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Country information - Qatar
Country name - conventional long form : State of Qatar
Country name - conventional short form : Qatar
Country name - local long form : Dawlat Qatar
Country name - local short form : Qatar
Government type : emirate
Capital - name : Doha
Capital - time difference : UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
National holiday : Independence Day, 3 September (1971); also observed is National Day, 18 December
Population : 824,789 (July 2008 est.)
Nationality - noun : Qatari(s)
Nationality - adjective : Qatari
Languages : Arabic (official), English commonly used as a second language
Currency (code) : Qatari rial (QAR)
Currency code : QAR

Qatar is located Middle East, peninsula bordering the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia. The climate is arid; mild, pleasant winters; very hot, humid summers. The terrain is mostly flat and barren desert covered with loose sand and gravel.


This entry usually highlights major historic events and current issues and may include a statement about one or two key future trends.
Background : Ruled by the Al-Thani family since the mid-1800s, Qatar transformed itself from a poor British protectorate noted mainly for pearling into an independent state with significant oil and natural gas revenues. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Qatari economy was crippled by a continuous siphoning off of petroleum revenues by the Amir, who had ruled the country since 1972. His son, the current Amir HAMAD bin Khalifa Al-Thani, overthrew him in a bloodless coup in 1995. In 2001, Qatar resolved its longstanding border disputes with both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. As of 2007, oil and natural gas revenues had enabled Qatar to attain the highest per capita income in the world.

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