Berlin Major Klaus Wowereit (C), accompanies the Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (L), and his wife Mozah Binti Nasser Al Missned (R), to the landmark Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany. Qatar celebrates its National Day in commemoration of the historic day in 1878 when Shaikh Jasim succeeded his father, Shaikh Muhammad Bin Thani, as a ruler and led the country towards unity. The event on December 18 is considered as an opportunity for all Qatari nationals and expatriates to recognise and celebrate what it means to live in modem day Qatar.  Qatar is a peninsula of 11.521 sq km located half way down the west coast of the Arabian Gulf enveloped by water from almost all sides. The country is centrally placed among the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It is neighboured by Saudi Arabia and UAE from the south and by Bahrain from the north-west. Qatar is considered as an ideal gate to the Arabian Gulf due to its unique historical monuments and its beautiful scenery, in addition to the high quality architecture, sports, shopping, restaurants and living compartments.  The state of Qatar with a population of 1,677,045, is a land of astonishing natural beauty and cultural prosperity, it is considered to have some of the most beautiful landscape in the Arabian Peninsula. The country's geographic location had a major influence on its politics, strategic options and development. Although the country is small in size yet it is big in value, it has achieved in decades what takes centuries for other countries to achieve. Its citizens hold an optimistic future and potentials that others can only envy. Qatar's history extends to more than four thousand years; it tells stories of heroism, great courage, wisdom, patriotism, love and devotion to homeland. This brings closer understanding to the richness of the Qatari cultural experience, which has contributed, to the building of modern Qatar.  Since His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani ascended the throne in 1995, the country has achieved high level of economic growth and development. It enjoys a strong and firm economy, helped by its vast oil and natural gas reserves, which forms the mainstay of the Qatar economy. Even though total oil reserves are somewhat modest in comparison to other Arabian Gulf countries, Qatar is one of the leading natural-gas producers in the world. It produces natural gas, crude oil, refined petroleum, and petrochemicals, in addition to steel, cement, and fertilisers.  Qatar has become an important centre for global companies and agencies, which started opening branches in Qatar due to its unique and profitable location to invest, and market products, therefore it can be said that Qatar has become a key player in the business world, especially in the Gulf region. Qatar's government and people are also working hard in diversifying its economy away from oil and gas, and there has been strong growth in tourism, IT and the knowledge-based economy in recent years, and despite the implications of the global financial crisis, the economic performance of the state of Qatar has been a source of appreciations by a number of financial institutions all over the world. Education and health sectors have played and still playing an important role in building the Qatar citizens. The number of schools avails high quality health and education care free of charge to all Qataris. Qatar's education infrastructure has grown dramatically in recent years thanks to the country's rapid economic growth. In addition, Qatar has high quality health care system, which won the praise of Unicef and WHO.  Qatar is fast developing as a major Mid-east destination, after opening its doors to tourism. It houses major historic forts, modem luxury hotels, and impressive seascapes. Tourists can explore the natural environment of Qatar by taking an exciting desert safari. There is something for everyone in this land of great natural beauty. As for sports, being recently chosen by the FIFA to host the 2022 World Cup, Qatar becomes the first ever Muslim and Arab country to host the world's greatest football event. The decision shows that the Arab countries are capable of organising major international events and serves as an opportunity to promote and portray the accurate image of the Islamic culture. It is also a glorious chance for the Arab football teams to make their presence felt in the tournament. On the other hand, Qatar plans to achieve another impressive success when it hosts the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, after the resounding success of the XV Asian Games 2006 in Doha.