An article that will be useful for all travelers planning to come here. Interesting facts about Qatar and Doha will help you form a proper impression of the country. You will learn what makes Qatar different from other countries and what unusual and interesting things there are to do here. Even those flying through the country for just a few hours will find it fascinating.
It will be difficult for you to plan your dream trip to Qatar without these websites
Table of Contents
Interesting Facts about Qatar: TOP 20
- Qatar is a very small country, with 90% of it covered by desert. There are no rivers or lakes here.
- 90% of Qatar’s border is the Persian Gulf, and only 10% is a land border with Saudi Arabia – the only country with which Qatar shares a land border.
- Qatar is ruled by an Emir, and the state system in the country is an absolute monarchy. However, the Emir is only subject to Sharia law, and the laws of the country do not apply to him.
- Since the establishment of modern Qatar in 1878, one dynasty of Emirs – Al Thani – has ruled the country.
- Of the eight Emirs who ruled over these 150 years, half were overthrown by their own sons or brothers in palace coups. One Emir even lost power while he was traveling in Switzerland and was unable to return home for 10 years until his son, the new Emir, allowed him to.
- There is a very interesting article about the rulers of Qatar and Sheikh Moza that I recommend reading.
An interesting fact about Qatar is related to its flag.
- In the Middle Ages, Qatar was known as the only country in the world where a natural purple dye was extracted from dried rare mollusks. Their flag was dyed with this color, which was the official color of the country. But in just a few months, the color would darken and turn into maroon under the sun. 50-70 years ago, in order to avoid constantly repainting the flags, the color of the country and the flag was changed from purple to maroon, the one you know today.
- The size of Qatar is approximately 100 by 200 km, while the country is the 13th largest in the world in terms of oil reserves and the 3rd largest in terms of gas reserves.
- Qatar is the richest country in the world according to the GDP (PPP) ranking. An article on why Qatar is so rich or what Qatari citizenship gives you will tell you more about how this ranking is calculated.
- The population of Qatar is about 2.6 million people, but the number of indigenous people, citizens of Qatar who can claim all the benefits of the country, is only 300,000. You can read more about this at the following link: People of Qatar.
- Today, citizens of 160 countries around the world can get a free visa upon arrival in Qatar.
- Qatar is in the TOP-3 safest countries in the world. You are absolutely safe here in any district, at any time of day.
- Since 2019, Doha, the capital of Qatar, has opened a metro with three lines and the fourth one is under construction. The metro connects all the main attractions of the city. And an interesting fact about Qatar – the metro goes straight from Doha airport. In just 30 minutes and a little less than $2, you can be in the center of the capital. This is very convenient even for those with a several-hour transit.
- For those transiting through Qatar: things you need to know for those with a layover of 1 hour, and for those with 3 days.
- Outside of Doha, there is not only the desert, but also some amazing attractions that have no equal in the world. And there is not just one or two of them in Qatar. This travel guide covers all the top locations in Qatar.
- You can rent a car with your national driver’s license, but there are a few nuances to be aware of, which are covered in this article: affordable car rental in Qatar, based on personal experience.
- Qatar is a Muslim country, and the Islam here is relatively radical. In Qatar, pork and alcohol are completely forbidden (you cannot buy them in stores at all).
- Please be reminded that on public beaches in Qatar, women are only allowed to sunbathe in burkinis or covered attire, such as a long-sleeved shirt and leggings, while men are required to wear knee-length shorts. In simpler terms, beachwear is expected to be almost fully covered.
- All about beach vacations in Qatar and where tourists can sunbathe in open swimwear.
- During summer, temperatures in the shade can reach up to 45°C or even higher.
- In 2022, Qatar hosted the FIFA World Cup, which brought about several interesting facts:
- It was the first World Cup to be held in winter, specifically in December, as playing football in the scorching heat during summer is simply impossible. For this reason, all domestic football leagues worldwide were halted during the tournament.
- It also became the most expensive World Cup in history, with Qatar spending around $220 billion for its preparations. To put it into perspective, the second most expensive World Cup was held in Brazil in 2014 and cost around $15 billion.
- Qatar’s economy is one of the most stable in the world, with the exchange rate of the Qatari riyal at 3.64 QAR = 1 USD in 2012 and still the same today, more than ten years later. It’s quite impressive to imagine a currency maintaining its value against the dollar without any significant change for more than a decade. Even the Euro has lost more than 50% of its value against the dollar over the past ten years.
In short, I envy those who are just about to discover Qatar. Until recently, it was a closed Arab country in the Middle East, and not many knew about it. Today, Qatar is fully open for tourism. It is absolutely safe, everyone speaks English, and they are sincerely welcoming to tourists.
An important thought:Qatar today is like Dubai 15 years ago. Qatar has embarked on the same path of development and wants to replicate it. Today, Dubai is an overcrowded city of glass and concrete, where there is no longer that traditional Arab atmosphere. Visit Doha and Qatar before they become the new Dubai.
In conclusion, I hope these facts about Qatar and Doha have helped you understand what awaits you in this country. Tourism is just beginning, and some people are transiting through Doha for six hours, while others are taking 5-7 day mini vacations or opting for tour packages to Qatar for 1-2 weeks. It is an excellent alternative to neighboring UAE and a new, unexplored destination. Qatar will not disappoint you.
Resources to help you plan your dream trip to Qatar
- Flights at the best prices with discounts
- Car rental: Discovery Cars (cheaper – only by bus)
- Hotels and apartments in Doha: Booking
- Tours, excursions and activities (including extreme ones):
- Comprehensive travel insurance: EKTA
- eSIM virtual sim card with internet in Montenegro