Qatar topped the Arab states in the United Nations’ Human Development Report and is a high income economy, supported by one of the world's largest natural gas reserves and oil reserves. This has also led to the country having the highest income per capita in the world.

Key facts

Qatar has been an independent sovereign state since 1971. It is one of the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the others being Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain. Qatar comprises an 11,500 sq. km peninsula extending northwards into the Arabian Gulf. It has 563 km of uninterrupted coastline. The country’s population stands at 2.3 million and its capital city is Doha.

Time

Local time is GMT/UCT + 3 hours. There are no daylight savings adjustments.

Climate

Qatar has a desert climate with year-round sunshine, hot summers and mild winters. Mean monthly temperatures range from 17°C in January to 36°C in July, sometimes reaching highs of 40°C+ during the summer. Rain is infrequent, falling in brief showers mainly in winter.

Culture

Qatar offers a distinctly Arabian culture and is credited as being an artistic hub of the Middle East.

The Museum of Islamic Art is considered one of the best museums in the region and Islamic art and culture is felt throughout the country. The Qatar Museums Authority operates numerous centres, including the reputable Arab Museum of Modern Art, as well as sponsoring several international exhibitions.

Media, music and sports also play a great role in the culture of the State, with Qatar becoming the first country in the Middle East to host a FIFA World Cup in 2022.

Tourist attractions

Qatar offers a host of diverse tourist attractions, including:

  • The Corniche
  • Souq Waqif
  • Museum of Islamic Art
  • Katara
  • The Pearl-Qatar
  • Al Zubarah Fort
  • Khor Al Adaid - ‘Inland Sea’