Really just a hop, skip and a big jump of 11,000 kilometers or so, Qatar can be reached from Calgary in about 15 hours of flying. The capital city of Doha would be Hubby’s work place last week…for a day or two.
This tiny sovereign Arab emirate is bordered only by Saudi Arabia. The rest of the country is surrounded by the Persian Gulf. In 1892 the first known population records reflect 9,830 people in the country. Modern day Qatar is home to almost 2 million inhabitants but only 250,000 are citizens of the country.
Before the discovery of oil, Qatar relied on pearl hunting and fishing to bolster it’s economy. With the introduction of the Japanese cultured pearl onto the world market in the 1920’s and 30’s the pearling industry of Qatar was devastated.
The 1940 discovery of oil in Qatar would change the economic course of the country more than could have ever been imagined.
Today Qatar has the world’s third largest natural gas reserves and oil reserves of more than 25 billion barrels. The stunning transformation of the capital city of Doha in recent history can be seen below.
Is it safe to travel to Qatar? According to the Global Peace Index, this Middle East country rates 19th most peaceful out of 162 countries measured. Iceland wins the top peace posting and Canada ranks number 8. My guess on such high rankings would be that we Canadians are too frozen to cause any unrest.
In hopes of promoting tourism, Qatar has invested billions into infrastructure. Hosting the 2006 Asian Games and slated to welcome the world to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar will be the first Arab nation to hold either event.
Below the beach at the grounds of the hotel where Hubby was ‘working’.
Any ideas as to what type of bird this might be hanging out on the deck in Qatar?
The streets of the capital reflect the stunning changes the city has undergone.
From the traditional Souq Waqif (translated as ‘Standing Market’)…
…to the ultra modern skyscrapers sprouting out of the ground.
Each evening these beautiful lanterns on the beach illuminate the way for an evening stroll.
Photo credits #1, #3, map #2 – Wikimedia Commons, map #1 – Etihad Airways, Doha image before and after – Doha News