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A map of QatarA map of Qatar Qatar occupies a small peninsula that juts out into the Persian Gulf. Sandy desert plains cover most of the country. In the southeast is the Khawr al 'Udayd (“Inland Sea”), a sea inlet surrounded by tall sand dunes. Qatar has a desert climate; summers are long, hot and humid, while winter months are milder. Dust storms often blow in from the plains, darkening the skies of the capital city, Doha. Along with many of its neighbours in the Persian Gulf, Qatar was transformed by the discovery of oil in the late 1930s. Today, it is among the wealthiest countries in the world, and its citizens enjoy a high standard of living. Qatar is ruled by a monarch, called the emir, who has absolute power.

Qataris out and about on Qatar National DayQataris out and about on Qatar National Day


Most people in Qatar live in and around the capital, Doha, on the east coast. Qatar’s population includes a large number of foreign workers who have come to work in the oil and gas industries. They come from countries such as India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines—and nearly all are men, tipping Qatar’s gender balance: around three-quarters of the population is male. Native Qataris—just 13% of the population—are descended from the original inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula. Historically, many nomadic Bedouin herdsmen also lived in the region, travelling from place to place.

Doha skyline at nightDoha skyline at night

Qatar is the world's richest country per capita (a measurement of a country’s wealth which divides its total income by its population).

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