Nine out of ten Qatari citizens are Sunni Muslims and belong to the Orthodox and Puritan direction of Wahhabism, which is, however, practiced less strictly in Qatar than in the country of origin Saudi Arabia.
In Qatar, for example, there is alcohol to buy at hotels and bars, but in preparation for the 2022 Soccer World Cup, both the bar and the prices have been debate issues. The religious leaders have great influence over education and justice and also act as advisers to the government.
A significant minority of the population professes to the Shiite direction of Islam; about five percent of the citizens, a higher proportion of guest workers included.
Views of life other than Islam are tolerated by the regime, but as in many other Muslim countries, one is sensitive to missions from other religions. It is illegal for Muslims to convert to other religions.
Among the guest workers are both Christians and Hindus. Churches have in recent years been able to build on land leased from the state.
- Countryaah: Population statistics for 2020 and next 30 years in Qatar, covering demographics, population graphs, and official data for growth rates, population density, and death rates.
Deficiencies in mandatory virus app
A mobile app for infection tracking becomes mandatory in Qatar; anyone who does not use the app is threatened by jail. But Amnesty International sounds alarmed that the app can easily reveal a million users’ identity, whereabouts and health status. An improved version of the controversial app will be available after a couple of days, but the user will still have to agree to far-reaching requirements from authorities when installed. In Qatar, 28 covid-19 deaths have been confirmed and 47,000 infected have been found, in a total population of nearly 1.7 million people.
Severe punishment for the worm
Qatar announces that face mask becomes mandatory for anyone leaving home, the only exception being drivers who are alone in their car. Anyone who violates the injunction risks up to three years in prison and the equivalent of over half a million in fines. To date, 14 deaths in covid-19 have been confirmed. The fact that the deaths have not increased is assumed to be due to the low age of the population and the fact that medical examinations are compulsory for the many guest workers.
Indian guest workers are brought home
When India begins to evacuate large-scale nationals trapped abroad during the corona crisis, Qatar is one of the countries that unemployed guest workers are expected to leave. India will both fly home migrants and take home workers with ships, but those who accept yes can expect to pay for the trip. In Qatar there are about 700,000 Indians. In the United Arab Emirates, where the Indians are many more, the state leadership has demanded that the guest workers’ home countries act to assist compatriots. Only India’s consultant in the Dubai emirate has received nearly 200,000 applications.
Diplomatic offensive in coronatids
Unlike other airlines in the Gulf states, Qatar’s state-owned companies have retained some of their fleet in traffic during the corona crisis. Around a third of passenger and freight traffic has continued, where this has not been hampered by restrictions from other countries. In addition, plans have been chartered to evacuate stranded travelers from other countries. France, Germany and the United Kingdom are among the countries that have called on their citizens to go to the Qatari to return home. For Qatar, this is a way of picking diplomatic points in a deal with neighboring countries that has lasted since 2017 (see June 5, 2017 and December 10, 2019). The country’s air force has simultaneously delivered two field hospitals to the covid-19-hit Italy.
Concern for guest workers in pandemic
First covid-19 viral disease death victim confirmed: a 57-year-old Bangladeshi citizen. The fears of foreign guest workers, many of whom are native to populous states in Asia, are great in all Gulf states. Migrant workers dominate in many industries, not least the construction sector, and it is unclear both how their incomes will go and what care they receive if they begin to show symptoms of infection. In Qatar, an aid organization is starting to distribute food portions to guest workers who, due to measures against the corona, are not allowed to leave their area in Doha.
Support packages should counteract the virus crisis
Qatar is closing its borders in hopes of being able to limit the spread of coronavirus. Only Qatari citizens should be admitted. More than 400 cases of illness have been confirmed. Based on these figures, Qatar is the yellow state where there are most infected. The government has decided on a “stimulus package” with measures worth $ 23 billion to offset the economic damage. Schools and entertainment venues have been forced to close and public events have been canceled, including an international motor competition. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified the disease as a pandemic, spreading worldwide.
Jordanians are promised jobs in Qatar
Qatar’s Head of State Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani visits Jordan and promises 10,000 jobs for Jordanians in Qatar “in addition to as many as promised in 2018”, according to the state news agency QNA. Almost every fifth Jordanian is unemployed and 15 percent are estimated to live in poverty. King Abdullah’s visit is seen as a sign that relations have improved since Jordan cut its diplomatic presence when neighboring countries boycotted Qatar in 2017. Qatar also promises to contribute $ 30 million to pensions for Jordan’s military personnel.
Ready for email from neighbors
The United Arab Emirates is reestablishing email relations with Qatar via Oman, according to the UN organization UPU. The relations were cut in 2017, when Qatar became the subject of boycotts from several neighboring countries, which criticized the Qatari regime for cooperation with Iran and support for the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood. The basic insanity has not been resolved, but Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, which participated in the boycott, will open for e-mail, according to news later in February. Oman and Kuwait are both trying to mediate in the tree that led to the boycott.
New prime minister appointed
Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani becomes new prime minister. At the same time, he also takes over the post of Minister of the Interior from the representative. He is US-educated and has a background in the very important natural gas industry for Qatar. He has worked for the country’s emir since he was crown prince.
Permission requirements for departure canceled
The requirement for a foreign residence permit for foreign workers has expired, announces the Deputy Labor Minister (see October 16, 2019). With the new rules, for domestic employees, it is only required that the employer be notified at least three days in advance.
Long-term agreement with Kuwait
Kuwait, which is rich in oil but not in natural gas, concludes a 15-year agreement with Qatar to buy Qatari gas. The agreement between the two countries’ state energy companies will take effect in 2022, when a new gas terminal in southern Kuwait is put into operation.