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30 Intriguing Facts About Qatar

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What are the most interesting facts about Qatar? This country has been growing in popularity and has featured on the world stage more frequently in recent years, meaning that more of us are familiar with the country, yet most of us still do not know much about it. So, lets dig into the most intriguing facts about Qatar!

Intriguing Facts About Qatar

Located towards the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, Qatar has become a popular Arab country. In the past, Qatar was known for its abundant natural gas reserves and excellent modern architecture. 

However, after the FIFA World Cup 2022, Qatar’s popularity increased drastically. So, let’s read some facts about Qatar, and explore its impressive feats. 

1. Qatar Has the Best Airline in the World

30 Intriguing Facts About Qatar

Qatar started the operations of its own airline, Qatar Airways, on January 20, 1994.

According to Skytrax, Qatar Airways is the best airline in the world. However, that is not all! The same airline has won the title of the best airline in the world seven times since its operations started!

Qatar Airways has also won many titles in other categories like the best business class and the best business class seat. 

2. Qatar Owns One of the Best Airports in the World

Just like its top airline, Qatar also has a top-class airport. 

As per the Skytrax Annual World Airport Awards, The Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar won the title of the best airport in the world. The title was held by Singapore’s Changi Airport for eight consecutive years before! 

3. Qatar Is the First Arab Country To Host the FIFA World Cup

Well, these facts about Qatar are probably known by the entire world, but they’re still worth mentioning!

In the past, no other Arab country has hosted the FIFA World Cup. In 2022, Qatar was the only Arab country that got the chance to host the prestigious FIFA World Cup.

It’s estimated that the country spent around $220 billion on the World Cup, making this one of the most expensive sport tourism events of all time!

4. Qatar Is the Safest Country in the World

In a world where there are horrible crimes happening all over, Qatar offers a lot of safety. 

Qatar has been ranked as the safest country in the world by the Numbeo Crime Index. It has ranked first for five consecutive years now, as the crime index in Qatar is usually between 13 and 14.

5. The Desert Meets the Sea in Qatar

Some miracles do happen in certain countries, including Qatar!

As Qatar is located towards the end of the Arabian peninsula, it has a unique mix of shorelines and deserts. There’s also a region, known as Khor Al-Adaid, where the desert meets the sea in Qatar. 

Consider taking a look at its pictures, because it’s simply breathtaking to see two entirely different landscapes meeting in one place! This region is also recognised as a UNESCO natural reserve.  

6. Qatar Has 0 Forests

Due to its geographical location, Qatar has zero natural forests! Instead, the entire land is covered by desert landscapes. So, you’ll come across many sand dunes, plains, and desert flora and fauna. 

Despite no forests, Qatar is trying to include green places and build parks within the country. It has been challenging, as the country has very little rainfall and a dry climate. 

7. Gas in Qatar Is Super Cheap!

30 Intriguing Facts About Qatar

Gas is a prized possession in many countries, but Qatar isn’t one of them. 

As Qatar has many natural gas reserves, the gas prices in the country are relatively low, compared to other countries. In 2023, the price of gasoline in Qatar is 0.54 USD/Litre, whereas the same in the US is 1.28 USD/Litre.

8. The Ratio of Men to Women Is 3:1 in Qatar

These facts about Qatar are quite saddening with regards to women. 

Qatar has a skewed sex ratio, as for every three men, there is only one woman. The main reason behind it is that the major population of Qatar consists of immigrants, who are mostly men from other developing countries, such as India and Pakistan. 

9. The Same Family Has Been Ruling Qatar Since 1868

These are some royal facts about Qatar!

Qatar, a constitutional monarchy, has had the same ruling family since 1868. The Al Thani family has been known to look after Qatar for more than 150 years. 

Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, the first king of modern Qatar, started his rule in 1868. After that, the throne was passed over to his successors. Hence, the current ruler of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, is also a part of the same family.

10. Qataris Love Falconry

If there is one sport that Qataris love, it is falconry

In this sport, the players have to train their falcons and hunt. However, this sport is much more than that for the Qataris. It represents a special bond between the player and the falcon.

Moreover, Qataris also have deep love towards falcons, as these birds are considered to be beautiful and are known for their hunting prowess! 

11. Qatar Used To Have a Different National Day

Most countries have had the same national day for several years. Yet, Qatar is a bit of an exception, and you’ll see why in these facts about Qatar. 

Initially, Qatar used to celebrate its national day on September 3rd every year. It is because Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, the ruler of Qatar, ascended to the throne on this date, in 1878. 

However, in 2007, the national day was changed to December 18th. That year, Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani succeeded his father as the new king.

12. Only 12% of the Population Are Native Qataris

Here’s one of the surprising facts about Qatar! 

Did you know that only 12% of the total population are actually native Qataris? Most of the population consists of the ethnic groups of international immigrants/workers in Qatar.  

If we go by nationality, around 21% of the population is Indian, 12.5% is Bangladeshi, 12.5% is Nepali, and 9.35% is Egyptian. People from other countries like the US, Pakistani, Sri Lanka, Syria, etc. also contribute to Qatar’s demographics.  

13. The Qatari Flag Has a Lot of Meanings

Let’s talk about some facts about Qatar, its flag, and the symbolism behind it. 

The flag of Qatar (also known as “Al Adaam”) has two main colours – white and maroon. The white colour represents “peace”, and the maroon colour represents “bloodshed of the Qataris” during several wars in Qatar. 

These two colours are also separated by nine serrated edges. These edges represent Qatar as the ninth state of the Emirates in the Arabic region. 

14. Majboos Is the National Food of Qatar

30 Intriguing Facts About Qatar

These food facts about Qatar will make you want to try their dishes!

Qatar has many delicious dishes like Saloona, Madrouba, Luqaimat, and Majboos. Out of these Majboos (or Kabsa) is also the national food of Qatar. 

Majboos is a rice-based dish that you’ll find in many Arabian countries! It’s known for being flavourful, as the long-grain rice is mixed with marinated meat, chicken, or fish. The dish contains various aromatic spices like cardamom and cinnamon, which gives it unique flavours.

15. A Teddy Bear Will Welcome You at Hamad International Airport

This is one of the cutest facts about Qatar!

The Hamad International Airport is known for showcasing a 23-foot canary yellow teddy bear, sitting inside a lamp. This structure is also regarded as “Lamp Bear” and was created by artist Urs Fischer.

The giant teddy bear has a height of 23 feet, and weighs around 18,000 kilograms! It’s certainly a treat for the kids coming to the Hamad International Airport!

16. The 2nd Flattest Country in the World Is Qatar

Let’s discuss some geographical facts about Qatar. 

Most countries have a vivid topography with the presence of mountains, flat lands, and many more. However, you cannot say the same for Qatar, as it’s the second flattest country in the world

The highest point of Qatar, Qurayn Abu al Bawl, has an altitude of just 103 metres or 338 feet. It’s the second flattest after the Maldives, as it just has a high point of six feet. 

Moreover, the entire terrain of Qatar is dominated by flatland deserts. 

17. Qatar Has the First Museum Dedicated to Contemporary Arab Art

If you love reading about art museums, here are some facts about Qatar for you. 

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, an art museum, in Doha, Qatar, is the first museum dedicated to contemporary Arab art. This museum is unique, as it offers an Arab perspective on modern art. 

The museum has over 9,000 artworks, and some of the pieces are also from the 1840s!

18. Ardha Is the Traditional Dance of Qatar

Many of us see Qatar and other countries for their business opportunities. However, these cultural facts about Qatar show that the country also has a rich culture

Ardha, the traditional dance of Qatar, got popularised during the time of the Bedouin tribes in the region. In this folk dance, the dancers wear long white robes, and carry a weapon, mainly a sword. 

This dance is carried out on auspicious occasions, like marriage and national holidays!

19. The Arabian Oryx Is Qatar’s National Animal

The Arabian Oryx, a special species of antelope, is Qatar’s national animal. It’s also the national animal of other countries like Bahrain and UAE! 

The Arabian Oryx is known for its beautiful long and straight horns, and its ability to survive in extreme conditions. Sadly, this animal was hunted excessively in the 1990s. Due to this reason, it also got extinct in the wild in 1973. 

After its extinction in the wild, several conservation attempts were made to bring back the antelope’s population. Today, it is described as “Vulnerable” by IUCN.

20. Qatar Has the World’s Longest Drilled Oil Well

Qatar holds many Guinness World Records, including for the world’s deepest drilled oil well

BD-04-A, a drilled oil well located on the Al-Shaheen offshore oil field, has a length of 40,320 ft MDRT, and a horizontal section of 35,770 ft. MDRT. Its construction was completed in May 2008, and it also received an award for being the longest. 

21. Qatar Is the First Country To Make Purple Shellfish Dye

These dyeing facts about Qatar are quite unique!

You might have seen purple dyes, but if you’ve wondered where they came from, then this is the answer. 

The first country that made purple dyes out of shellfish was Qatar. The history behind it is that the production of purple dyes was popular during the Kassites’ rule, as the Al Khor Islands had a purple dye industry. 

The Al Khor Islands are also known as the “Purple Island” due to this reason!

22. Qatar Has the Highest GDP per Capita in the World

30 Intriguing Facts About Qatar

Did you know that Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world? After all, it also has the highest GDP amongst all the other rich countries!

In the year 2020, Qatar’s GDP per capita was $85,300, whereas the same for the US was $60,200. 

23. Qatar is Known for Pearl Diving 

Here are some precious facts about Qatar. 

In the past, pearl diving was one of the main and oldest professions of the Qatari people. These people used to dive into the ocean for several months to find pearls. They were later traded to empires like the Ottoman Empire and the Persian Empire. 

24. Qatar Has a Lot of Properties in Britain

These facts about Qatar show that it’s one of the richest countries in the world. 

The sovereign fund of Qatar, also known as the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has invested in many real estate properties in Britain.

Qatar is also known for owning the Canary Wharf Group Investment Holdings, which is London’s largest property owner. 

25. Islam Is the Main Religion of Qatar

Qatar has people from various religions, but the main religion there is Islam. 

The majority of the population (62.5%) of Qatar consists of Muslims. Other religious groups include Hindus (15.9%), Christians (13.7%), Buddhists (3.8%), and other small groups. 

Shia Muslims make up 10% of the total Muslim population in Qatar. 

26. Qatar Is Thousands of Years Old

There are only a few countries in the world that are more than a thousand years old, and Qatar is one of them!

According to archaeological evidence, the whole region of Qatar was inhabited by humans even 50,000 years ago. 

Many tools from the Stone Age were unearthed from this peninsula. Mesopotamian artefacts from the Ubaid period (between 6500 and 3800 BC) were also found in present-day Qatar!

27. The Name “Qatar” Has a Long History

Let’s discuss some naming-related facts about Qatar. 

In the mid-first century, Pliny the Elder, a Roman writer, used to call the inhabitants of the Qatar region “Catharrei”. As you can guess, this name stuck through the coming centuries and went through various modifications. 

The term “Catharrei” was later changed to “Catara”, and was used till the 18th century. After that, “Catara” became “Katara”. Finally, in 1971, when Qatar became an independent nation, it was officially recognized as “the State of Qatar”.

28. Doha Has the Longest Cycle Path in the World

All cyclists are going to love these facts about Qatar! 

According to the Guinness World Records, the longest cycle path is in Doha, Qatar. This cycle path is around 32.869 kilometres (20.4 miles) long and 7 metres (22.96 feet) wide. 

On this path, cyclists can even reach a speed of 50 kilometres per hour without any problem. The path also has 100 benches and 20 other resting areas.  

29. Qataris Built “The Pearl Monument” To Honour Their History

In the Middle East, many countries, like Dubai and Qatar, have built artificial islands. 

Pearl Island located in Doha, Qatar, is one of the most popular artificial islands. Its construction began in 2004 and got completed around 2018. 

Now, Pearl Island also has a monument, “Pearl Monument” built on it. This monument is actually shaped like an oyster with a pearl in it. 

This monument pays homage to the country’s pearling industry, as it was the main source of income before the oil industry in Qatar. 

30. Al Jazeera Was Founded in Qatar

30 Intriguing Facts About Qatar

If you follow news channels, you might’ve heard about Al Jazeera. But, did you know that Al Jazeera was actually founded in Qatar? 

On November 1, 1996, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, launched the news outlet. After that, Al Jazeera went on to become one of the most famous news networks in the entire Middle East. 

Today, Al Jazeera works on many television channels, such as Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera Arabic, and Al Jazeera Balkans. 

Further Reading – Facts About Qatar

Qatar is an amalgamation of modern architecture and traditional values. Over the years, the country has also seen many advancements in different industries. So, I hope you enjoyed reading these facts about Qatar!

If you want to read about similar countries, here are a few other blog posts to check out. 

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