Qatar has been an independent sovereign state since 1971. It is one of the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the others being Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain. Qatar comprises an 11,500 sq. km peninsula extending northwards into the Arabian Gulf. It has 563 km of uninterrupted coastline. The country’s population stands at 2.3 million and its capital city is Doha.
Local time is GMT/UCT + 3 hours. There are no daylight savings adjustments.
Qatar has a desert climate with year-round sunshine, hot summers and mild winters. Mean monthly temperatures range from 17°C in January to 36°C in July, sometimes reaching highs of 40°C+ during the summer. Rain is infrequent, falling in brief showers mainly in winter.