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What You Need To Know

 

Doha, literally in MSA: “the big tree”, locally: “rounded bays”) is the capital city and most populous city of the State of Qatar. Doha has a population of 1,351,000 in a city proper with the population close to 1.5 million. The city is located on the coast of the Persian Gulf in the east of the country. It is Qatar’s fastest growing city, with over 50%of the nation’s population living in Doha or its surrounding suburbs, and it is also the economic center of the country. It comprises one of the municipalities of Qatar. Doha was founded in the 1820’s as an offshoot of Al Bidda. It was officially declared as the country’s capital in 1971, when Qatar gained independence. As the commercial capital of Qatar and one of the emergent financial centers in the Middle East, Doha is considered a world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Doha accommodates Education City, an area devoted to research and education. The city was host to the first ministerial-level meeting of the Doha Development Round of World Trade Organization negotiations. It was also selected as host city of a number of sporting events, including the 2006 Asian Games, the 2011 Pan Arab Games and most of the games at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. In December 2011, the World Petroleum Council held the 20th World Petroleum Conference in Doha. Additionally, the city hosted the 2012 UNFCCC Climate Negotiations and is set to host a large number of the venues for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. In May 2015, Doha was officially recognized as one of the New7 Wonders Cities together with Vigan, La Paz, Durban,Havana, Beirut, and Kuala Lumpur.

Area: 132.1 km²

Population: About 956,457

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Currency

 

  • The Qatari Riyal is the currency of Qatar and Doha. Our currency rankings show that the most popular Qatar Riyal exchange rate is the INR to QAR rate. The currency code for Rials is QAR, and the currency symbol is ﷼. Below, you’ll find Qatari Riyal rates and a currency converter.

Economy

Doha is the economic centre of Qatar. The city is the headquarters of numerous domestic and international organizations, including the country’s largest oil and gas companies, Qatar Petroleum, Qatargas and RasGas. Doha’s economy is built primarily on the revenue the country has made from its oil and natural gas industries. Beginning in the late 20th century, the government launched numerous initiatives to diversify the country’s economy in order to decrease its dependence on oil and gas resources. Doha International Airport was constructed in a bid to solidify the city’s diversification into the tourism industry. This was replaced by Hamad International Airport in 2014. The new airport is almost twice the size of the former and features two of the longest runways in the world. As a result of Doha’s rapid population boom and increased housing demands, real estate prices have raised significantly. Real estate prices experienced a further spike after Qatar won the rights to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Al Asmakh, a Qatari real estate firm, released a report in 2014 which revealed substantial increases in real estate prices following a peak in 2008. Prices increased 5 to 10% in the first quarter of 2014 from the end of 2013. A 2015 study conducted by Numbeo, a crowd-sourced database, named Doha as the 10th most expensive city to live in globally. This rate of growth has led to the development of planned communities in and around the city. Thirty-nine new hotels were under construction in 2011. Doha was included in Fortune’s 15 best new cities for business in 2011.

 

Ethnicity and languages

The population of Doha is overwhelmingly composed of expatriates, with Qatari nationals forming a minority. The largest portion of expatriates in Qatar are from South-East and South Asian countries, mainly India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal,Philippines, and Bangladesh with large numbers of expatriates also coming from the Levant Arab countries, North Africa, and East Asia. Doha is also home to a large number of expatriates from Europe, North America, South Africa, and Australia. Arabic is the official language of Qatar. English is commonly used as a second language, and a rising lingua franca, especially in commerce. As there is a large expatriate population in Doha, languages such as Malayalam, Tagalog, Spanish,French, Urdu and Hindi are widely spoken. In 2004, the Foreign Ownership of Real Estate Law was passed, permitting non-Qatari citizens to buy land in designated areas of Doha, including the West Bay Lagoon, the Qatar Pearl, and the new Lusail City. Prior to this, expatriates were prohibited from owning land in Qatar. Ownership by foreigners in Qatar entitles them to a renewable residency permit, which allows them to live and work in Qatar. Each month, thousands immigrate to Qatar, and as a result, Doha has witnessed explosive growth rates in population. Doha’s population currently stands at around one million, with the population of the city more than doubling from 2000 to 2010. Due to the high influx of expatriates, the Qatari housing market saw a shortage of supply which led to a rise in prices and increased inflation. The gap in the housing market between supply and demand has narrowed, however, and property prices have fallen in some areas following a period which saw rents triple in some areas. According to Qatar Chamber, expatriate workers have remitted $60bn between 2006 and 2012. 54 percent of the workers’remittances of $60bn were routed to Asian countries, followed by Arab nations that accounted for nearly half that volume (28 percent). India was the top destination of the remittances, followed by the Philippines, while the US, Egypt and the neighboring UAE trailed.

 

Health

  • Health in Qatar has undergone significant improvement in the last several decades as a result of substantial investments in healthcare by the government. Child mortalities have been reduced by over fifty percent in the since the 1990s. Qatar’s healthcare spending is among the highest in the Middle East, with $4.7 bn being invested in healthcare in 2014. The country’s progress in health is hampered by exceedingly high rates of obesity, diabetes and genetic disorders. Currently, health coverage is nationwide. In 2013, the infant mortality rate was 7 per 1,000 live births and life expectancy was 79 years.

 

Religion

The majority of residents in Doha are Muslim. Catholics account for over 90% of the 150,000 Christian population in Doha. Following decrees by the Emir for the allocation of land to churches, the first Catholic church, Our Lady of the Rosary, was opened in Doha in March 2008. The church structure is discreet and Christian symbols are not displayed on the outside of the building. Several other churches exist in Doha, including the Syro-Malabar Church, Malankara Orthodox Church, Mar Thoma Church (affiliated with the Anglicans, but not part of the Communion), CSI Church, Syro-Malankara Church and a Pentecostal church. A majority of mosques are either Muwahhid or Sunni-oriented.

 

Transport

  • Since 2004, Doha has been undergoing a huge expansion to its transportation network, including the addition of new highways, the opening of a new airport in 2014, and the currently ongoing construction of an 85 km metro system. This has all been as a result of Doha’s massive growth in a short period of time, which has resulted in congestion on its roads. The first phase of the metro system is expected to be operational by 2019. In 2015, the Public Works Authority declared their plan to construct a free-flowing road directly linking Al-Wakrah and Mesaieed to Doha in order to decrease traffic congestion in the city. It is set for completion by 2018.

 

Weather

Doha has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh). Summer is very long, from May to September, when its average high temperatures surpass 38 °C (100 °F) and often approach 45 °C (113 °F). Humidity is usually the lowest in May and June. Dewpointscan surpass 30 °C (86 °F) in the summer. Throughout the summer, the city averages almost no precipitation, and less than 20 mm (0.79 in) during other months. Rainfall is scarce, at a total of 75 mm (2.95 in) per annum, falling on isolated days mostly between October to March. Winters are cool and the temperature rarely drops below 7 °C (45 °F).