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25 October 2018 05:14 pm

#ILQ10Years: 14 Interesting facts about ILoveQatar.net

nabeela
nabeela
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IloveQatar.net (ILQ) has just turned 10. It’s been an exciting and incredible journey so far and we’re sure it’s only going to get even better in the future.

To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we are bringing you facts about ILQ that may just surprise you. So, read on and find out what makes ILQ what it is today!

1. Mr. Q’s real name

Mr. Q’s real name is Khalifa Saleh Al Haroon, and before he became a household name in Qatar, he went by the name ‘Amnesia’ online.

ILQ Mr. Q
Image: Mr. Q

2. How the name Mr. Q came into being

While Mr. Q. was abroad, people would ask him all sorts of questions about Qatar which he would answer. After a while, he decided that Mr. Q was an apt name with the Q standing for Qatar. So, Mr. Q is basically the answer to all questions Qatar: your friendly neighbourhood Qatari!

3. The idea behind ILQ

Earlier on, a lot of people abroad were not as well aware of Qatar as they are now. When Mr. Q was abroad studying Law in the UK, he realised this after people kept asking him questions about Qatar. He decided it was time to do something about that. He thought why not create a website with all things Qatar to educate people about this beautiful country and what it stands for; where people could get all sorts of up-to-date information about the country and what’s going on around town. ILQ was not really planned, to be honest; it was one of those things that just happened!

4. The aim behind ILQ

The aim was to create a guide to Qatar and what it’s all about. ILQ was basically created to bridge the gaps between the Qataris and those that come to work and live here: their ‘second home’, there ‘home away from home’, and to generate relevant, entertaining, educational, and engaging content that is self-sustaining due to its relevance to the community in Qatar.

5. The start of ILQ

ILQ opened its doors in 2008 as a Facebook page. In 2009, the ILQ website was set up and within 3 months the ILQ website had 400,000 hits! Within the first 5 years, ILQ had more than 4 million hits and this continued to grow and grow.

6. ILQ today

As the website evolved, we went from a simple guide, to adding on forums, a huge event's section, unique content, videos, and we modified the site based on what you, the users, asked for. Today the ILQ website is a series of webpages built around and dedicated to helping you live life in Qatar in the best possible way.

7. The ILQ network

As the hits continued to increase and ILQ continued to grow, we introduced new and innovative ideas which contributed to the launch of some of the nation’s most iconic brands that became instant hits with the people of Qatar – locals and expats. These brands are now part of the ILQ network and include:

The ILQ Network
Image: The ILQ Network

1. Q-Tips

Bite-sized cultural infotainment Qatari tips; aired for the first time in 2014 and became an instant hit. Today, it is a weekly programme that airs every Sunday and is watched with a fervor that’s hard to beat.

2. Weekend Roundup


Top 5 Qatar events for the weekend; aired for the first time in 2013 and is looked forward to every Thursday for a round up of the upcoming events of the weekend.

3. The ILQ Test Drive

Qatar’s 1st reality web show is where we sample it all for your viewing pleasure; aired for the first time in 2017 and today, it’s enjoyed for it’s fun and, sometimes crazy, experiments that have people coming back for more every second Tuesday of the month!

4. Dine Out Doha

A brand-new taste of food and culture in Doha; aired for the first time in 2016 with host Kim Wyatt, known all around Doha as Mama Baba Ganoush. Today, it airs every Wednesday and is awaited by foodies from all over Qatar for all kinds of food-related news.

6. Qatar News

This is our free news service and one of Qatar’s most liked news aggregator's. We bring you the kind of news related to Qatar, we know you won’t want to miss. You can find Qatar News on Facebook and Twitter.

7. Qatar Events

Qatar Events is Qatar’s first ever one-stop events app where you can find all events happening in Qatar, book tickets and even arrange your ride to and from the event venue. You can also find, filter and color code events based on dates, categories, what’s nearby and event organizes channels.

8. ILQ Merch Store

The ILQ Merch Store is one of our newest additions. At the moment, we have the famous ILQ caps that have been seen around the world. Get one today because from beginning to end, wearing The Heart, means you're one of us, the good guys.

We’ll be adding some more merch soon, so do keep on checking.

8. ILQ’s core activities

ILQ has evolved with time to become Qatar’s friendliest community because of its three core activities, which are:

1. Content

Creating and sharing original content that brings the community together in celebration of our similarities and differences, with the intent to educate, inform, and entertain.

2. Social Media

Spreading the word through social media for local and international clients.

3. Video Production

Producing videos to engage the audience and provide up-to-date information about what’s happening in and around Qatar.

9. The people who make ILQ what it is

At the heart of every successful business is its team. At ILQ, our investment in our team and our community is also an investment in our business. With a small tight-knit staff, our environment is friendly; anyone can come, be included, share, and create.

In addition to ILQ’s in-house editorial and videography team, we open our doors to like-minded members of the community to contribute and share their vision as we shape the community together.

ILQ regularly offers educational opportunities for students and new graduates through internship and mentorship programmes and has hosted numerous students from Northwestern University in Qatar, and also from Wheaton College in the U.S.

10. Nationalities that have worked with ILQ

We believe in diversity because we know each individual will bring something new to the table; a different style of thinking; new ideas, and that's exactly what we want so we can differentiate ourselves from the rest. 

Perhaps that's why different nationalities have worked with ILQ over the years; 25 to be exact: Qatar, Bulgaria, Bangladesh, Philippines, England, Lebanon, Iraq, Japan, Korea, Kazakhstan, Canada, Morocco, India, Egypt, Venezuela, Jordan, Algeria, Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, Kuwait, Pakistan, USA and Austria.

11. ILQ heart

The ILQ logo depicts the heart of Qatar. It’s half pink and half maroon to show vibrancy, energy and solidarity with Qatar. It stands for peace. It stands for unity. It stands for friendship; and if you see the ILQ heart somewhere, know that we’re there to make our mark in the best way possible.

ILQ Logo
Image: The ILQ heart within the logo

12. Supporting community campaigns and start-ups

1. Charitable causes

Over the years, ILQ has continued to dedicate its profits towards charitable causes like the Tsunami Relief, Syrian Support, Gaza Support, Philippines Relief, and many others.

2. Community Campaigns

We have also supported a number of community campaigns. These include sponsoring local teams so that they could enter tournaments, supporting animal welfare groups, partnering withThink Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign, supporting laborers, providing support for those that want to protect their rights, beach cleanups, a mangrove cleanup, and even city cleanups

3. Local Start-ups

ILQ also strives to promote and support local start-ups in Qatar by raising awareness about local, community-minded businesses on our platforms.

13. Database of volunteers

We have a large database of volunteers, recruited from the community, to represent the ILQ Network at events and encourage community engagement across our social media channels.

14. ILQ mascots

ILQ has two cute and adorable mascots. They are Yorkshire Terriers and are called Charlie and Cookie. They are the friendliest of dogs and enjoy being cuddled. They are very playful and are constantly getting up to some antic or the other.

Cookie and Charlie: The ILQ mascots
Image: Cookie and Charlie: The ILQ mascots

The next 10 years

As we continue on our journey towards the next 10 years, we look forward to continuing doing what we do best - being Qatar's friendliest community, -providing you the best of Qatar as it happens and when it happens, keeping you entertained and educated and happy. 

Thank you, Qatar and all of you live here or have lived here, for these past 10 years, and we welcome you all to be part of the next 10.