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Tuesday 23rd May
Qatar Information - Page 1
Geography
The State of Qatar consists of some small islands and a small peninsula off the larger Arabian Peninsula; it is bordered by the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia.

Doha is the capital city and a major port. Other ports include Umm Sa'id and Halul Island.

Qatar's terrain is mainly flat with barren desert.

The country has hot, humid summers and mild winters. Duststorms and sandstorms are natural hazards.

Environment
Environmental protection initiatives in Qatar's private and public sectors are overseen by the Supreme Council for the Environment and Natural Sanctuaries.

Wildlife includes small creatures such as crickets, scorpions, lizards and birds. The Arabian oryx, a type of antelope, has been brought back from extinction by a captive breeding programme. Off the coast, marine wildlife includes sea turtles, whales and even dugongs.

Architecture
Architecture in Qatar is a mixture of traditional buildings and modern structures.

The fishing centre of Al-Wakrah is especially known for its old fort which has been restored and converted into a museum. Other military forts in Qatar include the Doha Fort in the capital.

Since the State of Qatar has benefited from oil and gas revenues, many modern hotels, offices and public buildings have been constructed in Doha. A government sponsored housing programme also provides homes on favourable terms.

Population
The population of Qatar was estimated at 848,016 in 2011.

Languages
Arabic is the official language. Many of the population speak English.

Religion
Over seventy-seven percent of the people are Muslims and over eight percent are Christians.

Food
Main meals usually start with appetizers such as olives and houmous. Bread, including pitta bread, is served. Rice or bulgar wheat often accompanies the main course which may consist of fish, chicken, lamb or mutton and vegetables. Pork is not eaten.

Other foods include salad, cheese, yoghurt, fruit, dates and sweet puddings.

Fruit juices and soft drinks are available. Serving coffee (black) to visitors is an age old custom derived from Bedouin hospitality traditions and an important part of Qatari etiquette.

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