There are several areas in the World quite interesting to look at nowadays. One of these places is Middle East. I found this video at TED which talks about Qatar. It is one of the Emirates in the Gulf area, which are using the money from the oil they are floating into designing attractive mini countries. These countries are becoming some of the centers of the World economy nowadays.
I have only been to the area once (apart from several connecting stops in Emirates’ Dubai airport), and it was in Winter… From what I know, summer is crazy, with temperature around 40-50 degrees as a constant. To give you an example, I was amazed when one of my colleagues there, refuelled the car without stopping the motor. At least in Europe, this is considered dangerous, as it can provoke an explosion… In Middle East, this is common practice, as refuelling without air conditioning can be even dangerous during summer. Back to the video, it does not have many components to learn from in a public speaking sense, but it does provide some good interesting data to look at:
- Qatar economy has grown 15% for the past 5 years.
- It only rains 74 mm/year (Brazil, 1782 mm/year)
- The “pre-oil” Qatar (1930s) had a population of 11,000 people, all of them living either in fishing villages or roaming around the country looking for the scarcest resource in the area: water.
- The current Qatar has 1.7 million people, and have increased water consumption to 430 litres. They produce all their water thanks to Desalination, although their water reserves amount only 2 days. 90% of food is imported, as only a 1% of the land is cultivated.
- In order to make this sustainable, they are planning to install 1800 MW of solar power, in order to be able to feed the high power demands that desalination has.
I found these data very interesting, full of contradictions, changes and good looking plans… and also opportunities for my industry.