Country of the World Qatar

About the country Qatar, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.

NATIONS AND THEIR RULERS

QATAR

Size: 4,400 sq. mi. (11,400 sq. km.).

Population: 185,000, of whom only about 55,000 are Qatari nationals. The rest are immigrant workers from India, Pakistan, and other Arab countries.

In southwest Asia, Qatar is a small peninsula (100 mi. long and 35-50 mi. wide) which juts northward into the Persian Gulf from the Saudi coast west of Abu Dhabi. Oil production, which began in 1949, provides the bulk of the emirate's income. The ruling family's Wahabism (a strict sect of Sunni Islam) has kept it close to the Saudis. There was no budget or administrative structure until Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad al-Thani replaced his cousin Ahmed, ensconced in Geneva, as ruler with the help of the British in February, 1972. One report written in that year noted that some 50% of the country's oil revenues went directly into the ruler's pocket and was used to support the 500-600 male members of the Al-Thani family. At one time, Emir Ahmed and his father, Emir Ali, were reported to own 452 cars between them.

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