Which Countries are Most Similar to Qatar?

Have you ever wondered how similar or different two countries are? The Country Similarity Index attempts to quantify how similar countries are to each other relative to other countries. The index is a statistically-based objective way to measure this. The index weights equally five major aspects of countries: their demographics, culture, politics, technology, and geography. In addition each aspect was roughly balanced evenly between quantity/percentage and quality/type. See this post for a full explanation: https://objectivelists.home.blog/2020/05/30/country-similarity-index/

Similar to countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council

The top 5 countries most similar to the United Arab Emirates are all part of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The GCC is similar to the European Union in that people and goods are allowed to flow freely between their countries (although this is not the case for Qatar since 2017). Furthermore, while these countries do not have a shared currency, all of their currencies have a fixed exchange rate with the US dollar. They are also all monarchies and are some of the richest Arab countries.

Top 10 Places Most Similar to Qatar

  1. United Arab Emirates is another country on the Persian Gulf Coast that was once a British protectorate. Both countries are highly developed and have a massive amount of male immigrants, especially from India. However, political relations between the United Arab Emirates and Qatar have broken down recently. The UAE government has even banned travel to it. Despite this, these countries have an incredibly high degree of similarity.
  2. Bahrain is an island in the Persian Gulf, next to Qatar. Its flag is extremely similar to Qatar. Both countries are densely populated and have a lot of skyscrapers. One difference is that most Bahrainis are Shi’tes, not Sunnis. The country also has less immigrants than Qatar or the United Arab Emirates.
  3. Kuwait is a small oil-rich country between Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Like Bahrain, it has many Shi’ites, although they are not the majority. Both countries are both heavily reliant on desalination to provide tap water. Kuwait relies more on oil than gas to generate electricity, unlike the other countries on this list. Furthermore, its geographical features are nearly identical to Qatar, with the biggest difference being that Qatar is a peninsula.
  4. Oman is more conservative than Qatar and has less tourists. In stark contrast to other countries on this list, it does not have any skyscrapers. In fact, they are illegal. Furthermore, most of its people are Ibadis, not Sunnis. Along with Kuwait, it is one of two countries where Qataris still have the right to live and work without restrictions.
  5. Saudi Arabia is another oil-rich Muslim country with a high level of development. However, Qatar is far more cosmopolitan than Saudi Arabia. Its laws are more liberal and far fewer of its residents are immigrants. In addition, Qatar is much more densely populated.
  6. Jordan, 7. Iraq, 8. Lebanon, 9. Libya, 10. Egypt

Top 10 Places Least Similar to Qatar

  1. Papua New Guinea is a tropical Christian country in the Pacific Ocean with little cultural or demographic similarity. In contrast to the deserts of Qatar, it is one of the wettest countries on Earth. Its infrastructure is very different from Qatar as well, since it drives on the left and uses Type I electrical outlets. One similarity is that it both were controlled by Britain in the past.
  2. Burundi is a densely populated, landlocked African country. It was a colony of Belgium, before becoming independent. So it is mostly Catholic and one of its official languages is French. It is one of the poorest countries in the world, in contrast to Qatar.
  3. Lesotho is another poor Christian country on this list. It is completely surrounded by South Africa. Although both countries are monarchies, Lesotho’s monarch only has ceremonial powers and the government is mostly democratic.
  4. Mozambique is a tropical country, next to Malawi. It was a colony of Portugal before its independence. Although it is mostly Christian, it has the highest percentage of Muslims on this list with around 20%. Its technology is also far different from Qatar, since it drives on the left and uses Type C, F, and M outlets.
  5. Democratic Republic of Congo, like Burundi, is another former Belgian colony that is extremely poor. In contrast to Qatar, a vast majority of its land is forested. In addition, it also has little demographic or cultural similarity to Qatar as well.
  6. Madagascar, 7. Rwanda, 8. East Timor , 9. Malawi, 10. Haiti

    Full Ranking of Countries and Territories Most Similar to Qatar

Do you agree with the list?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section.


  1. Arguably the most important article of the GCC charter is Article 4, which states that the alliance was formed to strengthen relations among its member countries and to promote cooperation among the countries’ citizens. The GCC also has a defense planning council that coordinates military cooperation between member countries. The highest decision-making entity of the GCC is the Supreme Council, which meets on an annual basis and consists of GCC heads of state. Decisions of the Supreme Council are adopted by unanimous approval. The Ministerial Council, made up of foreign ministers or other government officials, meets every three months to implement the decisions of the Supreme Council and to propose new policy. The administrative arm of the alliance is the office of the Secretariat-General, which monitors policy implementation and arranges meetings.


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