Qatar is a unique destination for expats, with a rich culture, diverse activities and attraction spots
1 November 2016| Last updated on 3 November 2019
Just over a decade ago, you might not have heard much about Qatar... Here are some fun facts about the country!
Qatar and its Capital city, Doha, have both transformed over recent years, with the latter turning into a world-class city. With iconic architecture, and some of the finest culinary spots and spectacular skylines - the country truly is a wondrous place to explore.
Here are some interesting facts about Qatar that you might not know!
1. It's the richest country on the planet
Qatar’s per capita GDP is $130,475, according to the International Monetary Fund. That’s some way ahead of Luxembourg, in second place, with $116,808.
Having the world’s third-largest natural-gas and oil reserves, despite being geographically smaller than the state of Connecticut or one-third the size of Belgium, certainly helps.
2. Men outnumber women three to one
There are 3.41 men for every woman in Qatar. Why? Perhaps the answer is due to the fact that Qatar is a nation built by immigrants, most of whom are young and male.
3. The country is home to the 'best airline'
Qatar's own airline, Qatar Airways, recently won 'The Best Airline of the Year' award for a record-breaking 5th time.
Qatar Airways have won four prestigious prizes at this year’s 2019 Skytrax World Airline Awards, including the highest accolade of ‘World’s Best Airline’ – becoming the only airline in the competition’s history to win it five times (2011, 2012, 2015, 2017 and 2019).
4. Qatar is the second most polluted nation on the planet
Data from the World Health Organization was used to determine the most polluted nations on the planet. This data evaluated the concentration of PM 2.5 particles in the air. PM 2.5 are particles that are produced through combustion, such as driving a car or operating a power plant.
A total of 92 nations were evaluated to determine which had the highest number of PM 2.5 – in other words, which nations were the most polluted. According to this data, Pakistan has the most polluted urban areas with an average PM 2.5 concentration of 115.7. Falling behind Pakistan was Qatar with a PM 2.5 average of 92.4.
5. But it's the safest on Earth
Risk-averse? Qatar is the country where a natural disaster is least likely to strike, according to the World Risk Report.
6. It has a gigantic Nobu
There are a remarkable 42 branches of Nobu, and its Doha outlet is one of the biggest: 26,000 square feet, which is quite grand. It has a remarkable view as it is dramatically perched above the Arabian Sea at the Four Seasons Hotel.
7. Nearly all residents live in the city
Doha is one of the most urbanised places in the world, with 99 percent of residents counting themselves as town or city dwellers. Only a handful of territories, including Hong Kong, Singapore, and Bermuda, can top it.
8. There are no trees (or more accurately there is no forest)
Although there are trees that have been planted in Qatar, according to the World Bank’s definition of “forest" there are only six countries that have no natural forests. Other countries that do not have natural forests include San Marino, Nauru, Gibraltar, Greenland, and Oman.
9. But there is a vast selection of museums
The Museum of Islamic Art is one of Doha’s biggest draws, and the building itself, designed by the late Chinese-American architect I M Pei (who also created the Louvre’s glass pavilion), is the most striking in the city. There is no shortage of art and museums, here are just a few (link EW’s article on 5 places for art).
10. Lastly Qatar’s airport has a giant teddy
Lamp Bear by Swiss artist Urs Fischer sits inside Hamad International Airport and is “a playful piece that humanises the space around it and reminds travelers of childhood or precious objects from home.” Reportedly the large, yellow bear cost $6.8m.