15 amazing things you probably didn't know about Qatar
Qatar is a sovereign and independent state in the Middle East. Qatar has emerged as one of the world's most valuable producers of oil and gas since its complete independence in 1971 from Bahrain.
Here are 15 facts that you probably didn't know about Qatar:
1. Safest country in the world
Qatar retained its position as the safest country globally as per the 2020 mid-year Crime Index by Numbeo, the world’s largest user-contributed database on cities and countries. 133 countries have been included in the ranking.
Since the mid-1800s, Qatar has grown from pearling into one of the world's most important oil and gas producing countries. Due to its significant reserves of oil and gas, the country has one of the highest incomes per capita in the world.
3. World’s best airline
Qatar Airways has been recognized as the World's Best Airlines for the fifth time at the Skytrax World Airline Awards held at the prestigious Paris Air Show in 2019.
This accolade brought the national flag carrier to the leading spot with the earlier titles secured in 2017, 2015, 2012, and 2011, reflecting the airlines' unwavering commitment to excellence in air travel.
Qatar Airways serves to all the six continents.
4. Best airport in the Middle East
Home to Qatar’s national airline, Qatar Airways, Hamad International Airport (HIA) has been described as the most architecturally significant terminal complex in the world, in addition to being the most luxurious.
For the sixth year in a row, HIA has been declared as the "Best Airport in the Middle East,” by the SKYTRAX World Airport Awards 2020.
In addition to this, HIA secured the title of ‘Best Staff Service in the Middle East’ for the fifth year in a row.
HIA also climbed another spot up in the world airport rankings from fourth-best in the world in 2019 to "Third Best Airport in the World" in 2020. The rankings involved as many as 550 airports around the world.
5. Visa-free arrival to Qatar
Nationals from more than 80 countries can take advantage of visa-free entry and explore Qatar. For more details, please click here.
Note: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, visa-free entry to Qatar is temporarily suspended for some nationalities.
Qatar is all set to host FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Fans from all over the world will begin their journey in Qatar with a warm welcome at Al Bayt Stadium. This stunning 60,000-seat stadium will be hosting the opening match on November 21, 2022.
After that four matches will be played each day throughout the 12-day group stage.
Qatar has a desert climate. The best part of Qatar’s climate is that you will get year-round sunshine. Hot summers could affect outdoor activities; however, mild winter season is best for outdoor activities including camping, beach barbeques, water sports, and others.
8. Highest point
The highest point in Qatar is Qurayn Abu al Bawl at 103 meters (338 ft) in the Jebel Dukhan to the west. It is a range of low limestone outcroppings running north-south from Zekreet through Umm Bab to the southern border.
9. Traditional Qatari food
Did you know traditional Qatari cuisine is largely influenced by Iranian and Indian cuisines?
Spices like cardamom and saffron are essential spices in delicacies like Machboos or Kabsa, a meal consisting of rice, meat, and vegetables, which is the national dish in Qatar.
If you are in Qatar, as a resident or tourist, your cultural experience will not be complete unless you try the authentic Qatari cuisines.
10. Arabic coffee
Traditional Arabic coffee (Qahwa) plays a significant role in Qatar. Qahwa is served from a traditional specially shaped coffee pot called ‘Dallah’ to tiny cups without any handles. Qahwa is served as a welcome drink in Qatari houses during get-to-gathers, Ramadan, Eid, and other occasions.
“Karaking” is a term that will resonate with many of us living in Qatar.
Grabbing a cup of Karak to kick start your day or during outings with friends or family and simply cruising around town is quite common in Qatar. It is the comfort drink any time of the day in any season of the year. It has become a part of the Qatari tradition.
It is a simple formula: loose tea leaves brewed with spices (cardamom or ginger), brought to the boil, and simmered with evaporated milk.
Bakhoor (Incense burning) is extremely popular in Qatar. It is made from scented wood and burned in a special incense burner called a ‘Mabkhara’ which produces a rich fume to fragrance the house and apparel.
13. Henna art
Henna has been used by Qatari women for decorating hands for hundreds of years. It is widely used during occasions such as Eid celebrations, weddings, and others.
14. Camel racing
If you want to submerge yourself in Qatari culture, one of the richest traditions that you must experience, as a resident or visitor in the country, is camel racing.
Known as the sport of the Sheikhs, the extraordinary racing sees only the finest breeds of camels compete against each other on a professional racetrack set up in Al Shahaniya, north of Doha.
This facility is most lively between November and February when several local and international camel racing championships are underway.
A fascinating feature of these camel races is the use of robot jockeys that the owners of the competing camels use to guide the racers.
Qatar has 563 kilometers of great sandy coastline, and this means Qatar has a lot to offer by way of sun and sand. Beaches in Qatar are great for getaways, especially during the weekends.
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