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Qatar Visitor

Qatar Visitor
Qatar Visitor provides comprehensive information on Qatar for tourists and residents, as well as vibrant photographs, podcasts, YouTube videos, news commentary and information about major events in Qatar.
Articles: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7


Qatar Events: War of the Djs
2008-06-05 12:10:00
Indorachel has posted about upcoming event War of the DJ's. The event will be taking place on the 20th June 2008 from 8pm, with tickets available from today from Virgin in Villagio, Bombay Chowpatty on Airport Road, Music Land in Family Food Center on the same road, Tandoor Express in City Center, Maharaja Restaurant in Al Smakh and Gulf Cinema in C Ring Road.Qatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsmusic
More About: Events , What
Qatar Football: Too hot to play...
2008-06-03 22:57:00
There have been several reports of the Qatar -China match but what most seemed to have missed was just how hot it was. Even the spectators were soaked through with sweat, so it must have been awful for the players, even though they were gulping down fluids at every opportunity. Obviously the Chinese players' special water cooled vests had less effect than they had anticipated, as they seemed the more lackluster of the two teams. There is little chance of playing good football in this weather - and when Qatar play Australia it will be even hotter...Also see: Qatar SoccerQatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsfootball
More About: Football , Play
The smallest beach in Qatar?
2008-06-03 22:23:00
This tiny beach can be found on Doha 's Corniche, by the former jetty and close to the Sheraton Hotel. Unfortunately, swimming is not allowed on the Corniche, but children always seems to enjoy a paddle and a pad in the sand.Also see:Beach es in Doha (on the forum)Qatar Beaches: Al KhorAt the beach: Qatar StyleQatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsbeach corniche
Qatar Football: Qatar meets China
2008-06-02 12:20:00
Qatar meets China tonight at the Al Sadd stadium in the Group one qualifying stage of the world cup at 7 pm tonight. Qataris I have spoken too are quietly confident that the heat, which reached 44 degrees in the day yesterday and is still cloying at night, will prove too much for the China players. China thinks differently, as they have been training in heat, and their players will be equipped with special water cooled vests. China state they are more worried about Qatar's naturalised players, especially Sebastian Quintana, who originates from Uruguay.Qatar and Qataris are very keen on football, and is currently nurturing talent at its world class sporting academy, Aspire. Friends working there have told me that the centre only employs staff who are at the very top of their profession, and its scouts travel widely to choose the best promising talent from thousands of applicants in Africa and, more recently, Vietnam.I expected my Qatari friend, who is a keen football supporter, to b...
More About: Football , Qatar
Qatar Newspapers: Which is the best?
2008-05-31 21:16:00
I have subscribed to the Gulf Times for some time, and I chose it because, although I often prefer the Peninsula?s style of writing (which is a bit more spiky), I have generally found that the Gulf Times has better coverage of Qatar stories.However recently I have noticed Qatar stories popping up in the Peninsula (through my Google alerts for Qatar, which pick up stories from both newspapers) which I haven?t noticed in the Gulf Times. I also have friends who prefer the new paper on the block, The Qatar Tribune , citing its coverage of international issues. It seemed like a good time for a comparison, so on Friday I purchased and read all three newspapers.I started on the front page, and quickly noticed that both the Tribune and the Peninsula carried the story of the Kahramaa?s network expansion plans. With a planned QAR 10.2 billion of contracts, this could be considered important, from a financial view at least. However, the Gulf Times relegated to this the third page, replacing it ...
More About: Newspapers
Euro 2008
2008-05-29 21:47:00
The Intercontinental have sent us the flier below, stating that football enthusiasts will be able to watch the 2008 .html">Euro 2008 from June 27th to June 29th at the Intercontinental pool. Also see: Qatar FootballQatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsfootball
More About: What
Qatar Jobs: Qatarisation
2008-05-28 09:20:00
Qatarisation (or Qatarization if you are American) is Qatar's attempt to increase the proportion of Qataris employed in a country where most work is still done by expatriates. Obviously, in a country where Qataris themselves number less than 15% of the population, this can only go so far.What's more, the population is increasing at an incredible rate - when I arrived here three years ago the population was estimated at less than 800,000. Today it is thought to number nearly twice that. With targets for Qatarisation formed in terms of percentage, that makes achieving the target even more difficult.Nevertheless, the targets are ambitious - according to the Financial Times Qatar is aiming for a total of 50% Qatarisation in non-specialised government posts and 20% in private sector posts. Qatar has been trying to accelerate the process of Qatarization by assigning quotas of Qatari employees to private companies and to ministries.While private companies often find themselves struggling...
More About: Jobs , Qatar
Japanese food in Qatar
2008-05-25 22:47:00
La Cigale have opened up a new restaurant: a •en Sushi Bar, which will feature a revolving belt and rice paper walls, and guests will be able to watch the sushi and sashimi prepared in front of them. My Japanese friends will be overjoyed - they were already excited to hear that the new Carrefour, based in Landmark, had a sushi section.Sadly, members of our forum report that the Korean restaurant Moon Palace in Al Nasser street, which served excellent sushi, has been closed down by the Ministry of Health. This seems to happen to half the establishments in Doha at some time or other so hopefully they will be open again soon. In the meantime people can continue to visit the Korean Garden on Suhaim Bin Hamed street (close to the Ramada signals), which also does sushi, or the Japanese restaurant in the New Ramada.Eating out in DohaQatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsjapanese food
More About: Food
Dinosaur tracks found on the Arabian Peninsula
2008-05-24 08:50:00
For the first time dinosaur tracks have been found in our region. The tracks, which were left by a group of 11 plant eaters which traveled on all fours (sauropods) as well as a single dinosaur which travelled on two legs (an ornithipod) were found on mud flats around 50 km north of Sanaa in the Republic of Yemen.The Saurpods would have been 10-13 feet tall, making them about the same height as a bus - and probably longer than one too.The findings were revealed by researchers in a paper published on scientific site Plos One. The researchers believed that it was likely that further dinosaur tracks would be discovered in the area. However, there have yet to be any findings in Qatar!Qatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsdinosaurs
More About: Tracks , Peninsula , Arabian , Dinosaurs
Qatar census: Ratio of men to women in Qatar
2008-05-21 22:41:00
Men in Qatar outnumber women 3:1, the Peninsula reported today. In total men make up 75.7% of the population compared to just 24.3% who are women. However, this number applies only when taking into account the mostly male expatriate workforce - native Qataris are pretty evenly split between men and women.The total population was confirmed at just under one and a half million: 1,448,446 to be exact.Discuss thisQatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagspopulation census
More About: Women , Census
Aramex moves to new location
2008-05-20 21:54:00
Aramex, which runs the popular shop and ship service which allows internet shoppers to bypass Q-post, is moving to a new location. The move will take place on May 24th 2008 and the location will be between Qatar Decoration roundabout and Maamora roundabout - please see map below for more information. (Click on the map for a larger image.) For information about and a review of the service see Aramex Shop and Ship. Qatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsAramex
More About: Location , Moves
Qatar and Lebanon
2008-05-20 00:40:00
According to The Interpreter, Qatar is punching above its weight again in regard to Lebanon . After the recent strife in Lebanon which raised fears of a return to civil war Qatar moved rapidly to host talks between the different factions, and the different factions are now attempting to talk it out in Doha.Qatar is an ideal host for the talks. In addition to the fact that many Lebanese live and work in the country, Qatar strives to be a friend to everyone and an enemy to no-one. Sometimes this can be difficult: maintaining relationships with Israel, America and Iran at the same time is no easy matter. What's more, despite major Qatar investment (to the tune of $12 billion over the next five years) Syria, which is deeply involved in Lebanese politics, may not always have been so very friendly back, at least according to the Counter Terrorism blog.Nevertheless, Qatar is admirably ploughing on, although Lebanon' s quagmire politics must be a challenge for its geniality. Hopefully, the...
Mc Cain
2008-05-18 21:42:00
Okay, this has absolutely nothing to do with Qatar - although on the other hand we have all seen the damage having an idiot running America can do to the Middle East.... Anyway, I don't often go off topic but this is worth watching.Qatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about Qatar
More About: Cain
Qatar Inflation to Rise
2008-05-16 22:41:00
In what is bad news for, well, everyone, Qatar inflation is set to rise still further, the Peninsula reported today. The news followed on from an earlier report this week that inflation this year would reach 16-17% from almost 14% last year. Inflation has been hurting everyone, recently, and while even the better off expatriates among have been feeling the pinch those on low wages - of whom there are many in Qatar - are really struggling. Like many in Qatar, we are weighing up our options, and if there is no pay rise soon next year may well be our last!For an idea of current prices check our recent cost of living update, which lists the price of many household items.Discuss this storyQatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsinflation
More About: Rise
Renewing your Residence Permit
2008-05-15 06:24:00
While employees residence permits are usually renewed by companies, employees may have to renew the residence permits of those they sponsor - wives/husbands, children e.t.c. Fortunately, renewing your residence permit is a relatively simple matter.When the time came to renew my daughter's residence permit we headed down to the typists in Sofatel to pick up a form and get it typed up. We needed my passport and my daughter's passport, one picture (the background should not be white, although in fact ours was and it did not cause any problems) and photocopies of the passports. The renewal of the visa cost QAR300, although government employees with the relevant letter can get it free. The form should be signed, but young children can give a thumb print instead.Having got your form typed up, you can renew your residence permit in either the post office or in immigration. We chose the post office - it turned out to be a good choice, as the there was only a small queue. Although being ...
Fish, Fish Prices and Fish Stocks!
2008-05-12 10:09:00
Qatar is known for its bountiful fish catches - but with an increasing population the Government is acting to preserve fish stocksIn Qatar's poorer days, fish was what sustained the local population. Fish was so plentiful that people were embarrassed to give guests fish - it was seen as being mean, or a sign of poverty. In fact, fish was so plentiful that it was exported to be used as fertilizer.If you are a fish lover in Qatar, nothing quite beats buying the fish fresh off the boats on the Corniche. There you can buy the long silver king fish, small sharks or bucket loads of crabs - and of course the ugly but very delicious hamour.For a more complete choice you should visit the wholesale fish market, where you can buy squid, tuna, octopus and a whole range of other fish I couldn't even name. For two riyals a kilo - the price is set by the authorities - a man will clean the fish for you. Just make sure you visit the fish market in the morning, especially in the hot season, or you ...
More About: Environment , Stocks , Marine , Prices
Qatar Airways adds in-flight call ability - and then bans it!
2008-05-12 10:07:00
Qatar Airways recently upgraded all of its planes with the very latest in mobile phone technology - only to encounter a wave of passenger protest.80% of passengers voted against the system, finding it disturbed their sleep and comfort.As a result the system was switched off - a move which drew high praise indeed from British newspaper The Times:Accordingly, the Travel section would like briefly to suspend its editorial impartiality and say what a wonderful, sensible airline Qatar is.Qatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsQatar Doha
More About: Qatar , Call , Flight
What to expect when you first arrive in Qatar
2008-05-09 11:04:00
For me the first shock arrived three days before I left for Qatar , when my sponsor informed me that my wife and children would not be able to join me until I had my residence permit. Until that time I thought we were going together. In fact I very nearly didn't go.It was actually longer than three days, as the journey to Qatar was delayed and delayed. I actually had another job lined up in case this one fell through, but in the end I had to make the choice, and then I felt very nervous indeed - not least because the savings in my bank were disappearing rapidly.Incidentally, I have since met other people in Qatar who had to wait much longer than me. Against this, I am convinced that I made the correct choice - both my wife and I are very happy here.ArrivalWhen I arrived I was picked up by a Persian gentleman who spoke few words of English. I was lucky - sometimes labourers arriving here from Asia are left for hours to languish upon the airport floor until their companies/agencies ca...
More About: Expect
Qatar and Katrina: A lesson for America?
2008-05-06 23:00:00
After the Katrina disaster, America 's slow response was likened to that of a third world country. However, aid did come from unexpected parts of the world - from Qatar , formerly itself a dirt poor country, but now, on a GDP per person basis at least, far richer than America.Qatar set up the Qatar Katrina fund, which, in partnership with local organisations, has been working in the fields of health care, education and housing. One American blogger wrote:"The Children?s Hospital here, Habitat for Humanity, Tulane, Loyola and Louisiana State Universities, students seeking scholarships, the area?s homeless ? all have benefited from the oil-and-gas-borne largess of Qatar, one of the most open-handed of the donors to come to the Gulf Coast?s aid after the disastrous 2005 storm. Two other Persian Gulf nations, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have also given."(Critical Dune)Some American bloggers, some of whom want to bomb America's only real ally in the Gulf, have argued this ...
More About: Indonesia , Tsunami
Qatar Visitor Forum Competition
2008-05-04 23:18:00
Today we are launching our new forum. We hope to specialise in answering questions for people thinking of or in the process of moving to Qatar , but everyone is welcome to post.To celebrate the launch of our forum, we will be holding a competition till the end of the month. The prize will be a $50 book token or - if you prefer and you use paypal - fifty dollars sent to your paypal account.To enter the competition simply join the forum - and post.See you at the forum!Qatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsQatar forum competition
More About: Competition , Forum
Qatar Book Reviews
2008-05-04 10:07:00
We have added four book reviews to the book section of our website this week. All of the reviews, which were previously published in the Gulf Times, were kindly donated by the writer, Francis Gillespie, and were written about books donated by the I-SPY Book store in City Centre.The Sons of Sindbad tells the story of the Thessiger of the seas, Alan Villiers, who recorded the daily lives of the Arabs who sailed the Gulf through both prose and pictures.The Arab Chest†also has an maritime bent, although this time its subject is the intricately carved wooden chests that accompanied the Arab Nakhoda (captain) as he plied his trade round the Arabian Sea.Adobe Building in Saudi Arabia looks at the dying art of building houses with mud and brick. In particular, it focuses on the efforts of Prince Sultan bin Salman Al Sa'ud, the first Arab to go into space, to revive the art.Architecture in the Middle East has undergone a transformation in the last few years. Architecture in the UAE focuses ...
More About: Reviews , Book Reviews , Review , Qatar
Ministry of Interior makes "lots of mistakes" with traffic offences
2008-05-03 08:12:00
Local newspaper the Gulf Times today reported the case of an Australian expatriate who was done for speeding - in Saudi Arabia in 1928. This was the second time the poor chap had been done for speeding in a week - he had earlier been fined for going to Al Wakrah in the evening, despite never going there at that time of day. When the Gulf Times contacted the Ministry of Interior a representative explained that mistakes happened a lot of the time.Read the full story: Expat Fined for SpeedingAlso see:Qatar Visitor's 90 second guide to driving in Qatar (podcast)Qatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsnews traffic driving
More About: News , Traffic , Driving
This is Qatar
2008-05-02 10:09:00
An excellent little documentary made by a visitor to Qatar :>/div>Qatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsQatar Doha
Qatar Pictures
2008-05-01 23:49:00
I saw this picture on Marjorie in Qatar :- there are lots more of these on the "WTF Only in Doha" group on Facebook .Qatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsimage facebook
More About: Pictures
Cost of Living Update: Food Items
2008-04-29 10:03:00
"Look at these lemons," said my wife recently as I walked into the kitchen. The pack of four lemons had a price tag of 12 riyals. "They were a riyal each not long ago."I realised it was time for an update on the cost of living. I don't believe in giving estimates of how much it costs to live in a country, because it is different for everybody - some people survive on less than a 1000 riyals a month (although survive rather than live is the appropriate word) - while others struggle on 20,000. One thing you should do before accepting a job is build some slack into your cost of living expenses. Unless Qatar abandons the dollar peg, prices will continue to rise.†The cost of goods here were taken either from Carrefour or from Family Food Centre, two of the major food stores in Doha. On balance, Carrefour has proven to be the cheaper of the two.Exchange rates:The riyals is roughly equivalent to the following:1 riyal = 0.27 US dollars/ 0.14 pounds / 11 Indian Rupees / 11.5 Philippine Peso...
More About: Living , Inflation , Cost , Update
Colour Perception
2008-04-28 14:49:00
The human brain is a strange and wonderful thing. It's ability to perceive colour is by no means straight forward.For instance, take the colour red; it has a tendency to come forward so that a red object looks comparatively closer to the viewer than it actually is. Some people have put forward the suggestion that this is because the earth's atmosphere is blue and that objects far away will have a blue cast to them as the light from them passes through more and more blue atmosphere and that this produces the psychological effect of bringing red objects closer.Sounds reasonable doesn't it. But at night, green objects look closer and red looks less 'forward'. Try seeing if you can notice this effect with traffic lights, comparing daytime to nighttime.Most people think of their eyes as the organ that sees the world around us. This is not strictly true as the real visual processing is done with our brains; if the central processing unit (CPU or microprocessor) is the computer equiva...
More About: Qatar , Doha , Colour , Perception
Qatar Visitor Forum
2008-04-28 14:48:00
When we first started the Qatar Visitor website in July last year, we discussed whether or not to have a forum. We decided against it, at least for the time being. There were other forums out there, we didn't think we had enough visitors at the time to make it work and we didn't see the need.We changed our minds.One reason is that we felt the need to make the website more interactive. At present, there is no way for people to give us any feedback, ask us any questions or just discuss matters with us. This is just one of the ways we hope to change this - we are also in the process of adding a comments section to the articles.We realise that there are tonnes of good chat and social sites out there - Facebook has a huge Qatar group, and many local users also favour Qatar living for their online chatting. However, the majority of our users (who now number about a 1000 a day) are coming to Qatar Visitor to look for jobs or for information about moving to Qatar - we often get emails whe...
More About: Forum
Qatar Archeology: Discovering Qatar's Past
2008-04-27 11:47:00
In the latest of her series of articles on Qatar 's Natural History , Francis Gillespie, local author and journalist and coordinator of the Qatar Archeology Project, writes about Qatar's Archeology.In the article she explores how archeology in Qatar - which, prior to the 1950's, was considered unimportant by locals and of little interest compared to Bahrain - was a late starter. However, when archeologists did come to Qatar they immediately started to make discoveries, with finds dating back to 6000 BC.Numerous finds have been made since then, some linking Qatar with major civilisations in the past. More discoveries have been made in the last few years, and we are still waiting to find out what excavations currently underway will discover.Also see:Qatar History: The Rise of the Al ThanisQatar's Early HistoryPearl Divers in QatarQatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsarcheology history
More About: Past
At the Typists in Sofatel, Doha
2008-04-23 09:20:00
Today I was down in the Sofatel area - the area around the Mercure (formerly the Sofatel). We couldn't help noticing the difference between this grimier and grottier area of town - which has been marked for demolition - which is a stark contrast to much of the newer and remodeled Doha .However, there is a reason people go this area. Not just because of the myriad of small computer shops hidden away below the basement of the Mercure - which contain products you can't find anywhere else in Doha - but also because of the humble but immensely valuable typist shop.These gentlemen not only type up your documents, they also have an encyclopedic knowledge of Qatar's beaurocracy. They are able to tell you what docyments you need - and what documents you don't need despite having been told you do need - where to go and what to do. They also keep copies of the forms for you to use for free.All for the cost of a miserly five riyals. And they refused my tip!Also see: Qatar Visas and our Doha ...
Al Jazeera Film Festival starts today
2008-04-21 10:48:00
The Al Jazeera international documentary film festival will start today at the Sheraton Hotel, with 90 different films being held over four days. For a schedule and for more information visit the film festival's website.Qatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsfilm+festival
More About: Film , Today , What , Festival , Film Festival
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