An Arab sheikhdom on the Persian Gulf. Long under Persian rule, Qatar became independent in the 19th century. It was occupied by the Ottoman Turks from 1871 to 1913 and came under British protection in 1916. In 1971, Qatar declared its independence, after considering and rejecting a plan to join in a federation with the United Arab Emirates. Qatar is oil-rich, and its sole economic weakness is a lack of skilled labor. Its oil earnings give it one of the highest per capita incomes in the world.
Prior to 1957 see Muscat