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Qatar is a small state occupying the peninsula on the north-eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula and has only one land border: with Saudi Arabia to the south. The rest of its territory is surrounded by the Arabian Gulf waters. Qatar's northwest coast is fewer than 30 km from the main islands of Bahrain.


Qatar was a British protectorate from the early 20th century until 1971, when it gained independence. It has since been ruled by the House of Al-Thani as a hereditary monarchy. Its legal system is a mixture of civil and shari’a law.


Qatar has the world’s third-largest natural-gas reserves and the highest per capita income in the world. In 2001, Qatar co-founded with Iran and Russia the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), the OPEC-equivalent for gas exporting countries.


Qatar is a member of the Arab League, Gulf Cooperation Council, Muslim World League, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the World Trade Organization. In addition, Qatar hosts the Headquarters of United States Air Forces Central Command at the Al-Udeid Air Base.

The EGIC Library

Some of our books about Qatar



Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States

Author: Adam Hanieh 

Palgrave Macmillan (2015), 258 pages


The Ottoman Gulf: The Creation of Kuwait, Saudia Arabia, and Qatar

Author: Frederick F. Anscombe 

Columbia University Press (1997), 288 pages


A Line in the Sea: The Qatar v. Bahrain Border Dispute in the World Court

Author: Jawad Al-Arayd

North Atlantic Books (2003), 496 pages


The GCC and the international relations of the Gulf : diplomacy, security and economic coordination in a changing Middle East

Author: Matteo Legrenzi

London : I.B. Tauris, 2015, 224 pages

other profiles

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