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Qatar known as the country or State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in Western Asia, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Formerly a British protectorate noted mainly for pearling, it became independent in 1971, and has become one of the region's wealthiest states due to its enormous oil and natural gas revenues. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its territory surrounded by the Persian Gulf. Qatar has been ruled as an absolute monarchy by Al Thani family since the mid-19th century. A strait of the Persian Gulf separates Qatar from the nearby island state of Bahrain.
Qatar has the world's highest per capita GDP and proven reserves of oil and natural gas. Qatar tops the list of the World's richest countries by Forbes. In 2010, Qatar had the world's highest GDP per capita, while the economy grew by 19.40%, the fastest in the world. A strait of the Persian Gulf separates Qatar from the nearby island state of Bahrain. In 2009, Qatar was the United States’ fifth-largest export market in the Middle East, trailing behind the U.A.E., Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Business and Economy
The economic growth of Qatar has been almost exclusively based on its petrol and natural gas industry, which began in 1940. The country has experienced rapid growth over the last several years due to high oil prices, and in 2008 posted its eighth consecutive budget surplus. Oil and gas have made Qatar one of the highest per-capita income countries, and one of the world's fastest growing. Economic policy is focused on developing Qatar's non-associated natural gas reserves and increasing private and foreign investment in non-energy sectors, but oil and gas still account for more than 50% of GDP; roughly 85% of export earnings, and 70% of government revenues. The World Factbook states that Qatar has the second-highest GDP per capita in the world, after Liechtenstein. Proved oil reserves of 15 billion barrels should enable continued output at current levels for 37 years. Qatar's proved reserves of natural gas are nearly 26 trillion cubic metres, about 14% of the world total and the third largest in the world.
These are major cities of Qatar. Cities like Doha, the capital, Abu az Zuluf, Abu Thaylah, Ad Dawhah al Jadidah, Al `Arish, Al Bida` ash Sharqiyah, Al Ghanim, Al Ghariyah, Al Ghuwairiyah, Al Hilal al Gharbiyah, Al Hilal ash Sharqiyah, Al Hitmi, Al Jasrah, Al Jumaliyah, Al Ka`biyah, Al Khalifat, Al Khor, Al Khawr, Al Khuwayr, Al Mafjar, Al Qa`abiyah, Al Wakrah, second city, Al `Adhbah, An Najmah, Ar Rakiyat, Al Rayyan, Ar Ru'ays, As Salatah, As Salatah al Jadidah, As Sani, As Sawq, Ath Thaqab, Dukhan, Ras Laffan Industrial City, Umm Bab, Umm Sa'id, Umm Salal Ali, Umm Salal Mohammed.
Capital - Doha
Official language - Arabic
Total 11,437 km2 (164th) 4,416 sq mi
Water (%) negligible
2010 census 1,853,563 (148th)
Density 123.2/km2 (123rd) 319.1/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2011 estimate
Total $182.004 billion
Per capita $102,943
GDP (nominal) 2011 estimate
Total $173.847 billion
Per capita $98,329
HDI (2011) - increase 0.831 (very high) (37th)
Currency - Riyal (QAR)