General Information

General Information

The State of Qatar is a sovereign and independent state in the Middle East, occupying a peninsula that juts into the Arabian Gulf. Since its complete independence from Britain in 1971, Qatar has emerged as one of the world's most important producers of oil and gas. It is an Islamic State whose laws and customs follow the Islamic tradition. Since 2013, the country has been governed by HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

Location

The State of Qatar is a peninsula located amid the western coast of the Arabian Gulf. The peninsular is approximately 100km across and extends 200km into the Gulf. Qatar includes several islands the largest of which are, Halul, Shraouh and Al-Asshat.. shares its southern border with Saudi Arabia and a maritime border Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Iran.

Local Time

GMT +3 hours.

Population

2,5 million.

Capital City

Doha.

Language

Arabic is the official language of the country, though English is widely spoken.

Religion

Islam.

Major Cities

Doha (capital), Al-Wakrah, Al-Khor, Dukhan, Al-Shamal, Msaieed, Ras Lafan and others.

Government

Hereditary monarchy.

Climate

Qatar has a desert climate with year-round sunshine, hot summers and mild winters. Mean monthly temperatures range from 17°C in January to 36°C in July, sometimes reaching highs of 40°C+ during the summer. Rain is infrequent, falling in brief showers mainly in winter.





National Flag

The national flag is maroon color with a broad vertical white stripe at the pole, the two colors separated with a nine-point serrated line.

Official Holidays

  • Fridays and Saturdays are official days off in Qatar
  • Qatar National Day: December 18 (annually)
  • National Sport Day on Tuesday of the second week of February (annually)
  • The holy Eid Al-Fitr
  • The holy Eid Al-Adha

 

Business hours

The workweek is from Sunday to Thursday, with most offices closed on Friday and Saturday.

  • Ministries and Government Entities: from 7am to 2 pm
  • Private Companies and Organizations: from 8am to 12pm and from 4pm to 8pm
  • Banks: from 7:30am to 1pm

Currency

The monetary unit of Qatar is the riyal (abbreviated to QR or QAR). The exchange rate is fixed at US $1 = QR3.64. There are no foreign exchange controls. ATMs can be found in many locations and most shops and restaurants accept major credit cards.

Customs regulations

  • Tobacco allowance: 400 cigarettes.
  • Personal items and gifts up to a maximum value of QAR 3,000.
  • Imports of alcohol and narcotics are prohibited

Medical matters

There are no major health risks and no special inoculations required by visitors. The quality of healthcare is generally very high. There are many well-stocked pharmacies, with English speaking staff, throughout Doha city, including some open 24 hours.

Safety

Qatar has among the lowest crime rates in the world. It is a safe destination with religious and political stability. While normal precautions should be observed, visitors need have little concern walking in any part of the city..

Disabled visitors

Leading hotels, the airports, shopping malls, larger banks and other new or recently-restored public buildings offer wheelchair access, disabled toilets and allocated parking, but visitors with special requirements are advised to check the situation at other locations.