Qatar, a former pearl-fishing centre and once one of the poorest Gulf states, is now one of the richest countries in the region, thanks to the exploitation of large oil and gas fields since the 1940s. This is how the BBC describes Qatar.
A lesser Dubai: That's the first impression a visitor gets touring downtown Doha, the capital of the Gulf emirate of Qatar. Dubai (population 1.4 million) has its famous ultramodern skyline and man-made islands, its wild young rich kids, and—since the real estate boom went bust—plenty of empty office space. Qatar (population 1.5 million) has semi-vacant glass towers and its own artificial island, a handsome Islamic museum designed by I.M. Pei, and young men racing through the streets in Ferraris and Porsches. This is how Businessweek has just described Doha.There is no doubt that, for many years to come, mainly through the Al Jazeera News Channel, the world will continue to very much hear of Qatar and Doha. And many, from distant places and many parts of the world, will know of and experience Qatar.