Qatar is an Emirate in the Persian Gulf, bordered by Saudi Arabia in the south and by the Persian Gulf. It has been ruled by the Al Thani family since the mid-19th century. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani has been the Emir since 1995 when he deposed his father. Recently, Qatar has gone from rags to riches. It was formerly one of the poorest Persian Gulf states, with an economy largely based on pearl fishing. It was a British protectorate until it gained independence in 1971. Since then, it has become one of the region's wealthiest states due to its enormous oil and natural gas revenues. According to Forbes Magazine, Qatar now ranks as the world’s richest country per capita. “Adjusted for purchasing power, Qatar booked an estimated gross domestic product per capita of more than $88,000 for 2010.” With its newfound wealth, Qatar has become emerged as a vibrant, modern country that has entered the 21st century with great hope and promise.