As one of countries starting with Q, the state of Qatar is an Arab Emirate in the Middle East. It has Saudi Arabia as its only neighbor and is otherwise surrounded by the Persian Gulf. Qatar is an absolute monarchy headed by an Emir. Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani is currently the Emir of Qatar, who took over from his father Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani in 2013. The current Emir has close ties to the West and studied in the United Kingdom. There are no political parties in Qatar and there is no parliament. People in Qatar live according to Islamic law.
It is not known exactly how long Qatar has been inhabited. However, signs of habitation have been found from the sixth century BC. According to some scientists, the country was already inhabited many thousands of years before. In the seventh century AD after the rise of Islam, Qatar became part of the Arab Caliphate. In the mid-sixteenth century, Qatar became part of the Ottoman Empire and would remain so until the First World War. After this, the country came under the protection of the United Kingdom. Qatar has been an independent country since 1971. There was talk of Qatar joining the United Arab Emirates, but it never came to that.
Tourism in Qatar is only just beginning to take off. Yet there are already a number of beautiful luxury hotels. The country has the potential to become one of the most popular holiday destinations in the Middle East, just like the Emirate of Dubai. In any case, billions of dollars are being put into the tourism industry.
There are not many places of interest in Qatar. Most of the sights that can be found are in or in the immediate vicinity of the capital Doha. For example, in Doha is the Doha Corniche, the boulevard of Doha. This is without a doubt the most beautiful part of the city. This boulevard runs for several kilometers along the Doha Bay. You will come across a beautifully landscaped city park here. It is best to avoid this boulevard in the evenings. Other places of interest in Qatar are of course the beautiful beaches Al Waqra, Mesaieed, Fuwairit. If you want to shop in Qatar, it is best to visit one of the many souqs, the most famous souqs in Qatar are the Falconry souq and the animal souq. Qatar’s most famous museum is located in Doha, the Ethnology Museum, which is located in the Al Koot Fort.
Since 2013, Qatar has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This is the archaeological site of Al Zubarah. This former trading town was known for its pearl trade until it was destroyed by the Sultan of Muscat in the early 1800s. During the excavations of the city, it was discovered that the city already existed with the rise of Islam in the seventh century. It is difficult to say exactly how old this former city is. The layer of sand that came over Al Zubarah after the inhabitants left has protected the city, leaving large parts of the city in excellent condition. Partly because of this, this archaeological site has been added to the World Heritage List.
Qatar has a desert climate with warm dry winter months and hot extremely dry summers. The temperature in the summer months is on average just above forty degrees Celsius and peaks above fifty degrees Celsius are certainly no exception. In the evening and night the average temperature will be about ten to fifteen degrees lower. This, in combination with the high humidity figures, means that Qatar is very stuffy, especially in the summer months. A house or hotel without air conditioning is unimaginable here. The winter months are a lot cooler, but even then the daytime temperature rarely, if ever, falls below twenty degrees Celsius. Only in the evening and night can the mercury drop below fifteen degrees Celsius.
Precipitation is virtually non-existent in Qatar throughout the year. On average, there is about fifty millimeters of precipitation per year. This is extremely little, which means that there is virtually no flora and fauna in Qatar.
Qatar is a small country in the middle of the Persian Gulf. Qatar mainly consists of desert landscape. The highest point in the country is Qurayn Abu al-Bawl Hill. This hill is 103 meters above sea level. Qatar borders Saudi Arabia to the south and is otherwise surrounded by the Persian Gulf. In total, the country has 563 kilometers of coastline. Off the coast are some smaller islands that belong to Qatar. The western part of the Persian Gulf near Qatar is known as the Gulf of Bahrain. The coastline of Qatar mainly consists of salt flats followed by a shallow sea. A large artificial island has been constructed near the capital Doha, where approximately 30,000 people can live. There are no rivers or lakes in Qatar. The country is known for its huge oil reserves. Besides the capital Doha, where by far the most inhabitants of Qatar live, the places Ar Rayyän, Umm Saläl Muhammad, Al Wakrah, Al Khawr, Dukhän and Al Wukayr are worth mentioning.
The travel advice for Qatar has been on ‘be vigilant’ status for some years now. This is mainly due to the various hot spots in the Middle East and these could possibly spread to Qatar
. It should be taken into account that different standards and values apply in Qatar than in Europe. If necessary, try to adapt yourself to the local culture and customs to avoid problems. Never travel alone in the desert but always accompanied by a guide
It is not wise for a woman to walk alone on the street in the evenings. Photographing government buildings and government agencies is prohibited here. It is forbidden to take pork and alcohol across the border. Consuming alcohol is only allowed in some more expensive hotels.
In order to travel to Qatar, you must be in possession of a passport that is valid for at least six months at the time of departure from the country. In addition, you must be in possession of a visa. You can buy this visa for about eleven euros at Doha airport. This visa is valid for fourteen days and can be extended by fourteen days if necessary.
|Phone (country code)||974|
|Language(s) (colloquial)||Arabic, English|
|Time difference summer||In Qatar it is 1 hour later than in the Netherlands|
|Time difference winter||In Qatar it is 2 hours later than in the Netherlands|
|Daylight Saving Time Control||nee|