Expedition

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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Myths and Facts

04

Myths and Facts

Are there any forests in Qatar? Can this country be considered the richest one in the world? Is it true that they have no days-off in Qatar? Try to guess which of the following facts are fictitious, and which represent truth as pure as Qatari pearls.

Myth 1

Gasoline is cheaper than water in Qatar

Myth 1

Gasoline is cheaper than water in Qatar

Strange but true.You are false. A liter of gasoline would cost an estimated 30 rubles, while a 1.5 liter bottle of water costs around 40-45 rubles at a supermarket. The fact is that there are neither rivers nor lakes in the country, which along with meager groundwater reserves forces locals to desalinate seawater on a massive scale. Fossil fuels, on the other hand, are in abundance. Qatar has become the third largest exporter of natural gas and sixteenth one of oil.
Myth 2

People eat with their hands in Qatar.

Myth 2

People eat with their hands in Qatar

You are right.No! If Qataris come to a French restaurant, they will show their dexterity at handling a fork, knife and lobster cracker. But at a traditional Arab restaurant some dishes are actually meant to be eaten with hands. Thus, rice is typically eaten in pinches, while in pastes and spreads like hummus and mutabal they usually dip a piece of bread.
Myth 3

Qatar is the flattest country on earth

Myth 3

Qatar is the flattest country on earth

Thi is true:This is not correct: the Maldives is the flattest country on earth. But Qatar with an average elevation of about 28 meters above sea level had secured the honorable second place. Yet landscape design of the country looks totally different now: in Doha there are over sixty buildings exceeding 300 meters, including Aspire Tower in Doha’s Sports City.
Myth 4

Qatar is the richest country in the world

Myth 4

Qatar is the richest country in the world

Exactly.Wrong. According to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, the country’s per capita GDP has reached 127.7K USD. Next to it – and far behind – is Luxemburg. However, residents of this small European country are not entitled to even half of those privileges Qataris have by birth. Each citizen receives free healthcare, education (including education abroad) and land for building a house. In fact, for the latter, you can obtain an interest-free loan.
Myth 5

There are far more men than women in Qatar

Myth 5

There are far more men than women in Qatar

Indeed,In fact, 2 out of 2.7 million Qatar citizens are men. The reason for such imbalance lies not in gender politics, but its hospitality to immigrants: only 10% of the country’s population is indigenous, the rest are foreign citizens. Most of them play an active part in setting up the infrastructure for the future World Cup; in other words, such jobs are more suitable for men.
Myth 6

There are no forests in Qatar – only deserts

Myth 6

There are no forests in Qatar – only deserts

Correct!Wrong. There are forests in Qatar – mangrove ones! The biggest forest is situated in Al-Tachira, one hour away from Doha. It looks like a maze of emerald canals separated by silver-grey trees with numerous branches and aerial roots. You can hire a kayak and go off on a journey to take pictures of herons, flamingos and dugongs – the latter have their second largest population in the world here.
Myth 7

People have never heard of tea in Qatar — everybody drinks Arab coffee

Myth 7

People have never heard of tea in Qatar — everybody drinks Arab coffee

You're right.Wrong. Qataris drink karak tea even more often than coffee. It’s spicy fragrant tea with milk, which resembles the Indian masala chai. Each family has its own recipe of karak: some add honey instead of sugar, others — condensed milk, spices they use also differ a lot. The important part is that tea should be strong and sweet.
Myth 8

There are no natural disasters in Qatar

Myth 8

There are no natural disasters in Qatar

Correct.No. According to the report of the United Nations University, Qatar is the most geologically safe country in the world: risk of earthquakes and hurricanes does not exceed 0.1% here (compare to Vanuatu with its 36.43%). Researches estimated not only number and intensity of natural disasters in different countries, but the following reaction of local organizations and authorities — Qatar looks unshakable in every respect.
Myth 9

You are not allowed to drink alcohol in Qatar — never and nowhere

Myth 9

You are not allowed to drink alcohol in Qatar — never and nowhere

Indeed,In fact, it is not all that bad. On the one hand, supermarkets do not sell alcohol. There is also no use in trying to smuggle a bottle of your favorite Bordeaux to Qatar — they will take it away at the customs (but give back, when you leave the country). On the other hand, alcohol, entirely legal, is provided at some bars. However, it is very expensive.
Myth 10

They have no days-off in Qatar

Myth 10

They have no days-off in Qatar

You're right,In fact, sure enough, people do have days-off in Qatar, but they do not coincide with ours. Official weekend falls on Friday and Saturday while the working week starts on Sunday.