Qatar Country Profile

Capital: Doha

Currency: Qatari Riyal (QAR)

Travel Advice: Qatar Travel Advice

Visas: Qatar Visa Information

Vaccinations: Qatar Vaccination Information

Qatar is an independent emirate on the west coast of the Persian Gulf. Occupying a small desert peninsula that extends northward from the larger Arabian Peninsula, it has been continuously but sparsely inhabited since prehistoric times. Following the rise of Islam, the region became subject to the Islamic caliphate; it later was ruled by a number of local and foreign dynasties before falling under the control of the Āl Thānī (Thānī dynasty) in the 19th century.

The Āl Thānī sought British patronage against competing tribal groups and against the Ottoman Empire—which occupied the country in the late 19th and early 20th centuries—and in exchange the United Kingdom controlled Qatar’s foreign policy until the latter’s independence in 1971.

Doha Bay and the skyline of Doha, showing a high-rise district (left) and the Museum of Islamic Art (right).

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