With Qatar’s web presence still very much in its nascent stages, we decided to list the most popular sites in Doha as of November 2017. Arab Insider used the respected Alexa ranking but we did however remove from the list large, global sites (Facebook, Google, MSN, etc), as well as any that we suspected to be spam or piracy sites, to give a more useful perspective on Qatar’s favorite sites.
The results are in line with Qatar’s demographics, with a population of 2,338,085 as of 2017, 25% of whom are Indian nationals.
Now without further ado, the top ten most popular websites in Doha:
10 – India Times
The India Times is the largest selling English language daily in the world (according to India’s own Audit Bureau of Circulation so take that with a healthy dose of skepticism) and ranks number 10 on our list of the most popular sites in Qatar. This comes as an absolute shock to absolutely no one considering that there are at least 650,000 Indian nationals in Qatar, so it makes sense for the online edition of the third-largest Indian paper to make our top ten list. Amazingly, it is also the oldest paper in India still in circulation, having had first been published in 1838 – making it 179 years old.
9 – Ooredoo Qatar
Coming in at number 9 is Qatar’s one and only telecoms provider Ooredoo – the name supposedly means “I want” in Arabic.
Yes, we are aware that Vodafone Qatar exists, we just think it is so ineffectual that it probably shouldn’t exist and that Ooredoo is effectively a monopoly – but more on that in another article soon.
8 – Hukoomi Portal
Qatar’s incredibly handy e-government portal Hukoomi places 8th on the most popular website in Doha, and not without good reason. While overwhelming at first glance, Hukoomi is a massive repository of information for everything related to life in Qatar, from info on Animal Services to applying to universities. If there’s something you need to know about living in Doha, chances are it will be on Hukoomi, although good luck finding it in this mess of poorly-presented information.
7 – Gulf Times
Finally a local “news-source” appears. We’ve made our disdain for Qatari local media pretty clear on Arab Insider, and have specifically called out the Gulf Times for being little more than an extension of the government’s PR office, churning out press releases and statements from companies and governmental entities as is, with little to no thought. It comes as a shock to us all that the Gulf Times even made this list at all.
6 – Mathrubhumi
Once again emphasizing the size and influence of the large Indian expat community in Doha is newspaper Mathrubhumi, which is based in Kerala, India and published in the Malayalam language and comes in at number 6 on our list of Doha’s most popular websites.
5 – Qatar University
Starting off the top 5 is Qatar University’s website. This makes perfect sense considering that it is essentially Qatar’s only public university, and consists of around 14,000 students.
4 – Manorama Online
Another massively popular Kerala-based newspaper makes an appearance on our list, Manorama Online, the print version of the paper is the fifth most circulating newspaper in the world.
3 – Qatar Airways
At number 3 we have Qatar Airways, Qatar’s national airline carrier. The airlines is currently struggling, and is expected to report an annual loss this year thanks to the air, land and sea blockade of Qatar by its neighbors.
2 – Ministry of Interior
The second most popular website in Qatar is none other than the Ministry of Interior – which provides residents and nationals alike many services through its functional, yet 1998-esque web portal.
1 – Qatar Living
Qatar Living takes the number one spot this year – a welcomed break from the Kerala-based news sources and governmental sites that dominated this list. Qatar Living once boasted a thriving forum and online community, but it has now become little more than a classifieds websites, with an odd blog/news section, and the flat-lining forums an afterthought.
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