Doha – a city of opportunity
In Doha, the capital of Qatar, modern life and ancient traditions combine to create an exciting and vibrant city. Set on the coast of the Arabian Gulf, Doha is a city of both ultra-modern sky scrapers and beautiful sandy beaches. Malls filled with familiar American and European shops sit alongside souqs where people have traded goods for centuries.
Qatari CultureQatar is less conservative than some other Middle Eastern countries. The people are extremely friendly and there is a very strong culture of hospitality.
Here are a few tips for visitors to Qatar:
- Greet people when arriving at a gathering or entering a store by saying “AsSalaam Alaay kum” which means “Peace be upon you”;
- Be prepared to negotiate when visiting the Souq (market) – don’t be shy about bargaining with sellers to get the best price;
- Respect local customs when it comes to dress. This means always covering the knees and shoulders. Swimwear and shorts are fine for the beach or pool but should not be worn in public places. Women should cover their arms and avoid low necklines;
- Use your right hand to pass or receive items – avoid using your left hand;
- Shaking hands with Qatari nationals of the opposite sex is generally viewed unfavorably, unless he/she extends a hand first.
Qatar is one of the most rapidly changing and exciting countries in the world.
Located in the heart of the Arabian Gulf, the country is a melting pot of old and new.
Facts about Qatar
The population of Qatar is approximately 1.7 million people, the majority of which are expatriates. Approximately 300,000 of the population are Qatari nationals. Topping the Forbes list of the World’s richest countries, Qatar has the world’s highest per capita gross domestic product (GDP) as a result of its oil and natural gas revenues.
Qatar has one of the highest standards of living and is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Qatar is one of the safest countries in the world and is ranked 12th out of 153 countries in the Global Peace Index. Incidents of violence are rare in Qatar and crime rates are generally low. While the official language is Arabic, English is widely spoken and understood. One can easily live in Qatar speaking only English.
Autumn and spring in Qatar are warm with maximum temperatures between 25 – 35°C, and the summer (June to September) is hot with temperatures reaching 40°C and above. Winter is cooler (15 – 20°C) with occasional rainfall. Qatar has hosted several major international sporting events and will host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
Women in Qatar have full rights, including voting, driving and working rights.