Projecting from the Arabian Peninsula into the Persian Gulf, Qatar was a founding member of OPEC. One of the region’s wealthiest states due to oil and natural gas exports.
Geography: Flat, semiarid desert with dunes and salt pans. Vegetation is limited to small patches of scrub.
Climate: Hot and humid. Temperatures in summer can soar to over 104°F (40°C). Rainfall is rare.
People and Society; Only one in five residents is native-born; the rest are guest workers from across the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and north Africa. Qataris were once nomadic Bedouins, but since the advent of oil wealth, most now live in Doha and its suburbs, leaving the north dotted with abandoned villages. Women enjoy relative freedom; most wear the veil.
The Economy: Steady supply of crude oil and huge natural gas reserves, plus related industries. All other raw materials and most foods are imported. Strong GDP growth. Economy is heavily dependent on foreign workforce.
Insight: There are twice as many men as women in Qatar
Official Name: State of Qatar
Date of Formation: 1971
Population: 1.41 million
Total Area: 4416 sq. miles (11,437 sq. km)
Density: 332 people per sq. mile
Religions: Muslim (mainly Sunni) 95%, other 5%
Ethnic Mix: Qatari 20%, other Arab 20%, Indian 20%, Nepalese 13%, Filipino 10%, Pakistani 7%, other 10%
Currency: Qatar riyal = 100 dirhams