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Qatar: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: State of Qatar
conventional short form: Qatar
local long form: Dawlat Qatar
local short form: Qatar
etymology: the origin of the name is uncertain, but it dates back at least 2,000 years since a term "Catharrei" was used to describe the inhabitants of the peninsula by Pliny the Elder (1st century A.D.), and a "Catara" peninsula is depicted on a map by Ptolemy (2nd century A.D.)

note: closest approximation of the native pronunciation is gattar or cottar
Government typeabsolute monarchy
CapitalDoha Doha
geographic coordinates: 25 17 N, 51 32 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions8 municipalities (baladiyat, singular - baladiyah); Ad Dawhah, Al Khawr wa adh Dhakhirah, Al Wakrah, Ar Rayyan, Ash Shamal, Ash Shihaniyah, Az Za'ayin, Umm Salal
Independence3 September 1971 (from the UK)
National holidayNational Day, 18 December (1878), anniversary of Al Thani family accession to the throne; Independence Day, 3 September (1971)
Constitutionprevious 1972 (provisional); latest drafted 2 July 2002, approved by referendum 29 April 2003, endorsed 8 June 2004, effective 9 June 2005 (2016)
Legal systemmixed legal system of civil law and Islamic law (in family and personal matters)
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Qatar
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 20 years; 15 years if an Arab national
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: Amir TAMIM bin Hamad Al Thani (since 25 June 2013)
head of government: Prime Minister ABDALLAH bin Nasir bin Khalifa Al Thani (since 26 June 2013); Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad bin Abdallah al-MAHMUD (since 20 September 2011)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the amir
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the amir
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral Advisory Council or Majlis al-Shura (15 seats; members appointed by the monarch); note - the 2003 constitutional referendum called for the election of 30 members, however; the first election scheduled for 2013 was postponed and the current term was initially extended until 2016, but in June 2016, the Amir extended it until at least 2019

note: although the Advisory Council has limited legislative authority to draft and approve laws, the Amir has final vote on all legislation; Qatar's first legislative elections were expected to be held in 2013, but HAMAD postponed them in a final legislative act prior to handing over power to TAMIM; in principle, the public would elect 30 members and the Amir would appoint 15; the Advisory Council would have authority to approve the national budget, hold ministers accountable through no-confidence votes, and propose legislation; the 29-member Central Municipal Council - first elected in 1999 - has limited consultative authority aimed at improving municipal services; members elected for a 4-year term; next election scheduled for May 2019
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court or Court of Cassation (consists of the court president and several judges); Supreme Constitutional Court (consists of the chief justice and 6 members)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges nominated by the Supreme Judiciary Council, a 9-member independent body consisting of judiciary heads appointed by the Amir; judges appointed for 3-year renewable terms; Supreme Constitutional Court members nominated by the Supreme Judiciary Council and appointed by the monarch; term of appointment NA
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Administrative Court; courts of first instance; sharia courts; Courts of Justice; Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Center, established in 2009, provides dispute services for institutions and bodies in Qatar, as well as internationally
Political parties and leaderspolitical parties are banned
Political pressure groups and leadersnone
International organization participationABEDA, AFESD, AMF, CAEU, CD, CICA (observer), EITI (implementing country), FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Muhammad bin Jaham Abd al-Aziz al-KUWARI (since 10 March 2014)
chancery: 2555 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20037
telephone: (1) (202) 274-1600
FAX: (1) (202) 237-0682
consulate(s) general: Houston, Los Angeles
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Dana Shell SMITH (since 8 September 2014)
embassy: 22 February Road, Al Luqta District, Doha
mailing address: P. O. Box 2399, Doha
telephone: (974) 4496-6000
FAX: (974) 4488-4298
Flag descriptionmaroon with a broad white serrated band (nine white points) on the hoist side; maroon represents the blood shed in Qatari wars, white stands for peace; the nine-pointed serrated edge signifies Qatar as the ninth member of the "reconciled emirates" in the wake of the Qatari-British treaty of 1916
note: the other eight emirates are the seven that compose the UAE and Bahrain; according to some sources, the dominant color was formerly red, but this darkened to maroon upon exposure to the sun and the new shade was eventually adopted
National symbol(s)a maroon field surmounted by a white serrated band with nine white points; national colors: maroon, white
National anthemname: "Al-Salam Al-Amiri" (The Amiri Salute)
lyrics/music: Sheikh MUBARAK bin Saif al-Thani/Abdul Aziz Nasser OBAIDAN

note: adopted 1996; anthem first performed that year at a meeting of the Gulf Cooperative Council hosted by Qatar