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Country information

This section gives a broad overview of Qatar's generic characteristics, its Location, Capital, Area, Climate, Population, Ethnic make-up, Religions, Government, and Languages spoken including local dialects.

It is located in Western Asia, occupying the small Qatar peninsula on the north-eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its territory surrounded by the Persian Gulf. 

11,581 sq.km (4,471 sq. miles)

The climate of Qatar is desert, with a very mild winter, and a very hot and sunny summer. Being a small and flat country, it has a uniform climate throughout the territory. 
Basically there are two main seasons: a cooler season from December to February, and a hot season from April to October, within which we can distinguish a very hot period from May to mid-October. March and November are transitional months, hot but without excesses. 

2,641,669 (estimated 2017)

176/km2/ (455.8/square miles)

Arabic is the official language of Qatar, with Qatari Arabic the local dialect.  English is commonly spoken as the second language and within the business community it is becoming the lingua franca especially amongst the expatriate community.  However, because of Qatar’s unique influx of foreigners, languages spoken include Persian, Baluchi, Brahui, Hindi, Malayalam, Urdu, Pashto, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Nepali, Sinhalese, Bengali, Tagalog and Bahasa. 

Owing to the large influx of foreign labour, out of 2.6 million inhabitants estimated in 2017, only 12%, or 313,000 of the population were Qatari citizens.  The remaining 2.3 million were expatriates, with 60% of the inhabitants coming from South Asia, with 650,000 Indians, 350,000 Nepalis, 280,000 Bangladeshis, 145,000 Sri Lankans, and 125,000 Pakistanis.  Around 28% of the expatriates don’t come from South Asia, with 260,000 Filipinos and 200,000 Egyptians as the two major groups. 

Islam is the official religion of the country, however it is not the only religion practiced in the country.  In the last census in 2010, 67.7% identified as Islam, Christianity 13.8%. Hinduism 13.8%, Buddhism 3.1%. Others or non-affiliated people made up the remaining 1.6%.

Riyal (QAT)

Unitary Constitutional Monarchy

Consultative Assembly

As-Salam al-Amiri (Amiri Salute)

Pliny the Elder, a Roman writer, documented the earliest account pertaining to the inhabitants of the Peninsula around the mid-first century AD, referring to them as the Catharrei, a designation which may have derived from the name of a prominent local settlement.  A century later, Ptolemy produced the first known map to depict the peninsula, referring to it as Catara.  The map also referenced a town named "Cadara" to the east of the peninsula. The term 'Catara' (inhabitants, Cataraei) was exclusively used until the 18th century, after which 'Katara' emerged as the most commonly recognised spelling. Eventually, the modern derivative Qatar was adopted as the country's name.