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Atlas Obscura Pearl Monument

While oil has made Qatar rich—it boasts the highest per capita income in the world—the tiny Gulf nation hasn’t forgotten its seafaring roots.

Prior to the discovery of oil in 1939, pearling was one of Qatar’s primary revenue streams. Not only is it a gamble—approximately one in 10,000 oysters contains a pearl—it was extremely dangerous due to the toll diving took on the body, coupled with the constant threat of lingering barracudas, sea snakes, and sharks nearby.

Keep track of the places you have been, log in.
Atlas Obscura 2019
0.39km
Souq Waqif

Discover Souq Waqif in Doha, Qatar: Qatar's oldest market can trace its origins back more than a century.

Atlas Obscura 2019
50.17km
Al Thakira Mangroves Forest

Discover Al Thakira Mangroves Forest in Qatar: A mesmerizing wonderland of salt-encrusted tree branches and pencil roots.

Atlas Obscura 2019
8.74km
Hamad International Airport’s Giant Bear Sculpture

"Untitled (Lamp/Bear)" stands amid its daily hustle and bustle.

Atlas Obscura 2018
28.15km
Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum

Discover Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum in Doha, Qatar: This mix of Islamic art, vintage vehicles, weaponry, architecture, and history is an ode to eclecticism. .

Atlas Obscura 2018
34.87km
Musfur Sinkhole

Discover Musfur Sinkhole in Qatar: Climb down into the largest sinkhole in Qatar.

Atlas Obscura 2018
0.67km
Qatar’s Slavery Museum

Bin Jelmood House does not shy away from this dark chapter in the country's history.

Atlas Obscura 2018
16.81km
Al Wakrah Dhow Harbor

Discover Al Wakrah Dhow Harbor in Wakrah, Qatar: A superb spot to appreciate the traditional boats of the Indian Ocean.

Atlas Obscura 2019
1.62km
National Museum of Qatar

Discover National Museum of Qatar in Doha, Qatar: The building is a gigantic piece of art inspired by the shape of a desert rose.

Atlas Obscura 2021
0.24km
Souq Wakif Blue Road

Discover Souq Wakif Blue Road in Doha, Qatar: This vibrant side road in Doha was painted light blue to reduce heat.

Atlas Obscura 2018
9.75km
Qatar National Library

Discover Qatar National Library in Doha, Qatar: The enormous diamond-shaped building packs a trove of academic and literary treasures into one futuristic space.

Place
0.71km
Doha
Atlas Obscura 2018
20.6km
Al Wukair Scrapyard

Discover Al Wukair Scrapyard in Qatar: Some 20,000 dust-covered unwanted vehicles languish in the desert.

Atlas Obscura 2018
18.58km
Barzan Towers

Discover Barzan Towers in Umm Salal Muhammed, Qatar: These beautiful historic watchtowers were used for both scanning the desert for enemy invaders and observing the celestial world.

Atlas Obscura 2017
35.26km
The Camel Racing Robot Jockeys of Qatar

Mechanical riders guide their humped mounts to victory as part of a 21st-century twist on an ancient desert sport.

Atlas Obscura 2019
9.62km
‘The Miraculous Journey’

Discover 'The Miraculous Journey' in Doha, Qatar: Fourteen sculptures showing the development of a fetus stand outside a hospital for women and children.