Searching for fun facts about Qatar, the host of the FIFA World Cup? From the capital of Doha to how hot it gets, check out these Qatar facts now!
With Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup, there’s a lot more interest in getting to know the tiny Arab nation. Jutting out into the Persian Gulf and covered in vast swathes of desert, Qatar is a country of many contrasts.
There’s the dazzling metropolis of Doha which boasts enormous wealth, stunning architecture, and world-class venues. Then there’s the picaresque sand dunes of the interior.
And let’s not forget the intriguing islands off the coastline, including the entirely man-made islet, the Pearl.
We’ve learned so many fun facts about Qatar, and now we want to share them with you!
We’ll uncover all that Qatar has to offer, from a famous purple dye to falcon passports to robots riding camels. And of course, we have to mention the World Cup, the largest event ever hosted by a Middle Eastern country.
Before the oil riches, Qatar was known for its pearls, but what else do you know about Qatar? Maybe that it’s home to the world’s best high jumper? Or the world’s best airline?
We were so surprised by all the things we learned about this unique country. Are you excited to learn more Qatar facts? Then let’s kick off!
21 Fun Facts About Qatar
1. Where sea meets desert
We’re going to start off with one of the most unique Qatar facts we discovered. The Khor Al Adaid is one of the only places in the world where the sea meets the desert. In fact, it’s so rare, the entire area was declared a nature reserve in 2007.
2. Crazy for football
Qatar is the first Arab country and smallest country to host the World Cup, winning the vote over the United States in 2010.
Due to the extreme summer weather conditions, the 2022 World Cup is the first ever played in the winter months.
3. Too hot to go outside!
With summer temperatures reaching up to 122°F/50°C, it’s no surprise that Qatar is full of air-conditioned shopping malls, including the massive 500,000 sq m Mall of Qatar.
Escape the heat for some retail therapy? The mall has over 500 shops to choose from!
4. The national dish of Qatar
Are you ready to have your mouth water? Machboos is the national dish of Qatar. This delicious chicken and basmati rice dish is packed with flavor thanks to a spice mix known as Qatari Bazaar.
Cumin, coriander, black lemon, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, and saffron. We want some of this right now!
5. Take your bike to Qatar
This is one of the coolest facts about Qatar. In the capital city of Doha, there’s a 33km cycle-path that runs uninterrupted through 18 underpasses to ensure a fast ride with no stops. This makes it the longest continuous cycling path in the world!
6. Facts about Doha
Doha, the capital of Qatar, is located on the edge of the Persian Gulf and is home to 2.4 million people (80% of Qatar’s population, not including the suburbs).
The city is filled with futuristic skyscrapers, artificial islands and stunning boardwalks. Also, Doha welcomes over 2 million tourists each year. We bet you didn’t know that one!
7. The friendly skies
The people of Qatar know how to show some incredible hospitality. In fact, Qatar Airways, the national airline of Qatar, has been named the best airline in the world numerous times.
Touting luxury, comfort and world class food, you might just want to fly with them on your next vacation!
8. Emblem of Qatar
We suggest you check out the flag of Qatar. It includes the unique Qatari maroon, a nod to the purple dye famous to the country (more on this later).
The nine jagged points represent them as the 9th member of the reconciled Emirates. It’s also the only national flag having a width more than twice its height.
In Qatar the earth is flat! No, we’re not talking about conspiracy theories here.
It’s a fact that Qatar has almost 0 elevation. The average for the entire country is only 28 meters above sea level. Qatar is the world’s second flattest country only behind Maldives.
10. The world’s best jumper
The most famous athlete from Qatar is the high jumper, Mutaz Essa Barshim. Born in Doha in 1991, Barshim is the 2020 Olympic champion and 2017, 2019, and 2022 world champion.
His personal best jump is 2.43 m (7 ft, 11.5 in), making him the second highest jumper of all-time.
11. Purple Island
Al Khor Island off the coast of Qatar’s mainland is not only a stunning place to visit, it’s also the first place to make purple dye from shellfish.
Archaeologists have discovered evidence of the dyeing procedure as far back as 2,000 BC. This is why the island is known today as Purple Island!
12. Oil riches
Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world. This is mainly due to its massive oil reserves which account for over 60% of their GDP.
The Al Shaheen Oil Field is Qatar’s biggest offshore oil field producing 300,000 barrels of oil per day!
13. A land of men
Don’t expect to see a lot of ladies when you travel to Qatar. In fact, men outnumber women in the country by 3 to 1. Qatar has the highest male to female ratio in the world.
14. A famous news channel
Al Jazeera is the most trusted news source on the Arabian Peninsula and its headquarters are in Doha, Qatar. Al Jazeera receives funding from the government of Qatar, but maintains its editorial independence.
15. For the birds
Qatar is a country that’s obsessed with falcons. The ancient pastime of falconry started by the Bedouins still holds a special place in Qatar society today.
There is even a souk (market) that only sells the incredible birds. When you buy a falcon there, it comes with its own passport!
16. Camel racing
The Al Shahaniya racetrack is the center for camel racing in Qatar. One of the fun facts about Qatar that really amazed us was about the robot camel jockeys!
Since children were banned from camel racing in 2004, child-sized robots now race the camels.
17. A dry parched land
Amazingly, there are no freshwater rivers or lakes in Qatar. The country also receives less than 4 inches (10 cm) of rainfall per year.
This all means the majority of freshwater used in the country comes from massive desalination plants.
18. Pearls of Qatar
Before the discovery of oil, Qatar was known as a hotbed for the world’s best pearls. Now that pearl diving has become mostly a thing of the past, Qatar has built an artificial island known as The Pearl. The incredible and luxurious oasis is home to 30,000 residents.
19. An independent nation
The Qatari peninsula was unified in 1878 by Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, but Qatar was under a British Protectorate from 1916 to 1971.
On September 1st, 1971 Qatar was declared an independent country with Doha as its capital.
20. The people of Qatar
Qatar is one of the most diverse melting pots in the Middle East. In fact, only 12% of the population are actually Qatari. The reason for this is because Qatar is very attractive to expats who can earn tax-free salaries.
21. Geographic Qatar facts
Qatar is one of the smallest countries in the world. In fact, the size of Qatar is similar to the US state of Connecticut. The country is surrounded by water and has 568 km of coastline. Qatar shares only one land border with Saudi Arabia.
We hope you learned something new with these fun facts about Qatar! Let us know if we missed any important information in the comments below!