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Qatar Overview

Qatar (official: State of Qatar; Arabic: دولة قطر, Dawlat Qatar) is a sovereign state in the Middle East. Qatar consists of a peninsula in the Persian Gulf, which in the south is landlocked with the Arabian Peninsula, so the country borders Saudi Arabia. Qatar has an area of ​​11,437 km 2 and a population of 2,639,211 (2017) inhabitants. Its capital and largest city is Doha, which has 1,186,023 (2020) citizens; ar-Rayyani and al-Wakrah are parts of the urban area around Doha. According to COUNTRYAAH, Qatar is a country that starts with letter Q.

Qatar is an emirate where the emir, who is the head of state and government, appoints a government. There are neither formal political institutions nor parties. The current emir and head of government is Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who succeeded his father in 2013.

Qatar was part of the Ottoman Empire from 1872 to 1914. Its leader signed protection treaties with Great Britain in 1916 and 1934, and during this period Qatar was a British sphere of influence. The country became independent in 1971.

According to the IMF, Qatar is the richest country in the world. This is primarily due to the very large gas and oil reserves in the underground. The most important raw material is oil, which in 1989 accounted for 91.1% of the country’s exports. The main trading partners are Japan, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany and France.

The country is a member of the Arab League, the UN, the GCC and OPEC.


Qatar was inhabited by hunters and gatherers in the Stone Age. Thus, in 2008, archaeologists found stone tools that were estimated to be around 700,000 years old. However, due to increasing desiccation, around 5000 BC the area became abandoned by humans. For the following millennia, Qatar was therefore populated by only a few Bedouin families. In 628 the inhabitants converted to Islam. But in the following years, due to lack of water, the land was again of no importance. Apart from a few trading settlements on the coast, the country was inhabited only by Bedouins.

Around 1760, the families Al Thani and Al Chalifa immigrated. In the following period there were many power struggles between the two groups. In 1783, the Al Chalifa clan conquered the island of Bahrain, after which a large part of the tribe settled there. In the late 18th century, Qatar was alternately dominated by Persia, Oman and Arab pirates. In this uncertain time, from 1822 the Al Thani dynasty succeeded in regaining power.

In 1867 there were again battles for power in the country between the two clans. Britain intervened and forced the parties to make peace, and a protection agreement was concluded between Qatar and Britain, bringing the country under British influence. The recognition of Al Thani led to the island of Bahrain no longer being part of Qatar. In the second half of the 19th century, Oman tried to gain dominion and occupied parts of the country. The Qasim Al Thani clan was supported by another Bedouin clan, the Wahhabis, and from 1913 to 1916 the British ended Ottoman and Wahhabi influence. In 1916, the last Ottoman troops left the country.

In the following period, Britain strengthened its political and economic power. After 1930, the pearl trade, which was an important part of Qatar’s economy, collapsed because of the Japanese cultured pearls. It led to a widespread economic crisis that forced many Qataris to emigrate. In 1939, the first oil discoveries came, and the oil industry quickly became Qatar’s main source of income.

New independence

After the withdrawal of the British, Qatar proclaimed its independence on 1 September 1971, and the Sheik changed his title to Emir. In the same year, the world’s largest natural gas field was discovered in Qatar. In 1972, Emir Ahmad ibn Ali was deposed by his son Khalifa ibn Hamad (1972–1995), who in the following period developed oil and other industries. In 1995, it was Khalifa ibn Hamad’s turn to be deposed by his son, Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani (1995-2013), who initiated fledgling democratic reforms.

Qatar participated in the Gulf War against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in 1990-1991. Since 1998, the country has been the headquarters for US troops in the Middle East. Qatar also served as the US command center in the March 2003 war against Iraq.

Politics and government

The Emir, who is the head of state and head of government, appoints a government. There are neither formal political institutions nor political parties. The current emir and head of government is Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who took over when his father abdicated in 2013.


Qatar is a low, barren peninsula that stretches 160 km into the Gulf. There are no rivers. The topography is predominantly flat with heights ranging from 10 meters up to 73 meters in the Dukhan Heights. Due to the location on the Persian Gulf, the climate is very hot all year round and there are frequent sandstorms.

Largest cities per 2004

  • Doha (338,760)
  • ar-Rayyan (259,223)
  • Umm Salal (27,703)
  • al-Wakra (25,905)
  • al-Haur (17,642)
  • ad-Dahira (13,969)
  • ash-Shahhaniyya (11,001)

Regions of Qatar

Qatar is divided into 10 regions (Arabic: baladiyah), which are also called provinces:

  1. Ad Dawhah(Doha)
  2. Al Ghuwariyah
  3. Al Jumaliyah
  4. Al Khawr
  5. Al Wakrah
  6. Ar Rayyan
  7. Jariyan al Batnah
  8. Ash Shamal
  9. Umm Salal
  10. Mesaieed


According to the IMF, Qatar is the richest country in the world. This is, among other things, due to the country’s very large underground gas and oil reserves. The most important commodity is oil. In 1989, crude oil accounted for 91.1% of the country’s exports. The most important trading partners are Japan, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany and France. The country has invested in the steel and cement industry in an attempt to spread business.


Construction projects in Qatar

Since 2000, Qatar has embarked on a number of major construction projects, particularly in the capital Doha. Not least the holding of the Asian Games in Qatar in 2006 started the development. Doha used to be a small port city dominated by pearl fishing in the Gulf, but after oil discoveries in the 1940s, it developed into a modern metropolis that in 2013 had 1.3 million inhabitants. More than 80% of the population of the entire emirate lives in Doha. Among the best-known buildings are:

  1. The Pearl – Qatar
  2. Lusail City
  3. West bay
  4. Al Khor Resort

Together, these projects will be able to house around 500,000 people.

In addition to housing, large shopping centers, industrial areas and an airport are being built and planned – all located in Doha. The airport in Doha, which is under construction, will help make Qatar Airways one of the world’s largest airlines. The airport will, among other things, could offer runways which enable Airbus ‘ latest super-jet A380 to land at the airport.


Approx. 60 percent of Qataris are Iranian or Indo-Iranian. Arabic and Persian (Farsi) are the most widely spoken languages. It’s about. 140,000 to 180,000 Qataris and approx. 750,000 guest workers who predominantly come from Islamic states such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sudan, but also from India and Nepal.


In December 2006, Qatar hosted the Asian Games. On 2 December 2010, it was decided that Qatar will host the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Seven new football stadiums with a spectator capacity of at least 30,000 people have been built across the peninsula, with mainly foreign construction workers as labour; Amnesty International has expressed strong concern about the high death toll among workers during the construction process.

The Khalifa International Stadium in Doba, which has also been upgraded for the FIFA World Cup, also hosted the 2019 World Athletics Championships. In October 2016, the World Road Cycling Championships were organized in the Qatari capital Doha.

Qatar Flag and Map