The upcoming World Cup in 2022 will be historic for a number of reasons, with Qatar becoming the smallest country and first Arab country ever to host the tournament.World Cup2022: 9 things you should know about Qatar
Qatar is a small beautiful country situated in the Gulf region. From November 20 to December 18, football and tourism will move hand in hand as thousands of fans who will troop to the country from all corners of the globe get the chance to explore culture, visit tourism sites and above all learn new things.
With the World Cup begining on Sunday, November 20, Times Sport brings you nine interesting things about Qatar you should know:
- – Qatar is the second safest country in the world
There are dozens of reasons to love Qatar, from the most iconic structures, the amazing museums and art galleries to the fantastic beaches and parks, but people who have been to the country, and reports, indicate that this glorious country is among the safest in the world.
It is reported that Qatar has the second lowest crime rate, at 14.03 points out of 100, just behind Abu Dhabi at 11.72. Qatar was also named the safest city in the world in 2017 and 2019, too.
- – Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world
Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world. Qatar is the fourth richest country globally, and the first-ever Arab nation to be among the top four wealthiest nations. The latest report from Global Finance ranks other Arab countries, like the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Oman, positioned after Qatar. The study also coincides with the World Bank’s assessment that sees Qatar as the fastest growing global economy. According to the data, Qatar’s real GDP is expected to rise by 4.9% this year and grow steadily at 4.5% and 4.4% in 2023 and 2024, respectively.
According to the International Monetary Fund’s 2020 estimates, Qatar’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is a whopping $138,910, putting it well ahead of Luxembourg’s $112,045 in second place. Much of this wealth comes from petroleum and natural gas, which account for more than 60 percent of GDP.
- – One of the few places on earth where the desert meets the sea
This is one of the fascinating things about Qatar. It is one of the few places in the World where the desert meets the sea. This is found in the southern end of the country at a place called Khor Adaid. The place was declared as a nature reserve by the Qatari ruling family in 2007.
Khor Al Adaid, also known as the Inland Sea, is magical in its colors and vastness; a feast for the eyes. There aren’t many places in the world where the desert meets the sea dune-on.
- – Qatar made history at the 1981 FIFA World Youth Championships
In 1981, Qatar headed to the FIFA World Youth Championships in Australia very much the underdogs. But Qatar’s international youth team defeated the world’s best to almost win the junior World Cup.
The country’s biggest honor ever in world football prior to the hosting of the 2022 World Cup was in the U20 FIFA World Cup when they finished second. Qatar defeated Brazil 3-2 in the quarter finals of that tournament with Al Muhannadi netting a hat-trick. They also beat England 2-1 in the semi finals before being thrashed 4-0 by West Germany in the finals.
- – Only 15 percent of people in Qatar are Qatari
There are approximately three million people living in Qatar but only about 15 percent are real natives.
Despite its small size, people of many ethnic, lingual, and cultural backgrounds live in Qatar. The nation’s official language is Arabic, but English is also commonly used, as well as Malayam, Urdu, Hindi, Farsi, and other South and Southeast Asian languages.
The country’s diversity is due to the migrants that make up 94 percent of Qatar’s workforce.
Majority of the people residing in Qatar are Indians and Pakistanis who have found the country to be a great business hub. There are also Filipinos who run supermarkets as well as a host of Africans there. According to available statistics, majority of the population live in the capital, Doha.
The pull of Qatar is so great that there are now more than two million expats living in the country, which means that Qataris are in the minority, at around 15 percent of the population, according to Visit Qatar.
–Al Thani family has ruled Qatar since 1868
The Al Thani dynasty is the ruling family of Qatar. The family moved from Najd in Saudi Arabia and settled in Qatar in the 1720’s. The patriarch of the family is Mohammed Bin Thani.
Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani born on June 3, 1980, has been ruling Qatar since June 25, 2013. The Emir, or Amir, of the State of Qatar is the monarch and head of state of the country. He is also the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces and guarantor of the Constitution. He holds the most powerful position in the country, and has a prominent role in foreign relations.
- – Natives of Al Khor Island were the first to produce purple shellfish dye
Al Khor Island is one of the best tourism places in Qatar. Archaeologists have done excavations in the area and uncovered items dating back to the second millennium BC. Al Khor was the first place on the globe where purple shellfish dye were made and that is why the city is also known as Purple Island.
Al Bayt Stadium where the opening match between Qatar and Ecuador will be played on Sunday, November 20 is situated in Al Khor.
- – Qatar Airways is the best airline in the world
In September, Qatar Airways was voted the World’s Best Airline for a record seventh time at the 2022 World Airline Awards, winning the prestigious award.
The national carrier Qatar Airways was named the airline of the year at the 2021 Skytrax awards, becoming the first airline ever to take home the prestigious gong six times. Qatar Airways is also one of a select few airlines that flies to all seven continents. At one point, it had the longest regularly scheduled flight in the world between Doha and Auckland, at 16 hours and 30 minutes.
- – Hamad International Airport is the best airport in the world
Qatar is also home to the best airport in the world. Hamad International Airport (HIA) was also ranked and named the “Best Airport in the World” for the second year in a row by the prestigious SKYTRAX World Airport Awards 2022 at the global event Passenger Terminal Expo in Paris, France.
The rankings were based on voting submitted by air travellers and passenger satisfaction across 39 key performance indicators for airport services and products including check-in, arrivals, transfers, shopping, security, immigration, and departure.
HIA was announced the best airport amongst 550 other global airports. If you’ve travelled through HIA, you’ll know why it’s so highly rated, from the fantastic public art to the smooth journeys. It’s also home to the longest runway in western Asia, at 15,912 ft, and sixth longest in the world.