EXPLAINER: The AP guides to Qatar ahead of FIFA World Cup

Sports

Qatar will be the home of the FIFA World Cup beginning Nov. 20, marking the first time the Mideast has hosted the world-watched tournament.

This year’s World Cup also marks the first time it will be played in November and December, in part due to the sweltering summer heat of this small, energy-rich desert sheikhdom on the Arabian Peninsula.

All these changes — as well as the cultural sensitivities of the competition being held in one of the Arab world’s more conservative nations — have soccer fans curious about what to expect.

The Associated Press, relying on both local correspondents in the Persian Gulf and its international sportswriters covering the tournament, have put together a series of explainers to help answer some of those questions.

They include:

1. Explaining the history and politics of Qatar;

2. How to travel to Qatar and what to expect on arrival;

3. Examining the traditional and international sports of Qatar;

4. Looking at the role of women in Qatar;

5. Surveying Qatar’s role on the international diplomatic stage;

6. Understanding Muslim prayer and traditional dress in Qatar;

7. Exploring Qatar’s natural gas-fueled economy;

8. Qatar’s laws on alcohol and drugs; dress code and sexuality;

9. How Qatarrelies on desalination for its water in the desert nation; and

10. Qatar’s claims about how the World Cup will be the first to be “carbon-neutral.”

Do you have questions still unanswered about Qatar and the World Cup? Reach out directly to the AP via social media on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter to query our staff.