Ahead of World Cup, influencer ‘Mr Q’ lifts veil on Qatar

Ahead of World Cup, influencer ‘Mr Q’ lifts veil on Qatar

Khalifa Al Haroon delivers a smile, a sigh, and a shrug as he attempts to shed light on the mystery surrounding Qatar and its hosting of the World Cup.

The 38-year-old, better known online as Mr. Q, has gained a large following on social media for partially pulling the curtain on the tiny but obscenely wealthy Gulf state that calls itself a “conservative” Islamic nation.

The first World Cup to be held in an Arab country has raised issues such as how Qatar treats its migrant labour force, the status of women, and even the usage of air conditioning in stadiums.

The jovial #QTip films from Haroon cover a wide range of topics, including how to say “Hello” in Arabic and how men should properly don the flowing ghutra headdress. A labour rights edition is also available.

With less than 60 days until the tournament’s start on November 20, he currently has more than 100,000 Instagram followers and more than 115,000 YouTube subscribers. And they continue to rise.

Numerous online influencers in Qatar discuss everything from the newest sports automobile being imported into what is now one of the richest countries in the world to “modest” but pricey apparel.

By educating Qatar’s expanding expat community and the throngs of soccer fans anticipated for the World Cup, Haroon has carved out a place for himself.

Haroon, who was raised in Bahrain for 16 years after being born to a Qatari father and a British mother, said he first encountered misconceptions about Qatar and the Middle East while pursuing a law degree in Britain.

Instead of pursuing his dream of becoming an actor, he started a blog in 2008 to establish his social media presence.

Being a Qatari who had never actually resided in Qatar put him in an advantageous position, he claimed.

“Rely on your own sight,”

It was simple for me to start compiling material because, in essence, I was a foreigner in my own nation and had the same questions as foreigners do.

The difference between “bad news” and false information about his nation, according to Haroon, must be made.

“When it comes to fake news, obviously, I think everyone recognises that it’s not true, so the only thing that I could do is show people videos and photographs and show them what we’re actually like since you can trust your own eyes,” he said.

According to him, some people have informed him that watching his films convinced them to relocate to Qatar.

The World Cup excites Haroon, an eSports businessman and current consultant to the Qatar Football Association, “because people can finally come here and experience it for themselves and make their own judgments instead of simply believing what’s published,” he claimed.

His primary complaint is that when people from other countries read something bad about Qatar, they automatically assume that all Qataris “support it or we all agree with it.”


However, many supporters of the 31 international teams who will compete in Qatar have expressed worries about the reception they would receive. Can they drink? What will happen to same-sex relationships in a nation where homosexuality is prohibited?


Beer, which is typically prohibited, will be available, and everyone is invited, the administration has insisted. Haroon encourages visitors to the country to enjoy “true Qatari hospitality,” including its cuisine and coffee culture.

Naturally, there will be some social conventions, Haroon added. “Respect for the nation is all we’re asking for. Additionally, the nation will undoubtedly respect all visitors.

He continued, “Some people might err because they don’t understand the regulations, and that’s OK.

Intention is everything in our culture and in our faith, so as long as you have good intentions and desire to act morally, there is nothing to worry about.