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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.
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Articles

World superbike racing returns to Qatar
2008-02-18 00:28:00
The World Superbike Championships returns to Qatar this weekend, with races being held at Losail International Circuit from 21st to the 22nd February. Unlike the Moto GP, which also comes to Qatar and may this year feature a night race, the Superbike races features tuned versions of actual production models - which can, of course, be seen on display at the races. For more information about the races telephone 4729151/ 4379761.Qatar Visitor e-store (U.S.)Qatar Visitor E-store (U.K.)Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsQatar superbike
More About: Racing , What
Eating Out: Breakfast at the Sandwich Cellar
2008-02-16 08:50:00
If you fancy a slap-up English breakfast for a change, you could do worse than visit the sandwich cellar on Ras Abu Aboud Road.Don't make the same mistake we made - when we first arrived we thought the place was shut, as, from the outside, it looked dark. Perhaps they need a sandwich board outside!Inside the cafe is cheerfully decorated with all sorts of odds and ends calculated to make you homesick for the England of yesteryear: a sort of greasy spoon with attitude.For breakfast we settled for the full monty: sausage, bacon, eggs, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes and hot toast, all served with freshly made orange juice and a huge pot of tea.Obviously, the bacon and sausages will be made with pork substitutes, but while scoffing away with an appetite honed by months without an unhealthy British breakfast, we didn't notice.While we didn't try any of the other items (we were too full), there are a number of other dishes on the menu. These included some British stalwarts: Bangers n' Mash...
More About: Middle East , Food , Breakfast , Eating Out , Qatar
Tennis: Qatar Total Open
2008-02-12 07:41:00
The Qatar Total Open will start on February 18th, and will be held until the 24th of February at the Khalifa Tennis Complex. The competition has come a long way from when it started in 2001 with prize money of $170,000 - it is now a tier 1 event, with some of the world's top players competing for a total of $2.5 million in prize money.Qatar Visitor e-store (U.S.)Qatar Visitor E-store (U.K.)Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsQatar Doha tennis sport
More About: Sport , What
Qatar Government: Hukoomi
2008-02-11 07:43:00
Qatar E-government has recently been revamped - and renamed. It's now known as Hookomi, which means government. The revamp has introduced a range of additional services, with the aim of streamlining government and enabling residents to do more without having to make the dreaded trip to government departments.Hookomi now provides 57 e-services, from getting an exit permit to obtaining a post box online. There are also plans to add many more services in the future, until the website, in its own words, "becomes your chief connection with the government of Qatar and all that it offers."To use the website, you can either select e-services - or if you just want information you can select view all services - or you can choose which category of user you are: visitor, citizens and residents or business. Each category will provide you with a range of relevant options.To use the service you may need to register, either with a smart card or with a personal registration. Smart card registration...
More About: Government , Qatar
Qatar Travel: An Easy Ride
2008-02-08 08:05:00
A combination of superb service from Gulf Air and the excellent Al-Maha service made one disabled traveller's trip an easy ride.This was my first visit to beautiful Qatar , to visit my daughter and her family, but I was rather apprehensive about the journey and the whole transit process! I usually travel with my able bodied husband, and as I am slightly disabled and unable to walk very far, I was worried about changing planes, finding the correct departure point at the various airports and then actually managing to deal with the visa process and with finding my luggage, (and my family), at the final destination of Doha !I need not have been concerned. From the point of checking in with the charming Gulf Air staff at Heathrow, and admiring the elegant uniform too, I was looked after so well all the way that I was amazed! I was taken to a waiting area, and then transported by wheelchair down seemingly miles of corridor and moving walkways to the boarding where I was able to walk on ...
More About: Middle East , Travel , Ride
Qatar Internet: Another Internet Cable Goes
2008-02-05 19:08:00
According to the National Terrorist Alert, yet another internet cable has been broken - this time between the Qatar i island of Al Haloul and the UAE.While two and even three damaged cables could be coincidence, with a fourth going we can?t help wondering if there has been sabotage.It has certainly been a frustrating time, both for us and other internet users, despite Qtel claims to have minimised problems in Qatar.While we have been able to access our blog (obviously) we have been unable to update the website from Qatar for several days. That?s been particularly annoying, as we have two pages on the website which have a problem with code.On our QP jobs page the jobs are not showing, and on our Arab currencies pages only half of the currencies are showing. Unfortunately, until the internet is back to normal, we can?t do anything about them.Other internet users are having similar problems. One business woman, on a trip to Qatar, is having difficulty keeping up with work from home, com...
More About: Middle East , Internet , Doha , Cable
Cormorants
2008-02-04 10:23:00
Cormorants dry their wings at the harbor by Doha 's Corniche.Qatar Visitor E-store (U.S.)Qatar Visitor E-store (U.K.)TagsQatar Doha Middle East cormorant
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Lulu Hypermarket Attempts to Detain Blogger
2008-02-02 16:50:00
Life on the Spot reports that Lulu Hypermarket tried to detain Mavis, one of the two writers who maintain the blog, for writing down the prices of products at the shop. The long running Doha blog produces a yearly cost of living list, but this time Mavis was told that noting down prices was not allowed, and that she could not leave the shop. The head of security for the hypermarket was also called. The blogger was eventually released after her husband had placed a call to the police.Qatar Visitor e-store (U.S.)Qatar Visitor E-store (U.K.)Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsQatar Doha Middle East blogger
More About: Blogger
Krispy Kreme Invades Qatar
2008-02-02 12:53:00
Look at pictures of the Gulf from fifty years ago, and the vast majority of the population appear lean, fit and thin. Look around now, and you?ll soon notice that for much of the population thinness is something they can only dream of (usually during the a nap after the afternoon meal.)Now, in what is a disaster for health campaigners everywhere, (not to mention English teachers struggling to teach correct spelling to their students), Krispy Kreme are becoming the latest fast food retailer to invade this tiny Gulf country. And what is worse, not only are they recruiting more victims for the massed ranks of obesity sufferers - they are going for them young.Gulf Arabs in leaner timesIt is already well known that Krispy Cream are offering a years supply of donuts to the winner of the competition - I believe it is the first 12 people to buy from their store opening on Friday.However, not only are they dangling this bait in front of Qatar ?s sugar loving population, it has also been alle...
More About: Middle East , Doha , Diabetes
Wheels n' Heels
2008-01-31 16:57:00
The annual community fun day Wheels n' Heels will be held tomorrow at Sheraton Park on the Corniche from 12.00 to 5.00 in the afternoon. The event, which features a 3 kilometre walk/cycle/skate, aims to remind participants of the importance of a healthy lifestyle through exercise and healthy eating. The participants will be joined by the cyclists from the Tour of Qatar , as well as singers, TV personalities and other sports people. There will also be a number of activities such as a children's dance routine.Qatar Visitor e-store (U.S.)Qatar Visitor E-store (U.K.)Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsQatar Doha Middle East events
More About: Events
Al Bandar Fish Marktet
2008-01-29 08:05:00
The Al Bandar fish market is located in Souq Waqif and is, in our opinion, one of the better restaurants in the Souq. Attentive waiters wait outside the restaurant, ready to guide you either towards one of the tables in the sun or to the pleasant upstairs dining area.The menu is extensive but not overly expensive for seafood. We found the set menus provided particularly good value, with a four course meal starting at under QAR 100. Both our set menus option started with a refreshingly sharp Tom Yang Kung soup, which was followed by the most amazing "mixed appetizer", which is pictured above.I then had the Al Bandar mixed seafood: a combination of delicious tender hamour, shrimps, squid and lobster, while my wife had prawns cooked in a lemon-garlic butter sauce.If I have any criticism it is that the food could have been a little hotter - although that could have been our fault as we did dawdle over the starter. The desert could have also have been more appetizing, and the ice-cream t...
More About: Middle East , Fish , Seafood , Qatar , Doha
Cycling: Tour of Qatar
2008-01-26 15:46:00
The seventh Tour of Qatar starts tomorrow. The tour will take part in 6 stages. Stage one, a 6 km team time trial, will take place in Doha tomorrow.Successive stages will see a 138 kilometre race from Al Zubarah to Doha Golf Club (Monday), a 148 kilometre race from the Shahinaya camel race to the Qatar Foundation (Tuesday) a 132 kilometre race from Khalifa Stadium to the Al Khor Corniche (Wednesday), a 170 kilometre race from Al Khor Academy to Al Khor Corniche (Thursday) and 120 kilometre race from Al Wakra to Doha Corniche (Friday).For more information see the official web-site press release: Tour of Qatar.Qatar Visitor e-store (U.S.)Qatar Visitor E-store (U.K.)Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsQatar Doha Middle East cycling
More About: Cycling , What
Museum of the Islamic Arts, Qatar: Opening dates
2008-01-25 06:42:00
For several years Qatar has been scouring the globe for treasures, snapping up what it wanted, when it wanted, at a total cost of well over one billion dollars. This included buying the Jenkin's Venus for almost eight million dollars, the highest price ever paid at any auction for a single antiquity.As a result of this spending spree, Qatar has amassed a huge array of treasures, collecting everything from Fauberge eggs to classic cars.Ultimately, Qatar plans to house these exhibits in a series of five museums across the Corniche. The first of these, the imposing Musuem of the Islamic Arts , is now ready to be opened. A soft ?opening? is planned for 22nd March, ahead of a grand opening on November 22nd.The Islamic Museum was designed by world famous architect I. M. Pei. Pei, who also designed the Louvre in Paris, was tempted out of retirement at the age of 88 to design the Islamic museum. The result now sits on its own Island off the Corniche.Also see our website article: The Museum ...
More About: Middle East , Dates , Opening
Qatar Football Blog
2008-01-24 10:58:00
A blog I've been meaning to link to for a while is Football Qatar . This a team blog run by journalists, and provides extensive up-to-date coverage of both local matches and international matches affecting Qatar. The blog looks great and the writing is, of course professional - well worth checking out if you are into football.Also see: Qatar FootballQatar Visitor e-store (U.S.)Qatar Visitor E-store (U.K.)Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsQatar Doha Middle East football
More About: Blog
Qatar Journal
2008-01-23 22:07:00
In what is a sad day for independent news in Qatar , Qatar Journal shut its doors today.One of only a handful of regularly updated independent websites in Qatar, and the only news source solely focussed on Qatar, Qatar Journal has provided daily news updates on both its website and to its subscribers' in-boxes. Since we interviewed Qatar Journal in June 2007, the site had grown in popularity. It's perhaps a mark of the respect that Qatar Journal had acquired that Nigel was the only journalist in Qatar to be invited to the 2nd Arab free press forum in Beirut.Nigel did not want to comment on why he had closed down the website, only to say that he would now have the time to work on other projects he had neglected since starting up QJ.The Qatar Journal television scheduled will be delivered this week for the final time. However, you should still be able to access old Qatar Journal stories, as Qatar Living has generously offered to archive them.Qatar Visitor e-store (U.S.)Qatar Visitor...
More About: News , Middle East , Doha
Russian Circus at the Hyatt Plaza
2008-01-23 20:51:00
The Hyatt Plaza, the mall with the largest shopping trolley in the world, will be hosting the International Russian Circus from Sunday 27th January until March March 15th, the Gulf Times reports today. During the week, one show will be held starting at 7.15, with two shows being held at the weekend: starting at 5.30 and 7.30. To get more information telephone 469 7322 or 469 4848.Qatar Visitor e-store (U.S.)Qatar Visitor E-store (U.K.)Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsQatar Doha Middle East circus
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British Embassy Anouncement
2008-01-22 12:36:00
BRITISH EMBASSY MOVING TO NEW DIPLOMATIC AREA IN WEST BAY:The British Embassy is pleased to announce that it will be moving at the beginning of February from its current premises in Rumeila to a new building in West Bay. This purpose-built Embassy, located between the Rainbow roundabout and Aladdin?s roundabout, is much larger than its predecessor and offers an expanded platform for all aspects of the Embassy?s work to promote UK/Qatar relations, including trade and investment promotion and consular services. However, all visa applications should continue to be made at the Visa Application Centre in the Sherif Building, opposite Toyota Towers. Please see VFS's website for further details.As a result of the move, there will be disruption to our visa service. All applicants intending to travel to the UK before mid-February should apply as soon as possible to the Visa Application Centre. We will not be able to accept visa applications between 1530hrs on Sunday 27 January and 0800hrs o...
Doha Short Film Festival
2008-01-20 23:27:00
The 1st annual Doha Players Short Film Festival will be held on the 24th January ath the College of the North Atlantic Qatar. For details visit the Film Festival website or contact Pete on mrpeterdoha@gmail.com or Billy on vassago26_98@yahoo.com
More About: What
QNHG trip: Oryx, Camels and Robot Jockeys
2008-01-20 21:24:00
The next Qatar Natural History Group tour will be taking place this Friday, and will involve a trip to the Oryx Breeding Centre, a government run research centre which is not normally open to visitors. Bringing young children is not advised.This will be followed by a trip to the camel racing track, where a camel race using robot jockeys has been organised, after which there will be a visit to a camel stable to get better acquainted with the dromedaries. The meeting place will be at the tent petrol station at 9.30 a.m.
More About: Robot , What , Trip , Jock
Pay your fines - before you go on holiday
2008-01-20 10:03:00
Discussion on Qatar Living has been focussing on the need to pay fines before going on holiday. This follows a recent article in the Gulf Times which reported that residents have been prevented from going on holiday because of unpaid fines. It is not possible to pay the fines at the airport, and the residents were told to visit the traffic department. In most cases, this would mean that flights would be missed. It is also possible to pay fines online. While some months ago there seemed to be bugs with this system, it is now working correctly and it is possible to both check for traffic violations and to pay by credit card. To do this visit the e-gov site and put your vehicle number into the box on the right side bar on the front page.If you happen to be one of the unfortunate and are at the airport when you are refused exit - and have your laptop - remember that the airport has free wireless. It is possible that you could pay your fine and exit the county, although we haven't look...
More About: Holiday
Qatar - land of bliss?
2008-01-19 13:10:00
Qatar has been included in a new book called the Geography of bliss. The author, Eric Weiner, a travel correspondent sick of travelling to unhappy places around the world, decided to locate and visit the twenty happiest countries in the world.However, he did not choose Qatar because of its happiness but because of its newfound wealth. (A good choice - Qatar's GDP per person has just vaunted to new heights, passing $70,000 per person and far higher than that of America.)You'll have to read the book to find out exactly what Eric thinks of Qatar, although from the summary of the book on the Eric Weiner website things don't sound very hopeful:"He travels to Switzerland, where he discovers the hidden virtues of boredom; to the tiny?and extremely wealthy?Persian Gulf nation of Qatar, where the relationship between money and happiness is laid bare..."Also see: Qatar Visitor's Book ReviewsQatar Visitor e-store (U.S.)Qatar Visitor E-store (U.K.)TagsQatar Doha Middle East bliss
More About: Qatar , Land
QNHG Ramble
2008-01-16 12:10:00
The Qatar Natural History Group will be holding a ramble at the Doha Golf Club this Friday, taking advantage of the closure of the club to golfing ahead of the Qatar Grand Masters. The walk will start at 10am. Ramble rs are required to park their cars in the lower car park before meeting in front of the club house.Qatar Visitor e-store (U.S.)Qatar Visitor E-store (U.K.)Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsQatar Doha Middle East qnhg
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The Qatar GrandMasters
2008-01-16 12:03:00
The Commercial Bank Qatar Grand Masters, with a total prize money of $2.2 million dollars, will be held at the Doha Golf Club this week. The tournament will start on the 25th January, with the finale being held on the 28th. The annual tournament, which was started in 1998 and now features many of the world?s top players, is part of the Europe and Asia PGA tours schedule. This year?s tournament will see former US open champion Michael Campbell playing in addition to Retief Goosen, Sergio Garcia, Chris DiMarco, Stuart Appleby and defending champion Henrik Stephenson.Doha Golf Association contact details:Address: PO Box 13530, Doha, QatarTel: +974-4832338Fax: + 974-4832679Book flights,hotels or cars with Expedia.Qatar Visitor BookstoreFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsQatar Doha Middle East commercialbank Grand Masters golf
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Qatar?s population to increase to 2.5 million by 2016
2008-01-16 10:15:00
Well, that?s the prediction. This incredible figure - Qatar ?s current population is below a million, although it is expected to hit seven figures this year - was mentioned as an aside in a recent AFP interview with Hassan bin Ali, the chairman of the Doha 2016 Olympics bid.As Qatar?s current native Qatari population is somewhere around 20% of this, presumably the vast majority of this increase in population will come from abroad.Qatar Visitor has also recently learned for the first time that there are plans to improve the public transport system with railways.Both underground and above ground railway systems are planned as part of the Lusail project, and the Doha bid details plans to build a metro/lrt railway, with additional tramlines and a feeder bus network, which will connect all the major Olympic sites. Construction of the first phase of the railway is due to begin next year.There is also an incredible planned increase in the number of hotel rooms in Doha. Currently there are ...
More About: Middle East , Million
Qatar Television Schedule
2008-01-12 17:24:00
Nigel of Qatar Journal has launched a free weekly Qatar television schedule, delivered weekly to subscriber's in boxes. To get the schedule simply sign up for Qatar Journal's Qatar news alert. Both news alerts and the television schedule are free.Qatar Visitor e-store (U.S.)Qatar Visitor E-store (U.K.)Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsQatar Doha Middle East television
More About: Television , Schedule
Dentists in Qatar
2008-01-12 14:39:00
A guest of mine recently had severe toothache while visiting me in Qatar . My first reaction was panic, as I always seem to hear stories of people who have paid a fortune for dental treatment in Qatar.Fortunately, a friend told me about the dental clinics in the health centres. While our local health centre was shut (it was Saturday), a trip to Muntazah clinic saw my guest being treated in the dentist?s room within two minutes of arriving at the clinic. The cost: QAR 30 for the treatment, as my guest did not have a health card, and QAR 5 for the antibiotics and painkillers.The medical centres do not just provide emergency treatment: from Sunday to Thursday they are available for checkups.Another acquaintance went to a private dentist here to be quoted QAR 25,000 for the treatment he required. He changed dentist, but when it came to having the operation the dentist referred him back to the health system, saying the dentistry required was too complex for his clinic. The whole thing - p...
More About: Middle East , Doha
Tourist Driving Licence: one or two weeks?
2008-01-10 14:14:00
Confusion is currently ruling supreme amongst newly arrived residents as to just how long they can drive for before obtaining a temporary driving licence.Almost all published information states that a driver can use a car for one week on a temporary driving licence. However, the police recently stated in the Gulf Times that a foreign driving licence is in fact valid for two weeks.However, when we asked at the Traffic Department how long a licence was valid for, we were told it could be used for a week only.It seems likely that a decision has been taken at the top to extend the use for two weeks, but that this decision has not been well communicated. Until this matter has been cleared up, we recommend not taking any risks and only driving on a foreign driving licence for one week.Also see: Driving in Qatar : Practical InformationQatar Visitor e-store (U.S.)Qatar Visitor E-store (U.K.)Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsQatar Do...
More About: Middle East , Doha , Tourist
Ras Al Nassaa: Review
2008-01-08 13:40:00
I'd wanted to try the Ras Al Nassaa restaurant at the end of Doha 's Corniche for a long time. While it looks a little run down, the location is superb: the restaurant juts into the harbour and offers views of the boats and harbour, with the Doha skyline in the distance.Upon arriving we went to the family section outside. You can chose to sit in the shade, or along the terrace on huge leather beanbags, or even on a little pontoon floating on the water. There's also a small play area for children. Most people had chosen to enjoy a shisha - for good reason, as it turned out.The service was, simply put, poor . I had to go in search for a waiter twice, and when we had ordered our food they had forgotten a dish. The food did arrive in reasonable time - although this didn't stop them from overcooking it, and the prawns were so dried out as to be uneatable.We ordered coffee (after eventually locating a waiter), but it never came. As a result we checked the bill to make sure it had not ...
More About: Middle East , Restaurant , Review , Qatar
Murray wins Qatar Open
2008-01-06 09:34:00
After watching Andy Murray coming second in the Qatar Open last year, it was great to see him take the title yesterday in the match against Stanislas Wawrinka. Although Murray is ranked much higher than Wawrinka, this is due to injury suffered by Wawrinka rather than to a lack of talent, and the victory over Wawrinka, who practises with Federer and has beaten Murray twice before, did not prove an easy one.Murray took the first set 6-4 after a hard battle over the final point, but lost the second set 4-6. However, Wawrinka made some crucial errors in the third set leading to Murray's victory.Murray was supported throughout by a vocal crowd, who also booed the umpire when he twice overruled the linesman in Wawrinka's favour.Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsQatar Doha Middle East tennis
More About: Tennis
Reporters Without Borders come to Qatar
2008-01-04 10:47:00
The Doha Media Freedom centre has been set up in Qatar , Gulf News reported today. The centre will be funded by the government and run independently by Reporters Without Borders . The centre was set up at the instigation of the Emir.Reporters Without Borders currently rates Qatar 79 out of 169 countries in its press freedom index, just below Kenya and just above the Congo.It is perhaps ironic that the move comes shortly after the Qatar Journal editor was refused exit from Qatar when attempting to attend a conference by the Arab Free Press Forum in Beirut. Nigel himself attributed this to a mistake made by the immigration authorities regarding his sponsorship rather than a deliberate policy of repressing press freedom - however, the issue remains that Qatar certainly does have borders for reporters!If representatives of Reporters Without Borders have to follow local laws, they will have to be sponsored. This means that they will need permission to leave the country - a permission which...
More About: Middle East
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