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  #1  
Old 15th April 2012, 03:22
chaiwala's Avatar
chaiwala chaiwala is offline
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The richest, fattest nation on Earth.

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/ar...states/248366/

Quote:


Qatar is a tiny country with a big problem.

This Connecticut-sized nation, sticking out like a loose tooth in the Persian Gulf, is one of the most obese nations in the world, with residents fatter, on average, than even those of the United States, which often takes the cake in such competitions.

According to recent studies, roughly half of adults and a third of children in Qatar are obese, and almost 17 percent of the native population suffers from diabetes. By comparison, about a third of Americans are obese, and eight percent are diabetic. Qatar also has very high rates of birth defects and genetic disorders -- problems that, along with the prevalence of obesity (PDF) and diabetes, have worsened in recent decades, according to local and international health experts.

So what's going wrong in little Qatar?

Qatar also has very high rates of birth defects and genetic disorders -- problems that have worsened in recent decades.
To misappropriate a well-worn phrase: It's the economy, stupid. In September, Qatar officially became the richest nation in the world, as measured by per capita gross domestic product. It also recently became the world's biggest exporter of natural gas, and earned the title of fastest growing economy in the world. By international development standards, all this growth has happened virtually overnight, making Qataris' lifestyles much more unhealthy, and at the same time leading many to hang on resolutely to what's left of their fleeting tribal traditions -- practices that include inter-marriage between close family members and cousins.

"They're concentrating the gene pool, and at the same time, they're facing rapid affluence," said Sharoud Al-Jundi Matthis, the program manager at the Qatar Diabetes Association, a government funded health center in Doha, the capital. As a result of these factors, Qataris are becoming obese, passing on genetic disorders at an alarming rate, and getting diabetes much more often than others around the world. They're also getting diabetes a decade younger than the average age of onset, which is pushing up rates of related illnesses and complications, like hypertension, blindness, partial paralysis, heart disease, and loss of productivity. "It's a very, very serious problem facing the future of Qatar," Matthis said.

Over the course of two generations, most native Qataris, who number only 250,000 in a nation of 1.7 million, and enjoy the benefits of a robust welfare state, went from living modest, tribal lifestyles in the Arabian desert, to living in air-conditioned villas with maids, nannies, gardeners, and cooks. Doha has mushroomed from a mere blip of beige buildings on a scorched spit of sand in the mid '90s, to a glistening glass metropolis populated by luxury hotels, fleets of shiny new Land Rovers, and fast food joints, where the young people huddle after school, sheltered from the famous Arabian heat, with temperatures hovering above 105 from late spring to late fall.

"Everybody in Qatar knows about diabetes, but the problem is, it's talking only. No one is taking care of it," said Adel Al-Sharshani, 39, who was diagnosed with diabetes several years ago. His father and several of his friends also have diabetes. "I ignored all the advice until it was too late, and that is what other people are doing too. It's dangerous." Because like many Qataris he got diabetes as a young man, Al-Sharshani knows he faces higher risk of complications, like blindness and paralysis. "I am afraid of losing my eyes, my foot. I am afraid of losing my life," he said.

Qatar is not alone in facing serious health problems. Its neighboring energy-rich states, including Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, which also have conservative social traditions and have developed rapidly over the last five decades, face similar challenges with inter-familial marriage. High rates of obesity, diabetes, and genetic illnesses abound in the region.

According to the March of Dimes, Saudi Arabia ranked second globally for the number of birth defects per 1,000 births, while Qatar ranked 16th. A 2007 McKinsey report on the future of government-funded healthcare in the Gulf noted that the demand for hospital beds in Qatar is expected to increase by 100 percent by 2025. The six Gulf Cooperation Council countries are expected to increase their expenditures on health care by nearly 60 percent in that same time period.

In recent years, the Qatari government has implemented dozens of public awareness campaigns intended to educate Qatari adults and school children about healthy eating, exercise, fitness, and sports. More delicate cultural issues -- like coaxing tribal leaders to abandon familial inter-marriage -- are being addressed by "higher-ups in society," Matthis said. "Community leaders, sheikhs, people like that, are talking about those issues more and more."

The government has also implemented free and voluntary pre-marriage blood tests, which don't test for genetic links, but do warn potential spouses of genetic risks in their offspring. Most Qataris have a genetic predisposition for Type II diabetes, which increases the probability that their children will get the disease.

"Our main focus is encouraging people to be active, getting them to lead healthy lifestyles -- that's our vision," said Maher Safi, the marketing director at the Qatar Olympic Committee, the governmental entity that oversees nationwide fitness and sports programs in Qatar. In the past few years, the committee has launched public programs administering free body-mass indexes and sugar level tests, disseminated material about healthy eating, and introduced initiatives to schools to help children learn about new sports, like handball, tennis, and bicycling.

In cooperation with government-run health centers, the government of Doha has begun building parks, sidewalks, and pedestrian crossings in the city and residential neighborhoods, where at the moment it's virtually impossible to walk even between buildings without braving the sweltering, traffic-packed streets. Earlier this year, the government installed outdoor exercise equipment and automated bicycle rental kiosks on Doha's central boardwalk, which have gotten mixed reviews locally.

"You're not going to see Qatari ladies riding bikes," said Honey Stinnett, who was exercising on Doha's central boardwalk one night late September. She was raised in Malaysia, and says Qataris, most of whom follow the Wahhabi branch of Sunni Islam, are not culturally disposed to exercising outside. Most Qatari women wear floor-length black abayas, and many veil their faces. "Do you think you could exercise in that?" Stinnett said. "It's the culture that Qatari ladies are kept inside, where they are getting fatter and fatter."

A few paces away, a crowd of teenagers and young twenty-something men took turns on the bright yellow and red exercise equipment installed by the government in January. None of them were native Qataris, but they guessed why I was there.

"Because Qataris are fat!" said Hassan Tiaz, 19, laughing. He is Pakistani, but was born and raised in Qatar. He gestured to his own round belly. "It's because in Qatar, we just sit, smoke, and eat junk food. There's not too much work. Everything you have is automatic, and most of us just sit in air-conditioned offices and cars. Everything is done for us."

Tiaz's friend, Abdullah Rashid, 20, who wore a long white thobe to work out, blamed the culture of wealth. "Qataris are spoiled rich kids. Anytime they want to go out, they just get inside their car and go to the place," he said. Most Qataris think of those who sweat outside, like gardeners or construction workers, as lower-class people who must be hired and brought in from the outside.

"Also," Tiaz said, grinning. "Qataris just love to eat."
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  #2  
Old 15th April 2012, 03:29
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I thought it was the USA.
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  #3  
Old 15th April 2012, 03:29
LethalSami LethalSami is offline
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they deserve it...

sitting there, doing nothing, using SC slave-like labour to do their work, getting their oil/gas money to their head and tummies...........whatcha expecting??

u know what? God should've distributed natural resources more evenly throughout the World
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  #4  
Old 15th April 2012, 03:32
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sada90 sada90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LethalSami
they deserve it...

sitting there, doing nothing, using SC slave-like labour to do their work, getting their oil/gas money to their head and tummies...........whatcha expecting??

u know what? God should've distributed natural resources more evenly throughout the World
exactly ...
i think Qatar deserve this ... how many times you hear in the news that they helped some other country when they have natural disasters..
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  #5  
Old 15th April 2012, 03:35
LethalSami LethalSami is offline
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what i mean is.......u take in more calories than u burn, ofcourse u gonna get fat

nothing to do with their generosity
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  #6  
Old 15th April 2012, 03:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MVP26
I thought it was the USA.
We're catching up
Sadly, fast food and other unhealthy nutrition is leading to all these consequences.
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  #7  
Old 15th April 2012, 03:40
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violet_may violet_may is offline
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I thought it was USA as well.

I am now disappoint.
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  #8  
Old 15th April 2012, 03:46
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violet_may violet_may is offline
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Quote:
"Because Qataris are fat!" said Hassan Tiaz, 19, laughing. He is Pakistani, but was born and raised in Qatar. He gestured to his own round belly. "It's because in Qatar, we just sit, smoke, and eat junk food. There's not too much work. Everything you have is automatic, and most of us just sit in air-conditioned offices and cars. Everything is done for us."
I wouldn't mind such a life. Rich and fat, everything is done for you - great.
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  #9  
Old 15th April 2012, 03:51
PakPrince PakPrince is offline
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it angers me when i see these lazy, creatively challenged arabs sit in their homes and doing nothing just because they have oil..
Thats why i admire jews and the west in general because their success is built on hard work and effort rather than just plain, dumb luck.
these resources will eventually run out and then they will suffer...the sheikhs of the UAE are the only ones who hav e tried to diversify their economy

Last edited by PakPrince; 15th April 2012 at 03:53.
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  #10  
Old 15th April 2012, 03:55
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interesting read.
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  #11  
Old 15th April 2012, 04:00
PakPrince PakPrince is offline
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I was in Doha for 2 days last year and believe me if I saw 200 people, hardly 20 of the would be Arabs. And even they were people like owners of the hotel or mall etc
The desis were doing the service work like taxi driving, porters etc
the filipinos were the cooks, the maids etc
and the gooraas were managers.
God knows where the arabs were?
prolly in airconditioned rooms
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  #12  
Old 15th April 2012, 04:16
ammo ammo is offline
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too much money..
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  #13  
Old 15th April 2012, 05:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PakPrince
it angers me when i see these lazy, creatively challenged arabs sit in their homes and doing nothing just because they have oil..
Thats why i admire jews and the west in general because their success is built on hard work and effort rather than just plain, dumb luck.
these resources will eventually run out and then they will suffer...the sheikhs of the UAE are the only ones who hav e tried to diversify their economy
I always use this quote from Syriana(watch it if you haven't already, it's a great movie) whenever this particular issue comes up:

"But what do you need a financial advisor for? Twenty years ago you had the highest Gross National Product in the world, now you're tied with Albania. Your second largest export is secondhand goods, closely followed by dates which you're losing five cents a pound on... You know what the business community thinks of you? They think that a hundred years ago you were living in tents out here in the desert chopping each other's heads off and that's where you'll be in another hundred years, so, yes, on behalf of my firm I accept your money."

The bit in bold is particularly apt for the situation in the middle east and just as sure as the sun is bright and the earth round is as sure that someday in the future, all of that is going to actually happen.
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  #14  
Old 15th April 2012, 05:25
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These damn Qatris took our record after beating us for 2022 World Cup hosting as well.
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  #15  
Old 15th April 2012, 06:02
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In US it's actually the poor people who are obese.
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  #16  
Old 15th April 2012, 10:19
saeedhk saeedhk is offline
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Nice read.
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  #17  
Old 15th April 2012, 12:38
khalil1986 khalil1986 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saadibaba
In US it's actually the poor people who are obese.
Not really poor IMO if you can eat your way through a horse.
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  #18  
Old 15th April 2012, 13:30
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I live in Qatar..

anddd.. I agree, everything said is true
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  #19  
Old 15th April 2012, 14:34
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Qatar, along with the U.A.E also is amongst the highest contributor towards the global carbon footprint per capita according to the WWF 2008 Living Planet Report.
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  #20  
Old 15th April 2012, 14:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khalil1986
Not really poor IMO if you can eat your way through a horse.
The lower and underclass of American society can't eat healthy because it's cheaper to buy big Mac meal for US$4 than drive down to the green grocer and purchase healthy food and cook at home.
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  #21  
Old 15th April 2012, 15:13
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The thing with Doha is..

the weather is really crap, always warm.. everyone owns a vehicle, petrol is cheap as hell.. and electricity is cheap too.. most of the time, AC's are on 24 hours a day everywhere lol.. it is a life of comfort.. people don't walk here at alll.. even if the grocery store is 500 meters away, one would get in his car and go to it
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  #22  
Old 16th April 2012, 04:18
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They are rich , real rich.
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  #23  
Old 16th April 2012, 05:12
smoothcriminal smoothcriminal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanzeel
I always use this quote from Syriana(watch it if you haven't already, it's a great movie) whenever this particular issue comes up:

"But what do you need a financial advisor for? Twenty years ago you had the highest Gross National Product in the world, now you're tied with Albania. Your second largest export is secondhand goods, closely followed by dates which you're losing five cents a pound on... You know what the business community thinks of you? They think that a hundred years ago you were living in tents out here in the desert chopping each other's heads off and that's where you'll be in another hundred years, so, yes, on behalf of my firm I accept your money."

The bit in bold is particularly apt for the situation in the middle east and just as sure as the sun is bright and the earth round is as sure that someday in the future, all of that is going to actually happen.
One of the most extra-ordinary movies I have ever seen. While I may not agree with it's political commentary, it was done extremely effectively while keeping a tense atmosphere. The story of the Pakistani child and the two royal brothers(with the elder one's fate) were both extraordinary. I have never seen a depiction done more accurately(let alone be tried by another film-maker). Why the movie never gets mentioned I will never figure out. It is probably because it was marketed as a spy thriller and was a dialogue movie moving faster than an action paced thriller.
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  #24  
Old 16th April 2012, 05:38
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kingusama92 kingusama92 is online now
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Never want to make generalizations, but some of them are atrociously spoiled.
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  #25  
Old 16th April 2012, 12:22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khalil1986
Not really poor IMO if you can eat your way through a horse.
Actually the obesity is because these poor people eat mostly unhealthy preserved food out of cans which have lots of additives and fast food unlike richer people who have a balanced diet
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Old 16th April 2012, 12:30
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So what happens when these oil rich arab countries run out of oil? I read somewhere 2/3 of Saudi Arabian workers are imported from different countries.
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  #27  
Old 16th April 2012, 14:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QazzarFan
So what happens when these oil rich arab countries run out of oil? I read somewhere 2/3 of Saudi Arabian workers are imported from different countries.
They go back to living in tents, chopping each other's heads and limbs off, with the possible exception of Oman which is a better educated and more culturally refined country than the rest of them.
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  #28  
Old 16th April 2012, 14:17
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mithun_minhas mithun_minhas is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanzeel
They go back to living in tents, chopping each other's heads and limbs off, with the possible exception of Oman which is a better educated and more culturally refined country than the rest of them.
Pakistan will rescue them :zaid Hameed

Or the Arabs have to go on another conquest of Iran, Pak, India which have much better environment conditions, rule them and live happily ever after

Last edited by mithun_minhas; 16th April 2012 at 14:27.
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  #29  
Old 16th April 2012, 14:26
Markhor Markhor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingusama92
Never want to make generalizations, but some of them are atrociously spoiled.
Yeah, these fat sheikhs should get off their backsides and do the work the South Asian workers they exploit do for once day - that'll lose them a few stones.
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  #30  
Old 16th April 2012, 14:29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mithun_minhas
Pakistan will rescue them :zaid Hameed
Lets put it this way, if Israel ends up nuking Saudi and UAE, they would take the number 2 spot, right behind Jinnah, on the list of people/countries that Pakistan is most indebted to. These two countries, Saudi and UAE(and to a lesser extent Kuwait and Qatar) are cancers to Pakistan. Their $100 million a year donations along with smaller amounts(in the tens of millions) from Iran and India fund the majority of terrorist activity on Pakistani soil.
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  #31  
Old 16th April 2012, 14:46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanzeel
They go back to living in tents, chopping each other's heads and limbs off, with the possible exception of Oman which is a better educated and more culturally refined country than the rest of them.
Infrastructure will not dissapear with oil, but they will have to come out of the houses and work like rest of the world.
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  #32  
Old 16th April 2012, 14:52
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mithun_minhas mithun_minhas is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shan
Infrastructure will not dissapear with oil, but they will have to come out of the houses and work like rest of the world.
Do Arabs have anything to export outside of oil?

Nothing grows there in that desert. What can they offer the rest of the world outside of their oil?
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  #33  
Old 16th April 2012, 15:08
Sir_Afridi Sir_Afridi is offline
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Originally Posted by QazzarFan
So what happens when these oil rich arab countries run out of oil? I read somewhere 2/3 of Saudi Arabian workers are imported from different countries.
Haters are saying this for centuries....ALLAH will never let oil run out for Arabs...
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  #34  
Old 16th April 2012, 15:11
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mithun_minhas mithun_minhas is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir_Afridi
Haters are saying this for centuries....ALLAH will never let oil run out for Arabs...
Would have been great if Allah had bestowed Oil to a little east of Iran too. Pakistan would have been super rich too
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  #35  
Old 16th April 2012, 15:13
shan shan is offline
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Originally Posted by Sir_Afridi
Haters are saying this for centuries....ALLAH will never let oil run out for Arabs...
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  #36  
Old 16th April 2012, 15:18
shan shan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mithun_minhas
Do Arabs have anything to export outside of oil?

Nothing grows there in that desert. What can they offer the rest of the world outside of their oil?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irrigation_in_Saudi_Arabia

Land under cultivation has grown from under 400,000 acres (1,600 km2) in 1976 to more than 8 million acres (32,000 km²) in 1993. As of 2005 37,835 km².

With huge amount of money now they can make life of future generation easier. But ofcourse future generations will have to work to support first world life style.
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  #37  
Old 16th April 2012, 15:24
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sabz86 sabz86 is offline
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very very interesting reads...

i admit im not the most educated regarding matters in the UAE, but i do hold alot of respect for what the rulers of states like Dubai and Abu Dhabi have done for their people and their nation. Yes, dubai is going through a tough time and has done, however simply what the country was to what it has turned in to now, that is very commendable to me.

they do have a very cushy lifestyle tho the arabs.

We do always talk about them being lazy and arrogant and not very nice, but one thing impressed me when i was in dubai. Driving along the streets on our way to viewing the palace we were past by car by the king of dubai. No entourage, no security, no driver, just him, driving his car alone.

This to me. have me respect for him in that single action
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  #38  
Old 16th April 2012, 17:15
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Lol at using averages, I would hasten to guess there would be 100m+ more obese people (at least) in the US than in Qatar. Tiny nation, not sure why comparison is fair.
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  #39  
Old 16th April 2012, 17:25
Cryin Out Loud Cryin Out Loud is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir_Afridi
Haters are saying this for centuries....ALLAH will never let oil run out for Arabs...
Interesting that haters have been saying this for centuries, when the commercial exploitation of oil and the subsequent affluence of the Arabs really started only in the 20th.
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  #40  
Old 16th April 2012, 17:38
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chaiwala chaiwala is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poison
Lol at using averages, I would hasten to guess there would be 100m+ more obese people (at least) in the US than in Qatar. Tiny nation, not sure why comparison is fair.
If we're going by sheer numbers, then China has the most number of obese people in the world. But, of course, that is simply the result of its population size. I think average is a fairly decent measure, as it neutralizes the difference in population sizes.
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  #41  
Old 16th April 2012, 18:06
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saadibaba saadibaba is offline
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Obesity has nothing to do with wealth. In US, obesity is mainly found in the lower middle class or poor people and minorities, like African American and Hispanics. Its lifestyle and type of food that you eat. You can eat McDonald's one dollar menu meals every day and still get obese. Since anyone can own a house or a car on credit the only true measure of wealth in US has become how healthy or organic a person eats. The healthier it is the more expensive it is. In case of Qatar, obesity has less to do with their wealth than their lifestyle and overall general approach to health. Its a cave man's mentality, eat as much as you can because tomorrow you might not get anything. Depression also has a big role to play in obesity.
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  #42  
Old 16th April 2012, 18:49
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Debut: Jun 2009
Venue: London
Runs: 20,463
Quote:
Originally Posted by PakPrince
I was in Doha for 2 days last year and believe me if I saw 200 people, hardly 20 of the would be Arabs. And even they were people like owners of the hotel or mall etc
The desis were doing the service work like taxi driving, porters etc
the filipinos were the cooks, the maids etc
and the gooraas were managers.
God knows where the arabs were?
prolly in airconditioned rooms
In the US , spending their money , of course
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  #43  
Old 16th April 2012, 22:06
QazzarFan's Avatar
QazzarFan QazzarFan is offline
Local Club Star
 
Debut: Oct 2010
Venue: Texas
Runs: 1,686
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir_Afridi
Haters are saying this for centuries....ALLAH will never let oil run out for Arabs...
YES!!!
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