Qatar has a population of about 2,672,522, which varies widely in origin and culture, as well as languages. Different groups use different languages, which is why Qatar is home to many ethnic, foreign and immigrant languages which can be heard inside the country.

Arabic is the official language of Qatar. Arabic is an Afro-Asiatic language which is spoken in Qatar as well as several other countries in parts of Asia and Africa. The majority of the population in Qatar uses Arabic as their native language. The version of Arabic spoken in Qatar has two distinct and mutually intelligible dialects, standard Arabic and native Gulf Arabic. Arabic is used for business and official purposes, as well as for daily communication and as a means of instructing in Qatar’s education facilities.

English is the second most widely spoken language in Qatar. This is primarily due to Qatar’s history as a colony under British rule, during which time English was used for official purposes. Despite the fact that English is not an official language, it is widely accepted as the country’s second language in schools. English is particularly present in schools and among the business community. This strong influence of English has also been contributed to the presence of expatriates from English-speaking in Qatar.

Immigrant communities within Qatar speak their native languages, which include Farsi, Urdu, Tagalog, Malayalan and Sinhalese. Farsi is spoken by around 30,000 people in Qatar, Urdu by 100,000 people, the Filipino community in Qatar has over 200,000 speakers of the Tagalog language, and about 37,000 people in Qatar speak Sinhalese, a Sri Lankan language from the Brahmic family of languages.

The deaf community in Qatar uses the Qatar Unified Sign Language, a language native to Qatar which is thought to be part of the Arabic sign language family. Despite the fact that a large community of people with hearing impairments exists in Qatar, the language has not developed in equal measure, especially when it comes to education. The QUSL was created with an effort to unite the deaf community of Qatar with the rest of the Middle East by creating a common language.


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