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The first evidence of human inhabitants in the Qatar Peninsula is dated back to 10,000-8,000 BC. The peninsula had an ancient nomadic history in the 1st century. But it was only after a few hundred years later that fishing villages were established. The rise of the Qatar pearl trading industry started with these settlements.
The family remained rulers until 1868. By 1872, the Ottoman forces occupied the country, which lasted until 1913. When the First World War erupted, the country signed on an agreement of protection with Britain.
Oil was discovered in the 1940's, giving the country incredible wealth, with the oil boom continuing on to the 50's and 60's. By 1971, Qatar had declared independence from the British, when the latter withdrew from the Arabian Gulf.
By 1972, Qatar had established Sheikh Khalifa Bin Hanad al Thani as its supreme leader, and sparked the beginning of the country's massive development and modernization.
Qatar is located in Western Asia, occupying the small Qatar peninsula on the northeastern part of the Arabian Peninsula. Its only land border is Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its territory bordered by the Persian Gulf. There is a total of 7 municipalities in Qatar, subdivided into 98 zones. The country can be found 100 miles north of the Persian Gulf, and consists of low barren plains covered in sand.
Qatar is ruled by a monarchy of the Al Thani family. There is no independent legislative and no political parties. The supreme chancellor is the head of the state, holding the complete power to appoint his cabinet and that of the position of the prime minister. The Council of Ministers consist of the cabinet members and the prime minister, who practice supreme executive authority in initiating laws, decrees, and legislation.
Qatar is a hotspot for tourism in the Middle East, welcoming business and luxury tourists from all over the world.
The Museum of Islamic Art was opened in 2008 and is regarded as one of the greatest museums in the world. It is the flagship project of His Highness, the Emir of Qatar, and was designed by world-renowned architect I.M.Pei, who is famously known for designing the Louvre Pyramid in Paris. The museum is regarded as the foremost museum of Islamic art in the world, as well as a center for education and information on the Islamic world.
The best place to go shopping in Qatar is the Souq Waqif, with dozens of restaurants, cafes, and shops offering world cuisine and shisha lounges. Open-air stalls sell traditional fabrics, garments, spices, handicrafts, and souvenirs.
For outdoor excursions, the small town of Al Khor, located in the northern area of Qatar used to be the former center of pearl fishing. It is now a popular weekend spot of many locals and expatriates who love to picnic on the shaded and sheltered corniche. A host of other sites are also found in town, with the old fishing harbor and a regional museum.
For the most luxurious part of town, The Pearl-Qatar is the go-to for many tourists who want to splurge. It's a series of man-made islands created to be the first land to be available for freehold ownership by foreign nationals. A total of 13 islands contain luxury villas, apartments, and hotels are found here, with 8 private islands for sale. Some of the world's most prominent high-end fashion brands have stores on the islands, as well as the most luxurious restaurants, cafes, and spas in the country.
Qatar has created its Education City through the Qatar Foundation. The City hosts a number of local branches of Western institutions such as the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, the Weill Cornell Medical College, and a few others. The Qatar Academy is the country's only accredited international baccalaureate school. Two Canadian institutions are also found in the country, which are the University of Calgary and the College of the North Atlantic.
Citizens in Qatar are required to attend government-provided education from kindergarten through high school.
- Qatar is the world's richest country per capita.
- The most popular sport in the country is soccer, and Qatar will become the first ever Arab country to host the FIFA World Cup by 2022.
- Workdays begin on Sundays and end on Thursdays, with Fridays and Saturdays as weekends.
- Qatar is also home to the highly popular and controversial Al Jazeera Satellite TV station.
Last Updated On : September 20, 2014
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