Qatar, also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qa?ar, is an Arab country, known officially as an emirate, in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south; otherwise, the Persian Gulf surrounds the state. A strait of the Persian Gulf separates Qatar from the nearby island nation of Bahrain. Qatar is an oil- and gas-rich nation, with the third largest gas reserves, and the highest GDP per capita in the world. An absolute monarchy, Qatar has been ruled by the al-Thani family since the mid-19th century and has since transformed itself from a British protectorate noted mainly for pearling into an independent state with significant oil and natural gas revenues.
In 1995, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifah al-Thani became Emir when he seized power from his father, whom he accused of stealing state funds.
In 2001, Qatar resolved its longstanding border disputes with both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
In 2010, it was announced that Qatar will host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.