The best of Qatar in 2022: A celebration of nature, music and sport

The best of Qatar in 2022: A celebration of nature, music and sport
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By Euronews
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With Qatar 365, Euronews went on a musical journey, delved deeper into sports in the country, and explored the science of injuries.

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From baby sea turtles to sport science, traditional Qatari sea songs and World Cup soundtracks, Qatar has provided some fascinating highlights in 2022. With Qatar 365, Euronews went on a musical journey, and delved deeper into sports in the country, as well as the science of injuries.

Is Qatar an underrated animal paradise?

Every year, a section of Fuwairit Beach in Qatar welcomes some unexpected visitors: female hawksbill turtles. 

Each turtle lays on average 70-80 eggs per nest on the beach, and about 75% of those hatch successfully. Local scientists often relocate many eggs to protect them from the elements.

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A female hawksbill turtleEuronews

Back on land, there’s one animal that is extremely important to Qatar: the camel. These majestic creatures can be traced back throughout the country’s history, as the constant companions of the nomadic Bedouin tribes that travelled across the region. 

Qatar hosts an annual camel beauty pageant, where the camels are judged on their proportions, coats, size of their lips and length of their eyelashes. The most beautiful camel takes home prize money of more than €350,000!

Another animal with a long history in Qatar is the falcon -- the country's national bird. Every year the International Falcons and Hunting Festival takes place deep in the desert, and hundreds of falconers come to compete in a sport that dates back centuries. 

Music in Qatar: a treat for the ears

Whether traditional or modern, Arabic or international, or a fusion of both, Qatar’s growing music scene has a little something for everyone.

Katara Studios is responsible for producing the uplifting lead single, Hayya Hayya, for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 official soundtrack. It's the first time the tournament’s soundtrack features multiple songs, bringing together international artists and sounds fitting for a truly global game.

Matt Howe is a Grammy-winning sound engineer. But despite four decades in the business, the Qatar-based Brit is always ready to learn.

"Coming here was good for me because I wanted to know a little bit more about Middle eastern music", Howe told Euronews.

"This is a word-of-mouth industry and if you play your A game and if you can connect with others, that’s really good", he added.

Irish-born and Doha-based, Martin Farragher has been playing regular gigs in Qatar since 2015. By day, he works as a music teacher. But as soon as school is out, Martin, often accompanied by his bandmates, can be found playing in unique locations all over the city.

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Martin Farragher and bandmatesEuronews

"Formula One reached out and asked us to play main stage on the Saturday night and I nearly fell off the chair when I got the email", said the singer-songwriter. "It was amazing, a great experience".

Sporting adventures

There is plenty of sporting excitement in Qatar aside from the World Cup. 

Al Thakira Mangrove is one of the greenest places in the country, teeming with nature and plant life that benefits from a quickly rising tide. When that tide is high enough, there’s no better way to see the environment than by kayak!

Exploring the mangrove channels by boat can certainly be a workout. But it’s also an excellent way to get in touch with nature, and offers the chance to see another side to Qatar.

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Kayaking, Al Thakira MangroveEuronews

Another way to get those endorphins is padel -- the fastest-growing racquet sport in the world.

Like tennis, with a touch of squash, padel has become a sporting smash hit in Doha. And with so many courts, it’s no surprise that Qatar will be hosting plenty of padel tournaments in 2023.

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But what happens if you get injured during a game? Aspetar is Qatar’s leading sports medicine research hospital. 

The advanced technology allows healthcare professionals to tailor their rehabilitation program on a case-by-case basis.

"Because Aspetar deals with elite athletes, you want these athletes to feel at home and home for these athletes is a training centre or a gym", said Dr Jamal Al Khanji, chief patient experience officer at Aspetar.

"If you go into Aspetar or walk around Aspetar, you’ll see that it’s actually like a big gym or training centre more than a hospital".

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