(State of Qatar, دولة قطر, Dawlat Qaṭar)
• Location: Middle East (Arabian Peninsula)
• Capital: Doha
• Language(s): Arabic
• Population: 1,721,343
• Total Area: 11,437 sq km
• Currency: Riyal
• Curious Alcohol Fact: Tourists are not allowed to come in with alcohol.
• Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 1.24 liters
• Most Popular Drink(s): Coffee, fresh fruit juices
Located along the northern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, Qatar is an independent emirate and it shares land borders only with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Across the Persian Gulf, Qatar is not too far from Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. An absolute monarchy, Qatar has been controlled by the Al Thani family for centuries. The capital is the city of Doha, and is one of the most developed cities in the Middle East. Once colonized by the Ottoman Empire and Britain, the nation became fully independent in 1971. Once known for being a pearling center, Qatar is now one of the largest producers of natural gas and petrochemicals in the world. Qatar is a success story, with its incredible economic growth and high standards of living. Thus, it does not come as a surprise that the country will be hosting the World Cup in 2022.
Although the country was initially inhabited by the Bedouin Arab nomads, Qataris themselves make up less than a tenth of the population today. That can be attributed to the impressive economic growth of the country, which has attracted workers from other countries such as India, Pakistan and Iran. The most interesting thing is that there are more expatriates and workers in the country than the Qatari citizens. The Bedouin nomads form a minority and the official language is Arabic. Among the foreign workers, the languages spoken include Urdu, Tagalog, Hindi, Balochi and Tamil. More than four-fifths of the citizens are Muslims and there is a significant population of Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and Sikhs.
Eating in Qatar
One of the most interesting activities you can enjoy in Qatar is consuming the food. Qataris are known for their superb kebabs and breads, which are considered traditional meals in the region. You can also enjoy lip-smacking Pakistani, Thai and even European dishes in the various cities, especially in the capital city of Doha. In the country, one of the most popular meals is called hummus, and is made from sesame seeds and chickpeas. The distinct flavor of the hummus is one that will leave you asking for more. If you want to enjoy the meal in a traditional and exotic Qatari setting, you will have to visit the souks.
Drinking in Qatar
The State of Qatar is an independent Islamic emirate and tourists are not allowed to bring in alcoholic beverages into the country. However, visitors can buy alcohol from bars and hotels after they have been issued a special permit, although you can find the drinks on the expensive side. In spite of this, the consumption of alcohol in the public is frowned upon and you need to take care not to hurt the sensibilities of your graceful hosts.
Places To Visit
The country is a fantastic country full of amazing sights. Some of the places to visit are the Aspire Tower, Doha Sports City, the Royal Palace, the majestic Zubara fort and the Khalifa International Stadium. That is not to mention the vast deserts and the lovely beaches on the coast.
Sports in Qatar
Even before the nation won the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, football has always been very popular in the country. The Khalifa International Stadium is one of the most impressive in the region. Other sports include cricket, racing and tennis.
Interesting Things About Qatar
• The economy of Qatar was once the fastest-growing in the world.
• The capital city of Doha is the base of Al Jazeera, a satellite news network.
• Drinking or displaying alcohol in the public is prohibited.
Story By World By Shotglass
©2013 World By Shotglass. All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).
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