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Qatar (, , or ; ar, قطر, Qaṭar ; local vernacular pronunciation: ), officially the State of Qatar,) is a country in
Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion of the larger geographical region of Asia, as defined by some academics, UN bodies and other institutions. It is almost entirely a part of the Middle East, and includes Anat ...

Western Asia
. It occupies the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeastern coast of the
Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At , the ...
, and shares its sole land border with neighbouring
Gulf Cooperation Council The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf ( ar, مجلس التعاون لدول الخليج العربية), originally (and still colloquially) known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC, ), is a regional intergovernmental organ ...

Gulf Cooperation Council
monarchy
Saudi Arabia (''Shahada'') , national_anthem = "National Anthem of Saudi Arabia, " "National Anthem of Saudi Arabia" , image_map = Saudi Arabia (orthographic projection).svg , capital = Riyadh , coordinates ...

Saudi Arabia
to the south, with the rest of its territory surrounded by the
Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fârs, lit=Gulf of , ) is a in . The body of water is an extension of the () through the and lies between to the northeast and the to the southwest.United Nations Group of Exper ...
. The
Gulf of Bahrain The Gulf of Bahrain is an inlet of the Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=Xalij-e Fârs, lit=Gulf of Fars, ) is a mediterranean sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded ...
, an inlet of the Persian Gulf, separates Qatar from nearby
Bahrain Bahrain ( ; ar, البحرين, al-Baḥrayn, , locally ), officially the Kingdom of Bahrain ( ar, مملكة البحرين, links=no '), is a country in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, Persian Gulf. The Island country, island nation c ...

Bahrain
. The capital is
Doha Doha ( ar, الدوحة, ad-Dawḥa or ''ad-Dōḥa'') is the capital city, capital and most populous city of Qatar. It has a population of 2,382,000 (2018). The city is located on the coast of the Persian Gulf, Persian gulf in the east of the ...

Doha
, home to over 80% of the nation's population. In early 2017, Qatar's total population was 2.6 million: 313,000 Qatari citizens and 2.3 million
expatriates An expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person residing in a country other than their native country. In common usage, the term often refers to professionals, skilled workers, or artists taking positions outside their home country, eithe ...
. Its
official religion An official is someone who holds an office (function or mandate, regardless whether it carries an actual working space with it) in an organization An organization, or organisation ( Commonwealth English; see spelling differences), is an ...
is
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
. In terms of
income In microeconomics Microeconomics is a branch of mainstream economics Mainstream economics is the body of knowledge, theories, and models of economics, as taught by universities worldwide, that are generally accepted by economists as a bas ...
, the country has the fourth-highest GDP (PPP) per capita in the world, and the sixth-highest GNI per capita (Atlas method). Qatar is classified by the United Nations as a country of very high human development, having the third-highest
HDI The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic composite index of life expectancy Life expectancy is a statistical measure of the average time an organism is expected to live, based on the year of its birth, its current age, and ot ...
in the
Arab world The Arab world ( ar, العالم العربي '), formally the Arab homeland ( '), also known as the Arab nation ( '), the Arabsphere, or the Arab states, consists of the 22 Member states of the Arab League, Arab countries which are members of ...

Arab world
. It is a high-income economy, backed by the world's third-largest
natural gas reserves This is a list of countries by natural gas Natural gas (also called fossil gas; sometimes just gas) is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, but commonly including varying amounts of other higher ...
and oil reserves. Qatar is the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, and the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gasses per capita. Qatar has been ruled by the
House of Thani The House of Thani ( ar, اَل ثاني , translit=Al Thani) is the ruling family A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n.''" Oxford University Press (Oxford), 1897. us ...
since
Mohammed bin Thani Sheikh Sheikh ( , ; ar, شيخ ' , mostly pronounced , plural ' )—also transliteration of Arabic, transliterated sheekh, sheik, sheyikh, shaykh, shayk, shekh, shaik and shaikh—is an honorific title in the Arabic language. It commonly d ...
signed a treaty with the British in 1868 that recognised its separate status. Following
Ottoman Ottoman is the Turkish spelling of the Arabic masculine given name Uthman (name), Uthman (Arabic: عُثْمان ''‘uthmān''). It may refer to: Governments and dynasties * Ottoman Caliphate, an Islamic caliphate from 1517 to 1924 * Ottoman Empi ...
rule, Qatar became a British protectorate in the early 20th century until gaining independence in 1971. The hereditary emir of Qatar rules as an autocrat (currently,
Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Sheikh Sheikh ( , ; ar, شيخ ' , mostly pronounced , plural ' )—also transliteration of Arabic, transliterated sheekh, sheik, sheyikh, shaykh, shayk, shekh, shaik and shaikh—is an honorific title in the Arabic language. It commonly de ...

Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
) and holds all executive and legislative authority, as well as controlling the judiciary system. He appoints the prime minister and cabinet. In the 21st century, Qatar emerged as a significant power in the Arab world through its resource-wealth, as well as its globally expanding media group,
Al Jazeera Media Network Al Jazeera Media Network (AJMN) is a Qatari international International is an adjective (also used as a noun) meaning "between nations". International may also refer to: Music Albums * ''International'' (Kevin Michael album), 2011 * ''Inter ...
, and reportedly supporting several rebel groups financially during the
Arab Spring The Arab Spring ( ar, الربيع العربي) was a series of anti-government protests, uprisings, and armed rebellions that spread across much of the Arab world in the early 2010s. It began in response to oppressive regimes and a low stand ...
. For its size, Qatar wields disproportionate influence in the world, and has been identified as a
middle power In international relations International relations (IR), international affairs (IA) or international studies (IS) is the scientific study of interactions between sovereign states. In a broader sense, it concerns all activities between ...
. The
2022 FIFA World Cup The 2022 FIFA World Cup ( ar, 2022 كأس العالم لكرة القدم, '')'' is scheduled to be the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international men's association football championship contested by the List of men's n ...
will be held in Qatar, making it the first Muslim and Arab country to host the event. The
2030 Asian Games) , Host city = Doha, Qatar , Nations participating = , Athletes participating = , Events = , Opening ceremony = , Closing ceremony = , Officially opened by = , Athlete's Oath = , Judge's Oath = , Torch Lighter = , Stadium = Khalifa ...
will also be held in Qatar.


Etymology

Pliny the Elder #REDIRECT Pliny the Elder #REDIRECT Pliny the Elder#REDIRECT Pliny the Elder Gaius Plinius Secundus (AD 23/2479), called Pliny the Elder (), was a Roman author, a naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, includi ...

Pliny the Elder
, a Roman writer, documented the earliest account pertaining to the inhabitants of the peninsula around the mid-first century AD, referring to them as the ''Catharrei'', a designation which may have derived from the name of a prominent local settlement. A century later,
Ptolemy Claudius Ptolemy (; grc-koi, Κλαύδιος Πτολεμαῖος, , ; la, Claudius Ptolemaeus; AD) was a mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes ...
produced the first known map to depict the peninsula, referring to it as ''Catara''. The map also referenced a town named "Cadara" to the east of the peninsula. The term 'Catara' (inhabitants, ''Cataraei'') was exclusively used until the 18th century, after which 'Katara' emerged as the most commonly recognised spelling. Eventually, after several variations – 'Katr', 'Kattar' and 'Guttur' – the modern derivative ''Qatar'' was adopted as the country's name. In
Standard Arabic Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) or Modern Written Arabic (shortened to MWA), terms used mostly by Western linguists, is the variety of standardized Standardization or standardisation is the process of implementing and developing technical stand ...
, the name is pronounced , while in the local dialect it is .


History


Antiquity

Human habitation of Qatar dates back to 50,000 years ago. Settlements and tools dating back to the
Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology ...

Stone Age
have been unearthed in the peninsula.Toth, Anthony. "Qatar: Historical Background.
''A Country Study: Qatar''
(Helen Chapin Metz, editor).
Library of Congress The Library of Congress (LC) is the research library A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are easily accessible for use and not just for display purposes. It is responsible for housing updated information in order ...

Library of Congress
Federal Research Division The Federal Research Division (FRD) is the research and analysis unit of the United States Library of Congress. The Federal Research Division provides directed research and analysis on domestic and international subjects to agencies of the Federal ...
(January 1993). ''This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the
public domain The public domain consists of all the creative work A creative work is a manifestation of creativity, creative effort including Work of art, fine artwork (sculpture, paintings, drawing, Sketch (drawing), sketching, performance art), dance, wr ...

public domain
''.
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
n artifacts originating from the
Ubaid period The Ubaid period (c. 6500–3800 BC) is a prehistory, prehistoric period of Mesopotamia. The name derives from Tell al-'Ubaid where the earliest large excavation of Ubaid period material was conducted initially by Henry Hall (Egyptologist), Henry H ...
(c. 6500–3800 BC) have been discovered in abandoned coastal settlements.
Al Da'asa Al Da'asa ( ar, دعسة) is an archaeological site located on the western coast of Qatar. It is the most extensive Ubaid period, Ubaid site in the country. It was excavated by a Denmark, Danish team in 1961. The site is theorized to have accommo ...
, a settlement located on the western coast of Qatar, is the most important Ubaid site in the country and is believed to have accommodated a small seasonal encampment.
Kassite The Kassites () were people of the ancient Near East The ancient Near East was the home of early civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratificatio ...
Babylonia Babylonia () was an and based in central-southern which was part of Ancient Persia (present-day and ). A small -ruled state emerged in 1894 BCE, which contained the minor administrative town of . It was merely a small provincial town dur ...
n material dating back to the second millennium BC found in
Al Khor Islands Al Khor Island ( ar, جزيرة الخور), also known as Jazirat bin Ghanim and Purple Island, is an island located in the municipality of Al Khor Al Khor ( ar, الخور; also spelled ''Al Khawr''), officially Al Khor and Al Thakhira ...
attests to trade relations between the inhabitants of Qatar and the Kassites in modern-day Bahrain. Among the findings were 3,000,000 crushed snail shells and Kassite potsherds. It has been suggested that Qatar is the earliest known site of shellfish dye production, owing to a Kassite purple dye industry which existed on the coast. In 224 AD, the
Sasanian Empire The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, ''Ērānshahr The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its ...

Sasanian Empire
gained control over the territories surrounding the Persian Gulf. Qatar played a role in the commercial activity of the Sasanids, contributing at least two commodities: precious pearls and purple dye. Under the Sasanid reign, many of the inhabitants in Eastern Arabia were introduced to
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
following the eastward dispersal of the religion by Mesopotamian Christians. Monasteries were constructed and further settlements were founded during this era. During the latter part of the Christian era, Qatar comprised a region known as 'Beth Qatraye' (
SyriacSyriac may refer to: *Syriac language, a dialect of Middle Aramaic * Syriac alphabet ** Syriac (Unicode block) ** Syriac Supplement * Neo-Aramaic languages also known as Syriac in most native vernaculars * Syriac Christianity, the churches using Syr ...

Syriac
for "house of the Qataris"). The region was not limited to Qatar; it also included
Bahrain Bahrain ( ; ar, البحرين, al-Baḥrayn, , locally ), officially the Kingdom of Bahrain ( ar, مملكة البحرين, links=no '), is a country in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, Persian Gulf. The Island country, island nation c ...

Bahrain
,
Tarout Island Tārūt Island ( ar, جزيرة تاروت) is an island in the Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fârs, lit=Gulf of Fars, ) is a mediterranean sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the ...
, Al-Khatt, and
Al-HasaAl-Ahsa or Al-Hasa may refer to: * Al-Ahsa Governorate, a governorate in Saudi Arabia * Al-Ahsa Oasis, an oasis region in eastern Saudi Arabia * Hofuf, also known as Al-Ahsa, an urban center in the Al-Ahsa Oasis * Al-Ahsa International Airport, Hofu ...
. In 628,
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
sent a Muslim envoy to a ruler in Eastern Arabia named
Munzir ibn Sawa Al Tamimi Munzir ibn Sawa Al-Tamimi ( ar, ٱلْمُنْذِر ٱبْن سَاوَىٰ ٱلتَّمِيمِيّ) was the governor of the Persian Sasanian Empire The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians ( Middle Per ...
and requested that he and his subjects accept Islam. Munzir obliged his request, and accordingly, most of the Arab tribes in the region converted to Islam. In the middle of the century, the
Muslim conquest of Persia The Muslim conquest of Persia, also known as the Arab conquest of Iran, was carried out by the Rashidun Caliphate The Rashidun Caliphate ( ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلرَّاشِدَةُ, ') was the first of the four major caliphat ...
would result in the fall of the Sasanian Empire.


Early and late Islamic period (661–1783)

Qatar was described as a famous horse and camel breeding centre during the
Umayyad The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. The caliphate was ruled by the ...
period. In the 8th century, it started benefiting from its commercially strategic position in the Persian Gulf and went on to become a centre of pearl trading. Substantial development in the pearling industry around the Qatari Peninsula occurred during the
Abbasid The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّةُ, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islam Islam (;There ar ...

Abbasid
era. Ships voyaging from
Basra Basra ( ar, ٱلْبَصْرَة, al-Baṣrah) is an Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, ...

Basra
to
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
and
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
would make stops in Qatar's ports during this period. Chinese porcelain, West African coins and artefacts from Thailand have been discovered in Qatar. Archaeological remains from the 9th century suggest that Qatar's inhabitants used greater wealth to construct higher quality homes and public buildings. Over 100 stone-built houses, two mosques, and an
Abbasid The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّةُ, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islam Islam (;There ar ...

Abbasid
fort were constructed in
Murwab Murwab ( ar, مروب) is an archaeological site An archaeological site is a place (or group of physical sites) in which evidence of past activity is preserved (either prehistoric or recorded history, historic or contemporary), and which has ...
during this period. When the caliphate's prosperity declined in Iraq, so too did it in Qatar. Qatar is mentioned in 13th-century Muslim scholar
Yaqut al-Hamawi Yāqūt Shihāb al-Dīn ibn-'Abdullāh al-Rūmī al-Hamawī (1179–1229) ( ar, ياقوت الحموي الرومي) is famous for his great "geography", ''Mu'jam ul-Buldān'', an encyclopedia of Islam written in the late Abbāsid era and as muc ...
's book, ''
Mu'jam Al-Buldan Yāqūt Shihāb al-Dīn ibn-'Abdullāh al-Rūmī al-Hamawī (1179–1229) ( ar, ياقوت الحموي الرومي) is famous for his great "geography", ''Mu'jam ul-Buldān'', an encyclopedia of Islam written in the late Abbasid Caliphate, Abbā ...
'', which alludes to the Qataris' fine striped woven cloaks and their skills in improvement and finishing of spears. Much of Eastern Arabia was controlled by the
Usfurids The Usfurids ( ar, آل عصفور, Al ʿUṣfūr) were an Arab dynasty that in 1253 gained control of eastern Arabia, including the islands of Bahrain, They were a branch of the Banu Uqayl tribe of the Banu Amir group, and are named after the d ...
in 1253, but control of the region was seized by the prince of
Ormus The Kingdom of Ormus (also known as Hormoz; fa, هرمز; pt, Ormuz) was located in the eastern side of the Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fârs, lit=Gulf of Fars, ) is a mediterranean sea ...
in 1320. Qatar's pearls provided the kingdom with one of its main sources of income. In 1515,
Manuel I of Portugal Manuel I (; 31 May 146913 December 1521), known as the Fortunate ( pt, O Venturoso), was King of Portugal This is a list of Portuguese monarchs who ruled from the establishment of the Kingdom of Portugal, in 1139, to the deposition of the Por ...

Manuel I of Portugal
vassalised the Kingdom of Ormus.
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who ...

Portugal
went on to seize a significant portion of Eastern Arabia in 1521. In 1550, the inhabitants of
Al-HasaAl-Ahsa or Al-Hasa may refer to: * Al-Ahsa Governorate, a governorate in Saudi Arabia * Al-Ahsa Oasis, an oasis region in eastern Saudi Arabia * Hofuf, also known as Al-Ahsa, an urban center in the Al-Ahsa Oasis * Al-Ahsa International Airport, Hofu ...
voluntarily submitted to the rule of the
Ottomans The Ottoman Turks or Osmanlı Turks ( tr, Osmanlı Türkleri), were the Turkic people The Turkic peoples are a collection of ethnic groups of Central Asia, Central, East Asia, East, North Asia, North and West Asia as well as parts of Europe and ...
, preferring them to the Portuguese. Having retained a negligible military presence in the area, the Ottomans were expelled by the
Bani Khalid Bani Khalid ( ar, بني خالد) is an Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, : , Arabic pronunciation: , plural ar, عَرَبٌ, : , Arabic pronunciation: ) are an mainly inhabiting the . In modern usage the t ...
tribe in 1670.


Bahraini and Saudi rule (1783–1868)

In 1766, members of the
Al Khalifa The House of Khalifa ( ar, آل خليفة, translit=Āl Khalīfah) is the ruling family of the Kingdom of Bahrain. The Al Khalifas profess Sunni Islam and belong to the Utub tribe that migrated from Najd, Central Arabia to Kuwait, then ruled all o ...
family of the
Utub ) , type = , image = , alt = , caption = , nisba = al-Utbah , location = Arabia The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or ...
tribal confederation migrated from
Kuwait Kuwait (; ar, الكويت ', or ), officially the State of Kuwait ( ar, دولة الكويت '), is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regi ...

Kuwait
to
Zubarah Zubarah ( ar, الزبارة), also referred to as Al Zubarah or Az Zubarah, is a ruined and ancient fort located on the north western coast of the Qatar peninsula in the Al Shamal municipality, about 105 km from the Qatari capital of Doha. I ...
in Qatar. By the time of their arrival, the Bani Khalid exercised weak authority over the peninsula, notwithstanding the fact that the largest village was ruled by their distant kin. In 1783, Qatar-based
Bani Utbah ) , type = , image = , alt = , caption = , nisba = al-Utbah , location = Arabia , descended = , branches = Al Sabah , religion = Sunni Islam Sunni Islam () is by far the largest Islamic schools ...
clans and allied Arab tribes invaded and annexed
Bahrain Bahrain ( ; ar, البحرين, al-Baḥrayn, , locally ), officially the Kingdom of Bahrain ( ar, مملكة البحرين, links=no '), is a country in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, Persian Gulf. The Island country, island nation c ...

Bahrain
from the Persians. The Al Khalifa imposed their authority over Bahrain and retained their jurisdiction over Zubarah. Following his swearing in as crown prince of the Wahhabi in 1788, Saud ibn Abd al-Aziz moved to expand Wahhabi territory eastward towards the Persian Gulf and Qatar. After defeating the Bani Khalid in 1795, the Wahhabi were attacked on two fronts. The Ottomans and
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
ians assaulted the western front, while the Al Khalifa in Bahrain and the
Oman Oman ( ; ar, عُمَان ' ), officially the Sultanate of Oman ( ar, سلْطنةُ عُمان ), is a country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. Formerly a maritime empire, Oman is the oldest continuously in ...

Oman
is launched an attack against the eastern front. Upon being made aware of the Egyptian advance on the western frontier in 1811, the Wahhabi amir reduced his garrisons in Bahrain and
Zubarah Zubarah ( ar, الزبارة), also referred to as Al Zubarah or Az Zubarah, is a ruined and ancient fort located on the north western coast of the Qatar peninsula in the Al Shamal municipality, about 105 km from the Qatari capital of Doha. I ...
in order to redeploy his troops.
Said bin Sultan Sayyid Said bin Sultan al-Busaidi ( ar, سعيد بن سلطان, , sw, Saïd bin Sultani) (5 June 1791 – 19 October 1856), was Sultan of Muscat and Oman, the fifth ruler of the House of Busaid, Busaid dynasty from 1807 to 4 June 1856. His rule ...
, ruler of Muscat, capitalised on this opportunity and raided the Wahhabi garrisons on the eastern coast, setting fire to the fort in Zubarah. The Al Khalifa were effectively returned to power thereafter. As punishment for piracy, an
East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Com ...
vessel bombarded
Doha Doha ( ar, الدوحة, ad-Dawḥa or ''ad-Dōḥa'') is the capital city, capital and most populous city of Qatar. It has a population of 2,382,000 (2018). The city is located on the coast of the Persian Gulf, Persian gulf in the east of the ...

Doha
in 1821, destroying the town and forcing hundreds of residents to flee. In 1825, the
House of Thani The House of Thani ( ar, اَل ثاني , translit=Al Thani) is the ruling family A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n.''" Oxford University Press (Oxford), 1897. us ...
was established with Sheikh
Mohammed bin Thani Sheikh Sheikh ( , ; ar, شيخ ' , mostly pronounced , plural ' )—also transliteration of Arabic, transliterated sheekh, sheik, sheyikh, shaykh, shayk, shekh, shaik and shaikh—is an honorific title in the Arabic language. It commonly d ...
as the first leader. Although Qatar was considered a dependency of Bahrain, the Al Khalifa faced opposition from the local tribes. In 1867, the Al Khalifa, along with the ruler of
Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi (, ; ar, أَبُو ظَبْيٍ ' ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more fo ...

Abu Dhabi
, sent a massive naval force to
Al Wakrah Al Wakrah (also spelled Al Wakra) ( ar, الوكرة) is the capital city of the Al Wakrah (municipality), Al Wakrah Municipality in Qatar. Al Wakrah's eastern edge is the shores of the Persian Gulf and Qatar's capital Doha is situated to the city ...

Al Wakrah
in an effort to crush the Qatari rebels. This resulted in the maritime
Qatari–Bahraini War The Qatari–Bahraini War also known as the Qatari War of Independence was an armed conflict that took place between 1867 and 1868 in the Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=Xalij-e Fârs, lit=Gulf of Fars, ) is a ...
of 1867–1868, in which Bahraini and Abu Dhabi forces sacked and looted Doha and Al Wakrah. The Bahraini hostilities were in violation of the Perpetual Truce of Peace and Friendship of 1861. The joint incursion, in addition to the Qatari counter-attack, prompted British Political Resident, Colonel Lewis Pelly to impose a settlement in 1868. His mission to Bahrain and Qatar and the resulting peace treaty were milestones because they implicitly recognised the distinctness of Qatar from Bahrain and explicitly acknowledged the position of Mohammed bin Thani. In addition to censuring Bahrain for its breach of agreement, Pelly negotiated with Qatari sheikhs, who were represented by Mohammed bin Thani. The negotiations were the first stage in the development of Qatar as a sheikhdom. However, Qatar was not officially recognised as a British protectorate until 1916.


The Ottoman period (1871–1915)

Under military and political pressure from the governor of the
Ottoman Ottoman is the Turkish spelling of the Arabic masculine given name Uthman (name), Uthman (Arabic: عُثْمان ''‘uthmān''). It may refer to: Governments and dynasties * Ottoman Caliphate, an Islamic caliphate from 1517 to 1924 * Ottoman Empi ...
Vilayet of Baghdad,
Midhat Pasha Ahmed Şefik Midhat Pasha ( ota , احمد شفيق مدحت پاشا, 18 October 1822 – 26 April 1883) was an Ottoman Empire, Ottoman democrat, kingmaker and one of the leading statesmen during the late Tanzimat period. He is most famous for le ...

Midhat Pasha
, the ruling
Al Thani#REDIRECT House of Thani The House of Al Thani ( ar, اَل ثاني , translit=Al Thani) is the ruling family of Qatar Qatar (, , or ; ar, قطر ' ; local vernacular pronunciation: ), officially the State of Qatar ( ar, دولة قط ...
tribe submitted to Ottoman rule in 1871. The Ottoman government imposed reformist (
Tanzimat The Tanzimat (; ota, تنظيمات, translit=Tanzimāt, lit=Reorganization, ''see'' nizām) was a period of reform Reform ( lat, reformo) means the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory, etc. The use of the word i ...
) measures concerning taxation and land registration to fully integrate these areas into the empire. Despite the disapproval of local tribes, Al Thani continued supporting Ottoman rule. Qatari-Ottoman relations, however, soon stagnated, and in 1882 they suffered further setbacks when the Ottomans refused to aid Al Thani in his expedition of
Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi (, ; ar, أَبُو ظَبْيٍ ' ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more fo ...

Abu Dhabi
-occupied
Khawr al Udayd Khawr al Udayd, ( ar, خور العديد; also spelled Khor al Adaid and Khor al-‘Udeid) is a settlement and inlet of the Persian Gulf located in Al Wakrah (municipality), Al Wakrah Municipality in southeast Qatar, on the Qatar–Saudi Arabia b ...
. In addition, the Ottomans supported the Ottoman subject Mohammed bin Abdul Wahab who attempted to supplant Al Thani as
kaymakam ''Qaim Maqam'', ''Qaimaqam'' or ''Kaymakam'' (also spelled ''kaimakam'' and ''caimacam''; ota, قائم مقام, "sub-governor") is the title used for the governor of a provincial district in the Republic of Turkey, Turkish Republic of No ...
of Qatar in 1888. This eventually led Al Thani to rebel against the Ottomans, whom he believed were seeking to usurp control of the peninsula. He resigned as kaymakam and stopped paying taxes in August 1892. In February 1893, Mehmed Hafiz Pasha arrived in Qatar in the interests of seeking unpaid taxes and accosting Jassim bin Mohammed's opposition to proposed Ottoman administrative reforms. Fearing that he would face death or imprisonment, Jassim retreated to Al Wajbah ( west of
Doha Doha ( ar, الدوحة, ad-Dawḥa or ''ad-Dōḥa'') is the capital city, capital and most populous city of Qatar. It has a population of 2,382,000 (2018). The city is located on the coast of the Persian Gulf, Persian gulf in the east of the ...

Doha
), accompanied by several tribe members. Mehmed's demand that Jassim disbands his troops and pledge his loyalty to the Ottomans was met with refusal. In March, Mehmed imprisoned Jassim's brother and 13 prominent Qatari tribal leaders on the Ottoman
corvette A corvette is a small warship. It is traditionally the smallest class of vessel considered to be a proper (or Rating system of the Royal Navy, "rated") warship. The warship class above the corvette is that of the frigate, while the class below wa ...

corvette
''Merrikh'' as punishment for his insubordination. After Mehmed declined an offer to release the captives for a fee of 10,000 , he ordered a column of approximately 200 troops to advance towards Jassim's
Al Wajbah Fort Al Wajbah Fort is one of the oldest forts in Qatar. Located in the locality of Al Wajbah in Al Rayyan, it is situated 15 km west of Doha. The fort was built in 1893 and was the location of an important battle when the army of Sheikh Jassim bin Moham ...
under the command of Yusuf Effendi, thus signalling the start of the
Battle of Al Wajbah The Battle of Al Wajbah was an armed conflict that took place in March 1893 in Qatar, a province of the Ottoman Empire's Najd Sanjak, Najd sanjak at that time. The conflict was initiated after Ottoman officials imprisoned 16 Qatari tribal leaders a ...
. Effendi's troops came under heavy gunfire by a sizable troop of Qatari infantry and cavalry shortly after arriving at Al Wajbah. They retreated to Shebaka fortress, where they were again forced to draw back from a Qatari incursion. After they withdrew to Al Bidda fortress, Jassim's advancing column besieged the fortress, resulting in the Ottomans' concession of defeat and agreement to relinquish their captives in return for the safe passage of Mehmed Pasha's cavalry to
Hofuf Al-Hofuf ( ar, ٱلْهُفُوف ', also spelled Hofuf or Hufuf, also known as "Al-Hasa", "Al-Ahsa" or "Al-Hassa") is the major urban city in the Al-Ahsa Oasis in the Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia, Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. With a popu ...
by land. Although Qatar did not gain full independence from the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
, the result of the battle forced a treaty that would later form the basis of Qatar's emerging as an autonomous country within the empire.


British period (1916–1971)

By the Anglo-Turkish Convention of 1913, the Ottomans agreed to renounce their claim to Qatar and withdraw their garrison from Doha. However, with the outbreak of
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, nothing was done to carry this out and the garrison remained in the fort at Doha, although its numbers dwindled as men deserted. In 1915, with the presence of British gunboats in the harbour, Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani (who was pro-British) persuaded the remainder to abandon the fort and, when British troops approached the following morning, they found it deserted. Qatar became a British protectorate on 3 November 1916, when the United Kingdom signed a treaty with Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani to bring Qatar under its Trucial System of Administration. While Abdullah agreed not to enter into any relations with any other power without prior consent of the
British government ga, Rialtas na Ríochta Aontaithe sco, Govrenment o the Unitit Kinrick , image = HM Government logo.svg , image_size=220px, date_established = , state = United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, comm ...
, the latter guaranteed the protection of Qatar from aggression by sea and provide its 'good offices' in the event of an attack by land – this latter undertaking was left deliberately vague. On 5 May 1935, while agreeing an oil concession with the British oil company, the
Anglo-Persian Oil Company The Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC) was a British company founded in 1908 following the discovery of a large oil field in Masjed Soleiman, Iran. The British government purchased 51% of the company in 1914, gaining a controlling number of shares, e ...
, Abdullah signed another treaty with the British government which granted Qatar protection against internal and external threats. Oil reserves were first discovered in 1939. Exploitation and development were, however, delayed by
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
. The focus of British interests in Qatar changed after the Second World War with the independence of India, the creation of
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...

Pakistan
in 1947 and the development of oil in Qatar. In 1949, the appointment of the first British political officer in Doha, John Wilton, signifed a strengthening of Anglo-Qatari relations. Oil exports began in 1949, and oil revenues became the country's main source of revenue, the pearl trade having gone into decline. These revenues were used to fund the expansion and modernisation of Qatar's infrastructure. When Britain officially announced in 1968 that it would withdraw from the Persian Gulf in three years' time, Qatar joined talks with Bahrain and seven other
Trucial States The Trucial States ( ' or '), also known as Trucial Coast, Trucial Oman, Trucial States of the Coast of Oman, and Trucial Sheikhdoms, was the name the British government gave to a group of tribal confederations in southeastern Arabian Peninsul ...
to create a federation. Regional disputes, however, persuaded Qatar and Bahrain to withdraw from the talks and become independent states separate from the Trucial States, which went on to become the
United Arab Emirates The United Arab Emirates (UAE; ar, الإمارات العربية المتحدة ) or the Emirates ( ar, الإمارات ), is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregio ...

United Arab Emirates
.


Independence and aftermath (1971–present)

On 3 November 1916, the sheikh of Qatar entered into treaty relations with the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
. The treaty reserved foreign affairs and defence to the United Kingdom but allowed internal autonomy. On 3 September 1971, those "special treaty arrangements" that were "inconsistent with full international responsibility as a sovereign and independent state" were terminated.Exchange of Notes constituting an Agreement between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Kuwait regarding relations between the United ... Exchange of Notes concerning the Termination of Special Treaty Relations ... Northern Ireland and the State of Qatar, 3 September 1971 This was done under an agreement reached between the Ruler of Qatar and the Government of the United Kingdom. In 1991, Qatar played a significant role in the
Gulf War The Gulf War was a war waged by coalition forces The term "coalition" is the denotation for a group formed when two or more people, factions, states, political parties, militaries etc. agree to work together temporarily in a partnership t ...
, particularly during the
Battle of Khafji The Battle of Khafji was the first major ground engagement of the Gulf War The Gulf War was a war waged by Coalition of the Gulf War, coalition forces from 35 nations led by the United States against Ba'athist Iraq, Iraq in response to ...
in which Qatari tanks rolled through the streets of the town and provided fire support for
Saudi Arabian National Guard The Saudi Arabian National Guard or SANG ( ar, الحَرَس الوَطنيّ, al-Ḥaras al-Waṭanī), also known as the "White Army", is one of the three major branches of the military forces of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The national gua ...
units that were engaging
Iraqi Army The Iraqi Army, officially the Iraqi Ground Forces (Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East i ...
troops. Qatar allowed coalition troops from Canada to use the country as an
airbase An air base (sometimes referred to as a military air base, military airfield, military airport, air station, naval air station, air force station, or air force base) is an aerodrome used as a military base by a military force for the operation ...
to launch aircraft on
CAP A cap is a kind of soft and flat headgear, usually with a visor. Caps have crowns that fit very close to the head. They made their first appearance as early as 3,200BC. Caps typically have a visor, or no brim at all. They are popular in casual and ...
duty and also permitted air forces from the United States and France to operate in its territories. In 1995, Emir
Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Hamad bin Abdullah bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani ( ar, حمد بن خليفة آل ثاني; born 1 January 1952) is a member of the ruling Al Thani Qatari royal family. He was the ruling Emir of Qatar from 1995 u ...

Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
seized control of the country from his father
Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Abdullah bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani (17 September 1932 – 23 October 2016; ar, خليفة بن حمد آل ثاني) was the Emir of Qatar from 27 February 1972 until he was deposed by his son Hamad bin Khal ...
, with the support of the armed forces and cabinet, as well as neighbouring states and
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
.nouvelobs.com: "Qatar : "S'ils pouvaient, ils achèteraient la Tour Eiffel"
7 April 2013
Under Emir Hamad, Qatar experienced a moderate degree of
liberalisation Liberalization or Liberalisation (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, earl ...
, including the launch of the
Al Jazeera Al Jazeera ( ar, الجزيرة, translit-std=DIN, translit=al-jazīrah, , literally "The Island", though referring to the Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَ ...
television station (1996), the endorsement of
women's suffrage Women's suffrage is the right of women to vote in elections. Beginning in the mid-19th century, aside from the work being done by women for broad-based economic and political equality and for social reforms, women sought to change voting law ...
or right to vote in municipal elections (1999), drafting its first written
constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...
(2005) and inauguration of a Roman Catholic church (2008). In 2010, Qatar won the rights to host the
2022 FIFA World Cup The 2022 FIFA World Cup ( ar, 2022 كأس العالم لكرة القدم, '')'' is scheduled to be the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international men's association football championship contested by the List of men's n ...
, making it the first country in the Middle East to be selected to host the tournament. The Emir announced Qatar's plans to hold its first national legislative elections in 2013. They were scheduled to be held in the second half of 2013, but were postponed until October 2021. The legislative council hosted the 140th
Inter-Parliamentary Union The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU; french: Union Interparlementaire, UIP) is an international organization of national parliaments. Its primary purpose is to promote democratic governance, accountability Accountability, in terms of ethics Ethic ...
Assembly for the first time in April 2019. In 2003, Qatar served as the US Central Command headquarters and one of the main launching sites of the
invasion of Iraq An invasion is a Offensive (military), military offensive in which large numbers of combatants of one geopolitics, geopolitical Legal entity, entity aggressively enter territory (country subdivision), territory owned by another such entity, gene ...
. In March 2005, a
suicide bombing A suicide attack is any violent attack Attack may refer to: Warfare and combat * Offensive (military) * Charge (warfare) * Attack (fencing) * Strike (attack) * Attack (computing) * Attack aircraft Books and publishing * The Attack (novel) ...
killed a British teacher from Dorset called Jonathan Adams at the Doha Players Theatre, shocking the country, which had not previously experienced acts of terrorism. The bombing was carried out by Omar Ahmed Abdullah Ali, an Egyptian resident in Qatar who had suspected ties to
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula ( ar-at, تنظيم القاعدة في جزيرة العرب, Tanẓīm al-Qā‘idah fī Jazīrat al-‘Arab, lit=Organization of the Base in the Arabian Peninsula or , ''Tanẓīm Qā‘idat al-Jihād fī Jaz ...
. In 2011, Qatar joined NATO operations in Libya and reportedly armed Libyan opposition groups. It is also currently a major funder of weapons for rebel groups in the
Syrian civil war#REDIRECT Syrian civil war The Syrian civil war ( ar, الْحَرْبُ الْأَهْلِيَّةُ السُّورِيَّةُ, ''al-ḥarb al-ʾahlīyah as-sūrīyah'') is an ongoing multi-sided civil war in Syria fought between the Syrian Ara ...

Syrian civil war
. Qatar is pursuing an Afghan peace deal and in January 2012 the Afghan
Taliban The Taliban (; ps, طالبان, ṭālibān, lit=students or 'seekers'), which refers to itself as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Taliban Islamic Movement and/or Islamic Movement of Taliban is a Deobandi Deobandi ( hi, देव ...

Taliban
said they were setting up a political office in Qatar to facilitate talks. This was done in order to facilitate peace negotiations and with the support of other countries including the United States and Afghanistan.
Ahmed Rashid Ahmed Rashid (Urdu Urdu (; ur, , ALA-LC: ) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The r ...
, writing in the ''
Financial Times The ''Financial Times'' (''FT'') is a daily newspaper printed in broadsheet and published digitally that focuses on business and economic Current affairs (news format), current affairs. Based in London, England, the paper is owned by a Japanese ...
'', stated that through the office Qatar has "facilitated meetings between the Taliban and many countries and organisations, including the US state department, the UN, Japan, several European governments and non-governmental organisations, all of whom have been trying to push forward the idea of peace talks. Suggestions in September 2017 by the presidents of both the United States and Afghanistan have reportedly led to protests from senior officials of the American
State Department The United States Department of State (DOS), or State Department, is an executive department The United States federal executive departments are the principal units of the Federal government of the United States, executive branch of the fede ...
. In June 2013, Sheikh
Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Sheikh Sheikh ( , ; ar, شيخ ' , mostly pronounced , plural ' )—also transliteration of Arabic, transliterated sheekh, sheik, sheyikh, shaykh, shayk, shekh, shaik and shaikh—is an honorific title in the Arabic language. It commonly de ...

Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
became the Emir of Qatar after his father handed over power in a televised speech. Sheikh Tamim has prioritised improving the domestic welfare of citizens, which includes establishing advanced healthcare and education systems, and expanding the country's infrastructure in preparation for the hosting of the 2022 World Cup. Qatar participated in the
Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen The Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen is an intervention launched by Saudi Arabia (''Shahada The ''Shahada'' ( ar, ٱلشَّهَادَةُ ' , "the testimony"), also spelled Shahadah, is an Islamic oath, one of the Fiv ...
against the
Houthis The Houthi movement (; ar, ٱلْحُوثِيُّون ''al-Ḥūthīyūn'' ), officially called Ansar Allah (' "Supporters of God") and colloquially simply Houthis, is an Islamist political and armed movement that emerged from Saada in nor ...
and forces loyal to former President
Ali Abdullah Saleh Ali Abdullah Saleh (, ''ʿAlī ʿAbdullāh Ṣāliḥ''; 21 March 1947There is a dispute as to Saleh's date of birth, some saying that it was on 21 March 1942. See: . However, by Saleh's own confession, he was born in 1947 although there is no so ...

Ali Abdullah Saleh
, who was deposed in the 2011
Arab Spring The Arab Spring ( ar, الربيع العربي) was a series of anti-government protests, uprisings, and armed rebellions that spread across much of the Arab world in the early 2010s. It began in response to oppressive regimes and a low stand ...
uprisings. The increased influence of Qatar and its role during the Arab Spring, especially during the Bahraini uprising in 2011, worsened longstanding tensions with Saudi Arabia, the neighboring
United Arab Emirates The United Arab Emirates (UAE; ar, الإمارات العربية المتحدة ) or the Emirates ( ar, الإمارات ), is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregio ...

United Arab Emirates
(UAE), and Bahrain. In June 2017, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar, citing the country's alleged support of groups they considered to be extremist. This has resulted in increased Qatari economic and military ties with Turkey and Iran. Qatar is expected to host the
2022 FIFA World Cup The 2022 FIFA World Cup ( ar, 2022 كأس العالم لكرة القدم, '')'' is scheduled to be the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international men's association football championship contested by the List of men's n ...
from 21 November to 18 December, becoming the first Arab country to do so.


Politics

Qatar is either a
constitutional A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents A precedent is a principle or rule established in a previous legal case A legal case is in a general sense a dispute between opposing parties which may be ...
BBC News
''How democratic is the Middle East?''
9 September 2005.
United States Department of Stat
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011: Qatar
2011.
or an
absolute monarchy Absolute monarchy (or absolutism as doctrine) is a form of monarchy in which the monarch holds supreme autocracy, autocratic authority, principally not being restricted by written laws, legislature, or customs. These are often hereditary monar ...
ruled by the Al Thani family. The Al Thani dynasty has been ruling Qatar since the family house was established in 1825. In 2003, Qatar adopted a
constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...
that provided for the direct election of 30 of the 45 members of the Legislative Council. The constitution was overwhelmingly approved in a referendum, with almost 98% in favour. The eighth Emir of Qatar is
Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Sheikh Sheikh ( , ; ar, شيخ ' , mostly pronounced , plural ' )—also transliteration of Arabic, transliterated sheekh, sheik, sheyikh, shaykh, shayk, shekh, shaik and shaikh—is an honorific title in the Arabic language. It commonly de ...

Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
, whose father
Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Hamad bin Abdullah bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani ( ar, حمد بن خليفة آل ثاني; born 1 January 1952) is a member of the ruling Al Thani Qatari royal family. He was the ruling Emir of Qatar from 1995 u ...

Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
handed power to him on 25 June 2013. The Emir has the exclusive power to appoint and remove the prime minister and cabinet ministers who, together, constitute the Council of Ministers, which is the supreme executive authority in the country. The Council of Ministers also initiates legislation. Laws and decrees proposed by the Council of Ministers are referred to the Advisory Council (Majilis Al Shura) for discussion after which they are submitted to the Emir for ratification. A Consultative Assembly has limited legislative authority to draft and approve laws, but the Emir has final say on all matters. The current Council is composed entirely of members appointed by the Emir, as no legislative elections have been held since 1970 when there were partial elections to the body. Legislative elections have been postponed until at least 2019. The council will also host the 140th
Inter-Parliamentary Union The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU; french: Union Interparlementaire, UIP) is an international organization of national parliaments. Its primary purpose is to promote democratic governance, accountability Accountability, in terms of ethics Ethic ...
Assembly for the first time, in April 2019. Qatari law does not permit the establishment of political bodies or trade unions.


Law

According to Qatar's Constitution,
Sharia law Sharia (; ar, شريعة, sharīʿa ) is a religious law Religious law includes ethical and moral codes taught by religious tradition Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors ...
is the main source of Qatari legislation, although in practice, Qatar's legal system is a mixture of
civil law Civil law may refer to: * Civil law (common law) Civil law is a major branch of the law.Glanville Williams. ''Learning the Law''. Eleventh Edition. Stevens. 1982. p. 2. In common law legal systems such as England and Wales and the law of the United ...
and Sharia law. Sharia law is applied to
family law Family law (also called matrimonial law or the ''law of domestic relations'') is an area of the law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to for ...
,
inheritance Inheritance is the practice of passing on private property Private property is a legal designation for the ownership of property by non-governmental legal entities. Private property is distinguishable from public property Public property i ...

inheritance
, and several criminal acts (including adultery, robbery and murder). In some cases, Sharia-based
family court Family court was originally created to be a Court of Equity A court of equity, equity court or chancery court is a court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate ...
s treat a female's testimony as being worth half that of a man. Codified family law was introduced in 2006. Islamic polygyny is permitted.
Judicial corporal punishment Judicial corporal punishment (JCP) is the infliction of corporal punishment A corporal punishment or a physical punishment is a punishment The old village stocks in Chapeltown, Lancashire, England Punishment, commonly, is the impositi ...
is a punishment in Qatar.
Flogging Flagellation (Latin ''flagellum'', "whip"), flogging or whipping is the act of beating the human body with special implements such as whips, Birching, rods, Switch (rod), switches, the cat o' nine tails, the sjambok, the knout, etc. Typical ...

Flogging
is employed as a punishment for alcohol consumption or illicit sexual relations. Article 88 of Qatar's criminal code declares that the penalty for adultery is 100 lashes, and in 2006, a
Filipino Filipino may refer to: * Something from or related to the Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas or ''Filipinas'' ), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, ...
woman was sentenced that punishment. In 2010, at least 18 people (mostly foreign nationals) were sentenced to receive between 40 and 100 lashes for offences involving "illicit sexual relations" or alcohol consumption. In 2011, at least 21 people (mostly foreign nationals) were sentenced to between 30 and 100 lashes for the same reasons, and in 2012, six expatriates were sentenced to either 40 or 100 lashes. Only Muslims considered medically fit are liable to have such sentences carried out. In April 2013, a Muslim expatriate was sentenced to 40 lashes for alcohol consumption, and in June 2014, a Muslim expatriate was sentenced to 40 lashes for consuming alcohol and driving under the influence.
Stoning Stoning, or lapidation, is a method of capital punishment Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the State (polity), state-sanctioned killing of a person as punishment for a crime. The sentence (law), sentence ordering ...
is a legal punishment in Qatar, and
apostasy Apostasy (; grc-gre, ἀποστασία ''apostasía'', "a defection or revolt") is the formal religious disaffiliation, disaffiliation from, abandonment of, or renunciation of a religion by a person. It can also be defined within the broader ...
and
homosexuality Homosexuality is Romance (love), romantic attraction, sexual attraction, or Human sexual activity, sexual behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality is "an enduring pattern of emotional, romanti ...
are crimes punishable by the
death penalty Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ' ...

death penalty
; however, the penalty has not been carried out for either crime.
Blasphemy Blasphemy is an insult that shows contempt, disrespect, or lack of reverence concerning a deity A deity or god is a supernatural being considered divinity, divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' defines deity as "a God (male de ...
can result in up to seven years in prison, while proselytising can incur a 10-year sentence.
Alcohol In chemistry, alcohol is an organic compound that carries at least one hydroxyl functional group (−OH) bound to a Saturated and unsaturated compounds, saturated carbon atom. The term alcohol originally referred to the primary alcohol ethan ...
consumption is partially legal in Qatar; some five-star luxury hotels are allowed to sell alcohol to their non-Muslim customers. Muslims are not allowed to consume alcohol, and those caught consuming it are liable to
flogging Flagellation (Latin ''flagellum'', "whip"), flogging or whipping is the act of beating the human body with special implements such as whips, Birching, rods, Switch (rod), switches, the cat o' nine tails, the sjambok, the knout, etc. Typical ...

flogging
or deportation. Non-Muslim expatriates can obtain a permit to purchase alcohol for personal consumption. The Qatar Distribution Company (a subsidiary of
Qatar Airways Qatar Airways Company Q.C.S.C. ( ar, القطرية, ''al-Qaṭariya''), operating as Qatar Airways, is the state-owned State ownership, also called government ownership and public ownership, is the ownership of an industry, asset In financ ...

Qatar Airways
) is permitted to import alcohol and pork; it operates the one and only liquor store in the country, which also sells pork to holders of liquor licences. Qatari officials have also indicated a willingness to allow alcohol in "fan zones" at the
2022 FIFA World Cup The 2022 FIFA World Cup ( ar, 2022 كأس العالم لكرة القدم, '')'' is scheduled to be the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international men's association football championship contested by the List of men's n ...
. Until 2011, restaurants on the Pearl-Qatar (a man-made island near Doha) were allowed to serve alcoholic drinks. In December 2011, however, Pearl restaurants were told to stop selling alcohol. No explanation was given for the ban, though speculation included encouraging a more pious image before a significant election and rumours of a financial dispute between the government and resort developers. The alcohol ban was later lifted. In 2014, a modesty campaign was launched to remind tourists of the country's restrictive dress code. Female tourists were advised not to wear leggings, miniskirts, sleeveless dresses, or short or tight clothing in public. Men were warned against wearing only shorts and singlets.


Foreign relations

Qatar's international profile and active role in international affairs has led some analysts to identify it as a
middle power In international relations International relations (IR), international affairs (IA) or international studies (IS) is the scientific study of interactions between sovereign states. In a broader sense, it concerns all activities between ...
. Qatar was an early member of
OPEC The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC, ) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or o ...

OPEC
and a founding member of the
Gulf Cooperation Council The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf ( ar, مجلس التعاون لدول الخليج العربية), originally (and still colloquially) known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC, ), is a regional intergovernmental organ ...

Gulf Cooperation Council
(GCC). It is a member of the
Arab League The Arab League ( ar, الجامعة العربية, '), formally the League of Arab States ( ar, جامعة الدول العربية, '), is a regional organization in the Arab world, which is located in Africa and Western Asia. The Arab L ...

Arab League
. Diplomatic missions to Qatar are based in its capital, Doha. Qatar's regional relations and foreign policies are characterized by strategy of balancing and alliance building among regional and great powers. It maintains independent foreign policy and engages in regional balancing to secure its strategic priorities and to have recognition on the regional and international level. As a small state in the gulf, Qatar established an "open-door" foreign policy where Qatar maintains ties to all parties and regional players in the region, including with organizations such as
Taliban The Taliban (; ps, طالبان, ṭālibān, lit=students or 'seekers'), which refers to itself as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Taliban Islamic Movement and/or Islamic Movement of Taliban is a Deobandi Deobandi ( hi, देव ...

Taliban
and
Hamas Hamas (, ; , ; an acronym of , "Islamic Resistance Movement") is a Palestinian territories, Palestinian Sunni-Islamic fundamentalism, Islamic fundamentalist, militant, and Religious nationalism, nationalist organization. It has a social serv ...

Hamas
. The history of Qatar's alliances provides insight into the basis of its foreign relations. Between 1760 and 1971, Qatar sought formal protection from the high transitory powers of the Ottomans, British, the Al-Khalifas from Bahrain, and from Saudi Arabia. Qatar has particularly strong ties with China, Iran, Turkey, and the United States as well as a number of Islamist movements in the Middle East such as the
Muslim Brotherhood The Society of the Muslim Brothers ( ar, جماعة الإخوان المسلمين'' ''), better known as the Muslim Brotherhood ( '), is a transnational Sunni Islamist organization founded in Egypt by Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassa ...
. In June 2017, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen broke diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing Qatar of supporting terrorism. The crisis escalated a dispute over Qatar's support of the
Muslim Brotherhood The Society of the Muslim Brothers ( ar, جماعة الإخوان المسلمين'' ''), better known as the Muslim Brotherhood ( '), is a transnational Sunni Islamist organization founded in Egypt by Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassa ...
, which is considered a terrorist organization by some Arab nations. The diplomatic crisis ended in January 2021 with the signing of AlUla declaration.


Military

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 (8,500), navy (1,800) and air force (1,500). Qatar's defense expenditures accounted for approximately 4.2% of gross national product in 1993, and 1.5% of gross domestic product in 2010, the most recent year available in the SIPRI statistical database. Qatar has recently signed defense pacts with the United States and United Kingdom, as well as with France earlier in 1994. Qatar plays an active role in the collective defense efforts of the
Gulf Cooperation Council The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf ( ar, مجلس التعاون لدول الخليج العربية), originally (and still colloquially) known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC, ), is a regional intergovernmental organ ...
; the other five members are Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE, and Oman. The presence of the large
Al Udeid Air Base Al Udeid Air Base ( ar, قاعدة العديد الجوية) is one of two military bases southwest of Doha Doha ( ar, الدوحة, ' or ''ad-Dōḥa'', ) is the capital and most populous city of Qatar Qatar (, , or ; ar, قطر ' ...

Al Udeid Air Base
, operated by the United States and several other UN nations, provides a guaranteed source of defense and national security. In 2008 Qatar spent US$2.3 billion on military expenditures, 2.3% of the gross domestic product. Qatari special forces have been trained by
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
and other Western countries, and are believed to possess considerable skill. They also helped the Libyan rebels during the 2011 Battle of Tripoli. The
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) is an international institute An institute is an organisation An organization, or organisation ( Commonwealth English; see spelling differences), is an entity – such as a co ...
(SIPRI) found that in 2010–14 Qatar was the 46th-largest arms importer in the world. SIPRI writes that Qatar's plans to transform and significantly enlarge its armed forces have accelerated. Orders in 2013 for 62 tanks and 24 self-propelled guns from Germany were followed in 2014 by a number of other contracts, including 24 combat helicopters and 3 early-warning-and-control aircraft from the US, and 2 tanker aircraft from Spain. In 2015, Qatar was the 16th largest arms importer in the world, and in 2016, it was the 11th largest, according to SIPRI. Qatar's military participated in the
Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen The Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen is an intervention launched by Saudi Arabia (''Shahada The ''Shahada'' ( ar, ٱلشَّهَادَةُ ' , "the testimony"), also spelled Shahadah, is an Islamic oath, one of the Fiv ...
against the
Shia Shia Islam or Shi'ism is the second largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam. It holds that the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad designated Ali, Ali ibn Abi Talib as his Succession to Mu ...
Houthis The Houthi movement (; ar, ٱلْحُوثِيُّون ''al-Ḥūthīyūn'' ), officially called Ansar Allah (' "Supporters of God") and colloquially simply Houthis, is an Islamist political and armed movement that emerged from Saada in nor ...
. In 2015, ''Al Jazeera America'' reported: "Numerous reports suggest that the Saudi-led coalition against opposition groups in Yemen has indiscriminately attacked civilians and used cluster bombs in civilian-populated areas, in violation of international law." Many civilians have been killed and the large parts of the infrastructure in this region is now destroyed. Hospitals have also been bombed by the Saudis and those operating with them. Qatar was suspended from the coalition in Yemen due to the 2017
Qatar diplomatic crisis The Qatar diplomatic crisis was a diplomatic incident{{refimprove, date=December 2011 An international incident (or diplomatic incident) is a seemingly relatively small or limited action, incident or clash that results in a wider dispute between ...

Qatar diplomatic crisis
.


Human rights

According to the U.S. State Department, expatriate workers from nations throughout
Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere of the Earth, Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the cont ...

Asia
and parts of
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', ...

Africa
voluntarily migrate to Qatar as low-skilled labourers or domestic servants, but some subsequently face conditions indicative of involuntary servitude. Some of the more common labour rights violations include beatings, withholding of payment, charging workers for benefits for which the employer is responsible, restrictions on freedom of movement (such as the confiscation of passports, travel documents, or exit permits), arbitrary detention, threats of legal action, and sexual assault. Many migrant workers arriving for work in Qatar have paid exorbitant fees to recruiters in their home countries. , certain provisions of the Qatari Criminal Code allows punishments such as
flogging Flagellation (Latin ''flagellum'', "whip"), flogging or whipping is the act of beating the human body with special implements such as whips, Birching, rods, Switch (rod), switches, the cat o' nine tails, the sjambok, the knout, etc. Typical ...

flogging
and
stoning Stoning, or lapidation, is a method of capital punishment Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the State (polity), state-sanctioned killing of a person as punishment for a crime. The sentence (law), sentence ordering ...
to be imposed as criminal sanctions. The
UN Committee Against Torture The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (commonly known as the United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT)) is an international human rights treaty, under the review of the United Nation ...
found that these practices constituted a breach of the obligations imposed by the
UN Convention Against Torture The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (commonly known as the United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT)) is an international human rights treaty, under the review of the United Nation ...
. Qatar retains the death penalty, mainly for threats against national security such as terrorism. The use of the death penalty is rare and no state executions have taken place in Qatar since 2003. In Qatar, homosexual acts are illegal and can be punished by death. Under the provisions of Qatar's sponsorship law, sponsors have the unilateral power to cancel workers' residency permits, deny workers' ability to change employers, report a worker as "absconded" to police authorities, and deny permission to leave the country. As a result, sponsors may restrict workers' movements and workers may be afraid to report abuses or claim their rights. According to the
ITUC The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC; french: Confédération syndicale internationale (CSI); german: Internationaler Gewerkschaftsbund (IGB); es, Confederación Sindical Internacional (CSI)) is the world's largest trade union ...

ITUC
, the visa sponsorship system allows the exaction of
forced labour Forced labour, or unfree labour, is any work relation, especially in modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeolog ...
by making it difficult for a migrant worker to leave an abusive employer or travel overseas without permission. Qatar also does not maintain wage standards for its
immigrant Immigration is the international movement of people to a destination country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship ...

immigrant
labourers. Qatar commissioned international law firm
DLA Piper DLA Piper is a multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational state, a sovereign s ...
to produce a report investigating the immigrant labour system. In May 2014 DLA Piper released over 60 recommendations for reforming the kafala system including the abolition of exit visas and the introduction of a minimum wage which Qatar has pledged to implement. According to the
International Labour Organization The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a United Nations agency whose mandate is to advance social and economic justice through setting international labour standards. Founded in October 1919 under the League of Nations, it is the fir ...
(ILO), a minimum wage entered into force for any worker of all nationalities and in all sectors in Qatar on 20 March 2021. In May 2012, Qatari officials declared their intention to allow the establishment of an independent trade union. Qatar also announced it would scrap its sponsor system for foreign labour, which requires that all
foreign workers Foreign workers or guest workers are people who work in a country other than one of which they are a citizen Citizenship is the status of a person recognized under the law of a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial bo ...
be sponsored by local employers. Additional changes to labour laws include a provision guaranteeing that all workers' salaries are paid directly into their bank accounts and new restrictions on working outdoors in the hottest hours during the summer. New draft legislation announced in early 2015 mandates that companies that fail to pay workers' wages on time could temporarily lose their ability to hire more employees. In October 2015 Qatar's Emir signed into law new reforms to the country's sponsorship system, with the new law taking effect within one year. Critics claim that the changes could fail to address some labour rights issues. The country enfranchised women at the same time as men in connection with the 1999 elections for a Central Municipal Council. These elections—the first-ever in Qatar—were deliberately held on 8 March 1999,
International Women's Day International Women's Day (IWD) is a global holiday celebrated annually on March 8 to commemorate the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of women. It is also a focal point in the women's rights movement, bringing attention to ...
. In July 2019, UN ambassadors of 37 countries, including Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, have signed a joint letter to the
UNHRC The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), CDH is a United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly rel ...
defending China's treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities. However, in August 2019, Qatar told the UNHRC president that it decided to withdraw from the joint letter. Human rights activists praised Qatar's decision.


Administrative divisions

Since 2014, Qatar has been divided into eight municipalities (Arabic:
baladiyah Baladiyah () is a type of Arabic administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are gene ...
). #
Al Shamal Al Shamal ( ar, الشمال, Ash Shamāl) is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnationa ...
#
Al Khor Al Khor ( ar, الخور; also spelled ''Al Khawr''), officially Al Khor and Al Thakhira, is a Municipalities of Qatar, municipality in the State of Qatar. Al Khor (city), Al Khor City, the municipal seat, is located in the northeast coast of ...
#
Al-Shahaniya Al Shahaniya ( ar, الشحانية, Ash Shīḩānīyah) is a municipality (3299 km2) in Qatar, with its municipal seat as a city of the Al-Shahaniya (city), same name (39 km2). Formerly in the municipalities of Qatar, municipality of A ...
#
Umm Salal Umm Salal ( ; also spelled Umm Slal) is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity ...

Umm Salal
#
Al Daayen Al Daayen (; also spelled as Az Za`ayin) is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational en ...
#
Doha Doha ( ar, الدوحة, ad-Dawḥa or ''ad-Dōḥa'') is the capital city, capital and most populous city of Qatar. It has a population of 2,382,000 (2018). The city is located on the coast of the Persian Gulf, Persian gulf in the east of the ...
#
Al Rayyan Al Rayyan (; also spelled as ''Ar Rayyan'') is the third-largest municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative re ...
#
Al Wakrah Al Wakrah (also spelled Al Wakra) ( ar, الوكرة) is the capital city of the Al Wakrah (municipality), Al Wakrah Municipality in Qatar. Al Wakrah's eastern edge is the shores of the Persian Gulf and Qatar's capital Doha is situated to the city ...
For statistical purposes, the municipalities are further subdivided into 98
zones Zone or The Zone may refer to: Places Climate and altitude zones * Death zone In mountaineering, the death zone refers to altitudes above a certain point where the pressure of oxygen is Effects of high altitude on humans, insufficient to sustai ...
(), which are in turn subdivided into blocks.


Former municipalities

*
Al Jemailiya Al Jemailiya ( ar, الجميلية, Al Jumaylīyah) is a town in the municipalities of Qatar, municipality of Al-Shahaniya, Qatar. It used to be the seat of Al Jemailiya Municipality before it was incorporated into Al Rayyan, Al Rayyan Municipalit ...
(until 2004) *
Al Ghuwariyah Al Ghuwariyah ( ar, الغويرية; also spelled Leghwairiya) is a town located in Al Khor Municipality in the state Qatar Qatar (, , or ; ar, قطر, Qaṭar ; local vernacular pronunciation: ), officially the State of Qatar,) is a ...
(until 2004) * Jariyan al Batnah (until 2004) *
Mesaieed Mesaieed ( ar, مسيعيد, also transliterated as ''Musay'id'' and ''Umm Sa'id'') is an industrial city in Al Wakrah Municipality in the State of Qatar Qatar (, , or ; ar, قطر ' ; local vernacular pronunciation: ), officially the S ...
(
Umm Sa'id Mesaieed ( ar, مسيعيد, also transliterated as ''Musay'id'' and ''Umm Sa'id'') is an industrial city in Al Wakrah (municipality), Al Wakrah Municipality in the State of Qatar, approximately south of Doha. It was one of the most important cit ...
) (until 2006)


Geography

The Qatari
peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body A planet is an astronomical body Astronomy (from el ...

peninsula
protrudes into the Persian Gulf, north of Saudi Arabia. It lies between latitudes 24° and 27° N, and longitudes 50° and 52° E. Most of the country consists of a low, barren
plain In geography, a plain is a flat expanse of land that generally does not change much in elevation, and is primarily treeless. Plains occur as lowlands along valleys or at the base of mountains, as coastal plains, and as plateaus or Highland, up ...

plain
, covered with
sand Sand is a granular material composed of finely divided rock (geology), rock and mineral particles. Sand has various compositions but is defined by its grain size. Sand grains are smaller than gravel and coarser than silt. Sand can also refer ...

sand
. To the southeast lies the Khor al Adaid ("
Inland Sea Inland may refer to: Places Sweden * Inland Fräkne Hundred, a hundred of Bohuslän in Sweden * Inland Northern Hundred, a hundred of Bohuslän in Sweden * Inland Southern Hundred, a hundred of Bohuslän in Sweden * Inland Torpe Hundred, a hundred ...
"), an area of rolling sand dunes surrounding an
inlet An inlet is an indentation of a shoreline, usually long and narrow, such as a small bay or arm, that often leads to an enclosed body of water, body of salt water, such as a Sound (geography), sound, bay, lagoon, or marsh. Overview In sea coasts, ...

inlet
of the Persian Gulf. There are mild winters and very hot, humid summers. The highest point in Qatar is Qurayn Abu al Bawl at in the Jebel Dukhan to the west, a range of low
limestone Limestone is a common type of carbonate In chemistry, a carbonate is a salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of Salt (chemistry), salts; salt in its na ...

limestone
outcrop An outcrop or rocky outcrop is a visible exposure of bedrock Bedrock in geology Geology (from the γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is a branch of concerned with both the liquid and , ...

outcrop
pings running north–south from Zikrit through
Umm Bab Umm Bab ( ar, أم باب) is a settlement in Qatar, located in the municipalities of Qatar, municipality of Al-Shahaniya. It used to be part of the Al Rayyan municipality and before that was administered by Al Jemailiya municipality before the lat ...
to the southern border. The Jebel Dukhan area also contains Qatar's main onshore
oil deposits A petroleum reservoir or oil and gas reservoir is a subsurface pool of hydrocarbons contained in Porosity, porous or fractured rock formations. Petroleum reservoirs are broadly classified as ''conventional'' and ''Unconventional oil, unconventiona ...

oil deposits
, while the
natural gas field A petroleum reservoir or oil and gas reservoir is a subsurface pool of hydrocarbon In organic chemistry, a hydrocarbon is an organic compound , CH4; is among the simplest organic compounds. In chemistry, organic compounds are generally any che ...
s lie offshore, to the northwest of the peninsula.


Biodiversity and environment

Qatar signed the Rio
Convention on Biological Diversity The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, is a multilateral treatyMultilateral may refer to: * Multilateralism * Multilateration * Flea flicker (American football) {{disambig .... The conven ...
on 11 June 1992, and became a party to the convention on 21 August 1996. It has subsequently produced a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, which was received by the convention on 18 May 2005. A total of 142 fungal species have been recorded from Qatar. A book recently produced by the Ministry of Environment documents the
lizards Lizards (suborder In biological classification, the order ( la, wikt:ordo#Latin, ordo) is # a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms and recognized by the nomenclature codes. The well-known ranks in descending order are: life, ...

lizards
known or believed to occur in Qatar, based on surveys conducted by an international team of scientists and other collaborators. According to the Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research, carbon dioxide emissions per person average over 30 tonnes, one of the highest in the world. Qataris are also some of the highest consumers of water per capita per day, using around 400 litres. In 2008 Qatar launched its National Vision 2030 which highlights environmental development as one of the four main goals for Qatar over the next two decades. The National Vision pledges to develop sustainable alternatives to oil-based energy to preserve the local and global environment.


Climate


Economy

Before the discovery of oil, the economy of the Qatari region focused on fishing and
pearl hunting Pearl hunting, also known as pearling, is the activity of recovering pearls from wild molluscs Mollusca is the second-largest phylum of invertebrate animals after the Arthropoda. The members are known as molluscs or mollusks (). Around 85,000 ...
. A report prepared by local governors of Ottoman Empire in 1892 states that total income from pearl hunting in 1892 is 2,450,000 kran. After the introduction of the Japanese
cultured pearl A cultured pearl is a pearl A pearl is a hard, glistening object produced within the soft tissue (specifically the mantle) of a living shell Shell may refer to: Architecture and design * Shell (structure)A shell is a type of structural e ...
onto the world market in the 1920s and 1930s, Qatar's pearling industry crashed. Oil was discovered in Qatar in 1940, in
Dukhan Field Dukhan Field is a large petroleum Petroleum (), also known as crude oil and oil, is a #Latent heat of vaporization, naturally occurring, yellowish-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth, Earth's surface. It is commonly r ...
. The discovery transformed the state's economy. Now, the country has a high
standard of living Standard of living is the level of income, comforts and services available, generally applied to a society or location, rather than to an individual. Standard of living is relevant because it is considered to contribute to an individual's quality ...
for its legal citizens. With no
income tax An income tax is a tax A tax is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed on a taxpayer (an individual or legal entity In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelate ...
, Qatar (along with
Bahrain Bahrain ( ; ar, البحرين, al-Baḥrayn, , locally ), officially the Kingdom of Bahrain ( ar, مملكة البحرين, links=no '), is a country in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, Persian Gulf. The Island country, island nation c ...

Bahrain
) is one of the countries with the lowest tax rates in the world. The unemployment rate in June 2013 was 0.1%. Corporate law mandates that Qatari nationals must hold 51% of any venture in the emirate. Trade and industry in the emirate is overseen by the Ministry of Business and Trade. , Qatar has the fourth highest GDP per capita in the world, according to the International Monetary Fund. It relies heavily on foreign labor to grow its economy, to the extent that
migrant worker A migrant worker is a person who migrates within a home country or outside it to pursue work. Migrant workers usually do not have the intention to stay permanently in the country or region in which they work. Migrant workers who work outside ...

migrant worker
s compose 86% of the population and 94% of the workforce. Qatar has been criticized by the
International Trade Union Confederation The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC; french: Confédération syndicale internationale (CSI); german: Internationaler Gewerkschaftsbund (IGB); es, Confederación Sindical Internacional (CSI)) is the world's largest trade union feder ...
. The economic growth of Qatar has been almost exclusively based on its petroleum and natural gas industries, which began in 1940. Qatar is the leading exporter of
liquefied natural gas Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is natural gas Natural gas (also called fossil gas; sometimes just gas) is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting of methane and commonly including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and s ...
. In 2012, it was estimated that Qatar would invest over $120 billion in the energy sector in the next 10 years. The country was a member state of
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC, ) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) or international organization is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred t ...

Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
(OPEC), having joined in 1961, and having left in January 2019. In 2012, Qatar retained its title of richest country in the world (according to per capita income) for the third time in a row, having first overtaken
Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg ; german: link=no, Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a landlocked ...

Luxembourg
in 2010. According to the study published by the
Washington Washington commonly refers to: * Washington (state), United States * Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States ** Federal government of the United States (metonym) ** Washington metropolitan area, the metropolitan area centered on Washingt ...
-based Institute of International Finance, Qatar's per capita GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP) was $106,000 (QR387,000) in 2012, helping the country retain its ranking as the world's wealthiest nation. Luxembourg came a distant second with nearly $80,000 and Singapore third with per capita income of about $61,000. The research put Qatar's GDP at $182bn in 2012 and said it had climbed to an all-time high due to soaring gas exports and high oil prices. Its population stood at 1.8 million in 2012. The same study published that Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), with assets of $115bn, was ranked 12th among the richest sovereign wealth funds in the world. Established in 2005,
Qatar Investment Authority The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA; ar, جهاز قطر للإستثمار) is Qatar Qatar (, , or ; ar, قطر, Qaṭar ; local vernacular pronunciation: ), officially the State of Qatar,) is a country in Western Asia. It occupies ...
is the country's
sovereign wealth fund A sovereign wealth fund (SWF), sovereign investment fund, or social wealth fund is a state-owned investment fund that invests in real and financial assets such as stocks, Bond (finance), bonds, real estate, precious metals, or in alternative inve ...
, specializing in foreign investment. Due to billions of dollars in surpluses from the oil and gas industry, the Qatari government has directed investments into United States, Europe, and
Asia Pacific The Asia-Pacific is the part of the world In its most general sense, the term "world" refers to the totality of entities, to the whole of reality or to everything that is. The nature of the world has been conceptualized differently in dif ...
. , the holdings were valued at $100 billion in assets. Qatar Holding is the international investment arm of QIA. Since 2009, Qatar Holding has received $30–40bn a year from the state. , it has investments around the world in Valentino,
Siemens Siemens AG ( ) is a German multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational state, ...

Siemens
,
Printemps Printemps (; meaning " spring" in French) is a French department store A department store is a retail Retail is the process of selling consumer goods or Service (economics), services to customers through multiple distribution channel, ...

Printemps
,
Harrods Harrods Limited is a department store A department store is a retail Retail is the sale of goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (econom ...

Harrods
,
The Shard The Shard, also referred to as the Shard of Glass, Shard London Bridge and formerly London Bridge Tower, is a 72-storey skyscraper, designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano Renzo is an Italian masculine given name and a surname. Given n ...

The Shard
,
Barclays Bank Barclays plc () is a British multinational Investment banking, investment bank and financial services company, headquartered in London, England. Apart from investment banking, Barclays is organised into four core businesses: Retail banking, per ...

Barclays Bank
,
Heathrow Airport Heathrow Airport (), originally called ''London Airport'' until 1966 and now known as London Heathrow , is a major international airport in London, England. With Gatwick Airport, Gatwick, London City Airport, City, Luton Airport, Luton, Stanste ...

Heathrow Airport
, Paris Saint-Germain F.C.,
Volkswagen Group Volkswagen AG (), known internationally as the Volkswagen Group, is a German multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military bod ...

Volkswagen Group
,
Royal Dutch Shell Royal Dutch Shell plc (to be renamed Shell plc effective 24 January 2022), commonly known as Shell, is a British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overs ...
,
Bank of America The Bank of America Corporation (simply referred to as Bank of America, often abbreviated as BofA or BoA) is an American multinational investment bank Investment is the dedication of an asset to attain an increase in value over a period o ...

Bank of America
, ,
Agricultural Bank of China Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), also known as AgBank, is one of the " Big Four" bank A bank is a financial institution that accepts Deposit account, deposits from the public and creates a demand deposit while simultaneously making loans. ...
,
Sainsbury's J Sainsbury plc, trading as Sainsbury's, is the second largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom, with a 16.0% share of the supermarket sector. Founded in 1869 by John James Sainsbury with a shop in Drury Lane, London, the company b ...

Sainsbury's
,
BlackBerry The blackberry is an edible fruit produced by many species in the genus ''Rubus'' in the family (biology), family Rosaceae, hybrids among these species within the subgenus ''Rubus'', and hybrids between the subgenera ''Rubus'' and ''Idaeobatus'' ...

BlackBerry
, and Santander Brasil. The country has no taxes on non-companies, but authorities have announced plans to levy taxes on junk food and luxury items. The taxes would be implemented on goods that harm the human body – for example, fast food, tobacco products, and soft drinks. The rollout of these initial taxes is believed to be due to the fall in oil prices and a deficit that the country faced in 2016. Additionally, the country has seen job cuts in 2016 from its petroleum companies and other sectors in the government.


Energy

, Qatar has proven oil reserves of 15 billion barrels and gas fields that account for more than 13% of the global resource. As a result, it is the richest state per-capita in the world. None of its 2 million residents live below the poverty line and less than 1% are unemployed. Qatar's economy was in a downturn from 1982 to 1989. OPEC quotas on crude oil production, the lower price for oil, and the generally unpromising outlook on international markets reduced oil earnings. In turn, the Qatari government's spending plans had to be cut to match lower income. The resulting recessionary local business climate caused many firms to lay off expatriate staff. With the economy recovering in the 1990s, expatriate populations, particularly from
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
and South Asia, have grown again. Oil production will not remain at the peak level of 500,000 barrels (80,000 m3) per day for long as the national oil fields are projected to be largely depleted by 2023. Large natural gas reserves have, however, been located off Qatar's northeast coast. Qatar's proved reserves of gas are the third-largest in the world, exceeding 250 trillion cubic feet (7,000 km3). The economy was boosted in 1991 by completion of the $1.5-billion Phase I of North Field gas development. In 1996, the Qatargas project began exporting
liquefied natural gas Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is natural gas Natural gas (also called fossil gas; sometimes just gas) is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting of methane and commonly including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and s ...
(LNG) to Japan. Further phases of North Field gas development costing billions of dollars are in various stages of planning and development. Qatar's heavy industrial projects, all based in
Umm Said Mesaieed ( ar, مسيعيد, also transliterated as ''Musay'id'' and ''Umm Sa'id'') is an industrial city in Al Wakrah (municipality), Al Wakrah Municipality in the State of Qatar, approximately south of Doha. It was one of the most important cit ...
, include a refinery with a 50,000 barrels (8,000 m3) per day capacity, a fertiliser plant for urea and ammonia, a steel plant, and a petrochemical plant. All these industries use gas for fuel. Most are joint ventures between European and Japanese firms and the state-owned Qatar General Petroleum Corporation (QGPC). The US is the major equipment supplier for Qatar's oil and gas industry, and US companies are playing a major role in North Field gas development. Qatar's National Vision 2030 has made investment in renewable resources a major goal for the country over the next two decades. Qatar pursues a vigorous programme of " Qatarisation", under which all joint venture industries and government departments strive to move Qatari nationals into positions of greater authority. Growing numbers of foreign-educated Qataris, including many educated in the US, are returning home to assume key positions formerly occupied by expatriates. To control the influx of expatriate workers, Qatar has tightened the administration of its foreign manpower programmes over the past several years. Security is the principal basis for Qatar's strict entry and immigration rules and regulations.


Transport

With a fast-expanding population and substantial economic growth over the past decade, a reliable and extensive transportation network is becoming increasingly necessary within Qatar. So far the government, the primary transport developer, has done well in terms of keeping up with the demand for new transportation options. In 2008 the Public Works Authority (Ashghal), one of the bodies that oversees infrastructure development, underwent a major reorganisation in order to streamline and modernise the authority in preparation for major project expansions across all segments in the near future. Ashghal works in tandem with the Urban Planning and Development Authority (UPDA), the body that designed the transportation master plan, instituted in March 2006 and running to 2025. As driving is the primary mode of transport in Qatar, the road network is a major focus of the plan. Project highlights in this segment include the multibillion-dollar Doha Expressway and the Qatar Bahrain Causeway, which would connect Qatar to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Mass-transit options, such as a
Doha metro The Doha Metro is a rapid transit Rapid transit or mass rapid transit (MRT), also known as heavy rail, metro, subway, tube, U-Bahn, metropolitana or underground, is a type of high-capacity public transport generally found in urban areas. Un ...
, light-rail system and more extensive bus networks, are also under development to ease road congestion. In addition, the railway system is being significantly expanded and could eventually form an integral part of a GCC-wide network linking all the Arab states of the Persian Gulf. The airport, too, is expanding capacity to keep up with rising visitor numbers.
Hamad International Airport Hamad International Airport ( ar, مطار حمد الدولي, ') is the sole international airport An international airport is an airport An airport is an with extended facilities, mostly for commercial air transport. Airports ...

Hamad International Airport
is the
international airport An international airport is an airport An airport is an with extended facilities, mostly for commercial air transport. Airports often have facilities to park and maintain aircraft, and a . An airport consists of a , which comprises an ...

international airport
of
Doha Doha ( ar, الدوحة, ad-Dawḥa or ''ad-Dōḥa'') is the capital city, capital and most populous city of Qatar. It has a population of 2,382,000 (2018). The city is located on the coast of the Persian Gulf, Persian gulf in the east of the ...

Doha
. In 2014, it replaced the former
Doha International Airport Doha International Airport ( ar, مطار الدوحة الدولي) is an airport in Doha, Qatar. It was Qatar's commercial international airport until Hamad International Airport opened on 27 May 2014. While all scheduled commercial traffic c ...
as Qatar's principal airport. In 2016, the airport was named the 50th busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic, serving 37,283,987 passengers, a 20.2% increase from 2015. Qatar is increasingly activating its logistics and ports in order to participate in trade between Europe and China or Africa. For this purpose, ports such as Hamad Port are rapidly expanded and investments are made in their technology. The country is historically and currently part of the Maritime
Silk Road The Silk Road () was and is a network of trade routes connecting the Eastern world, East and Western culture, West, from the 2nd century BCE to the 18th century CE. It was central to the economic, cultural, political, and religious interactions ...

Silk Road
that runs from the Chinese coast to the south via the southern tip of
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
to
Mombasa Mombasa ( , also ) is a coastal city in southeastern Kenya ) , national_anthem = "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu" (, ) is the national anthem of Kenya. History "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"'s lyrics were originally writ ...

Mombasa
, from there through the Red Sea via the
Suez Canal The Suez Canal ( ar, قَنَاةُ ٱلسُّوَيْسِ, ') is an artificial sea-level Mean sea level (MSL) (often shortened to sea level) is an mean, average level of the surface of one or more of Earth's bodies of water from which hei ...
to the Mediterranean, there to the Upper Adriatic region to the northern Italian hub of
Trieste Trieste ( , ; sl, Trst ; german: Triest ) is a city and seaport The Porticciolo del Cedas port in Barcola The thumb is the first digit of the hand, next to the index finger. When a person is standing in the medical anatomical position (wher ...

Trieste
with its rail connections to
Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the of Eurasia, it shares the continental landmass of with both ...

Central Europe
, Eastern Europe and the
North Sea The North Sea is a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
. Hamad Port is Qatar's main seaport, located south of
Doha Doha ( ar, الدوحة, ad-Dawḥa or ''ad-Dōḥa'') is the capital city, capital and most populous city of Qatar. It has a population of 2,382,000 (2018). The city is located on the coast of the Persian Gulf, Persian gulf in the east of the ...

Doha
in the Umm Al Houl area. Construction of the port began in 2010; it became operational in December 2016. It was officially opened in September 2017, and is expected to become fully operational by 2020. Capable of handling up to 7.8 million tonnes of products annually, the bulk of trade which passes through the port consists of food and building materials. On the northern coast, Ras Laffan Port serves as the most extensive LNG exporting facility in the world.
Qatar Airways Qatar Airways Company Q.C.S.C. ( ar, القطرية, ''al-Qaṭariya''), operating as Qatar Airways, is the state-owned State ownership, also called government ownership and public ownership, is the ownership of an industry, asset In financ ...

Qatar Airways
is one of the
largest airlines in the world The largest airlines in the world can be defined in several ways. , American Airlines Group American Airlines Group Inc. is an American publicly traded airline holding company headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, Fort Worth, Texas. It was formed ...
that serves in six continents connecting more than 160 destinations every day. Besides, it has won Airline of the Year in 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017 and 2019 due to its outstanding performance and employs more than 46,000 professionals.


Demographics

The number of people in Qatar fluctuates considerably depending on the season, since the country relies heavily on migrant labour. In early 2017, Qatar's total population was 2.6 million, with foreigners making up a vast majority of Qatar's population. Only 313,000 of the population (12%) were Qatari citizens, while the remaining 2.3 million (88%) were
expatriates An expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person residing in a country other than their native country. In common usage, the term often refers to professionals, skilled workers, or artists taking positions outside their home country, eithe ...
. The combined number of
South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia Asia () is 's largest and most populous , located primarily in the and . It shares the continental of with the continent of and the continental landmass of with both Europe and . Asia cov ...

South Asia
ns (from the countries of the Indian subcontinent including Sri Lanka) by themselves represent over 1.5 million people (60%) of Qatar's population. Among these,
Indians Indian or Indians refers to people or things related to India, or to the indigenous people of the Americas, or Aboriginal Australians until the 19th century. People South Asia * Indian people, people of Indian nationality, or people who come ...
are the largest community, numbering 650,000 in 2017, followed by 350,000
Nepalis Nepalis (English language, English: Nepalese ; ne, नेपाली), or Nepali people ( ne, नेपाली), also known as ''Nepa-mi'' (Newar language, Nepal Bhasa : 𑐣𑐾𑐥𑐵𑑅𑐩𑐶, नेपाःमि), are the citizen ...
, 280,000
Bangladeshis Bangladeshis ( bn, বাংলাদেশি ; formerly known as Bangalees) are the citizens Citizenship is the Status (law), status of a person recognized under the law of a country (and/or local jurisdiction) of belonging to thereof. I ...
, 145,000
Sri Lankans This article is about the demographic Demography (from prefix ''demo-'' from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to ...
, and 125,000
Pakistanis Pakistanis ( ur, , translit=Pākistānī Qaum, ) are the nationals and citizens of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in ...
. The contingent of expatriates which are not of South Asian origin represent around 28% of Qatar's population, of which the largest group is 260,000
Filipinos Filipinos ( fil, Mga Pilipino) are the people who are citizens of or native to the Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Re ...
and 200,000
Egyptians Egyptians ( arz, المصريين, ; cop, ⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ, remenkhēmi) are an ethnic group of people originating from the country of Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning t ...
, plus many other nationalities (including nationals of other Arab countries, Europeans, etc.). Qatar's first demographic records date back to 1892, and were conducted by Ottoman governors in the region. Based on this census, which includes only the residents in cities, the total population in 1892 was 9,830. The 2010 census recorded the total population at 1,699,435. In January 2013, the Qatar Statistics Authority estimated the country's population at 1,903,447, of which 1,405,164 were males and 498,283 females. At the time of the first census, held in 1970, the population was 111,133. The population has tripled in the decade to 2011, up from just over 600,000 people in 2001, leaving Qatari nationals as less than 15% of the total population. The influx of male labourers has skewed the gender balance, and women are now just one-quarter of the population. Projections released by the Qatar Statistical Authority indicate that the total population of Qatar could reach 2.8 million by 2020. Qatar's National Development Strategy (2011–16) had estimated that the country's population would reach 1.78m in 2013, 1.81m in 2014, 1.84m in 2015 and 1.86m in 2016 – the yearly growth rate being merely 2.1%. But the country's population has soared to 1.83 million by the end of 2012, showing 7.5% growth over the previous year. Qatar's total population hit a record high of 2.46 million in November 2015, an increase of 8.5% from the previous year, far exceeding official projections.


Religion

Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
is Qatar's predominant religion and is the
state religion A state religion (also called an established religion or official religion) is a religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether ...
although not the only religion practiced in the country. Most Qatari citizens belong to the
Salafi The Salafi movement, also called the Salafist movement, ''Salafiyyah'' and Salafism, is a reform Reform ( lat, reformo) means the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory, etc. The use of the word in this way emerges ...
Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...

Muslim
movement of
Wahhabism Wahhabism ( ar, الوهابية, lit=Wahhabism, translit=al-Wahhābiyyah) is a term used to refer to the Islamic revival, Islamic revivalist and Islamic fundamentalism, fundamentalist movement within Sunni Islam which is associated with the H ...
, and between 5–15% of Muslims in Qatar follow
Shia Islam Shia Islam or Shi'ism is the second largest branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanis ...
with other Islamic sects being very small in number. In 2010, Qatar's population was 67.7%
Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...

Muslim
, 13.8%
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...

Christian
, 13.8%
Hindu Hindus (; ) are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic re ...

Hindu
, and 3.1%
Buddhist Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, an ...

Buddhist
; other religions and religiously unaffiliated people accounted for the remaining 1.6%.
Sharia law Sharia (; ar, شريعة, sharīʿa ) is a religious law Religious law includes ethical and moral codes taught by religious tradition Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors ...
is the main source of Qatari legislation according to Qatar's Constitution. The vision of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs (Qatar) is "to build a contemporary Islamic society along with fostering the Sharia, Sharee’ah and cultural heritage". The non-Muslim population is composed almost entirely of foreigners. Since 2008, Christians have been allowed to build churches on ground donated by the government, though foreign missionary activity is officially discouraged. Active churches include the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church, Mar Thoma Church, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, the Roman Catholic Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Rosary (Doha), Church of Our Lady of the Rosary and the Anglican Church of the Epiphany. There are also two ward (LDS Church), Mormon wards.


Languages

Arabic is the official language of Qatar, with Qatari Arabic the local dialect. Qatari Sign Language is the language of the deaf community. English language, English is commonly used as a second language, and a rising lingua franca, especially in commerce, to the extent that steps are being taken to try to preserve Arabic from English's encroachment. English is particularly useful for communication with Qatar's large expatriate community. In the medical community, and in situations such as the training of nurses to work in Qatar, English acts as a lingua franca. Reflecting the multicultural make-up of the country, many other languages are also spoken, including Persian language, Persian, Baluchi language, Baluchi, Brahui language, Brahui, Hindi, Malayalam, Urdu, Pashto, Kannada language, Kannada, Tamil language, Tamil, Telugu language, Telugu, Nepali language, Nepali, Sinhalese language, Sinhalese, Bengali language, Bengali, Tagalog language, Tagalog, Tulu language, Tulu and Indonesian language, Indonesian. In 2012, Qatar joined the international French-speaking organisation of Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, La Francophonie (OIF) as a new associate member, but in December 2013, the French daily ''Le Monde'' revealed that Qatar, which has very few native French speakers, had not yet paid any contribution to the OIF, while the outgoing Administrator of the OIF complained in 2015 that Qatar had not kept any of the promises it made when it joined the organisation and had never paid its annual membership fees.


Healthcare

Healthcare standards in Qatar are generally high. Qatari citizens are covered by a national health insurance scheme, while expatriates must either receive health insurance from their employers, or in the case of the self-employed, purchase insurance. Qatar's healthcare spending is among the highest in the Middle East, with $4.7 billion being invested in healthcare in 2014. This was a $2.1 billion increase from 2010. The premier healthcare provider in the country is the Hamad Medical Corporation, established by the government as a non-profit healthcare provider, which runs a network of hospitals, an ambulance services, and a home healthcare service, all of which are accredited by the Joint Commission. In 2010, spending on healthcare accounted for 2.2% of the country's GDP; the highest in the Middle East. In 2006, there were 23.12 physicians and 61.81 nurses per 10,000 inhabitants. The life expectancy at birth was 82.08 years in 2014, or 83.27 years for males and 77.95 years for females, rendering it the highest life expectancy in the Middle East. Qatar has a low infant mortality rate of 7 in 100,000. In 2006, there were a total of 25 beds per 10,000 people, and 27.6 doctors and 73.8 nurses per 10,000 people. In 2011, the number of beds decreased to 12 per 10,000 people, whereas the number of doctors increased to 28 per 10,000 people. While the country has one of the lowest proportions of hospital beds in the region, the availability of physicians is the highest in the GCC.


Culture

Qatar's culture is similar to other countries in Eastern Arabia, being significantly influenced by Islam. Qatar National Day, hosted annually on 18 December, has had an important role in developing a sense of national identity. It is observed in remembrance of Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani's succession to the throne and his subsequent unification of the country's various tribes. Since 1 July 2008, Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari has been the Minister for Culture, Arts and Heritage of Qatar.


Arts and museums

Several senior members of Qatar's ruling Al Thani family are noted collectors of Islamic and contemporary art. The Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Museum of Islamic Art, opened in 2008, is regarded as one of the best museums in the region. This, and several other Qatari museums, like the Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Arab Museum of Modern Art, falls under the Qatar Museums Authority (''QMA'') which is led by Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the sister of the ruling Emir of the State of Qatar, and the prominent collector and art patron Sheikh Hassan bin Mohamed bin Ali Al Thani, Hassan bin Mohammed Al Thani. The QMA also sponsors artistic events abroad, such as major exhibitions by Takahashi Murakami in Versailles (2010) and Damien Hirst in London (2012). Qatar is the world's biggest buyer in the art market by value. The Qatari cultural sector is being developed to enable the country to reach world recognition to contribute to the development of a country that comes mainly from its resources from the gas industry. The National Museum of Qatar was opened to the public on 28 March 2019.


Literature

Qatari literature traces its origins back to the 19th century. Originally, written poetry was the most common form of expression. Abdul Jalil Al-Tabatabai and Mohammed bin Abdullah bin Uthaymeen, two poets dating back to the early 19th century, formed the corpus of Qatar's earliest written poetry. Poetry later fell out of favor after Qatar began reaping the profits from oil exports in the mid-20th century and many Qataris abandoned their Bedouin traditions in favor of more urban lifestyles. Due to the increasing number of Qataris who began receiving formal education during the 1950s and other significant societal changes, 1970 witnessed the introduction of the first short story anthology, and in 1993 the first locally authored novels were published. Poetry, particularly the predominant nabati form, retained some importance but would soon be overshadowed by other literary types. Unlike most other forms of art in Qatari society, females have been involved in the modern literature movement on a similar magnitude to males.


Media

Qatar's media was classified as "not free" in the 2014 Freedom of the Press (report), Freedom of the Press report by Freedom House. TV broadcasting in Qatar was started in 1970.
Al Jazeera Al Jazeera ( ar, الجزيرة, translit-std=DIN, translit=al-jazīrah, , literally "The Island", though referring to the Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَ ...
is a main television network headquartered in
Doha Doha ( ar, الدوحة, ad-Dawḥa or ''ad-Dōḥa'') is the capital city, capital and most populous city of Qatar. It has a population of 2,382,000 (2018). The city is located on the coast of the Persian Gulf, Persian gulf in the east of the ...

Doha
, Qatar. Al Jazeera initially launched in 1996 as an Arabic news and current affairs satellite TV channel of the same name, but has since expanded into a global network of several speciality TV channels known collectively as the
Al Jazeera Media Network Al Jazeera Media Network (AJMN) is a Qatari international International is an adjective (also used as a noun) meaning "between nations". International may also refer to: Music Albums * ''International'' (Kevin Michael album), 2011 * ''Inter ...
. It has been reported that journalists practice self-censorship, particularly in regards to the government and House of Thani, ruling family of Qatar. Criticism of the government, Emir and ruling family in the media is illegal. According to article 46 of the press law "The Emir of the state of Qatar shall not be criticised and no statement can be attributed to him unless under a written permission from the manager of his office." Journalists are also subject to prosecution for insulting
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
. In 2014, a Computer crime, Cybercrime Prevention Law was passed. The law is said to restrict press freedom and carries prison sentences and fines for broad reasons such as jeopardising local peace or publishing false news. The Gulf Center for Human Rights has stated that the law is a threat to freedom of speech and has called for certain articles of the law to be revoked. Press media has undergone expansion in recent years. There are currently List of newspapers in Qatar, seven newspapers in circulation in Qatar, with four being published in Arabic and three being published in English. There are also newspapers from India, Nepal and Sri Lanka with editions printed from Qatar. In regards to telecommunication infrastructure, Qatar is the highest-ranked Middle Eastern country in the World Economic Forum's Network Readiness Index (NRI) – an indicator for determining the development level of a country's information and communication technologies. Qatar ranked number 23 overall in the 2014 NRI ranking, unchanged from 2013.


Music

The music of Qatar is based on Bedouin poetry, song and dance. Traditional dances in Doha are performed on Friday afternoons; one such dance is the Ardah, a stylised martial dance performed by two rows of dancers who are accompanied by an array of percussion instruments, including al-ras (drum), al-ras (a large drum whose leather is heated by an open fire), tambourines and cymbals with small drums. Other percussion instruments used in folk music include ''galahs'' (a tall clay jar) and tin drinking cups known as ''tus'' or ''tasat'', usually used in conjunction with a ''tabl'', a longitudinal drum beaten with a stick. String instruments, such as the oud and rebaba, are also commonly used.


Sport

Association football is the most popular sport in Qatar, both in terms of players and spectators. Shortly after the Qatar Football Association became affiliated with FIFA in 1970, one of the country's earliest international accolades came in 1981 when the Qatar national under-20 football team, Qatar national under-20 team's emerged as runners-up to West Germany in that year's 1981 FIFA World Youth Championship, edition of the FIFA World Youth Championship after being defeated 4–0 in the final. At the senior level, Qatar has played host to two editions of the AFC Asian Cup; the first coming being the 9th edition in 1988 AFC Asian Cup, 1988 and the second being the 15th edition held in 2011 AFC Asian Cup, 2011. For the first time in the country's history, the Qatar national football team won the AFC Asian Cup in the 2019 Asian Cup, 2019 edition hosted in the UAE, beating Japan national football team, Japan 3–1 in the final. They won all seven of their matches, conceding only a single goal throughout the tournament. On 2 December 2010, Qatar won their bid to host the
2022 FIFA World Cup The 2022 FIFA World Cup ( ar, 2022 كأس العالم لكرة القدم, '')'' is scheduled to be the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international men's association football championship contested by the List of men's n ...
, despite never previously qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Finals. Local organisers are planning to build 9 new stadiums and expand 3 existing stadiums for this event. Qatar's winning bid for the 2022 World Cup was greeted enthusiastically in the Persian Gulf region as it was the first time a country in the Middle East had been selected to host the tournament. However, the bid has been embroiled in much controversy, including allegations of bribery and interference in the investigation of the alleged bribery. European football associations have also objected to the 2022 World Cup being held in Qatar for a variety of reasons, from the impact of warm temperatures on players' fitness, to the disruption it might cause in European domestic league calendars should the event be rescheduled to take place during winter. In May 2014, Qatari football official Mohammed bin Hammam was accused of making payments totalling £3m to officials in return for their support for the Qatar bid. However, a FIFA inquiry into the bidding process in November 2014 cleared Qatar of any wrongdoing. ''The Guardian'', a British national daily newspaper, produced a short documentary named "Abuse and exploitation of migrant workers preparing emirate for 2022". A 2014 investigation by ''The Guardian'' reports that migrant workers who have been constructing luxurious offices for the organisers of the 2022 World Cup have not been paid in over a year, and are now "working illegally from cockroach-infested lodgings." For 2014, Nepalese migrants involved in constructing infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup died at a rate of one every two days. The Qatar 2022 organising committee have responded to various allegations by claiming that hosting the World Cup in Qatar would act as a "catalyst for change" in the region. Qatar was estimated to host a association football, football fanbase of 1.6 million for the 2022 FIFA World Cup 2022. However, the construction work in country was expected to only take the available 37,000 hotel rooms to 70,000 by the end of 2021. In December 2019, the Qatari World Cup officials approached the organizers of the Glastonbury Festival in England and the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Coachella Festival in the US, to plan huge desert campsites for thousands of football fans. The World Cup campsites on the outskirts were reported to have licensed bars, restaurants, entertainment and washing facilities. Moreover, two cruise ships were also reserved as temporary floating accommodations for nearly 40,000 people during the tournament. Though football is the most popular sport, other team sports have experienced considerable success at senior level. In 2015, the Qatar men's national handball team, national handball team emerged as runners-up to France men's national handball team, France in the 2015 World Men's Handball Championship, World Men's Handball Championship as hosts, however the tournament was marred by numerous controversies regarding the host nation and its team. Further, in 2014, Qatar national 3x3 team, Qatar won the world championship in men's FIBA 3x3 World Championships, 3x3 basketball. Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha hosted the WTA Tour Championships in women's tennis between 2008 and 2010. Doha holds the Women's Tennis Association, WTA Premier tournament Qatar Ladies Open annually. Since 2002, Qatar has hosted the annual Tour of Qatar, a cycling race in six stages. Every February, riders are racing on the roads across Qatar's flat land for six days. Each stage covers a distance of more than 100 km, though the time trial usually is a shorter distance. Tour of Qatar is organised by the Qatar Cycling Federation for professional riders in the category of Elite Men. The Qatar Army Skydiving Team has several different skydiving disciplines placing among the top nations in the world. The Qatar National Parachute team performs annually during Qatar's National Day and at other large events, such as the 2015 World Handball Championship. Doha four times was the host of the official FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship and three times host FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship. Doha one time Host 1997 Asian Men's Volleyball Championship, Asian Volleyball Championship. On 3 September 2020, the Education City Stadium hosted its first-ever official match, where the local clubs Al Sadd SC and Al Kharaitiyat SC contested the season-opener of the 2020–21 Qatar Stars League.


Education

Qatar hired the RAND Corporation to reform its K–12 education system. Through Qatar Foundation, the country has built Education City, a campus which hosts local branches of the Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Weill Cornell Medical College, Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Northwestern University in Qatar, Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, Texas A&M University at Qatar, Texas A&M's School of Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University - Qatar, Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts and other Western institutions. The List of countries by literacy rate, illiteracy rate in Qatar was 3.1% for males and 4.2% for females in 2012, the lowest in the Arab-speaking world, but 86th in the world. Citizens are required to attend government-provided education from kindergarten through high school. Qatar University, founded in 1973, is the country's oldest and largest institution of higher education. In November 2002, emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani created The Supreme Education Council (Qatar), The Supreme Education Council. The Council directs and controls education for all ages from the Nursery school, pre-school level through the university level, including the "Education for a New Era" initiative which was established to try to position Qatar as a leader in education reform. According to the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, the top-ranking universities in the country are Qatar University (1,881st worldwide), Texas A&M University at Qatar (3,905th) and Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (6,855th). In 2009, Qatar established the Qatar Science & Technology Park in Education City to link those universities with industry. Education City is also home to a fully School accreditation, accredited international Baccalaureate school, Qatar Academy. In addition, two Canadian institutions, the College of the North Atlantic (headquarters in Newfoundland and Labrador) and the University of Calgary, have inaugurated campuses in Doha. Other For-profit school, for-profit universities have also established campuses in the city. In 2012, Qatar was ranked third from the bottom of the 65 OECD countries participating in the PISA test of maths, reading and skills for 15- and 16-year-olds, comparable to Colombia or Albania, despite having the highest per capita income in the world. Qatar was ranked 70th in the Global Innovation Index in 2020, down from 65th in 2019. As part of its national development strategy, Qatar has outlined a 10-year strategic plan to improve the level of education. The government has launched educational outreach programs, such as AL-Bairaq, Al-Bairaq. Al-Bairaq was launched in 2010 aims to provide high school students with an opportunity to experience a research environment in the Center for Advanced Materials in Qatar University. The program encompasses the STEM fields and languages.


Science and technology

Launched in 2006 as part of an initiative of the quasi-governmental Qatar Foundation, the Qatar National Research Fund was created with the intent of securing public funds for scientific research within the country. The fund functions as a means for Qatar to diversify its economy from a primarily oil and gas-based one to a Knowledge economy, knowledge-based economy. The Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) was established by Qatar Foundation in March 2009 as an attempt to assist the country's transition towards a knowledge economy. With a seed capital of $800 million and initially hosting 21 organizations, the QSTP became Qatar's first free-trade zone.


See also

* List of Qatar-related topics * Outline of Qatar *
2022 FIFA World Cup The 2022 FIFA World Cup ( ar, 2022 كأس العالم لكرة القدم, '')'' is scheduled to be the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international men's association football championship contested by the List of men's n ...


References


Further reading

* Bianco, C. (2020a). The GCC monarchies: Perceptions of the Iranian threat amid shifting geopolitics. The International Spectator, 55(2), 92–107. * Bianco, C. (2020b). A Gulf apart: How Europe can gain influence with the Gulf Cooperation Council. European Council on Foreign Relations, February 2020. Available at https://ecfr.eu/archive/page/-/a_gulf_apart_how_europe_can_gain_influence_with_gulf_cooperation_council.pdf. * Bianco, C. (2021). Can Europe Choreograph a Saudi-Iranian Détente? European University Institute, Robert Schuman Center for Advanced Studies, Middle East Directions. Available at: https://cadmus.eui.eu/bitstream/handle/1814/70351/PB_2021_10-MED.pdf?sequence=1. * Bianco, C., & Stansfield, G. (2018). The intra-GCC crises: Mapping GCC fragmentation after 2011. International Affairs, 94(3), 613–635. * Miniaoui, Héla, ed. Economic Development in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries: From Rentier States to Diversified Economies. Vol. 1. Springer Nature, 2020. * Guzansky, Y., & Even, S. (2020). The economic crisis in the Gulf States: A challenge to the “contract” between rulers and ruled. INSS Insight No. 1327, June 1, 2020. Available at https://www.INSS.org.il/publication/gulf-states-economy/?offset=7&posts=201&outher=Yoel%20Guzansky. * Guzansky, Y., & Marshall, Z. A. (2020). The Abraham accords: Immediate significance and long-term implications. Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, 1–11. * Guzansky, Y., & Segal, E. (2020). All in the family: Leadership changes in the Gulf. INSS Insight No. 1378, August 30, 2020. Available at: https://www.INSS.org.il/publication/gulf-royal-families/?offset=1&posts=201&outher=Yoel%20Guzansky * Guzansky, Y., & Winter, O. (2020). Apolitical Normalization: A New Approach to Jews in Arab States. INSS Insight No. 1332, June 8, 2020. Available at: https://www.INSS.org.il/publication/judaism-in-the-arab-world/?offset=5&posts=201&outher=Yoel%20Guzansky. * Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/290349218_The_political_algebra_of_global_value_change_General_models_and_implications_for_the_Muslim_world * * Woertz, Eckart. "Wither the self-sufficiency illusion? Food security in Arab Gulf States and the impact of COVID-19." Food Security 12.4 (2020): 757-760. * Zweiri, Mahjoob, Md Mizanur Rahman, and Arwa Kamal, eds. The 2017 Gulf Crisis: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Vol. 3. Springer Nature, 2020.


External links


Amiri Diwan
(official government website). *
Qatar
''The World Factbook''. Central Intelligence Agency. * *
Qatar
from the BBC News. *
Key Development Forecasts for Qatar
from International Futures.
Legal Portal
by the Ministry of Justice, including official gazette. {{Authority control Qatar, Arabian Peninsula Arabic-speaking countries and territories Emirates Member states of the Arab League Member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council Member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Member states of the United Nations Middle Eastern countries Near Eastern countries Peninsulas of Asia States and territories established in 1971 Western Asian countries Countries in Asia Former OPEC member states