Newspapers in Qatar
There are three leading daily newspapers in Qatar: ash-Sharq ('the Orient'),
ar-Raya ('Baneret') and al-Watan ('the homeland'), all loyal to the government.
They also publish English-language editions and online versions: The Peninsula,
Gulf Times and Qatar Tribune. The press is still strictly censored even though
some relief has taken place.
The radio and television are state. Qatar Broadcasting Service
(founded in 1968) broadcasts radio in Arabic, English, French and Urdu.
Qatar Television Service (founded in 1970) broadcasts 24 hours a day in two
channels, one Arabic-language and one English-language. The international
Arabic-language TV channel al-Jazira (since 2006 also with English broadcasts)
has its headquarters in Doha. The number of Internet users amounted to 687,000
at the end of 2011.
Islam and traditional Bedouin life have made
strong impressions in Qatari culture. In addition to a
strong clan society, Bedouin culture also includes
poetry and songs, as well as crafts: tents, carpets,
pillows and saddles are made from sheep, goats and
Previously, there was also a large traditional
textile industry, known primarily for silver and gold
Latest population statistics of Qatar, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
In 2008, a spectacular museum of Islamic art was
opened on an artificial island off Doha. Many of the
exhibits have been purchased by the Qatari state for gas
and oil money at the large auction companies in the
2019, a new lavish national museum will be opened in
Doha, after delays.
Thawing weather with requirements list from neighbors
"Ice melting" between Qatar and neighboring countries is reported after two
and a half years of boycott and mutual accusations. Qatar has been invited to a
meeting of the GCC partner organization, held in Saudi Arabia. But after the
meeting, it emerges that Qatar has faced 13 difficult-to-digest demands,
including closing the al-Jazira news channel, which many Arab regimes are under
severe scrutiny of, and tightening their contacts with Turkey, which is allowed
to dispose of a military base in Qatar.
Emir sets timetable for elections
The Emir of Qatar, the country's ruler, says his country has managed to
withstand the most severe consequences of a boycott from neighboring countries
that lasted for over two years. Qatar could also hold its very first national
election within two years. At a more precise time, the emir does not, however,
be able to do so before the World Cup in Qatar at the end of 2022, to judge by
the preparations that are being made for the football party.
Strict labor regulations are mitigated
Some of the harshly criticized rules for guest workers who have remained from
the so-called kafala system are scrapped. The rules on exit visas have
previously been softened for some employees, and now no longer need their
employer's permission to change jobs or leave the country. The minimum wage law
that was promised in 2017 can also come into force at the beginning of the New
Year, states the Minister of Labor without specifying what the minimum wage will
be. The huge construction work ahead of the 2022 Soccer World Cup and the
recently held World Athletics Championships have caught the eye that the
workforce has had to endure stringent conditions in Qatar.
Residence permit tensile patches for investors
Foreign investors will in future be able to obtain a residence permit more
easily, reports state media. Anyone contributing capital to Qatar's economy
should be able to obtain a five-year permit, which can be renewed. It used to be
that one's stay in the country was linked to a Qatari company or a Qatari
person. The change in the law is one of several that will attract investments
from abroad (see March 13).
The US is preparing for Qatar
The US reinforces its forces at al-Udayd military base in Qatar with sneakers
of the F-22 Raptor fighter model. The reason for the upgrading is the war threat
that has grown on the Persian Gulf since the United States of 2018 issued an
international agreement on Iran's nuclear energy technology and reintroduced
severe sanctions on Iran. It is said to be the first time the stealth aircraft
is stationed in Qatar, however, it is not clear how many planes are involved.
Mutual suspicions around the World Cup are apparent
Michel Platini, former French football star who had a leading role in
football in Europe until 2015, is arrested in France and heard about how it went
when the international football association Fifa decided to let Qatar organize
the World Cup 2022 (see December 2010). The mutmous thinkers do
not want to lie down, even though Fifa has dismissed the allegations after its
own investigations. The British newspaper Sunday Times has reported that Qatar
offered Fifa the equivalent of over SEK 9 billion before the decision.
New part victory for Qatar in UN court
Two years after the neighboring countries gathered to boycott Qatar, the
country wins a new part victory in the International Court of Justice in The
Hague, which is part of the UN system. In a dispute between Qatar and the United
Arab Emirates, the court says no to a request for certain time-limited measures
against Qatar. Last year, the court ruled that the Emirates must allow the
reunification of families where any member is a Qatari and that Qatari students
must be allowed to complete their studies in the Emirate.
The air force is expanded
Five French-made Rafale aircraft land, the first of 24 fighter aircraft
ordered by Qatar in 2015. Since 2017, when Qatar became the subject of a boycott
from several neighboring countries, the order has been extended by another
twelve aircraft. In addition, Qatar's management has placed orders on other
types of fighter aircraft from the US and the UK.
Mutual suspicions surround the Athletics World Cup
Criminal charges have been formalized in France against Nasser Al-Khelaifi,
who is suspected of having paid bribes to allow Qatar to organize the World Cup
in athletics. Nasser Al-Khelaifi is the head of a Qatari TV sports channel, but
he is also chairman of the Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) football club. The
application from London won the championship in 2017, but the 2019 World Cup
will be decided in Qatar this fall. Former chairman of the International
Athletics Association (IAAF) Lamine Diack has been a criminal suspect in the
affair since: the bribes have gone to a company owned by his son.
News channel distances from video about Holocaust
The state-owned TV channel al-Jazira shuts down two co-workers who produced a
video stating, among other things, that the extent of the Holocaust - the Nazis'
systematic mass murder of Jews - was misinterpreted from a Jewish perspective.
The video, which was posted by the etheric media company's Internet service AJ +
on May 18, is deleted and the management points out that it did not live up to
Increased support for Palestine
Qatar is devoting $ 300 million, some in the form of loans, to strengthening
the Palestinian Authority's budget for health care and education. An additional
180 million is earmarked for emergency humanitarian aid and UN organizations
operating in Palestine. Qatar also promises to help make electricity supply to
Palestinians work. Qatar has already given considerable support to the Islamist
Hamas regime in Gaza (see January 25), but the new decisions
are linked, among other things, to the United States withdrawing its assistance
to the Palestinian Authority and to UN activities in Palestinian refugee camps.
Election of municipal decision-makers
The two female members retain their seats when elections are held for Qatar's
only elected assembly, a municipal council with 29 members. Of 85 candidates,
five were women.
Qatar is fighting currency attacks
Qatar sues three foreign banks in US and UK courts. The banks are accused of
currency speculation directed at Qatar's economy. The three are Saudi Samba
Bank, Emirate First Abu Dhabi Bank and Banque Havilland in Luxembourg. The moods
are the latest feature of insomnia that has led neighboring countries to boycott
Qatar (see June 5 and June 23, 2017).
Permits for foreigners' ownership are extended
the 13th of March
The Qatar government decides to expand the right of foreign residents to own
property - both residential and commercial. The government's decision applies in
a number of areas in the country, exactly which have not been specified. Foreign
citizens should also be allowed to own stores in malls. The message from the
state news agency QNA does not indicate when the new rules will come into force.
Qatar is believed to want to create more favorable conditions for investment as
the economy is being squeezed by a boycott that several neighboring countries
maintain (see June 5, 2017 and May 26, 2018).
Qatar: Support to Gaza through the UN
Qatar will start coordinating its assistance to the Gaza Strip with the UN,
says the Qatari Gaza ambassador. According to an agreement made in connection
with Israel and the Islamist movement Hamas closed ceasefire, Qatar will
contribute cash to depleted Gaza (see November 9, 2018). But
Israel's approval is needed to bring the money into the strip and Hamas, which
exercises local government in Gaza, claims that Israel imposes impossible
conditions. Most of the Qatari money paid so far has gone to salaries for civil
servants - in practice Hamas employees. Assistance should now be distributed to
poor families rather than to salaries of public servants.
Alcohol is allowed at clubs and hotels in Qatar, but sales are subject to 100
percent tax from January 1. The only company in the country to sell alcoholic
beverages publishes a 30-page price list of products - including beer varieties
- which from now on cost twice as much as before. Prior to the 2022 Soccer World
Cup, organizers have stated that outfits will only occur in designated areas,
definitely not in public places.