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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


Cost of Living: Budget Indian Restaurants in Qatar
2007-10-07 23:13:00
The Cheapest Food in QatarIt?s been a few months since we did any posts on the cost of living, and with inflation still sky high we thought it was time to start again.This time we are going to look at the cheapest way to eat out in Qatar. If you are Indian ? especially if you are from Kerela ? there is good news for you. Without a doubt Indian food, much of it from Kerala, often provides the best value there is around.In addition to the table below, many residents choose to pay a restaurant monthly. QR250 to 300 will buy you two meals a day for a month in a typical Indian restaurant.Before we hit you with our list of prices, it is worth noting that there are plenty of medium and high class Indian restaurants. (We particularly recommend the Chingari Indian restaurant in the Ramada ? see our restaurant reviews here.) However, the focus of this post is on budget food rather than the range of cuisine available.For comparison purposes, exchange rates at time of writing: 1 Qatar Riyal is ...
More About: Middle East , Living , Restaurants , Cost
Traffic offences down
2007-10-05 12:35:00
There has been some scepticism as to whether the new traffic laws would be effective. I must admit that I started to share in the scepticism on the day the law was introduced, when as I was sitting in my car, I noticed the man besides me on his mobile phone. In front of me and to the left was a police car, and behind the police car was another man on his phone. Neither man took any notice of the police vehicle.Other people have pointed out that there is no way that many expatriates will be able to pay fines. This could lead to people not registering their cars, as fines have to be paid before cars are registered. Other people have worried that residents will take out bank loans to pay the fines and then flee the country.Our sceptism may have been misplaced. The Peninsula has reported today that traffic violations are down 90% since the introduction of the new traffic law. It seems that changing the law has been rather more effective than Qatar 's road safety campaigns.Qatar Visitor...
More About: Middle East , Traffic , Driving , Doha
Indians in Qatar: Scheduled Shows
2007-10-05 10:02:00
Five Indian shows are scheduled over the next six weeks. The first will see Indian musician Sonu Nigam performing at Khalifa tennis stadium on the first day of Eid. This will be followed by a three hour performance by Kerala mimic KS Pramad on the same day.The next day will see a comedy and music show which will include a come back performance by singer Rimy Tomy, while on the 24th October singer S.P. Balsubramanium will perform in a musical at Doha Cinema. Doha Cinema will also also be the venue of a ?Grand Indian Musical Evening?, which will feature two southern Indian singers, Vitup Pratap and Manjari Babu on November 9th.Qatar has regular Indian shows, sometimes including top Bollywood stars. This is perhaps not surprising given its huge Indian population: Indians make up 20% of the population of Qatar.Former Indian celebrities who have come to Qatar have included Salman Khan, while Karisma Kapoor - or Lolo - came to Qatar in January of this year to launch her Eros range of go...
More About: Middle East , What
Domestic Workers in Qatar
2007-10-04 14:10:00
The Indian embassy effectively put a ban on Qatar is hiring maids from India earlier this week by refusing to register them with the embassy. Maids have to be registered with their embassy before being allowed to work in Qatar.The ban has coincided with several gulf times report of abuse, beatings and non-payment of maids. Only today, yet another domestic worker filed charges against her employer at the Indian embassy today, alleging that her employer's wife had inflicted injuries with a cigarette butt and a hot iron box.In implementing the ban, the Indian embassy has effectively followed in the steps of Indonesia, which, while not actually banning maids, has done a lot to discourage them from coming here. In fact, as locals enter the Indonesian embassy to register their domestic worker, they will see a poster showing the scars of a tortured maid.The Phillipines, in the meantime, have imposed a minimum wage on Qatari workers.They hope to export "super-maids", maids with superior hou...
More About: Middle East , Workers , Domestic , Doha
An Interview with The Emir
2007-10-02 10:57:00
The Emir discusses Iraq, Pakistan, democracy and other issues on the Charlie Rose show.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 Emir
More About: Interview
Qatar Natural History Group: Opening Meeting
2007-10-01 08:07:00
The Natural History Group will meet on Wednesday at 19.30 at the Doha English Speaking School. Existing members are requested to visit and renew their membership and new members can join. The annual fee is QR30 per adult.Read a review or by a copy of Discovering Qatar , by Frances Gillespie, former President of the Natural History GroupQatar 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
More About: Opening
New Traffic Regulations Coming Into Force Tomorrow
2007-10-01 07:56:00
Doha?s Traffic Police authorities can?t be blamed for feeling frustrated. Despite committed and comprehensive campaigns to increase road safety, Doha?s roads remain a menace, and road accidents are the leading cause of death in this otherwise very safe country. Things can?t be helped by a continual inflow of expatriate workers, some who have a driving culture even more reckless than Qatar .Therefore it should be of no surprise that penalties have been stiffened again. The law is based on a complicated system of points, but penalties can include a fine of up to QR50,000, permanent suspension of driving licenses and even imprisonment of up to three years. For details of the law see's post on the traffic regulations.Qatar Visitor's 90 Second Guide to Driving in QatarPractical Information about Driving in QatarQatar 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 Midd...
More About: Middle East , Force , Regulations
Gondolas - in the desert!
2007-09-30 10:14:00
Qatar may have only 80 millimetres of rainfall a year, but that doesn't stop this ambitious country from planting parks, creating golf courses - and even putting canals in their shopping malls. In this dry country, where the scorching sun can reach 50 degrees centigrade in the summer, you can swimming in chilled pools, ice-skating - and now trips on a gondola.While you glide along the canal, enjoy the cool air blowing in your face, and the white clouds in the blue sky - even if the air is from an air-conditioner and the sky is fake! A trip up and down this canal will set you back a mere 15 riyals (4 US dollars). Enjoy!Qatar Shopping 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 shopping gondola canal villagio
More About: Qatar , Desert
Qatar's Natural History
2007-09-29 10:31:00
In the latest article on our website, Frances Gillespie, author of Discovering Qatar and Natural History journalist, writes about Qatar's natural history. In it she covers Qatar's terrain, its animal, plant, bird and marine life and the impact - both positive and negative -that people have had on Qatar's environment. The article is accompanied throughout by superb photography.Copyright Drew GardnerQatar 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
Hyatt Plaza: Layali Al Kheir
2007-09-29 10:14:00
The Hyatt Plaza has launched an Arabic Cultural Programme called Layali Al Kheir which will run until the end of Ramadan. The programme will start at 8.30 every evening and will finish at 11.30. Events will include traditional oud concerts, plays including Ali Baba and the 40 thieves and a magic lamp quiz. Traditional Arabic perfumes, sweets and other goods will be available throughout the festival. 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 culture
More About: Culture
Qatar Ultimate Frisby
2007-09-28 08:23:00
Games of ultimate frisbee are being held the College of North Atlantic on Tuesday evenings. Beginners are welcome. For more information see this Qatar Ultimate page on google groups.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 ultimate+frisby
More About: What
2007-09-26 08:46:00
Children's dayToday is Garangau, or Children?s day in Ramadan. Garangau is specific to the Gulf region, and according to Time Out Dubai is believed to have its roots in the pearl fishing tradition. During Garangau children dress in traditional clothing, and partake in a Qatar trick or treat, knocking on people?s doors to receive sweets and small presents. Many schools are having a non-school uniform day as well, with children asked to come to school in traditional dress, while hotels are having special dinners and the municipality has organised a special programme of songs, quizzes and other entertainment.Also see: Wednesday Night is GarangauQatar 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 Garangau
More About: Culture
La Cigale Hotel
2007-09-25 09:14:00
The 20 storey La Cigale Hotel has seemed nearly ready open for months and months it is now finally ? pre-open. They are not taking any room bookings yet, and they are still working away on that car-park, but you now go and have a look around or eat in their Ramadan tent.The hotel itself looks modern but can?t escape the rubble in the car park- until night at least, when it lights up in a blaze of colour.The staff are lovely, and if you just walk in they are happy to show you around ? at least, to see what little is ready. I was shown to their pool bar, which is currently being used as their Ramadan tent. The pool, which is inside the bar area, looked very sophisticated, although you would use their other pool (not yet open) if you wanted a decent swim. The bar, in its Ramadan decor, looked superb.If you want to have a look around, the hotel is located on Suhaim Bin Hamad Street, close to Blue Saloon and Al Sadd Traffic lights. To park your car, you will have to drive round the back ...
More About: Middle East , Qatar , Doha
Doha's Bid for Olympic Games
2007-09-24 09:17:00
Doha's bid for the 2016 Olympic and Para-Olympic Games got under way earlier this month with this official website, although the full website will not be launched until next month.The website points out that a successful bid would mean that the Olympic Games went to an Arabic Country for the first time, and also that Qatar is in the centre of many flight paths.Qatar proved that it could successfully manage big events with their handling of the Qatar Asian Olympic Games. The Asian Olympic Games also left the country with greatly improved sports facilities, not to mention the experience of holding large events. It also seems a good idea to hold the games in a country which can actually afford them - and tax free Qatar, with its huge reserves of Natural Gas, can certainly do that.Essentially, though, there are three problems which Qatar needs to deal with. One is transport. There is currently limited public transport, and during the Asian Games visitors were often stranded, unable to ...
More About: Middle East , Doha
Podcast: Surviving Driving in Qatar
2007-09-23 13:09:00
Qatar Visitor's Ninety Second Guide to Driving in Qatar Our latest podcast on Qatar Sounds is on driving in Qatar. For greater authenticity, we decided to record it in a car. Unfortunately, as you can tell from the podcast, not everything went quite to plan... Qatar Podcast : Qatar Driving Tips 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 Podcast Driving
More About: Qatar
Doha Players to Start Rehearsals
2007-09-22 09:28:00
The Doha Players are to start rehearsals for the coming year on September 24th. Rehearsals will be held at the American School of Doha from 7 to 8.30 p.m. The coming 2007/2008 year's programme will include the Christmas Pantomime "Almost Dick Whittington" in December and "the King and I" next March. For more information telephone the Doha Players on 5755102 (office hours), 4474991 or email them at .Also see: Qatar Clubs and SocietiesQatar 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 doha+players
More About: What , Start
Jobs in Qatar: Al Jazeera Requires 27 Additional Staff
2007-09-22 08:35:00
Al Jazeera English, the English version of Qatar 's controversial news channel, is looking to hire 27 additional staff, Qatar Journal reported today. Jobs listed include presenter, correspondents, producer and editors. A detailed listing of the jobs can be found here.You can also see a detailed list of jobs in Qatar and the Gulf on our jobs page. Alternatively, read our Tips and Advice on Finding Work in 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 jobs
More About: Al Jazeera
An end to the dollar peg?
2007-09-20 12:52:00
Saudi Arabia has for the first time refused to cut its interest rates in step with America, in a move which threatens its dollar peg, according to this article in the telegraph.Gulf countries including Qatar are currently tieing their currencies to the dollar as part of plans to have a common Gulf currency. However, economic conditions in America are very different from economic conditions in the USA, and low interest rates have lead to high inflation.Now in Qatar we are in the crazy position of having interest rates lower than inflation. Not a little bit lower, either - inflation is a shade under 13% while central bank rates are set at just 5.5%. So in Qatar it makes no sense to save, and lots of sense to borrow!A further problem caused by the dollar peg is that the riyal is undervalued. That causes further inflationary pressures as non-dollar goods are now very expensive.I can't imagine Saudi Arabia coming out of the dollar peg and Qatar not following. Assuming I am correct, that...
More About: News , Middle East , Dollar , Doha
Qatar Sea Slugs
2007-09-19 22:42:00
A New Species?Below is an image of what is almost certainly a new species of sea slug, though it has yet to be named. The sea slug was discovered by Gabriele Patterson during a Qatar Natural History Group trip, and photographed by Iain Macdonald.Expert Dr Bill Rudman, who runs The Sea Slug Forum, believes that the tiny scarlet and white creature is likely to be a new species. It bears most resemblance to a sea slug last seen in Pakistan more than a century ago.AppearanceAs can be seen from both the new species and the images of sea slugs below, these creatures can be far more beautiful than their name suggests. These soft-bodied creatures are more properly known as Nudibranch - which can be translated as either naked gills or as bare lungs.Their bright colours and patterns are not without purpose. They serve as a warning to hungry fish to leave these slow moving creatures well alone - not without reason, as they contain unpleasant chemicals making their flesh unpalatable to even ...
More About: Middle East , Doha
Ramadan in Qatar: Fasting and Health
2007-09-19 22:41:00
Medina 626 CEThe sun blazes down in the desert, upon the heads of the goats and camels. Herders watch the animals, sheltering under the sparse shade of date palms. Despite the blistering heat, they have had nothing to eat or drink since the morning. They are following the new rules of their prophet Mohammed, and, like him, they will not eat till sunset, when they will break their fast with a little water and a few dates.Qatar 2007 CEAs I write it is the end of summer here in Qatar, and the outside temperature, though not matching the height of summer when it could reach a humid 50 degrees Celsius, is barely bearable.Yet the majority of people in Qatar are fasting. Not only do they abstain from food, tobacco and sex, they will also not touch a drop of water from dawn to dusk, for this is Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month.Not only are Muslims fasting. Many non-Muslims, often motivated by curiosity are fasting too. One question that has arisen in recent online discussion in Qatar Livi...
More About: Middle East , Health , Culture , Doha
Dust Storm: Satellite Images
2007-09-18 10:02:00
Nasa's Earth Observatory has provided this image of the of the huge plume of dust that covered Bahrain and Qatar on the 12th September. The image shows the dust storm appearing to rotate in a clockwise direction. Although the edges of the plume are thin, Bahrain and Qatar are almost completely obscured by it.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 dust+storm
More About: Satellite , Images , Storm
Adios Amigo...
2007-09-16 09:00:00
While Eid Al Adha, the feast of sacrifice, is still some months off, Ramadan still spells doomsday for many live stock. In addition to the feasting that takes place in the night, both at home and in hotels, tents are set up to provide food and meat for the poor.This jump in consumption means many more animals will face their day of reckoning in Ramadan. Here, at Doha 's wholesale market, vendors wave down passing cars to sell their sheep and goats. For the two sheep below. touching their noses in a last farewell, it is time to meet their maker in the local abattoir located opposite the pens.Qatar Image LibraryCulture and Religion in QatarQatar 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 market
More About: Market , Adio
New Species Discovered by Qatar Natural History Group
2007-09-15 14:18:00
According to this article by Francis Gillespie in the Gulf Times, what is probably an entirely new marine species has been discovered by members of the Natural History Group.The tiny scarlet and white sea slug, measuring only 3 cm long, was found by Gabriele Patterson in a Mangrove Swamp in Sumaisma in East Qatar during an April trip.The sea slug, which has yet to be named, is similar to a specimen documented over a 100 years ago in Pakistan, but which has not been seen since.Qatar Camel RacingQatar Heritage VillageQatar 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 Natural History Marine Life
Qatar on The Daily John Stewart Show
2007-09-14 18:26:00
Watch an Interview with Sheikh HamadQatar Sounds and MoviesQatar 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 video
More About: Video , Daily , John Stewart , Show
RYA Day Skipper Course
2007-09-14 10:21:00
A Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Day Skipper shore-based course will be held in Doha starting on Sunday 28th October. The course will run from 28 October 2007 to 13 January 2008.The RYA shorebased course for Day Skippers is an elementary course in basic seamanship, navigation and meteorology, suitable for beginners and people with little experience in cruising yachts and motorboats and a full syllabus can be sent upon request. An RYA certificate is presented for successful completion of the course.The course will consist of 21 lessons of 2 hours each, which will be held on Sunday and Wednesday evenings starting at 7 PM. There will be a break during December for one week for the Hadj Eid (last week of December).For more information or to join the course contact Vince Mee (email: tel: 6749254) or John Coubrough (email: tel: 5279198). Qatar Visitor e-store (U.S.)Qatar Visitor E-store (U.K.)Find the best deal, compare prices and read wha...
More About: Middle East , What , Sailing
The Start of Ramadan
2007-09-12 12:59:00
Life in Qatar is about to change dramatically, if only for a month. Ramadan , the month of fasting, is expected to start tonight. Normally, the date Ramadan starts is not certain, as the first day is determined by the position of the moon. However, as today is the last day of the Islamic month Shabaan, Ramadan should start tomorrow.As of tonight, all bars will be closed, and hotels will stop selling alcohol. The Qatar Distribution Centre, Qatar?s off-licence, will be shut and if, like me, you have just arrived back from your summer break, you may be in for an alcohol free month.Muslims will not be allowed to drink water or eat food from dawn to dusk. While non-Muslims may eat and drink as normal, it is advisable to do so discretely. You may also find you are not allowed to eat or drink in your work place.Working hours will change dramatically for some, and Muslims working outside may be given night shifts, with non-Muslims taking their place during the day.At the time of Magrhib, the...
More About: Middle East , Start , Doha
Qatar's population growth: A slowdown?
2007-09-06 20:13:00
Qatar's relentless population rise may be about to halt. According to a report in the growth of the population may slow or even be reversed due to a change in marriage habits. A increasing number of Qatari women are marrying later in life and twenty five percent of women of a child bearing age remain unmarried. One third of those who do get married will end up getting divorced.A slowdown in the increase of the population may not be a bad thing. Qatar only has to look at Saudi Arabia, where a massive increase in the population has led to the GDP per person more than halving since the 1970's.The report seems to put pressure on Qatari women to marry and have families. However, some more liberal observers may have sympathy for the Qatari women, many of whom are well educated and occupy important positions in Government. It's not long since it was suggested that in order to decrease philandering by Qatar men, those men should take second wives. Perhaps, at the same time, ...
More About: Growth , Grow , Pula
Qatar Sponsorship: New Law Under Consideration
2007-08-17 19:27:00
A new sponsorship law for Qatar , which will allow employees to change jobs, is under consideration according to the outgoing US ambassador. The law, which was reported in Business Intelligence Middle East , may be a response to the US state department's annual trafficking report which heavily criticised Qatar as a country which was a destination for human trafficking for the purposes of involuntary servitude.Currently an employee arriving in Qatar may not change job without his or her employers permission - or leave the country, take out a loan or enjoy other rights taken for granted in other parts of the world. While the Government have made noises about removing the system of sponsorship in the past (see the End of Sponsorship ?), there has been some resistance by local businesses.Ultimately, allowing employees to change jobs should benefit the country as a whole, as skilled workers will remain in the country. It will also mean Qatar will be coming more into line with internationa...
More About: Doha , Under
Predicted increase in rents
2007-08-15 08:58:00
A real estate firm has predicted that the price of rents in Qatar will increase. Reg Barichievy, general manager of a real estate firm in Qatar, believes that there will two years of rent rises before there is any fall. Qatar Journal mentions that many Qatar Living readers are sceptical.These things are notoriously difficult to predict, and I am certainly not brave enough to guess what's going to happen. It is interesting, though, that a recent article reported that some landlords were holding on to empty apartments rather than accepting lower rents, which suggests rents are already too high.Huge building has been continuing in Doha suggesting that the supply of property is going to increase. Silmutaneously, there seems a distinct possibility of a global slow-down with the sub-prime morgage crisis in America and a shortage of credit around the world. Perhaps Reg believes that the huge predicted growth in Qatar's gas output will innure Qatar to these factors. If he has right, we co...
More About: Middle East , Ease , Predict
Qatar on You Tube
2007-08-08 23:41:00
An interesting video about Qatar on You Tube - including an interview with Sheikh Hamad.Qatar Sounds and MoviesQatar 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 video
More About: Video
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