|State of Qatar
|Anthem: السلام الأميري (Arabic)
As Salam al Amiri (transliteration)
Location and extent of Qatar (red) on the Arabian Peninsula.
and largest city
|-||Emir||Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani|
|-||Crown Prince||Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani|
|-||Prime Minister||Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani|
|-||Qatar National Day||18 December 1878|
|-||Independence from the United Kingdom||
3 September 1971
|-||Total||11,571 km2 (164th)
4,467.6 sq mi
|-||2010 census||1,699,4352 (148th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2011 estimate|
|GDP (nominal)||2011 estimate|
|HDI (2013)|| 0.8345
very high · 36th
|Time zone||AST (UTC+3)|
|-||Summer (DST)||not observed (UTC+3)|
|Drives on the||right|
|ISO 3166 code||QA|
Qatar (i// or i//;67 Arabic: قطر Qaṭar [ˈqɑtˤɑr]; local vernacular pronunciation: [ɡɪtˤɑr],8 officially the State of Qatar (Arabic: دولة قطر Dawlat Qaṭar), is a sovereign Arab state, located in Western Asia, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger 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 state of Bahrain.
Qatar has been ruled as an absolute and hereditary emirate by the Al Thani family since the mid-19th century. Formerly one of the poorest Persian Gulf states, the mainly barren country was noted mainly for pearl hunting. It was a British protectorate until it gained independence in 1971. Since then, it has become one of the region's wealthiest states due to its enormous oil and natural gas revenues. In 1995, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani became Emir when he deposed his father, Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, in a peaceful coup d'état.9 The most important positions in Qatar are held by the members of the Al Thani family, or close confidants of the al-Thani family. Beginning in 1992, Qatar has built intimate military ties with the United States, and is now the location of U.S. Central Command’s Forward Headquarters and the Combined Air Operations Center.
Qatar has proven reserves of oil and natural gas.10 Qatar tops the list of the world's richest countries by Forbes.10 Qatar has the highest human development in the Arab World.11 In 2009, Qatar was the United States’ fifth-largest export market in the Middle East (after the UAE, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt).
With a small citizen population of fewer than 250,000 people,12 foreign workers outnumber native Qataris. Foreign expatriates come mainly from other Arab nations (13% of population), the Indian subcontinent (India 24%, Nepal 16%, Bangladesh 5%, Pakistan 4%, Sri Lanka 5%), Southeast Asia (Philippines 11%), and other countries (7%).13
The name may derive from Qatara, believed to refer to the Qatari town of Zubara, an important trading port and town in the region in ancient times.
Recent discoveries in Wadi Debay’an, a site located a few kilometers south of Zubarah, indicate human presence from 7,500 years ago. Amongst the findings were a wall built of stone, possibly used as a fish trap.14 Discovery of a 6th millennium BC site at Shagra, in southeastern Qatar revealed the key role the sea (the Persian Gulf) played in the lives of Shagra’s inhabitants. Excavations at Al Khor in northeastern Qatar, Bir Zekrit and Ras Abaruk, and the discovery there of pottery, flint, flint-scraper tools, and painted ceramic vessels indicates Qatar’s connection with the Al-Ubaid civilisation, which flourished in the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers in present-day Iraq during the period of 5th–4th millennium BC. It is thought that Mesopotamian fisherman working the rich fishing banks off the Arabian coast visited local settlements, bringing pottery with them and exchanging it for fresh meat in an improvised barter-based trade system.15 The first potsherds of the Ubaid Mesopotamia were found by a Danish expedition in Al Da'asa in 1961, but not identified until later. A second expedition was held in 1973–74 led by Beatrice De Cardi.16 Contact between the people of Mesopotamia and the eastern Arabian coast (including Qatar) continued over centuries.
In the early 3rd millennium, Sumerians settled on Tarut Island, off the Saudi coast, approximately 100 kilometers north-west of Qatar. Later, from 2450 to 1700 BC, Dilmun, a peaceful trading civilization, was centered in Bahrain.17 Evidence that Qatar was part of the complex trading network is found from the presence of Barbar pottery, a product of the Dilmun civilization, in Ras Abrouk.18
Qatar then emerged as one of the richest places in the Persian Gulf, with regard to the trade and commerce between the 3rd and 2nd millennium BC. This period witnessed the spread of the Bronze Age cultures and civilizations from Mesopotamia to the Indus Valley settlements of India. Trade between Mesopotamia and Indus Valley was channeled through the Persian Gulf, with the western coast of Qatar playing a vital role in the transshipment of the commercial goods as the discovery of fragments of Barbar pottery in Ras Abaruk reveals it. Qatar also attracted seasonal migrants during the period of the Bronze Age.15
Kassite of the Zagros Mountains, which is located in the province of Lorestan, assumed power in Babylonia after the fall of the Old Babylonian Empire after circa 1531 BC to circa 1155 BC and spread their influence throughout the Persian Gulf region including a small island on the bay of Al Khor in the north of Doha. Ceramics, which were of Kassite origin that were unearthened while excavating in Al Khor for archaeological evidences, clearly indicate the close links between Qatar and Babylonia during this period.15
The Greco-Roman trade between Europe and India was carried on via the Persian Gulf during 140 BC. Archaeological evidence found in Qatar suggests the Greek and Roman influences in the peninsula, particularly at Ras Abaruk, included stone structures, such as dwellings, cairns, hearths and low mounds containing large quantities of fish bones. Excavation of the dwelling revealed two chambers; linked by a cross-wall, with a third room open to the sea. Ras Abaruk was a temporary fishing station where periodic landing were made to dry fish during this period. In fact, pearls and dried fish were the major items for exportation from Qatar during the Greco-Roman period.15
The whole Persian Gulf region afterwards emerged as the most important trade centre, linking between the West and the East, during the time of the Sassanid Persian Empire in the 3rd century AD. Cargoes of copper, spices, sandalwood, teak, blackwood, etc., arriving from the East were exchanged for shipments of purple dye, clothing, pearls, dates, gold and silver. Qatar played a pre-eminent role in that commercial activity contributing at least two of these commodities to the Sassanid trade – purple dye and precious pearls.15
Islam was spread in the entire Arabian region by the end of the 7th century, resulting in the Islamization of the native Arabian pagans. With the spread of Islam in Qatar, the Islamic prophet Muhammad sent his first military envoy, Al Ala Al-Hadrami, to Al-Mundhir Ibn Sawa Al-Tamimi, the ruler of Bahrain (which extended from the coast of Kuwait to the south of Qatar, including Al-Hasa and Bahrain Islands), in the year 628, inviting him to accept Islam as he had invited other kingdoms and empires of his time such as Byzantium and Persia. Mundhir, in response to Muhammad, announced his acceptance of Islam, and the inhabitants of Qatar became Muslim, heralding the beginning of the Islamic era in Qatar. However, it is likely that some settled populations in Qatar did not instantaneously convert.
During the Umayyad and the Abbasid rules in Damascus and Baghdad respectively, there was further growth of trade and commerce in Qatar. Yaqut Al Hamawi, an Arab historian and biographer, who died in 1229, considered Qatar as a village famed as a camel and horse breeding centre during the Umayyad period. During the ascendancy of the Abbasid in Baghdad, the pearling industry in the rich waters around Qatar developed considerably and the demand for Qatari pearl increased in the East, which extended as far as China. With the expansion of the mercantile activities on the coasts of Qatar, settlements began to grow on the north of Qatar, particularly at Murwab in the Yoghbi area between Zubarah and Umm el-Ma with more than 100 small stone built houses.15
At the beginning of the 16th century, the Portuguese Empire enhanced their power and influence over the Persian Gulf after establishing hold over the Strait of Hormuz. The Portuguese Empire settled its commercial relations with many Persian Gulf harbors including Qatar, where it exported gold, silver, silk textiles, Dianthus, all kinds of pearls, amber and horses.15 This lasted until the Portuguese were expelled from Qatar and Oman in 1522 by the Ottoman Navy.19
In the 18th century, migrants established pearling and trading settlements along the coast of present-day Qatar. In the early part of the century, the Bani Khalid people extended their power in Eastern Arabia to the area from Qatar to Kuwait. Zubarah, which had already emerged as one of the key sea ports in the Persian Gulf in view of the expanding pearl trade to many different parts of the world, became the headquarters of the Bani Khalid administration in Qatar and the principal transit port for their Eastern and the Central Arabian territories. Products imported from Surat in India to the port of Zubarah included Surat blue cottons and other piece goods, 'cambay' cotton robes, chauders, shawls, bamboo, coffee, sugar, pepper, spices, iron, tin, oil, ghee and rice. Some of the imported goods were retained at Zubarah for consumption there and in the immediate vicinity, while the remainder were conveyed by camel to Dariyah in Nejd and to Al Hasa, taking in the other districts under the jurisdiction of Bani Khalid.15
In 1821, as punishment for piracy, an East India Company vessel bombarded Doha, destroying the town and forcing hundreds of residents to flee. The residents of Doha had no idea why they were being attacked. As a result, Qatari rebel groups began to emerge in order to fight the Al-Khalifas and to seek independence from Bahrain. In 1825, the House of Thani was established with Sheikh Mohammed bin Thani as the first leader.21
Although Qatar had the legal status of a dependency, resentment festered against the Bahraini Al Khalifas along the eastern seaboard of the Qatari peninsula. In 1867, the Al Khalifas launched an effort to crush the Qatari rebels, sending a massive naval force to Al Wakrah. This resulted in the maritime Qatari–Bahraini War of 1867–1868, where Bahraini forces sacked and looted Doha and Al Wakrah.22 However, the Bahraini aggression was in violation of the 1820 Anglo-Bahraini Treaty. This attack, and the Qatari counterattack, prompted the British political agent, Colonel Lewis Pelly, to impose a settlement in 1868. His mission to Bahrain and Qatar and the peace treaty that resulted were milestones in Qatar's history because they implicitly recognized the distinctness of Qatar from Bahrain and explicitly acknowledged the position of Sheikh Mohammed bin Thani, an important representative of the peninsula's tribes. The diplomatic response of the British to this violation set into motion the political forces that would eventuate in the founding of the state of Qatar on 18 December 1878 (for this reason, the date of 18 December is celebrated each year as Qatar National Day). In addition to censuring Bahrain for its breach of agreement, the British Protectorate (per Colonel Lewis Pelly) asked to negotiate with a representative from Qatar.
The request carried with it a tacit recognition of Qatar’s status as distinct from Bahrain. The Qataris chose as their negotiator the entrepreneur and long-time resident of Doha, Muhammed bin Thani. The Al Thanis had taken relatively little part in Persian Gulf politics, but the diplomatic foray ensured their participation in the movement towards independence and their hegemony as the future ruling family, a dynasty that continues to this day. The results of the negotiations left the nation with a new-found sense of political identity, although it did not gain official standing as a British protectorate until 1916.
Under military and political pressure from the Governor of the Ottoman Vilayet of Baghdad, Midhat Pasha, the House of Thani in Qatar submitted to Ottoman rule in 1871.23 By the end of that year, Ottoman rule extended from Kuwait to Qatar.23 The Ottoman government imposed reformist (Tanzimat) measures concerning taxation and land registration to fully integrate these areas into the empire.23
In March 1893, at the Battle of Wajbah (10 miles west of Doha), Shaikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani defeated the Ottomans. Although Qatar did not gain full independence from the Ottoman Empire, the result of the battle forced a treaty that would later form the basis of Qatar emerging as an autonomous separate country within the empire.24
The British initially sought out Qatar and the Persian Gulf as an intermediary vantage point en route to their colonial interests in India; although, the discovery of petroleum and other hydrocarbons in the early 20th century would reinvigorate their interest. During the 19th century, the time of Britain’s formative ventures into the region, the Al Khalifa clan reigned over the northern Qatari peninsula from the nearby island of Bahrain to the west.
The Ottoman Empire fell into disorder after losing battles in different fronts in the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I. Qataris took part in the Arab revolt against the Ottomans. The revolt was successful and Ottoman rule in Qatar collapsed.
The United Kingdom and the Ottoman Empire accorded their recognition to Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani and his successors' right to rule over the whole of the Qatari Peninsula. The Ottomans renounced all their rights to Qatar and following the outbreak of the First World War, Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani, who was pro-British, forced the Ottomans to abandon Doha in 1915.25
As a result of the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire, Qatar became a British protectorate on 3 November 1916. On that day, the United Kingdom, in order to bring Qatar under its Trucial System of Administration, signed a treaty with Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani. While Sheikh Abdullah agreed not to enter into any relations with any other power without prior consent of the British Government, Percy Zachariah Cox, the Political Resident in the Persian Gulf, who signed the treaty on behalf of his government, guaranteed the protection of Qatar "from all aggression by sea".25
On 5 May 1935, Sheikh Abdullah signed another treaty, which was able to obtain Britain’s agreement for the protection of Qatar from inside as well as any attacks from external forces.25 Oil reserves were first discovered in 1939. However, exploitation was delayed by World War II.
The reach of the British Empire diminished after World War II, especially following Indian independence in 1947. In the 1950s, oil was beginning to replace pearling and fishing as Qatar's main source of revenue. Oil revenues began to fund the expansion and modernisation of Qatar's infrastructure. Pressure for a British withdrawal from the Arab emirates in the Persian Gulf increased during the 1950s, and the British granted Kuwait's independence in 1961. When Britain officially announced in 1968 that it would disengage politically (though not economically) from the Persian Gulf in three years' time, Qatar joined Bahrain and seven other Trucial States in a federation. Regional disputes, however, quickly compelled Qatar to resign and declare independence from the coalition that would evolve into the United Arab Emirates.
On 3 September 1971, Qatar officially gained its independence from the United Kingdom and became an independent sovereign state.15 In 1972, Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani seized power in a palace coup after infighting in the ruling family.
In 1991, Qatar played a significant role in the Persian Gulf War, particularly during the Battle of Khafji in which Qatari tanks rolled through the streets of the town providing fire support for Saudi Arabian National Guard units which were fighting against units of the Iraqi Army. Qatar also allowed Coalition troops from Canada to use the country as an airbase to launch aircraft on CAP duty.
Since 1995[update], Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani has ruled Qatar, seizing control of the country from his father Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani while the latter vacationed in Switzerland. Under Emir Hamad, Qatar has experienced a moderate degree of liberalization, including the launch of the Al Jazeera television station (1996), the endorsement of women's suffrage or right to vote in municipal elections (1999), drafting its first written constitution (2005), and inauguration of a Roman Catholic church (2008). In 2010, Qatar was selected to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and will be the first country in the Middle East to host the tournament. The emir says Qatar will hold its first national legislative elections in 2013.
Qatar is increasingly active on the regional stage. It served as the US Central Command headquarters and one of the main launching sites of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.26 On February 13, 2004 Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev (a Chechen writer and a politician),was killed when a bomb ripped through his SUV in the Qatari capital, Doha. Yandarbiyev was seriously wounded and died in hospital. His 13-year old son Daud was seriously injured. Some, but not all, reports said two of his bodyguards were killed, but this has not been confirmed.</ref> Two of the GRU agents Anatoly Yablochkov (also known as Belashkov) and Vasily Pugachyov (sometimes misspelled as Bogachyov), were charged & convicted with the assassination of Yandarbiyev,
In March 2005, a suicide bombing killed a British teacher at the Doha Players Theater, shocking for a country that had not previously experienced acts of terrorism. The bombing was carried out by Omar Ahmed Abdullah Ali, an Egyptian residing in Qatar, who had suspected ties to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.2728 In 2011, Qatar joined NATO operations in Libya and reportedly armed Libyan opposition groups.29 It is also currently a major funder of weapons for rebel groups in the Syrian civil war.30 Qatar is pursuing an Afghan peace deal and in January 2012 the Afghan Taliban said they were setting up a political office in Qatar to facilitate talks.
Qatar is an absolute monarchy31 under the leadership of the Al Thani family, whose origins can be traced back to the Banu Tamim tribe. The Al Thani dynasty has been ruling Qatar since the family house was established in 1825.32 There is no independent legislature, and political parties are forbidden.33 Parliamentary elections, which were originally promised for 2005, have been postponed indefinitely.33
The supreme chancellor has the exclusive power to appoint and remove the prime minister and cabinet ministers who, together, comprise the Council of Ministers, which is the supreme executive authority in the country.34 The Council of Ministers also initiates legislation. Laws and decrees proposed by the Council of Ministers are referred to the Advisory Council (Majilis Al Shura) for discussion after which they are submitted to the Emir for ratification.34
A Consultative Assembly or Majlis Al-Shura has limited legislative authority to draft and approve laws, but the Emir has final say on all matters.32 No legislative elections have been held since 1970 when there were partial elections to the body.32 Elections to the Majlis al-Shura have been announced, and then postponed, several times.35 In 2011 the emir announced that elections to the council would be held in the second half of 2013.36
In 2003, Qatar adopted a new constitution that provided for the direct election of 30 of the 45 members of Advisory Council.3235 As of 2012, the Council is composed entirely of members appointed by the Emir.32
An elected 29-member Central Municipal Council (CMC) has limited consultative authority aimed at improving municipal services.32 The CMC makes recommendations to the Ministry for Municipal Affairs and Agriculture. Disagreement between the CMC and the Ministry can be brought to the Council of Ministers for resolution.35 Municipal elections are scheduled for every four years.35 The most recent elections for the council were in May 2011.32 Before 1999, members of the CMC were appointed by the government.
Codified family law was introduced in 2006. Sharia courts were abolished in 2003 but Sharia principles are still applied in matters related to personal status (such as marriage, divorce and child custody). In some cases a woman’s testimony is worth half a man’s and in some cases a female witness is not accepted at all.39
Alcohol consumption is legal in Qatar. Luxury hotels are allowed to sell alcohol to their adult customers.4041 Foreign nationals may obtain a permit to purchase alcohol for personal consumption. The Qatar Distribution Company (a subsidiary of Qatar Airways) is permitted to import alcohol and pork; it operates the one and only liquor store in the country, which also sells pork to holders of liquor licences.42
Until recently, restaurants on the Pearl-Qatar (a man-made island near Doha) were allowed to serve alcoholic drinks.4041 In December 2011, however, restaurants on the Pearl were told to stop selling alcohol.4043 No explanation was given for the ban.4041 Speculation about the reason includes the government's desire to project a more pious image in advance of the country’s first election of a royal advisory body and rumors of a financial dispute between the government and the resort’s developers.43
Many cases of ill-treatment of immigrant labour have been observed. Qatar does not maintain wage standards for its immigrant labor. Under the provisions of Qatar’s sponsorship law, sponsors have the unilateral power to cancel workers’ residency permits, deny workers’ ability to change employers, report a worker as “absconded” to police authorities, and deny permission to leave the country.44 As a result, sponsors may restrict workers’ movements and workers may be afraid to report abuses or claim their rights.44
As of 2005, certain provisions of the Qatari Criminal Code allowed punishments such as flogging and stoning 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.4546 Qatar retains the death penalty, mainly for threats against national security.
Qatar was also an early member of OPEC and a founding member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It is a member of the Arab League. The country has not accepted compulsory International Court of Justice jurisdiction.32
Qatar hosts the Al Udeid Air Base, which acts as the hub for all American air operations in the Gulf.47 Qatar has bilateral relationships with a variety of foreign powers. It has allowed American forces to use an air base to send supplies to Iraq and Afghanistan.48 It has also signed a defense cooperation agreement with Saudi Arabia,49 with whom it shares the largest single non-associated gas field in the world. It was the second nation, the first being France, to have publicly announced its recognition of the Libyan opposition's National Transitional Council as the legitimate government of Libya amidst the 2011 Libyan civil war.50
The history of Qatar’s alliances provides insight into the basis of their policy. Between 1760 and 1971, Qatar sought formal protection from the high transitory powers of the Ottomans, British, the Al-Khalifa’s from Bahrain, the Persians, and the Wahhabis from Saudi Arabia.51
According to leaked documents published in The New York Times, Qatar's record of counter-terrorism efforts was the "worst in the region" although Qatar had been a generous host to the American military.52 The cable suggested that Qatar’s security service was "hesitant to act against known terrorists out of concern for appearing to be aligned with the U.S. and provoking reprisals".52
Qatar has hosted academic, religious, political, and economic conferences. The 11th annual Doha Forum recently brought in key thinkers, professionals of various backgrounds, and political figures from all over the world to discuss democracy, media and information technology, free trade, and water security issues. This year was the first year the forum featured the Middle East Economic Future conference.53
|This section requires expansion. (January 2013)|
Qatar maintains a modest military force of approximately 11,800 men, including an army (8,500), navy (1,800) and air force (1,500). In 2008 Qatar spent US$2.355 billion on military expenditures, 2.3% of the gross domestic product.54
Qatari special forces have been trained by French and other Western countries, and are believed to possess considerable skills.33 They also helped the Libyan rebels during the 2011 Battle of Tripoli.33
Much of the country consists of a low, barren plain, covered with sand. To the southeast lies the spectacular Khor al Adaid (“Inland Sea”), an area of rolling sand dunes surrounding an inlet of the Persian Gulf. There are mild winters and very hot, humid summers.
The highest point in Qatar is Qurayn Abu al Bawl at 103 metres (338 ft)32 in the Jebel Dukhan to the west, a range of low limestone outcroppings running north-south from Zikrit through Umm Bab to the southern border. The Jebel Dukhan area also contains Qatar’s main onshore oil deposits, while the natural gas fields lie offshore, to the northwest of the peninsula.
Qatar signed the Rio Convention on Biological Diversity on 11 June 1992, and became a party to the convention on 21 August 1996.58 It has subsequently produced a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, which was received by the convention on 18 May 2005.59 A total of 142 fungal species have been recorded from Qatar.60
For two decades, Qatar has had the highest per-capita carbon dioxide emissions in the world, at 49.1 metric tons per person in 2008.61 Other sources state that by 2007, Qatar’s emission rate increased to 69 tons per person per year.62 Qataris are also some of the highest consumers of water per capita per day, using around 400 litres.63
|Climate data for Qatar|
|Average high °C (°F)||22
|Average low °C (°F)||13
|Precipitation mm (inches)||12.7
Before the discovery of oil, the economy of the Qatari region focused on fishing and pearl hunting. 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.65 The discovery transformed the state's economy. Now, the country has a high standard of living. With no income tax,citation needed Qatar (along with Bahrain) is one of the countries with the lowest tax rates in the world.
Qatar has the highest GDP per capita in the world as of 2012, according to the CIA World Factbook.66 It relies heavily on foreign labor to grow its economy, to the extent that migrant workers comprise 94% of the workforce.67 The economic growth of Qatar has been almost exclusively based on its petroleum and natural gas industries, which began in 1940.68 Qatar is the leading exporter of liquefied natural gas.33 In 2012, it was estimated that Qatar would invest over $120 billion in the energy sector in the next ten years.69 The country is a member state of OPEC, having joined the organisation in 1961.70
In May 2012, Qatari officials declared their intention to allow the establishment of an independent trade union.71 Qatar also announced it will scrap its sponsor system for foreign labour, which requires that all foreign workers be sponsored by local employers, who in some cases hold workers’ passports and can deny them permission to change jobs.71 According to the ITUC, the visa sponsorship system allows the exaction of forced labour by making it difficult for a migrant worker to leave an abusive employer or travel overseas without permission.72 Qatar does not have national occupational health standards or guidelines, and workplace injuries are the third highest cause of accidental deaths.73
|Source: Qatar Statistics Authority (1904-2004);74 2010 Census;2 2013 est.1|
The 2010 census recorded the total population at 1,699,435.2 In January 2013, the Qatar Statistics Authority estimated the country's population at 1,903,447, of which 1,405,164 are males and 498,283 females.1 At the time of the first census, held in 1970, the population was 111,133.74 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.75 The influx of male labourers has skewed the gender balance, and women are now just one-quarter of the population.75
The make up of ethnic groups is as follows: Qatari (Arab) 15%; other Arab 13%; Indian 24%; Nepali 16%; Filipino 11%; Sri Lankan 5%; Bangladesh: 5%; Pakistani 4%; other: 7%.13 In 2010, there were 250,000 Filipinos in Qatar, making them the third largest among expatriates.76
Projections released by Qatar Statistical Authourity indicates 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 percent. But the country’s population have soared to 1.83 million by the end of 2012, showing 7.5 percent growth over the previous year.77
Islam is the predominant religion. According to the 2004 census, 71.5% of the population are Sunni Muslim and about 10% Shi'a Muslim, 8.5% are Christian and 10% are "Other".327879 Most ethnic Qatari practice Wahhabism.80
The government uses Sunni law as the basis of its criminal and civil regulations. Some religious tolerance is granted. Foreign nationals are free to affiliate with their faiths other than Islam, e.g. Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism and Bahai, as long as they are religious in private and do not offend 'public order' or 'morality'.
In March 2008, a Roman Catholic church, Our Lady of the Rosary, was consecrated in Doha. No missionaries are allowed in the community. The church has no bells, crosses or other Christian symbols on it and its premises.
The Christian population is composed almost entirely of foreigners. Active churches are Mar Thoma Church, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church from Southern India, Arab Evangelicals from Syria and Palestine, and Anglicans,81 about 50,000 Catholics and Copts from Egypt.82 No foreign missionary groups operate openly in the country,83 but the government allows churches to conduct Mass. Since 2008 Christians have been allowed to build churches on ground donated by the government.84
|This section requires expansion. (January 2013)|
Arabic is the official language of Qatar. English is also widely spoken.85 Reflecting the multicultural make-up of the country, many other languages are also spoken, including French, Hindi, Malayalam, Urdu, Tamil, and Tagalog.86
Qatar's native culture is similar to that of other Arab countries of the Persian Gulf (see Culture of the Arab States of the Persian Gulf). Arab tribes from Saudi Arabia migrated to Qatar and other places in the Persian Gulf; therefore, cultures in the Persian Gulf region vary little from country to country.
The Qatar National Day hosted every 18 December is the day Qataris celebrate their national identity and history. On that day, expressions of affection and gratitude are conveyed to the people of Qatar who cooperated in solidarity and vowed allegiance and obedience to Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani as a leader in 1878.8788
Qatar's cultural policies are very dynamic. Several senior members of the ruling Al Thani family are enthusiastic collectors of Islamic and contemporary art (see Collecting practices of the Al-Thani Family).
The Museum of Islamic Art, opened in 2008, has quickly come to be regarded as one of the great museums of the world.89 This, and several other Qatari museums, fall under the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) which is led by Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the daughter of the ruling Emir of the State of Qatar, and the prominent collector and art patron Sheikh Hassan bin Mohammed Al-Thani.90 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.91 The Qatari cultural sector is being developed to enable the country to reach world recognition in order to contribute to the development of a country that comes mainly from its resources from the gas industry.92
Qatar's media was classified as "not free" in the 2012 Freedom of the Press report by Freedom House.93 Criticism of the Emir in the media is illegal: according to article 46 of the press law “The emir of the state of Qatar shall not be criticized and no statement can be attributed to him unless under a written permission from the manger of his office.”94
Al Jazeera is a main television network headquartered in Doha, Qatar. Al Jazeera initially launched in 1996 as an Arabic news and current affairs satellite TV channel of the same name, but has since expanded into a network of several specialty TV channels.
Print media is going through expansion, with over three English dailies and Arabic titles. Qatar Today is the only monthly business magazine in the country. It is published by Oryx Advertising, which is the largest magazine publisher in Qatar. The group also publishes several titles such as Qatar Al Youm, the only monthly business magazine in Qatar in Arabic language, Woman Today, the only magazine for working women, and GLAM,95 the only fashion magazine. In December 2009, Oryx launched T Qatar: The New York Times Style Magazine,96 which marks the entry of an international magazine into Qatar.
The Asian Football Confederation's 2011 AFC Asian Cup finals was held in Qatar in January 2011. It was the fifteenth time the tournament has been held, and the second time it has been hosted by Qatar, the other being the 1988 AFC Asian Cup.
Doha, Qatar, is also home to Qatar Racing Club, a drag racing facility. Sheik Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani is very involved in the sport and owner of Al-Anabi Racing. He recently brought his racing company to the United States as a member of the NHRA with the help of 9 time NHRA champion crew chief Alan Johnson, renaming the American team Awsome Al-Anabi Racing, he also brought Johnson on as CEO of the American team, luring him from rival Don Schumacher Racing. They currently have two teams in Top Fuel: Khalid Al-Balooshi and Shawn Langdon.
Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha, Qatar, hosted the WTA Tour Championships in women's tennis between 2008 and 2010. Doha holds the WTA Premier tournament Qatar Ladies Open annually.
Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar won the 2011 Dakar Rally and the Production World Rally Championship in 2006. In addition, he has also won gold medals at the 2002 Asian Games and 2010 Asian Games as part of the Qatari skeet shooting team, as well as a bronze medal in the individual skeet event at the 2010 Games in Guangzhou. In the 2012 Summer Games, he won the bronze medal in clay pigeon shooting.98
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.99
In March 2013, Qatar hosted the first round of the FIM World Motocross Championship, becoming the first Motocross Grand Prix to be held in the Middle East.
In 2022, Qatar will host the World Cup. Qatar are planning on building nine new stadiums and expanding three of them for this event.
Qatar has hired RAND to reform its K–12 education system.33 Through the Qatar Foundation, the country has built an “Education City”, hosting local branches of the Weill Cornell Medical College, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Texas A&M’s School of Engineering, and other Western institutions.33
The illiteracy rate in Qatar was 3.1% for males and 4.2% for females in 2012, the lowest in the Arab world.100 Citizens are required to attend government-provided education from kindergarten through high school.101 Qatar University was founded in 1973.
In 2008, Qatar established the Qatar Science & Technology Park at Education City to link those universities with industry. Education City is also home to a fully accredited International Baccalaureate school, Qatar Academy. Two Canadian institutions, the College of the North Atlantic and the University of Calgary, also operate campuses in Doha. Other for-profit universities have also established campuses in the city.102
In November 2002, the Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani created the Supreme Education Council.103 The Council directs and controls education for all ages from the pre-school level through the university level, including the “Education for a New Era”104 reform initiative.
According to the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, the top-ranking universities in the country are Qatar University (1881st worldwide), Texas A&M University at Qatar (3905th) and Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (6855th).105
In 2010, spending on healthcare accounted for 1.40% of the country's GDP. In 2006, there were 23.12 physicians and 61.81 nurses per 10,000 inhabitants.106 The life expectancy at birth was 78.25 years in 2010, or 78.54 years for males and 77.95 years for females.107
Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), affiliated with Cornell University, is the premier non-profit health care provider in Doha, Qatar. Established by the Emiri decree in 1979, HMC manages five highly specialised hospitals and a health care centre: Hamad General Hospital, Rumailah Hospital, Women’s Hospital, Psychiatric Hospital and the Primary Health Care Centres and Al Khor Hospital. These hospitals are quite sophisticated by the standards of the region, with most hosting advanced fMRI and other scanning machines.
Other private hospitals and polyclinics consist of Sidra Hospital, Al-Ahli Hospital, Doha Clinic, Al-Emadi Hospital, The American Hospital, Apollo Clinic, Future Medical Center, Future Dental Center, and Tadawi Medical. Qatar has among the highest rates in the world for obesity, diabetes and genetic disorders.108
- List of Qatar-related topics
- Outline of Qatar
- Qatar's Kafala system—laws regarding foreign workers in Qatar
- Human rights in Qatar
- "Population structure". Qatar Statistics Authority. 31 January 2013.
- "Populations". Qsa.gov.qa. Retrieved 2 October 2010.
- "Qatar". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
- "GINI index". World Bank. Retrieved 2013-01-22.
- "Human Development Index and its components" (PDF). UNDP. Retrieved 2013-01-22.
- "CMU Pronouncing Dictionary". Speech.cs.cmu.edu. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
- Koerner, Brendan I (3 December 2002). "How Do You Pronounce "Qatar"?". Slate. "The most accurate English estimate is something halfway between 'cutter' and 'gutter.' It's not 'KUH-tar,' the pronunciation that has become the standard among overseas TV and radio newscasters."
- Johnstone, T. M. (2008). "Encyclopaedia of Islam". Ķaṭar. Brill Online. Retrieved 2013-01-22. (subscription required))
- "Qatar 1995 Coup". UNHCR. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
- Beth Greenfield (18 April 2012). "World's Richest Countries". Forbes. Retrieved 2013-01-22.
- "US State Department Qatar Page". US State Department.
- "Archaeological dig in Qatar reveals fascinating material". gulf-times.com. Archived from the original on 9 November 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
- "History of Qatar". Diwan.gov.qa. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
- "The Ubaid Period in Qatar". qatarvisitor.com. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
- "Dilmun (ancient kingdom, Persian Gulf)". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
- "Deeprooted History – Qatar Tourism Authority". qatartourism.gov.qa. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
- Peter Malcolm Holt, Ann K. S. Lambton, Bernard Lewis The Cambridge history of Islam 1977.
- "World Flags @History (link broken)". Flags.net84.net. 5 November 1914. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- Fromhertz, Allan (2012). Qatar: A Modern History. I.B. Tauris and Georgetown University Press.
- Rogan, Eugene; Murphey, Rhoads; Masalha, Nur; Durac, Vincent; Hinnebusch, Raymond (Nov 1999). "Review of The Ottoman Gulf: The Creation of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar by Frederick F.Anscombe; The Blood-Red Arab Flag: An Investigation into Qasimi Piracy, 1797–1820 by Charles E. Davies; The Politics of Regional Trade in Iraq, Arabia and the Gulf, 1745–1900 by Hala Fattah". British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 26 (2): 339–342. doi:10.1080/13530199908705688. JSTOR 195948.
- "Battle of Al Wajbah". Qatar Visitor. 2 June 2007. Retrieved 2013-01-22.
- "Amiri Diwan – Shaikh Abdullah Bin Jassim Al Thani". Diwan.gov.qa. Retrieved 2012-10-28.
- "Qatar (01/10)". State.gov. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
- Coman, Julian (21 March 2005). "Egyptian Suicide Bomber Blamed for Attack in Qatar". The Independent.
- "The Advent of Terrorism in Qatar". Forbes. 25 March 2005.
- "Qatar Timeline". BBC News. 14 June 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- Roula Khalaf and Abigail Fielding Smith (16 May 2013). "Qatar bankrolls Syrian revolt with cash and arms". Financial Times. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- "Qatar: regional backwater to global player". BBC News.
- "Qatar". CIA World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. 8 February 2012. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
- "The Strange Power of Qatar by Hugh Eakin". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
- "Council of Ministers". Embassy of the State of Qatar in Washington DC. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
- Lambert, Jennifer (2011). Political Reform in Qatar: Participation, Legitimacy and Security 19 (1). Middle East Policy Council.
- "Qatar to hold advisory council elections in 2013". Reuters (UK edition) (Reuters). 1 November 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
- "General Information About Qatar". Qatar Statistics Authority.
- Hamzeh, A Nizar (1994). "Qatar: The Duality of the Legal System". Middle Eastern Studies 30 (1): 79–90. doi:10.1080/00263209408700984.
- "Qatar Gender Equality Profile". UNICEF.
- Alex Delmar-Morgan (7 January 2012). "Qatar, Unveiling Tensions, Suspends Sale of Alcohol". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
- Jenifer Fenton (16 January 2012). "Qatar's Impromptu Alcohol Ban". The Arabist. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
- "Purchasing Alcohol in Qatar". Qatar Visitor. 2 June 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- James M. Dorsey (17 January 2012). "Debate Questions Emir's Powers To Shape Qatar's Positioning As Sports Hub And Sponsor Of Revolts – Analysis". The Eurasia Review. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
- "Country Narratives". Human Trafficking Report 2011. Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, United States Department of State. 2011-06. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
- Kelly, Tobias (2009). "The UN Committee against Torture: Human Rights Monitoring and the Legal Recognition of Cruelty". Human Rights Quarterly 313 (3): 777–800. doi:10.1353/hrq.0.0094.
- Conclusions and Recommendations: Qatar (Report). UN Committee Against Torture. 25 July 2006. U.N. Doc. CAT/C/QAT/CO/1. http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/refworld/rwmain?docid=453776c75. Retrieved 9 January 2012. ""Certain provisions of the Criminal Code allow punishments such as flogging and stoning to be imposed as criminal sanctions by judicial and administrative authorities. These practices constitute a breach of the obligations imposed by the Convention. The Committee notes with interest that authorities are presently considering amendments to the Prison Act that would abolish flogging." (Par. 12)"
- "Qatar relies on US base amid Gulf tensions". FT.com. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
- Zacharia, Janine (4 March 2008). "For Qatar, relations with West are a balancing act". New York Times. Retrieved 30 January 2011.
- "Qatar and Saudi Arabia sign defense agreement". Tehrantimes.com. 25 February 2010. Retrieved 2 October 2010.
- "Qatar recognizes Libyan rebels after oil deal". Al Jazeera. 28 March 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
- Rahman, Habibur (2005). The Emergence of Qatar. London/New York: Regan Paul.
- SCOTT SHANE and ANDREW W. LEHREN (28 November 2010). "Leaked Cables Offer Raw Look at U.S. Diplomacy". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 December 2010. "... the tiny Persian Gulf state of Qatar, a generous host to the American military for years, was the “worst in the region” in counter-terrorism efforts, according to a State Department cable last December. Qatar’s security service was “hesitant to act against known terrorists out of concern for appearing to be aligned with the U.S. and provoking reprisals,” the cable said."
- "Doha Forum".dead link
- "The SIPRI Military Expenditure Database". Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
- "Qatar Municipalities". Qatar Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning. Archived from the original on 22 December 2011.
- "Administrative Division of the State". The General Census of Population and Housing, and Establishment Apr 2010. State Of Qatar Statistics Authority. p. 25.
- "Population By Gender, Municipality And Zone, March 2004". General Secretariat for Development Planning. Archived from the original on 12 December 2006.
- "List of Parties". Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- "National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. State of Qatar". Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- A.H. Moubasher, Soil Fungi in Qatar and other Arab Countries Doha, Qatar, Centre for Scientific and Applied Research, xvi + 570 pp. (1993).
- "CO2 emissions (metric tons per capita)". Data.worldbank.org. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- World Resources Institute (2007). www.wri.org. Retrieved 3 November 2009.
- Pearce, Fred (14 January 2010). "Qatar to use biofuels? What about the country's energy consumption?". The Guardian.
- "Monthly Averages for Doha, Qatar". weather.com. The Weather Channel. Retrieved 26 October 2009.
- "History Of Oil Discovery". Embassy of Qatar.
- "GDP – per capita (PPP)". The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 2013-01-22.
- "Qatar: Migrant Construction Workers Face Abuse". Human Rights Watch.
- "Qatar tourist guide". Retrieved 14 February 2012.
- "Doing Business in Qatar: 2012 Country Commercial Guide for U.S. Companies". US & Foreign Commercial Service And US Department Of State. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- "Qatar". OPEC. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
- "Qatar to allow trade union, scrap 'sponsor' system". Al Arabiya.
- "International unions warn Qatar's work visa system allows employers to use forced labour". ITUC-CSI-IGB.
- "Occupational health". National Health Strategy.
- "History of Census in Qatar". Qatar Statistics Authority. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
- "Qatar's delicate balancing act". BBC News. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
- Toumi, Habib (25 April 2010). "Qatar has highest Filipino labour market growth rate in the Gulf". Gulf News.
- "Population rise will push up rents".
- "Population By Religion, Gender And Municipality March 2004". Qatar Statistics Authority.
- "Mapping the Global Muslim Population: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Muslim Population". Pew Research Center. 7 October 2009. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
- "Rising power Qatar stirs unease among some Mideast neighbors". Reuters. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- "The Anglican Centre in Qatar". Epiphany-qatar.org. Retrieved 2013-01-22.
- World Christian Encyclopedia, Second edition, Volume 1, Seite 617
- "CIA The World Fact Book". State.gov. 29 June 2006. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
- "Christians to Welcome Qatar's First Christian Church". Christianpost.com. 24 February 2008. Retrieved 2013-01-22.
- "About Qatar". Qatar Leadership Academy.
- "Qatar Facts". First Qatar Orthodontic Conference.
- "Qatar National Day 2011". Time Out Doha.
- "Qatar National Day". Manila Bulletin. 17 December 2010.
- "Art in Qatar: A Smithsonian in the sand". The Economist. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
- "QMA Board of Directors". Qatar Museums Authority.
- "Qatar revealed as the world’s biggest contemporary art buyer". The Art Newspaper. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
- Bohas, Alexander. "The Political Trump-Cards of Cultural Potency Qatar’s Policy of ‘Cultural Grandeur’". Chaos International. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
- "Qatar". Freedom House. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
- "Awaiting a Modern Press Law in Qatar". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
- "Oryx Publishing launches GLAM". Ameinfo.com. 21 November 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2010.
- "T Qatar launched". Ameinfo.com. Retrieved 2 October 2010.
- Paul Radford (2 December 2010). "Russia, Qatar win 2018 and 2022 World Cups". Reuters. Retrieved 2 December 2010.
- "2012 London Olympics – Vincent Hancock wins second straight gold medal in men's skeet competition". ESPN. 31 July 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- "The homepage of Tour of Qatar". Letour.fr. 1 December 1994. Retrieved 2013-01-22.
- "In the occasion of Literacy Arab Day, Qatar has the Lowest Illiteracy Rates in 2012". Qatar Statistics Authority. 8 January 2013.
- "Qatar constitution".
- "Stenden University Qatar". Retrieved 22 May 2009.dead link
- "About the SEC". Supreme Education Council. Archived from the original on 10 September 2004. Retrieved 25 March 2008.
- "Education for a New Era". Supreme Education Council. Retrieved 25 March 2008.
- "Qatar". Ranking Web of Universities. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
- "Health". SESRIC.
- "Demography". SESRIC.
- Slackman, Michael (26 April 2010). "Privilege Pulls Qatar Toward Unhealthy Choices". New York Times.
|Find more about Qatar at Wikipedia's sister projects|
|Definitions and translations from Wiktionary|
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|Quotations from Wikiquote|
|Source texts from Wikisource|
|Textbooks from Wikibooks|
|Travel guide from Wikivoyage|
- Amiri Diwan (official government website).
- Qatar entry at The World Factbook
- Qatar web resources provided by GovPubs at the University of Colorado–Boulder Libraries
- Qatar at the Open Directory Project
- Qatar from the BBC News.
- Qatar travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Wikimedia Atlas of Qatar
- Key Development Forecasts for Qatar from International Futures.
- Legal Portal by the Ministry of Justice, including official gazette.
- Qatar Medical Care System
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