"My First Middle East Assignment" Qatar by mikoykoy
Qatar Travel Guide: 731 reviews and 2,078 photos
This is my first time going to Middle East and my 4th country to be visited.
So what can I say upon arrival at this country? Construction for the Asian Games was completed in time for the sports meet. Doha airport is also undergoing expansion. Construction of high rise building is also everywhere. They are like mushrooms sprouting from the ground. Since I am working for the construction industry, I was impressed on the architecture and the speed of progress.
What is was my first impression during my first city trip?
1) Automobiles are not mostly big cars and big bikes. Hummer, Land cruiser, Expedition, Escalade.
2) People cross the street whenever and wherever they want to. They don’t mind if they might be hit or run by motorists.
PLACES TO VISIT
Actually, I have not explored and experienced the “real” Qatar or Doha as I may say since our campsite location is actually more than 90km away from Doha. I only have the chance to visit the city proper during Thursday nights and Fridays if I opt not to work which is impossible because of our workload and project schedule. Unlike when I visited Yokohama in 2004, I immediately went to Kamakura 3 days after arrival.
The places I only visited here are the City Center, Corniche, Landmark and Souq area (and Hamad General Hospital for my medical check up). If you will notice, most of my tips are concentrated on food (which I love) and shopping. I have not been to any scenic spots around Doha. This is what I do not want definitely to miss. Anyway, I will still be staying in this country until June 2007. I still have the opportunity to visit the lovely places around this country (and the Asian Games in December).
One thing more, the health facilities here are advance in terms of equipment that they use when conducting tests and examination. Since health services are subsidized by the government, cost of consultation, medication and examination are cheap. However you need to have a health card in order to avail of these services.
• Qatar is a peninsula some 11,437 square kilometers in size, located halfway down the west coast of the Arabian Gulf
• The coastline covers more that 700km with shallow coastal waters in most areas
• The country is centrally placed among the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which groups it with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE and Oman.
• Total population : 744,000 and increasing at a rate of 9% annually
• Almost 50% of the population resides in the city of Doha, which is the business and administrative capital
• Other population centres include Dukhan on the west coast, Mesaieed and Al Wakra on the south, and Ras Laffan and Al Khor in the north.
• The development of Ras Laffan Industrial City (RLIC) is creating a population expansion in the northern part of the country, particularly in Al Khor and areas adjoining Ras Laffan.
• The country has a moderate desert climate with hot summers and mild winters
• Winter nights can be cool but temperatures rarely drop below 7 degree Celsius
Language and Religion
• Official language - Arabic, but English is widely spoken and understood
• Islam is the official religion of the country, and Shari’a (Islamic Law) is the principal source of legislation.
• The Emir is the ruler of the State. Rule in Qatar is hereditary within the family of Al Thani, whereby power is transferred from father to son. In case no son is available, power is transferred to the person whom the Emir chooses within the family of Al Thani.
• His Highness the Emir is the head of the constitutional authorities, holding both legislative and executive powers. The Emir appoints the prime minister and ministers.
• The constitutional development of Qatar has kept pace with the rapid development and economic growth of the country. The first provisional constitution was issued in 1970, and amended in 1972 upon independence. In April 2003, an overwhelming 96.6% of Qatari voters said “yes” to a draft permanent constitution which became effective on 8th June 2005, transforming Qatar into a democracy
• In 1999, free elections were held to form a 29-member Central Municipal Council for the first time in Qatar’s history – and women were allowed to vote and run as candidates.
• Qatar, with proven gas reserves of over 900 trillion standard cubic feet in its huge North Field, and oil reserves of over 15.2 billion barrels, has one of the fastest growing economies and highest per capita incomes in the world
• In just decades, it has developed into a major global supplier of energy and is set to become the largest exporter of LNG in the world and a world leader in gas-to-liquids (GTL) production
• While developing its huge hydrocarbon reserves, Qatar has also diversified its economy, and emphasis is being placed on further small to medium-scale private-sector industrial development
• The official currency is the Qatari Riyal (QR), which is divided into 100 dirhams
from : Marhaba
- Pros:Fast developing country
- Cons:Hot on summer time
- In a nutshell:Home away from home
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