It’s a fact that years ago very few things were known to people about Qatar. But, today Doha has developed in such a way that it is termed as a classy city with its remarkable vista, classic architecture, and the finest gastronomic restaurants that gives a fantastic experience to tourists and expats.
Today, Qatar is a very evolved country with a rich culture and is all set to be a cosmopolitan area that the world will be experiencing soon.
So, if you are a new to Qatar, following are some interesting facts you need to know to :
1. Highest GDP per capita
As of 2023, Qatar still holds the position of having the highest GDP per capita in the world. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Qatar’s GDP per capita in 2022 was estimated at around $68,056 USD. This can be attributed to the country’s vast reserves of oil and natural gas, which have contributed to its economic growth over the years. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Qatar’s economy has remained relatively stable due to its diversification efforts and investments in various sectors such as tourism, real estate, and infrastructure.
2. Camel racing
Camel racing is a popular traditional sport in Qatar and has been a part of the country’s culture for centuries. The sport involves jockeys riding camels that are specially bred and trained for racing. Historically, children were used as jockeys, but in recent years, there has been a move towards using robot jockeys to address concerns over child exploitation.
Qatar has invested heavily in modernizing the sport of camel racing, with state-of-the-art tracks, training facilities, and events that attract international participants and spectators. The Al Shahaniya Racetrack, located outside of Doha, is one of the most popular venues for camel racing in Qatar, hosting several races throughout the year, including the prestigious annual Qatar Camel Racing Festival.
Camel racing is not just a sport but also a cultural event in Qatar, with traditional music and dancing often accompanying the races. It remains an important part of the country’s heritage and a unique experience for visitors to witness.
Camping in Qatar is a popular activity, especially during the winter months when the weather is mild and pleasant. There are several camping areas located throughout the country, including the Sealine Beach Resort, Khor Al Udaid, and Zekreet Beach.
Most camping areas offer basic facilities such as toilets, showers, and picnic areas. Some areas also have barbecue pits, playgrounds, and beach volleyball courts.
Camping in Qatar provides a great opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of the desert and beach areas, as well as to experience the traditional Bedouin lifestyle. Many camping areas also offer camel rides, dune bashing, and other desert activities.
It’s important to note that camping in Qatar requires a permit, which can be obtained from the Ministry of Municipality and Environment. Additionally, it’s important to follow all rules and regulations regarding camping and environmental conservation in order to preserve the natural beauty of these areas for future generations to enjoy.
4. Qatar Biggest Mosque
The biggest mosque in Qatar is the Imam Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab Mosque, also known as the Qatar State Mosque. It is located in the capital city of Doha and covers an area of 175,164 square meters. The mosque can accommodate up to 30,000 worshippers at a time and features a mix of modern and traditional Islamic architectural styles. It also includes a library, education center, and conference rooms. The mosque was inaugurated in 2019 and is named after the 18th-century Islamic scholar Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, who founded the Wahhabi movement in Saudi Arabia.
6. Pearl Qatar
The Pearl Qatar is an artificial island located off the coast of Doha, Qatar. It is one of the country’s premier residential and commercial destinations, featuring luxury apartments, villas, hotels, and retail outlets. The Pearl spans nearly four million square meters and has a 32-kilometer coastline. It was developed by United Development Company, one of Qatar’s leading real estate developers. The island has become a popular destination for both locals and tourists due to its picturesque waterfront promenade, high-end shopping and dining options, and luxurious residential properties.
6. Chai Karak
Chai Karak – which is also famous as ‘Masala chai’ or ‘Kadak chai’ is a traditional spot for the tea lovers in the gulf region. South asian countries including India and Pakistan are already famous for such traditional drinks. The Chai Karak is simply an infusion of sugar, black tea and cardamom. Below is a recipe to make a tasty ‘Kadak chai’
- Mix a teaspoon of black tea and crushed cardamom with a cup of boiling water and boil for few minutes
- Remove from the heat, and add milk and sugar to your taste
- Place back on the heat and boil for two minutes
- Best serve hot
Qatar may not have a wide variety of wildlife due to its desert climate, but it is still home to some unique and interesting species. Some of the most notable wildlife in Qatar includes:
- Arabian Oryx: The Arabian Oryx is the national animal of Qatar and was once on the brink of extinction. Thanks to conservation efforts, they have made a comeback and can be found in the wild in Qatar’s deserts.
- Arabian Gazelle: These small, agile gazelles are native to the Arabian Peninsula and can be found in the desert areas of Qatar.
- Desert Hedgehog: These nocturnal animals can be found in Qatar’s desert and have adapted to survive in extreme desert conditions.
- Sand Gazelle: Also known as the “Rheem,” the Sand Gazelle is a slender and fast-running animal that can be found in Qatar’s deserts.
- Houbara Bustard: These birds are known for their large size and are often hunted for sport. Qatar has taken measures to protect these birds and has created breeding programs to help increase their population.
- Green Sea Turtles: Qatar’s coastline is home to green sea turtles, which come ashore to lay their eggs on the beaches.
- Hawksbill Turtles: Another species of sea turtle found in Qatar, the Hawksbill turtle is critically endangered and protected under Qatari law.
8. Wealthiest Country
Qatar is considered one of the wealthiest countries in the world. This is due to its abundance of oil and natural gas reserves, which has fueled the country’s economic growth over the past few decades. Qatar has one of the highest GDP per capita in the world, and its citizens enjoy a high standard of living with access to world-class amenities and infrastructure.
Qatar has also invested heavily in various sectors, including real estate, finance, and tourism. The country has built numerous iconic landmarks, including the Burj Qatar and the Museum of Islamic Art, which have attracted visitors from all over the world. Qatar is also set to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, which is expected to bring in significant revenue and further boost the country’s economy.
9. Safest Country
Qatar is considered one of the safest countries in the world. It has a low crime rate, strict laws and regulations, and a well-funded police force. The government of Qatar takes security very seriously and has implemented various measures to ensure the safety of its citizens and visitors, including advanced security systems in public places, extensive surveillance, and strict border controls. Qatar has also been ranked as the safest country in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa) by the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report.
Qatar is not typically known for its hiking opportunities as the country is mostly comprised of flat desert terrain. However, there are a few areas where hikers can enjoy some scenic walks, such as the limestone formations of Al Thakhira and the rocky hills of Jebel Fuwairit. It’s important for hikers to be well-prepared for the hot and arid conditions, as well as to obtain necessary permits and permissions to access certain areas.
11. No Forest
Qatar is a desert country and does not have any forests. The natural vegetation in Qatar is limited to desert plants such as acacia, ghaf trees, and other types of thorny bushes.
12. World Class Airport
Qatar has a giant Teddy Bear sculpture at the Hamad International Airport. The sculpture, called “Lamp Bear,” was created by Swiss artist Urs Fischer and is over 23 feet tall. It’s made of bronze and weighs over 18 tons. The sculpture has become a popular tourist attraction and a symbol of Qatar’s modern art scene.
13. 100- meter long buffet.
A 100-meter long buffet could refer to a buffet table or display that is 100 meters (328 feet) in length. This is an exceptionally long buffet and would require a significant amount of food to fill it. It could be found in large banquet or catering events, hotels, or cruise ships that cater to a large number of guests.
14. City Folks
It is true that Qatar is predominantly urban, with the vast majority of its population living in cities and towns. Doha, the capital city, is the largest and most populated city in the country, followed by Al Rayyan and Al Wakrah. However, there are also rural areas in Qatar, particularly in the northern part of the country, where there are small farming communities. Overall, Qatar’s population is around 2.8 million, with about 80% of the population being expatriates.
15. Beach Side Hotels and Resorts
Qatar is home to some of the most luxurious beachside hotels and resorts in the world, making it a perfect destination for those seeking a relaxing vacation. The Grand Hyatt Doha Hotel & Villas, Four Seasons Hotel Doha, Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel, InterContinental Doha Hotel & Residences, The St. Regis Doha, Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Hilton Qatar, Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara, Simaisma, A Murwab Resort, and Sealine Beach, A Murwab Resort are some of the most renowned beachside hotels in the country.
These hotels offer breathtaking views of the Arabian Gulf, with private beaches that provide an exclusive and relaxing experience. Many of these hotels also offer an array of recreational activities, including water sports, spas, and fitness centers, making them an ideal destination for families and friends looking to spend quality time together.
Whether you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city or explore what Qatar has to offer, these beachside hotels and resorts offer a perfect getaway. With their world-class amenities and services, they are sure to provide a memorable experience for all visitors.
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16. Historic Places in Qatar
Qatar has a rich history and there are several historic places in the country that are worth visiting. Some of these places include the Al Zubarah Fort, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Museum of Islamic Art, which houses a large collection of Islamic art and artifacts. The Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum is another popular destination, featuring a diverse collection of artifacts, art, and vehicles. Other historic places in Qatar include the Al Wakra Museum, the Al Koot Fort, and the Umm Salal Mohammed Fort. These destinations offer visitors a glimpse into Qatar’s rich cultural heritage and history.
So, If you are planning to travel to Qatar, it would be a memorable trip with wonderful adventure.