Coordinates: 25°30′N 51°15′E / 25.500°N 51.250°E
Qatar (,i, or i;Arabic: قطر Qaṭar [ˈqɑtˤɑr]; local vernacular pronunciation: [ɡɪtˤɑr]), officially the State of Qatar (Arabic: دولة قطر Dawlat Qaṭar), is a sovereign country located in Southwest Asia, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its territory surrounded by the Persian Gulf. A strait in the Persian Gulf separates Qatar from the nearby island of Bahrain, as well as sharing sea borders with the United Arab Emirates and Iran.
Following Ottoman rule, Qatar became a British protectorate in the early 20th century until gaining independence in 1971. Qatar has been ruled by the Al Thani family since the mid-19th century. Qatar is a hereditary constitutional monarchy and its head of state is Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. The constitution was overwhelmingly approved in a constitutional referendum, with almost 98% in favour. In 2013, Qatar's total population was 1.8 million: 278,000 Qatari citizens and 1.5 million expatriates. After Saudi Arabia and Oman, Qatar is the most conservative society in the Gulf Cooperation Council.