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Bahrain / Qatar

The desert and Formula 1

date of entry 31/03/2005
mileage 467,051


capital Doha

area 11.606 km²

population 1.699.435

GDP 173,8 Bill. US-Dollar

official language Arabic


capital Manama

area 750 km²

population 1.234.571

GDP 20.214 Bill. US-Dollar

official language Arabic

Both Arab countries have one thing in common. The only way of reaching them overland is via Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom of Bahrain is a collection of islands with a total area of 750 square kilometres, about half the size of London. The 25-kilometre King Fahd Causeway links Manama, the capital located on the largest island , with mainland Saudi Arabia. Qatar is situated on a peninsula in the Persian Gulf, adjoining Saudi Arabia to the south, with Doha as its capital. It has grown extremely wealthy from oil and gas. Gunther and Christine went there in 2006. They visited Bahrain in the previous year, again by travelling through Saudi Arabia.
  • The riders hold a video postmortem on the race.
    17  of  17
  • Welcome to Bahrain: A 25-kilometre bridge connects the island nation to Saudi Arabia.
    1  of  17
  • Bahrain International Airport, the hub of Gulf Air, looks forward to its next Formula One event.
    2  of  17
  • A symbolic juxtaposition: Otto pretends he’s a Ferrari on the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir.
    3  of  17
  • The first Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix was held in 2004 on a circuit designed by German architect Hermann Tilke.
    4  of  17
  • In Bahrain, the future has already begun. This small country is trying to reduce its dependence on oil exports by diversifying into services such as banking.
    5  of  17
  • When Christine and Gunther visited Manama in 2005, the 172-metre Almoayyed Tower was one of Bahrain’s tallest buildings.
    6  of  17
  • Crossing the border between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
    7  of  17
  • Zubarah Fort, in Qatar, was built by Kuwaiti merchants in the mid-18th century.
    8  of  17
  • Every plant on this traffic island in Doha gets its water from a hose.
    9  of  17
  • A giant dallah, or coffee jug, greets motorists in Doha.
    10  of  17
  • In Qatar, camels are traditionally used for transport, and as a source of milk, meat, and hides.
    11  of  17
  • They are also used for racing.
    12  of  17
  • Get in their way, and you have two choices: run like hell, or throw yourself on the ground: The start of a camel race in Al-Sheehaniya.
    13  of  17
  • Camels reach peak speeds of 60 kilometres an hour.
    14  of  17
  • After the race, their necks are plastered in sweat.
    15  of  17
  • Remote-controlled electronic jockeys are increasingly being used to replace children in the saddle.
    16  of  17
  • Video: Bahrain and Qatar

Otto was here before ...

Saudi Arabia

date of entry 04 April 2005
mileage 467,616