Official holiday as Qatar marks National Sports Day
Qatar has been ruled as an absolute monarchy by Al Thani family since the mid-19th century. Formerly a British protectorate noted mainly for pearling, it became independent in 1971, and has become one of the region's wealthiest states due to its enormous oil and natural gas earnings. In 1995, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani became Emir when he seized power from his father, Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, in a peaceful coup d'état. The most important positions in Qatar are held by the members of the Al Thani family, or close confidants of the al-Thani family. Beginning in 1992, Qatar has built intimate military ties with the United States, and is now the location of U.S. Central Command's Forward Headquarters and the Combined Air Operations Center.
The early 3rd millennium
In the early 3rd millennium, Sumerians settled on Tarut Island, off the Saudi coast, in broad outline 100 kilometers north-west of Qatar. Later, from 2450-1700 BC, Dilmun, a peaceful trading civilization, was centered in Bahrain. Evidence that Qatar was part of the complex trading network is found from the presence of Barbar pottery, a product of the Dilmun civilization, in Ras Abrouk.
Qatar has hosted academic, religious, political and economic conferences. The 11th annual Doha Forum recently brought in key thinkers, professionals of various backgrounds, and political figures from all over the world to discuss democracy, media and information innovation, free trade, and water security issues. This year was the first year the forum featured the Middle East Economic Future conference.
EconomyThe economic growth of Qatar has been nearly exclusively based on its petrol and natural gas industry, which began in 1940. The country has experienced rapid growth over the last several years due to high oil prices, and in 2008 posted its eighth consecutive budget surplus. Economic policy is focused on developing Qatar's non-associated natural gas reserves and increasing private and foreign investment in non-energy sectors, however oil and gas for all that account for more than 50% of GDP; approximately 85% of export revenues, and 70% of government earnings.
While oil and gas will probably remain the backbone of Qatar's economy for some time to come, the country seeks to stimulate the private sector and develop a "knowledge economy". In 2004, it established the Qatar Science & Research Park to attract and serve research-based companies and entrepreneurs, from overseas and within Qatar. Qatar as well established Education City, which consists of international colleges. For the 15th Asian Games in Doha, it established Doha Sports City, consisting of Khalifa stadium, the Aspire Sports Academy, aquatic centres, exhibition centres and many other sports related buildings and centres. Following the success of the Asian Games, Doha kicked off an official bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics in October 2007. Its bid was all things considered eliminated from consideration in June 2008. Qatar as well plans to build an "entertainment city" henceforth.
TransportationThe primary means of transportation in Qatar is by road, due to the very cheap price of petroleum. The country as a result has an advanced road system undergoing vast upgrades in response to the country's rapidly rising population, with several highways undergoing upgrades and new expressways within Doha pursuant to this agreement construction. A large bus network connects Doha with other towns in the country, and is the primary means of public transportation in the city.
Currently, no rail networks exist in the country. In November 2009, nevertheless, the government signed a $26 billion contract with the German company Deutsche Bahn to construct a railway system over the then and there 20 years. The network will connect the country itself, and will include an international link with neighbouring states as part of a larger rail network being constructed across the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. A railway link is also in accordance with construction between Qatar and Bahrain as part of the Qatar Bahrain Causeway.
In 2008, Qatar established the Qatar Science & Innovation Park at Education City to link those universities with industry. Education City is as well home to a fully accredited International Baccalaureate school, Qatar Academy. Two Canadian institutions, the College of the North Atlantic and the University of Calgary, as well operate campuses in Doha. Other for-profit universities have as well established campuses in the city.
In Qatar, ictQATAR is the government agency regulating telecommunication.
Vodafone Qatar, in partnership with the Qatar Foundation, received the second public mobile networks and services license in Qatar on 28 June 2008, and switched on their mobile network on 1 March 2009. They launched 7 July 2009, opening their online store first followed by retail and third party distribution locations throughout Doha. But, this was discontinued in 2010.
Television network headquartered in Doha
Al Jazeera is a television network headquartered in Doha, Qatar. Al Jazeera at first launched as an Arabic news and current affairs satellite TV channel of the same name, nevertheless has since expanded into a network of several specialty TV channels.
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