Qatar (Arabic: قطر (pron. [ˈqɑtˤɑr]) – trl. Qaţar, trb. Qatar), officially the State of Qatar (Arabic: دولة قطر – trl. Dawlat Qaţar, trb. Daulat Qatar) – a country located in the eastern parts of the Arabian Peninsula (on the Qatar Peninsula) on the Persian Gulf. The capital of Qatar is Doha. Other major cities include Ar-Rajjan, Musajid, Al-Wakra, Khaur,Duchan, Umm Bab. The area of Qatar is 11.6 thousand square meters. km²; it only borders Saudi Arabia. The official language is Arabic, but English is also used. Qatar is divided into seven districts.
As a country beginning with Q according to Countryaah, Qatar is a member state of the League of Arab States, International Atomic Energy Agency, International Labor Organization, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, United Nations (based on United Nations Security Council Resolution 297 of September 15, 1971), Gulf Cooperation Council, World Trade Organization.
In 2010, Qatari society was the richest society in the world. At the end of 2017, according to Trading Economics, Qatar ranked 6th in terms of GDP per capita and 1st in terms of GDP per capita according to purchasing power parity.
Qatar is a principality (emirate). According to the provisional constitution of 1970, the head of state is the emir (from the ruling family of Al Sani). Executive power is exercised by the government appointed by the emir (with the prime minister). The 35-member Advisory Board is a consultative body of the government. There is no parliament or political parties.
Since 2004, Qatar has been divided into 7 districts.
The surface of the country is lowland (height 50-103 m), desert (sandy and stony desert), swampy in the north-eastern part. Extremely dry tropical climate. The average monthly temperature in January is 17 °C, and in August it ranges from 38 to 44 °C. The average annual rainfall is about 80 millimeters. Heavy rains occur from December to February. Qatar has no inland waters. The population is supplied with desalinated sea water. Desert vegetation occurs in Qatar. The coastline is well developed.
In the 16th century, the Portuguese tried to take over the peninsula. Since the 19th century, the country has been ruled by the Al Sani family. Qatar was annexed twice in its history: in the years 1871–1916 it was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire, and in the years 1916–1971 under the protectorate of Great Britain. Since 1971, this internally stable country has been ruled by the Al Sani family again.
In 1913, Turkey renounced its claims to Qatar. Three years later, the area of Arab lands was divided between two European powers: France and Great Britain. In 1915, the last Turkish soldiers left Qatar, and a year later, under the Qatari-British agreement, the country became a protectorate of Great Britain. In exchange for limited security guarantees, the sheikh of Qatar undertook not to maintain diplomatic relations with any power without the consent of the British government. In 1939 oil deposits were discovered and in 1949 their industrial exploitation began. In 1970, a provisional constitution was introduced. On September 1, 1971, the heir to the throne, Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad, declared Qatar’s full independence. Two days later, the 1916 treaty with Great Britain expired and Qatar became a sovereign state. In the same year, Qatar joined the United Nations and the League of Arab States. In 1972, as a result of a bloodless coup d’état, Khalifa ibn Ahmad Al Thani seized power.
In 1979, Qatar severed diplomatic relations with Egypt (after concluding a peace deal with Israel). Diplomatic relations were restored in 1987. Qatar supported Iraq in the Iran–Iraq War. In 1990, Qatar condemned Iraq’s aggression against Kuwait and made its territories available to the troops of the anti-Iraqi coalition. In June 1995, Khalifa ibn Ahmad Al Thani lost power to his son Hamad.
In the second decade of the 21st century, Qatar hosted many world-class sporting events, including the 2015 World Men’s Handball Championship and the 2016 World Road Cycling Championship. In 2022, the football world cup is being held in this country.
On June 5, 2017, some Arab countries announced the severance of diplomatic relations with Qatar under the pretext of supporting terrorism by that state.
Qatar has three types of armed forces: land forces, navy and air force. In 2017, the armament of the Qatari ground forces consisted of: 92 tanks, 464 armored fighting vehicles, 24 sets of towed artillery and 21 multiple rocket launchers. In the same year, the Qatari Navy had 69 coastal defense ships. In 2014, the Qatari air force had armament in the form of, among others: 9 fighters, 53 transport aircraft, fifteen training and combat aircraft and 43 helicopters.
In 2014, the Qatari army consisted of 12,000 professional soldiers (no reservists). According to the Global Firepower ranking (2017), the Qatari armed forces are the 91st military force in the world, with an annual defense budget of $1.93 billion (USD).
Qatar generates the most revenue from the extraction of natural gas and crude oil. The domestic industry focuses not only on the extraction of these raw materials, but also on their processing. In 1971, off the coast of the emirate, the largest deposit of natural gas in the world was discovered – the so-called The North Pole – with resources reaching 18 trillion cubic meters, which placed Qatar (next to Russia and Iran) among the three countries with the largest natural gas resources in the world. About 5% of the world’s natural gas reserves belong to Qatar. Qatar is currently the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world. It has been developing this technology since 1997, when the first LNG shipment was sent to Spain. According to estimates, oil deposits will be exhausted around 2025. Regulations concerning the activities of foreign companies in the oil sector were liberalized in 2002.
In 1998, the privatization of the state sector (including the oil sector) began. The gross domestic product in 2016 was $129,726 per person.
The processing industry (refining, fertilizer, metallurgy, seawater desalination plants) is concentrated in the special industrial zone of Musajid and in the capital (food, cement, clothing, power plants, seawater desalination plants). Natural gas processing facilities have been built around the port of Ras Laffa.
Agriculture is poorly developed. Arable land and orchards cover 0.7% of the country’s area. Vegetables (tomatoes, melons, cabbage), cereals (millet, sorghum, corn) and fruits (mainly date palm) are grown on soils irrigated with desalinated sea water. Cattle, sheep, goats and camels are raised. Fish and pearls are caught on the coast.
Car transport (1.2 thousand km of roads) and pipeline transport (oil, gas and other pipelines with a total length of about 2.4 thousand km) have developed in Qatar. Seaports are located in Doha and Musajid. The international airport is located in the capital.
Qatar exports crude oil and petroleum products, natural gas, steel and fertilizers, and imports machinery, transport equipment, manufactured goods and food. The main trading partners are: Japan, South Korea, France and Germany.
In July 2017, 2,314,307 people lived in Qatar. The country is inhabited by Arabs (40%), Pakistanis (18%), Indians (18%), Iranians (10%) and others. The birth rate in 2017 was 2.27‰. Age structure: 0-14 years 12.63%; 15–24 years 12.35%, 25–54 years 70.59%, 55–64 years 3.42%, 65 years and over 1%. Infant mortality in 2017 was 6.2 deaths per thousand births and the fertility rate was 1.9 children per woman. Life expectancyin 2017 it was 78.9 years (for men 76.8, for women 81).
Religious structure of the country in 2010 according to the Pew Research Center:
- Islam- 67.7% (1,190,000)
- Christianity- 13.8% (250,000)
- Roman Catholicism- 10.5% (190,000)
- Protestantism- 2.8% (50,000)
- Orthodox- 0.5% (<10,000)
- Hinduism- 13.8% (240,000)
- Buddhism- 3.1% (50,000)
- no religion – 0.9% (20,000)
- other religions – 0.7% (10,000)
Qatar’s culture is dominated by Islam. The norms of Muslim morality apply.
The Arab television Al-Jazeera (established in 1996) has its headquarters in Qatar.
The state holiday falls on December 18 (the anniversary of the adoption of independence).
The National Library of Qatar launched a digital library with over 100,000 archives in 2014. Among those available online are books, maps, recordings, manuscripts. Most of the resources are in the public domain.
Emirs of Qatar
- Muhammad ibn Sani(1868–1878)
- Qasim ibn Muhammad Al Thani(1878–1913)
- Abdullah ibn Qasim Al Thani(1913–1949)
- Ali ibn Abdullah Al Thani(1949–1960)
- Ahmad ibn Ali Al Thani(1960–1972)
- Khalifa ibn Ahmad Al Thani(1972–1995)
- Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani(1995–2013)
- Tamim ibn Hamad Al Thani(since 2013)