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Quick Facts

Discover the city

The capital city of Doha in the State of Qatar was founded in 1825 as Al-Bidda. The name Doha is believed to have come from the Arabic ad-dawḥa, “the big tree”, a reference to a prominent tree that stood at the site where the original fishing village arose. The name also might have derived from dohat, “bay” or “gulf”, referring to the Doha Bay area surrounding the Corniche.

Qatar’s economy depended in large part on fishing and pearling until the late 1930s, when oil was discovered. Today, Doha is Qatar's largest city, with over 60% of the national population residing in Doha or its suburbs. Doha is the state’s economic centre and serves as the seat of government in Qatar. Doha’s Education City – an area devoted to research and education – boasts a number of world-class universities.

Qatar has successfully hosted a number of large-scale sporting events to date, including the 2006 Asian Games, which was the largest Asian Games ever held; the 2011 Pan Arab Games; and the 2014 FINA Short Course World Championship. In 2022, Qatar is set to host the FIFA World Cup.  

Visas

Visas are required by all visitors except nationals of the GCC countries (Gulf Cooperation Council: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia & United Arab Emirates). However, persons of the following nationalities may obtain a visa on arrival: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA & Vatican City.

Visitors of countries not listed must arrange for a visa prior to travel, sponsored by the Qatari Embassy or a Qatar-based hotel.  

The e-Government website is www.gov.qa/wps/portal/services 

View visa requirements from the Ministry of Interior


Currency

The Qatari Riyal (QAR) is the official currency of the State of Qatar. It is available in 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 denomination banknotes.

There is a comprehensive network of local and international banks as well as numerous ATMs throughout the city. All major credit cards are widely accepted.

Cash and travellers’ cheques can be exchanged in licensed money-exchange facilities, which can be found all over Doha.  

Here are the most recent exchange rates for some common currencies.

QAR 1.00 equals:

Exchange Rates Currency
0.37 Australian Dollar (AUD)
0.26 Euro (EUR)
0.22 British Pound (GBP)
2.13 Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
18.68 Indian Rupee (INR)
31.17 Japanese Yen (JPY)
0.38 New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
1.00 Qatari Riyal (QAR)
0.39 Singapore Dollar (SGD)
0.27 US Dollar (USD)

Taxes

The State of Qatar does not impose taxes.


Tipping

Taxi drivers do not expect tips but they do appreciate them.

In restaurants, a tip of 10% is adequate if you are given exceptional service.


Business Hours

Bank Hours
8am – 1pm, Sunday through Thursday

Office Hours
7am to 2pm, Sunday through Thursday (Government)
8am to 5pm or 7:30am to 12noon then 3:30pm to 7:30pm, Sunday through Thursday (Business)

Shopping Hours
Shops are generally open from 8:30am to 12:30pm, then from 4pm to 9pm.
Shopping malls tend to be open all day between the hours of 9am and 10pm.  


Public Health

No health certificates are required for visitors to Qatar, except for those who have recently been in an area with an outbreak of yellow fever. However, it is always wise to check health recommendations before departure. The quality of medical care in Qatar is excellent and visitors can easily find appropriate treatment and advice.


Dress

As in all Middle Eastern countries, respect for local customs and sensibilities is recommended. Short, revealing or tight clothing should not be worn in public places.

Lightweight summer clothing is suitable for most of the year, but slightly warmer clothes may be needed in the evenings during the winter months. Swimming attire is acceptable at beaches and pools.


Weather

Qatar has a moderate desert climate with hot summers and mild winters. Temperatures range from a low of around 7°C (45 °F) in winter, to a high of around 42°C (118 °F) in summer. Humidity levels can be extremely high on the coast during the summer. Rainfall is scarce (average 70mm per year), falling on isolated days mainly between October and March.

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Local Climate
Month High Low
Jan 21ºC 14ºC
Feb 23ºC 15ºC
Mar 27ºC 18ºC
Apr 32ºC 23ºC
May 38ºC 25ºC
Jun 39ºC 28ºC
Jul 41ºC 30ºC
Aug 41ºC 30ºC
Sep 39ºC 27ºC
Oct 35ºC 24ºC
Nov 30ºC 20ºC
Dec 26ºC 17ºC
Facts

Population
2.1 Million

Language
Arabic; English is widely spoken

Time Zone
GMT + 3 hours

Measures
Metric System

Voltage
220 / 240 volts

Plug Type
 

Mobile Phones
GSM 900