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Key Facts

Official Name: State of Qatar

Capital City: Doha

Official Languages: Arabic

Religion: Sunni Muslim, Shi'a Muslim, Christian

Currency: Qatari Riyal (QAR)

Time Zone: GMT + 3 hours

Country Domain: .qa

Country Tel Code: 974

Moving to Qatar

The official name of Qatar, pronounced "Cutter," is the State of Qatar. Like many other Gulf countries, it is a combination of an ancient past and 21st century technology and architecture. It is a country in transition that has retained its traditionalism, while in the process of modernizing.

The overriding influence on life in Qatar, past and present, is Islam. The Qataris remain faithful to their roots; Islam and tribal and family ties are very strong. The tenets of Islam are integral to all aspects of daily life, both social and business.


Politically, Qatar became fully independent from Britain in 1971. Today it is a constitutional monarchy, with the emir as the head of state. This position is passed on within the al-Thani ruling family.

The highest executive body in Qatar is the Council of Ministers, which is comprised of both elected and appointed officials. The Council of Ministers initiates legislation, which is then referred to the Consultative Assembly, or Majilis Al Shura, for further discussion. The Emir then ratifies legislation submitted to him by the Majilis Al Shura.


Until the discovery of oil in the middle of the 20th century, Qatar had few inhabitants and relied on trading, pearling, and fishing. Many of the prominent Qatari families, including the ruling al-Thani family, are former pearl merchants.

The economy of Qatar is subject to centralized state control. The government owns or directly controls the country's mineral wealth, major manufacturing enterprises, banks, and insurance companies.


There are a variety of accommodations available in Qatar. Europeans and North Americans tend to be housed in compounds with swimming pools and clubhouses or in apartments with excellent amenities. Newer compounds are generally considered most desirable, and command the highest rents.


International schools are available for a number of expatriate communities and traditions in Qatar, including American, British, French, Norwegian, Arab, Lebanese, Tunisian, Indian, Bangladesh, Philippine, Japanese, and Pakistani communities.

Schools generally are in session Saturday through Wednesday, but adhere to the academic calendar of the communities they serve. As a result, expatriate schools may be in session at very different intervals.

Visa & Immigration

Santa Fe offers Visa and Immigration services for Qatar and countries around the world. For further information, please contact your local Santa Fe office.

Contact Us

Santa Fe Relocation Services Doha Office

Address: Office #1406, 14th Floor, AI Fardan Officer Tower, PO Box 31316, West Bay, Doha, State of Qatar

Contact Number: +(974) 4410 1808/1860

Fax Number: Fax: +(974) 4410 1500


Manager: Ravi Rajamani

Let us assist you with obtaining a Qatar visa, finding an apartment or school in Doha, and more!”

"Disclaimer: This information is provided in conjunction with Living Abroad LLC. The information contained in this destination guide is not, and can not be used as, professional advice in areas such as Law, Taxation, Accounting etc. And whilst reasonable commercial efforts have been made to ensure correctness of the information at the time of publication there is no guarantee that the information is free from errors or omission. Santa Fe and it's associated companies disclaim liability for any damage, loss or cost directly or indirectly attributable to the contents of this destination guide."