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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Population figures show fewer people choosing to leave Qatar this Ramadan

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For illustrative purposes only.
For illustrative purposes only.

Qatar’s annual summer exodus appears to have been put on hold at least until Eid, as the latest official population figures show that just 30,000 people left the country last month.

Although most schools wound up their academic year before the end of June, an earlier start to Ramadan in the middle of the month may have encouraged residents to delay their mid-year holidays until later in the summer rather than head off as soon as term finished.

The state’s population for the month of June stood at 2,344,557, according to the Ministry of Development and Planning Statistics.

Taking into account those who went on vacation or left the country for good during the month, this means there were still nearly 193,000 more people living in Qatar last month compared to June 2014, showing a increase of almost nine percent year-on-year.

Past summers

This tallies with the average population rises throughout 2015 so far, where figures show a rise of 9-10 percent each month, compared to the previous year.

Traffic at Toyota Signal
Traffic at Toyota Signal

The lower numbers of people leaving the country last month is broadly in line with a similar trend in June 2014, when just 20,000 people decided to depart the shores.

In contrast, MDPS figures showed that nearly a quarter of a million (230,000 people) left the country the following month, as the state’s population hit an annual low after Eid al Fitr.

Previously, June had been a popular month for people to escape the heat to go on vacation or visit family and friends in cooler climes.

Figures for June 2012 show that 73,390 people exited the country that month. As the state’s overall population was much lower then, at 1.72 million, the number of those leaving accounted for a higher percentage.

Meanwhile, in June 2013, 47,000 people were recorded as leaving the country, out of a population of 1.91 million.

Ramadan in Qatar

Among the attractions for those opting to stay in Qatar during Ramadan are shorter working hours for many, which often results in more time to spend socializing with family and friends.

Katara Ramadan Festival 2015
Katara Ramadan Festival 2015

Those fasting often cite Qatar as an easier place to be during Ramadan than in Europe or North America, where summer daylight hours are much longer.

However, it means that residents will have to put up with busier roads, malls and amenities for at least a little while longer.

Meanwhile, those due to travel around Eid should prepare for queues and build in extra time for their journey at Hamad International Airport.

Last month, the Ministry of Interior issued a list of travel tips to make residents’ journeys go more smoothly during the summer rush.

What are your summer plans? Thoughts?

20 COMMENTS

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Meh
Meh
6 years ago

Or simply because inflation is eating up whatever residents used to save for travel.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

I don’t think it is a question of people wanting to be in Qatar for Ramadan or the summer, it is a question they can’t afford to leave due to the price of air tickets. People are just going to tough out a boring Ramadan and summer and save up for a trip later to see their families or just go on holiday.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Most of the expats in Qatar get a ticket paid by the employer whether private or government, so I really doubt it if it is related to the ticket price. I think for large Arab communities their countries are in a mess and people prefer to stay here than return back home to see the mess. This applies mostly to the Egyptian community but Syrians, Yemenis and Sudnaese are also concerned.

Meh
Meh
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

But that is only 1 ticket/year. And price of air tickets is only one aspect of the inflation that leaves expats with less money to travel.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Lots f employees give one ticket a year but only an allowance. Hard to justify spending it during the busy periods where Qatar Airways uses the lack of competition and captive population to rip off residents and locals.

Amber
Amber
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

“Tough out a boring Ramadan” umm a lot of people like top use their Ramadan for extra worship. Ramadan being boring isn’t an issue. Maybe for the non muslims yes but for muslims no. People’s priorities generally shift to worship so its not an issue of boring Ramadan.

And a lot of people do like staying for Ramadan in Qatar. Especially if they come from a non muslim country and unfortunately a lot of neighboring countries aren’t the most stable so their focus won’t be on fasting or worshipping but on the issues they face while in their country.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Amber

Each to their own, for most of us thigh Ramadan is boring. Only so many iftars you can go to, you just get sick of all the gluttony. Not much to do either and some of us like to go to bed at a normal time.

As I said each to their own. A lot of us don’t want to waste our time talking to a non existent entity. We don’t want to waste our lives and there is so much living to do. No point pritorising death over life.

Misha
Misha
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I get that some of you may be bored. However, if you choose to (or have to) stay here during Ramadan and in the middle of summer then you have two options.

1) complain about something that you can’t change.

2) turn a boring time into an opportunity to focus or be productive. Is there not a single indoor activity you wished to do but didnt have time to because you were “living your life”? Books you have been meaning to read? A hobby you want to try? A language to learn? A storage room you have been meaning to organize? Etc.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Misha

It’s boring yes but I deal with it, just which I have more options. A country should be for all residents not prioritising one above the other. If it was for one day or two when the shops weren’t open or the bars then it’s not much of an issue but we are given not option for a whole month.

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago
Reply to  Amber

Ramadan is a deeply spiritual time for Muslims and I respect that, but for non-Muslims it is not only painfully boring but also somewhat intimidating in the way that we are constantly reminded not to “insult” Muslims by any overt or inadvertent actions. There is little point in either Muslims or non-Muslims trying to justify their feelings on Ramadan to the other – it is a cultural divide that cannot be closed.

Amber
Amber
6 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

And I get that. I even said in my post it probably is boring for non muslims.

My issue with MIMH post was that he was implying that the majority of people in this country didn’t want to be here for Ramadan and that they are only here during they don’t have the money to travel. Which simply isn’t true.

After Ramadan you’ll see the number of people traveling go up.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Amber

I think for a lot of people Muslims and non Muslims the short world day is like having a holiday, so leave their holiday until “full hours” are back. It just happens Ramadan coincides with the summer this year as they have yet to adopt the solar calendar.

Tim
Tim
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

They just adopt the solar calendar to satisfy you. And then whats next after that???

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Tim

It’s the logical thing to do. The Koran was revealed to Mohd in the lunar month now called Ramadan. However because the lunar calendar is not exact with the earth’s rotation around the sun it moves each year. Therefore Muslims celebrate Ramadan most years at the wrong time as the time the Koran was revealed is a fixed point in the year.

Gaga
Gaga
6 years ago

Well, admit it. Doha has less interesting activities and places during summer than neighbors Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Centipede
Centipede
6 years ago

Cost cutting…??? Do they have that in life? There’s nothing more to do here in Doha compare to other neighboring countries. No nightlife like going to bar and get drunk and dance all night in public places…

Kz
Kz
6 years ago

Qatar indeed is a good place to spend Ramadan. The mosques are closeby, the working hours are and the atmosphere is nice.

Michael L
Michael L
6 years ago

Yet again DN interpretation of statistics is flawed. The story clearly states that 9% more people are here now than last year which tallies with the overall population growth. This is therefore a non story based on a fundamental misunderstanding of numbers.

Moody Talat
Moody Talat
6 years ago

I hate to burst your bubble…
But this article is far from accurate,

The latest data released by the Ministry shows the numbers of May 2014 (for calculating the YoY figure), April 2015 and May 2015….

Ramadan 1st, was June 18th

So the number of citizens and residents in Qatar by the end of May, should not indicate how many of them stayed for Ramadan (did not travel between May 31 and June 17)

Let’s wait for the Ministry’s next monthly stats newsletter and see what June’s numbers really were

dubious
dubious
6 years ago

3 hours free holiday per day for a month – who’d miss out on that?

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