Qatar is a peninsula in the Arabian Gulf sharing a land border of around 60 kms with Saudi Arabia. Fishing and pearl diving were the main profession till oil was struck in the area and the boom started in early 1970’s. Now Qatar ranks amongst countries with highest per capita income. In the early 1990’s gas was struck and now Qatar is one of the largest producers of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Qatar owns the largest single reserve gas field in the world.
The fast development of the petroleum industry brought in a huge expatriate population into Qatar mainly from the Indian subcontinent, other Arab countries and African countries like Egypt and Sudan. Now Qatar has a population of around 950,000. The local Qatari population is around 300,000 and the rest is made up of expatriates. Apart from oil and gas, cement, aluminium and steel are also amongst the major industries.
Qatar is ruled by the Al Thani family. H.H. Sh. Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani is the Emir of Qatar and H.H. Sh. Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani is the Heir Apparent.
Qatar has a strong cultural heritage. In recent years Qatar has emerged as a centre for major sports events like tennis, football and athletics. Qatar played host to the Asian Games in December 2006, which is the next major sports event after Olympics.
Doha is the capital city with a population of around 500,000 and is a city with all modern amenities.Al Khor, Mesa’ed and Dukhan are the other principal townships.