Surrounded by water on three sides, Qatar is a peninsula in the Arabian Gulf with its only land border existing at the southern end where Qatar meets Saudi Arabia . The entire county is approximately 240 kilometers from north to south, and less than 160 kilometers wide.
Qatar has a rich and vibrant history – a history that can be traced back as far as 4000 BC. Throughout the centuries, the fishing and pearling trades have established Qatar as an important port in the Gulf. With the expansion and growth of its oil and gas industry, the port and the country maintain their international importance.
The Al-Thani family began its rule of Qatar in the 18th century and still today you can see the positive influences this family has on the growth and development of Qatar . When the present Emir, His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, came to power in 1995, he brought a modern and positive approach that transformed the country into an ideal host for major sporting events and international conferences, as well as a luxurious tourist destination.
Explore the natural environment, take an exciting desert safari, relax at the many beaches and pool facilities, or enjoy your favourite sport. Golf courses, billiards and snookers tables, bowling alleys, tennis and squash facilities, ice skating rinks. Whatever your interest, there is something for everyone.
Qatar has moved on from being a poor pearl fishing country to become one of the richest Gulf states , thanks to the exploitation of oil and gas fields since the 1940s. The majority of the country consists of sand dunes and salt flats. The city of Doha combines a rich mixture of traditional Arabic and modern architecture. The Grand Mosque with its many domes and the Abu Bakir al-Siddiq Mosque are particularly interesting. The north contains most of the historic sites, including Umm Salal Mohammed, a relatively large village dominated by the ruins of a 19th-century fort. Al Khor is the second-largest city, situated around a natural shallow harbor. On the west coast there are fine beaches at Umm Bab (‘The Palm Tree Beach’), Dukhan and Salwah near the Saudi border. The south is a region of sand dunes and beaches, offering opportunities to go pearl hunting, or to practice any of a number of watersports. Public entertainment can be rather limited. Live entertainment is infrequent, but some international artists do perform in Qatar.