» Unitary parliamentary absolute monarchy
» 11,571 km2 (164th)
» $298.4 billion (49th)
» Per capita – $145,894 (1st)
» $213.784 billion
» Per capita – $102,785 (2nd)
» Riyal (QAR)
» AST (UTC+3)
Qatar officially the State of Qatar is a sovereign Arab country located in Southwest Asia, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its territory surrounded by the Persian Gulf. A strait in the Persian Gulf separates Qatar from the nearby island kingdom of Bahrain. In 2013, Qatar’s total population was 1.8 million: 278,000 Qatari citizens and 1.5 million expatriates.
Following Ottoman rule, Qatar became a British protectorate in the early 20th century until gaining independence in 1971. Qatar has been ruled by the Al Thani family since the mid-19th century. Qatar is an absolute monarchy and its head of state is Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. After Saudi Arabia, Qatar is the most conservative society in the GCC as most Qataris adhere to the strict Wahhabi interpretation of Islam. Sharia law is the main source of Qatari legislation according to Qatar’s Constitution.
Qatar is the world’s richest country per capita and has the highest human development in the Arab World; furthermore, it is recognized as a high-income economy by the World Bank. Qatar has the world’s third largest natural gas reserves and oil reserves in excess of 25 billion barrels (4.0×109 m3). Qatar has become an influential player in the Arab world. Qatar supported several rebel groups during the Arab Spring both financially and by asserting global influence through its expanding media group, Al Jazeera Media Network. Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, becoming the first Arab country to host the event
Although tiny, Qatar wields significant clout, with a rising international profile that has led some analysts to identify it as a middle power.
Before the discovery of oil, the economy of the Qatari region focused on fishing and pearl hunting. Report prepared by local governors of Ottoman Empire in 1892 states that total income from pearl hunting in year of 1892 is 2,450,000 kran After the introduction of the Japanese cultured pearl onto the world market in the 1920s and 1930s, Qatar’s pearling industry crashed. Oil was discovered in Qatar in 1940, in Dukhan Field. The discovery transformed the state’s economy. Now, the country has a high standard of living. With no income tax, Qatar (along with Bahrain) is one of the countries with the lowest tax rates in the world. The unemployment rate in June 2013 was 0.1%.
Qatar has the highest GDP per capita in the world as of 2014, according to the World Atlas Factbook and approximately 14% of households are dollar millionaires. It relies heavily on foreign labour to grow its economy, to the extent that migrant workers comprise 94% of the workforce. Qatar has been ranked as one of the worst places in the world for workers by the International Trade Union Confederation. 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. In 2012, it was estimated that Qatar would invest over $120 billion in the energy sector in the next ten years. The country is a member state of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), having joined the organisation in 1961.
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 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.
Qatar is ranked 109 with an Economic Complexity Index (ECI) of -0.763804
Top 5 Products exported by Qatar
Petroleum Gas (47%),
Crude Petroleum (39%),
Refined Petroleum (7.1%),
Ethylene Polymers (2.1%),
Nitrogenous Fertilizers (1.3%)
Top 5 Export destinations of Qatar
South Korea (22%),
Top 5 Products imported by Qatar
Planes, Helicopters, and/or Spacecraft (5.0%),
Gas Turbines (4.6%),
Iron Ore (2.7%)
Top 5 Import origins of Qatar
United Kingdom (12%),
United States (10%),
Ask the Qataris, Bedouin roots notwithstanding, what they are most proud of and they will undoubtedly say Doha. And indeed you can see why: the modern capital with its spectacular tapering towers, elegant corniche and extravagant malls, makes Doha arguably the finest stopover in the Gulf.
But there’s more to Qatar than a shopping spree. The whole country, with its heritage souqs, world-class Museum of Islamic Art, and lyrical sand dunes, offers an excellent introduction to the Arab world but without the tensions often associated with the Middle East.
The success of this booming nation is more than just skin deep. Rapid economic expansion, barely booked by the global recession, international sports tournaments, and Education City: these are some of the many hallmarks of Qatar’s sophistication. Chances are, if you spend a night in the vibrant city of Doha, you’ll be lobbying the relatives to stay a whole lot longer in Qatar.
The history-seeker will not be disappointed, with an assortment of ruins, cave art and museums to keep the mind wandering. Most famous is the archaeological site ofZubarah, where there are the remains of what was once a thriving port city. An early 20th-century fort on the site still stands as a museum, a testament to a bygone era. The Al-Jassassiya rock carvings in north-eastern Qatar are a remarkable site of 900 petroglyphs that are believed to date back to ancient tribes who inhabited the peninsula during the 15th century BCE.
A number of forts and towers exist around the country; most of them have also been restored as museums. The Barzan Towers stand at the edge of the town of Umm Salal Mohammed, erected to safeguard the country’s rainwater basin. Another defensive watchtower stands in Al Khor. The popular Al Koot Fort is located in the heart of the capital Doha, with a wide variety of traditional handicrafts within. Others structures include Marwab Fort, Al Thughab Fort, Al Shaghab Fort, Al Rakiyat Fort, Al Wajbah Fort and the ruins of Al Yussoufiya Fort, Umm Al Maa Fort and Al Ghuwair Castle.
While the National Museum is currently closed for renovations, there are a number of other museums across the country that specialise in history. The Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum in Al Shahaniya is the Sheikh’s collection of relics, artefacts and art from Qatar, the Middle East and around the world.
The Museum of Islamic Art, Doha
Souq Waqif : the traditional old marketplace of Qatar. Has many good restaurants, especially at night time. Also sells many national products – bargaining is recommended.
The Pearl : a man-made island connected to Doha by a bridge. You can find a big variety of restaurants and shops, mainly in the high range.
Villaggio Mall: a spectacular Venetian style shopping mall with a canal and gondolas as well. A huge variety of shops from casual to luxury.
Mathaf : The Arab museum of modern art
Katara : Cultural village which is home to many international and Arab restaurants, a beautiful beach, and holds many cultural events. Definitely a place to see.
Aqua park : Aquatic Funfair.