A Qatar Guide for Tourists and Residents
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Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Chronological list of posts. Alternatively use Qatar A-Z.

The Sheik Faisal Museum
Qatar tennis
Qatar map
Al Khor
Eid Al Adha
Qatar football
Escape from Qatar
Camel racing
The Centre (shopping)
Two laws
Qatar traffic accidents
Holidays, festivals and important dates in Qatar
Asian Games Football
Qatar Asian Games and the Sport City
A beginners guide to Arabic
A day at the Asian GamesCost of living: renting property in Doha
Qatar crashes
The Qatar Driving Test
Landmark Mall
The start of the Qatar Asian Games
Qatar Asian Games Cultural Events Schedule
The Corniche Experience
Doha Asian Games Opening Ceremony
City Centre Mall: Review
Personal ads with a difference
Asian Games Torch returns to Qatar
What to do in Qatar
The new old souk
Qatar Weather
Qatar Luxury Hotel Guide
Doha Towers
Working: Qatar Style
Studying languages in Qatar
Healthcare in Qatar
List of hospitals in Qatar
Finding work in Qatar
Books, bookstores and libraries in Qatar
Kempo in Qatar
Qatar Asian Games
Qatar Camel Sign
Giving Birth in Qatar
Qatar Basics
Builders in Qatar
Visiting houses in Qatar: A culture gap
The rise of the Qatar Ruling Family
At the tailors
Pearl Diving - A personal perspective
Riding camels on the sand
Living in Qatar: Myths and Realities
Qatar: First World or Third World?
Driving in Qatar: Practical Information
Cheap Hotels in Qatar
Tell me more
Traffic chaos (video)
Reduce speed now
Buying Alcohol in Qatar
Qatar Camels
The Night before Eid
Brunch at the Ramada: Review
Salt Marshes
Buying property in Qatar: Essential information and unbiased opinion
Fancy a holiday in Qatar, anyone?
A night with a whirling dervish
Fasting in the desert
Pearl Fishing
Arriving at the Airport
Qatar Visas
Qatar Surprise
Welcome to Qatar
Useful telephone numbers

Qatar Visitor Bookstore

Book flights,hotels or cars with Expedia.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Welcome to Qatar! I arrived in Qatar 5 months ago, and I now consider myself an expert on Qatar and its culture. There are some things about Qatar that surprised me when I first arrived. Here are a few of them.

  1. Most people who live in Qatar aren’t Arabs. Really. Qataris themselves make up less than a third of the population (of less than 1 million), and the other Arabs here still don’t make up half the population, on my estimates. The majority would be Indians, Philippinos, Pakistanis and assorted other Asians.

  2. Speaking Arabic here is a waste of time. If you read number 1, this is probably obvious. Since most shop assistants aren’t Arabs, and all of them speak English, then speaking Arabic is just making things harder for everyone.

  3. Qatar is tolerant. Of course, I’m not saying that they are about to have a gay parade. But what I mean is that you’re not likely to get shouted at in the streets if your dress is an inch too short. It isn’t a tut-tutting culture. There is, though, a strong sense of right and wrong, and it may not necessarily be the same right and wrongs that a westerner is used to. It makes sense, though, and it works.

  4. There’s booze. This is part of the tolerance thing. It’s very restricted, of course, and there’s a grand total of two offies (liquor stores) in the whole country. It has to be said, though, that these are excellent shops. There’s no need for them to be so nice – we would turn up to a barn to buy booze. It says something for Qatar that not only do they tolerate our vices, they do so in a very hospitable and gracious way.

  5. It’s cold. Actually, that’s a lie.

  6. Women have good jobs. My boss is a woman, and the men working for her respect her just as much as if she were a man. It would be wrong to say that women are liberated in the Western sense, but they are also not oppressed in the Western way. There’s no ‘little lady’ macho in this culture, and women are not condescended to. Openly disrespecting women is frowned upon.

  7. The people are nice and funny. This is only a personal opinion, of course, and you should never generalise (oh no…) but I’ve found the typical Qatari to be quite a jolly soul with a mischievous sense of humour.

Welcome to Qatar – a surprising little place, with a great spirit!

© QatarVisitor


Friday, September 22, 2006

Qatar A-Z

A Accommodation, Airport, Al Bida (Doha), Adhan, Alcohol, Al Ghalafa, Al Jazeera, Al Khor, Al Koot fort, Al Sadd, Al Samariya, Al Thakira, Al Thani, Al Thughb Fort, Al Wajbah, Al Zubara fort, Arab, Arabic, Asian Games, Aspire Tower

B Badghir, Barzan Towers, Bicycles, Bird Souq, Birth, Boat, Bookshop, Bookstores

C Camels, Camel racing, Cars, Censorship, Cinema, Climate, Clock Tower, Clubs and societies, Coffee, Cormorant Corniche, Cultural Village, Cheap hotels, Cost of living

D Desert, Dhow Workshop, Diving, Doha, Driving, Dunestock

E Eating, Eid Al-Adha, Eid Il-Fitri, Embassies, Etiquette

F Facts, Falcons, Falconry, Fishing, Flights, Food, Football, Further Education, Fuwairit

G Gas, Glossary, Golf, Grand Hamad Street, Guidebook, Gulf

H Health, History, Horse-racing, Hospitals, Hotels, Huwailah, Hyatt plaza,

I Inland Sea, Internet Cafes, Iran, Iranian food in Qatar, Islam

J Jebel Jassiya, Jetty

K Khor Al Udaid, Koran

L Landmark Mall, Language, Leaving Qatar, Losail racing track

M Malls, Map, Marriott Hotel, Messaieed, Mosque, Mullah, Museum of Islamic Arts

N National Anthem, National Holidays, National Museum, Newspapers, Nightlife, Nurseries

O Oil, Ottoman

P Pearls, Personal Ads, Photography, Police, Population, Post Offices

Q Qatar, Qatar Airways, Qatar Living, Q-post
R Ramadan, Restaurants, Religion, Riyal, Ruling Family, Rumeila Park

S Safari, Salt Marshes, Schools, Sex, Sheik Faisal Museum, Sheraton, Ships, Shisha, Shopping, Shopping Malls, Soccer, Souk, Souk Waqif, Spas, Spices, Sport, Sunni, Superbike racing, Surprise

T Tailors, Tax, Taxis, Telephone, Tennis, The Mall, Tourist Info, Tours, Traffic

U Umm Salal Ali, Umm Salal Mohammed

V Villagio, Visas

W Wahhabi, Water Pipe, Weather, Weaving, Whirling Dervish,

X X-rated

Y Youth Hostels

Z Zikreet, Zoo

Also See:

Qatar Culture

Buy Books and DVDS on Qatar from Amazon UK


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Useful Telephone Numbers in Doha

Future updates to this post will be made on our website version of Useful Telephone Numbers.

If you are dialling from abroad add +974 before all numbers. To dial abroad from Qatar add 0 or + before the country code and telephone number. (From 21st May 2007 add 00 before the country code.)

Airport: 465 6666

Airlines: Air France 432 0802, BA 432 1434, Emirates 438 4477, KLM 432 1208, Qatar Airways 449 6666

Bookshops: Family bookshop 442 4148, Jarir bookshop 444 0212 (Also see Virgin Megastore)

Car Hire: Avis 462 2180, Budget 462 2678, Hertz 462 2563

Cinemas: Mall: 4678666, Landmark 4881674, City Centre 4934934, Gulf 4671085

Directory Enquiries: 180

Driving Licence: 489 0666

Embassies: Australia UAE 971 2 634 6100 UK 442 7511, USA 488 4101

Emergencies: Fire/Ambulance/Police 999 Electricity/Water 991

Hospitals: Hamad General Hospital 439 4444

International Telephone Enquiries: 111

Malls: City Centre: 439 3355, Hyatt Plaza:469 4848Landmark: 487 5222, Villagio: 413 5444, The Mall: 467 8383

Qatar Airways (airport): 4496688

Supermarkets: Carrefour 484 6265

Taxi: 4588888

Telephone: Qatar Telecom 440 0400

Tourism Authority 441 1555

Tourist Visa: 465 6615

Virgin Megastore: 4135823

Also see: Clubs and societies in Qatar


Monday, September 11, 2006

Qatar At A Glance


Area: 11,437 km²

Capital city: Doha

Currency: Riyal

GDP per capita: US$31,397

Independence: 1971 (From British Protectorate)

International dialing Code: +974

Internet TLD: .qa

Official Language: Arabic

Population: 839,213

Time: GMT+3


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