The Middle East’s unsung force prepares to unveil its less renowned cultural beauty to the world, to match its already lauded economic acclamation
For a country that has quietly gone about its evolution of the years, all that is great, mysterious, advanced and niche about Qatar is set to be thrown into the public domain as it opens its doors to the world for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
This isn’t to say that Qatar has been closed until now of course; its economic development and infrastructural rise has been pertinently acknowledged around the world to make it one of the leading states per capita on most scales you care to imagine.
As a high income economy boasting the world’s third largest natural gas and oil reserves, as well as having the highest per capita income in the world, Qatar’s status on the top table of global prosperity is undoubted; but for the visitor and business traveller, there is so much more to the country than a healthy bank balance.
Its four main cities - Doha the capital, Al-Khor, Rayyan and Wakra - have proved to the few that have graced its bustling cities that Qatar is a culturally diverse, yet indigenously faithful nation; the most significant power in the Arab world without the limelight that often comes with it.
You only need to cast an eye towards its only neighbour, Saudi Arabia to testify this justaposition, but Qatar has continued to simmer fruitfully under the surface.
That is, until now. Its unveiling as host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup will confirm to the rest of the world what previous visitors will have already found to their delight; that Qatar is not just the serious, driven businessman, but is also the cultured explorer, the nature lover, and the adventure seeker.