Facts about Qatar

Location

The State of Qatar is located on the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Its territory is composed of a number of islands; including Halul, Shraouh, Al-Asshat and others.

Population

The country’s total population stands at 2.6 million until the end of February 2017.

Area

The area of the State of Qatar covers 11,521 Km2.

Capital City

Doha is the capital city, the seat of government and the location of the main commercial and financial institutions. More than half of the population lives in Doha. The city is also considered a major cultural hub with various museums and education centres.

Major Cities

Doha, Al Wakrah, Al Khor, Al Shamal, Dukhan, Msaieed, Ras Laffan.

Climate

Qatar has a dry, subtropical desert climate, with low annual rainfall and hot and humid summers. During winter, rainfall is minimal and does not exceed 75.2mm per year on average. During summer, temperatures range between 25 and 46C.

Religion

Islam is the official religion of the state and Sharia (Islamic Law) forms the basis of legislation, according to Qatar’s Constitution. Significant populations of followers of different religions live in Qatar.

Language

Arabic is the official language of the country. English is widely spoken as a second language.

Qatar’s Rulers

  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Thani (1850 – 1878)
  • Sheikh Jassim bin Mohamed bin Thani (1878 – 1913)
  • Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani (1913 – 1949)
  • Sheikh Ali bin Abdullah Al Thani (1949 – 1960)
  • Sheikh Ahmed bin Ali Al Thani (1960 – 1972)
  • Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani (1972 – 1995)
  • His Highness the Father Amir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (1995 – 2013)
  • His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (2013 – Present)

Economy

Qatar’s growth noticeably accelerated after 1995, when His Highness the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani came to power and expanded Qatar’s domestic and international policies. The country has developed a profile in keeping with its status as the world’s primary liquid natural gas exporter.

As a result, Qatar has become an economic leader in the Middle East and a major centre for global business and tourism. It successfully hosts several major international events, and looks forward to hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Culture

Public life in Qatar is characterised by authentic cultural forms that are showcased in Qatari Majlis (gatherings), including the recitation of poetry and historical narrative.

In addition, Qatar’s pearl hunting tradition was accompanied by celebrations and music that is still popular today.

Qataris folkloric dances like Al Ardah are performed in various celebrations and occasions.

Calligraphy and architecture have historically been the most dominant forms of visual arts in Qatar. However, in recent decades, the fine art scene has expanded quickly, with the establishment of the Qatari Fine Arts Society.

The Qatar Museums Authority plays an important role in promoting cultural activities and Qatar is home to an array of museums and galleries, including the Museum of Islamic Art and Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art.

Qatar joined the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in 2011 and is home to World Heritage site Al Zubarah Archaeological Site. In addition, the country participates in a wide scope of cultural activities, hosting and sponsoring both local and international events.

National Day

Qatar’s National Day is celebrated annually on 18 December to mark the date in 1878 when Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani succeeded his father and led the country towards unity and pride.

National Anthem

As-Salam al-Amiri is Qatar’s national anthem. It was written by poet Mubarak bin Saif Al Thani and developed in December 1996, shortly after Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani’s accession to the throne.

It was first performed at a Gulf Cooperation Council meeting held in Qatar.

Flag of Qatar

The flag of Qatar consists of a maroon base with a broad white serrated band with (nine white points) on the hoist side. The flag has historical and cultural connotations.

Currency

The Qatari Riyal is the currency of Qatar. The currency code is QAR. The exchange parity has been set at the fixed rate of US$ 1 = 3.65 QAR.