About Qatar

General Information

Qatar is a peninsula situated halfway along the West Coast of the Arabian Gulf. It has a number of islands, the most important of which are Halool, Shira'aw, Al-Ashat and others. Its topography consists of a rocky flat surface with some limestone outcrops in Dukhan area in the west and Fuwairit area in the north. The surface is full with characteristic depressions called Rawdat, particularly in the north and central plants.

Country Name

State of Qatar
دولة قطر
Dawlat Qatar

Flag of Qatar

The national flag is maroon colour with a broad vertical white stripe at the pole, the two colours being separated with a nine-point serrated line.

Coat of Arms

The coat of arms was introduced in 1976 and replaced another emblem (which was used since 1966), and consisted of two bent swords, one Pearl shell and two palm tree-branches with the label "Qatar".

City Qatar

Doha city, capital of Qatar, on the east coast of the Qatar Peninsula, in the Arabian Gulf. About three-fifths of Qatar's population lives within the city's limits. Situated on a shallow bay.

Official Languages

Arabic is the official language in Qatar, and English is widely spoken.


Religion

Islam is the predominant religion and it is the official religion of the country. While Muslims constitute 77.5% of the population only 6% of them are Shia. Shariah (Islamic Law) is the principal source of legislation in the country.

Government

Qatar has an emirate-type government. Its legal system combines Islamic and civil law codes in a discretionary system of law controlled by the Emir. Although civil codes are being implemented, Islamic law dominates family and personal matters. The country has not accepted compulsory International Court of Justice jurisdiction.

Absolute Monarchy
Emir : Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
Prime Minister : Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani

Independence

Current ruling family came to power : December 18, 1878
Independence from the United Kingdom : September 3, 1971

Area

Total : 11,437 km2 (164th) 4,416 sq. mi.
Water (%) : negligible

Population

In April 2001, the country had a growing population of approximately 907,229 people, of whom approximately 350,000 were believed to be citizens.

The majority of the estimated 550,000 non-citizens are individuals from South and South East Asian and Arab countries working on temporary employment contracts in most cases without their accompanying family members. Most foreign workers and their families live near the major employment centers of Doha, Al Khor, Mesaieed, and Dukhan.

2008 : 1,524,789
2009 : 1,309,000
2010 : 1,696,563

Economy

Qatar has experienced rapid economic growth over the last several years on the back of high oil prices, and in 2008 posted its eighth consecutive budget surplus. Economic policy is focused on developing Qatar's nonassociated natural gas reserves and increasing private and foreign investment in non-energy sectors, but oil and gas still account for more than 50% of GDP, roughly 85% of export earnings, and 70% of government revenues.

Qatar has the highest GDP per capita in the Arab World according to the International Monetary Fund (2006) and the second highest GDP per capita in the world according to the CIA World Factbook. With no income tax, Qatar, along with Bahrain, is one of the countries with the lowest tax rates in the world.

Currency

Qatari riyal (QAR). Each Qatari riyal is divided into 100 dirhams. Notes in circulation: QAR1, QAR5, QAR10, QAR50, QAR100 and QAR500. QAR0.50 (fifty dirhams) and QAR0.25. Smaller Coins are also legal Tender.

Public Holidays

National Day : 18 December
Eid Al-Fitr : At the 1st of Shawwal for four days.
Eid Al- Adha : starts at 9th of Zilhijjah for five days.

Working Hours

Government offices: 7 am to 2 pm.
Private establishments: 8 am to 12 noon, and 4 pm to 8 pm.
Friday and Saturday are the weekend holidays.
Shopping Center: 10 am to 10 pm

Time zone

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3 hours + Greenwich Mean Time.