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Qatar (, ; 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 ...
. It occupies the
Qatar Peninsula Qatar is a peninsula in the east of Arabia, bordering the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia, in a strategic location near major petroleum deposits. The Qatar, State of Qatar occupies on a peninsula that extends approximately to north into the Pers ...
on the northeastern coast of the
Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula, (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") or Arabia, is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa Africa is t ...
in the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233: ) is a geopolitical region commonly encompassing Arabian Peninsula, Arabia (including the Arabian Peninsula and Bahrain), Anatolia, Asia Minor (Asian part of Turkey except Hatay Pro ...
; it shares its sole land border with
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia, officially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), is a country in Western Asia. It covers the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and has a land area of about , making it the List of Asian countries by area, fifth-largest country in Asia ...
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 Persis, Fars, ), sometimes called the ( ar, اَلْخَلِيْجُ ٱلْعَرَبِيُّ, Al-Khalīj al-ˁArabī), is a Mediterranean sea (oceanography), me ...
. 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 Persis, Fars, ), sometimes called the ( ar, اَلْخَلِيْجُ ٱلْعَرَبِيُّ, Al-Khalīj ...
, an inlet of the Persian Gulf, separates Qatar from nearby
Bahrain Bahrain ( ; ; ar, البحرين, al-Bahrayn, locally ), officially the Kingdom of Bahrain, ' is an island country in Western Asia. It is situated on the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, Persian Gulf, and comprises a small archipelago made u ...
. The capital is
Doha Doha ( ar, الدوحة, ad-Dawḥa or ''ad-Dōḥa'') is the capital city and main financial hub of Qatar. Located on the Persian Gulf coast in the east of the country, north of Al Wakrah and south of Al Khor, it is home to most of the cou ...
, home to over 80% of the country's inhabitants, and the land area is mostly made up of flat, low-lying desert. Qatar has been ruled as a
hereditary monarchy A hereditary monarchy is a form of government and succession of power in which the throne passes from one member of a royal family, ruling family to another member of the same family. A series of rulers from the same family would constitute a dyna ...
by the
House of Thani The House of Thani ( ar, الثاني , translit=Al Thani) is the ruling family of Qatar, with origins tracing back to the Banu Tamim tribal confederation. History and structure The Al Thanis can be traced back to Mudar bin Nizar. The tribe w ...
since Mohammed bin Thani signed a treaty with the British in 1868 that recognised its separate status. Following Ottoman rule, Qatar became a British protectorate in 1916, and gained independence in 1971. The current emir is
Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani ( ar, تميم بن حمد بن خليفة آل ثاني; born 3 June 1980, Doha, Qatar) is the Emir of Qatar who succeeded his father, Sheikh Hamad, after Hamad abdicated in his favour. Tamim is the fourth son o ...
, who holds nearly all executive and legislative authority under the
Constitution of Qatar The Constitution of Qatar ''( Dastūr Qatar'') is the constitution, supreme law of the State of Qatar. It came into effect on 9 April 2004. The constitution was overwhelmingly approved, with almost 98% in favour. Preamble The constitution lacks ...
, as well as controlling the judiciary. He appoints the
prime minister A prime minister, premier or chief of cabinet is the head of the Cabinet (government), cabinet and the leader of the Minister (government), ministers in the Executive (government), executive branch of government, often in a parliamentary syst ...
and cabinet. The partially-elected Consultative Assembly can block legislation and has a limited ability to dismiss ministers. In early 2017, the total population of Qatar was 2.6 million, with 313,000 of them Qatari citizens and 2.3 million
expatriate An expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person who domicile (law), resides outside their native country. In common usage, the term often refers to educated professionals, skilled workers, or artists taking positions outside their home c ...
s. Its
official religion A state religion (also called religious state or official religion) is a religion or creed officially endorsed by a sovereign state. A state with an official religion (also known as confessional state), while not secular state, secular, is not n ...
is
Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God in Islam, God (or ''Allah'') as it was revealed to Muh ...
. In terms of
income Income is the Consumption (economics), consumption and saving opportunity gained by an entity within a specified timeframe, which is generally expressed in monetary terms. Income is difficult to define conceptually and the definition may be diff ...
, the country has the fourth-highest GDP (PPP) per capita in the world, and the eleventh-highest GNI per capita (Atlas method). Qatar ranks 42nd in the
Human Development Index The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic composite index of life expectancy, Education Index, education (mean years of schooling completed and expected years of schooling upon entering the Educational system, education system), ...
, the third-highest HDI in the
Arab world The Arab world ( ar, اَلْعَالَمُ الْعَرَبِيُّ '), formally the Arab homeland ( '), also known as the Arab nation ( '), the Arabsphere, or the Arab states, refers to a vast group of countries, mainly located in Western A ...
. It is a high-income economy, backed by the world's third-largest natural gas reserves and oil reserves. Qatar is one of the world's largest exporters of liquefied natural gas, and the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide per capita. In the 21st century, Qatar emerged as a
middle power In international relations, a middle power is a sovereign state A sovereign state or sovereign country, is a polity, political entity represented by one central government that has supreme legitimate authority over territory. Internationa ...
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) (Arabic: الجزيرة‎, romanized: al-jazīrah, IPA: l (d)ʒæˈziːrɐ , referring to the Qatar Peninsula) is a Qatari international state-owned public media conglomerate headquartered at Qatar Radio and ...
, 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 Tunisia in response to corruption and econ ...
. Qatar forms part of the
Gulf Cooperation Council The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf ( ar, مجلس التعاون لدول العربية الخليج ), also known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC; ar, مجلس التعاون الخليجي), is a regional, inter ...
. Qatar's human rights record has been regarded by
academics An academy (Attic Greek: Ἀκαδήμεια; Koine Greek Ἀκαδημία) is an institution of secondary education, secondary or tertiary education, tertiary higher education, higher learning (and generally also research or honorary membershi ...
and
non-governmental organisations A non-governmental organization (NGO) or non-governmental organisation (see American and British English spelling differences#-ise, -ize (-isation, -ization), spelling differences) is an organization that generally is formed independent from g ...
as being generally poor, with restrictions on
civil liberties Civil liberties are guarantees and freedoms that governments commit not to abridge, either by constitution, legislation, or judicial interpretation, without due process. Though the scope of the term differs between countries, civil liberties may ...
such as the freedoms of association, expression and the press, as well as its treatment of thousands of migrant workers amounting to
forced labour Forced labour, or unfree labour, is any work relation, especially in modern history, modern or Early Modern period, early modern history, in which people are employed against their will with the threat of poverty, destitution, detention (imp ...
for projects in the country. Qatar hosted the
2022 FIFA World Cup The 2022 FIFA World Cup is an international association football, football tournament contested by the men's national teams of FIFA's member associations. The 22nd FIFA World Cup is taking place in Qatar from 20 November to 18 December 2022 ...
becoming the first country in the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233: ) is a geopolitical region commonly encompassing Arabian Peninsula, Arabia (including the Arabian Peninsula and Bahrain), Anatolia, Asia Minor (Asian part of Turkey except Hatay Pro ...
to do so,
2006 Asian Games The 2006 Asian Games ( ar, دورة الألعاب الآسيوية 2006, Dawrat al-ʼAl‘ab al-Asīawīah 2006), officially known as the XV Asiad, was an Asian multi-sport event held in Doha, Qatar from December 1 to 15, 2006, with 424 events i ...
,
1988 File:1988 Events Collage.png, From left, clockwise: The oil platform Piper Alpha explodes and collapses in the North Sea, killing 165 workers; The USS Vincennes (CG-49) mistakenly shoots down Iran Air Flight 655; Australia celebrates its Australian ...
and
2011 AFC Asian Cup The 2011 AFC Asian Cup was the 15th edition of the men's AFC Asian Cup, a quadrennial international association football, football tournament organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The finals were held in Qatar from 7 to 29 January ...
and will host the
2023 AFC Asian Cup The 2023 AFC Asian Cup will be the 18th edition of the AFC Asian Cup, the quadrennial international men's association football, football championship of Asia organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). It will involve 24 national teams ...
and
2030 Asian Games The 2030 Asian Games ( ar, دورة الألعاب الآسيوية 2030, Dawrat al-ʼAl‘ab al-Asīawīah 2030), officially known as the XXI Asiad ( ar, الـ21 من الآسياد, Al 21 mn-Alīsyad) and commonly known as Doha 2030, will be the ...
. Qatar by Numbeo Crime Index by City 2021 named Doha the second-safest city in the world. The index tracks safety in 431 cities. In 2020, Qatar retained its position as the safest country in the world, and No. 1 in the Numbeo Global Index. This marked the third time Qatar was named the safest destination worldwide in the last five years.


Etymology

Pliny the Elder Gaius Plinius Secundus (AD 23/2479), called Pliny the Elder (), was a Roman Empire, Roman author, Natural history, naturalist and Natural philosophy, natural philosopher, and naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and a friend of t ...
, 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 that may have derived from the name of a prominent local settlement. A century later,
Ptolemy Claudius Ptolemy (; grc-gre, wikt:Πτολεμαῖος, Πτολεμαῖος, ; la, Claudius Ptolemaeus; AD) was a mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, geographer, and music theorist, who wrote about a dozen scientific Treatise, treatis ...
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 (MWA), terms used mostly by linguists, is the variety of Standard language, standardized, Literary language, literary Arabic that developed in the Arab world in the late 19th and early 20th ...
, the name is pronounced , while in the local dialect it is . English speakers use different approximate pronunciations of the name as the Arabic pronunciations use sounds not often used in English.


History


Antiquity

Human habitation in Qatar dates back to 50,000 years ago. Settlements and tools dating back to the
Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistory, prehistoric period during which Rock (geology), stone was widely used to make tools with an edge, a point, or a percussion surface. The period lasted for roughly 3.4 million years, and ended between 4,0 ...
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 (LOC) is the research library A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are accessible for use and not just for display purposes. A library provides physical (hard copies) or digital access (so ...
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 Feder ...
(January 1993). ''This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the
public domain The public domain (PD) consists of all the creative work to which no Exclusive exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have expired, been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable. Because those rights have ...
''.
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن or ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the northern part of the F ...
n artifacts originating from the
Ubaid period The Ubaid period (c. 6500–3700 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 in 1919 by Henry Hall (Egyptologist) ...
(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 accomm ...
, 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, who controlled Babylonia after the fall of the Old Babylonian Empire c. 1531 BC and until c. 1155 BC (Chronology_of_the_ancient_Near_East#Variant_Middle_Bronze_Age_chronologies, short chron ...
Babylonia Babylonia (; Akkadian: , ''māt Akkadī'') was an ancient Akkadian-speaking state and cultural area based in the city of Babylon in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq and parts of Syria). It emerged as an Amorites, Amorite-ruled ...
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 on the northeast coast of Qatar. It accommodates the only archaeological site in the country ...
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 (, ) and also referred to by historians as the Neo-Persian Empire, was the History of Iran, last Iranian empire before the early Muslim conquests of the 7th-8th cen ...
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 religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious groups, world's ...
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' (
Syriac Syriac may refer to: *Syriac language, an ancient dialect of Middle Aramaic *Sureth, one of the modern dialects of Syriac spoken in the Nineveh Plains region * Syriac alphabet ** Syriac (Unicode block) ** Syriac Supplement * Neo-Aramaic languages a ...
for "house of the Qataris"). The region was not limited to Qatar; it also included
Bahrain Bahrain ( ; ; ar, البحرين, al-Bahrayn, locally ), officially the Kingdom of Bahrain, ' is an island country in Western Asia. It is situated on the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, Persian Gulf, and comprises a small archipelago made u ...
, Tarout Island, Al-Khatt, and Al-Hasa. In 628, the Islamic prophet
Muhammad Muhammad ( ar, مُحَمَّد;  570 – 8 June 632 Common Era, CE) was an Arab religious, social, and political leader and the founder of Islam. According to Muhammad in Islam, Islamic doctrine, he was a prophet Divine inspiration, di ...
sent a Muslim envoy to a ruler in Eastern Arabia named Munzir ibn Sawa Al Tamimi 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 from 633 to 654 AD and led to the fall of the Sasanian Empire as well as the eventual decline of the Zoroastrianism, Zoroastrian ...
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 caliphate A caliphate or khilāfah ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an institut ...
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, الْخِلَافَةُ الْعَبَّاسِيَّة, ') was the third caliphate to succeed the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It was founded by a dynasty descended from Muhammad's uncle, Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttalib ...
era. Ships voyaging from
Basra Basra ( ar, ٱلْبَصْرَة, al-Baṣrah) is an Iraqi city located on the Shatt al-Arab. It had an estimated population of 1.4 million in 2018. Basra is also Iraq's main port, although it does not have deep water access, which is han ...
to
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...
and
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
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, الْخِلَافَةُ الْعَبَّاسِيَّة, ') was the third caliphate to succeed the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It was founded by a dynasty descended from Muhammad's uncle, Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttalib ...
fort were constructed in Murwab 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-ʿAbdullāh al-Rūmī al-Ḥamawī (1179–1229) ( ar, ياقوت الحموي الرومي) was a Muslim scholar of Byzantine Greeks, Byzantine Greek ancestry active during the late Abbasid Caliphate, Abbasid period ( ...
's book, ''
Mu'jam Al-Buldan Yāqūt Shihāb al-Dīn ibn-ʿAbdullāh al-Rūmī al-Ḥamawī (1179–1229) ( ar, ياقوت الحموي الرومي) was a Muslim scholar of Byzantine Greek Medieval Greek (also known as Middle Greek, Byzantine Greek, or Romaic) is the ...
'', 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 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 and extended as far as Bahrain in the west at its zenith. The Kingdom was established in 11th century initially as a depe ...
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 list of Portuguese monarchs, King of Portugal from 1495 to 1521. A member of the House of Aviz, Manuel was Duke of Beja and Duke of Viseu, Viseu prior to su ...
vassalised the Kingdom of Ormus.
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a Sovereign state, country whose mainland is located on the Iberian Peninsula of Southern Europe, Southwestern Europe, and whose territory also includes ...
went on to seize a significant portion of Eastern Arabia in 1521. In 1550, the inhabitants of Al-Hasa voluntarily submitted to the rule of the
Ottomans The Ottoman Turks ( tr, Osmanlı Türkleri), were the Turkic founding and sociopolitically the most dominant ethnic group of the Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire, * ; is an archaic version. The definite article forms and were synony ...
, 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, DIN 31635: , , plural ar, عَرَب, DIN 31635: , Arabic pronunciation: ), also known as the Arab people, are an ethnic grou ...
tribe and their emirate in 1670.


Bahraini and Saudi rule (1783–1868)

In 1766, members of the Al Khalifa family of the Utub tribal confederation migrated from
Kuwait Kuwait (; ar, الكويت ', or ), officially the State of Kuwait ( ar, دولة الكويت '), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated in the northern edge of Eastern Arabia at the tip of the Persian Gulf, bordering Iraq to Iraq–Ku ...
to Zubarah 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 clans and allied Arab tribes invaded and annexed
Bahrain Bahrain ( ; ; ar, البحرين, al-Bahrayn, locally ), officially the Kingdom of Bahrain, ' is an island country in Western Asia. It is situated on the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, Persian Gulf, and comprises a small archipelago made u ...
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, مصر , ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning the North Africa, northeast corner of Africa and Western Asia, southwest corner of Asia via a land bridg ...
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 an Arabian country located in southwestern Asia. It is situated on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, and spans the mouth of t ...
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 in order to redeploy his troops. Said bin Sultan, 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 was effectively returned to power thereafter. As punishment for piracy, an
East India Company The East India Company (EIC) was an English, and later British, joint-stock company founded in 1600 and dissolved in 1874. It was formed to Indian Ocean trade, trade in the Indian Ocean region, initially with the East Indies (the Indian subco ...
vessel bombarded
Doha Doha ( ar, الدوحة, ad-Dawḥa or ''ad-Dōḥa'') is the capital city and main financial hub of Qatar. Located on the Persian Gulf coast in the east of the country, north of Al Wakrah and south of Al Khor, it is home to most of the cou ...
in 1821, destroying the town and forcing hundreds of residents to flee. In 1825, the
House of Thani The House of Thani ( ar, الثاني , translit=Al Thani) is the ruling family of Qatar, with origins tracing back to the Banu Tamim tribal confederation. History and structure The Al Thanis can be traced back to Mudar bin Nizar. The tribe w ...
was established with Sheikh Mohammed bin Thani 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 ظَبِي ' ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in the United Arab Emirates, second-most populous city (after Dubai) of the United Arab Emirates. It is also the capital of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi ...
, sent a massive naval force to
Al Wakrah Al Wakrah ( ar, الوكرة, al-Wakra) 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's immediate n ...
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, Arabian Gulf. The conflict pitted History of Bahrain (1783–1971), Bahrain and Emirate o ...
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
Vilayet of Baghdad ota, ولايت بغداد''Vilâyet-i Bagdad'' , conventional_long_name = Baghdad Vilayet , common_name = Baghdad Vilayet , subdivision = Vilayet , nation = Ottoman Empire , year_start = 18 ...
,
Midhat Pasha Ahmed Şefik Midhat Pasha ( ota , احمد شفيق مدحت پاشا, 18 October 1822 – 26 April 1883) was an Ottoman democrat, kingmaker and one of the leading statesmen during the late Tanzimat The Tanzimat (; ota, تنظيمات, tr ...
, the ruling
Al Thani The House of Thani ( ar, الثاني , translit=Al Thani) is the ruling family of Qatar, with origins tracing back to the Banu Tamim tribal confederation. History and structure The Al Thanis can be traced back to Mudar bin Nizar. The tribe w ...
tribe submitted to Ottoman rule in 1871. The Ottoman government imposed reformist (
Tanzimat The Tanzimat (; ota, تنظيمات, translit=Tanzimāt, lit=Reorganization, ''see'' wikt:نظام, nizām) was a period of reform in the Ottoman Empire that began with the Edict of Gülhane, Gülhane Hatt-ı Şerif in 1839 and ended with the F ...
) measures concerning taxation and land registration to fully integrate these areas into the empire. Despite the disapproval of local tribes, Al Thani continued supporting the 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 ظَبِي ' ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in the United Arab Emirates, second-most populous city (after Dubai) of the United Arab Emirates. It is also the capital of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi ...
-occupied Khawr al Udayd. In addition, the Ottomans supported the Ottoman subject Mohammed bin Abdul Wahab who attempted to supplant Al Thani as
kaymakam Kaymakam, also known by #Names, many other romanizations, was a title used by various officials of the Ottoman Empire, including acting grand viziers, governors of provincial sanjaks, and administrators of district kazas. The title has been reta ...
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 and main financial hub of Qatar. Located on the Persian Gulf coast in the east of the country, north of Al Wakrah and south of Al Khor, it is home to most of the cou ...
), 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 " rated") warship. The warship class above the corvette is that of the frigate, while the class below was historically that of the sl ...
''Merrikh'' as punishment for his insubordination. After Mehmed declined an offer to release the captives for a fee of 10,000 liras, he ordered a column of approximately 200 troops to advance towards Jassim's Al Wajbah Fort under the command of Yusuf Effendi, thus signalling the start of the Battle of Al Wajbah. 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 po ...
by land. Although Qatar did not gain full independence from the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire, * ; is an archaic version. The definite article forms and were synonymous * and el, Оθωμανική Αυτοκρατορία, Othōmanikē Avtokratoria, label=none * info page on book at Martin Luther University) ...
, 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 (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
, 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 the prior consent of the
British government ga, Rialtas a Shoilse gd, Riaghaltas a Mhòrachd , image = HM Government logo.svg , image_size = 220px , image2 = Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg , image_size2 = 180px , caption = Royal coat of arms of t ...
, 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 United Kingdom, British company founded in 1909 following the discovery of a large oil field in Masjed Soleiman, Persia (Name of Iran, Iran). The Government of the United Kingdom#History, British governme ...
, 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 world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
. The focus of British interests in Qatar changed after the Second World War with the independence of India, the creation of
Pakistan Pakistan ( ur, ), officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan ( ur, , label=none), is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a population of almost 24 ...
in 1947, and the development of oil in Qatar. In 1949, the appointment of the first British political officer in Doha, John Wilton, signified 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 has 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 ( '), also known as the Trucial Coast ( '), the Trucial Sheikhdoms ( '), Trucial Arabia or Trucial Oman, was the name the British government gave to a group of tribal confederations in southeastern Arabian Peninsula, Arabia ...
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, اَلْإِمَارَات الْعَرَبِيَة الْمُتَحِدَة ), or simply the Emirates ( ar, الِْإمَارَات ), is a country in Western Asia (Middle East, The Middle East). It is ...
.


Independence and later (1971–2000)

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, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the European mainland, continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotlan ...
. 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 1990–1991 armed campaign waged by a Coalition of the Gulf War, 35-country military coalition in response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Spearheaded by the United States, the coalition's efforts against Ba'athist Iraq, ...
, particularly during the Battle of Khafji in which Qatari tanks rolled through the streets of the town and provided fire support for Saudi Arabian National Guard units that were engaging
Iraqi Army The Iraqi Ground Forces (Arabic: القوات البرية العراقية), or the Iraqi Army (Arabic: الجيش العراقي), is the ground force component of the Iraqi Armed Forces. It was known as the Royal Iraqi Army up until the 14 Jul ...
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 An aerodrome (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, ...
to launch aircraft on CAP 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 الثاني; 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 ...
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 ( ar, خليفة بن حمد آل ثاني; 17 September 1932 – 23 October 2016) was the Emir of Qatar from 1972 Qatari coup d'état, 27 February 1972 until he was depos ...
, with the support of the armed forces and cabinet, as well as neighbouring states and
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
.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, en-GB, or BE) is, according to Oxford Dictionaries, " English as used in Great Britain, as distinct from that used elsewhere". More narrowly, it can refer specificall ...
, including the launch of the
Al Jazeera Al Jazeera ( ar, الجزيرة, translit-std=DIN, translit=al-jazīrah, , "The Island") is a state-owned Arabic-language international radio and TV broadcaster of Qatar. It is based in Doha and operated by the media conglomerate Al Jaz ...
television station (1996), the endorsement of
women's suffrage Women's suffrage is the women's rights, right of women to Suffrage, vote in elections. Beginning in the start of the 18th century, some people sought to change voting laws to allow women to vote. Liberal political parties would go on to gran ...
or right to vote in municipal elections (1999), drafting its first written
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity A polity is an identifiable Politics, political entity – a group of people with a collective identity, who ...
(2005) and inauguration of a Roman Catholic church (2008).


21st century

Qatar's economy and status as a regional power rapidly grew in the 2000s. According to the UN, the nation's economic growth, measured by GDP, was the fastest in the world during this decade. The basis of this growth lies in the exploitation of
natural gas Natural gas (also called fossil gas or simply gas) is a naturally occurring mixture of gaseous hydrocarbons consisting primarily of methane in addition to various smaller amounts of other higher alkanes. Low levels of trace gases like carbon di ...
in the North Field during the 1990s. Concurrently, the population of Qatar tripled between 2001 and 2011, mostly due to an influx of foreigners. In 2003, Qatar served as the US Central Command headquarters and one of the main launching sites of the
invasion of Iraq The 2003 invasion of Iraq was a United States-led invasion of the Ba'athist Iraq, Republic of Iraq and the first stage of the Iraq War. The invasion phase began on 19 March 2003 (air) and 20 March 2003 (ground) and lasted just over one mont ...
. In March 2005, a
suicide bombing A suicide attack is any violent attack, usually entailing the attacker detonating an explosive, where the attacker has accepted their own death as a direct result of the attacking method used. Suicide attacks have occurred throughout history ...
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 2010, Qatar won the right to host the
2022 FIFA World Cup The 2022 FIFA World Cup is an international association football, football tournament contested by the men's national teams of FIFA's member associations. The 22nd FIFA World Cup is taking place in Qatar from 20 November to 18 December 2022 ...
, making it the first country in the Middle East to be selected to host the tournament. The awarding increased further investment and developments within the nation during the 2010s. In June 2013, Sheikh
Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani ( ar, تميم بن حمد بن خليفة آل ثاني; born 3 June 1980, Doha, Qatar) is the Emir of Qatar who succeeded his father, Sheikh Hamad, after Hamad abdicated in his favour. Tamim is the fourth son o ...
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. 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 inter-parliamentary institution, international organization of national parliaments. Its primary purpose is to promote democratic governance, accountability, and coop ...
Assembly for the first time in April 2019. 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, اَلْإِمَارَات الْعَرَبِيَة الْمُتَحِدَة ), or simply the Emirates ( ar, الِْإمَارَات ), is a country in Western Asia (Middle East, The Middle East). It is ...
(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 hosted the
2022 FIFA World Cup The 2022 FIFA World Cup is an international association football, football tournament contested by the men's national teams of FIFA's member associations. The 22nd FIFA World Cup is taking place in Qatar from 20 November to 18 December 2022 ...
from 21 November to 18 December, becoming the first Arab and Muslim-majority country to do so, and the third Asian country to host it following the
2002 FIFA World Cup The 2002 FIFA World Cup, also branded as Korea Japan 2002, was the 17th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial Association football, football world championship for List of men's national association football teams, men's national teams organized by ...
in Japan and South Korea.


Politics

Qatar is officially a
semi-constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises their authority in accordance with a constitution and is not alone in decision making. Constitutional monarchies dif ...
,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.
but the wide powers retained by the monarchy have it still bordering an
absolute monarchy Absolute monarchy (or Absolutism as a doctrine) is a form of monarchy in which the monarch rules in their own right or power. In an absolute monarchy, the king or queen is by no means limited and has absolute power, though a limited constitut ...
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 the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity A polity is an identifiable Politics, political entity – a group of people with a collective identity, who ...
that provided for the direct election of 30 of the 45 members of a legislature. The constitution was overwhelmingly approved in a referendum, with almost 98% in favour. Despite this, the government remains
authoritarian Authoritarianism is a political system characterized by the rejection of political plurality, the use of strong central power to preserve the political ''status quo'', and reductions in the rule of law, separation of powers, and democratic votin ...
. The eighth Emir of Qatar is
Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani ( ar, تميم بن حمد بن خليفة آل ثاني; born 3 June 1980, Doha, Qatar) is the Emir of Qatar who succeeded his father, Sheikh Hamad, after Hamad abdicated in his favour. Tamim is the fourth son o ...
, 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 الثاني; 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 ...
handed power to him on 25 June 2013. The Emir has the exclusive power to appoint the
prime minister A prime minister, premier or chief of cabinet is the head of the Cabinet (government), cabinet and the leader of the Minister (government), ministers in the Executive (government), executive branch of government, often in a parliamentary syst ...
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. The Consultative Assembly is made up of 30 popularly-elected members and 15 appointed by the emir. It can block legislation with a simple majority and can dismiss ministers, including the prime minister, with a two-thirds vote. The assembly had its first elections in October 2021 after several postponements. 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 body of religious law that forms a part of the Islamic tradition. It is derived from the Five Pillars of Islam, religious precepts of Islam and is based on the Islamic holy books, sacred scriptures o ...
is the main source of Qatari legislation, although, in practice, Qatar's legal system is a mixture of civil law 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 that deals with family matters and domestic relations. Overview Subjects that commonly fall under a nation's body of family law include: * Marriage, ...
,
inheritance Inheritance is the practice of receiving private property, titles, debts, entitlements, privileges, rights, and obligations upon the death Death is the Irreversible process, irreversible cessation of all biological process, biolog ...
, and several criminal acts (including adultery, robbery, and murder). In some cases, Sharia-based
family court Family courts were originally created to be a Court of Equity convened to decide matters and make orders in relation to family law, including child custody, custody of children, and could disregard certain legal requirements as long as the petiti ...
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 The judiciary (also known as the judicial system, judicature, judicial branch, judiciative branch, and court or judiciary system) is the system of courts that adjudication, adjudicates legal disputes/disagreements and interprets, defends, and app ...
is a punishment in Qatar. Only Muslims considered medically fit are liable to have such sentences carried out.
Flogging Flagellation (Latin , '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. Typically, 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 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. 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 where a group throws stones at a person until the subject dies from blunt trauma. It has been attested as a form of punishment for grave misdeeds since ancient times. The Torah and Tal ...
is a legal punishment in Qatar, and
apostasy Apostasy (; grc-gre, ἀποστασία , 'a defection or revolt') is the formal disaffiliation from, abandonment of, or renunciation of a religion by a person. It can also be defined within the broader context of embracing an opinion that ...
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, romant ...
are crimes punishable by the
death penalty Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the State (polity), state-sanctioned practice of deliberately killing a person as a punishment for an actual or supposed crime, usually following an authorized, rule-governed process to ...
; however, the penalty has not been carried out for either crime.
Blasphemy Blasphemy is a speech crimes, speech crime and religious crime usually defined as an utterance that shows contempt, disrespects or insults a deity, an object considered sacred or something considered inviolable. Some religions regard blasphemy ...
can result in up to seven years in prison, while proselytising can incur a 10-year sentence.
Alcohol Alcohol most commonly refers to: * Alcohol (chemistry) In chemistry, an alcohol is a type of organic compound that carries at least one hydroxyl () functional group bound to a Saturated and unsaturated compounds, saturated carbon atom. The ...
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 , '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. Typically, 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 flag carrier airline of Qatar. Headquartered in the Qatar Airways Tower in Doha, the airline operates a hub-and-spoke networ ...
) 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 had indicated a willingness to allow alcohol in "fan zones" at the
2022 FIFA World Cup The 2022 FIFA World Cup is an international association football, football tournament contested by the men's national teams of FIFA's member associations. The 22nd FIFA World Cup is taking place in Qatar from 20 November to 18 December 2022 ...
. However, on 18 November, two days before the start of the games, Qatari officials announced alcoholic beverages would no longer be permitted within the stadiums. 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 have led some analysts to identify it as a
middle power In international relations, a middle power is a sovereign state A sovereign state or sovereign country, is a polity, political entity represented by one central government that has supreme legitimate authority over territory. Internationa ...
. Qatar was an early member of
OPEC The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC, ) is a cartel of countries. Founded on 14 September 1960 in Baghdad by the first five members (Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela), it has, since 1965, been headquart ...
and a founding member of the
Gulf Cooperation Council The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf ( ar, مجلس التعاون لدول العربية الخليج ), also known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC; ar, مجلس التعاون الخليجي), is a regional, inter ...
(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 The Arab world ( ar, اَلْعَالَمُ ال ...
. Diplomatic missions to Qatar are based in its capital, Doha. Qatar's regional relations and foreign policies are characterized by the 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 comparatively 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. 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, the 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 studies, Islamic scholar and scho ...
. 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. Qatar participated in the
Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen Saudi may refer to: * Saudi Arabia * Saudis, people from Saudi Arabia * Saudi culture, the culture of Saudi Arabia * House of Saud, the ruling family of Saudi Arabia {{disambiguation ...
against the
Houthis The Houthi movement (; ar, ٱلْحُوثِيُّون ''al-Ḥūthīyūn'' ), officially called Ansar Allah (' ''Partisans of God'' or ''Supporters of God'') and colloquially simply Houthis, is an Islamist, Islamist political and armed move ...
and forces loyal to former President
Ali Abdullah Saleh Ali Abdullah Saleh al-Ahmar (, ''ʿAlī ʿAbdullāh Ṣāliḥ al-Aḥmar;'' 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 al ...
. Since the 2000s, Qatar increasingly emerged on a wider foreign policy stage especially as a mediator, such as for Middle Eastern conflicts; for example, Qatar mediated between the rival Palestinian factions
Fatah Fatah ( ar, فتح '), formerly the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, is a Palestinian nationalist social democratic political party and the largest faction of the Confederation, confederated multi-party Palestine Liberation Organizati ...
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 ...
in 2006 and helped unite Lebanese leaders into forming a political agreement during the 2008 crisis. Qatar has also emerged as mediators in African and Asian affairs, notably holding a peace process for
Sudan Sudan ( or ; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān, officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country in Northeast Africa. It shares borders with the Central African Republic ...
amid the
Darfur conflict The War in Darfur, also nicknamed the Land Cruiser War, is a major armed conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan that began in February 2003 when the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army, Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) and the Justice and Equality ...
and facilitating peace talks for
Afghanistan Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,; prs, امارت اسلامی افغانستان is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central Asia and South Asia. Referred to as the Heart of Asia, it is bordere ...
, setting up a political "office" for the Afghan
Taliban The Taliban (; ps, طالبان, ṭālibān, lit=students or 'seekers'), which also refers to itself by its state (polity), state name, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, is a Deobandi Islamic fundamentalism, Islamic fundamentalist, m ...
to facilitate talks. Ahmed Rashid, writing in the ''
Financial Times The ''Financial Times'' (''FT'') is a British daily newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical publication containing written News, information about current events and is often typed in black ink with a white or gray ba ...
'', 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." 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 studies, Islamic scholar and scho ...
, 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 العربية الخليج ), also known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC; ar, مجلس التعاون الخليجي), is a regional, inter ...
; 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, ad-Dawḥa or ''ad-Dōḥa'') is the capital city and main financial hub of Qatar. Located on the Pers ...
, 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 ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
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 based in Stockholm. It was founded in 1966 and provides data, analysis and recommendations for armed conflict, military expenditure and arms trade as well a ...
(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 Saudi may refer to: * Saudi Arabia * Saudis, people from Saudi Arabia * Saudi culture, the culture of Saudi Arabia * House of Saud, the ruling family of Saudi Arabia {{disambiguation ...
against the
Shia Shīʿa Islam or Shīʿīsm 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, ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib as his S ...
Houthis The Houthi movement (; ar, ٱلْحُوثِيُّون ''al-Ḥūthīyūn'' ), officially called Ansar Allah (' ''Partisans of God'' or ''Supporters of God'') and colloquially simply Houthis, is an Islamist, Islamist political and armed move ...
. 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 in the Middle East that began on 5 June 2017 when Foreign relations of Saudi Arabia#Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Qatar–United Arab Emirates relations, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain–Qatar relat ...
.


Human rights

, certain provisions of the Qatari Criminal Code allow punishments such as
flogging Flagellation (Latin , '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. Typically, flogging ...
and
stoning Stoning, or lapidation, is a method of capital punishment where a group throws stones at a person until the subject dies from blunt trauma. It has been attested as a form of punishment for grave misdeeds since ancient times. The Torah and Tal ...
to be imposed as criminal sanctions. The UN Committee Against Torture found that these practices constituted a breach of the obligations imposed by the UN Convention Against Torture. 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. A 2011 report by the U.S. State Department concluded that some expatriate workers from nations throughout
Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent in its own right or a subcontinent of Eurasia, which shares the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with Africa Africa is ...
and parts of
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area ...
who voluntarily migrated to Qatar as low-skilled labourers or domestic servants subsequently faced conditions indicative of
involuntary servitude Involuntary servitude or involuntary slavery is a legal Law is a set of rules that are created and are law enforcement, enforceable by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity'', 90. wit ...
. 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. Under the provisions of Qatar's sponsorship law, sponsors had 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); german: Internationaler Gewerkschaftsbund (IGB), link=no; es, Confederación Sindical Internacional (CSI), link=no. is the world's largest trade union A trade union (labor union in Am ...
, the visa sponsorship system allows the exaction of
forced labour Forced labour, or unfree labour, is any work relation, especially in modern history, modern or Early Modern period, early modern history, in which people are employed against their will with the threat of poverty, destitution, detention (imp ...
by making it difficult for a migrant worker to leave an abusive employer or travel overseas without permission. Qatar also did not maintain wage standards for its
immigrant Immigration is the international movement of people to a destination country of which they are not natives or where they do not possess citizenship in order to settle as Permanent residency, permanent residents or Naturalization, naturalize ...
labourers. In May 2012, Qatari officials declared their intention to allow the establishment of an independent trade union. In 2014, Qatar commissioned international law firm
DLA Piper DLA Piper is a multinational law firm with offices in over 40 countries throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. In 2021, it had a total revenue of US$3.47 billion, an average profit per equity partner of ...
to produce a report investigating the immigrant labour system. In May 2014, DLA Piper released more than 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. Qatar also announced it would scrap its sponsor system for foreign labour, which requires that all foreign workers 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 mandated that companies that fail to pay workers' wages on time could temporarily lose their ability to hire more employees. The reforms to the country's sponsorship system were signed into law by Qatar's Emir in October 2015, with the new law taking effect within one year.
Human Rights Watch Human Rights Watch (HRW) is an international non-governmental organization, headquartered in New York City, that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. The group pressures governments, policy makers, companies, and individual human ri ...
claimed that the changes might fail to address some labour rights issues. 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 by setting international labour standards. Founded in October 1919 under the League of Nations, it is the first and ol ...
(ILO), a minimum wage entered into force for any worker of all nationalities and in all sectors in Qatar on 20 March 2021. 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 intentionally held on 8 March 1999,
International Women's Day International Women's Day (IWD) is a global holiday list of minor secular observances#March, celebrated annually on March 8 as a focal point in the women's rights, women's rights movement, bringing attention to issues such as gender equality, ...
.


Crime and safety

Qatar ranks first in the
MENA MENA, an acronym in the English language, refers to a grouping of countries situated in and around the Middle East and North Africa. It is also known as WANA, SWANA, or NAWA, which alternatively refers to the Middle East as Western Asia (or a ...
region, and 23rd in the world, in the
Global Peace Index Global Peace Index (GPI) is a report produced by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) which measures the relative position of nations' and regions' peacefulness. The GPI ranks 163 independent states and territories (collectively accounting ...
.


Administrative divisions

Since 2014, Qatar has been divided into eight municipalities (Arabic:
baladiyah Baladiyah () is a type of Arabic administrative division that can be translated as "district", "sub-district" or "municipality". The plural is baladiyat (). Grammatically, it is the feminine of "rural, country-, folk-". The Arabic term Amanah ( ...
). For statistical purposes, the municipalities are further subdivided into 98 zones (), 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 Municipali ...
(until 2004) *
Al Ghuwariyah Al Ghuwariyah ( ar, الغويرية; also spelled Leghwairiya) is a town located in Al Khor (municipality), Al Khor Municipality in the state Qatar. Al Ghuwariyah was once a municipalities of Qatar, municipality of Qatar until it was merged with ...
(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), Al Wakrah Municipality in the State of Qatar, approximately south of Doha. It was one of the most important ci ...
(
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 ci ...
) (until 2006)


Geography

The Qatari
peninsula A peninsula (; ) is a landform that extends from a mainland and is surrounded by water on most, but not all of its borders. A peninsula is also sometimes defined as a piece of land bordered by water on three of its sides. Peninsulas exist on all ...
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 ...
, covered with
sand Sand is a granular material composed of finely divided 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 to a soil texture, textur ...
. To the southeast lies the Khor al Adaid (" Inland Sea"), an area of rolling sand dunes surrounding an
inlet An inlet is a (usually long and narrow) indentation of a shoreline, such as a small arm, bay, sound In physics, sound is a vibration that propagates as an acoustic wave, through a transmission medium such as a gas, liquid or solid. In ...
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 (calcium carbonate ) is a type of carbonate rock, carbonate sedimentary rock which is the main source of the material Lime_(material), lime. It is composed mostly of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different Polymorphis ...
outcrop An outcrop or rocky outcrop is a visible exposure of bedrock or ancient superficial deposits on the surface of the Earth. Features Outcrops do not cover the majority of the Earth's land surface because in most places the bedrock or superficial ...
pings running north-south from Zikrit through Umm Bab 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 accumulation of hydrocarbons contained in Porosity, porous or fractured rock formations. Such reservoirs form when kerogen (ancient plant matter) is created in surrounding rock by the ...
, while the
natural gas field A petroleum reservoir or oil and gas reservoir is a subsurface accumulation of hydrocarbons contained in Porosity, porous or fractured rock formations. Such reservoirs form when kerogen (ancient plant matter) is created in surrounding rock by the ...
s lie offshore, to the northwest of the peninsula.


Biodiversity

Qatar signed the Rio
Convention on Biological Diversity The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, is a multilateral treaty. The Convention has three main goals: the conservation of biological diversity (or biodiversity); the sustainable use of it ...
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 A fungus (plural, : fungi or funguses) is any member of the group of Eukaryote, eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and Mold (fungus), molds, as well as the more familiar mushrooms. These organisms are classified ...
species have been recorded from Qatar. A book recently produced by the Ministry of Environment documents the
lizards Lizards are a widespread group of Squamata, squamate reptiles, with over 7,000 species, ranging across all continents except Antarctica, as well as most oceanic island chains. The group is paraphyletic since it excludes the snakes and Amphisbae ...
known or believed to occur in Qatar, based on surveys conducted by an international team of scientists and other collaborators.


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, usually oysters or mussels, in the sea or freshwater. Pearl hunting was prevalent in the Persian Gulf region and Japan for thousands of years. On the P ...
. 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 Cultured pearls are formed within a cultured pearl sac with human intervention in the interior of productive living molluscs in a variety of conditions depending upon the mollusc and the goals. Just as the same as natural pearls, cultured pearls ...
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, or simply oil, is a naturally occurring yellowish-black liquid mixture of mainly hydrocarbons, and is found in geological formations. The name ''petroleum'' covers both na ...
. 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 imposed on individuals or entities (taxpayers) in respect of the income or profits earned by them (commonly called taxable income). Income tax generally is computed as the product of a tax rate times the taxable income. Tax ...
, Qatar (along with
Bahrain Bahrain ( ; ; ar, البحرين, al-Bahrayn, locally ), officially the Kingdom of Bahrain, ' is an island country in Western Asia. It is situated on the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, Persian Gulf, and comprises a small archipelago made u ...
) 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 Human migration, 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 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); german: Internationaler Gewerkschaftsbund (IGB), link=no; es, Confederación Sindical Internacional (CSI), link=no. is the world's largest trade union federation. History The federation w ...
. 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 (predominantly methane, CH4, with some mixture of ethane, C2H6) that has been cooled down to liquid form for ease and safety of non-pressurized storage or transport. It takes up about 1/600th the volu ...
. 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 a cartel of countries. Founded on 14 September 1960 in Baghdad by the first five members (Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela), it has, since 1965, been headquart ...
(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 small land ...
in 2010. According to the study published by the Washington-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's sovereign wealth fund. The QIA was founded by the State of Qatar in 2005 to strengthen the country's economy by diversifying into new asset classes. In 2021 ...
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 Asia-Pacific (APAC) is the part of the Earth, world near the western Pacific Ocean. The Asia-Pacific region varies in area depending on context, but it generally includes East Asia, Russian Far East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia and List ...
. , 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 corporation, multinational Conglomerate (company), conglomerate corporation and the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe headquartered in Munich with branch offices abroad. The principal ...
,
Printemps Printemps (; meaning " springtime" in French) is a French department store A department store is a retail establishment offering a wide range of consumer goods in different areas of the store, each area ("department") specializing in a pr ...
,
Harrods Harrods Limited is a department store located on Brompton Road in Knightsbridge, London, England. It is currently owned by the state of Qatar via its sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority. The Harrods brand also applies to other ...
,
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, in Southwark, London London is the capital and List ...
,
Barclays Bank Barclays () is a British multinational universal bank, headquartered in London, England. Barclays operates as two divisions, Barclays UK and Barclays International, supported by a service company, Barclays Execution Services. Barclays traces ...
,
Heathrow Airport Heathrow Airport (), called ''London Airport'' until 1966 and now known as London Heathrow , is a major international airport in London, England. It is the largest of the six international airports in the Airports of London, London airport sys ...
, Paris Saint-Germain F.C.,
Volkswagen Group Volkswagen AG (), known internationally as the Volkswagen Group, is a German Multinational corporation, multinational Automotive industry, automotive manufacturer headquartered in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany. The company designs, manufact ...
,
Royal Dutch Shell Shell plc is a British Multinational corporation, multinational petroleum, oil and natural gas, gas company headquartered in London, England. Shell is a public limited company with a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and second ...
,
Bank of America The Bank of America Corporation (often abbreviated BofA or BoA) is an American multinational investment banking, investment bank and financial services holding company headquartered at the Bank of America Corporate Center in Charlotte, North ...
, Tiffany,
Agricultural Bank of China Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), also known as AgBank, is one of the " Big Four" banks in China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by ...
,
Sainsbury's J Sainsbury plc, trading as Sainsbury's, is the second largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom, with a 14.6% share of UK supermarket sales. Founded in 1869 by John James Sainsbury with a shop in Drury Lane, London, the company wa ...
,
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' ...
, 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 saw job cuts in 2016 from its petroleum companies and other sectors in the government.


Tourism

Qatar is one of the fastest growing countries in the field of tourism. According to the
World Tourism rankings The World Tourism rankings are compiled by the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization whose stated purposes are to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly r ...
, more than 2.3 million international tourists visited Qatar in 2017. Qatar has become one of the most open countries in the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233: ) is a geopolitical region commonly encompassing Arabian Peninsula, Arabia (including the Arabian Peninsula and Bahrain), Anatolia, Asia Minor (Asian part of Turkey except Hatay Pro ...
due to its recent visa facilitation improvements, including allowing nationals of 88 countries to enter visa-free and free-of charge.


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, مصر , ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning the North Africa, northeast corner of Africa and Western Asia, southwest corner of Asia via a land bridg ...
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 (predominantly methane, CH4, with some mixture of ethane, C2H6) that has been cooled down to liquid form for ease and safety of non-pressurized storage or transport. It takes up about 1/600th the volu ...
(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, 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
QatarEnergy QatarEnergy ( ar, قطر للطاقة), formerly Qatar Petroleum (QP), is a state owned petroleum company of Qatar. The company operates all oil and gas activities in Qatar, including exploration, production, refining, transport, and storage. The ...
. 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. 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. 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. 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 or metro, is a type of high-capacity public transport generally found in urban areas. A rapid transit system that primarily or tradit ...
, 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 Arab states of the Persian Gulf refers to a group of Arab states which border the Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fârs, lit=Gulf of Persis, Fars, ), sometimes called the ( ar, اَلْخَ ...
. The airport, too, is expanding capacity to keep up with rising visitor numbers.
Hamad International Airport Hamad International Airport ( ar, مطار حمد الدولي, ') is an international airport in the State of Qatar, and the home of Qatar’s flag carrier airline, Qatar Airways. Located east of its capital, Doha, it replaced the nearby Doha ...
is the
international airport An international airport is an airport An airport is an aerodrome with extended facilities, mostly for commercial air transport. Airports usually consists of a landing area, which comprises an aerially accessible open space includin ...
of
Doha Doha ( ar, الدوحة, ad-Dawḥa or ''ad-Dōḥa'') is the capital city and main financial hub of Qatar. Located on the Persian Gulf coast in the east of the country, north of Al Wakrah and south of Al Khor, it is home to most of the cou ...
. In 2014, it replaced the former
Doha International Airport Doha International Airport ( ar, مطار الدوحة الدولي) is an airport An airport is an aerodrome with extended facilities, mostly for commercial air transport. Airports usually consists of a landing area, which compri ...
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 a network of Eurasia Eurasia (, ) is the largest continental area on Earth, comprising all of Europe and Asia. Primarily in the Northern Hemisphere, Northern and Eastern Hemispheres, it spans from the British Isles a ...
that runs from the Chinese coast to the south via the southern tip of
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...
to
Mombasa Mombasa ( ; ) is a coastal city in southeastern Kenya along the Indian Ocean. It was the first capital of the British East Africa, before Nairobi was elevated to capital city status. It now serves as the capital of Mombasa County. The town is ...
, from there through the Red Sea via the
Suez Canal The Suez Canal ( arz, قَنَاةُ ٱلسُّوَيْسِ, ') is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez and dividing Africa and Asia. The long canal is a popular ...
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 in northeastern Italy. It is the capital city, and largest city, of the Regions of Italy#Autonomous regions with special statute, autonomous region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, one of ...
with its rail connections to
Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe and Eastern Europe, based on a common History, historical, Society, social and cultural identity. The Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) between Catholic Church, Catholicism and Protestanti ...
, Eastern Europe and the
North Sea The North Sea lies between Great Britain, Norway, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. An epeiric sea, epeiric sea on the European continental shelf, it connects to the Atlantic Ocean through the English Channel in the south and the ...
.
Hamad Port Hamad Port is Qatar's main seaport, located south of 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 operation ...
is Qatar's main seaport, located south of
Doha Doha ( ar, الدوحة, ad-Dawḥa or ''ad-Dōḥa'') is the capital city and main financial hub of Qatar. Located on the Persian Gulf coast in the east of the country, north of Al Wakrah and south of Al Khor, it is home to most of the cou ...
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 Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is natural gas (predominantly methane, CH4, with some mixture of ethane, C2H6) that has been cooled down to liquid form for ease and safety of non-pressurized storage or transport. It takes up about 1/600th the volu ...
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 flag carrier airline of Qatar. Headquartered in the Qatar Airways Tower in Doha, the airline operates a hub-and-spoke networ ...
is one of the
largest airlines in the world The largest airlines in the world can be defined in several ways. , Delta Air Lines is the largest by revenue, assets value and market capitalization, China Southern Airlines, China Southern Air Holding by passengers carried and revenue passenger ...
that serves in six continents connecting more than 160 destinations every day. It has won Airline of the Year in 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017 and 2019 and employs more than 46,000 people.


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 who domicile (law), resides outside their native country. In common usage, the term often refers to educated professionals, skilled workers, or artists taking positions outside their home c ...
. The combined number of
South Asia South Asia is the southern subregion of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent in its own right or a subcontinent of Eurasia, which shares the continental land ...
ns (from the countries of the
Indian subcontinent The Indian subcontinent is a list of the physiographic regions of the world, physiographical region in United Nations geoscheme for Asia#Southern Asia, Southern Asia. It is situated on the Indian Plate, projecting southwards into the Indian O ...
including Sri Lanka) by themselves represent over 1.5 million people (60%) of Qatar's population. Among these,
Indians Indian or Indians may refer to: Peoples South Asia * Indian people Indians or Indian people are the Indian nationality law, citizens and nationals of India. In 2022, the population of India stood at over 1.4 billion people, making it ...
are the largest community, numbering 650,000 in 2017, followed by 350,000
Nepalis Nepalis (English language, English: Nepalese ; ne, नेपाली) are the citizens of Nepal under the provisions of Nepali nationality law. The country is home to people of many different national origins who are the descendants of immigr ...
, 280,000
Bangladeshis Bangladeshis ( bn, বাংলাদেশী ) are the citizens of Bangladesh Bangladesh (}, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by populatio ...
, 145,000 Sri Lankans, and 125,000
Pakistanis Pakistanis ( ur, , translit=Pākistānī Qaum, ) are the citizens and nationals of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. According to the 2017 Pakistani national census, the population of Pakistan stood at over 213 million people, making it the ...
. 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 ( tl, Mga Pilipino) are the people who are citizens of or native to the Philippines. The majority of Filipinos today come from various Austronesian peoples, Austronesian ethnolinguistic groups, all typically speaking either Filipino l ...
and 200,000
Egyptians Egyptians ( arz, المَصرِيُون, translit=al-Maṣriyyūn, ; arz, المَصرِيِين, translit=al-Maṣriyyīn, ; cop, ⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ, remenkhēmi) are an ethnic group native to the Nile Valley in Egypt. Egyptian ident ...
, 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, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God in Islam, God (or ''Allah'') as it was revealed to Muh ...
is Qatar's predominant religion and is the
state religion A state religion (also called religious state or official religion) is a religion or creed officially endorsed by a sovereign state. A state with an official religion (also known as confessional state), while not secular state, secular, is not n ...
although not the only religion practiced in the country and the constitution guarantees freedom to practise any faith within "moral" bounds. Most Qatari citizens belong to the
Salafi The Salafi movement or Salafism () is a Islah, reform branch movement within Sunni Islam that originated during the nineteenth century. The name refers to advocacy of a return to the traditions of the "pious predecessors" (), the first three g ...
Muslim Muslims ( ar, المسلمون, , ) are people who adhere to Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the ...
movement of
Wahhabism Wahhabism ( ar, ٱلْوَهَّابِيَةُ, translit=al-Wahhābiyyah) is a Sunni Islamic Islamic revival, revivalist and Islamic fundamentalism, fundamentalist movement associated with the reformist doctrines of the 18th-century Arabians, ...
, and 5–15% of Muslims in Qatar follow
Shia Islam Shīʿa Islam or Shīʿīsm 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, ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib as his S ...
with other Islamic sects being very small in number. In 2010, Qatar's population was 67.7%
Muslim Muslims ( ar, المسلمون, , ) are people who adhere to Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the ...
, 13.8%
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of ...
, 13.8%
Hindu Hindus (; ) are people who religiously adhere to Hinduism.Jeffery D. Long (2007), A Vision for Hinduism, IB Tauris, , pages 35–37 Historically, the term has also been used as a geographical, cultural, and later religious identifier for ...
, and 3.1%
Buddhist Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on teachings attributed to the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama, most commonly referred to as the Buddha, was a ...
; other religions and religiously unaffiliated people accounted for the remaining 1.6%.
Sharia law Sharia (; ar, شريعة, sharīʿa ) is a body of religious law that forms a part of the Islamic tradition. It is derived from the Five Pillars of Islam, religious precepts of Islam and is based on the Islamic holy books, sacred scriptures o ...
is the main source of Qatari legislation according to Qatar's Constitution. Qatar's interpretation of Sharia law is said to be not as "strict" as neighboring
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia, officially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), is a country in Western Asia. It covers the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and has a land area of about , making it the List of Asian countries by area, fifth-largest country in Asia ...
but neither as "liberal" as
Dubai Dubai (, ; ar, wikt:دبي, دبي, translit=Dubayy, , ) is the List of cities in the United Arab Emirates#Major cities, most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the capital of the Emirate of Dubai, the most populated of the 7 ...
. The vision of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs (Qatar) is "to build a contemporary Islamic society along with fostering the 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
Mar Thoma Church The Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church, often shortened to Mar Thoma Church, and known also as the Reformed Syrian ChurchS. N. Sadasivan. A Social History of India'. APH Publishing; 2000. . p. 442. and the Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar ...
,
Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (MOSC) also known as the Indian Orthodox Church (IOC) or simply as the Malankara Church, is an Autocephaly, autocephalous Oriental Orthodox Churches, Oriental Orthodox church headquartered in Malankara ...
, the
Roman Catholic Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus (Romulus and Remus, legendary) , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan c ...
Church of Our Lady of the Rosary and the
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established List of Christian denominations, ...
Church of the Epiphany. There are also two 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 is commonly used as a second language, and a rising
lingua franca A lingua franca (; ; for plurals see ), also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language, is a Natural language, language systematically used to make communication possib ...
, 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 Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Arm ...
, Baluchi, Brahui,
Hindi Hindi (Devanāgarī: or , ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: ), is an Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in the Hindi Belt region encompassing parts of North India, northern, Central India, centr ...
,
Malayalam Malayalam (; , ) is a Dravidian languages, Dravidian language spoken in the Indian state of Kerala and the union territories of Lakshadweep and Puducherry (union territory), Puducherry (Mahé district) by the Malayali people. It is one of 2 ...
,
Urdu Urdu (;"Urdu"
''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary''.
ur, , link=no, ) is an Indo-Aryan languages, In ...
,
Pashto Pashto (,; , ) is an Eastern Iranian languages, Eastern Iranian language in the Indo-European languages, Indo-European language family. It is known in historical Persian literature as Afghani (). Spoken as a native language mostly by ethni ...
,
Kannada Kannada (; ಕನ್ನಡ, ), originally romanised Canarese, is a Dravidian languages, Dravidian language spoken predominantly by the people of Karnataka in southwestern India, with minorities in all neighbouring states. It has around 47&n ...
, Tamil, Telugu, Nepali, Sinhalese, Bengali, Tagalog, Tulu and Indonesian. In 2012, Qatar joined the international French-speaking organisation of
La Francophonie LA most frequently refers to Los Angeles, the second largest city in the United States. La, LA, or L.A. may also refer to: Arts and entertainment Music * La (musical note), or A, the sixth note * "L.A.", a song by Elliott Smith on Figure 8 ( ...
(OIF) as a new associate member, but in December 2013, the French daily ''
Le Monde ''Le Monde'' (; ) is a French daily afternoon newspaper. It is the main publication of Le Monde Group and reported an average Newspaper circulation, circulation of 323,039 copies per issue in 2009, about 40,000 of which were sold abroad. It has ...
'' 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 plan, 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 The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233: ) is a geopolitical region commonly encompassing Arabian Peninsula, Arabia (including the Arabian Peninsula and Bahrain), Anatolia, Asia Minor (Asian part of Turkey except Hatay Pro ...
, 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 The Joint Commission is a United States-based nonprofit tax-exempt 501(c) organization that accredits more than 22,000 US health care organizations and programs. The international branch accredits medical services from around the world. A majorit ...
. In 2010, spending on healthcare accounted for 2.2% of the country's GDP; the highest in the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233: ) is a geopolitical region commonly encompassing Arabian Peninsula, Arabia (including the Arabian Peninsula and Bahrain), Anatolia, Asia Minor (Asian part of Turkey except Hatay Pro ...
. 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 Eastern Arabia, historically known as al-Baḥrayn ( ar, البحرين) until the 18th century, is a region stretched from Basra to Khasab along the Persian Gulf coast and included parts of modern-day Bahrain Bahrain ( ; ; ar, البح ...
, being significantly influenced by Islam.
Qatar National Day Qatar National Day ( ar, اليوم الوطني لقطر, Al-Yawm al-Waṭani li-Qaṭar) is a national commemoration of Qatar's unification in 1878. It is celebrated annually on 18 December. The holiday was established by a 21 June 2007 decree ...
, 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 Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani ( ar, جاسم بن محمد آل ثاني; c. 1825 – 17 July 1913), also known as "The Founder", was the founder of the State of Qatar. He had a total of 56 children, 19 sons and 37 daughters. Early life ...
's succession to the throne and his subsequent unification of the country's various tribes.


Doha Cultural Festival

The Doha Cultural Festival is one of the cultural activities carried out annually by the Qatari Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage, which began in 2002 with the aim of spreading Qatari culture inside and outside 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, opened in 2008, is regarded as one of the best museums in the region. This, and several other Qatari museums, like the Arab Museum of Modern Art, falls under the
Qatar Museums Authority Qatar Museums (formerly the Qatar Museums Authority) is a Qatari government entity that oversees the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Museum of Islamic Art (MIA), Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, MIA Park, QM Gallery at Katara (cultural village), ...
(''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 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 The National Museum of Qatar is a national museum in Doha, Qatar. The current building opened to the public on 28 March 2019, replacing the previous building which opened in 1975. The building was designed by architect Jean Nouvel who was inspire ...
was opened to the public on 28 March 2019.


Literature

Qatari literature traces its origins back to the 19th century. Originally, written
poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek '' poiesis'', "making"), also called verse, is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and often rhythmic qualities of language − such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre The metre (Brit ...
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 The Bedouin, Beduin, or Bedu (; , singular ) are nomadic Arabs, Arab tribes who have historically inhabited the desert regions in the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, the Levant, and Mesopotamia. The Bedouin originated in the Syrian Desert ...
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 A short story is a piece of prose fiction that typically can be read in one sitting and focuses on a self-contained incident or series of linked incidents, with the intent of evoking a single effect or mood. The short story is one of the oldest t ...
anthology, and in 1993 the first locally authored
novel A novel is a relatively long work of narrative fiction, typically written in prose and published as a book. The present English word for a long work of prose fiction derives from the for "new", "news", or "short story of something new", itself ...
s 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 Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the fundamental principle that communication and expression through various media, including printed and electronic News media, media, especially publication, published materials, should be conside ...
report by
Freedom House Freedom House is a non-profit, majority U.S. government funded organization in Washington, D.C., that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, Freedom (political), political freedom, and human rights. Freedom House was founded in October 19 ...
. TV broadcasting in Qatar was started in 1970.
Al Jazeera Al Jazeera ( ar, الجزيرة, translit-std=DIN, translit=al-jazīrah, , "The Island") is a state-owned Arabic-language international radio and TV broadcaster of Qatar. It is based in Doha and operated by the media conglomerate Al Jaz ...
is a main television network headquartered in
Doha Doha ( ar, الدوحة, ad-Dawḥa or ''ad-Dōḥa'') is the capital city and main financial hub of Qatar. Located on the Persian Gulf coast in the east of the country, north of Al Wakrah and south of Al Khor, it is home to most of the cou ...
, Qatar. Al Jazeera initially launched in 1996 as an
Arabic Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic languages, Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michael P. Streck, Janet C ...
news and current affairs
satellite A satellite or artificial satellite is an object intentionally placed into orbit in outer space. Except for passive satellites, most satellites have an electricity generation system for equipment on board, such as solar panels or radiois ...
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) (Arabic: الجزيرة‎, romanized: al-jazīrah, IPA: l (d)ʒæˈziːrɐ , referring to the Qatar Peninsula) is a Qatari international state-owned public media conglomerate headquartered at Qatar Radio and ...
. It has been reported that journalists practice
self-censorship Self-censorship is the act of censorship, censoring or Classified Information, classifying one's own discourse. This is done out of fear of, or deference to, the sensibilities or preferences (actual or perceived) of others and without overt pressur ...
, particularly in regards to the government and 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, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God in Islam, God (or ''Allah'') as it was revealed to Muh ...
. In 2014, a
Cybercrime A cybercrime is a crime that involves a computer or a computer network.Moore, R. (2005) "Cyber crime: Investigating High-Technology Computer Crime," Cleveland, Mississippi: Anderson Publishing. The computer may have been used in committing the ...
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 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 The Bedouin, Beduin, or Bedu (; , singular ) are nomadic Arabs, Arab tribes who have historically inhabited the desert regions in the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, the Levant, and Mesopotamia. The Bedouin originated in the Syrian Desert ...
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 instrument A percussion instrument is a musical instrument that is sounded by being struck or scraped by a beater (percussion), beater including attached or enclosed beaters or Rattle (percussion beater), rattles struck, scraped or rubbed by hand or ...
s, including al-ras (a large drum whose leather is heated by an open fire),
tambourine The tambourine is a musical instrument in the Percussion instrument, percussion family consisting of a frame, often of wood or plastic, with pairs of small metal jingle (percussion), jingles, called "zills". Classically the term tambourine deno ...
s and
cymbal A cymbal is a common percussion instrument A percussion instrument is a musical instrument that is sounded by being struck or scraped by a beater (percussion), beater including attached or enclosed beaters or Rattle (percussion beate ...
s 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 instrument String instruments, stringed instruments, or chordophones are musical instruments that produce sound from vibrating strings when a performer plays or sounds the strings in some manner. Musicians play some string instruments by plucking the ...
s, such as the oud and rebaba, are also commonly used.


Sport

Association football Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of 11 Football player, players who primarily use their feet to propel the Ball (association football), ball around a rectangular field ca ...
is the most popular sport in Qatar, both in terms of players and spectators. Shortly after the
Qatar Football Association The Qatar Football Association ( ar, الاتحاد القطري لكرة القدم, al-Ittiḥād al-Qaṭariyy li-Kurat al-Qadam) is the governing body of association football, football in Qatar. President Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Ahmed ...
became affiliated with
FIFA FIFA (; stands for ''Fédération Internationale de Football Association'' (French language, French), meaning International Association Football Federation ) is the international governing body of association football, beach football and futsa ...
in 1970, one of the country's earliest international accolades came in 1981 when the Qatar national under-20 team's emerged as runners-up to West Germany in that year's edition of the
FIFA World Youth Championship The FIFA U-20 World Cup is the biennial Association football, football world championship tournament for FIFA members’ men's national teams with players under the age of 20. The competition has been staged every two years since the inaugural t ...
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 AFC Asian Cup is the primary association football competition contested by the senior List of men's national association football teams, men's national teams of the members of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), determining the Football ...
; the first coming being the 9th edition in
1988 File:1988 Events Collage.png, From left, clockwise: The oil platform Piper Alpha explodes and collapses in the North Sea, killing 165 workers; The USS Vincennes (CG-49) mistakenly shoots down Iran Air Flight 655; Australia celebrates its Australian ...
and the second being the 15th edition held in
2011 File:2011 Events Collage.png, From top left, clockwise: a protester partaking in Occupy Wall Street heralds the beginning of the Occupy movement; protests against Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, who Assassination of Muammar Gaddafi, was killed tha ...
. For the first time in the country's history, the
Qatar national football team The Qatar national football team ( ar, منتخب قطر لكرة القدم) represents Qatar in international association football, football, and is controlled by the Qatar Football Association and Asian Football Confederation, AFC. The tea ...
won the AFC Asian Cup in the 2019 edition hosted in the UAE, beating
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally , ''Nihonkoku'') is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean, and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, while extending from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north ...
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 is an international association football, football tournament contested by the men's national teams of FIFA's member associations. The 22nd FIFA World Cup is taking place in Qatar from 20 November to 18 December 2022 ...
, despite never previously qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Finals. Local organisers built 7 new stadiums and expanded 1 existing stadium 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. At the same time, 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. A FIFA inquiry into the bidding process in November 2014 cleared Qatar of any wrongdoing. ''
The Guardian ''The Guardian'' is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as ''The Manchester Guardian'', and changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers ''The Observer'' and ''The Guardian Weekly'', ''The Guardian'' is part of the Gu ...
'', 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. According to a February 2021 article in ''The Guardian'', some 6,500 migrant construction workers have died. Qatar was estimated to host a
football Football is a family of team sports that involve, to varying degrees, Kick (football), kicking a Football (ball), ball to score a Goal (sport), goal. Unqualified, Football (word), the word ''football'' normally means the form of football tha ...
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 Glastonbury Festival (formally Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts and known colloquially as Glasto) is a five-day festival of contemporary performing arts that takes place in Pilton, Somerset, England. In addition to contempo ...
in England and the
Coachella Festival The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (commonly called the Coachella Festival or simply Coachella) is an annual music Music is generally defined as the The arts, art of arranging sound to create some combination of Musical for ...
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 national handball team emerged as runners-up to
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
in the 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 Qatar (, ; ar, قطر, Qaṭar ; local vernacular pronunciation: ), officially the State of Qatar,) is a country in Western Asia. It occupies the Qatar Peninsula on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in the Middle East; it sha ...
won the world championship in men's
3x3 basketball 3x3 basketball (pronounced ''three-ex-three'') is a Variations of basketball, variation of basketball played three-a-side, with one Backboard (basketball), backboard and in a basketball court, half-court setup. According to an ESSEC Business Scho ...
.
Cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail (cricket), bails b ...
is popular amongst the South Asian diaspora in Qatar. Casual street cricket is the most popular format of the game, but the Qatar Cricket Association has been a member of the
International Cricket Council The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the world governing body of cricket. Headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates The United Arab Emirates (UAE; ar, اَلْإِمَارَات الْعَرَبِيَة الْمُتَحِد ...
(ICC) since 1999 and the men's and women's national teams both play regularly in ICC competitions. The primary cricket ground in Qatar is the West End Park International Cricket Stadium. Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha hosted the
WTA Tour Championships WTA may refer to: Organizations *Washington Trails Association *Whatcom Transportation Authority *Waskahegan Trail Association, the management board for the Waskahegan Trail *Water Transit Authority, former name of the San Francisco Bay Area Water ...
in women's tennis between 2008 and 2010. Doha holds the 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 The FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship is an international men's club volleyball competition organised by the ''Fédération Internationale de Volleyball'' (FIVB), the sport's global sports governing body, governing body. The competiti ...
and three times host FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship. Doha one time Host Asian Volleyball Championship.


Education

Qatar hired the
RAND Corporation The RAND Corporation (from the phrase "research and development") is an American nonprofit global policy think tank created in 1948 by Douglas Aircraft Company to offer research and analysis to the United States Armed Forces. It is finan ...
to reform its K–12 education system. Through
Qatar Foundation Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development ( ar, مؤسسة قطر) is a state-led non-profit organization in Qatar, founded in 1995 by then-List of emirs of Qatar, emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and his second wife Moza b ...
, the country has built Education City, a campus that hosts local branches of the
Weill Cornell Medical College The Joan & Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University is Cornell University's biomedical research unit and medical school located in Upper East Side, Manhattan Manhattan (), known regionally as the City, is the most densely ...
,
Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science The School of Computer Science (SCS) at Carnegie Mellon University Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is a private research university in Pittsburgh Pittsburgh ( ) is a city in the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Pennsylv ...
, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, Texas A&M's School of Engineering,
Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (also referred to as VCU School of the Arts or simply VCUarts) is a public non-profit art and design school located in Richmond, Virginia. One of many degree-offering schools at VCU, the Scho ...
and other Western institutions. The 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 Kindergarten is a preschool educational approach based on playing, singing, practical activities such as drawing, and social interaction as part of the transition from home to school. Such institutions were originally made in the late 18th cent ...
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. The Council directs and controls education for all ages from the
pre-school A preschool, also known as nursery school, pre-primary school, or play school or creche, is an school, educational establishment or learning space offering early childhood education to children before they begin compulsory education at primary ...
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 Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, also known as Ranking Web of Universities, is a ranking system for the world's universities based on a composite indicator that takes into account both the volume of the Web content (number of web pages ...
, 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 Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) is a branch of Weill Cornell Medicine of Cornell University Cornell University is a private statutory land-grant research university based in Ithaca, New York. It is a member of the Ivy League. Fou ...
(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
accredited Accreditation is the independent, third-party evaluation of a conformity assessment body (such as certification body, inspection body or laboratory) against recognised standards, conveying formal demonstration of its impartiality and competence to ...
international Baccalaureate The International Baccalaureate (IB), formerly known as the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), is a Nonprofit organization, nonprofit foundation headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and founded in 1968. It offers four educationa ...
school, Qatar Academy. In addition, two Canadian institutions, the
College of the North Atlantic College of the North Atlantic (CNA, formerly CONA) is one of the largest post-secondary educational and skills training centres in Atlantic Canada, with a history dating back 50 years. The college has 17 campus locations throughout the Provinces ...
(headquarters in Newfoundland and Labrador) and the
University of Calgary The University of Calgary (U of C or UCalgary) is a public university, public research university located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The University of Calgary started in 1944 as the Calgary branch of the University of Alberta, founded in 1908, ...
, have inaugurated campuses in Doha. Other 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 48th in the Global Innovation Index in 2021, 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 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 Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is an umbrella term used to group together the distinct but related technical disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The term is typically used in the context of ...
and languages.


Science and technology

Launched in 2006 as part of an initiative of the quasi-governmental
Qatar Foundation Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development ( ar, مؤسسة قطر) is a state-led non-profit organization in Qatar, founded in 1995 by then-List of emirs of Qatar, emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and his second wife Moza b ...
, 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-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 A free-trade zone (FTZ) is a class of Special economic zone#Types, special economic zone. It is a geographic area where goods may be imported, stored, handled, manufactured, or reconfigured and re-exported under specific customs regulation and ...
.


See also

* List of Qatar-related topics * Outline of Qatar


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 a

* Bianco, C. (2021). Can Europe Choreograph a Saudi-Iranian Détente? European University Institute, Robert Schuman Center for Advanced Studies, Middle East Directions. Available at

* 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 a

* 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

* Guzansky, Y., & Winter, O. (2020). Apolitical Normalization: A New Approach to Jews in Arab States. INSS Insight No. 1332, June 8, 2020. Available at

* Available at

* * 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 ''The World Factbook'', also known as the ''CIA World Factbook'', is a reference resource produced by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) with almanac-style information about the countries of the world. The official print version is availab ...
''.
Central Intelligence Agency The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA ), known informally as the Agency and historically as the Company, is a civilian intelligence agency, foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States, officially tasked with gat ...
. * *
Qatar
from the
BBC News BBC News is an operational Division (business), business division of the BBC, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs in the UK and around the world. The department is t ...
. *
Key Development Forecasts for Qatar
from
International Futures International Futures (IFs) is a global integrated assessment model designed to help with thinking strategically and systematically about key global systems (economic, demographic, education, health, environment, technology, domestic governance, ...
.
Legal Portal
by the Ministry of Justice, including official gazette. {{Authority control 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 Islamic monarchies