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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2018
Headline for Some Facts about Qatar - Get to Know Some Fascinating Details about this Desert Kingdom
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Some Facts about Qatar - Get to Know Some Fascinating Details about this Desert Kingdom

One of the smallest Arab kingdoms, Qatar offers travellers a rich culture, desert landscapes and a host of modern and historical attractions. Here are some facts about Qatar worth noting.

1

It is the richest country in the world

According to a survey by the International Monetary Fund, Qatar's per capita GDP is $127,600 making it the world's richest country, a position it occupies frequently. Despite its small size, the country is home to the third-largest natural gas reserves and oil reserves in the world and is the biggest exporter of liquid gas. Therefore, it does not look like they will be having financial problems anytime.

2

It is rich in flora and fauna too

When you think of the Middle East, you automatically think of a barren desert, but in fact, Qatar boasts a diverse range of flora and fauna. A great example of its desert beauty is a Purple island, located not far from the capital Doha, the island features several low-lying limestone cliffs as well as a mangrove forest that is home to a wide variety of fish, crustaceans and several bird species including pink flamingos which stop-over in Qatar during their yearly migration.

3

Qataris love their tea

The beverage of choice among Qataris and expatriates is Karak tea, also known as 'kadak chai', which is similar to masala chai. The introduction of the beverage to Qatar can be traced back to its large immigrant population, many of whom hail from South Asian countries like India. The drink is made from an infusion of black tea, cardamom and sugar. Milk can be added if requested. A number of eateries serve Karak tea, and it is not unusual to see trays of tea being carried to waiting cars in the evenings.

4

The bazaar is still a social hotspot

While there are numerous modern mega-malls in Qatar, the Souq Waqif is still the number one spot for locals who want to shop or socialise. A traditional bazaar is located not far from many Doha luxury hotels such as the Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara, for example, this is a great place to soak up the local culture and shop for unique souvenirs. You can find a variety of stalls selling traditional goods as well as several restaurants serving a wide range of cuisine from Indian, Yemeni, and Iranian to Malaysian and more. It's also a popular place to smoke shisha, so don't be surprised to see groups of men sitting around a shisha pipe. In addition to this, there's also a veterinary centre for falcons, and if you're lucky, you may get to spot some of the majestic birds inside.

5

Falconry as a status symbol

The national bird of Qatar is the falcon, and Qataris take falconry quite seriously. So seriously, that the national airlines, Qatar Airlines, allow passengers to carry their precious falcons on board when they travel, provided the Falcons have a valid passport.