15 curiosities of Qatar that will surprise you

There are plenty of fun facts about Qatar. It is one of the smallest countries in the world but also one of the richest. And all this thanks to the gas and oil reserves that were found in the middle of the last century! To put it one way, that discovery brutally changed the history of the country and that of all its inhabitants. In this post we tell you 15 interesting facts about Qatar so that you can discover this country in a fun and entertaining way.

Also Read: 25 things to see and do in Doha

Curiosities Of Qatar That Will Surprise You

The most urbanized population in the world… Doha and little else

Doha and its modernity
Doha and its modernity

This is one of the curiosities of Qatar that surprised us the most. It is estimated that 99.2% of its inhabitants live in a city. Being in the middle of the desert makes life outside the cities very difficult, which is why almost all the inhabitants of Qatar are concentrated in the cities, especially Doha, its capital, where more than 80% of the country’s inhabitants reside. So Qatar has the most urbanized population on the planet!

Are you planning to visit Doha?

In Qatar there are very few women compared to men, one of the most impressive curiosities of Qatar

Qatar has the lowest female population in the world by percentage of the total population. Only 24.7% of its population is female, which means that there are three men for every woman. But all this has a very simple explanation.

The population of Qatar is largely made up of immigrants from other countries who come to Qatar from poorer countries to find work and help their families. Most of them are men and they come alone, hence the big difference in the proportion.

And very few Qataris

As we have said, the discovery of oil changed the history of the country and generated many jobs. Taking into account the small population that Qatar has, many immigrants from other Asian countries began to arrive to work. In fact, Qatar has one of the lowest unemployment rates on the planet.

One of the best facts about Qatar is that non-Qataris make up more than 85% of the country’s population. The largest ethnic groups among immigrants are Arabs (40%), Indians (18%), Pakistanis (18%) and Iranians (10%).

Also Read: 10 Essential Places To See In Qatar

Qatar is the country with the highest per capita income on the planet

Revenues generated from oil and natural gas reserves make Qatari residents the highest earners on the planet. It is not one of the most surprising curiosities of Qatar, since we all knew its situation before. The Arab country is above Macau and Luxembourg !

Thanks to gas and oil

Gas and oil account for more than 97% of Qatar’s exports. In fact, the country has the world’s third largest natural gas reserves, only behind Russia and Iran. This has led it to reach the highest human development index in the entire Arab world.

And lucky they were!

Before the discovery of oil on its territory, Qatar was a rather poor country. Until then, most of his income came from pearl collecting. This activity was developed for many centuries, some even point out that it was carried out from 224 AD during the rule of the Sassanid Empire.

However, when Japan introduced the cultured pearl to the world market in the 1920s and 1930s, the Qatari pearl industry suffered a serious blow. But the discovery of oil in Qatar in 1940 was an oasis of hope and helped the economy recover and prosper.

Also Read: Where to stay in Doha

It is cheaper to fill your car with gasoline than to buy two frappes at Starbucks, one of the best curiosities in Qatar

This is a very surprising fact. And not because frappes are expensive! But because gasoline in Qatar is extremely cheap. It costs more to buy two frappes at Starbucks than it does to fill up your car’s gas tank. The price per liter of gasoline in Qatar is about €0.23, which would be 1QAR.

Lots of gas and gasoline, but few mountains

Qatar is the second flattest country on the planet. In fact, the only thing that has height there are the skyscrapers of Doha. The average elevation is only 28 meters, making it the second flattest country in the world behind only the Maldives. The highest peak is Kurajn Abu al-Baul, 103 meters above sea level.

And there are no trees in Qatar either.

There are no mountains and no trees. Along with San Marino, Greenland and Oman, Qatar is one of the four territories in the world without forests. Although there are some trees in private gardens, the country registers a forest cover of 0%. Without a doubt, one of the most impressive curiosities of Qatar, although considering that it is located in the desert, it is easy to understand.

The Al-Thani family are great consumers of art

The famous sculpture at Doha Airport
The famous sculpture at Doha Airport

Qatar is an absolute monarchy that has been ruled by the Al Thani family since the mid-19th century. Since then, the country has acquired huge amounts of modern and contemporary art. In fact, in 2013, the Sheikh was even named the most influential person in the world of contemporary art.

We have a good example at Doha Airport. Surely you have seen his huge lamp bear in the main hall. This sculpture was created by Swiss artist Urs Fischer. Apparently, it cost 6.8 million dollars. Incredible!

The sun decided the color of the flag, one of the best curiosities of Qatar

The Qatari flag is white and maroon with a jagged vertical split. The garnet represents the bloodshed in Qatar’s wars and the white, peace. Regarding the jagged edge of nine points, it means that Qatar is the ninth member of the “reconciled emirates” after the treaty between Qatar and Great Britain of 1916.

However, the most curious thing is that at first, the dominant color of the flag was red (similar to that of Bahrain). But with exposure to the sun, it darkened to maroon and eventually took on this color.

Qatar is one of the safest countries in the world (or the safest)

If we take into account the risk of natural disasters, Qatar is the safest country in the world, since there is no country on the planet that has less possibilities. But not only for that. Qatar has one of the lowest murder rates in the world with zero intentional homicides per 100,000 people.

Land of Eccentricities

Pearl Qatar from the plane
Pearl Qatar from the plane

Petrodollars have changed the face of its capital, Doha, and many other parts of its territory. It is very easy to see luxury cars, spectacular shopping malls like the Villaggio… but the most surprising thing is The Pearl Qatar.

It is an artificial island that houses a lot of hotels and luxury properties for foreigners. Pure luxury! When you take off from the airport, if you are lucky, you will be able to see it from above. Impress!

And without much water

One of the best curiosities of Qatar is that there is not a single river in its territory. There is only a limited natural water supply and therefore not much farming or cultivation is possible. In fact, only 5% of the land is used for agriculture, such as for date palm plantations.

He has more properties in London than Queen Elizabeth, one of the best curiosities in Qatar

And finally, to finish this post about the best curiosities of Qatar, we could not forget probably the one that surprised us the most. And is that Qatar is one of the largest owners in London. In fact, he owns more property in England’s capital than the Queen of England.

Qatar has over £40bn of investments in the UK. The country owns around 95% of The Shard’s shares, while its investment ranges from Harrods and Chelsea Barracks to the Olympic Village and a stake in Canary Wharf.

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