Qatar faces risk from several natural hazards, including floods, droughts, and sand and dust storms.

This section allows you to explore the susceptibility of livelihoods and natural systems to impacts of climate variability and change and facilitate the exploration of socioeconomic and development data and its relationships with natural hazards vulnerable areas.


Natural Hazard Statistics

The charts provide overview of the most frequent natural disaster in a given country and understand the impacts of those disasters on human populations.


Climate change is now recognized to have a significant impact on disaster management efforts and pose a significant threat to the efforts to meet the growing needs of the most vulnerable populations. The demands of disaster risk management are such that concise, clear, and reliable information is crucial. The information presented here offers insight into the frequency, impact and occurrence of natural hazards.

Natural Hazard / Development Nexus

Understanding natural hazard occurrence as well as historical climate conditions, in relation to development contexts, is critical to understanding a country’s historical vulnerability. This tool allows the visualization of different natural hazards or historical climate conditions with socio-economic and development datasets. Select the Development Context and either a Natural Hazard or Climate Condition and overlay horizontally by sliding the toggle left or right to gain a broader sense of historically vulnerable areas.



Data presented under Historical Climate Conditions are reanalysis products derived from ERA5-Land data. ERA5-Land is a global land-surface dataset at 9 km resolution, consistent with atmospheric data from the ERA5 reanalysis from 1950 onward. Climate reanalyses combine past observations with models to generate consistent time series of multiple climate variables. They provide a comprehensive description of the observed climate as it has evolved during recent decades, on 3D grids at sub-daily intervals. 

This data has been collected, aggregated and processed by the Climate Resilience Cluster of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Earth Observation for Sustainable Development (EO4SD) initiative.

Key Vulnerabilities
  • Rainfall in Qatar is extremely unpredictable and highly variable with short intense events, which produce heavy storms that often lead to flooding in coastal areas. Historically, only about 0.01% of Qatar’s population is located within flood hazard zones. However, this is likely to rise with increased rainfall unpredictability and intensity.
  • Heavy rainfall is normally followed by long dry periods that result in drought, desertification, and water and food shortages. Qatar is already affected by a lack of freshwater and mainly depends on groundwater for agricultural production. The rate of groundwater depletion is estimated at 69 million cubic meters per year.
  • Sand and dust storms in Qatar are a result of strong forceful winds called “Shamals” that sweep over the desert area. They are dangerous because they tend to reduce visibility and cause respiratory-related illnesses.
  • Qatar’s water crisis ranks among the worst in the world and greater rainfall variability could result in prolonged drought periods. About 677 people (0.08%) of the total population are exposed to drought conditions. The UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction projects that the population at risk will rise with an increased length in dry periods.
  • Qatar has one of the highest per capita water demand. It is estimated that 99% of the country’s drinking water is desalinated.

 More information on natural hazards can be found at ThinkHazard.

  • Rising sea levels and increased flooding might enhance coastal erosion, affecting people and ecosystems along the coasts, and are expected to increase saline intrusion which will affect groundwater.
  • The inundation of agricultural lands will damage drainage systems, increase water logging problems and cause higher groundwater tables.
  • Rising sea temperatures may contribute to an increase in the incidence of severe coral bleaching and death.
  • Increasing temperatures will lead to increased drought occurrences.
  • Sea level rise will raise wave heights and intensify the transportation of wave movements along the western and eastern coasts.