to mainstream youth policy with the development strategy.

Whilst there is a 2012 report by the Qatari Government that outlines the challenges young people face that the opportunities for youth perspectives to be mainstreamed into national development processes, no overarching national policy or strategy on youth exists.

Recommendations from the 2012 report include developing a policy framework for greater youth participation in society, reviewing and reinforcing health and wellbeing policies, and ensuring that national regulations and legislation encourage youth participation in development processes.

Further, the report recommends,  

[…] a single umbrella agency for youth affairs[...] Such an agency could coordinate the preparation and implementation of a National Youth Development Policy, including cross-sectoral youth development programmes.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
According to The Peninsula, a new Ministry of Youth and Sports was been created in June 2013, and the Youth Centers Department (YCD) and Youth Activities & Events Department (YAED) were moved beneath it.

Details of the youth departments still sit within the Ministry of Culture Arts and Heritage website. The YCD establishes, supports & monitors youth centers in Qatar. The YEAD works to support youth programs, supervise activities of youth centers and organise festivals and work & public service camps.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
There is no evidence of a national youth council or other platform for representation existing in Qatar.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
No documentation on the budget for youth in Qatar could be found online. According to the World Bank, Qatar spent 7.36% of its government expenditure and 2.45% of its GDP on education provision in 2008.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed May 2014).

Additional Background

From Expanding the Capacities of Qatari Youth: Mainstreaming Young People in Development (2012):  
Qatari youth make up 15% of the Qatari population, who generally grow up in large families with extended kinship ties that are highly influenced by tribal authority and traditional culture [...]
The first is the challenge for youth in a changing demographic and socioeconomic setting. Qatar is undergoing remarkable demographic changes; among them are rising age at first marriage, reductions in childbearing and rising levels of divorce. Qatari youth are being positively and negatively affected by globalization, especially the revolution in information and communications technology. The ongoing and far-reaching changes present new challenges and exciting opportunities, especially in building capacities for the youth to participate in all spheres of society. Youth need to adapt to modernization as well as rapidly changing demographics. The trends call for intercultural understanding and tolerance, as well as intergenerational dialogue.
The second is building knowledge and expanding education opportunities. Qatar has made large investments in education and training infrastructure for young Qataris, and multiple opportunities now exist. But education performance is not progressing at a commensurate pace, despite a decade of reforms. Stronger incentives and opportunities to retain youth in education through the tertiary level are required.
The third is enhancing youth participation in the labour force. Qatar’s economic diversification aspirations necessitate building the country’s human capital to create a more productive and skilled labour force. Given that the number of new Qatari entrants to the labour force each year is lower than what the economy demands, it is imperative that incentive structures are strengthened to increase youth labour force participation at higher skill levels.
The fourth is improving health and well-being. Qatar has made substantial investments in its healthcare system towards achieving the QNV 2030 goals of world-class standards. As in most affluent societies, being overweight and obese is highly prevalent among young Qataris. The country also faces high mortality and disability rates because of road traffic accidents, especially among young men. The report suggests policies that promote self-care and preventative measures to reduce risk-taking behavior and encourage a health and active lifestyle among youth.
The fifth is the empowerment and civic participation of youth. Today’s young men and women are tomorrow’s workers, parents, citizens and leaders. Youth need an enabling environment in which they can be encouraged to participate in their own and Qatar’s development. Young people are an asset to their communities, and pathways need to be established to ensure their inclusion and participation in all aspects of development.