Business hours: The working week is from Sunday to Thursday, with Friday and Saturday as the weekend. Government working hours are from 7am – 2pm. Many private businesses are open from 8am – 1pm, then from 4pm. – 8pm. Most shops that are open on Friday open at 4pm.
Climate: Qatar has a moderate climate with hot summers and mild winters. Summer temperatures can rise to 50C and winter temperatures can fall to 7C. Rainfall average is 70mm per year, usually between October and March.
Communication: The country code for Qatar is +974. Ooredoo (formerly QTEL) is the main telecommunications provider. Along with Vodafone, they offer pre-paid and post-paid mobile telephone services, as well as international direct dialing to most countries.
Currency: The Official currency of Qatar is the Qatari Riyal (QR). The exchange rate is fixed at QR 3.64 per 1 USD. This exchange rate policy of pegging to the USD was authorized by Amiri Decree No. 34 of 2001, replacing the previous exchange rate policy of pegging to the SDR that was in effect since 1975. For more information on currency, click here.
Geography: Qatar is roughly the size of Connecticut. It is a 11,571 square kilometer peninsula located halfway down the west coast of the Persian Gulf.
Electricity: Electricity is 220-240v with a frequence of 50 Hertz. British standard plugs are utilized.
Important numbers: Emergency 999 (when inside Qatar), Doha International Airport general enquiries +974 4465 6666 (Operator), Karwa Taxi service +974 4458 8888, directory inquiries 180 (when inside Qatar), and Qatar Tourism Authority +974 4499 7499.
Language: Arabic is the official and main language, but English is widely spoken in every part of the country.
Public Holidays: Religious Public Holidays according to the Hijri Islamic calendar : Eid Al fitr (celebration at the end of the month of Ramadan), Eid Al Adha (70 days aftr Eid Al fitr) and Qatar’s National Day is 18 Dec.
Time: Qatar local time is 3 hours ahead of GMT; 8 hours ahead of Washington, DC. There are no daylight saving time adjustments.
Transport: Hamad International Airport replaced the former Doha International Airport in the capital. Karwa is the public metered taxi service.
- H.H. Shiekh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the former Emir of the State of Qatar, started the Qatar Katrina Fund pledging $100 million dollars to victims of Hurricane Katrina which was created just weeks after the devastating hurricane.
- Transparency International has listed Qatar as the #1 least corrupt nation in the Middle East
- Qatar is continuously listed one of the highest per-capita income countries in the world.
- Even though public drunkenness and open displays of drinking alcohol are forbidden in Qatar, the state pledges to create reserved drinking spaces throughout the for the World Cup 2022 games.
- The style of dress in Qatar is more western than conservative. However, clothing that bears too much skin, such as short skirts, are looked down upon.
- Qatar’s population is about 80% foreign. At any given time, there are at least 10, 000 U.S. citizens who reside there.
- Oil and Gas are the main sources of revenue for the State of Qatar. With the 3rd largest proven gas reserves in the world, Qatar is the leading supplier of Liquefied Natural Gas to the rest of the world.
- Qatar’s unemployment rate in 2011 was an estimated 0.6 percent
- US passport holders can get a 30 day visit visa at the Doha International Airport for $28