Qatar Country Overview

Qatar is a peninsular Arab country located in the middle east, whose terrain comprises arid desert and a long Persian (Arab) Gulf shoreline of beaches and dunes.

General Information

Capital: Doha

Language: Arabic (official), English is commonly used as a second language

Religion: Muslim 67.7%, Christian 13.8%, Hindu 13.8%, Buddhist 3.1%, folk religion <.1%, Jewish <.1%, other 0.7%, unaffiliated 0.9% (2010 est.)

Currency: Qatari Riyal

Cryptocurrency: The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) announced in 2020 that it would ban all cryptocurrency-related activities including cryptocurrency exchanges within the sector.

GMT: (+) 3

Qatar, once one of the poorest Gulf states, is one of the richest countries in the region today. Qatar is using income from its large gas reserves to bankroll its regional and global ambitions, including winning a controversial bid to host the 2022 Football World Cup.


About Qatar

The State of Qatar is a peninsula in the Middle East, bordering Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf. Qatar is the 143rd most populous state in the world with 2.31 million inhabitants, of which only 11.6% are Qatari. The majority of the population is clustered around the capital, Doha, on the eastern coast of the peninsula. Arabic is the only official language, although English is also widely spoken as a second language.

Whilst Qatar is a Sunni Islam state and it is the majority religion, the other Abrahamic religions are also recognised and able to be freely practised.[1]

In terms of political and economic outlook Qatar is seen as having acceptable levels of risk, whilst the business environment is viewed as being good, with low levels of risk.[2]

Qatar is politically stable and has a relatively low risk of terrorism. Nevertheless, Qatar does face geopolitical issues with its Arab neighbours.

Corruption levels in Qatar are relatively low, perceived as one of the lowest in the Middle East-North Africa region. Anti-corruption laws are generally effectively implemented, which is reflected in Transparency International’s 2017 Corruption Index; Qatar is ranked 29 of 180 nations.[3]

Qatar is largely a rentier state, with the export economy heavily based upon mineral products. Nevertheless, Qatar is the wealthiest state per capita in the world and has a GDP of US$183.81 billion. Real GDP growth is forecast to remain steady at around the 2-3% mark through 2022.[4] The official currency is the Qatari Riyal.

Qatar is an absolute monarchy, despite the Constitution stating that ‘its system is democratic’.[5] The current chief of state is Emir Tamim al-Thani, who wields executive power and appoints the prime minister, currently Abdallah al Thani, alongside the Council of Ministers.

The legislative branch is formed by the Advisory Council, or Majlis al-Shura, which currently has 35 members appointed by the Emir. The 2003 Constitution calls for a 45-member council, with 15 members to be appointed by the monarch until resignation or discharge and 30 members to be directly elected by popular vote for four-year re-electable term. These elections were scheduled for 2007, but have been postponed a number of times; the latest postponement moved the elections to June 2019 at the earliest.

Nevertheless, the royal family remain popular with the public and there is no opposition to their rule.[6]









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