Visitor Information

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Alcohol Qatar has a relatively liberal attitude to the consumption of alcohol for non-Muslims. Liquor is available in many hotels. However it is strictly forbidden to bring alcohol into the country including Duty Free. During the Holy month of Ramadan alcohol is not served.
Banking Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are readily accessible throughout the city. Banking hours are generally 7.30am – 1pm Sunday to Thursday with some branches open in the afternoons.
Business hours The working week in Qatar runs from Sunday to Thursday with Friday (the holy day for Muslims) and Saturday being days off.
Communication Local telephone calls are free. The majority of hotels offer broadband connectivity various cafes and parks around Qatar offer free wireless and wireless “hot spots” are becoming more frequently accessible.
Common Courtesies in Qatar Women are highly regarded in business at all levels. Western men and women freely wear western style clothing. However it is advisable that clothing for both men and women covers the knees and sleeveless tops showing the shoulders and upper arms should be avoided. Tight or revealing clothing is unseemly for both men and women.
Photography It is requested that permission is sought before photographing any local Qataris. Arab women are very modest so it is recommended that men approach other males for directions or advice.
Embassies Qatar has 78 diplomatic embassies and six general consulates abroad with over 50 foreign Diplomatic Representatives in Qatar.
Government The Emir is the ruler of Qatar. Rule is hereditary within the family of Al Thani whereby power is transferred from father and son. The Emir is the head of the constitutional authorities holding both legislative and executive powers. The Emir appoints the Prime Ministers and Ministers. The Council of Ministers (Cabinet) the supreme executive authority assists in implementing the general policies of the State.
Newspapers There are three English daily newspapers in Qatar: Gulf Times The Peninsula and the Qatar Tribune.
Population 1 670 389 (Qatar Statistics Authority – May 2011)
Resources Primarily petroleum and gas although finance – insurance – real estate – business services – manufacturing industries – medical care and research are all growing sectors.
Safety Qatar is ranked as one of the safest places in the world by the Global Peace Index above France UK and USA. Strolling the corniche or walking around the city center walking to and from your hotels is a very safe environment.
Smoking Qatar has tobacco-control laws banning smoking in public places such as restaurants shopping centers and sports venues. Many consider smoking “shisha” the perfect complement to local food and drink. The pipe is filled with water and tobacco which is available in different flavors such as apple strawberry and even chocolate.
Travellers with disabilities Many of the hotels have ramps allowing for wheelchair access into the building and elevators once inside. The larger more modern hotels have rooms for disable guests. Most of the malls have elevators and escalators and enlarged washroom facilities for disabled guests. Al Maha Doha’s Meet & Greet Service can offer assistance to physically challenged visitors upon arrival.
Visa A visa is required and nationals from more than 30 countries will be issued with a visa upon arrival. Visas can be pre-arranged electronically through the official Qatar government website. Passport holders of countries unable to receive a visa on arrival can arrange with their hotel.
Water Water in Qatar is safe to drink. There are currently 9 desalination plants with 12 to be constructed by 2012. Many people prefer to drink bottled water.