Qatar: Killer Heat

In the build-up to the World Cup, sweltering heat cripples Qatar's workforce

Qatar: Killer Heat Qatar is rapidly heating to extreme temperatures. From deaths and chronic diseases among migrants workers, to disastrous sports events, the rising temperature in the Gulf is both disruptive and deadly.
As a result of climate change, temperatures in the Gulf are rising at twice the global average - with temperatures regularly reaching 50C. 'Above 40C, the body's normal working mechanism starts to disintegrate', explains cardiologist, Dr Ratna Mani Gajurel. For wealthy citizens, air conditioning is readily available. But for the Gulf's over 14 million migrant workers, remaining cool is a challenge. Sita Magar's husband Dhar left Nepal for work in Qatar. In 2021, he died aged just 31. 'He was always sweating when we video chatted', says Sita. 'The heat made his nose bleed'. His death was attributed to 'cardiac arrest'. But Dr Gajurel suspects extreme heat was to blame: 'any migrant worker who works continually to the point of exhaustion in 40C or more has a high chance of sudden death'. Meanwhile, even athletes at the pinnacle of health have been impacted by the heat. In the 2019 World Athletics Championships, nearly half of the competitors had to drop out of the women's marathon due to the extreme temperatures. 'The air was like a fiery furnace', says marathon coach Haji Adelo.

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