State of Qatar is an independent sovereign state located in the middle of the west coast of Arabian Gulf. It has maritime and land borders with Saudi Arabia and it has also maritime boundaries with Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Iran.

The State of Qatar which has a dry desert climate is stretched as a peninsula on the length of 200 km and width of 100 km. The total land area of the state is 11,850 square kilometers including a number of islands and coral reefs.

The modern history of Qatar was began in the early eighteenth century AD when the ruling family "Al Thani" reached to the southern part of Qatar. The "Al Thani" family's root is connected with Almaadied tribe (Branch of Bani Tamim) in the Ushaiqir of Al Washm district in Najd. In the middle of eighteenth century the family moved to the northern part of Qatar, which includes Zubara and Ruwais and Fuert.

In 1878, H.E. Sheikh Jassim Bin Mohammad Al Thani succeeded his father H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Thani.

In 1913, H.E. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Jassim Al Thani assumed the power and the oil was discovered in the country for the first time during his rule.

H.E. Sheikh Hamad Bin Abdullah Al Thani assumed the power in 1940 and ruled the country until 1948.

In 1949, H.E. Sheikh Ali Bin Abdullah Al Thani became the ruler of the country until 1960 and was succeeded by H.E. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Ali Al Thani who ruled the country until 1972.

H.E. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Hamad Al THani assumed the power in 1972 and Qatar gained independence on 3rd September 1971.

In 1995, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani came to power in the country with the allegiance and support of the ruling family and the people of Qatar.

Economic and social development:

After His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani assumed the power of the country on 27th June 1995, the country witnessed a turning point in the march of national work and a necessary step on the level of political and economic reconstruction towards a comprehensive development.

The features and aims of this modern stage in the history of Qatar are assimilated in widening the public participation in the process of national decision making, affirming the role of nation's people in the management of national affairs through "Majlis Al Shoura", rooting the principles of freedom and acknowledging the right of election instead of direct appointment in a number of establishments and institutions in addition to acknowledgement of rights of election and nomination in the municipal council for Qatari women for the first time.

The system of censorship on local dailies was lifted up on the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, The redeemed Emir of Qatar. The Qatar TV started its broadcast and Al Jazeera independent channel was started its operation latter on while the country's local press has flourished in a climate of freedom, democracy and incentives for growth and proliferation.

The features of new phase was also conveyed in concern with the interest of youth sector through the development of educational methods and curricula to suit the needs of the community and meet the country's need for educationally and professionally qualified cadres and after that providing job opportunities for Qatari graduates along with adopting the scientific curriculum planning for the development of the country's economy and investment of resources and the exploitation of resources by identifying and developing strategies and putting Long-term plans and encourage the private sector and make maximum use of national and foreign experience and to create the right economic climate to attract investments. 

Location:

Qatar is a peninsula located halfway down the west coast of the Arabian Gulf. Its territory comprises a number of islands including Halul, Sheraouh, Al-Ashat and others.

Topographic Features:

The terrain is flat and rocky with some low-rising limestone outcrops in Dukhan area in the west and Jabal Fiwairit in the north. It is characterized by a variety of geographical phenomena including many coves, inlets, depressions and surface rainwater-draining basins known as riyadh (the gardens), which are found mainly in the north and central part of the peninsula. These areas have the most fertile soil and are rich in vegetation.

Land Area:

The total land area of Qatar is approximately 11,521 square kilometers.

Population:

The population of Qatar amount to 743000 inhabitants (according to the initial results of the second stage of the 2004 population census) compared to 522000 inhabitants in the last census conducted in 1997. 83% of inhabitants reside in Doha and its main suburb Al-Rayyan.

Capital City:

Doha

Official Language:

Arabic is the official language, and English is widely spoken.

Climate:

Qatar has a moderate desert climate with long hot summers and short mild winters and little rain in winter.

Major Towns:

Doha, Al Wakrah, Al Khor, Dukhan, Al Shamal, Mesaieed, Ras Lafan and others.

Currency:

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

National Day:

The 18th of December every year in commemoration of Sheikh Jasim bin Mohammad Al-Thani the founder of the State of Qatar.

27 June:

On the 27th of June His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani assumed the rule of the State of Qatar supported by the ruling family and the Qatari people.

Public Holidays :

National Day: 18th of December in each year.
Eid Al-Fitr: At the 1st of Shawwal for four days.
Eid Al- Adha: starts at 9th of Zilhijjah for five days.

National flag:

The national flag is maroon colour with a broad vertical white stripe at the pole, the two colours being separated with a nine-point serrated line.

Meaning of the flag:

A- The white colour reflects the internationally recognized symbol of peace.
B- The maroon colour symbolizes the bloodshed during the several wars Qatar had undergone, particularly in the second half of the 19th century.

C- The nine-point serrated line indicates that Qatar is the 9th member of the "reconciled Emirates" of the Arabian Gulf in the wake of concluding the Qatari-British treaty in 1916. This information on design and colour of Qatar flag was mentioned in the Archives of the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1931.

Work Hours:

Government offices: 6 am to 1 pm.
Private establishments: 8 am to 12 noon, and 4 pm to 8 pm.
Friday and Saturday are weekend holidays.

Local Time:

3 hours + Greenwich Mean Time.

Electrical Current:

240 Volts + 6% with frequency 50 hertz.

Public Transport System

The State of Qatar is enjoying with a modern road transport network which connects each part of the country with another and the State is continuously working on modernizing this network according to the developments witnessed by the country in various fields.
In the field of air transport, The Qatar Airways is one of the excellent international companies which posseses modern fleets of aero planes. It is expected to reach the number of aero planes owned by Qatar Airways to 110 during the coming years. For more information you can visit the following websites :

Public Transport ( Mowasalat) : www.mowasalat.com
Qatar Airways : www.qatarairways.com
Doha International Airport : www.dohaairport.com
Sports:
During the last decades, The State of Qatar has witnessed comprehensive renaissance in the sports activities. The State could to send teams representing the country to various regional and international sports competitions as well as the state could to host successfully many regional and international sports festivals.
For more information, you can visit the following websites :
Qatar National Olympics Committee : www.qatarolympics.org
Aspire Academy : www.aspire.qa
Telephone Code:
International Code : 00974
Local code: There is no local code for telephone calls. The domestic and Mobile calls can be done with out using any code directly from the land phone or mobile.