No, Qatar has not banned McDonald's outlets in the country

By: Vivek J
January 3 2024

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No, Qatar has not banned McDonald's outlets in the country

Screenshots of the viral posts with a video purporting to show McDonald's outlet being demolished in Qatar. (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The viral video of a McDonald's signboard being demolished is from the U.S. city of Pratt, Kansas, and was captured in 2018.

Claim ID 2f859640

What is the claim?

A video circulating on social media platforms, notably X (formerly Twitter), shows the demolition of a McDonald’s signboard outside a building. The video is accompanied by captions suggesting the visuals depict Qatar demolishing a McDonald’s establishment allegedly due to a ban imposed on the fast-food chain in the country.

One such post in Hindi, translated into English, claimed, “Qatar has boycotted terrorist Israel to some extent, closed all McDonald's in Qatar and banned them from Qatar. Till now, Qatar has taken strict steps in the Arab world. It is hoped that Qatar will not stop here and will take strict steps in the future also for the rights of Palestinians” (Archived here).

Other captions also assert that Qatar banned McDonald’s for "supporting Israeli troops in Gaza." These posts include hashtags like #boycottMcDonalds, #freepalestine, and #GazaGenocide. Archives of similar posts on X can be accessed here, here, and here. The same video was also shared on YouTube with similar claims (archived here).

Screenshots of the viral posts. (Source: X/Screenshot/modified by Logically Facts)

However, we found that the video originates from the U.S. and is at least five years old.

What are the facts?

A search for news reports about Qatar banning McDonald’s outlets did not yield any credible information. A reverse image search of keyframes from the video led to a YouTube video uploaded by Simpson Dirt Construction, a U.S.-based demolition contractor, on October 28, 2018. The video caption stated, “McDonald’s Demolition,” with a description mentioning the demolition of a McDonald’s in Pratt, Kansas. 

Comparison of the screenshots of the viral video and the 2018 YouTube video. (Source: X/YouTube/Screenshot)

The 'About' page of this YouTube channel confirmed that it belongs to a construction company offering services in Pratt and Wichita, Kansas, including excavation, demolition, and others.

This same video was also uploaded on Simpson Dirt Construction's Facebook page on July 9, 2018, with a caption indicating the demolition took place on July 9, 2018. 

A news report by Salina Journal, a Salina-based newspaper in Kansas, confirmed the temporary closure of a McDonald’s in the third quarter of 2018. It reported that “McDonald's Restaurant closed at 10 p.m. on July 4, 2018, so company ownership could begin a complete removal of the old facility to make way for a new one at 1805 E. First Street in Pratt.” This report also quoted Pratt City Building Inspector Brad Blankenship as saying that the demolition of the building would begin on Monday (July 9, 2018). 

In October 2023, McDonald’s faced criticism in the Arab world after its Israeli unit announced free meals for Israeli soldiers fighting Hamas. This led to calls for a boycott of McDonald’s in Arab countries, prompting the company to issue a statement expressing sympathy for civilians in Gaza.

The verdict

The video allegedly depicting the demolition of a McDonald’s outlet in Qatar is actually from 2018, showing the demolition of a McDonald’s in Pratt, Kansas, USA. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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