Population: 2.1 million.
The Qatari people make up 20% of the population and the rest are foreign workers from many nations, with Arabs 40%, Indian 18%, Pakistani 18%, Iranian 10%, and other 14%.
Arabic is the official and main language, with English commonly used as a second language.
Islam is the main religion (77.5%) and there are some Christians (8.5%). Others include mainly Hindu and other Indian religions (14%). All Qataris are considered Muslim.
98% of the population is urbanized (the rest is desert!)
70% of the population is between ages 25-54.
96% of the population is literate.
Qatar is one of the most obese nations on earth (33.2%). Roughly half of adults and a third of children in Qatar are obese. It’s ranked the 16th most obese country in the world – a trend that is noticeable in numerous Gulf nations and the Middle East region.
Qatar is a small peninsula extending from the coast of Saudi Arabia into the Persian Gulf. It has become very wealthy due to the exploitation of oil and natural gas deposits. Like their cousins in the UAE, Qataris are a small minority in their own country. Oil wealth has made Qataris some of the richest people in the world. The Government in Qatar allows a limited number of churches to operate with relative freedom. However reaching out to the Qatari population might result in the withdrawal of a foreign worker’s visa. There are a handful of Qatari believers but family and government pressures make it difficult for them to meet together or reach out to other Qataris.
Qatar is a small peninsular that juts into the Gulf of Persia, with its only land border being Saudi Arabia. It is mostly flat and barren desert of sand and gravel. Qatar has mild, pleasant winters, but very hot, humid summers.
Ruled by the Al Thani family since the mid-1800s, Qatar transformed itself from a poor British protectorate noted mainly for pearling, into an independent state with significant oil and natural gas revenues. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Qatari economy was crippled by a continuous siphoning off of petroleum revenues by the Amir, who had ruled the country since 1972.
His son, the current Amir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, overthrew the father in a bloodless coup in 1995. Hamad oversaw the creation of the pan-Arab satellite news network Al-Jazeera and Qatar continues to pursue a leadership role in mediating regional conflicts.
As of 2007, oil and natural gas revenues had enabled Qatar to attain the highest per capita income in the world. Recent years have seen tremendous development in Doha, the capital. Qatar did not experience domestic unrest or violence like that seen in other Middle Eastern and North African countries in 2010-11, due in part to its immense wealth. Qatar will host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
Long Term Opportunities
Due to restrictions on long term visas and the extremely high cost of living in the Qatar, most mission workers either start their own business or find employment in the thousands of companies in the country. Some are in professional roles like teaching, sports coaching, engineering or the medical profession; others are in management; others in sales or service roles. Because Qatar pays foreign workers according to what they would receive for the same work in their home country, most construction and service roles (maids, cleaners etc) are South Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Nepali, Sri Lankan etc) or Filipino. Other roles depend on the persons’ qualifications and levels of education.
YWAMers wanting to move to the Qatar should first look for employment (because different job opportunities and people’s skills are so unique we can only offer very limited help in finding work in Qatar). Once they have found employment, we will connect them with the other team members currently serving there. YWAMers serving in Qatar are involved in prayer and then look for opportunities to share the gospel in their work situations and in the society they are living in.
Most foreigner workers living in Qatar use English as their language of business. Learning Arabic in Qatar would be expensive. Probably a better option for learning Arabic is in Oman.
Qatar is the home of Al Jazeera, the popular and controversial Arabic satellite television network.
The largest Sports Dome in the World is located in Qatar.
Bahrain ruled Qatar from 1700’s – mid 1800’s. The country became a British Protectorate from 1916-1971.
Qatar cultivates less than 1% of its land, imports 90% of its food, and has only 2 days worth of fresh water.
Qatar will be the smallest country ever to host the World Cup in 2022, although it has never qualified for the Cup before.
It is more expensive to buy 2 cappuccinos in Starbucks, than to fill a Hummer with a tank full of petrol in Qatar, because petrol is so cheap.
Most foreigner workers living in Qatar use English as their language of business.Learning Arabic in Qatar would be expensive. Probably a better option for learning Arabic is in Oman.