WATCH: A Modern Metropolis - Qatar’s Transformation
Do you remember the old Qatar? Now ranked as the richest country in the world, it is hard to imagine this nation as a small community of pearl divers, traders and Bedouin. The country’s wealth of natural gas brought it to the pinnacle of wealth among the world’s nations.
Qatar was a British protectorate until 1971, and prior to that under Ottoman control for nearly half a century. It has now transformed to become an independent force to be reckoned with in the MENA region. As with all blessings, the country’s enormous wealth has come with consequences, as the government strives to balance modernisation with the preservation of local values and culture.
With the 2022 FIFA World Cup on the horizon, the rush to ensure that the country will be ready for the influx of football fans in five years’ time is apparent. There are, however, other initiatives in place to diversify Qatar’s economy aside from sports and tourism. The presence and growth of universities such as those within Qatar Foundation’s Education City are a significant step towards an economy that is not so heavily dependent upon natural resources.
Looking at the twinkling skyline by the corniche, it is difficult to imagine the old open horizon of the desert, and the low sand coloured buildings that characterized the past.
Timelapse Credits: Michael Shainblum & Richard Bentley