Bookmark and Share

1. Geography
2. Political situation
3. Economy
a. Figures
4. Health
5. Education
a. Universities
6. Demographics
7. Religions
a. Freedom
8. Peoples
9. Languages
10. History
11. Cities and Towns

Open the online Arabic language course

Index / Political situation /
Open map of QatarFlag of QatarQatar /
Political situation

Muhammad 1868-1878
Qasim 1878-1913
Abdullah 1913-1949
Ali 1949-1960
Ahmed 1960-1972
Khalifa 1972-1995
Hamad 1995-

Qatar is politically stable. It has no democracy, but there is some freedom of speech.
Even if Qatar is not democratic, the country does not have a totalitarian system. The emir, Hamadi bni Kalifa th-Thani, has full power. He alone deetermines the cabinet ministers (of which there are 15), and he alone issues new laws. The only ones he has to answer to are other members of the ath-Thani family (who represent close to 10% of the entire Qatari population). Rulers have been deposed a number of times in Qatar's history, so the emir has to take into serious consideration the interests of both his family and other strong groups in Qatar.
Qatar has developed a system of consultations, most of which are informal. Others are semi-formal, called majlis. A majlis is open to the public, and all citizens are free to raise a question.
There is an Advisory Council that is made up of 30 members appointed by the emir. This council has very limited power, and can only raise its voice in questions that the emir has put on the agenda.
There are 5 newspapers in Qatar, of which one is in English, with a total circulation of about 90,000.
The dispute with Bahrain over the Hawar Islands, that lie just one kilometre off the Qatari shores (north of Dukhan), remains unresolved. Internationally Qatar has been enhancing its ties with Iran, after years of close affiliation with Saudi Arabia.

By Tore Kjeilen