The State of Qatar occupies a small peninsula off the larger Arabian Peninsula as well as some small islands.
The highest point in Qatar is Qurayn Abu al Bawl (103 m).
Khor Al-Udeid (the Inland Sea) is an area of sand dunes, some over 40 m high, surrounding an inlet of the Gulf.
Evidence of human habitation around 4000 BC has been discovered in the Qatar Peninsula.
Qatar has little fresh water and has invested in desalination plants which remove salt from seawater.
From the early sixteenth century until the early twentieth century Qatar was under the influence of the Ottoman Empire.
Qatar signed various treaties with the British in the nineteenth century and by the early twentieth century Qatar had become a British Protectorate.
The availability of cultured pearls from Japan in the 1930s led to the collapse of the Qatari pearl industry. The pearl beds around Qatar are no longer commercially fished.
Oil was discovered in Dukhan on the west coast of Qatar in 1939.
Qatar became a member of OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) in 1961.
Britain (the UK) withdrew from the Gulf in 1971 and Qatar became an independent country.
Since independence, rulers of Qatar have been from the Al Thani family, the traditional rulers in Qatar since the mid nineteenth century.
In 1974 the Qatar General Petroleum Corporation (now Qatar Petroleum) became responsible for the oil industry in Qatar.
Qatargas, established in 1984, pioneered liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Qatar.
Al-Jazeera, the satellite broadcaster, is financed by the Qatar government.
The Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development aims "to develop and utilize human potential through a network of centers and a unique Education City, with branch campuses of some of the world's leading universities."
In March 2005 a British man was killed and 12 other people injured in a car bomb blast at the Doha Players Theatre, Qatar.
In September 2007 Qatar and Dubai became the two biggest shareholders of the London Stock Exchange.
In 2010 Qatar won the bid to host 2022 Fifa World Cup.