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Attractions

  • Discover Qatar’s rich culture, history, and influence during your Qatar stopover.   Originally a pearling and fishing settlement, Qatar has
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  •   Delight in an abundance of world cuisines, 5-star restaurants, and award-winning chefs.       Food and drink are
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  •   Indulge your inner shopaholic at any of Doha's numerous malls, shopping complexes, and souqs.   Traditionally in Arabian towns,
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  •   Doha comes alive at night with twinkling lights, bustling restaurants, and a thriving social scene.     Enjoy Doha’s
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Wednesday, 22 May 2013 00:00

24 Hours in Qatar

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Qatar Essential Information
 
Located halfway along the western coast of the gulf, the State of Qatar benefits from its key global location, midway between Europe and Asia.
 
AT A GLANCE:
 
With gas reserves in excess of 900 trillion standard cubic feet in its North Field, and oil reserves of over 15 billion barrels, Qatar has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Its population also enjoys the world's highest per capita income.
Qatar's official religion is Islam. Accordingly, male and female visitors should dress modestly as a courtesy to the country's citizens. Arabic is the official and main language, but English is widely spoken. Qatar has a relatively liberal attitude to the consumption of alcohol by non-Muslims (within hotels and other licensed premises), but it is strictly forbidden to bring alcohol into the country.
 
 
 
 
VISA REQUIREMENTS: Nationals of the following countries can apply for a simple 30-day entry visa(costing QR 100), covering both business and leisure travel, upon arrival at Qatar, or at their local embassy: Andorra; Australia; Austria; Belgium; Brunei; Canada; denmark; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hong Kong; Iceland; Ireland; Italy; Japan; Liechteinstein; Luxembourg; Malaysia; Monaco; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway ; Portugal; San Marino; Singapore; South Korea; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; UK (with the right of abode), USA; Vatican city.
 
Many visas can now be processed online at the Ministry of Interior's websites (mol,gov,qa) but the Ministry accepts only credit cards as payment.
 
 
General:
 
Qatar's weekend is Friday and Saturday. Banks are usually open 7.30am-1pm though an increasing number are open longer and at weekends. ATMs are found throughout the city, in hotels and all the shopping malls.
 
 
Transport: Karwa is the national taxi and limousine service, which also operates the local bus services.You can use your international driving licence for seven consecutive days, then apply for a temporary licence at the Traffic Department.
 
 
 
Climate: Qatar benefits from year-round sunshine, with temperatures ranging from 25°C(74°F) to 45°C(113°F) in summer.The best months to enjoy Qatar's pleasant weather are October to May.
 
 
 
Health: As with undertaking any form of travel, adequate insurance is strongly advised. Qatar has excellent medical facilities, both government and private. For all emergencies-fire, police, or ambulance-call 999.
 
 
 
 
CURRENCY CHECK: The Qatari riyal (QAR) is the curency of the State of Qatar. It is divided into 100 dirhams. Aproximate rates only, always check before buying.
 
 
 
24 Hours in Doha
 
The small peninsula of Qatar is the only true desert country in the world, with no natural surface water but featuring a 563 km-long coastline with fine sandy beaches and majestic rolling dunes in the south.
 
Before oil production began 60 years ago, the population was around 25,000 now it nudges 1.9 million, and continues to grow as the country expands into areas of business, education, sport, and leisure. For centuries, nomadic Bedouin wandered the gravelled plains of the interior with their sheep and camels, while coastal people fished for pearls-the main source of Qatar's pre-oil wealth. Nominally part of the Ottoman Empire for 400 years, the foundations of the modern Qatar state were laid by Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, ancestor of the present ruler. The fast-growing capital, Doha, encircles a wide bay and  features buildings designed by some of the world's best architects, as well as lovingly preserved traditional architecture.
 
Getting around:
 
Taxi: Distinctive turquoise metered taxis with various coloured roofs are found outside hotels and malls, or hail one on the street.
 
Bus: Karwa public buses are comfortable, clean, and cheap. Bus stops display timetables, buses run approximately every 15 minutes.
 
Limousine: Book a Karwa limousine at the airport or 5-star hotels, or by calling 4458 8888. or 44626858 for an airport limousine.
 
Car: All major rental companies have stands at Doha International Airport. Cars can be pre-booked at a hotel.
 
QAR:
 
1.00 Australian Dollar  3.79
1.00 Brazilian  Real  1.84
1.00 British    Pound  5.58
1.00 Chinese    Yuan  0.59
1.00 Euro  4.76
1.00 Hong Kong  Dollar  0.47
1.00 Japanese   Yen   0.037
1.00 Jordanian  Dinar  5.12
1.00 Kuwaiti Dinar  12.77
1.00 Omani Rial  9.42
1.00 Russian Rouble   0.117
1.00 Saudi Arabian Riyal  0.968
1.00 Singapore Dollar  2.93
1.00 Swiss Franc  3.91
1.00 Thai Baht  0.12
1.00 US Dollar (fixed)  3.64

24 Hours in Doha

23.00 For a nightcap on arrival head to the Jazz Club at the Oryx Rotana, serving Asian fusion dishes, or the Crystal Lounge at the WHotel, open until 2am, Visitors and residents are required to present passport.
 08.00 All the 5-star hotels lay on a lavish breakfast buffet offering a delicious array of Arabic and international cuisine. Try the conveniently central Mövenpick Hotel (tel:4429 1111) on the Doha Corniche.
09.30 Suffering from jet lag? Then head to the Ritz Carlton Hotel's luxury spa and treat yourself to a 75-minute relaxing session of their Orange Blossom Body Therapy. Details can be found at ritzcarlton.com/Doha
11.00 A must for every visitor, the jewel i Doha's crown is the Museum of Islamic Art on its own island off the Corniche. Persian carpets, Moghul jewels, ceramics, and glassware treasures galore. Opening times: www.mia.org.qa
12.30 For lunch, head to the unmissable Opal by Gordon Ramsay at the St.Regis for a hip, á la mode dining experience, featuring live gourmet pizza stations and overlooking the shimmering Arabian Gulf.
14.00 Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, located in a former school near Doha's Education City, it houses a unique collection of works by Arab artists from every Arab country. Admission is free.
17.00 head to Lagoona Mall in West Bay, adjoining the unmistakeable Zig Zag towers, for 5-star shopping including high-end department store 51 East, and restaurants around the European-style piazza.
19.00 Wander along the Corniche and step aboard one of the small dhows, festooned with lights, for a tour of the bay with views of the city's glittering towers reflected in the calm waters of the Gulf.
 20.00 Check out Tangia Restaurant, at the Wyndham Grand Regency, for Doha's take on authentic Moroccan cuisine. Entertainment complements the menu with traditional drums and melodies.
22.00 If you're not ready for bed just yet then Asian-Polynesian fusion dishes, signature drinks, and a live Cuban band can all be found at Trader Vic's at the Hilton Doha. Bar open until 12.30am. Bring your passport!

 

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