Learn about Qatar
A Forward Looking Gulf State
Qatar is situated on the north-easterly coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Bordered to the south by Saudi Arabia, the rest of its land mass juts 160 km into the balmy waters of the Arabian Gulf. Qatar became an independent nation on September 3, 1971.
The current Emir is His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani who came to power in June 2013, succeeding his father Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.
The country has a population of just over 2.1 million (2012), and almost 50 per cent of its inhabitants live in Doha, the business and administrative capital.
The State of Qatar has a desert climate with a hot summer and a relatively mild winter. Summer temperatures range between 25 degrees C and 45 degrees C, with high humidity. During the winter there is some rainfall but it rarely exceeds around 75mm annually.
Qatar – Steeped in History
The first signs of human habitation date from around 4,000 BC - rock carvings and pottery found by multinational archaeological expeditions corroborate this.
Qatar's economy is dominated by oil and natural gas, and revenues from these fossil fuels have given the country a high standard of living.
Petroleum was discovered in commercial quantities in Qatar in 1939, and was first exported in 1949. Prior to the discovery of rich sources of fossil fuels, pearling was the mainstay of the Qatari economy. Other industries included agriculture, particularly date growing, and fishing.
It is still possible to see beautifully crafted fishing dhows while travelling around Qatar. These traditional vessels are world renowned for their ornate transom decoration. These designs vary according to the specific use of the boat, and each has an Arabic name.
Qatar’s Education City
Qatar has a keen focus on educational advancement.
The brand new Education City, has been developed by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, a not-for-profit organisation established in 1995 chaired by Her Highness Sheika Mozah Bint Al-Missned.
Education City provides a broad spectrum of world-class educational facilities, from kindergarten level through to postgraduate and research programmes.
The Language of Qatar
Arabic is the official language of Qatar, but English is also widely spoken.
Arabic is a Semitic language, along with Hebrew and Aramaic and can trace its roots back thousands of years. It is written from right to left, and has 28 basic letters. Written Arabic is unicase, meaning that there is no lowercase and uppercase system.
Arabic is one of the world's most widely spoken languages, and is the native tongue of nearly 250 million people.
As with many languages, formal and colloquial versions of Arabic have evolved. Classical Arabic is the form of the language found in the Qur'an, but is not used in daily affairs.