Qatar enjoys a magnificent array of flora and fauna across its landscape. Qatar’s most prolific nature and underwater photographer, Azzam Al Mannai, captures it all.
Azzam’s passion for the ocean started at a young age. “I was six years old when I started swimming and from that moment, I realised that I belong to the ocean,” he says.
As he discovered his hobby for photography, he was able to combine his two passions and explore the realm of nature photography. His love for nature photography led him to experiment with aerial, landscape and underwater photography.
He went on to garner worldwide fame and put a spotlight on Qatar’s beautiful oceans and diverse marine life. From being featured in Netflix’s “Our Planet II”, to National Geographic and CNN, Azzam is eager to capture more and share it with the world.
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Qatar is home to diverse fauna that thrive in its unique ecosystems. This includes the much-loved Arabian Oryx, the national animal of Qatar. Once thought to have gone extinct in the 20th century, it has since been reintroduced to the ecosystem through an ambitious breeding programme.
In addition to our native fauna, Qatar also hosts a variety of migrating wildlife that visit to breed and feed at different times of the year. An example of this is the beautiful Greater Flamingo, the largest living species in the flamingo family, that visits various spots along Qatar’s coasts every November to April.
The dense mangroves at Al Thakira Mangrove Forest, one of Qatar’s natural wonders, is a favourite resting spot for the Greater Flamingo species. The shallow, salty waters allow them to wade through in search for fish and other crustaceans to feed on.