5 things that put Qatar on the map
01 Jul 2014 7 PM
It’s one of the world’s smallest, lesser known countries – in fact, before the 19th century foreign maps of Arabia didn’t even show Qatar.
But this tiny Middle Eastern country is growing in status and more than deserving of its place on the map. Here are five of the top things that put it there.
If two things put Qatar on the map, it was oil and natural gas. Since they were discovered in 1940, they quickly replaced pearl-diving as Qatar’s main industry and became a lucrative money-spinner for the country.
In fact, the oil and gas industries give Qatar one of the highest GDPs in the world. Below this tiny Arab nation are the world’s third-largest gas reserves, giving the country decades of booming economic growth.
And such riches mean there’s also a great deal of glitz and glamour in Qatar – simply check out its towering skyscrapers and luxury resorts to see for yourself.
Khor Al-Adaid (the ‘Inland Sea’)Khor Al-Adaid is Qatar’s greatest tourist attraction
and quite rightly so. It’s a huge salt-water inlet that juts into the desert and to take in its full beauty you really have to see it. It’s a unique area of sand dunes surrounded by the ocean and you’ll find it in the south-eastern corner of Qatar.
Due to its world-class scenic beauty it’s even in line to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
And while you’re best (and safest) travelling there with someone who owns a four-wheel drive and is familiar with the route, watching the sunset here is an unforgettable experience.Stay at the Hilton Hotel in Doha and you’ll be just a few hours’ drive from the Inland Sea
Believe it or not, Qatar is actually one of the safest Middle Eastern countries you could visit. Not only is it politically stable, it also has a low crime level.
So while it is currently inadvisable to make unnecessary journeys to Iraq and Afghanistan, you need not lose any sleep over being unsafe in Qatar. Just remember to be respectful of local customs and traditions during your stay.
The Aspire Tower
Built for the 15th Asian Games in 2006, the Aspire Tower is a 980ft skyscraper in the Qatari capital, Doha. Shaped like a torch, the tower was a focal point for the Games and holds the record for the tallest flame, which was visible throughout the city during the Games.
High-speed lifts take guests to the observation deck and there’s even a sports museum that spans three floors.
You might be surprised to learn that the Arab TV channel Al-Jazeera hails from Qatar. Launched in 1996, it is an independent channel that broadcasts to much of the Arab world and is now one of Qatar’s biggest international exports.
Headquartered in Doha, it now broadcasts in multiple languages and has made a name for itself tackling hard-hitting, controversial issues and making independent news available to a wide Arab audience. So before you dismiss Qatar as a tiny country with nothing to offer, think again. If this list proves anything, there’s plenty to put Qatar on the map!