Qatar is regarded to be the most advanced amongst all Arab states and has a rich pool of reserves and resources.
1. “Money money money, must be funny, in a big man’s world!”, I wonder if Abba was talking about Qatar because with a whopping 124,927 USD per capita it is the wealthiest country in the world!
2. And it is rich in its safety too! I mean with a 0.1% chance of earthquakes, scientists regard it to be the safest when it comes to natural calamities.
3. Rich folks have rich toys naturally. So, while camel racing won’t shock you as it is traditionally known to occur in Qatar but your mind will be boggled by the fact that they replaced the child jockeys (thankfully!) with robots or remote controlled jockeys! It is the 21st century ladies and gentlemen, expect the unexpected. Maybe a robot wrote this. You never know!
4. Speaking of sports, the country is supposed to host the next FIFA World Cup, originally scheduled for the year 2022. This will make it the smallest country ever to host the prestigious and exceedingly popular event. The love for football has also led to the Qatari Football League. Sports in general are much loved in the country, for instance, the Aspire Sports Academy was built over 240 hectares of land to foster the sporting skills.
5. Human habitation in Qatar has been traced from around the 4th century BC!
6. And before it became the wealthy and luxurious country that it is today, it was under the rule of the Ottoman empire and the British, only to gain independence in the year 1971.
7. While an attraction to the country’s capital is common in most countries, in Qatar it is such that 99% of the population resides in Doha! As majority of the country is comprised of deserts this isn’t that much of a shocker but it certainly makes you wonder about the remaining 1% right?
8. The country’s Qatar Airways has been time and again awarded as the best airline worldwide.
9. An artificial island called The Pearl is a tribute to how Qataris in the ancient days earned by diving for pearls in their country. And in search of pearl oysters, amateur divers still dive in the Inland Sea.
10. The only heights you can reach in Qatar are its sprawling skyscrapers because with an elevation of just 28 metres, it is the second flattest country in the world. It has no mountains and no forests. Oman, San Marino and Greenland are the only 3 other countries in the world without any forests in addition to Qatar.
11. The wealthy country also possesses a wealth of nationalities with it being inhabited by as many as 180 nationalities!
12. Customs require that clothes for both men and women reach below the knee and in case of females also require the arms to be covered.
13. The oil rich country charges lesser for petrol per litre than a cup of Starbucks in USA!
14. And with all the talk about its riches, we cannot leave you wondering how it got to that place. Its production oil and oil refineries, fertilizers and chemicals are largely credited for this.
15. Its Purple Island and Al Khor Island are also home to diverse wildlife.
Trip Leader Niyati’s Recommendations:
1. Al Thakira Nature Reserve and Mangrove Swamps for snorkelling, diving, kayaking, canoeing and other activities to explore the marine life.
2. Now if you are headed to a country with deserts it goes without saying that you have to pay a visit and why just pay a visit when you can go dune bashing?!
3. The Museum of Islamic Art is no ordinary museum as it is built on a standalone island in order to maintain its exclusivity. A museum overlooking the water! Moreover, it presents many wonders produced and made in the country not only showcasing the talent but also the culture.
4. Al Zubarah Fort is unlike what modern day Qatar shows and presents of itself in the techy and city centric Doha. It is a glimpse of what the ancient years would have looked like and the roots from which they rose. The archaeological remains date back to the 1700s. This was actually the first UNESCO recognized site of this country. Near the fort is the village of Al Jumail which is all but abandoned, adding a certain enigma to its air.
5. Katara is a maze of passages and waterways, structures and what not, in a preserved cultural village. The mosque especially is a thing of beauty, one that makes you feel as if you stepped back in time.
6. While Qatar today boasts of its big fancy shopping malls, I’d urge you to go walk in the throngs of the Souq Waqif to witness the vibrance, the hustle bustle and the handicrafts and traditional tricks of the trade which make Qatar.
How to Reach:
From Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad you can hop onto a direct flight for Qatar. This is a journey that you can complete within a few hours!