Qatar

Qatar

Overview
Qatar also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast
Coast
A coastline or seashore is the area where land meets the sea or ocean. A precise line that can be called a coastline cannot be determined due to the dynamic nature of tides. The term "coastal zone" can be used instead, which is a spatial zone where interaction of the sea and land processes occurs...

 of the much larger Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 to the south, with the rest of its territory surrounded by the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

. A strait of the Persian Gulf separates Qatar from the nearby island state of Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

.

Qatar has been ruled as an absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy is a monarchical form of government in which the monarch exercises ultimate governing authority as head of state and head of government, his or her power not being limited by a constitution or by the law. An absolute monarch thus wields unrestricted political power over the...

 by the Al Thani
Al-Thani
The Al Thani family is the royal family of Qatar whose origins can be traced back to Banu Tamim. The Al Thani family has been ruling Qatar since its foundation in 1825.List of Hakims and Emirs:*Sheikh Thani bin Mohammed, Hakim of Qatar...

 family since the mid-19th century.
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Encyclopedia
Qatar also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast
Coast
A coastline or seashore is the area where land meets the sea or ocean. A precise line that can be called a coastline cannot be determined due to the dynamic nature of tides. The term "coastal zone" can be used instead, which is a spatial zone where interaction of the sea and land processes occurs...

 of the much larger Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 to the south, with the rest of its territory surrounded by the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

. A strait of the Persian Gulf separates Qatar from the nearby island state of Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

.

Qatar has been ruled as an absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy is a monarchical form of government in which the monarch exercises ultimate governing authority as head of state and head of government, his or her power not being limited by a constitution or by the law. An absolute monarch thus wields unrestricted political power over the...

 by the Al Thani
Al-Thani
The Al Thani family is the royal family of Qatar whose origins can be traced back to Banu Tamim. The Al Thani family has been ruling Qatar since its foundation in 1825.List of Hakims and Emirs:*Sheikh Thani bin Mohammed, Hakim of Qatar...

 family since the mid-19th century. Formerly a British protectorate noted mainly for pearling
Pearl hunting
Pearl hunting or pearl diving refers to a largely obsolete method of retrieving pearls from pearl oysters, freshwater pearl mussels and, on rare occasions, other nacre-producing molluscs, such as abalone.-History:...

, it became independent in 1971, and has become one of the region's wealthiest states due to its enormous oil and natural gas revenues. In 1995, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani became Emir when he seized power from his father, Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani
Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani
Emir Shaikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Abdullah bin Jassim bin Muhammed Al Thani GCB GCMG was the Emir of Qatar from 1972 until he was deposed by his son Hamad bin Khalifa in 1995....

, in a peaceful coup d'état
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

. The most important positions in Qatar are held by the members of the Al Thani family, or close confidants of the al- Thani family. Beginning in 1992, Qatar has built intimate military ties with the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, and is now the location of U.S. Central Command’s Forward Headquarters and the Combined Air Operations Center.

Qatar has the world's largest per capita production and proven reserves of both oil
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 and natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

. In 2010, Qatar had the world's highest GDP per capita, while the economy grew by 19.40%, the fastest in the world. The main drivers for this rapid growth are attributed to ongoing increases in production and exports of liquefied natural gas, oil, petrochemicals and related industries. Qatar has the second-highest human development
Human Development Index
The Human Development Index is a composite statistic used to rank countries by level of "human development" and separate "very high human development", "high human development", "medium human development", and "low human development" countries...

 in the Arab World
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

 after the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

. In 2009, Qatar was the United States’ fifth-largest export market in the Middle East, trailing behind the U.A.E., Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. With a small citizen population of less than 300,000 people, Qatar workforce comprises expatriates from other Arab nations (20% of population), the Indian subcontinent (India 20%, Nepal 13%, Pakistan 7%, Sri Lanka 5%), Southeast Asia (Philippines 10%), and other countries (5%). Qatar has attracted an estimated $100 billion in investment, with approximately $60–70 billion coming from the U.S in the energy sector. It is estimated that Qatar will invest over $120 billion in the energy sector in the next ten years.

Etymology


The name may derive from "Qatara", believed to refer to the Qatari town of Zubara, an important trading port and town in the region in ancient times.

In Standard Arabic the name is pronounced ˈqɑtˤɑr, while in the local dialect it is ˈɡitˤar. In English-language broadcast media within Qatar—for example, television commercials for Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways Company Q.C.S.C. , operating as Qatar Airways, is the flag carrier of Qatar. Headquartered in the Qatar Airways Tower in Doha, it operates a hub-and-spoke network, linking over 100 international destinations from its base in Doha, using a fleet of over 100 aircraft...

 and advertisements concerning economic development in Qatar—the name is pronounced "KA-tar" (not "KAT-ar").

History




Recent discoveries on the edge of an island in western Qatar indicate early human presence in pre-historic Qatar. Discovery of a 6th millennium BC site at Shagra, in southeastern Qatar revealed the key role the sea (the Persian Gulf) played in the lives of Shagra’s inhabitants. Excavations at Al-Khor in northeastern Qatar, Bir Zekrit and Ras Abaruk, and the discovery there of pottery, flint, flint-scraper tools, and painted ceramic vessels indicates Qatar’s connection with the Al-Ubaid civilisation, which flourished in the land between the Tigris
Tigris
The Tigris River is the eastern member of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of southeastern Turkey through Iraq.-Geography:...

 and the Euphrates
Euphrates
The Euphrates is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia...

 rivers in present-day Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 during the period of 5th–4th millennium BC. There had also been a barter-based trading system between the settlements at Qatar and the Ubaid Mesopotamia, in which the exchanged commodities were mainly pottery and dried fish.

Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 conquered the entire Arabian region during the 7th century in a string of widespread conflicts resulting in the Islamization
Islamization
Islamization or Islamification has been used to describe the process of a society's conversion to the religion of Islam...

 of the native Arabian pagans. With the spread of Islam in Qatar, the Islamic prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 sent his first military envoy, Al Ala Al-Hadrami, to Al-Mundhir Ibn Sawa Al-Tamimi, the ruler of Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

 (which extended from the coast of Kuwait to the south of Qatar, including Al-Hasa and Bahrain Islands), in the year 628, inviting him to accept Islam as he had invited other kingdoms and empires of his time such as Byzantium and Persia. Mundhir, in response to Muhammad, announced his acceptance of Islam, and all the inhabitants of Qatar became Muslim, heralding the beginning of the Islamic era in Qatar.

In medieval times, Qatar was more often than not independent and a participant in the great Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

 commerce. Many races and ideas were introduced into the peninsula from the sailors of Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

, East Africa
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

, South
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

 and Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

, as well as the Malay archipelago
Malay Archipelago
The Malay Archipelago refers to the archipelago between mainland Southeastern Asia and Australia. The name was derived from the anachronistic concept of a Malay race....

. Today, the traces of these early interactions with the oceanic world of the Indian Ocean survive in the small minorities of races, peoples, languages and religions, such as the presence of Africans and Shihus.

Although the peninsula
Peninsula
A peninsula is a piece of land that is bordered by water on three sides but connected to mainland. In many Germanic and Celtic languages and also in Baltic, Slavic and Hungarian, peninsulas are called "half-islands"....

 land mass that makes up Qatar has sustained humans for thousands of years, for the bulk of its history, the arid
Arid
A region is said to be arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent of hindering or even preventing the growth and development of plant and animal life...

 climate
Climate
Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological elemental measurements in a given region over long periods...

 fostered only short-term settlements by nomad
Nomad
Nomadic people , commonly known as itinerants in modern-day contexts, are communities of people who move from one place to another, rather than settling permanently in one location. There are an estimated 30-40 million nomads in the world. Many cultures have traditionally been nomadic, but...

ic tribes. The Abbasid
Abbasid
The Abbasid Caliphate or, more simply, the Abbasids , was the third of the Islamic caliphates. It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphate from all but the al-Andalus region....

 era (750–1258) saw the rise of several settlements, including Murwab. The Portuguese
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

 ruled from 1517 to 1538, when they lost to the Ottomans. For the duration of the 18th and 19th century, Qatar was independent, but in 1876, Shaikh Jassim Bin Muhammad bin Thani invited the Ottomans, who had recently annexed the Ahsa
Ahsa
Ahsa may mean:* Al-Ahsa , the Saudi Arabian oasis region * the American Horse Shows Association* the American Hunters and Shooters Association* , the Gothic letter a, see Gothic alphabet, Ansuz rune...

 region, to protect Qatar. Qatar thus became a dependency of the Ottoman Empire, although not a part of it. But attempts by the Ottomans to annex Qatar outright soon led to the expulsion of the Ottomans from the Qatar Peninsula. In March 1893, at the Battle of Wajbah (10 miles west of Doha
Doha
Doha is the capital city of the state of Qatar. Located on the Persian Gulf, it had a population of 998,651 in 2008, and is also one of the municipalities of Qatar...

), Shaikh Jassim defeated the Ottomans and banished them for good from Qatar. This date is a landmark in Qatari history, one that marks the emergence of modern Qatar as a nation.

The British initially sought out Qatar and the Persian Gulf as an intermediary vantage point en route to their colonial
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

 interests in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

; although, the discovery of petroleum
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 and other hydrocarbon
Hydrocarbon
In organic chemistry, a hydrocarbon is an organic compound consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons from which one hydrogen atom has been removed are functional groups, called hydrocarbyls....

s in the early 20th century would re-invigorate their interest. During the 19th century, the time of Britain’s formative ventures into the region, the Al Khalifa
Al Khalifa
The Al Khalifa family is the ruling family of Bahrain. The Al Khalifa profess Sunni Islam and belong to the Anizah tribe that migrated from Najd to Kuwait in the early 18th century. They are also from the Utub tribe...

 clan reigned over the northern Qatari peninsula from the nearby island of Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

 to the west.

Although Qatar had the legal status of a dependency
Dependent territory
A dependent territory, dependent area or dependency is a territory that does not possess full political independence or sovereignty as a State, and remains politically outside of the controlling state's integral area....

, resentment festered against the Bahraini Al Khalifas along the eastern seaboard of the Qatari peninsula. In 1867, the Al Khalifas launched a successful effort to crush the Qatari rebels, sending a massive naval force to Al Wakrah
Al Wakrah
Al Wakrah is a city and municipality of Qatar located halfway between Ad Dawhah and Mesaieed municipalities. Al Wakrah's eastern edge is the shores of the Persian Gulf. Originally al wakra was a tiny fishing and pearling village. Now it has evolved into a small town with a population of more than...

. However, the Bahraini aggression was in violation of the 1820 Anglo-Bahraini Treaty. The diplomatic response of the British to this violation set into motion the political forces that would eventuate in the founding of the state of Qatar on 18 December 1878 (for this reason, the date of 18 December is celebrated each year as the Qatar National Day
Qatar National Day
Qatar National Day In commemoration of the historic day in 1878 when Shaikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani - the founder of the State of Qatar - succeeded his father, Shaikh Mohammed bin Thani, as the ruler and led the country toward unity, Qatar celebrates its National Day on December 18 every...

). In addition to censuring Bahrain for its breach of agreement, the British Protectorate
Protectorate
In history, the term protectorate has two different meanings. In its earliest inception, which has been adopted by modern international law, it is an autonomous territory that is protected diplomatically or militarily against third parties by a stronger state or entity...

 (per Colonel Lewis Pelly
Lewis Pelly
Sir Lewis Pelly, KCSI, , was Conservative Member of Parliament for Hackney North from 1885 to 1892 and an East India Company officer.-Early years:...

) asked to negotiate
Negotiation
Negotiation is a dialogue between two or more people or parties, intended to reach an understanding, resolve point of difference, or gain advantage in outcome of dialogue, to produce an agreement upon courses of action, to bargain for individual or collective advantage, to craft outcomes to satisfy...

 with a representative from Qatar.

The request carried with it a tacit recognition of Qatar’s status as distinct from Bahrain. The Qataris chose as their negotiator the entrepreneur
Entrepreneur
An entrepreneur is an owner or manager of a business enterprise who makes money through risk and initiative.The term was originally a loanword from French and was first defined by the Irish-French economist Richard Cantillon. Entrepreneur in English is a term applied to a person who is willing to...

 and long-time resident of Doha
Doha
Doha is the capital city of the state of Qatar. Located on the Persian Gulf, it had a population of 998,651 in 2008, and is also one of the municipalities of Qatar...

, Muhammed bin Thani. The Al Thanis had taken relatively little part in Persian Gulf politics, but the diplomatic foray ensured their participation in the movement towards independence
Independence
Independence is a condition of a nation, country, or state in which its residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over its territory....

 and their hegemony as the future ruling family, a dynasty
Dynasty
A dynasty is a sequence of rulers considered members of the same family. Historians traditionally consider many sovereign states' history within a framework of successive dynasties, e.g., China, Ancient Egypt and the Persian Empire...

 that continues to this day. The results of the negotiations left the nation with a new-found sense of political identity, although it did not gain official standing as a British protectorate
Protectorate
In history, the term protectorate has two different meanings. In its earliest inception, which has been adopted by modern international law, it is an autonomous territory that is protected diplomatically or militarily against third parties by a stronger state or entity...

 until 1916.

20th and 21st centuries


The reach of the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 diminished after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, especially following Indian independence
Indian independence movement
The term Indian independence movement encompasses a wide area of political organisations, philosophies, and movements which had the common aim of ending first British East India Company rule, and then British imperial authority, in parts of South Asia...

 in 1947. Pressure for a British withdrawal from the Arab emirates in the Persian Gulf increased during the 1950s, and the British welcomed Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

’s declaration of independence in 1961. When Britain officially announced in 1968 that it would disengage politically (though not economically) from the Persian Gulf in three years’ time, Qatar joined Bahrain and seven other Trucial States
Trucial States
The Trucial States were a group of sheikhdoms in the Persian Gulf.-General aspects:The sheikdoms included:*Abu Dhabi *Ajman...

 in a federation
Federation
A federation , also known as a federal state, is a type of sovereign state characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central government...

. Regional disputes, however, quickly compelled Qatar to resign and declare independence from the coalition that would evolve into the seven-emirate
Emirate
An emirate is a political territory that is ruled by a dynastic Muslim monarch styled emir.-Etymology:Etymologically emirate or amirate is the quality, dignity, office or territorial competence of any emir ....

 United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

. On 3 September 1971, Qatar became an independent sovereign state.

In 1991, Qatar played a significant role in the Persian Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

, particularly during the Battle of Khafji
Battle of Khafji
The Battle of Khafji was the first major ground engagement of the Gulf War. It took place in and around the Saudi Arabian city of Khafji, from 29 January to 1 February 1991 and marked the culmination of the Coalition's air campaign over Kuwait and Iraq, which had begun on 17 January 1991.Iraqi...

 in which Qatari tanks rolled through the streets of the town providing fire support for Saudi Arabian National Guard
Saudi Arabian National Guard
The Saudi Arabian National Guard is a separate military force of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is not part of the Saudi Arabian Defence Forces, due to its specific role as a counterbalance to the regular military. It serves both as defence force against external threats and as a security force...

 units which were fighting against units of the Iraqi Army. Qatar also allowed Coalition
Coalition
A coalition is a pact or treaty among individuals or groups, during which they cooperate in joint action, each in their own self-interest, joining forces together for a common cause. This alliance may be temporary or a matter of convenience. A coalition thus differs from a more formal covenant...

 troops from Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 to use the country as an airbase to launch aircraft on CAP
Combat air patrol
Combat air patrol is a type of flying mission for fighter aircraft.A combat air patrol is an aircraft patrol provided over an objective area, over the force protected, over the critical area of a combat zone, or over an air defense area, for the purpose of intercepting and destroying hostile...

 duty.

, Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
Hamad bin Khalifa
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani is the ruling Emir of the State of Qatar since 1995.Sheikh Hamad was the appointed Heir Apparent of Qatar between 1977 and 1995 and at the same time Minister of Defense. In the early 1980s he led the Supreme Planning Council, which sets the Qatar's basic economic...

 has ruled Qatar, seizing control of the country from his father Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani
Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani
Emir Shaikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Abdullah bin Jassim bin Muhammed Al Thani GCB GCMG was the Emir of Qatar from 1972 until he was deposed by his son Hamad bin Khalifa in 1995....

 while the latter vacationed in Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

. Under Emir Hamad, Qatar has experienced a notable amount of sociopolitical liberalization
Liberalization
In general, liberalization refers to a relaxation of previous government restrictions, usually in areas of social or economic policy. In some contexts this process or concept is often, but not always, referred to as deregulation...

, including the endorsement of women's suffrage
Women's suffrage
Women's suffrage or woman suffrage is the right of women to vote and to run for office. The expression is also used for the economic and political reform movement aimed at extending these rights to women and without any restrictions or qualifications such as property ownership, payment of tax, or...

 or right to vote, drafting a new constitution, and the launch of Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera is an independent broadcaster owned by the state of Qatar through the Qatar Media Corporation and headquartered in Doha, Qatar...

, an outspoken news organization.

The World Factbook states that Qatar has the second-highest GDP per capita in the world, after Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
The Principality of Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its area is just over , and it has an estimated population of 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz. The biggest town is Schaan...

.

Qatar served as the headquarters and one of the main launching sites of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

In March 2005, a suicide bombing
Suicide attack
A suicide attack is a type of attack in which the attacker expects or intends to die in the process.- Historical :...

 killed a British teacher at the Doha Players Theatre, shocking for a country that had not previously experienced acts of terrorism
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

. The bombing was carried out by Omar Ahmed Abdullah Ali, an Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

ian residing in Qatar, who had suspected ties to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is a militant Islamist organization, primarily active in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. It was named for al-Qaeda, and says it is subordinate to that group and its now-deceased leader Osama bin Laden, a Saudi citizen whose father was born in Yemen...

. According to leaked documents published in The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

, Qatar's record of counterterrorism efforts was the "worst in the region" although Qatar had been a generous host to the American military. The cable suggested that Qatar’s security service was "hesitant to act against known terrorists out of concern for appearing to be aligned with the U.S. and provoking reprisals".

In December 2010, Qatar was selected to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup
2022 FIFA World Cup
The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be the 22nd FIFA World Cup, an international association football tournament that is scheduled to take place in 2022 in Qatar. The competition is scheduled to take place in June and July, although proposals have been made for a winter season. The tournament will involve...

.

National Day


Qatar National Day
Qatar National Day
Qatar National Day In commemoration of the historic day in 1878 when Shaikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani - the founder of the State of Qatar - succeeded his father, Shaikh Mohammed bin Thani, as the ruler and led the country toward unity, Qatar celebrates its National Day on December 18 every...

 on December 18 is the day Qatar remembers how their national unity was achieved and how they became a distinct and respected nation out of a society torn apart by conflicting tribal loyalties, devoid of security and order, and overrun by invaders. On that day, the deepest expressions of affection and gratitude are conveyed to the people of Qatar who cooperated in solidarity and vowed sincere allegiance and obedience to Shaikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, trusting him as a father, brother, leader, and Imam. In him they found a man who had already distinguished himself in his youth as a pious, brave, self-sacrificing, as well as a wise leader. He successfully unified the Qatari Peninsula and safeguarded the interests of its people in the darkest of times ever witnessed by this part of the world.

Geography





The Qatari peninsula
Peninsula
A peninsula is a piece of land that is bordered by water on three sides but connected to mainland. In many Germanic and Celtic languages and also in Baltic, Slavic and Hungarian, peninsulas are called "half-islands"....

 juts 100 miles (161 km) north into the Persian Gulf from Saudi Arabia. It lies between latitudes 24°
24th parallel north
The 24th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 24 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, North America and the Atlantic Ocean....

 and 27° N
27th parallel north
The 27th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 27 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America and the Atlantic Ocean....

, and longitudes 50°
50th meridian east
The meridian 50° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Madagascar, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 and 52° E
52nd meridian east
The meridian 52° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

.

Much of the country consists of a low, barren plain
Plain
In geography, a plain is land with relatively low relief, that is flat or gently rolling. Prairies and steppes are types of plains, and the archetype for a plain is often thought of as a grassland, but plains in their natural state may also be covered in shrublands, woodland and forest, or...

, covered with sand
Sand
Sand is a naturally occurring granular material composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles.The composition of sand is highly variable, depending on the local rock sources and conditions, but the most common constituent of sand in inland continental settings and non-tropical coastal...

. To the southeast lies the spectacular Khor al Adaid (“Inland Sea”), an area of rolling sand dunes surrounding an inlet
Inlet
An inlet is a narrow body of water between islands or leading inland from a larger body of water, often leading to an enclosed body of water, such as a sound, bay, lagoon or marsh. In sea coasts an inlet usually refers to the actual connection between a bay and the ocean and is often called an...

 of the Persian Gulf. There are mild winters and very hot, humid summers.

The highest point in Qatar is Qurayn Abu al Bawl at 103 metres (337.9 ft) in the Jebel Dukhan to the west, a range of low limestone
Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

 outcrop
Outcrop
An outcrop is a visible exposure of bedrock or ancient superficial deposits on the surface of the Earth. -Features:Outcrops do not cover the majority of the Earth's land surface because in most places the bedrock or superficial deposits are covered by a mantle of soil and vegetation and cannot be...

pings running north-south from Zikrit through Umm Bab
Umm Bab
Umm Bab is the capital city of the municipality of Jariyan al Batnah in Qatar.Visit the Umm Bab Club....

 to the southern border. The Jebel Dukhan area also contains Qatar’s main onshore oil deposits
Oil field
An oil field is a region with an abundance of oil wells extracting petroleum from below ground. Because the oil reservoirs typically extend over a large area, possibly several hundred kilometres across, full exploitation entails multiple wells scattered across the area...

, while the natural gas field
Natural gas field
Oil and natural gas are produced by the same geological process according fossil fuel suggestion: anaerobic decay of organic matter deep under the Earth's surface. As a consequence, oil and natural gas are often found together...

s lie offshore, to the northwest of the peninsula.

Government and politics



Qatar has an unelected, monarchic, emirate
Emirate
An emirate is a political territory that is ruled by a dynastic Muslim monarch styled emir.-Etymology:Etymologically emirate or amirate is the quality, dignity, office or territorial competence of any emir ....

-type government. There are no democratic institutions or elections, and power is assumed on a hereditary basis. Its legal system combines limited aspects of Islamic
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

 (or Sharia) and civil law
Civil law (legal system)
Civil law is a legal system inspired by Roman law and whose primary feature is that laws are codified into collections, as compared to common law systems that gives great precedential weight to common law on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different...

 codes in a discretionary system of law totally controlled by the Emir
Emir
Emir , meaning "commander", "general", or "prince"; also transliterated as Amir, Aamir or Ameer) is a title of high office, used throughout the Muslim world...

. Although civil codes are being implemented, Islamic law is used in family and personal matters. The country has a parliament called Municipalitial court that is composed of ordinary citizens representing every populated area in Qatar. The country has not accepted compulsory International Court of Justice
International Court of Justice
The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands...

 jurisdiction.

Qatari law


When contrasted with other Arab states such as Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, Qatar has comparatively liberal laws, but still not as liberal as some other Arab states of the Persian Gulf
Arab states of the Persian Gulf
"Arab states of the Persian Gulf" or "Arab Persian Gulf states" or "Persian Gulf Arab states" or "Arabic Persian Gulf states" or "Arab States of The Gulf", are terms that refer to the six Arab states of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, bordering the Persian Gulf....

 like United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

 or Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

. Qatar is a civil law
Civil law (legal system)
Civil law is a legal system inspired by Roman law and whose primary feature is that laws are codified into collections, as compared to common law systems that gives great precedential weight to common law on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different...

 jurisdiction. However, Shari'a or Islamic law is applied to aspects of family law
Family law
Family law is an area of the law that deals with family-related issues and domestic relations including:*the nature of marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships;...

, inheritance
Inheritance
Inheritance is the practice of passing on property, titles, debts, rights and obligations upon the death of an individual. It has long played an important role in human societies...

 and certain criminal acts
Criminal law
Criminal law, is the body of law that relates to crime. It might be defined as the body of rules that defines conduct that is not allowed because it is held to threaten, harm or endanger the safety and welfare of people, and that sets out the punishment to be imposed on people who do not obey...

. Women can legally drive in Qatar, and there is a strong emphasis in equality and human rights brought by Qatar's National Human Rights Committee. Many cases of ill-treatment of immigrant labour have been observed. Qatar does not maintain wage standards for its immigrant labor, and does not permit labour-unions.

The country has undergone a period of liberalization and modernisation during the reign of the current Emir, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who came to power in 1995. The laws of Qatar tolerate alcohol
Alcoholic beverage
An alcoholic beverage is a drink containing ethanol, commonly known as alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are divided into three general classes: beers, wines, and spirits. They are legally consumed in most countries, and over 100 countries have laws regulating their production, sale, and consumption...

 to a certain extent. However, the few bars and nightclubs in Qatar operate only in expensive hotels and clubs, with Qatar Distribution Company the only importer and retailer for alcohol in Qatar. Under Qatar's Sharia, it is illegal to show alcohol or be drunk in public.

During the month of Ramadan
Ramadan
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts 29 or 30 days. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex during daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and...

, eating, drinking, and smoking in public is strictly banned from dawn to sunset. Violating this law can lead to arrest.

In common with other Arab countries of the Persian Gulf, sponsorship laws exist in Qatar. These laws have been widely described as akin to modern-day slavery. The sponsorship system (kafeel or kafala) exists throughout the GCC, apart from Bahrain, and means that a worker (not a tourist) may not enter the country without having a kafeel; cannot leave without the kafeel`s permission (an exit permit must first be awarded by the sponsor, or kafeel); and the sponsor has the right to ban the employee from entering Qatar within 2–5 years of his first departure. Various governmental sponsors have recently exercised their right to prevent employees from leaving the country, effectively holding them against their will for no good reason. Some individuals after resigning have not been issued with their exit permits, denying them their basic right to leave the country. Many sponsors do not allow the transfer of one employee to another sponsor. This does not apply to special sponsorship of a Qatar Financial Centre-sponsored worker, where it is encouraged and regulated that sponsorship should be uninhibited and assistance should be given to allow for such transfers of sponsorship.

Administrative divisions


Before 2004, Qatar was divided into ten municipalities
Municipality
A municipality is essentially an urban administrative division having corporate status and usually powers of self-government. It can also be used to mean the governing body of a municipality. A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a special-purpose district...

(Arabic: baladiyah
Baladiyah
Baladiyah is a type of Arabic administrative division that can be translated as municipality or district. The plural is baladiyat . Grammatically, it is the feminine of بلدي "rural, country-, folk-"....

), also occasionally or rarely translated as governorates or provinces:
  1. Doha (Ad Dawhah)
    Doha
    Doha is the capital city of the state of Qatar. Located on the Persian Gulf, it had a population of 998,651 in 2008, and is also one of the municipalities of Qatar...

     الدوحة
  2. Al Ghuwariyah
    Al Ghuwariyah
    Al Ghuwariyah is a municipality in the state Qatar.Al Ghuwariyah's western edge is the shores of the Persian Gulf. On land, it borders the following municipalities:* Madinat ash Shamal - north* Al Khor Municipality - east* Al Jumaliyah - south...

     الغويرية
  3. Al Jumaliyah
    Al Jumaliyah
    Al Jumaliyah is a municipality in the state Qatar.Al Jumaliyah's western edge is the shores of the Persian Gulf. On land, it borders the following municipalities:*Al Ghuwariyah - north*Al Khawr - northeast*Umm Salal - east*Ar Rayyan - southeast...

     الجميلية
  4. Al Khawr الخور
  5. Al Wakrah
    Al Wakrah
    Al Wakrah is a city and municipality of Qatar located halfway between Ad Dawhah and Mesaieed municipalities. Al Wakrah's eastern edge is the shores of the Persian Gulf. Originally al wakra was a tiny fishing and pearling village. Now it has evolved into a small town with a population of more than...

     الوكرة
  6. Ar Rayyan
    Ar Rayyan
    Al-Rayyan is a municipality in the state of Qatar. Al Rayyan means 'the source of irrigation' and as per Islam it also means 'a door in heaven' or 'one of the Gates of Paradise' . Al-Rayyan is the only landlocked municipality of Qatar...

     الريان
  7. Jariyan al Batnah
    Jariyan al Batnah
    Jariyan al Batnah is a municipality of Qatar.The Persian Gulf borders Jariyan al Batnah in its west and its southeast. Because the municipality is located in the south of the country, it is the only municipality that borders foreign territory: Saudi Arabia's Ash Sharqiyah...

     جريان الباطنة
  8. Madinat ash Shamal
    Madinat ash Shamal
    ash-Shamal is a municipality in the state of Qatar. Its capital is called Madinat ash-Shamal and it is considered to be one of the major cities in Qatar. The name means "City of the north" - although the population is barely over 3,000...

     الشمال
  9. Umm Salal
    Umm Salal
    Umm Salal is a municipality in the The State of Qatar.It contains several historic places, such as Barzan Tower. It also contains the new town of Lusail, which is located on the coast in the northern part of the municipality and a part of the district called New Doha...

     أم صلال
  10. Mesaieed
    Mesaieed
    Mesaieed is a municipality in the State of Qatar, approximately south of Doha. Its capital is also called Mesaieed.-Location:Mesaieed is located approximately south of Doha. To the east and south, Mesaieed borders the Persian Gulf. On land, to the north and west, Mesaieed borders Al Wakrah...

     مسيعيد


Since 2004, Qatar has been divided into eight municipalities. A new municipality, Al Daayen
Al Daayen
Al Daayen is a municipality in the state of Qatar. Al Daayen will host world cup 2022 games.-History:Al-Daayen Municipality is the seventh in the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning, after the municipalities of Doha, Al-Rayyan, Al-Wakrah, Umm Salal, Al-Khor and Dhekra, and Al-Shamal...

, was created under Resolution No. 13, formed from parts of Umm Salal and Al Khawr; at the same time, Al Ghuwariyah was merged with Al Khawr; Al Jumaliyah was merged with Ar Rayyan; and Jarayan al Batnah was split between Ar Rayyan and Al Wakrah.

For statistical purposes, the municipalities are further subdivided into zones (87 in number as of 2004), which are in turn subdivided into blocks .

Foreign relations


Qatar was also an early member of OPEC
OPEC
OPEC is an intergovernmental organization of twelve developing countries made up of Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela. OPEC has maintained its headquarters in Vienna since 1965, and hosts regular meetings...

 and a founding member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It is a member of the Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

.

Qatar has bilateral relationships with a variety of foreign powers. It has allowed American forces to use an air base to send supplies to Iraq and Afghanistan. It has also signed a defense cooperation agreement with Saudi Arabia, with whom it shares the largest single non-associated gas field in the world. It was the second nation, the first being France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, to have publicly announced its recognition of the Libyan opposition's National Transitional Council
National Transitional Council
The National Transitional Council of Libya , sometimes known as the Transitional National Council, the Interim National Council, or the Libyan National Council,...

 as the legitimate government of Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

 amidst the 2011 Libyan uprising.

The history of Qatar’s alliances provides insight into the basis of their policy. Between 1760 and 1971, Qatar sought formal protection from the high transitory powers of the Ottomans, British, the Al-Khalifa’s from Bahrain, the Persians, and the Wahhabis from Saudi Arabia. It has undoubtedly been an impuissant nation between influential nations and always feared their sovereignty. It was quickly determined that creating permanent alliances is not in Qatar’s best interest and that it could not rest its security in the hands of another; the only thing that is permanent is Qatar’s interests. Qatar sought to secure the growing threat of being in a volatile geographic region, with mistrust and nuclear threats within close proximity, by inviting the US to create a full-functioning military base . Sheikh Hamad’s coup in 1995 reinvigorated its foreign policy, allowing it to step out of Saudi Arabia’s shadow, and unaligned its policies from them, surprising the region. Speculation of a Saudi Arabian-,sponsored coup attempt in the late 1990s to reinstate the ousted Emir’s father, and border disputes, led to obstreperous relations, resulting in Riyadh withdrawing diplomatic representation from 2002 to 2007. Launch of Al-Jazeera certainly did not help; it bred mistrust within the region, and brought into question the motives behind it and Qatar’s road to modernity in relation to the various countries it affected.

Role in international community


Besides causing a stir in the media world, Qatar has also made a name for itself in the international arena, with its attempt to brand itself as a peaceful neutral world power. It has attempted to achieve that goal by acting as a mediator, and promoting peace in the region and beyond.
  • Mediation


As of 2011, Qatar has engaged in mediation efforts in Western Sahara, Yemen, the Ethiopia-Eritrea conflict, Indonesia, Somalia, and famously in Darfur and Lebanon. In addition, Qatar has involved itself in deep negotiations between the Palestinian authorities, Hamas and Fatah. Qatar’s involvement as a mediator in all of these situations may be vindicated by its lack of ties to any super-national or regional powers, and by the strategy of neutrality it has followed in order to be seen as an unbiased entity in conflicts.
  • International Organizations and Conferences


Qatar has continued to take on more roles in the international organizational realm. In 1997 Qatar hosted the Middle East and North African summit, where it invited Israeli representation. In 2001, Qatar took the initiative and held a WTO ministerial meeting to further trade negotiations, commonly known as the ‘Doha Round’. Most notably, Qatar held an elected seat for two years in the United Nations Security Council from 2005 to 2007, maximizing its exposure and solidifying its presence in the international community.

Qatar has hosted academic, religious, political and economic conferences. The 11th annual Doha Forum recently brought in key thinkers, professionals of various backgrounds, and political figures from all over the world to discuss democracy, media and information technology, free trade, and water security issues. This year was the first year the forum featured the Middle East Economic Future conference.

Human rights



Qatar is a destination for men and women from South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

 and Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

 who migrate willingly, but are subsequently trafficked into involuntary servitude as domestic workers and labourers, and, to a lesser extent, commercial sexual exploitation. The most common offence was forcing workers to accept worse contract terms than those under which they were recruited. Other offences include bonded labour, withholding of pay, restrictions on movement, arbitrary detention, and physical, mental, and sexual abuse.

According to the Trafficking in Persons Report by the US State Department, men and women who are lured into Qatar by promises of high wages are often forced into underpaid labour. The report states that Qatari laws against forced labour are rarely enforced, and that labour laws often result in the detention of victims in deportation centres, pending the completion of legal proceedings. The report places Qatar at tier 3, as one of the countries that neither satisfies the minimum standards, nor demonstrates significant efforts to come into compliance.

The government maintains that it is setting the benchmark when it comes to human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 and treatment of labourers.

Barwa, a Qatari contracting agency, is constructing a residential area for labourers known as Barwa Al Baraha
Barwa Al Baraha
Barwa Al Baraha, also called Workers City, will be a residential area for laborers in Qatar. The project was launched after a scandal in Dubai's labor camps. The project aims to provide a reasonable standard of living as defined by the new Human Rights Legislation.- Project :The Barwa Al Baraha is...

 (also called "Worker's City"). The project was launched after a recent scandal in Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

's labour camps. The project aims to provide a reasonable standard of living as defined by the new Human Rights Legislation. The Barwa Al Baraha will cost around $1.1 billion and will be a completely integrated city in the industrial area in Doha. Along with 4.25 square meters of living space per person, the residential project will provide parks, recreational areas, malls, and shops for labourers. Phase one of the project was set to be completed by the end of 2008, and the project itself is set to be completed by the middle of 2010.

Freedom of religion


The government uses Sunni law as the basis of its criminal and civil regulations. Some religious tolerance is granted. Foreign nationals are free to affiliate with their faiths other than Islam, i.e. Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Bahái, as long as they are religious in private and do not offend 'public order' or 'morality'.

In March 2008 a Roman Catholic church of “Our Lady of the Rosary” was consecrated in Doha. No missionaries were allowed in the community. The church will have no bells, crosses or other Christian symbols on it and its premises.

Alcohol and other dietary issues


Alcohol consumption is legal in Qatar, with many restrictions. Luxurious hotels and nightclubs are allowed to sell alcohol to their adult non-Muslim customers. Personal consumption or possession of alcohol outside of these premises is illegal, except in a private residence where the non-Muslim adult has obtained a permit through the Qatar Distribution Company. Having alcoholic beverages in public is illegal, unless transferring them to a private residence, hotel or nightclub with a permit.
The law punishes drunk driving, offering alcoholic beverages to a minor or a Muslim, and public drinking.
Pork is now legally imported through the Qatar Distribution Company (QDC), and available to purchase by its liquor permit holding members.

Eating and drinking during Ramadan


Eating or drinking in public during daylight hours in the month of Ramadan
Ramadan
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts 29 or 30 days. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex during daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and...

in Qatar is prohibited.

Capital punishment


Qatar retains the death penalty, mainly for threats against national security.

Incidents


A Wikileaks
Wikileaks
WikiLeaks is an international self-described not-for-profit organisation that publishes submissions of private, secret, and classified media from anonymous news sources, news leaks, and whistleblowers. Its website, launched in 2006 under The Sunshine Press organisation, claimed a database of more...

 report has revealed that letters signed by the deputy prime minister, Abdullah al-Attiyah, and sent to Royal Dutch Shell
Royal Dutch Shell
Royal Dutch Shell plc , commonly known as Shell, is a global oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the fifth-largest company in the world according to a composite measure by Forbes magazine and one of the six...

, ExxonMobil
ExxonMobil
Exxon Mobil Corporation or ExxonMobil, is an American multinational oil and gas corporation. It is a direct descendant of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil company, and was formed on November 30, 1999, by the merger of Exxon and Mobil. Its headquarters are in Irving, Texas...

, and a number of other major oil companies, showed that the Qatar government demanded donations of up to $1.7 billion toward the cost of building a medical centre in 2007.

Economy



Qatar has experienced rapid economic growth over the last several years due to high oil prices, and in 2008 posted its eighth consecutive budget surplus. Economic policy is focused on developing Qatar's non-associated natural gas reserves and increasing private and foreign investment in non-energy sectors, but oil and gas still account for more than 50% of GDP; roughly 85% of export earnings, and 70% of government revenues.

Oil and gas have made Qatar one of the highest per-capita income countries, and one of the world's fastest growing. Proved oil reserves of 15 billion barrels should enable continued output at current levels for 37 years. Qatar's proved reserves of natural gas are nearly 26 trillion cubic metres, about 14% of the world total and the third largest in the world.

Before the discovery of oil, the economy of the Qatari region focused on fishing
Fishing
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

 and pearl hunting
Pearl hunting
Pearl hunting or pearl diving refers to a largely obsolete method of retrieving pearls from pearl oysters, freshwater pearl mussels and, on rare occasions, other nacre-producing molluscs, such as abalone.-History:...

. After the introduction of the Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

ese cultured pearl
Cultured pearl
A cultured pearl is a pearl created by a pearl farmer under controlled conditions.-Development of a pearl:A pearl is formed when the mantle tissue is injured by a parasite, an attack of a fish or another event that damages the external fragile rim of the shell of a molluc shell bivalve or gastropod...

 onto the world market in the 1920s and 1930s, Qatar's pearling industry crashed. However, the discovery of oil
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

, beginning in the 1940s, completely transformed the state's economy. Now, the country has a high standard of living
Standard of living
Standard of living is generally measured by standards such as real income per person and poverty rate. Other measures such as access and quality of health care, income growth inequality and educational standards are also used. Examples are access to certain goods , or measures of health such as...

, with many social services offered to its citizens and all the amenities of any modern state. It relies heavily on foreign labour to grow its economy, to the extent that 94% of its labour is carried out by foreigners. Labour laws offer little protection for the foreign labourers mostly coming from developing countries.

Qatar’s national income primarily derives from oil and natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

 export
Export
The term export is derived from the conceptual meaning as to ship the goods and services out of the port of a country. The seller of such goods and services is referred to as an "exporter" who is based in the country of export whereas the overseas based buyer is referred to as an "importer"...

s. The country has oil reserves of 15 billion barrels, while gas reserves in the giant North Field (which straddles the border with Saudi Arabia and is almost as large as the peninsula itself) are estimated to be between 80 Tcuft to 800 Tcuft (1 trillion cubic feet of gas is equivalent to about 180 Moilbbl of oil). Qataris’ wealth
Wealth
Wealth is the abundance of valuable resources or material possessions. The word wealth is derived from the old English wela, which is from an Indo-European word stem...

 and standard of living
Standard of living
Standard of living is generally measured by standards such as real income per person and poverty rate. Other measures such as access and quality of health care, income growth inequality and educational standards are also used. Examples are access to certain goods , or measures of health such as...

 compare well with those of Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

an states; Qatar has the highest GDP
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 per capita in the Arab World, according to the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

 (2010) and the CIA World Factbook. With no income tax
Income tax
An income tax is a tax levied on the income of individuals or businesses . Various income tax systems exist, with varying degrees of tax incidence. Income taxation can be progressive, proportional, or regressive. When the tax is levied on the income of companies, it is often called a corporate...

, Qatar (along with Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

) is one of the countries with the lowest tax rates in the world.
While oil and gas will probably remain the backbone of Qatar’s economy for some time to come, the country seeks to stimulate the private sector and develop a “knowledge economy
Knowledge economy
The knowledge economy is a term that refers either to an economy of knowledge focused on the production and management of knowledge in the frame of economic constraints, or to a knowledge-based economy. In the second meaning, more frequently used, it refers to the use of knowledge technologies to...

”. In 2004, it established the Qatar Science & Technology Park
Qatar Science & Technology Park
Qatar Science & Technology Park is a home for international technology companies in Qatar, and an incubator of start-up technology businesses...

 to attract and serve technology
Technology
Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ;...

-based companies and entrepreneurs, from overseas and within Qatar. Qatar also established Education City
Education City
Education City is an initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. Located on the outskirts of Doha, the capital of Qatar, Education City covers 14 square kilometers and houses educational facilities from school age to research level and branch campi of some of...

, which consists of international colleges. For the 15th Asian Games in Doha, it established Doha Sports City, consisting of Khalifa stadium, the Aspire Sports Academy
ASPIRE Academy for Sports Excellence
ASPIRE Dome is an indoor sporting arena located in Doha, Qatar, and the home of the ASPIRE Academy for Sports Excellence. The ASPIRE academy is a part of the Aspire Zone which also houses the Khalifa Stadium....

, aquatic centres, exhibition centres and many other sports related buildings and centres. Following the success of the Asian Games, Doha kicked off an official bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics
2016 Summer Olympics
The 2016 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, are a major international multi-sport event to be celebrated in the tradition of the Olympic Games, as governed by the International Olympic Committee...

 in October 2007. Its bid was finally eliminated from consideration in June 2008. Qatar also plans to build an "entertainment city" in the future.

The Qatari government hopes that large-scale investment
Investment
Investment has different meanings in finance and economics. Finance investment is putting money into something with the expectation of gain, that upon thorough analysis, has a high degree of security for the principal amount, as well as security of return, within an expected period of time...

 in all social and economic sectors will lead to the development of a strong financial market.

The Qatar Financial Centre
Qatar Financial Centre
Established in March 2005, The Qatar Financial Centre is a business and financial centre located in Doha, providing legal and business infrastructure for financial services...

 (QFC) provides financial institutions with world-class services in investment, margin and no-interest loans, and capital support. These platforms are situated in an economy founded on the development of its hydrocarbons resources, specifically its exportation of petroleum. It has been created with a long term perspective to support the development of Qatar and the wider region, develop local and regional markets, and strengthen the links between the energy based economies and global financial markets.

Apart from Qatar itself, which needs to raise capital to finance projects of more than $130 billion, the QFC also provides a conduit for financial institutions to access nearly $1.0 trillion of investments which stretch across the GCC (Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf) as a whole over the next decade. Commercial ties between the United States and Qatar have been expanding at a rapid pace over the last five years, with trade volumes growing by more than 340%, from $738 million in 2003 to $3.2 billion in 2009. Over the same period, U.S. exports increased 580 percent to $2.7 billion, making the United States the largest import partner for Qatar. US companies look to play key role in the $60 billion dollars that Qatar will invest in roads, infrastructure development, housing and real estate, health/medical and sanitation projects in the next decade.

The new town of Lusail
Lusail
Lusail is the newest planned city in Qatar, located on the coast, in the northern part of the municipality ofAl Kheisa. Lusail is located about 15 km north of the city centre of Doha, just north of the West Bay Lagoon, on over 35 km² and eventually provide accommodation for up to 250,000...

, the largest project ever in Qatar, is under construction.

Transportation


The primary means of transportation in Qatar is by road
Road
A road is a thoroughfare, route, or way on land between two places, which typically has been paved or otherwise improved to allow travel by some conveyance, including a horse, cart, or motor vehicle. Roads consist of one, or sometimes two, roadways each with one or more lanes and also any...

, due to the very cheap price of petroleum
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

. The country as a result has an advanced road system undergoing vast upgrades in response to the country's rapidly rising population, with several highways undergoing upgrades and new expressways within Doha under construction. A large bus network connects Doha with other town
Town
A town is a human settlement larger than a village but smaller than a city. The size a settlement must be in order to be called a "town" varies considerably in different parts of the world, so that, for example, many American "small towns" seem to British people to be no more than villages, while...

s in the country, and is the primary means of public transportation in the city.

The Salwa International Highway currently connects Doha to the border with Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, and a causeway with both road and rail links to Bahrain at Zubarah
Zubarah
Zubarah is a ruined and deserted town located in the northwestern coast of the Qatar peninsula about 105 km from the Qatari capital of Doha, part of Madinat ash Shamal municipality...

 is due to begin construction shortly. The causeway will become the largest in the world, and will be the second to connect Bahrain to the Arabian Peninsula.

Currently, no rail networks exist in the country. In November 2009, however, the government signed a $26 billion contract with the German company Deutsche Bahn
Deutsche Bahn
Deutsche Bahn AG is the German national railway company, a private joint stock company . Headquartered in Berlin, it came into existence in 1994 as the successor to the former state railways of Germany, the Deutsche Bundesbahn of West Germany and the Deutsche Reichsbahn of East Germany...

 to construct a railway system over the next 20 years. The network will connect the country itself, and will include an international link with neighbouring states as part of a larger rail network being constructed across the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. A railway link is also under construction between Qatar and Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

 as part of the Qatar Bahrain Causeway.

Qatar's main airport is the Doha International Airport
Doha International Airport
Doha International Airport is the only commercial airport in Qatar. It has three mosques, free Wi-Fi, a duty-free area, a few eateries and 42 parking bays for aircraft. There are also 60 check-in gates, 8 baggage claim belts and over 1,000 car parking spaces.The airport suffers from...

, which served almost 15,000,000 passengers in 2007. In comparison, the airport served only 2,000,000 passengers in 1998. As a result of the much larger volumes of passengers flying into and through the country today, the New Doha International Airport
New Doha International Airport
New Doha International Airport is an international airport currently under construction in Doha, capital of Qatar. NDIA was slated to replace the old Doha International Airport as Qatar's only international airport in 2009. Current estimates have a completion date of 2011/2012...

 is currently under construction, and will replace the existing airport in 2012.

Climate


Environmental issues


In 2005, Qatar had the highest per-capita carbon dioxide emissions, at 55.5 metric tons per person. This is almost double the next highest per-capita emitting country, which is Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

 at 30.7 metric tons (2005) and they are three times those of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. By 2007, Qatar’s emission rate increased to 69 tons per person per year. Qatar had the highest per-capita carbon dioxide emissions for the past 18 years. These emissions are largely due to high rates of energy use in Qatar. Major uses of energy in Qatar include air conditioning, natural gas processing
Natural gas processing
Natural-gas processing is a complex industrial process designed to clean raw natural gas by separating impurities and various non-methane hydrocarbons and fluids to produce what is known as pipeline quality dry natural gas.-Background:...

, water desalination
Desalination
Desalination, desalinization, or desalinisation refers to any of several processes that remove some amount of salt and other minerals from saline water...

 and electricity production. Between 1995 and 2011 the electricity generating capacity of Qatar will have increased to six times the previous level. The fact that Qataris do not have to pay for either their water or electricity supplies is thought to contribute to their high rate of energy use. Despite being a desert state they are also one of the highest consumers of water per capita per day, using around 400 litres.

Renee Richer, visiting professor of Biology at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar lectures:

Social and economic changes are taking place at an alarming rate, putting at risk the natural and cultural resources of Qatar. However, such loss of natural and cultural heritage need not be the case and great economic benefits can be gained from ecologically based development. Qatar is in a unique position, given the financial resources and forward thinking leadership, to move ahead and be amongst the first countries ready to take advantage of the next economic revolution: the green revolution.

Population


Year Population
1908 est. 22,000
1939 est. 28,000
late 1960s 70,000
1986 369,079
1997 522,023
2000 744,483
2001 769,152
2002 793,341
2003 817,052
2004 840,290
2005 863,051
2006 885,359
2007 1,207,229
2008 1,524,789
2009 1,309,000
2010 1,696,563
2011 1,692,262


Out of the total population of approximately 1.5 million (May 2008 est.), the make up of ethnic groups is as follows: Qatari (Arab) 20%; other Arab 20%; Indian 20%; Filipino 10%; Nepali 13%; Pakistani 7%; Sri Lankan 5%; other 5%. Arabic, English, Hindi, Urdu are the most widely spoken languages .

Culture



Qatari culture (music, art, dress, and cuisine) is similar to that of other Arab countries of the Persian Gulf
Arab states of the Persian Gulf
"Arab states of the Persian Gulf" or "Arab Persian Gulf states" or "Persian Gulf Arab states" or "Arabic Persian Gulf states" or "Arab States of The Gulf", are terms that refer to the six Arab states of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, bordering the Persian Gulf....

; see Culture of the Arab States of the Persian Gulf. Arab tribes from Saudi Arabia migrated to Qatar and other places in the gulf; therefore, the culture in the Persian Gulf region varies little from country to country.

Qatar explicitly uses Sharia
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

 law as the basis of its government, and the vast majority of its citizens follow Hanbali
Hanbali
The Hanbali school is one the schools of Fiqh or religious law within Sunni Islam. The jurisprudence school traces back to Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal but was institutionalized by his students. Hanbali jurisprudence is considered very strict and conservative, especially regarding questions of dogma...

 Madhhab
Madhhab
is a Muslim school of law or fiqh . In the first 150 years of Islam, there were many such "schools". In fact, several of the Sahābah, or contemporary "companions" of Muhammad, are credited with founding their own...

. Hanbali (Arabic: حنبلى ) is one of the four schools (Madhhabs) of Fiqh or religious law within Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

 (The other three are Hanafi, Maliki and Shafii). Sunni Muslims believe that all four schools have "correct guidance", and the differences between them lie not in the fundamentals of faith, but in finer judgments and jurisprudence, which are a result of the independent reasoning of the imams and the scholars who followed them. Because their individual methodologies of interpretation and extraction from the primary sources (usul) were different, they came to different judgments on particular matters. Shi'as comprise around 10% of the Muslim population in Qatar.

Alcohol
Alcohol
In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

 is legal with a permit but it is not permitted to drink it in public.

Religion



Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 is the predominant religion. According to the 2004 census, 77.5% of the population are Muslim, 8.5% are Christian and 14% are "Other". About 5% of the Muslims living in Qatar are Shia.

The majority of non-citizens are from South and Southeast Asian and Arab countries working on temporary employment contracts, accompanied by family members in some cases. Non-citizens can be Sunni or Shi'a Muslims, Protestant or Catholic Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

s, Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

s, Sikh
Sikh
A Sikh is a follower of Sikhism. It primarily originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia. The term "Sikh" has its origin in Sanskrit term शिष्य , meaning "disciple, student" or शिक्ष , meaning "instruction"...

s, Buddhists, or Bahá'ís
Bahá'í Faith
The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories....

.

Religion is not a criterion for citizenship, according to the Nationality Law.
The Christian population consists nearly completely of foreigners. Active churches are Mar Thoma Church from Southern India, Arab Evangelicals from Syria and Palestine, Anglicans, about 50,000 Catholics and Copts from Egypt. No foreign missionary groups operate openly in the country, but the government allows churches to conduct Mass
Mass (liturgy)
"Mass" is one of the names by which the sacrament of the Eucharist is called in the Roman Catholic Church: others are "Eucharist", the "Lord's Supper", the "Breaking of Bread", the "Eucharistic assembly ", the "memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection", the "Holy Sacrifice", the "Holy and...

. Since 2008 Christians have been allowed to build churches on ground donated by the government.

Sport


Football is the most popular sport in the country closely followed by cricket.
The Qatar Under 20 national football team finished second in the 1981 FIFA World Youth Championship
1981 FIFA World Youth Championship
The 1981 FIFA World Youth Championship, the third edition of the FIFA World Youth Championship, was held in Australia from 3 to 18 October 1981. The tournament took place in six venues—where a total of 32 matches were played...

 after a 4–0 defeat to Germany in the final.

The Asian Football Confederation's 2011 AFC Asian Cup
2011 AFC Asian Cup
The 2011 AFC Asian Cup finals were held in Qatar on 7–29 January 2011. It was the fifteenth time the tournament has been held, and the second time it has been hosted by Qatar, the other being the 1988 AFC Asian Cup...

 finals was held in Qatar in January 2011. It was the fifteenth time the tournament has been held, and the second time it has been hosted by Qatar, the other being the 1988 AFC Asian Cup
AFC Asian Cup
The AFC Asian Cup is an international association football tournament run by the Asian Football Confederation . It is the second oldest continental football championship in the world after Copa América. The winning team becomes the champion of Asia and automatically qualifies for the FIFA...

.

Doha, Qatar is also home to Qatar Racing Club a Drag Racing facility. Sheik Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani is very involved in the sport and owner of Al-Anabi Racing.

Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha, Qatar hosted the WTA Tour Championships
WTA Tour Championships
The WTA Tour Championships is a tennis tournament played annually at the end of the season for the top-ranked players on the Women's Tennis Association tour. The month, city and number of players has changed since the first edition in 1972...

 in women's tennis between 2008 and 2010.

On 2 December 2010, Qatar won their bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup
2022 FIFA World Cup
The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be the 22nd FIFA World Cup, an international association football tournament that is scheduled to take place in 2022 in Qatar. The competition is scheduled to take place in June and July, although proposals have been made for a winter season. The tournament will involve...

. Doha
Doha
Doha is the capital city of the state of Qatar. Located on the Persian Gulf, it had a population of 998,651 in 2008, and is also one of the municipalities of Qatar...

 is currently bidding
Doha bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics
Doha 2020 is a bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics launched by the city of Doha and the Qatar Olympic Committee. The IOC will announce the official candidate cities on May 23, 2012. The winning bid will be announced on September 7, 2013 at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires...

 to host the 2020 Summer Olympics
2020 Summer Olympics
The 2020 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, will be a major international sports and cultural festival, celebrated in the tradition of the Olympic Games....

.

Nasser Al-Attiyah
Nasser Al-Attiyah
Nasser Salih Nasser Abdullah Al-Attiyah is a Qatari rally driver and sport shooter. He participates in the Production World Rally Championship , which he won in 2006, and the Dakar Rally, which he won in 2011...

 of Qatar won the 2011 Dakar Rally
2011 Dakar Rally
The 2011 Dakar Rally was the 32nd running of the event. It was held in Argentina and Chile for the third successive time, and ran from 1 to 16 January...

 and the Production World Rally Championship
Production World Rally Championship
The FIA Production World Rally Championship, or PWRC, is a companion rally series to the World Rally Championship, and is driven on the same stages. PWRC is limited to production-based cars homologated under the Group N. The series began in 2002, replacing the FIA Group N Rally Championship...

 in 2006. In addition, he has also won gold medals at the 2002 Asian Games and 2010 Asian Games as part of the Qatari skeet shooting team, as well as a bronze medal in the individual skeet event at the 2010 Games in Guangzhou.

Education




In recent years Qatar has placed great emphasis on education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

. Citizens are required to attend government-provided education from kindergarten
Kindergarten
A kindergarten is a preschool educational institution for children. The term was created by Friedrich Fröbel for the play and activity institute that he created in 1837 in Bad Blankenburg as a social experience for children for their transition from home to school...

 through high school
High school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....

. Qatar University
Qatar University
Qatar University is a public university in Qatar, located on the northern outskirts of the capital Doha. In 2009 there were 8,221 students, of whom 73% were female. Courses are taught in Arabic or English . The university is the only government university in the country...

 was founded in 1973. More recently, with the support of the Qatar Foundation
Qatar Foundation
Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development is a government-funded, chartered, non-profit organization in the state of Qatar, founded in 1995 by decree of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar and chaired by Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned...

, some leading US universities have opened branch campus
Campus
A campus is traditionally the land on which a college or university and related institutional buildings are situated. Usually a campus includes libraries, lecture halls, residence halls and park-like settings...

es in Education City, Qatar although the education courses offered are mostly limited to Bachelors Degree. The Colleges also show very limited faculty compared to parent Universities in United States with low research output. These include
  • Carnegie Mellon University
    Carnegie Mellon University
    Carnegie Mellon University is a private research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States....

  • Georgetown University School of Foreign Service
  • Texas A&M University
    Texas A&M University
    Texas A&M University is a coeducational public research university located in College Station, Texas . It is the flagship institution of the Texas A&M University System. The sixth-largest university in the United States, A&M's enrollment for Fall 2011 was over 50,000 for the first time in school...

  • Houston Community College System
    Houston Community College System
    Houston Community College System is a community college system that operates community colleges in Houston, Missouri City, and Stafford in Texas....

  • Virginia Commonwealth University
    Virginia Commonwealth University
    Virginia Commonwealth University is a public university located in Richmond, Virginia. It comprises two campuses in the Downtown Richmond area, the product of a merger between the Richmond Professional Institute and the Medical College of Virginia in 1968...

     School of the Arts
  • Cornell University
    Cornell University
    Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

    ’s Weill Cornell Medical College
  • Northwestern University
    Northwestern University
    Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, USA. Northwestern has eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools offering 124 undergraduate degrees and 145 graduate and professional degrees....

  • University College London
    University College London
    University College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and the oldest and largest constituent college of the federal University of London...



In 2008, Qatar established the Qatar Science & Technology Park
Qatar Science & Technology Park
Qatar Science & Technology Park is a home for international technology companies in Qatar, and an incubator of start-up technology businesses...

 at Education City to link those universities with industry. Education City is also home to a fully accredited International Baccalaureate school, Qatar Academy
Qatar Academy
Qatar Academy is a private, co-educational school in Doha, Qatar. It is an international school located in Qatar Foundation's Education City. It was founded in 1996 by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar. The school offers the International Baccalaureate...

. Two Canadian institutions, the College of the North Atlantic
College of the North Atlantic
College of the North Atlantic is the public college of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The enabling legislation is theCollege Act....

 and the University of Calgary
University of Calgary
The University of Calgary is a public research university located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Founded in 1966 the U of C is composed of 14 faculties and more than 85 research institutes and centres.More than 25,000 undergraduate and 5,500 graduate students are currently...

, also operate campuses in Doha. Other for-profit universities
For-Profit School
For-profit education refers to educational institutions operated by private, profit-seeking businesses....

 have also established campuses in the city.

In 2009 Qatar Foundation launched a non-profit radio station,QF Radio 93.7 FM , which offers a streaming online service providing regular programs about Education, Science, Community Development and the Arts in Qatar, to a global online audience. It also broadcasts to Doha, Qatar on 93.7 FM. The program is produced as 70% in Arabic and 30% in English language.

In 2009, the Qatar Foundation
Qatar Foundation
Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development is a government-funded, chartered, non-profit organization in the state of Qatar, founded in 1995 by decree of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar and chaired by Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned...

 launched the World Innovation Summit for Education
World Innovation Summit for Education
The World Innovation Summit for Education aims to transform education by fostering innovation and linking education to global issues and leading fields of development....

 – WISE – a global forum that brought together education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

 stakeholders, opinion leaders and decision makers from all over the world to discuss educational issues. The first edition was held in Doha
Doha
Doha is the capital city of the state of Qatar. Located on the Persian Gulf, it had a population of 998,651 in 2008, and is also one of the municipalities of Qatar...

 from 16 to 18 November 2009, the second from 7 to 9 December 2010. The third edition will be held from 1 to 3 November 2011.

Moreover, in 2007 the American Brookings Institution
Brookings Institution
The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C., in the United States. One of Washington's oldest think tanks, Brookings conducts research and education in the social sciences, primarily in economics, metropolitan policy, governance, foreign policy, and...

 announced that it was opening the Brookings Doha Center to undertake research and programming on the socio-economic and geo-political issues facing the region.

In November 2002, the Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani created the Supreme Education Council. The Council directs and controls education for all ages from the pre-school
Nursery school
A nursery school is a school for children between the ages of one and five years, staffed by suitably qualified and other professionals who encourage and supervise educational play rather than simply providing childcare...

 level through the university level, including the “Education for a New Era” reform initiative.

The Emir’s second wife, Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned
Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned
Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, DBE is the second of the three wives of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar.-Early life and education:Sheikha Mozah was born in the coastal city Al Khor in northern Qatar...

, has been instrumental in new education initiatives in Qatar. She chairs the Qatar Foundation, sits on the board of Qatar’s Supreme Education Council, and is a major driving force behind the importation of Western expertise into the education system, particularly at the college level. In addition, The Qatar Foundation has supported the implementation of Arabic language programs in American public schools through the establishment of Qatar Foundation International, a U.S.-based non-profit dedicated to connecting the culture of American and Qatari students.

There are currently a total of 567 schools in operation within Qatar, both in the public and the private sector. A large number of new schools are also under construction, particularly public schools, in order to meet increased demand which arose as a result of the large increase in population that the country has seen of late. The number of universities operating in the country are 9, serving 12,480 students.

Health care


Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC)—affiliated with Cornell University
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

—is the premier non-profit health care
Health care
Health care is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in humans. Health care is delivered by practitioners in medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, allied health, and other care providers...

 provider in Doha
Doha
Doha is the capital city of the state of Qatar. Located on the Persian Gulf, it had a population of 998,651 in 2008, and is also one of the municipalities of Qatar...

, Qatar. Established by the Emiri decree in 1979, HMC manages four highly specialised hospitals and a health care centre: Hamad General Hospital, Rumailah Hospital, Women’s Hospital, Psychiatric Hospital and the Primary Health Care Centres. These hospitals are quite sophisticated by the standards of the region, with most hosting advanced fMRI and other scanning machines. Other private hospitals and polyclinics consist of Sidra Hospital, Al-Ahli Hospital, Doha Clinic, Al-Emadi Hospital, The American Hospital and Tadawi Medical.
Qatar has among the highest rates in the world for obesity
Obesity
Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems...

, diabetes and genetic disorder
Genetic disorder
A genetic disorder is an illness caused by abnormalities in genes or chromosomes, especially a condition that is present from before birth. Most genetic disorders are quite rare and affect one person in every several thousands or millions....

s. On the Qatar border, Saudi Arabia has set up the Salwa General Hospital, which is also serving all Qatari patients in good will of GCC.

Communications


Qatar has a modern telecommunication system centered in Doha. Tropospheric scatter
Tropospheric scatter
Tropospheric scatter is a method of transmitting and receiving microwave radio signals over considerable distances – often up to 300 km...

 to Bahrain; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia and UAE; submarine cable to Bahrain and UAE; satellite earth stations – two Intelsat (one Atlantic Ocean and one Indian Ocean) and one Arabsat. Callers can call Qatar using submarine cable, satellite, or VoIP (Skype/ Internet calling). However, Qtel
Qtel
Qtel used to be the exclusive telecommunications provider in Qatar and is one of the largest public companies in Qatar with about 2000 employees. It was successfully launched on the Doha Securities Market in 1998 and listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1999, the Bahrain Stock Exchange in 2001...

 has interfered with VoIP systems in the past, and Skype's website has been blocked before. Following complaints from individuals, the website has been unblocked, and Paltalk has previously been blocked.

Qtel’s ISP branch, Internet Qatar, uses SmartFilter
Secure Computing
Secure Computing Corporation, or SCC, was a public company that developed and sold computer security appliances and hosted services to protect users and data...

 to block websites they deem inappropriate to Qatari interests and morality.

In Qatar, ictQATAR
IctQATAR
ictQATAR, the Supreme Council of Information & Communication Technology, is Qatar’s independent telecommunications regulator and the Government’s technology advocate and facilitator....

 (Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology) is the government agency regulating telecommunication.

Vodafone Qatar, in partnership with the Qatar Foundation, received the second public mobile networks and services license in Qatar on 28 June 2008 and switched on their mobile network on 1 March 2009. They launched 7 July 2009, opening their online store first followed by retail and third party distribution locations throughout Doha. However, this was discontinued in 2010.

Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera is an independent broadcaster owned by the state of Qatar through the Qatar Media Corporation and headquartered in Doha, Qatar...

 (Arabic: الجزيرة al-ğazīrä aldʒaˈziːra, “The Island”) is a television network headquartered in Doha
Doha
Doha is the capital city of the state of Qatar. Located on the Persian Gulf, it had a population of 998,651 in 2008, and is also one of the municipalities of Qatar...

, Qatar. Al Jazeera initially launched as an Arabic news and current affairs satellite
Satellite
In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an object which has been placed into orbit by human endeavour. Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as the Moon....

 TV channel of the same name, but has since expanded into a network of several specialty TV channels.

Print media is going through expansion, with over three English dailies and Arabic titles. Qatar Today is the only monthly business magazine in the country. It is published by Oryx Advertising, which is the largest magazine publisher in Qatar. The group also publishes several titles such as Qatar Al Youm, the only monthly business magazine in Qatar in Arabic language, Woman Today, the only magazine for working women, and GLAM, the only fashion magazine. In December 2009 Oryx launched T Qatar: The New York Times Style Magazine, which marks the entry of an international magazine into Qatar.

Doha Stadium Plus is the only dedicated Sports magazine published out of the country. It covers a large variety of sports. It is published by ASPIRE Printing, Publishing and Distribution company. It is published every Wednesday and has been in existence since February, 2006. It brought out a special supplement for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa as well as the 2011 AFC Asian Cup in Doha, Qatar, in addition to the weekly editions. They relaunched their website on 15 June 2011.

See also



  • Qatar National Day
    Qatar National Day
    Qatar National Day In commemoration of the historic day in 1878 when Shaikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani - the founder of the State of Qatar - succeeded his father, Shaikh Mohammed bin Thani, as the ruler and led the country toward unity, Qatar celebrates its National Day on December 18 every...

  • North Dome Gas Field
  • Natural gas in Qatar
    Natural gas in Qatar
    According to Oil & Gas Journal as of January 1, 2011, Qatar's proven natural gas reserves stood at approximately , that is almost 14% of all known natural gas reserves and the third-largest in the world behind Russia and Iran. The majority of Qatar's natural gas is located in the massive offshore...

  • Communications in Qatar
    Communications in Qatar
    Telephones - main lines in use:205,400 Telephones - mobile cellular:1,000,000 Telephone system:modern system centered in Dohadomestic:NAinternational:...

  • Foreign relations of Qatar
    Foreign relations of Qatar
    Qatar achieved full independence on 3 September 1971 in an atmosphere of cooperation with the United Kingdom, the United States of America and friendship with neighbouring states. Most Arab states were also among the first countries to recognise Qatar, and the state promptly gained admittance to...

  • LGBT rights in Qatar
    LGBT rights in Qatar
    Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons living in Qatar may face certain unique legal and social challenges. In accordance with traditional Islam, homosexual acts are forbidden and there is no legal recognition of same-sex marriages, civil unions or domestic partnership benefits.-...

     (Gay rights)
  • List of cities in Qatar
  • List of Qatar-related topics
  • Military of Qatar
    Military of Qatar
    The Qatar Armed Forces are the military forces of Qatar. The country maintains a modest military force of approximately 11,800 men, including an army , navy and air force . Qatar's defense expenditures accounted for approximately 4.2% of gross national product in 1993...

  • Public holidays in Qatar
    Public holidays in Qatar
    Qatar observes several public holidays. The two weekend days are Friday and Saturday. Annual public holidays include:* Qatar National Day on December 18.* Eid ul-Fitr occurs on the first day of the month of Shawwal in the Islamic calendar...

  • The Scout and Guide Association of Qatar
    The Scout and Guide Association of Qatar
    The Scout and Guide Association of Qatar is the national Scouting and Guiding organization of Qatar. Scouting was founded in Qatar in 1956 and became a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement in 1965; the organization is also a member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl...

  • Al Nuaim
    Al Nuaim
    The Al Nuaim or Al Noaim tribe is large Arab bedouin tribe, based primarily in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf and Al Sham Desert. Therefore, Al Nuaimi tribe can be found in many countries, such as Qatar, UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, KSA, Syria, Jordan and Iraq...

  • General Secretariat for Development Planning
    General Secretariat for Development Planning
    The General Secretariat for Development Planning is a governmental agency in the State of Qatar. It was established through an Emiri Decision No in 2006 and amended by Emiri Decision No in 2009...

  • Permanent Population Committee
    Permanent Population Committee
    The Permanent Population Committee is a national authority in the state of Qatar whose mission is to realize the aptness of population requirements to sustainable development...


External links