live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Unhealthy|| 195 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Doha is currently 28 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Sunday, Jan 29|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 128 US AQI
|Monday, Jan 30|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 126 US AQI
|Tuesday, Jan 31|
Unhealthy 161 US AQI
Unhealthy 195 US AQI
|Thursday, Feb 2|
Moderate 74 US AQI
|Friday, Feb 3|
Moderate 60 US AQI
|Saturday, Feb 4|
Good 42 US AQI
|Sunday, Feb 5|
Good 42 US AQI
|Monday, Feb 6|
Moderate 80 US AQI
|Tuesday, Feb 7|
Moderate 91 US AQI
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Doha is the capital and most populous city of the State of Qatar. It had an estimated population of 956,460 in 2015 so it will probably be larger now. The city is located on the coast of the Persian Gulf in the east of the country.
At the beginning of 2021, Doha was experiencing air quality that was classified as being “Unhealthy for sensitive groups” with a US AQI reading of 132. This classification is based on recommended figures by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The concentration of the pollutant PM2.5 was 48.2 µg/m³. With pollution at this level, it is advisable for sensitive groups to wear a good quality mask when going outside. Windows and doors should be kept closed to avoid the ingress of dirty air into the rooms. Outdoor exercise should be avoided until the air quality improves. Running an air purifier is advantageous if one is available.
Air pollutants arise from natural processes such as fire, erosion due to wind, and human activities such as agricultural practices, vehicle exhaust and construction. Examples include dust, dirt and smoke.
Dust storms and emission from vehicles and from industry are the main causes of polluted air in Doha.
The energy sector is the most detrimental to environmental air quality as shown by its significant contribution to GHG (GreenHouse Gas) emissions. This includes liquefied natural gas, oil, refining, petrochemical companies and others.
The second contributor to air pollution in Qatar is the industrial process, which contributes up to 3 per cent of total GHG in the country. Industrial processes in Qatar cover four broad areas: mineral production, chemical industry, metal production and other production. GHG emissions are disclosed for each of these four areas and carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most significant of all gases. Approximately 81.7 per cent of the total carbon dioxide emissions come from chemical processes.
Qatar was named as one of the countries with the highest levels of air pollution in the Middle East in 2020. It was found to have over 76 µg/m³ (microns per cubic metre) of fine particulate matter PM2.5. This placed it in a higher position than Egypt which is notorious for having poor quality air.
The Qatar Environmental and Energy Research Institute operates a network of five air quality monitoring stations spread at strategic locations in Doha, where approximately 95 per cent of the population of the State of Qatar lives.
The purpose of these stations is to assess the air quality in these areas, to understand its impact on the health and productivity of the population, and to identify any improvements related to measures to reduce pollution.
These stations, in addition to the air quality prediction platform, developed by the Environment and Sustainability Centre, uniquely enhance the position of the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute and help it to achieve maximum impact, as part of the national efforts to tackle air pollution.
Qatar tried to purify and cool the air to host international tournaments, but these measures contributed to increasing the rate of air pollution, to catch up with third world countries in terms of pollution.
In the future, tighter measures are being introduced when it comes to the position of new industrial developments. It is stipulated that the site on which the project is established should be suitable for the activity of the facility, in terms of its agreement with the nature of the division of the area and in accordance with the land use plan, and that the percentage of air pollutants in the area on which the facility is built does not exceed the permissible limits. The total air pollution resulting from all establishments in one area must be within the permitted limits.
Emissions from stationary sources or the leakage of air pollutants resulting from the projects' practice of their activities may not exceed the maximum permissible limits indicated in the referred to annexe.
It is also not permissible to use machines, engines, vehicles, or any moving sources that result in exhaust polluting the environment that exceeds the maximum permissible limits according to the percentages indicated.
It is prohibited to throw, treat or burn garbage and solid and liquid wastes in places other than those designated for this, away from residential, industrial, agricultural and waterways.
Qatar occupies a very advanced position among the most polluted countries in the world, which raises fears of holding the 2022 World Cup in it, especially since all the technology that Qatar brought from abroad failed to purify its climate.
The World Cup fears continuing air pollution in Qatar raised the concern of experts who warned against holding the World Cup in such a climate that threatens the health of the players and arrivals for the tournament.
A number of researchers and climate workers expressed their concern about the increase in air pollution rates, stressing that it is an obstacle to holding the World Cup there. The huge projects that Qatar set up in a short time to prepare for the World Cup are behind the high rates of air pollution from the subways, hotels, stadia and entertainment facilities.
It has been pointed out that Qatar was not really qualified to host such an event due to the total lack of suitable infrastructure. There is also a risk of implementing all these projects in such a short space of time which in itself will threaten the quality of the air.
PM10 and PM2.5 include particles that are small enough to bypass the body’s self-defence system to penetrate the thoracic region of the respiratory system. They are due to exposure over both the short term (hours, days) and long term (months, years) and include respiratory and cardiovascular morbidity, such as the increase in asthma attacks, respiratory problems and an increase in hospital admissions and mortality from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and from lung cancer.