Qatar has a relatively liberal attitude to the consumption of alcohol by non-Muslim, and liquor is available in many hotels. However, it is strictly forbidden to bring alcohol into the country, including duty free. Alcohol is strictly not served during the Holy Month of Ramadan.
Automatic Teller Machines (ATM’s) are readily accessible throughout Doha.
Banking hours are generally 7.30am - 1pm, Sunday to Thursday, with some branches open in the afternoons
The working week in Qatar runs from Sunday to Thursday with Friday (the holy day for Muslims) and Saturday being days off.
The climate is typical of hot and arid desert lands, very pleasant from November to March, slightly warmer from April to June and September and October, and extremely hot in July and August. Rain rarely falls in Qatar.
The country code for Qatar is +974. Local telephone calls (landlines) are free. The majority of hotels offer wireless or broadband connectivity, and various cafes and parks around Qatar offer free wireless internet.
Women are highly-regarded in business at all levels. Western men and women may freely wear western style clothing. However, it is advisable that clothing for both men and women covers the knees, and that sleeveless tops showing the shoulders and upper arms, and as well as tight or revealing clothing, should be avoided. It is requested that permission is sought before photographing any Qatari. Arab women are very modest, so it is recommended that men approach another male for directions or advice.
The Qatar Riyal (QAR) is permanently pegged to the US dollar at US$1.00 to QAR3.64.
The official language is Arabic, but English is widely spoken and understood.
Islam. Other religions are Buddhism, Christianity, and Hinduism. The Ramadan period takes place each year for 30 days. In 2013, it will be in July, and in 2014, it will commence at the end of June.
The Global Peace Index (GPI) ranks Qatar as one of the safest places in the world. Strolling along the Corniche, and walking around the city centre and to and from hotels, is very safe.
Qatar has tobacco-control laws banning smoking in public places including restaurants, shopping centres, and sports venues.
GMT + 3 hours
Tips are not expected but always appreciated. A service charge may be added to the bill, otherwise a tip of 10 percent is appropriate.
Qatar grants tourist visas at border points for the nationals of more than 33 countries, including the US, Canada, Iceland, West European countries, some East European countries, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, South Korea, Brunei, Australia, and New Zealand, besides the nationals of the GCC countries. Visit visas for the residents of the GCC countries and their companions are issued at border points, while entry visas for businessmen coming from places other than the countries mentioned above need to be arranged beforehand.
For more information, visit http://www.moi.gov.qa/site/english or www.hukoomi.qa.