Qatar is a small country with incredible wealth due to oil. There are only 2.7 million people living in Qatar, and of that only 320,000 are Qatari. The rest of the population is made up of 86 different nationalities. All Qatari citizens get free housing, utilities, education and medical care. And there are no taxes. Oil is extracted from the north and sent to the southern part of the country by an extensive pipeline system where it is refined and distributed. Islam is the national religion with a mosque nearly every 1 kilometer with over 3,000 mosques in the country. Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup and 55 new hotels are currently under construction.
The oryx is the national animal of Qatar, hence the Qatar Airways logo on their planes.
Dhows are wooden boats made from teak wood from Kerala. Before oil was discovered in Qatar in 1942, the main economy was pearl diving with these wooden ships. The corniche is the waterfront walkway around the bay.
The Museum of Islamic Art is an iconic museum in Doha along the bay.
The Pearl is a manmade island like in Dubai, made with sand from the desert. Porto Arabia is traditional Islamic architecture and Qanat Quartier was designed to mirror Venice.
In Katara Cultural Village, the mosque is called the “mini Blue Mosque” after the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. There is also a large amphitheater.
The Souq Waqif is the first market in the country, dating back 120 years. The word “souq” means ‘market’ and “waqif” means ‘standing on water’. The name refers to the fact that the tide would come in to meet the market place in the past. Along the corridors line spice shops, clothing stalls, and even a falcon hospital. The falcon shops and hospital in Doha are world renown and locals train falcons to compete in hunting competitions. A falcon can cost up to $10,000 USD.
We didn’t visit the National Museum of Qatar but the architectural design is incredible. We passed by it while driving so I couldn’t snap a photo, hence the google photo.
Doha is an opulent and high class city full of an eclectic mix of people from around the world. It is quite progressive in a number of ways. We really loved Qatar overall and are so glad that we made a long stopover there to see the city.