Qatar is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and has the highest per capita income thanks to its large energy reserves. Within a few decades Qatar has developed into a regional economic powerhouse and a world leader in gas-to-liquid production (GTL). Qatar is also diversifying its economy emphasizing development in industry, education, health, sport and tourism.
An exciting business
Investment laws allow up to 100% foreign investment in agricultural, industrial, leisure, tourism, health and educational projects. With many multinational organisations based in Doha, Qatar has become an exciting and diverse multicultural and international community. Major projects include Doha's new airport scheduled for completion in 2015 and Lusail City - the host of 2022 FIFA World Cup.
GMT +3 hours
Arabic is the official language but English is widely spoken and understood. Islam is the official religion of the country and Sharia is the principal source of legislation.
In Doha you will find European, Asian and Western restaurants, as well as excellent Middle Eastern cuisine like Lebanese and Persian. Bars are limited to large International hotels, as alcohol is forbidden in public areas.
Take time to explore Doha, where modern architecture sits side by side with traditional Arabic souks (bazaars) and hundreds of mosques, the largest of which is the Grande Mosque. Popular sports include water sports like jet-skiing, safari tours in the desert.
Shoppers will find famous brands at malls like Villaggio, Hyatt Plaza, City Center and Landmark. The Torch Doha guests have private access through an air-conditioned walkway to Villaggio mall.
Do not miss a visit to an authentic souk (bazaar) like Doha's Souq Waqif (The Standing Souk). Please bear in mind that during the hot summer months many businesses close for a "siesta" from 12pm - 4pm.
Saturday through Thursday 8:30 am to 12:30 pm and 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm, with malls open 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. On Fridays, some shops remain closed all day and others open at 4:00 pm. Most malls and supermarkets offer extended Friday shopping.
The local currency is the Qatari Riyal (QAR).
Sunday through Thursday 7:30 am to 12:00 noon and 3:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Government offices are open Sunday through Thursday 6:00 am to 2:00 pm.
Doha enjoys sunshine almost every day of the year. Summer (May to September) when temperatures can reach up to 45ºC (104ºF). Winter is cooler with occasional rainfall. Spring and autumn months are warm and pleasant.