Qatar (GPS: 25 30 N, 51 15 E) is located in the Middle East, peninsula bordering the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia. The country’s area measurements are total: 11,586 sq km; land: 11,586 sq km, water: 0 sq km. This sovereign state is almost twice the size of Delaware, slightly smaller than Connecticut. The total irrigated land is 130 sq km (2012).
Qatar’s essential features: The peninsula occupies a strategic location in the central Persian Gulf near significant petroleum deposits.
It’s significant, and simultaneously, the principal city, Doha’s GPS coordinates are 25 17 N 51 32 E. Doha’s local time is 8 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+3.
Ruled by the Al Thani family since the mid-1800s, Qatar, within the last 60 years, transformed itself from a poor British protectorate noted mainly for pearling into an independent state with significant oil and natural gas revenues. Former Amir HAMAD bin Khalifa Al Thani, who overthrew his father in a bloodless coup in 1995, ushered in wide-sweeping political and media reforms, unprecedented economic investment, and a growing Qatari regional leadership role, in part through the creation of the pan-Arab satellite news network Al-Jazeera and Qatar’s mediation of some regional conflicts. In the 2000s, Qatar resolved its longstanding border disputes with both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and by 2007 had attained the highest per capita income in the world.
Qatar did not experience domestic unrest or violence like that seen in other Near Eastern and North African countries in 2011 due to its immense wealth and patronage network. In mid-2013, HAMAD peacefully abdicated, transferring power to his son, the current Amir TAMIM bin Hamad. TAMIM is popular with the Qatari public for his role in shepherding the country through an economic embargo by some other regional countries, for his efforts to improve the country’s healthcare and education systems, and for his expansion of the country’s infrastructure in anticipation of Doha’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup. Recently, Qatar’s relationships with its neighbors have been tense, although, since the fall of 2019, there have been signs of improved prospects for a thaw.
Following the outbreak of regional unrest in 2011, Doha prided itself on its support for many popular revolutions, particularly in Libya and Syria. This stance was detrimental to Qatar’s relations with Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which temporarily recalled their respective ambassadors from Doha in March 2014. TAMIM later oversaw a warming of Qatar’s relations with Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE in November 2014 following Kuwaiti mediation and the Riyadh Agreement. This reconciliation, however, was short-lived. In June 2017, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE (the “Quartet”) cut diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar in response to alleged violations of the agreement, among other complaints.
Qatar’s names conventional long form: the State of Qatar, traditional short form: Qatar, local long form: Dawlat Qatar, local short form: Qatar. Note: closest approximation of the native pronunciation is gattar or cottar, etymology: the origin of the name is uncertain, but it dates back at least 2,000 years since the term “Catharrei” was used to describe the inhabitants of the peninsula by Pliny the Elder (1st century A.D.), and a “Catara” peninsula is depicted on a map by Ptolemy (2nd century A.D.). The origin of the name is uncertain, but it dates back at least 2,000 years since the term “Catharrei” was used to describe the inhabitants of the peninsula by Pliny the Elder (1st century A.D.), and a “Catara” peninsula is depicted on a map by Ptolemy (2nd century A.D.).
Qatar’s terrain is typically mostly flat and barren desert. The country’s mean elevation: 28 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m, highest point: Tuwayyir al Hamir 103 m.
The country’s general climate is arid: mild, pleasant winters: sweltering, humid summers.
The total number of border countries is 1, Saudi Arabia, 87 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Qatar’s coastline is 563 km, while its marital claims are: territorial sea: 12 nautical miles, contiguous zone: 24 nautical miles, exclusive economic zone: as determined by bilateral agreements or the median line. Waterways: N/A. Land use: agricultural land: 5.6%; arable land 1.1%; permanent crops 0.2%; permanent pasture 4.3%; forest: 0%; other: 94.4% (2011 estimate).
The population in Qatar 2,363,569 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 99.2% of total population (2015), central metropolitan area’s population: DOHA (capital) 718,000 (2015), while Qatar has most of the community is clustered in or around the capital of Doha on the eastern side of the peninsula. Their spoken languages are: Arabic (official language), English commonly used as a second language. Qatar’s main religions are Muslim 77.5%, Christian 8.5%, other (includes mainly Hindu and other Indian religions) 14% (2004 estimate). The nation uses a mixed legal system of civil law and Islamic law (in family and personal matters). It is a(n) absolute monarchy, National holiday(s) National Day, 18 December (1878), the anniversary of Al Thani family accession to the throne; Independence Day, 3 September (1971).
Economic overview for the country: Qatar’s oil and natural gas resources are the country’s main economic engine and government revenue source, driving Qatar’s high economic growth and per capita income levels, robust state spending on public entitlements, and booming construction spending, particularly as Qatar prepares to host the World Cup in 2022. Although the government has maintained high capital spending levels for ongoing infrastructure projects, low oil and natural gas prices in recent years have led the Qatari Government to tighten some spending to help stem its budget deficit. Qatar’s reliance on oil and natural gas is likely to persist for the foreseeable future. Proved natural gas reserves exceed 25 trillion cubic meters – 13% of the world total and, among countries, third-largest in the world.
Proved oil reserves exceed 25 billion barrels, allowing production to continue at current levels for about 56 years. Despite the dominance of oil and natural gas, Qatar has made significant gains in strengthening non-oil sectors, such as manufacturing, construction, and financial services, leading non-oil GDP to steadily rise in recent years to just over half the total. Following trade restrictions imposed by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt in 2017, Qatar established new trade routes with other countries to maintain imports.
Natural resources of Qatar: petroleum, natural gas, fish.
Main export partners for Qatar, Middle East are Japan 25.4%, India 14.6%, China 8.4%, UAE 6.8%, Singapore 5.6%, UK 5.5%, Thailand 4.2% (2015) for liquefied natural gas (LNG), petroleum products, fertilizers, steel, while the main import partners for the country are: China 11.9%, US 11.3%, UAE 9%, Germany 7.7%, Japan 6.7%, UK 5.9%, Italy 4.6%, Saudi Arabia 4.4% (2015) for machinery and transport equipment, food, chemicals.
When you visit this country in the Middle East, consider Qatar’s natural hazards: Haze, dust storms, sandstorms common, while infectious diseases are N/A. Also, note that Qatar faces the following environmental issues: Air, land, and water pollution are significant environmental issues, Limited natural freshwater resources are increasing dependence on large-scale desalination facilities; other problems include conservation of oil supplies and preservation of the natural wildlife heritage.
You may also be interested in Qatar’s surrounding countries around its total 87 km border, like Saudi Arabia.