Doha, capital of the peninsular Persian Gulf country Qatar, is a modern city on Doha Bay. Ringing its downtown waterfront are numerous parks and the Corniche Promenade.
On a man-made island, the I.M. Pei–designed Museum of Islamic Art houses an extensive collection from across the Muslim world. At Souq Waqif, a traditional market, vendors offer goods like clothing, crafts and spices.
The State of Qatar lies halfway along the West Coast of the Arabian Gulf, east of the Arabian Peninsula between 24 degrees 27 minutes and 26 degrees 10 minutes north – and at 50 degrees 45 minutes to 51 degrees 40 minutes east. Its territory comprises a number of islands including Halul, Al Shat, Shira’wa and others.
It is a peninsula that extends northward covering an area of 11606.8 Sq. Km.
Doha is the capital city, the seat of government and the location of the main commercial and financial institutions. Situated halfway along the East Coast of the peninsula, the city is an important cultural and commercial center with a vast commercial seaport and a modern international airport that link the country to the rest of the world. More than half of the population lives in Doha.
The population of Qatar is estimated at 744,000 according to the 2004 census, compared to about 522 thousand counted in 1997 census. 83% of the population lives in Doha and its suburb, al-Rayyan.
The official language is Arabic but English is widely spoken and understood. Both languages are commonly used in business and commerce. Islam and Shari’a (Islamic law) is the main source of legislation is the official religion of the Qatar and there are a large number of mosques throughout.
Qatar has a desert climate of hot summer and relatively warm winter. In summer, the temperature ranges between 25 and 46 degrees centigrade. Rainfall in winter is minimal and on average does not exceed 75.2 mm per year.
Lightweight summer clothing is suitable for most of the year, but sweaters or jackets may be needed for the winter months, especially in the evenings. Compared with certain parts of the Middle East, Doha has a very relaxed dress code. However, care should be taken not to give offence by wearing clothing which may be considered revealing, for example low-cut tops, very short bottoms, or tight apparel in public. At the pool or on the beaches, trunks, swimsuits and bikinis are quite acceptable. Good quality sunglasses are advised, and photo chromatic lenses for those who wear spectacles. Hats, or some protection for the head, are advisable when in direct sunlight.
Normal tourist photography is allowed, however it is considered offensive to photograph Muslim women. It is also courteous to request permission before photographing men.
The official currency is the Qatari Riyal (QR), which is divided into 100 dirhams. The Exchange parity has been set at the fixed rate of US $ = 3.65QR's.