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Hamad International Airport

Opened in April 2014, the state-of-the-art Hamad International Airport is conveniently located just south of Doha city. Named Best Airport in the Middle East in the 2015 Skytrax awards, it can handle 8,700 passengers per hour and will gradually increase annual capacity from 30 million passengers to 50 million on final completion. Immigration formalities, baggage reclaim and other passenger services are designed to be ultra-efficient. In addition to its role as Qatar Airways’ home base, HIA also serves more than 50 other international airlines. The taxi transfer time to the city center is some 30 minutes.

Qatar Airways

The national carrier Qatar Airways has won numerous awards for quality and service. Most recently, it was named as Airline of the Year (World’s Best Airline) for the third time in the annual Skytrax industry audit for 2015. Qatar Airways’ rapidly expanding network now covers more than 140 destinations worldwide, including most major cities throughout the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australasia and North and South America.

Visas

Qatar welcomes travelers from all over the world. For the most up-to-date information on visas relating to your own nationality, please refer to the Qatar Ministry of Interior’s website by visiting: http://www.bit.ly/1Mke0K7

Key Facts

Qatar has been an independent sovereign state since 1971. It is one of the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the others being Saudi Arabia, the united Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain. Qatar comprises an 11,500 sq. km peninsula extending northwards into the Arabian Gulf. It has 563 km of uninterrupted coastline. The country’s population stands at 2.3 million and its capital city is Doha.

Time

Local time is GMT/UTC +3 hours. There are no daylight savings adjustments.

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.

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Religion

Qatar is an Islamic country but other religions are respected and Qatar’s cosmopolitan population supports many places of worship Hindu temples to Christian churches. The timing of Islamic festivals and holidays depends on the lunar calendar, moving about eleven days earlier each year.

Dress code

The attitude to dress in Qatar is quite relaxed, but visitors (men as well as women) should show respect for local culture and customs in public places by avoiding excessively revealing clothing. Context is important. Bikinis and beachwear are acceptable by the hotel pool but not in public places in the city.

Language

The official language is Arabic. English is widely spoken and understood. A wide range of other languages are spoken within the hospitality industry.

Important telephone numbers

Emergency: 999
Directory Assistance: 180
Hamad International Airport: +974 4010 6666
Qatar Tourism Call Center: +974 4444 4106

Telecommunications

The country code for Qatar is +974. Telecom providers Ooredoo and Vodafone offer pre-paid and post-paid mobile services.

Internet

Wi-fi broadband hotspots are available across the country and are easily accessible at hotels and public parks.

Electricity

220/240 volts AC 50Hz. Socket type is square three-pin 13 amp (as used in the UK).

Water

Tap water is generally safe to drink in Doha and other urban areas.

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Business Hours

The work week is from Sunday to Thursday, with most offices closed on Friday and Saturday. Government offices working hours are from 07:00 to 14:00.

Public Holidays

  • National Sports Day – 14/02/2017 Second Tuesday in February.
  • Eid Al Fitr from – June 26th 2017 (may vary with lunar calendar).
  • Eid Al Adha – 1st September 2017 (may vary with lunar calendar).
  • Qatar National Day – December 18th.

Money

The monetary unit of Qatar is the riyal (abbreviated to QR or QAR). The exchange rate is fixed at US $1 = QR 3.64. There are no foreign exchange controls. ATM’s can be found in many locations and most shops and restaurants accept major credit cards.

Custom 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.

For more information about Qatar visit the Qatar Tourism Authority website and link to: visitqatar.qa