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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

Doha Yoga and Fitness
2008-09-23 21:55:00
One of the newer websites on the Qatar net is Doha Yoga and Fitness . Run by Tammie, a a yoga coach and licensed nurse, Doha Yoga and Fitness teaches the Vinyasa style of Hatha Yoga, a system of Yoga which was introduced by Yogi Swatarama in fifteenth century India. Swatarama saw Hatha Yoga as a stage of physical preparation which would prepare the body for higher meditation.For more information about Hatha Yoga or about the courses visit Doha Yoga and Fitness.For more activities to do in Doha see our list of Qatar Clubs.Picture by: MyYogaOnlineQatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsyoga
The future of Qatar?
2008-09-23 13:00:00
The New York times carried a fascinating article about the contradictory culture of Dubai two days ago. (You can read the article here, but you will have to sign up first (for free)).The article explores the nature of Dubai, an Islamic city where you can drink alcohol and party till night. Western freedom lives side by side by mosques open 24 hours a day. Unlike many other Islamic countries, it is a place where people can choose to enjoy the vices of the West or to follow their religion to the full without the repression that exists elsewhere.Qatar is often compared to Dubai and there are many similarities. Both are exploding with growth, although Qatar is lucky enough to fund its growth with oil revenue rather than with debt. Both are also experiencing a dramatic change in culture.There is also conflict. There are both conservative and liberal elements in the country: those who want to continue to modernise and extend freedoms to those who want it, and those who want Qatar and Qa...
More About: Culture , Future , The Future
Police Clearance for Qatar
2008-09-21 08:00:00
After being accepted for a job in Qatar , you may be asked to provide a police clearance certificate. This relatively new requirement was brought in about 2 1/2 years, and at the time meant no end of hassle for those already in Qatar who now required one.In our latest website article we look at how to obtain a police certificate, and what to do with it after you have got it. The piece was written in response to a question on the forum here: Required UK Documents for Qatar by Plaxis, and we have incorporated some of the information he eventually found out on the British side of things, while the British Embassy were kind enough to provide us with the information on the Qatar side of things.Qatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagspolice clearance
More About: Police , Clearance
Disabled Travels
2008-09-20 09:27:00
This is a guest post by Jean Rasbridge, a disabled traveller who works for a UK Power Chair company.I recently had a very pleasant stay with family who are working in elegant Qatar - I had been apprehensive about the journey itself, as well as travelling to a totally new country where I could not even say "Good Morning" ( I am ashamed to say). However I need not have worried, my fears about a non-disabled friendly trip and reception were unfounded.I travelled from Terminal 3 at Heathrow, and was escorted from the check in desk by very friendly airline staff, to a quiet waiting area, and when the flight was called was accompanied again to boarding. My travel Power Chair was put into the hold after I was ensconced in a front seat, and the journey passed smoothly. On arrival my son had arranged for an amazing service! A lift brought the chair to the door of the plane, and I was then met by a member of a Visa handling service called Al Maha, and taken to a charming area where I...
More About: Travels , Disabled
Doha's Industrial Area
2008-09-19 07:34:00
The Industrial Area in QatarThis is the industrial area; a drab and dreary district on the edge of Doha , where all the industry, garages and factories that might spoil the beautification of Doha has been placed. We visited it one Friday morning, a rare interval of peace in the area's hectic week. At busy times - which is most of the time - queues back up for half a kilometre along the wall, an unpleasant bullying mass of pickup trucks, tractors and giant lorries which often grind great holes into the roads. At present it is in better condition, although that will not be much consolation to the man who died after his car fell into one of the holes. For much of the year it is dusty, a dust that gets into your throat and your lungs, but on the rare occasions it rains there are floods - at such times, it is best to study the movements of the cars in front of you to avoid those holes.It's not just heavy industry which is removed from Doha. As more and more cheap accommodation has bee...
The National Anthem of Qatar
2008-09-18 06:00:00
This is not our first post on the Qatar National Anthem - we have the tune of the anthem, with the lyrics below - but it is not very satifying not being able to listen to the words. So we have provided movies of the anthems below. The first one is not great quality, having being downloaded from YouTube, edited, and then uploaded again (and being recompressed) but we chose it because the sound was clear. The second was recorded by us at the recent world cup qualifying match between Bahrain and Qatar. As this was a totally original movie we were able to host it on Vimeo, which often provides better quality movies than YouTube.Qatar National Anthem at the Asian GamesThe National Anthem of Qatar at the Bahrain v. Qatar Game A Qatar Football Crowd sings the Qatar National Anthem from qatar visitor on Vimeo.Qatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsNational Anthem
Former Qatar Islamic Dean talks about terrorism
2008-09-17 12:29:00
In this movie the former Dean of Islamic studies, a man who is often quoted in Qatar and who has been a voice for moderation and reason, talks out about terrorism in Arabic culture.More movies tomorrow - this time they will be ours!Also see: Qatar MoviesQatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsQatar dean terrorism
More About: Terrorism
Mobile phones, Inflation and Press Freedom
2008-09-16 20:59:00
There are a number of interesting stories in the rounds today.Vodafone have gained the fixed line licence after winning the mobile licence several months ago. No-one seems to be very surprised, and in contrast to the first round only two companies actually bothered to bid against them. The company got the licence for a song too - they only paid QAR 10 million for the fixed licence, as opposed to QAR7.72 billion for the mobile licence.Surprisingly, Qtel do not seem to be too concerned - I hear from a friend that works there that the employees are more concerned with their inter-departmental football matches.Vodaphone, in the meantime, might do best financing their operations by borrowing in riyals. Despite the fall in the value of the dollar, which has been labelled by us as well as others as one of the main causes of rising prices, inflation has continued to grow and now stands at an incredible 16.59 percent. See Arabian Business for the full story.Those thinking of coming to Qatar ...
More About: News , Freedom , Mobile , Mobile Phones , Phones
Doha Tennis Open
2008-09-15 23:01:00
The Qatar Tennis Open is being held at the Intercontinental from the 15th - 29th October - click on the brochure below for more information.Also see: Qatar TennisQatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagstennis
More About: Doha
Cranes
2008-09-15 14:29:00
Cranes reach into the sunset in this Doha evening.Qatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagscranes Doha
Garangau
2008-09-14 19:26:00
It's a great night for kids tonight, as today is the fourteenth day of Ramadan, which means - Garangau! Garangau will be well underway as I write, starting as it does after Iftar (the breaking of the fast) - although my own daughter's school will be celebrating tomorrow, and has asked children to be sent in traditional dress. (What is traditional British dress?) It's also a day when the school relaxes its normal rules on sweets - last year my daughter came home with a huge bag of them, including many nuts covered with a sticky sweet icing - the sweets lasted until I surreptitiously threw them away a couple of weeks later. It's not actually a particularly religious festival, despite the words of the traditional Garangau song (see below), and children of virtually all nationalities and religions join in. Garangau Song"If you give us some sweets and nuts God will reward you, and take you to Mecca, the place every Muslim wants to go.' (Source: Marhaba Autumn 2008). Qatar Visitor Fr...
More About: Islam , Culture
American Women's Association Meeting
2008-09-13 22:31:00
Posted at the request of Indorachel.AWA GENERAL MEETINGLocation : Al Rayyan Hotel , Dafna-Diplomatic District ( Opposite City Center )Time : 10 - 12 amDate :- 13 October- 10 November- 8 Decemberwe also haveAWA ANNUAL BAZAARLocation : Intercon HotelTime : 10 - 12 amDate : 8 November 2008Qatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about Qatar
More About: American , Association , Meeting
Shelters
2008-09-13 08:37:00
Although Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world (if not the richest country in the world) not everyone can afford a luxurious place to relax, as these pictures of worker's shelters from Doha 's industrial area show.Qatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsworkers Doha shelters
The History of Qatar
2008-09-12 12:57:00
History in Qatar is not as well chronicled as it might be in some countries, with still little known of its early past, and with records sparse until the arrivals of the Europeans. Nevertheless, now is a time when the boundaries of what we do know are being pushed back, with many new archeological discoveries being made. Some of these discoveries now suggest that human life in Qatar existed some 700,000 - 800,000 years ago. Later history should be easier to piece together, but is not helped by often contradictory information from secondary sources. What is clear, though, is that Qatar was a place of haven for Christians, even after the early adoption of Islam by the then ruler of Qatar, Al Tamimi. Later on, Qatar entered a bloody period in its history, with constant battles - both on sea and on land. One particular enemy was Bahrain, and indeed the enmity between these two countries was only finally solved in 2001 after a judgement by the World Court in 2001. The court case, which h...
More About: History
Qatari Football Supporters
2008-09-11 12:51:00
Enthusiastic football supporters at the Bahrain-Qatar world cup qualifying match in Al Sadd football stadium, Doha. A heady start saw Qatar scoring in the first few minutes of the game and dominating the first half of the match, with Bahrain going down to ten men prior to half time. Qatar proved distinctly lacklustre in the second half, and Bahrain both outplayed Qatar and equalized in the second half, despite their numerical advantage.Also see: Qatar Football & Qatar TennisQatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsfootball
More About: Supporters
AWA dinner
2008-09-10 12:52:00
Come celebrate Ramadan Kareem and enjoy fabulous live entertainment and buffet dinner at the InterContinental Hotel Tent Site.Saturday, Sept. 12th, 2008 at 8:30 pmCost is 200 QR per personFamily and friends of AWA are welcome.Dinner includes dinner buffet, soda, juice, tea, coffee, service charges, tips and entertainment.Don?t miss your chance!!!Meet with Cheryl Stephenson at Villaggio, Paul?s Café and CoffeeSeptember 10, Wednesday at 3 pm to 4:30pm to purchase Ramadan Tent tickets.If this time is not convenient, please contact Cheryl to make special arrangementsCheryl StephensonEmail: stephenson_cheryl@yahoo.com 557-1206Qatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about Qatar
Turning the Desert Green in Qatar
2008-09-09 14:32:00
The Supreme Qatar Desert Development Council (SQDDC) has released its plans for the development of the desert, according to a report in the Qatar Times today. The SQDDC plans call for a greening of the desert which will, in time, return the desert to a much more hospitable environment. Qatar, like much of the Middle East, was once thought to have been a much greener place than it is now, and recent finds of hunting tools designed to kill animals such as aurochs and elephants have lent weight to this theory.The development of the desert, said Dr Lotfi Al Baloushi, head of the SQDDC, will also involve the building of a new urban area, which will be called Desert City. Virtual images have been released by SQDDC of what the Qatar desert will look like by 2010 - including one where a larger than life Qatari strides across grass with the giant sand dunes at Messaieed (now covered in a verdant green) in the distance. However, one United Nations desert scientist who we contacted, Icelander...
More About: News , Humour , Green
Dinosaur house
2008-09-08 21:04:00
I have been watching this building on Wholesale Market Street come up for the last few months- I have always wondered what it was: a museum, maybe, or a fancy restaurant. Today I decided it was finally ready to shoot. After I had taken the photograph some men wandered out of the house - painters, it turned out. We communicated in broken Arabic and English - a museum? I asked. No, a villa, was the reply.Qatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsdinosaur house
More About: House
Early Man in Qatar
2008-09-07 15:51:00
Further archeological discoveries made in Qatar by a joint Qatari-Danish team suggest that man first moved to Qatar earlier than previously expected, the Gulf Times reported today. Hunting tools have been discovered which are believed to date from 700,000 to 800,000 years in the past. The tools, which were found on what is thought to have been the shores of a freshwater lake, included hand axes and cleavers used to kill large animals such as aurochs and elephants, as well as scraping instruments used to clean fur. A director of the Moesgard Museum in Denmark, Bo Madsen, quoted in the Gulf Times stated:?not only are these tools the oldest traces of man in South Arabia, they are among the oldest in the whole world.?The announcement follows on from the discovery of an ancient settlement in Qatar earlier this year. It must also lend weight to the theory that Qatar, as well as much of the rest of the Middle East, was once a much more hospitable place to live, with a milder climate and ve...
More About: History , Early
Desert Greenhouse
2008-09-07 10:56:00
The Sea Water Greenhouse Qatar is considering introducing the innovative sea water greenhouse into its deserts: a desert greenhouse which utilizes sea and sun to provide a green alternative to desert farming. The Sea Water Greenhouse utilises, as is suggested by the name, sea water to cool greenhouses. In contrast to traditional desalination projects, which are both energy heavy and consume fossil fuels, the Desert Greenhouse uses the sun to distil the sea water. More sea water is used to cool the Greenhouse, resulting in a temperature 15 degrees lower than outside the Greenhouse. Meanwhile, a specially constructed roof allows light to pass though while removing much of the heat. The resulting rather steamy athmosphere - the greenhouse operates at around 90 % humidity has proved an excellent environment for growing plants. In the case of Qatar, solar power will be used to pump the water from the sea. This could have huge benefits for Qatar. In addition to the obvious benefits of incr...
More About: Environment
High Speed Trains for Qatar
2008-09-06 13:18:00
Plans for trains in Qatar are going ahead at full speed, according to Railway Gazette. Some expats have been sceptical of the trains programme proceeding, especially after the end of the Asian Games. Indeed some plans do never seem to take place - an obvious one being the new National Library, which was marked on the map when I arrived here three years and a half years ago but has yet to be built.However, Qatar has now chartered Deustche Bahn for the preliminary stages of developing the railway i.e. planning. Plans include a railway link into Doha from the airport, an East coast rail link to Ras Laffan and Messaieed, a link to Saudi Arabia, "people movers" in some areas of Doha such as Lusail and possibly even a high speed link to Bahrain.I don't know how many times people have said that Qatar really needs to develop its public transport system. Now it seems that they are really going to do it. Unfortunately, there are likely to be many years of worsening traffic congestion before ...
More About: Train , Trains , Speed , High
Superior culture?
2008-09-05 12:02:00
Walking through the centre of my home town, we did not feel safe. Although it was the middle of the day and we were with two small children, people were shouting and swearing around us, swigging cider from bottles, groping and snogging each other in front of us - some people were obviously drunk, others drugged up.Then, a week or so later, a Qatari teenager, come to the UK to study English, was attacked by white thugs in a racist attack. He died a few days later.While there is plenty of racism in Qatar, a racist attack like this simply wouldn't take place. I have walked through backstreets in Qatar at three in the morning without a qualm. But if it did happen, you would soon be whisked to hospital. Not, as in the case of young Mohammed, spending hours waiting in a police car, then hours again waiting for a hospital bed. And I can imagine the reaction of the British if a young English boy was killed in an attack by Qatar youths. There would be aggression, a desire for revenge, perha...
More About: Culture , Superior
Rahmah Ibn Jaber
2008-09-04 21:56:00
A few weeks ago we criticised Wikipedia's page on Rahmah Ibn Jaber. Since then Wikipedia have much improved their page - as you can see here. However, as we have promised, we have also come up with our section on this fascinating figure from Qatar's history. Check it out here: Rahman Ibn Jaber - Scourge of the Pirate Coast. Qatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about Qatar
Working in Qatar: Check out the company first!
2008-09-02 20:08:00
The Indian Embassy in Qatar has urged workers to check out companies'credentials before accepting positions in Qatar. According to Sindh Today, the advice followed a case in which a hundred recently recruited Indian employees had to return home after a company lost the contract for which they had been recruited. Not only did they return empty handed - the majority of them had paid Rs.50,000 to Rs.60,000 to a recruiting agent in India to get the positions in the first place. The newspaper went on to quote Sanjiv Kohli, minister at the Indian embassy, as saying:This is not the first or the last case in which people are cheated by recruitment agencies.In our article on jobs, Getting a job in Qatar, we advise workers to avoid small and recently set up companies where possible. You are less likely to get problems with a large well established company or with a government position. While this may not also be possible, you should also research your company as far as is possible. In additi...
More About: Company , Check , Working
Ramadam Kareem
2008-09-01 10:14:00
Today is the start of Ramadan, a month of going without food and water from dawn to dusk for most Muslims (I am told that foregoing cigarettes is much harder than foregoing water for smokers) - and perhaps also a month of furtive sipping, smoking and snacking for non-Muslims. You also have to watch out for secret smokers in cars, those who duck down while driving to sneak a smoke, resulting in the famous headless drivers of Qatar.It is also a month when food prices shoot up in response to the traditional increase in demand - for while the day is a time of fasting, the night is a time of feasting. In fact, may people put on weight during Ramadan!If you are a non-Muslim and new to Qatar, it is worth remember that while you are not expected to fast in sympathy (although some do), it is considered disrespectful to eat or drink in front of those fasting.For more information on Ramadan check out our article Fasting in the Desert and our blog post. Ramadan: fasting and health.Qatar Visit...
More About: Culture
Doha Restaurants: Thai Snack
2008-06-09 07:00:00
Whenever I enter Thai Snack and breathe in I feel like I have been transported back to Thailand. The aromas are exactly the same as they are in Thailand. That's not surprising, as all the staff in this busy little restaurant are Thai too. Even the neon sign looks like it could come from a Thai high street, while the trees overhead remind you of the Asian jungle.Here you can enjoy a meal outside in the slightly run-down garden by the water fountain (at least in the cooler months), eat in the restaurant or order a take away. Although the restaurant is always busy, the restaurant and its Thai staff incredibly efficient and normally your order is ready within minutes. And the food is probably the best Thai food you are likely to get in Qatar, from the spicy tang of Tom Yam seafood to the sweet but delicious Pat Thai, which you can liberally sprinkle with crushed peanuts for that authentic Thai taste.The restaurant is located at the bottom of Al Nasser Street, close Ramada signals. As y...
More About: Food , Restaurants , Doha
Football at the Marriot
2008-06-08 12:53:00
Following in the footsteps of the Intercontinental, The Marriot Hotel have sent us their flier for the Euro 2008. Starting, well, from yesterday (we only received it today - honest!) you can watch the Euro 2008 live at the hotel until the 29th of this month. at the Pearl Lounge, Salsa, Cafe Trettoir and Shisha Terrace. You can also find information about the Euro 2008 and its schedule on our partner website Soccerphile.Also see: Qatar Football Qatar Visitor FriendsQatar JobsFind the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about QatarTagsEuro2008
Exciting time for Qatar Football
2008-06-08 12:24:00
This is an exciting time for Qatar Football . Not only have Qatar just beaten China 1-0 with a penalty at half time during their away game, the country is also now joint first with Australia after Australia's shock defeat at the hand's of Qatar. The upcoming Saturday game against Australia will prove interesting, although the heat is likely to preclude dramatic play from either of the two sides. Check out the discussion on the I love Qatar forum.More could be coming, according to an article in the Guardian entitled Qatar plans Shock Bid for 2018 Tournament, which suggest that Qatar is likely to apply for the Games. However, Qatar is likely to be cautious this time around after being rejected from the Olympic Games bid despite tying joint third with Chicago on technical points. (Rio de Janeiro, which was behind on points, was accepted in this preliminary round.)The move could see them in direct opposition with the UAE, which has also been discussing bidding for the 2018 world cup.Qa...
More About: Time
Tourists Visa for Qatar: Qatar Airways
2008-06-07 13:36:00
Qatar Airways Tourist Visa :How to Obtain a Tourist Visa via Qatar AirwaysIf you are not a member of Qatar's list of approved nationalities for visa on arrival, you can get a visa either via a hotel or via Qatar Airways. However, to get a visa with Qatar Airways, you have to book a room for your stay with a five or four star hotel. We have included a list of approved hotels below.The hotel can be booked via Qatar Airways, with the visa fee being paid at the same time. In the event of the visa being refused (unlikely unless the person has misused a prior visa) the hotel fee will be refunded. However, the visa fee is non-refundable.Note that this tourist visa (unlike visa upon arrival for approved nationalities) is not available for those staying with friends or families - visitors need to be booked into a hotel. However, nationalities with families will be able to come on a visit visa - see Qatar Visas for more information.When we spoke to Qatar Airways about this, we asked about t...
More About: Tourists , Qatar
Why did Qatar lose the Olympics?
2008-06-06 10:05:00
I was a little surprised that Qatar fell out of the Olympics at the first hurdle. I didn't expect them to get the 2016 Olympics on their first attempt, but I did think they'd get further than they have.Then today the Gulf Times had a front page article on the bid, entitled "IOC bends own rules to kill Doha bid."The article pointed out that on technical points Doha finished ahead of Rio, yet the IOC chose to bump Doha out rather than Rio. Perhaps more interestingly, though, is that the IOC seems to have ruled Doha based on the choice of dates.Apparently, the IOC prefers the games to be held between July 15th and August 31st to maximize television revenues. However, as the Gulf Times pointed out, this would rule the whole of this region out forever.Certainly choosing a country based on the amount of TV revenue is a long way from the Olympic ideals which the games are supposed to be based on, although a lot closer to everyday reality!However, Australia were allowed to hold the Games ...
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