Qatar – Pearls in the Sand (4K)

1 x 45 min / 1 x 50 min
Available worldwide except for Germany, France and the Middle East

Qatar, which hosts the 2022 FIFA World Cup, is a country of fascinating contrasts and rapid change. Thousands of square kilometres of untamed wilderness stretch out behind vast oil and gas refineries and Doha’s distinctive skyline. It is a dry world of sand and stone. Specialists including spiny-tailed lizards, desert monitors and dozens of bird species bring life to the sun-baked land. Pharaoh eagle-owls and horned vipers hunt nimble lesser jerboas, while long-legged desert hedgehogs, sand foxes and exceedingly rare sand cats prowl the night-time deserts. The Arabian oryx has returned after almost being eradicated by the end of the 20th century. Migratory birds gather in the mangroves on the north-eastern coast, while dugongs and hawksbill sea turtles patrol fields of seagrass underwater. Whale sharks congregate near the artificial vertical reefs that have sprung up around oil rigs. Humans have roamed this land for thousands of years, joining forces with camels, falcons, Arabian horses and Saluki dogs to survive. Then pearls and gas brought great wealth and gave rise to skyscrapers, irrigation systems and traffic networks that are rapidly changing habitats and animal behaviour. Newly-established artificial islands of “nature” may prove only temporary – the parched peninsula on one of the world’s warmest seas is battling climate change, and international scientists come here to study how eco-systems adapt in real time. Qatar has become a laboratory for the Earth’s future – and an increasingly challenging home for its many inhabitants…

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