About Qatar

The State of Qatar lies halfway along the West Coast of the Arabian Gulf, east of the Arabian Peninsula between 24 degrees 27 minutes and 26 degrees 10 minutes north – and at 50 degrees 45 minutes to 51 degrees 40 minutes east. Its territory comprises a number of islands including Halul, Al Shat, Shira’wa and others.
Qatar has been ruled as an absolute and hereditary Emirate by the Al Thani family since the dynasty was founded by Muhammed Al Thani in 1868. The non-elected executive branch of the government comprises a Council of Ministers and an Advisory Council (Majlis al-Shura).
Formerly one of the poorest Gulf States, the country was noted mainly for pearl diving. It was a British protectorate until it gained independence in 1971. Qatar has large oil reserves and the world’s third largest natural gas reserves. Oil and gas revenue has, since 2007, made Qatar’s citizens the world’s richest per capita.

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Climate

Qatar has a desert climate of hot summer and relatively warm winter. In summer, the temperature ranges between 25 and 46 degrees centigrade. Rainfall in winter is minimal and on average does not exceed 75.2 mm per year.

Current Condition

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Land Area

Qatar is a peninsula in the east of Arabia, bordering the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia, in a strategic location near major petroleum deposits. Qatar occupies 11,437 km2 (4,416 sq mi) on a peninsula that extends approximately 160 km (99 mi) north into the Persian Gulf from the Arabian Peninsula.

Capital City

Doha is the capital city, the seat of government and the location of the main commercial and financial institutions. Situated halfway along the East Coast of the peninsula, the city is an important cultural and commercial center with a vast commercial seaport and a modern international airport that link the country to the rest of the world. More than half of the population lives in Doha.

Population

The population of Qatar is 2,321,018 based on the latest United Nations estimates, Qatar’s population is equivalent to 0.03% of the total world population. Hence, 83% of the population lives in Doha and its suburb, al-Rayyan.

Religion and Language

Islam is the official religion of the state and Sharia (Islamic law) is the main source of legislation. Arabic is the official language. English is widely spoken.

Currency

The official currency is the Qatari Riyal (QAR), which is divided into 100 dirhams. The Exchange parity has been set at the fixed rate of US $ = 3.65 QAR


Cultural Sites

Al Jassasiya Rock Carvings

Jassasiya rock carvings, located in the northeast of Qatar, 50 miles from Doha, are easy to access on a 4x4. This archaeological site comprises a total of 874 petroglyphs dating back to the 15th century. Although Qatar has other rock carving sites, Al-Jassasiya is considered the most extraordinary in terms of both their quality and their state of preservation. The carvings vary from geometric patterns to representations of animals, boats, and games.

Barzan Towers

Barzan Towers, also known as the Umm Salal Mohammed Fort Towers, are watchtowers that were built in the late 19th century and renovated in 1910 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Jassim Al Thani. They are located at the southern side of the defensive system established at the end of the 19th century and start of the 20th century to protect the 'rawdat', a valley where precious rainwater is collected when it flows down from higher ground. In Arabic "barzan" means "high place".

Al Wajbah Fort

Al Wajbah Fort is one of the oldest forts in Qatar.  Located in the locality of Al Wajbah in Al Rayyan, it is situated 15 km west of Doha. The fort was built in 1893 and was the location of an important battle when the army of Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani defeated the Ottoman army in 1893. It was used as the residence of Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani at various periods. The fort's most prominent features are its four watchtowers. It underwent restoration in the later 20th century, most prominent features are its four watchtowers. It underwent restoration in the later 20th century.

Museums

Museum of Islamic Art

Museum of Islamic Art’s masterpieces come from diverse societies - both secular and spiritual. Pieces in the collection are all connected by Islam, but many are non-religious in nature.

Designed by world-renowned architect I.M. Pei, the MIA building has become an icon. Standing apart on the waters of the Corniche, it draws influence from traditional Islamic architecture. The building is made from limestone, which captures hourly changes in light and shade.

This museum will give voice to Qatar’s heritage whilst celebrating its future.

Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum

Sheikh Faisal’s private museum at Al Samriya features a fascinating collection of more than 15,000 exhibits covering a spectrum of arts, artefacts and equipment, as well as many everyday household and traditional items that evoke a flavor of Qatari life in the pre-oil era. Established in 1998 in the grand Qatari fort at Al Samriya Farm, The Sheikh Faisal Museum with its unique, magnificent exterior attracts people from all over the world. Sheikh Faisal who is the founder of the museum is one of the Middle East's most prominent business leaders who had the dedication and passion in collecting art and artifacts of global importance. The rare and precious pieces of collections epitomize the travels that Sheikh Faisal has taken across several countries over the last 50 years.

Mathaf Museum

Mathaf Collection, co-owned by Qatar Museums and Qatar Foundation, is now holding over 9,000 works, making it the world’s largest specialized collection of its kind. An initial group of works was gathered by H.E. Sheikh Hassan bin Mohammed bin Ali Al Thani.
Mathaf organizes major exhibitions, both historical and experimental, and large-scale education programs performing an important role as a center for dialogue, research, and a resource for fostering creativity. Mathaf hosts solo and group exhibitions by artists from the region, and events that explore and celebrate modern and contemporary art.

Opera and Theatre

Katara Opera House

The Opera House is the only facility of its kind in Qatar and home to the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. Its uniquely sophisticated architectural model blends modern architecture and traditional Islamic design and boasts a seating capacity of 550 guests. The Opera House has areas to host guests in the royal terrace, and halls for executive and VIP individuals in attendance.​

Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra

The Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, was founded in 2007 by Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, the then Emir of Qatar's consort. The orchestra performs both Western and Middle Eastern works, encouraging the enjoyment and creation of such music by the people of Qatar and the region.

Qatar National Convention Centre

The Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) is located in Gharafat al Rayyan, on the Dukhan Highway in DohaQatar. The convention center is a member of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development and is situated on Qatar Foundation’s 2,500-acre campus alongside the Sidra Medical and Research CenterQatar Science & Technology ParkWeill Cornell Medical College in QatarTexas A&M, and Georgetown University, among others.