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 emphasising development in industry, education, health, sport and tourism.

An exciting business community

Investment laws allow up to 100% foreign investment in agricultural, industry, leisure, tourism, health and educational projects. With many multinational organisations based in Doha, Qatar has become an exciting diverse multicultural international community. Major projects include Doha’s huge new airport scheduled for completion in 2015, Lusail City the host of 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Time zone

GMT +3 hours

Language & religion

Arabic is the official language, but English is also widely spoken and understood. Islam is the official religion of the country and Sharia is the principal source of legislation Eating and drinking. In Doha you’ll 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.

Free time

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 Villagio, Hyatt Plaza, City Center and Landmark. But don’t 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.

Shopping hours

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 Currency The local currency is the Qatari riyal (QAR) Working hours 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. Weather Doha enjoys sunshine almost every day of the year. Summer (May to September) temperatures can reach up to 45ºC (104ºF). Winter is cooler with occasional rainfall.

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