Amazing Qatar

Precious pearls and aromatic coffee, state-of-the-art architecture and social initiatives — the State of Qatar which is to host FIFA World Cup in 2022 impresses your imagination with its splendor and subtle ability to blend ancient traditions with forward-thinking mindset. Within the framework of the Year of Culture Qatar-Russia 2018, Artemy Lebedev and his team set off on a journey to Qatar to see it all with their own eyes. Meanwhile, we are sharing details of their journey with you at project blog.


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In terms of natural gas reserves, Qatar ranks third in the world after Russia and Iran, but at the same time its most valuable resource is proclaimed to be the human potential — people and their ideas. In 1995 Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani founded the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Social Development – a non-profit organization to support the knowledge economy, which should replace the current resource-based economy. 

“The building itself looks simple from the outside, but inside it is totally insane, and sometimes even scary. At first I thought that it had been designed by some Japanese architect, but it turned out to be Rem Koolhaas,” – Artemy says.

Ten years ago the government launched the National Vision 2030 program: according to the plan in 12 years time Qatar should become a highly developed society capable of ensuring its sustainable development. Now Doha has nine branches of the best world universities, which were selected by the foundation according to the needs of the state; one deals with renewable energy, the other trains doctors, the third is for museum workers, and so on.

The maintenance of these institutions costs $ 400 million annually, but it allows to avoid brain drain and also to attract foreign specialists. The latter is crucially important for the country: this autumn Qatar became the first Gulf State to allow foreigners to obtain a residence permit along with the access to the social security system previously only available to the citizens of Qatar.


Myths and facts about Qatar