Let’s dive into why Qatar needs sport.
In 2008, 47% of Qatari deaths were due to chronic illness caused by a sedentary or sedentary lifestyle. According to the International Association for the Study of Obesity, Qatar’s adult obesity rate is one of the highest in the world. The proportion of people with diabetes in Qatar is also above the world average.
The population of Qatar is about 2 million, but only 11% of them are Qataris. In such conditions, it is difficult for the country to rely on an efficient army, and the government is primarily guided by the principles of “soft power”. By hosting global sports tournaments, Qatari officials develop ties with large Western countries and receive their support (for example, Qatar has an agreement on US military bases). As Daniel Reich notes in his work, Qatar fears a possible repetition of the Gulf War (1991) and therefore uses sport as a tool of geopolitics.
Qatar as a sports center, tourism development
As noted in the strategy of the Qatari Olympic Committee, sports tournaments are the most convenient opportunity to increase the influx of tourists, since “without major international events, a small country in the desert can hardly attract a large number of people.” Already in 2014, Qatar hosted 57 sports tournaments. In 2015, the World Handball Championship came there; in this – the World Gymnastics Championship, 2019 the country was entertained by the World Athletics Championship. In 2022, Qatar will host the FIFA world cup.
What to see?
An excellent place for a family vacation in Doha is the Corniche, which stretches seven kilometers along the Persian Gulf. Here is the principal city museum, an amusement park, an open theatre, green areas. Not far from the Corniche is one of the largest mosques in Qatar, built in the middle of the 20th century. Unfortunately, a tourist cannot go inside.
The oldest building in Qatar, Fort Doha, was built as a police station and later served as an impregnable prison. In the late 70s of the last century, it was transformed into a museum. It houses Qatari national handicrafts, plaster molds, old photographs, and modern paintings.
In the sea, 60 meters from the coast of Doha, the Museum of Islamic Art is located. It houses exhibits of the 17th-19th centuries: objects made of wood, glass, ceramics, collections of ancient coins and jewelry. Visiting the museum is free. Its terrace offers a beautiful view of the Persian Gulf. The best place to learn about the culture of a country is the market. In Qatar, this is Vagif. The complex itself is new, but with historical roots: at this place, the Bedouins sold their goods. All the market buildings are made without the use of modern building materials, only wood, stone, bamboo, straw, and clay.
In Doha, you should go to the “Gold Bazaar”. There are pendants, earrings, pearls, placers of stones, rings, gift sets of gold dishes, candlesticks, coins, and much more! When buying for the quality of goods, you don’t have to worry. The Arab Museum of Contemporary Art “Mathaf” was created by the Sheikh of Qatar in 2010 to build an abandoned school. The museum contains about 6,000 exhibits. There is an inland sea in Qatar; it is a large bay formed due to the tides. The sea is home to endangered sea cows – dugongs and rare species of turtles.
The sixteen-meter Barzani tower served as a defensive structure for the valley. It also collected drinking water after the rain, and it had an ideal platform for observing the moon and stars. Desert Ghost Town – “Movie City”. The labyrinths of the deserted city streets were once a film set, but now they have become a place for excursions. Here, the yellow color of the wall’s merges with the sand. The only bright spot is the palms.
You can hide from the city noise in the silence of Aspire Park: many shops, artificial lakes and fountains, playgrounds, an excellent jogging track and a family picnic on the green lawn. In addition, there is the opportunity to ride a jeep on the sands of the desert and visit the Bedouin camp, watch camel racing and falconry.
How to get around in Qatar?
Getting around is relatively easy, even if you don’t own a vehicle. If you are a solo traveler, Uber, taxis, and car rentals may work the best. However, if you are travelling in a group, it is suggested to rent or hire vans, so it’s not as heavy on the pocket. If you have a hard time finding rental vans, ask a local to book a van near me, and they will gladly help.
What about souvenirs?
From Qatar, they bring handicrafts, Korans, gold jewelry, daggers, Dal-la coffee pot, henna, Arabic lamps, hookahs, scrolls with Arabic script, rosary. There are many supermarkets and shopping centers where you can buy high-quality European goods at an affordable price. The list of traditional souvenirs includes carpets and tapestries of various sizes, decorated with oriental patterns. Market traders are compliant.