Category Archives: Understanding Qatar

New leaf in the history of Qatar

The time has come to turn a new leaf in the history of our nation

It is a mixed feeling to see the outgoing Emir of Qatar and welcoming a new Emir. On 25 June 2013, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani handed over power to his son, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.

Social media is overwhelmed by expectedly positive comments (not only by countrymen but also expatriates) to Sheikh Hamad on his achievements to turn modern Qatar, his dedication, his greatness, his humanitarian and his service to Qatar and to make what Qatar today. I am fortunate enough to be a witness of Qatar development during the last 5 years under Sheikh Hamad leadership.

Barakallahu fiikum Sheikh Hamad and mabrook Sheikh Tamim. May Qatar continue to be prosperous!

On a televised speech, Sheikh Hamad handed over power to his son
On a televised speech, Sheikh Hamad handed over power to his son
Countrymen greeted the former and new Emir and pledged their allegiance at Wajbah Palace
Countrymen greeted the former and new Emir and pledge their allegiance at Wajbah Palace

Flora of Qatar

While searching for information on flora of Qatar, I found a good book detailing all floras in Qatar. In this 67-page book, Unesco Office in Doha provides an up-to-date scientific reference on Qatar’s habitats and vegetation. There are 110 vegetations listed, each has detailed information on scientific name, growth form, status, habitat and distribution and uses.

Due to copyright issues, they can’t be displayed here but you can access and download the book from this link. Look at page 48 for the pictures of 110 vegetations that make up the list.

Have you ever spotted one of them?


Unesco's An Illustrated Checklist of the Flora of Qatar
Unesco’s An Illustrated Checklist of the Flora of Qatar

Windy and dusty…

Qatar experiences strong dust winds over the past three days (may continue until the next two days). Reduced visibility, dusty surfaces, and strong wind as a result, are not unusual for desert country Qatar.

Amidst busy events, we re-consider some planned activities outside for fear it may impact our respiratory health.

Hope the strong dust wind get calmer soon….


Doha's West Bay skyline is engulfed with dust storm


View toward Al Sadd/Sports Roundabout from Al Rayyan Interchange


Strong dust winds Doha experienced for the last three days


View towards Doha's City Center Mall area


The dusty wind leaves its trace

I think I rather like summer

Blame it to Siberian cold wave that cold(er) weather becomes talk of town. The sudden dip to mercury down to 4 deg C  triggering wave of status in social network sites. Friends posting X deg C at Y time complete with pictures of mostly temperature indicator of car is not uncommon. Meanwhile, all busy with keeping their body warm.

Basically, Qatar’s climate can be summarized into: arid; mild, pleasant winters; very hot, humid summers. Note pleasant winters! So when it’s colder (average low temperature in January is 13 C)than it is used to be, like now, then it becomes “unpleasant’ winter to some long time Qatar resident or those from tropical countries 🙂

The lowest my car has recorded outside temperature

“I think I rather like summer”, said my son. “We can escape from the heat but not cold”

My son wearing headgear to go to school

Here comes the rain

For the last three days since Sunday, 16 Jan, Qatar showered by increasingly intense rain. Like today, 18 Jan, rain started from morning and lasted up to 8-9pm although not in consistent intensity. Rain is however unusual in this desert country, generally very sparse. In one year, mean number of rain day is about 8.8 days (day when rain is more than 1mm). Not surprising that many people so excited about it. Inevitable conseuences of rain in January is that it brings the mercury down to lowest level during this year winter. Temperature is recorded at as low as 13 C and even 8 C reported in the deep desert.

I wish I have many more rain days in Qatar. I just like the smell of soil firstly touched by pour of rain water, sound of drips of water from roof, and the mood it brings: romantic, giving, musical, slowdown, and relax (unless you’re not at home 🙂 )

And now I remember Indonesian song of my childhood:

Tik.. Tik.. Tik, bunyi hujan di atas genteng
Airnya turun tidak terkira
Cobalah tengok dahan dan ranting
Pohon dan kebun basah semua

literally translated:

Tik Tik Tik, the sound of the rain on the roof
The water pouring down heavily
Take a look, branches and twigs
Trees and gardens, all dripping wet

Qatar National Day 2010

Some events related to Qatar National Day 2010

  • LIGHT SHOW, Corniche, 15 December 2010, 6pm-12am
  • DARB AL SAAI, Near Sports Roundabout, 10-18 December 2010 (documentary film, kids drawing, handicraft exhibition, photography exhibition, camel dressage, falconry, game zone, shooting range)
  • AL MASILA RACE, Equestrian Club, 13-15 December 2010, 1-4pm
  • NATIONAL DAY GOODIES, by Vodafone, TV, Arab Bank & Sheraton R/A 3-6pm, Villagio & Landmark Mall 11-2pm, 6-9pm, 15-17 December 2010,
  • QATAR SYMPHONY, Cultural Village, 17 December 2010, 07:30-10pm
  • WORLD GUINNESS RECORD, Aspire Closed Stadium, 17 December 2010
  • HISTORICAL FILMS, Corniche, 16-18 December 2010
  • ARDA (Traditional Arab folk dance), 18 December 2010
  • PHOTO EXHIBITION, Waqif Art Center, 13-18 December 2010
  • NATIONAL DAY PARADE, 18 December 2010
  • HISTORICAL CAR SHOW, 18 December 2010, 4pm
  • SAIL BOATS PARADE, 18 December 2010, 5-10pm
  • FIREWORKS, Corniche, 18 December 2010, 8pm

Complete events can be found at the following sources: