Where is Qatar located?

What countries border Qatar?

Qatar Weather

What is the current weather in Qatar?

Qatar Facts and Culture

What is Qatar famous for?

  • Cultural Attributes: Qatar, a small but wealthy country on the Arabian Peninsula, has a rich and diverse culture shaped by its history,... More
  • Family: Virtually all marriages are arranged, sometimes even when the concerned parties are quite young. Girls are deemed of marriageable age... More
  • Personal Apperance: Traditional Qatari attire reflects the country's cultural heritage, Islamic values, and desert climate. Thobe (Thawb): Qatari men wear a long,... More
  • Recreation: Boys enjoy playing the “Al Ghomaid” game, in which one boy is blindfolded and has to catch one of the... More
  • Diet: The traditional diet in Qatar is heavily influenced by the country's geographic location, cultural heritage, and Islamic dietary laws. Rice... More
  • Food and Recipes: Because the workday begins early, breakfast is usually served at about 6:00 a.m. It is light and contains olives, cheese,... More
  • Visiting: Hospitality is an essential feature of Qatari life. Most Qataris receive male guests at home in a majlis (reception area).... More

Qatar Facts

What is the capital of Qatar?

Capital Doha
Government Type absolute monarchy
Currency Qatari Rial (QAR)
Total Area 4,473 Square Miles
11,586 Square Kilometers
Location Middle East, peninsula bordering the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia
Language Arabic (official), English commonly used as a second language
GDP - real growth rate 4.7%
GDP - per capita (PPP) $145,000.00 (USD)

Qatar Demographics

What is the population of Qatar?

Ethnic Groups Arab 40%, Pakistani 18%, Indian 18%, Iranian 10%, other 14%
Nationality Noun Qatari(s)
Population 2,444,174
Population Growth Rate 4.19%
Population in Major Urban Areas DOHA (capital) 567,000
Urban Population 98.800000

Qatar Government

What type of government does Qatar have?

Executive Branch chief of state: Amir TAMIM bin Hamad Al Thani (since 25 June 2013)

head of government: Prime Minister and Foreign Minister MUHAMMAD bin Abd al-Rahman Al Thani (since 7 March 2023); Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defense Affairs KHALID bin Muhammad al-Attiyah (since 14 November 2017)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the amir

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the amir
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Citizenship citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Qatar

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 20 years; 15 years if an Arab national

National Holiday National Day, 18 December (1878), anniversary of Al Thani family accession to the throne; Independence Day, 3 September (1971)
Constitution history: previous 1972 (provisional); latest drafted 2 July 2002, approved by referendum 29 April 2003, endorsed 8 June 2004, effective 9 June 2005

amendments: proposed by the Amir or by one third of Advisory Council members; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of Advisory Council members and approval and promulgation by the emir; articles pertaining to the rule of state and its inheritance, functions of the emir, and citizen rights and liberties cannot be amended
Independence 3 September 1971 (from the UK)

Qatar Video

YouTube: Travel The World Doha, Qatar: Life, Sight, Culture, and People- the Best of Qatar

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Qatar Geography

What environmental issues does Qatar have?

Overview A sovereign Arab State on the western shore of the Arabian Gulf, Qatar occupies a 4,200-square-mile peninsula and several small offshore islands. The Qatar Peninsula projects north into the Gulf for about 100 miles and has a maximum width of about 55 miles.  The land is mainly flat (the highest point is 103 meters) and rocky. Notable features include coastal salt pans, elevated limestone formations (the Dukhan anticline) along the west coast, under which lies the Dukhan oil field, and massive dunes surrounding Khawr al Udayd, an inlet of the gulf in the southeast known to local English speakers as the Inland Sea.

Of the islands belonging to Qatar, Halul is the most important. It lies about ninety kilometers east of Doha. A permanently settled island, it is a vital storage center and tanker terminal for three offshore oil fields. Hawar and the adjacent islands immediately off the west coast are the subject of a territorial dispute between Qatar and Bahrain.

The capital, Doha, is located on the central east coast on a sweeping (if shallow) harbor. Other ports include Umm Said, Al Khawr, and Al Wakrah. Only Doha and Umm Said can handle commercial shipping, although a large port and a terminal for loading natural gas are planned at Ras Laffan, north of Al Khawr. Coral reefs and shallow coastal waters make navigation difficult in areas where channels have not been dredged.

In the south, at the neck of the peninsula, Qatar borders the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Riyadh, the Saudi capital, lies 250 miles due west beyond the Jafura Desert.

The port of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is about 150 nautical miles southeast. The vast Rub' al-Khali Desert, one of the largest and driest deserts in the world, lies below Abu Dhabi and extends to Qatar's southern border.

Bahrain is the nearest seaward neighbor to the north. Although Bahrain's capital, Manama, is 100 miles from Doha, only 20 miles separate the two countries at the narrowest part of the channel into the Gulf of Salwa.

The Gulf's eastern (Iranian) shore is 120 miles beyond Qatar's northern tip. The nearest Iranian port, Busheir, lies about 250 miles east of Doha. The Iraqi port of Basra, on the north shore of the Gulf, is 350 miles away. The southern Strait of Hormuz, 310 miles from Doha, provides access to the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. Thus, Qatar occupies a central position in the Arabian Gulf.

The overall outline of the peninsula was not defined on European maps until well into the 19th century. However, Karsten Niebugh briefly described the arm in his Voyage en Arabie, published in Switzerland in 1780. The historical appearance of Qatari place names on European maps strongly suggests that, until recently, international navigators were familiar only with the northern end of the country and the eastern pearling banks.

Qatar's terrain is monotonously flat, except for the Dukhan anticline in the west and some low rock outcroppings at the northern end of the east coast. Blown sand covers much of the south, and shifting dunes predominate in the southeast. The Dukhan anticline rises from the west coast as a chain of separate hills of up to 325 feet in height, about 35 miles long and 3-5 miles wide, covering the country's onshore oil fields.

Natural vegetation, including semipermanent pasture, is limited to areas surrounding wells, depressions, and short drainage courses active only after the winter rains. Most flora is confined to the northern half of the country. Elsewhere, only sparse patches of camel thorn and isolated date palm plantations relieve the featureless terrain.

The coastline is uneven and rises gently on both sides of the peninsula. Sandy reefs abound in the surrounding shallows. Extensive salt flats at the landward end of the peninsula, between Salwa on the west coast and Khor al-Odeid on the east, support the local belief that Qatar was once an island, separated from what is now the Saudi Province of al-Hasa.
Climate Qatar lies outside the area of the annual monsoons. Its seasons are similar to those of the Temperate Zone, although usually much hotter. The winter months from December through February are cool. Intense heat persists at least from May through September. March, April, October, and November normally provide the most agreeable climatic conditions. Average humidity ranges from 32% during the cooler months to highs of 96% and 100% during late summer and early fall. Rainfall is usually very light and averages less than 3 inches per year, mostly in the winter months. Almost no rain falls from May through October. Frequent high winds, especially from March through August, can fill the air with fine dust and create a brownish haze on the horizon. The prevailing desert wind, known as shemal, comes from the north during the spring and summer months. In late summer, when the shemal dies, the humidity rises.

The long summer (June through September) is characterized by intense heat and alternating dryness and humidity, with temperatures exceeding 55° C. Temperatures are moderate from November through May, although winter temperatures may fall to

17° C, which is relatively cool for the latitude. Rainfall is negligible, averaging 100 millimeters per year, confined to the winter months, and falling in brief, sometimes heavy storms that often flood the small ravines and the usually dry wadis.

Sudden, violent dust storms occasionally descend on the peninsula, blotting out the sun, causing wind damage, and momentarily disrupting transport and other services.

The scarcity of rainfall and the limited underground water, most of which has such a high mineral content that it is unsuitable for drinking or irrigation, restricted the population and the extent of agricultural and industrial development the country could support until desalination projects began. Although water continues to be provided from underground sources, most is obtained by desalination of seawater.
Border Countries Saudi Arabia 60 km
Environment - Current Issues limited natural fresh water resources are increasing dependence on large-scale desalination facilities
Environment - International Agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Terrain mostly flat and barren desert covered with loose sand and gravel

Qatar Economy

How big is the Qatar economy?

Economic Overview Qatar boasts one of the wealthiest and fastest-growing economies in the world, primarily driven by its vast oil and natural gas reserves.

Oil and Gas: Qatar possesses the world's third-largest proven natural gas reserves and is a significant liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter. The oil and gas sector contributes significantly to the country's GDP, government revenues, and exports.

Diversification Efforts: While oil and gas remain the backbone of the economy, Qatar has been actively pursuing economic diversification strategies to reduce reliance on hydrocarbon revenues. Key sectors targeted for diversification include finance, real estate, tourism, healthcare, education, and logistics.

Infrastructure Development: Qatar has invested heavily in infrastructure projects, particularly preparing to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. These projects include the construction of stadiums, transportation networks, hotels, and other facilities. Infrastructure investments contribute to economic growth and job creation.

Financial Services: Doha, the capital city, is a regional financial hub, home to various international banks, financial institutions, and investment firms. Qatar has developed a robust financial services sector, offering banking, insurance, asset management, and Islamic finance services.

Trade and Investment: Qatar has actively pursued trade and investment partnerships with countries worldwide. The country's strategic location in the Middle East and its stable political environment and investment-friendly policies have attracted foreign investors and multinational corporations.

Government Initiatives: The Qatari government significantly drives economic development through its Vision 2030 strategic plan. The vision outlines goals for economic diversification, human development, environmental sustainability, and social progress. Initiatives such as Qatar National Vision 2030 and National Development Strategy aim to create a knowledge-based economy and improve citizens' overall quality of life.

Challenges: Despite its economic strengths, Qatar faces challenges such as dependence on hydrocarbon revenues, regional geopolitical tensions, and balancing economic growth with environmental sustainability. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic posed temporary challenges to various sectors, including tourism and hospitality.
Industries crude oil production and refining, fertilizers, petrochemicals, steel reinforcing bars, cement
Currency Name and Code Qatari Rial (QAR)
Export Partners Japan 41.2%, South Korea 17.1%, Singapore 8.4%, US 4.2%
Import Partners France 17.8%, Japan 10.1%, US 8.5%, UK 8.3%, Germany 8.2%, Italy 6.7%, UAE 5.1%, Saudi Arabia 4.2%, South Korea 4%

Qatar News and Current Events

What current events are happening in Qatar?
Source: Google News

Qatar Travel Information

What makes Qatar a unique country to travel to?

Country Description

Qatar is an hereditary constitutional monarchy governed by the ruling Al Thani family in consultation with a council of ministers, an appointed advisory council,and an elected municipal council. Qatar’s first written constitution was adopted in 2005. Islamic beliefs and tribal traditions provide an important foundation of the country’s customs, laws and practices. Located on the Persian Gulf, Qatar is a dynamic, rapidly developing country that is among the wealthiest in the world by per capita income. Tourist facilities are available.


The crime rate in Qatar is generally low. A large police presence is apparent to travelers throughout the country. Incidents of violence are rare but have occurred more frequently in recent years as Doha’s population and economic pressures on expatriate workers have increased. Local and third-country-national young men have occasionally verbally and physically harassed unaccompanied expatriate women. Reports of petty theft are infrequent but have been growing, including ATM and credit card theft, purse snatching, and pickpocketing. Travelers should not leave valuables such as cash, jewelry, and electronic items unsecured in hotel rooms or unattended in public places.

Do not buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Qatar, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. It is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings; well-marked signs will usually inform you. Driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. There are also some things that might be legal in Qatar, but still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Qatar, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It is very important to know what is legal and what is not wherever you go.

Criminal offenses are punished according to Qatari laws, which in some cases are based on Islamic law and sometimes more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Qatari laws, even unknowingly, may be arrested, imprisoned, deported, or subject to a ban from departing Qatar. Travel bans are not lifted until both parties resolve a dispute and the case is abandoned or, if not, until the matter is resolved by a court, which may require months to process the case. Qatari law enforcement authorities have detained potential witnesses or relatives without charges or access to legal counsel during the investigation of a crime.

The U.S. Embassy in Doha cautions U.S. citizens that Qatari police have arrested U.S. citizens suspected of or witness to a crime, including traffic accidents involving injuries to pedestrians or the occupants of other cars, traffic arguments, slander, and a variety of lesser offenses. Once an arrest has been made, the Qatari Police have no independent authority to grant a release, an authority reserved solely for Qatar’s Public Prosecution and Courts. As a result, arrested U.S. citizens, regardless of the charges, often spend one or two nights in jail awaiting a hearing with Qatar’s Public Prosecution or the appropriate court.

Qatari law enforcement authorities do not routinely notify the U.S. Embassy in Doha of a U.S. citizen’s arrest and, for more serious crimes, may not allow a U.S. Embassy official to visit an arrested U.S. citizen until the initial interrogation is completed. Upon arrest, U.S. citizens should ask to speak to the U.S. Embassy immediately, and if not allowed, request that a friend or family member notify the U.S. Embassy through the contact information below.

Incidents involving insults or obscene language/gestures often result in arrest, overnight imprisonment and/or fines whether the incident occurs between private parties or involves officers of the law. Insulting someone in public is considered a punishable offense. Drunk driving, public intoxication and other alcohol-related offenses are treated with severity and will result in arrest, heavy fines, imprisonment, or expulsion from the country. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Qatar are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.

While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Good modern medical care and medicines are available in Qatar. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars. Doctors and hospitals expect immediate cash payment for health services.

Safety and Security

Incidents of violence are rare in Qatar, although attacks against Western targets have occurred. To provide for public security, a large police presence is deployed throughout the country. U.S. citizens in Qatar should maintain a high level of vigilance, be aware of local events, and take appropriate steps to bolster their personal security at all times. U.S. citizens should also avoid visiting labor or work camps, where unrest can occur because of local working conditions or labor grievances.

The Department of State remains concerned about the possibility of terrorist attacks against U.S. interests worldwide, including the Middle East. Both historical and recurring information suggests that al-Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to plan strikes against Western targets and these attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics to include assassination, kidnapping, hijacking, and bombing.

Increased security at official facilities has led terrorists and their sympathizers to seek softer, less fortified targets. Other locations of potential concern include any venue where U.S. citizens and other foreigners are known to congregate in large numbers, such as public assemblies, sporting events, restaurants, residential areas, clubs, places of worship, schools, hotels, etc. The Government of Qatar occasionally provides security for such locations and events, but to varying degrees. In most instances, the Embassy cannot gauge the appropriateness of security for a given event before it starts. The Embassy strongly encourages U.S. citizens to avoid large crowds and demonstrations whenever possible.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

While in Qatar, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Qatar is provided for general reference only and is subject to change at any time. Current traffic regulations may be obtained through the Ministry of Interior’s Traffic Police.

Short-term visitors should obtain a valid International Driving Permit prior to arrival and should not drive in Qatar on a U.S. driver’s license. New and prospective residents should obtain a permanent Qatari Driving License immediately after arrival. To obtain a Qatari driver’s license, U.S. citizens need to pass a driving exam, including a road test. Short-term visitors and business travelers can also obtain a Temporary Qatari Driving License by presenting their U.S. driver’s license at any branch of Qatar’s Traffic Police.

Traffic accidents are among Qatar’s leading causes of death. Safety regulations in Qatar are improving, thanks to a more stringent traffic law adopted in October 2007 and a country-wide traffic safety campaign. However, informal rules of the road and the combination of local and third-country-national driving customs often prove frustrating for first-time drivers in Qatar. The combination of Qatar’s extensive use of roundabouts, many road construction projects and the high speeds at which drivers may travel can prove challenging. The rate of automobile accidents due to driver error and excessive speed is declining but remains higher than in the United States. In rural areas, poor lighting, wandering camels and un-shouldered roads present other hazards.

Despite the aggressive driving on Qatar’s roads, drivers should avoid altercations or arguments over traffic incidents, particularly with Qatari citizens who, if insulted, have filed complaints with local police that resulted in the arrest and overnight detention of U.S. citizens. Drivers can be held liable for injuries to other persons involved in a vehicular accident, and local police have detained U.S. citizens overnight until the extent of the person’s injuries were known. Due to its conservative Islamic norms, Qatar maintains a zero-tolerance policy against drinking and driving. Qatar’s Traffic Police have arrested U.S. citizens for driving after consuming amounts of alcohol at lower levels than legally allowed in the United States.

Any motor vehicle over five years old cannot be imported into the country. For specific information concerning Qatari driver’s permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact either the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Washington, D.C. or the Consulate General of the State of Qatar in Houston, Texas.

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