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Qatar
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Nightlife

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Calendar of events

Hotels

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Weather & best time to visit

20°
Wednesday, 07.12.2016
21:00 UTC

Phone calls & Internet

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Shopping in Doha

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Good to know

City map Doha

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    Good to know

    Doha – a brief overview

    Looking at Doha’s glittering skyscrapers and luxury malls, it’s hard to believe that Qatar was among the poorest of the Gulf states until the mid-1950s. But with oil came unimaginable wealth and it’s not hard to see where much of it has been spent. Recent years have seen a building boom, with antique structures giving way to towers made from steel and glass.

    Nevertheless, traces of Doha past do remain, not least in the ever-engaging Souq Waqif and the nearby Al Koot Fort. Quieter spots such as the Corniche are worth searching out, although it’s hard not to get swept up in Doha’s moneyed brand of glamour.

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    Top 10 sights in Doha

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    Doha, Katar, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Travel Guide, Sheraton Hotel

    Katara

    Katara Street
    Doha
    Qatar
    Tel: +974 4408 0000
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 1000-0000

    Just outside the city centre, Katara is a purpose-built cultural village that combines restaurants serving up traditional Qatari fare with galleries and shops showcasing the work of local artists and designers.

    Souq Waqif

    Al Souq St
    Doha
    Qatar
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 1000-1200 and 1600-2200

    Once a shabby warren of centuries-old alleys, Souq Waqif was recently given a Disney-style makeover and now resembles a 19th-century bazaar, although trading continues much as it always has.

    Al Shaqab Stud

    Al Shaqab Street
    Doha
    Qatar
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    By appointment

    Home to Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Ali Al Thani’s prized collection of purebred Arabian horses, Al Shaqab runs tours which include a spin around the stud’s lavish stables and a close encounter with some of the bloodstock.

    Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum

    Al Rayyan
    Ad Dawḩah
    Qatar
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Sat-Thu 0900-1800

    Housed within a huge 19th-century fort, this museum contains more than 2,000 eclectic artefacts collected by founder Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani, a billionaire businessman, over the last half century.

    The Pearl

    Corniche St
    Doha
    Qatar
    Tel: +974 4495 3888
    Show on map

    Doha’s answer to Dubai’s Palm, the Pearl is a manmade island built on the site of a former pearl diving site. Porto Arabia, with its harbour promenade and packed with upmarket shops and restaurants, is a popular lunch spot.

    Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art

    Education City
    Qatar Foundation Gate 14
    Al-Luqta Street
    Doha
    Qatar
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Thu and Sat-Sun 1100-1800
    Fri 1500-2100

    Another museum with a local potentate to thank for its existence, Mathaf is home to the vast Arabic art collection built up by Sheikh Hassan bin Mohammed bin Ali Al Thani.

    Al Koot Fort

    Ukaz St
    Doha
    Qatar
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Sun-Thu 0900-1200 and 1600-1900
    Fri-Sat 0900-1200

    One of the few 19th-century buildings to survive Qatar’s recent building boom, the Fort, a towering pile of honey-coloured stone decorated with elaborate arabesques, now houses a modest museum.

    Al-Corniche

    Al-Corniche
    Doha
    Qatar
    Show on map

    A peaceful crescent-shaped stretch running from Ras Abu Abboud Street to the Sheraton Doha Hotel, the Corniche boasts striking sea views and a network of shaded paths and cycling trails.

    Heritage House Museum

    Grand Hamad Street
    Doha
    Qatar
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Sun-Thu 0900-1200
    Fri 1500-1800

    A picturesque 1930s villa, the Heritage House was once the Ethnographic Museum but has now been restored to its former glory and offers a snapshot of Qatari life, albeit of the upmarket kind, in the years running up to WWII.

    National Museum of Qatar

    Al Loulou St
    Doha
    Qatar
    Tel: +974 4452 5555
    Show on map

    Scheduled to open in 2016, Qatar’s brand new national museum might not yet be welcoming visitors, but it’s worth visiting to witness construction of the spectacular Jean Nouvel-designed building.

    Good to know

    Country information

    Country overview

    The eyes of the world are on Qatar right now. In just forty years, this small Gulf state has been catapulted from one of the poorest

    countries in the region, to the richest (per capita) in the world.

    Geography

    Qatar is an oil-rich peninsula jutting out into the Gulf between Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, with just one border, at the south of the country, with Saudi Arabia. The peninsula is just 160 km (100 miles) north-south, and apart from the capital, Doha, most of the towns are oil-company compounds. The coastline stretches for 563 km (350 miles), with a scattering of sandy beaches – the best of which are in the north and west.

    Much of the country consists of sand dunes and salt flats across a low, barren plain, although towards the north of the peninsula there is scattered vegetation.  There is also a small range of hills in the north-west, the highest of which is Qurayn Abu al Bawl, which reaches just over 100m (328ft) and is part of the Jebel Dukhan range.

    The country’s most distinctive geographical feature is in the south of the country close to the border with Saudi Arabia; a wide area of rippling dunes surrounding an inlet of water from the Persian Gulf,  Known as Khor al-Adaid, it is a favourite spot for jeep safaris and day trips from Doha.

    General knowledge

    Key facts

    Population: 2042444

    Population Density (per sq km): 179

    Capital: Doha.

    Language

    Arabic is the official language. English is widely spoken.

    Currency

    Qatari Riyal (QAR; symbol QR)= 100 dirhams. Notes are in denominations of QR500, 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1. Coins are in denominations of 50 and 25 dirhams.
    The Qatari Riyal is tied to the US Dollar.

    Electricity

    240 volts AC, 50Hz. British-style plugs with three square pins are used.

    General business opening hours

    Sat-Thurs 0800-1200 and 1600-1900. Government office hours are Sat-Wed 0700-1400. Some are open on Thursday mornings too.

    Public holidays

    Below are listed Public Holidays for the January 2016 – December 2017 period.

    Note

    Muslim festivals are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon and the dates given below are approximations. During the lunar month of Ramadan that precedes Eid al-Fitr, Muslims fast during the day and feast at night and normal business patterns may be interrupted. Some disruption may continue into Eid al-Fitr itself. Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha may last up to several days, depending on the region.

    2016

    Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan): 07. to 09. July 2016
    Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice): 13. to 15. September 2016
    Independence and National Day: 18. December 2016

    2017

    Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan): 26. to 27. June 2017
    Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice): 02. to 05. September 2017
    Independence and National Day: 18. December 2017

    All information subject to change.

     

    Enjoy

    Nightlife in Doha

    ListMap

    Doha’s nightlife offering has improved markedly in recent years, although much of what’s on offer remains clustered in and around the big hotels.

    Nevertheless, there’s plenty of choice.

    Habanos

    The Ritz Carlton
    West Bay Lagoon
    Doha
    Qatar
    Show on map

    A glamorous Cuban bar in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel jazzed up with opulent décor and neon lighting.

    Sky View Bar

    La Cigale Hotel Doha
    60 Suhaim Bin Hamad Street
    Doha
    Qatar
    Show on map

    Perched on the 15th floor of La Cigale Hotel, open-air Sky View does great cocktails.

    Wahm

    W Doha Hotel & Residences
    West Bay
    Doha
    Qatar
    Show on map

    The W Hotel’s cocktail lounge is Middle Eastern themed and seriously glamorous.

    Jazz Club

    Oryx Rotana Hotel
    C Ring Rd
    Doha
    Qatar
    Show on map

    Kick back in one of the deep leather armchairs with a whisky from the extensive Scotch menu.

    Lava Lounge

    InterContinental Doha
    West Bay
    Doha
    Qatar
    Show on map

    A bar during the week, Lava turns into a club featuring international DJs on Thursday and Friday nights.

    Enjoy

    Restaurants in Doha

    ListMap

    Fresh local fish from the Persian Gulf, slow-cooked lamb and broiled camel are all Qatari staples and found on menus across the city.

    Along with traditional fare and excellent Indian cuisine, Doha also boasts glamorous eating spots overseen by top international chefs.

    IDAM

    Museum of Islamic Art
    Doha Port
    Doha
    Qatar
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Phillipe Starck interior design and an Alain Ducasse menu combine in this chic eating spot.

    Spice Market

    W Doha Hotel & Residences, West Bay
    Doha
    Qatar
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    A favourite haunt of the local glitterati, Spice Market does delicately flavoured South Indian food.

    Layali

    Salwa Rd
    Doha
    Qatar
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Doha’s most popular Lebanese restaurant serves up Arabic staples in large portions.

    Elevation Burger

    The Pearl
    Ad Dawhah
    Doha
    Qatar
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Huge deluxe burgers made from organic, ethically sourced beef.

    Shake Shack

    Villaggio Shopping Mall
    Al Waab Street, Al Aziziyah, Doha
    Qatar
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    A cheap and cheerful American chain serving up US classics such as coleslaw and fries.

    Discover

    Calendar of events

    Eid al-Fitr

    7 – 9 July 2016

    Venue: Throughout Doha

    A flurry of cultural events and shop sales accompanies this religious festival, which is timed to celebrate the end of Ramadan fasting.

    Eid al-Adha

    13 – 15 September 2016

    Venue: Throughout Doha

    Also known as the festival of sacrifice, Eid al-Adha follows the annual Islamic pilgrimage and commemorates the trials of the Prophet Abraham. Please note that most venues do not serve alcohol the night before, and the first day of Eid.

    Doha Tribeca Film Festival

    December 2016
    Website

    Venue: Katara Cultural Village

    Film-lovers whose tastes extend beyond the latest Hollywood blockbuster will love the choice of movies on show at this five-day festival. Katara Cultural Village becomes the backdrop for movies from around 30 different countries, with premieres of new films and showings of much-loved classics.

    Qatar Masters Golf

    January 2017
    Website

    Venue: Doha Golf Club

    Each year, top golfers from around the world are invited to compete in the annual Qatar Masters Golf tournament which is part of the PGA European Tour – one of the biggest golf tours in the world. The prestigious tournament was first held at the Doha Golf Club in 1998 which is renowned for its tough par 3s and numerous water hazards.

    Souq Waqif Spring Festival

    January – February 2017

    Venue: Souq Waqif and other venues

    A family festival that brings together street performers, puppet and musical shows, along with African circus performers, magicians and a range of slightly surreal one-off events, including a human cannonball, a seal and penguin show and bungee jumping.

    Qatar Motor Show

    February 2017
    Website

    Venue: Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC)

    For serious petrolheads, this is one of the most exciting dates in the motoring calendar; a five-day festival in the country where state-of-the-art motors are the top status symbol. There are outdoor driving and motorbike events on the Motor Show’s private circuit, exhibitions of classic cars and futuristic designs and all aspects of the motor industry are covered.

    Qatar International Food Festival

    March 2017
    Website

    Venue: Museum of Islamic Art Park

    The Islamic Art Park becomes an enormous outdoor kitchen for four days every March with food stalls, demonstrations by some of the city’s most high profile chefs and the chance to try different recipes from many of Qatar’s Middle Eastern neighbours.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.

    Enjoy

    Hotels in Doha

    ListMap

    It might not go for the gold taps and bling beloved of other Gulf states such as the UAE, but there’s no shortage of luxury where Doha’s hotels are concerned.

    Along with the big-name chains, the city has a smattering of decent budget sleeping spots.

    La Cigale

    60 Suhaim Bin Hamad Street
    Doha
    Qatar

    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    Neon-lit and glass-fronted, La Cigale is one of the most glamorously luxurious hotels in Doha.

    W Doha

    West Bay
    Doha
    Qatar
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    Like all W hotels, the Doha branch specialises in (relatively) low-key luxury.

    Mercure Grand Hotel

    Wadi Musheirib St
    Doha 7566
    Qatar
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    Just around the corner from Souq Waqif, the Mercure Grand Hotel is stylish and comfortable.

    Al Madina Suites

    Al Nada St
    Doha
    Qatar
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    Centrally located and very convenient, Al Madina has big rooms with all the mod cons.

    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Wednesday, 07.12.2016 21:00 UTC

    sunny

    temperature


    20°C


    wind direction

    north

    wind speed

    13.125 mph

    7 days forecast

    Thursday

    08.12.2016

    23°C / 19°C

    Friday

    09.12.2016

    23°C / 18°C

    Saturday

    10.12.2016

    19°C / 15°C

    Sunday

    11.12.2016

    19°C / 14°C

    Monday

    12.12.2016

    20°C / 15°C

    Tuesday

    13.12.2016

    22°C / 15°C

    Wednesday

    14.12.2016

    26°C / 16°C

    Climate & best time to visit Qatar

    Qatar has a dry, subtropical desert climate, with low annual rainfall and intensely hot and humid summers. Spring and autumn are the best times to visit Qatar, when temperatures are warm but not hot and the evenings can be pleasantly cool. June to September is oven-temperature hot and best avoided. – the average temperature for June, July and August is around 42ºC (108ºF), buts it’s not unusual for the mercury to reach an eye-wateringly high 50ºC (122ºF).

    In the winter months, temperatures are cooler but still warm, with the average around 23ºC from December to February. Almost all rainfall occurs during the winter months, mostly in heavy cloudbursts and thunderstorms. Because Qatar is such a small country, there is little regional variation in the weather, although coastal areas may be slightly cooler than inland.

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    31 °C

    3 °C

    36 °C

    5 °C

    39 °C

    8 °C

    46 °C

    10 °C

    47 °C

    15 °C

    49 °C

    21 °C

    48 °C

    23 °C

    48 °C

    22 °C

    45 °C

    20 °C

    43 °C

    16 °C

    38 °C

    11 °C

    32 °C

    6 °C

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    13 mm

    17 mm

    16 mm

    9 mm

    4 mm

    0 mm

    0 mm

    0 mm

    0 mm

    1 mm

    3 mm

    12 mm

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    7 h

    8 h

    7 h

    9 h

    10 h

    11 h

    10 h

    10 h

    10 h

    9 h

    9 h

    7 h

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    71 %

    70 %

    63 %

    52 %

    44 %

    41 %

    49 %

    55 %

    62 %

    63 %

    66 %

    71 %

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    19 °C

    19 °C

    24 °C

    28 °C

    29 °C

    29 °C

    30 °C

    31 °C

    29 °C

    27 °C

    25 °C

    24 °C

    absolute maxabsolute minØ absolute minØ absolute minrelative humidityØ precipitationdays with deposit > 1mmsunshine duration
    Jan31 °C3 °C21 °C12 °C71 %13 mm27.9 h
    Feb36 °C5 °C23 °C13 °C70 %17 mm28.0 h
    Mar39 °C8 °C26 °C16 °C63 %16 mm27.8 h
    Apr46 °C10 °C31 °C20 °C52 %9 mm19.1 h
    May47 °C15 °C38 °C25 °C44 %4 mm< 110.5 h
    Jun49 °C21 °C41 °C27 °C41 %0 mm011.4 h
    Jul48 °C23 °C41 °C29 °C49 %0 mm010.5 h
    Aug48 °C22 °C40 °C28 °C55 %0 mm010.6 h
    Sep45 °C20 °C38 °C26 °C62 %0 mm010.2 h
    Oct43 °C16 °C35 °C23 °C63 %1 mm< 19.8 h
    Nov38 °C11 °C29 °C19 °C66 %3 mm< 19.2 h
    Dec32 °C6 °C24 °C15 °C71 %12 mm17.8 h
    year49 °C3 °C32 °C21 °C59 %75 mm89.4 h
    Good to know

    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile Telephone

    Dialing code: +974

    Telephone

    There are no area codes.

    Mobile Telephone

    Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone operators. Mobile phone use is pretty much a national addiction; coverage is excellent.

    Internet

    There are plenty of internet cafes in Doha.

    Enjoy

    Shopping in Doha

    Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Shopping, Einkaufen

    Key Areas

    Shopping is practically a sport in Doha and is the number one source of entertainment for locals come the weekend. Most head to one of the many mega malls such as the imaginatively named The Mall, where you can find everything from Armani to Zara as well as Arabic brands such as Oman’s Amouage. The main alternative to the malls is Souq Waqif, which is packed with traders flogging a mind-boggling array of wares, including traditional crafts, gems and even soap.

    Markets

    At Souq Waqif (Al-Souq Street and Grand Hamad Street), you can pick up embroidered Qatari clothing, souvenirs and all manner of pungent spices. Souq Al Asiery (Al Ahmed Street) is the place to go to run your fingers along roll upon roll of beautifully printed (and inexpensive) fabric. Omani Souq, behind the Salwa Central Market, is a mish-mash of smells and sights, where the aromas of dried fish, dates, perfume and incense mingle.

    Shopping Centres

    The Mall (D Ring Road) is the biggest, but the Landmark Mall (Al Shamal Road) is almost as large and is home to a huge range of shops. The Alfardan Centre (Al Ashat Street) is also worth visiting for upmarket designer shopping.

    Good to know

    Traveller etiquette

    Social Conventions

    Beneath the surface of consumerism and western images, Qatar is an extremely traditional country and it’s important to observe some local courtesies. Outside western hotels, it’s respectful for women to cover knees and shoulders, while men should generally wear a shirt and trousers. When Arab men meet they usually exchange a handshake, and while this is extended to western men, it is rare for an Arab man to shake hands with a western woman. When taking photographs, seek permission before taking photos of people and be cautious taking pictures in public.

    At business and social functions, traditional Qatari coffee is served as part of the ritual welcome.

    Guests are served in order of seniority – a few drops are poured before topping up the cups of the remaining party. Cups must be held in the right hand: accept two cups – taking only one cup will embarrass the host; taking more than three will embarrass everybody else. Never pass or receive items with the left hand.

    Good to know

    Health

    Food & Drink

    Water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice from hotels and public facilities in Doha is generally safe to drink. In other areas, bottled water is a sensible precaution. In general, food hygiene standards are good and it’s fine to eat from markets and street food stalls. Use common sense and only eat well-cooked meat and fish; in the summer months, inadequate storage in the heat can cause problems.

    Other Risks

    Vaccinations against tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes recommended. In the summer, temperatures can easily hit 35°C (95°F) and it is easy to get sunstroke or become dehydrated. Simple measures such as covering the head, keeping out of the midday sun and regularly sipping water help avoid this. Respiratory problems can also be an issue due to the dust and sand in the air, particularly in the summer months.

    Good to know

    Visa & Immigration

    IATA Travel Centre

    The IATA Travel Centre delivers accurate passport, visa and health requirement information at a glance. It is a trusted, centralized source for the latest international travel requirements. The IATA Travel Centre is the most accurate source available because it is based on a comprehensive database used by virtually every airline, and information is gathered from official sources worldwide, such as immigration and police authorities.

    IATA Travel CentreIATA Travel Centre