The State of Qatar is a monarchy located on the Arabian Peninsula. Its almost 4,500 square miles share only one border, with Saudi Arabia; as Qatar is located on the Qatari Peninsula, the rest of its borders open onto the Persian Gulf. Qatar is a monarchy ruled by the Al Thani family. Though the Al Thani family has ruled Qatar since the mid 19th century, their sovereignty was interrupted by a period under the Ottoman Empire, and 55 years as a British Protectorate. Fully independent since 1971, Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world thanks to its significant gas and oil resources.