Qatar, also Katar (Swedish pronunciation [ka’tɑːr]; Arabic : قطر, pronounced [ˈqɑtˤɑr], or with local pronunciation [ˈɡɪtˤɑr]) formally the State of Qatar, is an emirate consisting of a peninsula located at Persian Gulf on the northeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. The country borders Saudi Arabia in the south and also has a maritime border with Bahrain.
Qatar has been criticized by several human rights organizations for a lack of human rights, including due to slavery, gender discrimination and the death penalty for sexual minorities. See Countryaah.com for other countries starting with Q.
Early human settlement in the area has been documented from 7500 years ago. Archaeological excavations indicate that the inhabitants had contact with the Ubaid civilization in the Two Rivers country around 5000-4000 BC. The area formed part of a large trade network around the Persian Gulf from 3000 BC onwards. Qatar was part of the Sassanid Persian Empire around the 2nd century, but in the early 6th century, the last pagan ruler had the inhabitants of the neighboring Bahrain area convert to Islam.
Towards the end of the 18th century, Qatar was largely annexed by Bahrain but in 1871 the governor of Baghdad, Midhat Pascha, pressured the native Al Thani ruling family to submit to Turkish suzerainty and Qatar was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire. Qatar gradually fell into Britain ‘s sphere of influence from 1892 but remained formally part of the Ottoman Empire until 1913. In 1916, the country became a British protectorate. The country became independent on 3 September 1971 and, along with Bahrain, chose not to be part of the United Arab Emirateslike the other treaty states which gained their independence at the same time.
Qatar consists of a 160 km long peninsula that juts out into the Persian Gulf from the east coast of the Arabian Peninsula and a few smaller islands around it. However, the Hawar Islands just west of the peninsula belong to Bahrain. The country borders only Saudi Arabia. Much of the country consists of low plains covered with sand. To the southeast is the ” Inland Sea “, an area covered by sand dunes surrounding the inlet of the bay.
The highest point in Qatar is in Jebel Dukhan, which is a low chain of limestone hills, from Zikrit through Umm Bab to the southern border. The highest point reaches approximately 100 meters above sea level. This area also contains Qatar’s main onshore oil resources.
Since 2004, Qatar is divided into seven municipalities (Arabic: baladiyah).
- Madinat ash Shamal
- Al Khor
- Umm Salal
- Al Daayen
- Al Rayyan
- Al Wakrah
For statistical purposes, the municipalities are divided into 98 zones, which in turn are divided into blocks (“blocks”).
Before the oil in the country was discovered, the economic activities in the country focused around fishing and pearl hunting. However, after the Japanese pearl was introduced to the market in the 1920s and 1930s, Qatar’s pearl industry declined. During the 1940s, oil was discovered, which completely changed the country’s economy.
Qatar’s national income comes mainly from oil and natural gas exports. The country has another 2.4 km³ of oil to give. Qatar’s standard of living and wealth is comparable to that of Western Europe, and the country has the highest GDP per capita. In Qatar there is no income tax, and is one of the two countries in the world with the lowest taxes.
Qatar is currently trying to stimulate the private sector, in order to develop a “science economy”, which should not be equally dependent on oil and natural gas. In 2004, a science park was established to attract technology-based companies and entrepreneurs from both other countries and within Qatar.
The television channel al-Jazeera is based in Qatar. Qatar Airways is Qatar’s state-owned airline with its hub at Hamad International Airport. Qatar Airways flies to 150 destinations (2018) worldwide, including with the Airbus A340 -600.
The majority of Qatar’s residents are labor from other countries, thanks to the oil industry. Many of the workers come from South Asia and from poorer neighboring Arab countries. As these are mainly men, Qatar has a very skewed gender distribution, with 3.1 men per woman (Census 2010). The population has more than doubled between the 2004 and 2010 censuses. In 2010, the number of inhabitants amounted to 1,699,435 inhabitants, of which almost half in the capital Doha and most of the other inhabitants living in Doha’s suburbs. The proportion of men was almost 76 percent in 2010. In 2011, Qatari nationals made up only 15% of the country’s total population.
Arabic is the official language but many people understand English.
Islam is the state religion in the country. 90% of the citizens are Sunni Muslims belonging to Wahhabism, which is, however, practiced less strictly in Qatar than in its country of origin, Saudi Arabia. The country is one of the 13 Muslim countries where leaving Islam ( apostasy) is punishable by death by law. The large number of guest workers in the country has resulted in many religious minorities. An estimate made by the Pew Research Center in 2010 shows that about 67.7% of the total population is Muslim, 13.8% Christian, 13.8% Hindu, 3.1% Buddhist and the remaining others.
In 2010, Qatar won the vote for which country would host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. In 2011, it became clear that Qatar would also host the 2015 Handball World Cup. The World Cycling Championships were held in Doha in 2016. Qatar held the 2008 and 2010 WTA Tour Championships, as well as the 2011 Asian Football Championship. Doha submitted bids for the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympics , but was not awarded.