Is this the year of YouTube content creation in Qatar ?

I’ve been talking about the importance of content creation that’s hyper local. Around a month and a half ago, I spoke at Northwestern’s special event about Big Data and the Qatar Media Industry panel before that.
It was a topic that pulled in quite a great crowd. It was surprising to me though how there’s so little data out there. More interestingly though, that there were so few people contributing to the creation of content that actually rakes in results. I thought I’d share a few stats from a slide I presented.

68% – % of users who watch YouTube on mobile (compared to 18% last year)

10m – The number of impressions needed to comfortably monetize (if you don’t have a niche target audience)

6th – ILQ is the 6th most watched channel and 2nd most viewed brand on YouTube

1.6m – The number of views on ILQ’s channel

50,000 views = $30 Yep, Google gives you around 30 USD per 50k views. Not much of a business case if we’re to encourage more local content creation. For a country like Qatar, you’re not going to be making very much since if you’re targeting the local market, you’re not going to make more than perhaps 150,00 views per video. 300 Riyals is probably enough to cover a meal or two for the team.
YouTube should be helping, but they’re not. Actually YouTube sent over a representative to Qatar during an event at QNCC where they spoke about how they would love to see more people create videos in the Middle East, and of course, in Qatar. However it’s all talk in my opinion. They haven’t really done much to incentivise anyone.

1- When people create content, more often than not, they hope to cash out. People want to make money or get famous so that they can eventually make money. It’s not a bad thing, people need to make a living and making money means that people can invest in creating higher quality content

2- As mentioned the revenue generated per impression on YouTube (there’s different ad revenue models by the way) is something like Read the rest of this entry »

We’ve launched a new show! #QTips

I’m excited to share this new YouTube show that we’ve been working on called QTips (we’re actually launching three new shows and this is the first). It dawned on me and Hamad one day (during a recording we were doing on ILQ Radio) that there’s a lot of people that simply don’t know what’s considered ‘right’ or polite in our culture. When I travel to a foreign country, I actively ensure that I am as respectful as possible of that country’s rules and way of life.
I remember that during a trip to Japan I had visited this World Heritage marked temple. I entered by standing on the doorways step and suddenly heard screams, “No No! That’s rude!”, so I quickly jumped in (I didn’t want to extend the length of my disrespect) and heard “Noooo! You shouldn’t enter with your left foot!”, so I jumped out thinking that I could give this another go and heard gasps and one woman told me that “it’s rude and bad luck to exit from the entrance”. There was no winning here. I might as well have slapped a monk in the face while I was at it.

Anyway! I thought it would be great to answer questions that the expat community asked and the response was amazing! A few questions were:

  • What do you wear under your thobe?
  • Is it alright for men and women to shake hands?
  • Can you explain arabic coffee etiquette?
  • What’s the story behind nose kissing?
  • Why do you wear different color thobes?
  • Some men carry beads in their hands, why do they do that?
  • Why do men dress in white and women dress in black?

Of course the questions go on and on and it further supported the fact that although we think that some things go without saying, people simply don’t know.

So here’s the first episode of #QTips, we’re starting off with something nice and light.

What do you think? Like it? Have your own question? Please do share and comment, because that’s what keeps me going 🙂

Check out our YouTube channel at or our VIDEO section at

Dear Laborers, Security Guards, Stay at home moms, People in the Office; everyone. Thank you.

Over at ILQ HQ, we’re always trying to think of fun and new ways of getting our message accross to people. Yeah we can do the usual Tweet or Facebook post, but I think that people appreciate the extra effort put into creating guides, microsites, and videos.

For National Day 2013, His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani shared something with everyone. It was going to be about #onelove and making an effort to show appreciation to the expat community here in the country. After all, we’re all coming together to build the future of this nation and help achieve Qatar’s 2030 vision.

With the video, of course we couldn’t cover all segments, but we wanted to highlight the contruction worker, the security guards, the western workers and the Qataris all coming together. Together, we’re building Qatar.

I should mention that the people in the video are considered twitter and online friends, I myself have friends from all national and occupational background. The message in this video, is that we need to support each other. We need to appreciate each other.

Oh and one more thing… Thank you.

First look – Al Wakrah Stadium – Video, Pics, and Goals

Alright everyone, a lot of people have been talking about the World Cup 2022 happening in Qatar and one of the most exciting things is the development happening around the country. One of the stadiums that a lot of people have been interested in is Al Wakrah Stadium. Especially since it was one of the final stadiums to be unveiled. Mystery is exciting right?

So I now present to you Al Wakrah Stadium! A 40,000 seater and cooled stadium located 15km south of Doha in Wakrah. (Interesting fact, that’s were fishermen and pearl divers based themselves).

Al Wakrah Stadium 2022

Al Wakrah Stadium 2022


Also, the Qatar 2022 team shared some stuff with me. They wanted to let everyone know what their goals are (heh heh pun intended). Remember these goals everyone. They’ll have to stick by them!

1– Drive and deliver an outstanding Fifa World Cup Programme. (Yes! I want people to admire Qatar!)
2– Build high quality talent and establish a centre of excellence (Nice, who’s going to be the Qatari Pele?)
3– Deliver an exceptional national and international experience (Not entirely sure what they mean here)
4– Support economic diversification and business environment development (That’s a pretty big mouthful, but it’s related to getting the private sector involved).
5– Promote football and healthy lifestyles (nice, my recommendation is to have more places for people to play football. Like literally, I should be able to call up my friends and say, let’s go play, and then find a field to play in. Right now, I couldn’t even play at Aspire park if I wanted to.)
6– Improve environmental sustainability (They’re committed to LEED, GSAS, and reducing the Qatar carbon footprint. I’d like to know a bit more on the how. The fact that it’s a priority is fantastic though.)

The stadium is also going to be harnessing solar energy to help power as much as possible.

Some other fun facts in numbers.

24-28 is the range of temperature that the stadiums will be at
50 is the maximum number of km between stadiums.
1981 is when Qatar reached the final of the Fifa World Youth Championships for the first time (defeating Brazil and England).
170,000 the number of seats that Qatar will donate to countries in need of sporting infrastructure following the world cup.
50 million the expected per annum capacity of the new Hamad International Airport by 2022

Anyway, I’m excited for what’s to come. I can’t wait for even more projects to be completed. On the way to making the world proud? Hope so!

Mr. Q visits Korea (Three Episodes) – A Qatari guy visits Korea

Some people have been following my Vlogs for a while now. I’ve had quite a few going on, from talking about waste dump in the Pearl, to episodes in Japan. I’ve now put together the first two episodes of a three parter called Mr. Q visits Korea. It’s interesting for most people not only because you get to see what’s happening from a Qatari’s point of view, but a lot of people might be interested in Korea in general too. By the way, I recommend visiting the country, I had a fantastic time and can’t wait to visit again!

Is there another country you want me to visit? If so, drop me a comment in the comments section below. Also, please don’t forget to subscribe, thumbs up and share the videos, it helps keep me going and shows me that you appreciate what I’m putting together.


Episode 1 (Gangnam Style and the Loneliest pigeon in the world.

Episode 2 (Tiny little baby Octopus and Poo bread)

Episode 3 coming soon.

You can also see more videos by visiting the iLoveQatar channel. Thank you again for helping the channel pass 1.2 MILLION views!

Shukran H.H. Sheikh Hamad – How can YOU be a part of this?

So I was sitting around with Hamad Al Amari and Ramy Khalaf, discussing all the types of videos we wanted to do and it dawned on us. We should put together a video thanking H.H. Sheikh Hamad for everything he has helped Qatar achieved. He’s paved the way and it’s on us to keep going.

So we put out a tweet and asked anybody who wanted to be in it to get the ball rolling. We got some great people who were eager to be a part of it. (I apologize to those who we weren’t able to film, it’s tricky trying to meet up with people around Qatar and not delay the video too much).

Then we thought, wait a minute, we’re sure that A LOT of people would love to probably say thanks their own way, so we put together an online social activity (let’s see how it goes!), we’re asking people to post a VIDEO RESPONSE to this video saying thanks for whatever reason they feel thankful for. Interested? I really do hope so. It’ll only take a bit of time out of your day.

All you need to do, is grab a camera, film your response, click on the comments section on YouTube and then click the link that says Post Video Response and then share your video with us. We’ll then take all of the responses and edit it into one video 🙂 Sound fun? Let’s do this!

Speak Out Against Racism #SOAR

The positive people will see the hashtag #SOAR as in, if we stop Racism, we can soar. The negative people might see it that Racism makes us sore. Whichever side you sit on, I’m guessing that the common ground here is that racism is wrong.

Qatar is a unique country. Us locals? We’re just 8% of the population. We rely on an expat work force, and the expats rely on Qatar to help save up for a better future. It’s a win win situation right? You’d think so, but I clearly feel like there’s a rift between different groups. I’m not talking about Locals VS Expats, it’s bigger than that. I see expats hating on expats. Qataris hating on Qataris. Some locals feel discriminated against in their own country. Some expats judge all Qataris based on the actions of few (like those who jump cues). Trust me. It’s not necessarily a nationality thing. It’s a rude person thing; and guess what? That rude person is rude to everyone, even to his own nationals.

Before I get started, let me just put this out there. We’re all a little bit racist. That person who just cut you off in traffic? You peeked in his/her window, saw that he/she might  be *insert nationality*, and THEN, shouted (in the comfort of your own car), “Damn *insert nationality*”.

Our goal isn’t to try and eradicate racism, let’s face it, while we’d love to, that’s a battle the world has been fighting for a while. What we aim to do though, is get more people to speak out in situations where racism is obvious. We’re saying that it isn’t alright to stereotype. We’re saying don’t do to others what you would like done to yourself. We’re saying, let’s all just get along and celebrate the amazing melting pot that Qatar is.

We’re going to be launching a number of different episodes and I hope that we’ll see other people put together their own videos, flyers, activities, anything really.

Our first video is called Clones by Ramy Khalaf.

It stars local celebrity Hamad Al Amari. We cloned him. In this world, all Hamad sees are other Hamads.

Hamad’s getting a bit frustrated with life because, wherever he looks, everything appears to be exactly the same.

It’s Ironic, since he’s a stand up comedian and in this world, he’s depressed.

A world without diversity isn’t worth living. Love being different.


Although we’ve only just launched, we’re almost at 2,000 views, so this is clearly something that a lot of people feel.
So far, I’ve received some great replies and posts too.

Crowne Plaza posted on Facebook:

“The Crowne Plaza Doha – The Business Park team has over 30 nationalities and we love celebrating our differences!

We embrace the diversity found in this vibrant multicultural city ‎#Doha. #SOAR”

W Hotel Tweeted:
“With over 63 nationalities working at W Doha, we support @iloveqatar #SOAR campaign! #SpeakOutAgainstRacism”

Doha News helped to spread the word with their post: “Video campaign launched to urge Qatar’s residents to speak out against racism

Support the cause! Spread the word #SOAR

[Video] The Emir is one of the people

A great video created by Mohd Saad. The Emir decided to remove his ‘bisht’ and greet the crowd spontaneously during National Day 2012. This is why we love him. He is one of the people.

iLoveQatar’s YouTube Channel and the Communities Videos

Updated! Have you checked it out yet? No? Then check it out habayeb (that’s multiple of habeebee).

Since launching it, it’s reached almost 650,000 views, but the really cool thing is that we’re getting some awesome community submissions! I really do want to see more vloggers, animators, comedy, anything really, on YouTube. Here are a few of the latest submissions:

Follow Maryam Al Naemi on Twitter:
Follow FilmForChange on Twitter:

Follow Alex on Twitter:
Have a great Qatari related video you want to share with everyone? Let us know! Just send an email to contact -at- 🙂

German Rapper (Massiv) films latest music video in Qatar

This is pretty cool. Popular German Rap Star Massiv decided to film his latest music video in Qatar. It’s only been a few days but his video has passed 110,000 views as of 21st of September. It was also filmed by Alex Klim, a local filmographer who’s making a name for himself in the country. (Visit him at

Recently Kanye West was in town shooting two videos in the desert and Qatar Foundation and the movie Black Gold staring Antonio Banderas was also shot here.

I wonder how many other music videos will be directed here.

Now who can translate this song for us? (: Hopefully it’s not the usual topic of guns, drugs and hoes.

Screenshots and the video after the break…



Freedom of Expression

    Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which the Qatari Government is a signatory of states: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any medias and regardless of any frontiers.

    The Emiri Decision Number 86 of the year 2007 on the establishment of the Doha Free Information Centre marked yet another step towards establishing a State of rights and freedom of speech. The decision stipulated that the Centre be a non-profit organization, headquartered in Doha City, and have the authority to establish other affiliated centres inside and outside Qatar. It is worth mentioning that His Highness the Emir issued a decision in 1998 annulling the ministry of information, giving birth to a new era of freedom of speech where censorship was removed from local media.