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Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, February 02, 2014 at 15:27:55 :: Qatar

Burj Qatar Tower in West Bay (232m / 761 fees), Commercial office in Doha, QatarQatar is an absolute monarchy, its ruler is the Emir. Qatar has been ruled as an absolute and hereditary emirate by the Al Thani family since the mid-19th century.

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (Arabic: الشيخ حمد بن خليفة آل ثاني‎, born 1 January 1952) is the ruling Emir of the State of Qatar since 1995. On 27 June 1995, after deposing his father in a palace coup, Sheikh Hamad became Emir of Qatar and was crowned on 20 June 2000.

In the early 1980s, Hamad led the Supreme Planning Council, which sets the Qatar's basic economic and social policies. Starting in 1992, Hamad's father handed over responsibility for the day-to-day running of the country, including the development of Qatar's oil and natural gas resources. With the support of his family, Sheikh Hamad took control of the country in 1995 while his father was on vacation abroad. While his father Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani was in Geneva, Switzerland, Hamad bin Khalifa deposed him in a bloodless 1995 coup d'état. Hamad bin Khalifa engaged an American law firm to freeze his father's bank accounts abroad, thereby defeating a possible countercoup. Thereafter, his father lived in exile in France and Abu Dhabi until he returned to Qatar in 2004.

The Emir is considered to be progressive among leaders of Muslim countries. He has his official website (best viewed with Internet Explorer).

Qatar has proven reserves of oil and natural gas. Qatar tops the list of the world's richest countries by Forbes. Its population is less than 2.5 million people.

Fun Trivia (source:

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Qatar and the 2022 Football World Cup

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, December 12, 2010 at 12:01:21 :: Qatar

Qatar (/ˈkɑːtɑr/ ( listen) or /kəˈtɑr/ ( listen), kə-TAR; Arabic: قطر‎ [ˈqɑtˤɑr]; local pronunciation: [ɡitˤar]), also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is an Arab country, known officially as an emirate, in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south; otherwise, the Persian Gulf surrounds the state. A strait of the Persian Gulf separates Qatar from the nearby island nation of Bahrain. Qatar is an oil- and gas-rich nation, with the third largest gas reserves, and the first or second highest GDP per capita in the world.


The Qatari peninsula juts 100 miles (161 km) north into the Arab Gulf from Saudi Arabia and is slightly smaller than the state of Connecticut, USA. Much of the country consists of a low, barren plain, covered with sand. To the southeast lies the spectacular Khor al Adaid (“Inland Sea”), an area of rolling sand dunes surrounding an inlet of the Persian Gulf. There are mild winters and very hot, humid summers.

The highest point in Qatar is Qurayn Abu al Bawl at 103 metres (338 ft) in the Jebel Dukhan to the west, a range of low limestone outcroppings running north-south from Zikrit through Umm Bab to the southern border. The Jebel Dukhan area also contains Qatar’s main onshore oil deposits, while the natural gas fields lie offshore, to the northwest of the peninsula.

In 2009, the country had a growing population of approximately 1,309,000 people. Besides ethnic Arabs, much of the population is made up of expatriates taking up employment in various sectors of the Qatari economy. Arabic serves as the official language. However, English as well as many other languages like Hindi, Tamil, Pashto, Malayalam, Punjabi, Urdu, Sindhi, Balochi,Telugu, Bengali, Tagalog, and Persian are widely spoken in Qatar.

Zubara fort, Qatar

The 2022 FIFA World Cup

On 2 December 2010, Russia and Qatar were selected as the locations for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups respectively.

The Gulf Arab nation is slated to spend $3 billion on 12 stadiums alone, while over the next five years it will also build a $25 billion rail network, a new airport costing $11 billion, and a $5.5 billion deep water seaport.

It will spend an additional $20 billion on new roads, while the World Cup triumph should also speed up work on the $3 billion, 40 kilometer, Qatar-Bahrain Causeway.

Weather in Doha

A major consideration in any sporting event is the weather. and the warm temperatures in the Middle East will be a distinct advantage to teams more used to warmer climes.

Temperatures in the capital, Doha, rise to an unpleasant level, and it will be interesting to see how tournament organizers accommodate the weather factor in fixture scheduling. Expect the traditional excuses from overpaid superstars who fail to perform.

If you have got pictures of Qatar, post them right now on Landolia!
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UNESCO World Heritage

Qatar, Al Zubarah Archaeological Site

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, January 30, 2014 at 10:05:16

Location Qatar
Coordinates N25 58 41 E51 1 47
Property 416 ha
Date of Inscription 2013

Brief Description ( )

The walled coastal town of Al Zubarah in the Gulf flourished as a pearling and trading centre in the late 18th century and early 19thcenturies, before it was destroyed in 1811 and abandoned in the early 1900s. Founded by merchants from Kuwait, Al Zubarah had trading links across the Indian Ocean, Arabia and Western Asia. A layer of sand blown from the desert has protected the remains of the site’s palaces, mosques, streets, courtyard houses, and fishermen’s huts; its harbour and double defensive walls, a canal, walls, and cemeteries. Excavation has only taken place over a small part of the site, which offers an outstanding testimony to an urban trading and pearl-diving tradition which sustained the region’s major coastal towns and led to the development of small independent states that flourished outside the control of the Ottoman, European, and Persian empires and eventually led to the emergence of modern day Gulf States.

Photos from Landolia

Zubarah Fort, Al Zubarah Archaeological Site Inside Zubarah Fort

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