Doha is the capital city of the state of Qatar. Doha is Qatar’s largest city where 60% of the nation’s population resides, and is also the economic centre of the country.
Located halfway along the western coast of the Gulf, the 11,437 sq km State of Qatar benefits from its central location, halfway between Europe and Asia.
The history of Qatar is inextricably bound to that of the surrounding region, as the nomadic lifestyle of much of the population of the Arabian Peninsula has resulted in the same family names reappearing.
Qatar has an open-minded attitude to the world, but some forms of behaviour considered normal in the West may be frowned upon. Out of respect for residents, public displays of affection are considered inappropriate. Men should not approach traditionally dressed Qatari women for cultural reasons. Qatar has a low crime rate but should you need to contact the emergency services please dial 999.
Qatari economy has witnessed an impressive growth in the last eight years, based on the report of the recent World Economic Forum. Today Qatar is one of the world’s fastest growing economies.
Qatar is an arid country characterised by its hot humid summers and mild winters. Summer temperatures can rise to 50°C and winter temperatures can vary between 7 °C and 24 °C.
Qatar’s official currency is the Qatari Riyal; 1 dollar is equal to about 3.64 Qatari Riyals. Most major international Credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express are widely accepted and ATMs are readily available. Bank hours are 7:30 am – 1:30 pm Sunday to Thursday with some branches open all day in shopping centres. There will be banking and foreign exchange facilities at the QNCC and selected major hotels that will operate for Conference opening hours.
Customs and traveller advice
Qatar is proud of its hospitality and has a tradition of welcoming visitors from across the globe. With its wealth of culture and heritage, and a very low crime rate, Doha is an exceptionally safe and diverse city to explore. The country has a relaxed attitude to life, but understanding its local customs is the best way to avoid misunderstandings and ensure that you enjoy a smooth trip.
In public, you will see most forms of Western and Arabic dress in this cosmopolitan country. Qataris however value modest dress and, to avoid offence, visitors are asked to follow a few basic guidelines. For men and women modest dress is advised. Shorts and skirts should be below the knee and shirts, tops and T-shirts should cover the shoulders and upper arms. Swimwear is acceptable at hotel beaches and swimming pools but visitors are asked to dress appropriately while in public areas.