With direct flights from Canada, Qatar has become one of the most sought after destinations by Canadian tourists, especially now, when the country will host the biggest soccer event in the world. The event organized by FIFA will take place in Qatar from November 20th to December 18th, with 64 matches and 32 participating nations.
If you are planning to join in the event and travel to Qatar, a small yet rich country in Western Asia, you might be asking yourself: does this Middle Eastern country have attractions for different profiles of travelers besides its exuberant nature and cultural traditions and customs?
To show you how amazing this place is and why the country is at the top of the tourist list around the world, we have prepared an article with 7 facts about Qatar and its people.
1 — Qatar is considered the richest country in the world
The first fact about Qatar is that, according to the International Monetary Fund, Qatar has the highest GDP per capita in the world.
This is reflected in the country’s investments and infrastructure, especially in its capital. Doha is a city full of modern and luxurious buildings, as well as gigantic constructions that defy the limits of human engineering.
2 — Qatar is located between the sea and the desert
One of the main attractions of a trip to Qatar is admiring the country’s unparalleled nature and geography, which lies between the Persian Gulf and the huge Khor Al Udeid Desert.
This location guarantees stunning and diversified landscapes in Qatar, ranging from a coastline with cliffs and clear waters to dunes and natural pools that look like mirages in the middle of the desert.
3 — Facts about Qatar: the origin of the name “Qatar”
The name “Qatar” comes from “Qatara” which, according to tradition, refers to the ancient city of Zubarah, which once was an important trade port in the region. The first known mention of the word was found on a map made by Ptolemy that indicated the precise location of the country.
4 — The history of Qatar is thousands of years old
Qatar has a very long history, which begins 50,000 years ago with the first records of human occupation in the region. Over the centuries, the territory was under the rule of several peoples, including the Portuguese.
In 1915, with the division of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War, the Qatari territories became a British protectorate ruled by the Al Thani family. In 1971, Qatar became independent from the British crown.
5 — More than half of Qatar’s population is foreign born
Another fact about Qatar is that its population is divided between descendants of the ancient local civilizations and foreigners of different origins.
This makes the country the second leading worlwide destination in terms of proportion of immigrants, only after its neighbor Saudi Arabia. Most foreigners living in Qatar are Indians, followed by Nepalese and Pakistanis.
6 — Islam is the main religion of Qatar
Islam is the official religion of the country, followed by almost 70% of the population. However, due to the large number of foreigners living in Qatar, it is also possible to find considerable numbers of Hindus, Christians and Buddhists.
The strength of the Islamic faith in the local culture can be seen in the collection of the MIA (Museum of Islamic Art), which holds the largest collection of Islamic art in the world and is one of the main attractions of the capital Doha.
7 — Arabic is the official language of Qatar
In addition to the different scripts, another aspect that stands out in this language is that the texts are written right to left, unlike the English language.
Want to see these facts about Qatar up close? Start planning your trip to Qatar, discover all that this Middle Eastern country has to offer, and come back with plenty of stories to tell. Western Union Canada can help you with that!
If you are traveling to watch one of the football matches happening in the country (or if you are just curious about Qatar), sending money for your travel is quite easy using Western Union Canada’s app.