In the largest exodus Qatar has seen all year, the number of people in the country fell by 224,000 last month compared to June, newly released government figures show.
However, the population stayed above 2 million people in July, reflecting the overall growth the country has seen in 2015.
According to the Ministry of Development, Planning and Statistics, there were 2,120,129 people in Qatar at the end of last month, down from the 2,344,557 who were here in June.
Despite the sharp drop, the numbers show that there were still 200,000 more people in Qatar last month than in July 2014.
The latest figures are on par with this year’s average population increases, where figures show a rise of 9 to 10 percent each month, compared to the same period in 2014.
Though summer is always a popular time to leave Doha for holiday, things have not been as quiet over the last few years because many residents have been postponing their trips until Eid al Fitr.
Among the attractions for those opting to stay in Qatar during Ramadan are shorter working hours for many and shorter fasts compared to Europe or North America, where summer daylight hours were much longer.
Qatar’s population reached its peak in May this year, when some 2,374,860 people were recorded to be in the country.
The growth is expected to continue for at least the next few years, as the country rushes to finish several large construction projects before the 2022 World Cup.
The influx of people has not come without challenges.
In a report submitted by Qatar to the UN last year, the government acknowledged several key challenges going forward, including overcrowding in schools and hospitals, erosion of Arab and Islamic values and growing pollution caused by traffic congestion.
But for now, with schools out and Ramadan over, many residents have said they’re enjoying the relatively light traffic and slower pace of things before everyone returns in September.