Qatar country profile
Qatar is an emirate in the Persian Gulf. The emirate s headed by an emir who is supported by a cabinet. The power of the executive comes directly from the emir making the country more or less of a monarchy. The rest of the administrators in the eight municipalities are appointed by the emir. The current emir comes from the Al Thani family which has been in power since the establishment of the British protectorate in the late 19th century.
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The political ideologies used in the country are largely influenced by the Islamic religion. Islam is the official religion in the country hence most of the laws in the country come from the sharia laws. The historical context of the country tends to influence the political formations. The country borrows a lot in terms of the administrative structure from the British who were the former colonizers.
Religion has been a major influencer as far as the country is concerned. Most of the domestic issues have been developed to combat the perceived encroachment on Islam by the expatriate population in the country. The need to protect a sect f Muslims has resulted in the country supporting any regime in the larger Middle East and northern African region that aligned with the local religious affiliations. The actions of the country such as the invasion of Yemen were partly influenced by the local perceptions towards persecution. The perception that the country is supporting terrorism in the region also comes from the local pressure by the government to support Shia Muslims. This has also been manifested in the decision by the country to support other nations such as Palestine. The support accorded to Palestine has been perceived as a direct effort to fund the terrorism efforts of the Hamas. Other efforts such as the decision to broker the deal over Darfur were informed by the local need to come across as the main proponent of change in the region which is a position of influence as far as the Middle East and northern Africa issues are concerned.
The major events in the history of the country can be linked to the economic development. Before the discovery of oil, the country was purely reliant on fishing and pearl diving. This was not a sustainable way of earning profits. In as much as there were some gains from pearl diving, the discovery of Japanese pearls resulted in the loss of the control that the country had. The second major event in the history of the country was the discovery of oil in 1940. With the discovery of oil, the country was now capable of advancing at a rate that had not been precedential before. Owing to this aspect, the country was capable of developing. The second major development of the country came with the attainment of independence from the British. The direction and retention of resources has changed with the above historical achievement. The country is also more capable of influencing the development adrenal with the independent government. The ruling family has been in power for some time since the arrival of the British and the aftermath of the rule. The self-governance allowed the country to come up with the policies as far as investment is concerned. Long-term plans such as the vision 2030 have also been attained.
Qatar’s ethnic communities merged over time. There are native Qatari who speak Qatar Arabic. There are also foreigners from Europe and South East Asia. The foreigners often come to the country in search of employment. They work as expatriates. Foreigners account for different languages spoken such as English French, and Bahasa. The foreigners have also brought different religions with them. There is Buddhism, Hindu, and Christianity in the country.
Qatar borders Saudi Arabia to the west and it is the only neighboring country. The rest of the country borders the sea. With the discovery of oil, the country has been using the strategic position to export to other nations. The country has never been in good standing with Saudi Arabia in as much as there are instances of cooperation. The differences in the faction of Islam that the two countries have contributed to the behaviors. Its location is strategic such that it is the main partner nation for the fight in the Middle East. The country hosts the American airbase since it is accessible from various battlegrounds where the country is engaged. The airfield is also used by the rest of the United Nations member countries operating in the region. Hence, the position allows it a certain level of protection from the powerful western nations that need the country for their engagements in the region.
Qatar is allied to the United States, France, and the United Kingdom. The aforementioned nations have been in partnership with the country since it is strategic to their military operations in the region. The country has been perceived as an enemy by Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Yemen, and Egypt. The countries have had diplomatic tiffs with Qatar over the purported support that it extends to terrorists.
The economy of Qatar is largely based on the petroleum industry. The country has not diversified into any other industry. The country has not been levying taxes on any income due to the surplus that it enjoys from oil-related businesses. Its heavy industry section also relies on petroleum with the only diversification being the development of a fertilizer plant. Large reserves in oil and natural gas have influenced the overall ability of the country to grow. Its natural gas reserves are taunted as one of the largest making it more likely to be the mainstay of the economy. The focus of the country has been centered on the energy-related field. The vast resources are expected to be depleted with time. However, given the fact that the country now sits on one of the largest natural gas deposits in the region, it will most likely continue to focus on this. The efforts to diversify the overall output to match the changes in oil reserves have not been effective. With the exploration of the natural gas and the wide acceptance of the same mode of fuel, the country will most likely rely on the same revenue stream that it has been reliant on. There have been efforts to increase overall tourism in the region and to promote cultural consumption as a tourist attraction. Development of business and financial hubs has also been manifested in the region. This developments have promised a higher level of diversification as far as the income is concerned. The abundant wealth that the country enjoys contributes to the classification of the country as a high income economy. The recovery of oil prices will predicate government spending. Most of the infrastructural developments by the government are predicated on the performance of oil.
As at 2012, the country had a nominal gross domestic product of 182 billion dollars. In as much as the amount cannot be deemed to be too large, the per capita income of the country is one of the highest. The country is the richest in the world with the per capita income of 106,000USD. This can be attributed to the low percentage of national compared to foreigners in the country. The country joined the United Nations in 1972 after the attainment of independence from the British.
Given that the country is a major oil-producing country, it is a member of the organization of petroleum exporting countries. The country does not belong to any regional organizations in the area. It has been perceived as a pariah due to its funding of terrorism or any other extremist groups. The country also played a vital role in the development of the Arab spring. This has reduced the overall acceptance in the regional associations. The country does not belong to any regional trade organizations. Its ability to rely on the vast natural resources deposits has made it more of an independent nation. Unlike other countries in the region that tend to cooperate, the only bilateral agreements white the country has with the neighbor’s touch on how it can transport its resources to the point of need. The above aspect makes it more of a nation that prefers to deal on a bilateral basis as opposed to in a group.
- Dorsey, J.M., 2015. How Qatar is its own worst enemy. The International Journal of the History of Sport, 32(3), pp.422-439.
- Lynch, Marc. “Three big lessons of the Qatar crisis.” The Qatar Crisis (2017): 14.
- Portal, Business Anti-corruption. “Qatar Country Profile.” (2012).