A narrow strip of land, Qatar sits in the Persian Gulf and borders Saudi Arabia. The landscape is dry and barren, yet Qatar is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. It has plentiful oil and natural gas reserves. Because of this wealth, the government offers many services free to its citizens.

Qatar was a British Protectorate until 1971 when it declared its independence. It refused to join with the United Arab Emirates and has evolved to become one of the most progressive and prosperous countries in the region. In 1995, Crown Prince Hamad bin Khalifa ousted his father to become emir. He began making changes, including allowing women to vote and allowing freedom of the press.

Image of  Welcome Symbol  in Qatar

Fun Facts

  • 1.9 million people live in Qatar.
  • The country has 4,416 square miles of land.
  • The official language in Qatar is Arabic.
  • Most people are Muslim.
  • The life expectancy is 75 years.


  1. Barren: with few plants, trees, water or animals
  2. Plentiful: many
  3. Citizen: an official member of a country
  4. Progressive: open to change and improvement
  5. Prosperous: having wealth and resources
  6. Freedom of the press: the media’s ability to analyze and speak freely on a variety of issues, including governmental decisions and policies

Learn More
Visit the BBC to learn more about Qatar.

Extra Credit

Question: Who lives in Qatar?

Answer: Bedouin tribes inhabited the region for centuries. Today, though, many people are immigrants from other countries, including India, North Africa and Southeast Asia.