LATEST QATAR NEWS from the Web
Various news from the Internet related to Qatar. Links open in new tabs so this window stays open.
Qatar World Cup.......The Case for Qatar by Maha Al-Suwaidi
Since Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup in December of 2010, the small Gulf nation has been the target of a hailstorm of criticism from abroad while also seeing tremendous excitement from residents of the region. International scrutiny of the decision to let Qatar host the tournament has focused on political as well as demographic issues: the small size of the country, extreme heat, and probable human rights violations.
However, there are important factors as to why Qatar is an appropriate and deserving selection to host the tournament, which seem to have been lost in an overwhelmingly negative narrative. Not only is it important for Qatar to host the World Cup in order to open the world’s eyes to the Middle East, but the country has also proven it is up to the task by expediting vital infrastructural improvements.
Qatar, a peninsula with a meager area of 4,416 square miles, is preparing to welcome an influx of around 400,000 fans during the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Because it is the smallest nation to stage the World Cup since Uruguay in 1930, many individuals fret over its capacity to manage a temporary increase in population surrounding the World Cup. But because 10 of its 12 stadiums are located within a 20-kilometer radius, the country is marketing that an under-construction rail system will limit the travel time between any of the arenas to under an hour. This would hypothetically give fans the exciting opportunity to attend multiple matches in the same day—something that hasn’t historically been possible for ordinary fans.
But those who excuse the country’s small size argued that the region’s sweltering heat is cause for concern. During the months of June and July, Qatar’s temperature hovers around 95 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the issue of Qatar’s summer heat has been resolved as well. Qatar will officially be hosting the World Cup in the winter (November and December) per FIFA officials’ recommendations. The rescheduling will help avoid discomfort and potential medical risks associated with the July temperatures.
Still other skeptics of Qatar’s fit as a World Cup host point to heavy costs of the country’s rapid development: the poor treatment of its migrant laborers. As efficiency is maximized in hopes of increased profit and growth, human dignity is sacrificed in the form of an abused workforce. Reports of at least 400 Nepalese and 450 Indian workers’ deaths have stunned both those in the region and the international community.
Similar to the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Qatar has a kafalasystem in which foreign migrants must be sponsored by an individual in Qatar, usually the migrant’s employer. Without the sponsor’s permission the workers cannot leave the country. Due to presssurrounding the violation of laborers’ rights under this system, there recently have been works to amend this policy.
The changes to the kafala system highlight “the [duty] of employers to return workers hired under fixed-term contracts to their home countries once a project is completed” and require employers “to educate new foreign workers about Qatari laws and customs” in order to make them aware of their own legal rights. There is still much work to be undertaken with regard to this issue of human rights’ violations; however, the dialogue thus far has been constructive.
The organizing committee for Qatar’s World Cup, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, issued a 50-page document entitled Workers’ Welfare Standards in response to the less-than-ideal labor conditions. This document works to improve relationships between contractors and their workers, by, for example, requiring contractors to set up bank accounts for their laborers. The organizing committee hopes more foreigners see the World Cup as a catalyst for the acceleration of workers rights initiatives by shining a spotlight on long-existing exploitative practices.
In addition to Qatar’s continued efforts to mitigate many of the concerns surrounding its bid, the country’s hosting of the World Cup presents several unique opportunities.
A Unique Opportunity
For many living within the Middle East, Qatar’s victory in the bid for the FIFA World Cup in 2022 was a personal and regional triumph. The depiction of Muslims and Arabs within Western media has often been disparaging to say the least. For many decades, Muslims and Arabs have been vilified in images, cartoons, film, and television (and long before the attacks of September 11 took place). For many Qataris, Arabs, and Muslims, the opportunity to show the world the reality of life in much of the Middle East is a primary goal of the 2022 World Cup. An important goal of hosting such a widely followed sporting event is to deconstruct the negative stigma that has often been attached to Muslims. Hosting the World Cup will be a truly historic event for the region, as it is an opportunity to humanize the Arab and Muslim world as culturally rich and diverse region. Most importantly, the World Cup is about, among other things, promoting understanding and unifying people around the world through sport. The ideals behind the World Cup should not be lost in the face of the logistical obstacles that have arisen.
Another cornerstone of Qatar’s bid for the World Cup in 2022 is the initiative to aid the international community beyond the event itself. In Qatar’s bid, the organizing committee suggested an unprecedented plan to donate the stadiums used in the tournament to countries that are lacking in football infrastructure. The arenas will be built using modular upper levels that can be taken down and shipped elsewhere after the conclusion of the tournament. The international community’s investment in Qatar, therefore, will directly benefit some of the world’s most underprivileged regions down the line as well.
Another important aspect of Qatar’s journey toward the World Cup in 2022 has been its investment in infrastructure, which has signaled its capacity to execute a smooth tournament. Qatar’s vast oil and natural gas reserves give it the financial means to invest in an array of infrastructure projects. The winning of the bid has led to a $100 billion increase in infrastructure investment in 2015. The initiatives currently in progress focus on health, education, transportation, sewage, the environment, security, and economic diversification. The International Monetary Fund projects that Qatar will have the fastest-growing economy in the world over the next two years as a result of such initiatives. Qatar plans onconstructing a $25 billion rail network, an $11 billion airport, a $5.5 billion deep-water seaport and a $1 billion bridge linking the new airport with projects in the northern part of Doha, its capital city. An additional $20 billion will be spent on building new roads. This investment in infrastructure will serve the Qatari people not only in 2022, but also for generations to come. But beyond this personal development, its booming infrastructure projects demonstrate that Qatar can step up to the plate and confidently deliver a successful World Cup.
Despite the challenges that Qatar faces in terms of hosting the FIFA World Cup, the advantages to Qatar are important to recognize as well. The emphasis that has been placed solely on publicizing the country’s problems neglects the admirable goals Qatar has in hosting the beloved event.
Report from Russia Today
A report on the Russian TV news channel, Russia Today on January 20th 2016 stated that the government of Qatar now owns more property in London than the Crown Estate, owned by Queen Elizabeth 2nd. The report stated that Qatar was continuing to buy property in the United Kingdom, especially prestigious properties in London and stakes in top British companies such as Sainsburys.
QATAR AIRWAYS’ SAFETY VIDEO FEATURING FC BARCELONA PLAYERS A REAL HIT ON SOCIAL MEDIA - 19 Jan 2016 - Qatar Airways’ new safety video featuring FC Barcelona players Messi, Suarez, Neymar, Pique, Rakitic and Mascherano landed as a hit across all social media channels, generating nearly 40 million views since its debut in December, a record among airline safety videos. In addition, Qatar Airways’ new brand campaign, Going Places Together, generated extraordinary attention online with 31 million views of the new television commercial over the same time period inspiring millions with its message of travel as a transformative experience. Read more >
QATAR AIRWAYS HOSTS THE STARS AT LOS ANGELES LAUNCH GALA - 18 Jan 2016 - Qatar Airways celebrated the successful launch of daily, non-stop service to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) last week with a star-studded gala event at the world-famous Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. The Skytrax 2015 “Airline of the Year” rang in the New Year by landing its first flight at LAX on 1 January, with the official celebration taking place on 12 January. The airline hosted many of Los Angeles’ prominent luminaries and celebrity guests including Paula Abdul, Jamie King, Nicole Scherzinger, Christina Milian, Brooke Burns, Mario Lopez, Terrell Owens and the cast of Bravo TV’s ‘Shahs of Sunset’ including GG Gharachedaghi and Asa Soltan Rahmati. The star-studded evening featured a stunning performance by Grammy Award-winning legend and global superstar Mariah Carey. Read more >
QATAR AIRWAYS TO EXHIBIT THREE AIRCRAFT AT BAHRAIN INTERNATIONAL AIRSHOW - 17 Jan 2016 - Qatar Airways today announced it will exhibit three aircraft at the Bahrain International Airshow at the Sakhir Airbase, Kingdom of Bahrain, from 21–23 January 2016. Qatar Airways’ A350, for which it was the global launch customer, an A380 and Qatar Executive’s Bombardier Global 5000 business jet will be on static display during the airshow. Read more >
QATAR AIRWAYS HOLDS PRESS CONFERENCE FOR LAX LAUNCH - 13 Jan 2016 - Qatar Airways held a landmark press conference yesterday at the Peninsula Beverly Hills, hosted by Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, to celebrate the commencement of a daily, non-stop service between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Hamad International Airport (DOH) in Doha. Mr. Al Baker praised the city of Los Angeles for helping to bring the airline to LAX and spoke about Qatar Airways’ ongoing growth and expansion in the United States and around the world. Read more >
QATAR AIRWAYS & QATAR DUTY FREE CONGRATULATE NOVAK DJOKOVIC ON SPECTACULAR ATP OPENING SEASON WIN - 10 Jan 2016 - Qatar Airways, the official airline sponsor, and Qatar Duty Free (QDF), the official retail sponsor of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2016, congratulate Novak Djokovic, winner of the annual men’s international tennis tournament held at Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, Qatar. Read more >
QATAR AIRWAYS LAUNCHES ONLINE COMPETITION TO DESIGN YOUR OWN FOOTBALL DREAMS AFRICA TEAM JERSEY - 11 May 2015 - For anyone who has ever dreamed about designing their very own football jersey, Qatar Airways is now giving them the chance to do so read more >
QATAR AIRWAYS CALLS FOR CONTINUED OPEN SKIES - 14 May 2015 - His Excellency, Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive for Qatar Airways, held a landmark press conference in Washington D.C. yesterday, adding the airline’s voice to the ongoing US Open Skies debate. During his visit, Mr. Al Baker also met with government officials and prepared for upcoming US launches to Los Angeles, Boston, and Atlanta read more >
QATAR AIRWAYS REVEALS SCOTLAND AND QATAR TO COMPETE FOR THE QATAR AIRWAYS CUP - 18 May 2015 - Qatar Airways is proud to announce that Scotland and Qatar will compete for the Qatar Airways Cup at Easter Road Stadium, Edinburgh on Friday 5th June 2015 read more >
QATAR EXECUTIVE ANNOUNCES INCREASED AIRCRAFT ORDER FROM GULFSTREAM - 19 May 2015 - Qatar Airways’ business jet division – today announced that it has agreed to purchase up to 30 aircraft from Gulfstream Aerospace Corp as part of a Memorandum of Understanding originally announced in October of last year read more >
QATAR AIRWAYS TO FLY THE AIRBUS A350 XWB ON ITS DOUBLE-DAILY SERVICE TO MUNICH - 19 May 2015 - Qatar Airways, the Global Launch Customer of the A350 XWB, has announced the expansion of its A350 services to Germany, with the new state-of-the-art aircraft being deployed on its Doha-Munich route read more >
QATAR AIRWAYS 26 April 2015 - Qatar Duty Free (QDF) has announced the opening of Nails, an express nails, hair and beauty salon which has been designed to offer passengers express beauty services before they travel from Hamad International Airport (HIA) read more >
QATAROPOLY - how the Qataris bought Britain ....Mail on Sunday report on Qatar property in London, April 26th 2015 read more >
QATAR RALLY WINNER - 25 April 2015 - Qatari Nasser Al Attiyah wins Sealine Cross-Country Rally on home soil - Qatar’s Nasser Al Attiyah, Spain’s Marc Coma and Poland’s Rafal Sonik each confirmed their third victories at the Sealine Cross-Country Rally in four years in the cars, bikes and quads categories yesterday read more >
QATAR AIRWAYS WINS GOLD MEDALS - 21 April 2015 - Qatar Airways received two Gold Awards for its luxurious new First and Business Class amenity kits at the 2014 TravelPlus Awards. The airline won gold for its exclusive Italian designer Giorgio Armani Fragrances & Beauty First Class Male amenity kit and the Business Class Middle East amenity kit read more >
QATAR GRAND PRIX - 21 April 2015 - Qatar’s bid for a Formula One Grand Prix has received a lukewarm response from one of the leading figures behind the Bahrain International Circuit read more >
QATAR AIRWAYS GROUP PICKS UP HAT-TRICK OF AWARDS IN CHINA - 20 April 2015 - Qatar Airways was voted Best Middle Eastern Airline Servicing China at the 8th Annual TTG China Travel Awards held in Shanghai recently. The win marks the fourth time the Doha-based carrier has received this accolade from TTG China read more >
CRIME PREVENTION - 20 April 2015 - United Nations, April 20 (IANS) A major UN meeting of law officials has called for a strong international action to track down and recover black money hidden in safe havens read more >
QATAR AIRWAYS INCREASES FREQUENCY TO 10 DESTINATIONS THROUGHOUT NETWORK - 19 April 2015 - Qatar Airways has responded to the continuous rise in passenger demand with an increase in the frequency of weekly flights to 10 of its most popular destinations throughout the Middle East and Europe. The airline, which currently flies to 146 destinations around the globe, will implement the frequency increases over the next few months for a mix of business and leisure destinations read more >
WHITE HOUSE MEETING PLANNED - 17 April 2015 - President Barack Obama will meet with leaders from Gulf Cooperation Council countries at the White House on May 13 and at the presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland the following day, the White House said on Friday read more >
HELP FOR MIGRANT WORKERS - 14 April 2015 - For migrants and forced laborers, help might be a decade away - DOHA, Qatar — A United Nations Congress on crime and justice that takes place once every five years is precisely the catchall event one would imagine. It's a lot to pack into eight days, even after the adoption of the Doha Declaration, a document aimed at strengthening international crime-fighting mechanisms read more >
POOR EAT FOR FREE - 12 April 2015 - In a dusty corner of Qatar's booming capital, a sign outside a modest restaurant popular with migrant labourers reads: "If you are hungry and have no money, eat for free!!!" read more >
GCC BEACH GAMES REPORT - 10 April 2015 - UAE mustered enough medals to finish in third place as Oman came out on top in the battle of the second GCC Beach Games after a week of intense competition read more >
YEMEN TALKS - UN-brokered Yemen talks to be held in Qatar - 24 March 2015 - U.N.-brokered talks aimed at resolving the escalating political crisis in Yemen will be held in Qatar, the U.N. envoy to Yemen said, after the recognized Yemeni government appealed to the Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for military assistance read more >
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SPORT - 7 April 2015 - The Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) has partnered with Reach Out to Asia (ROTA) to celebrate the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. The two organisations were joined by athletes participating at the GCC Beach Games and Qatari schoolchildren to mark the initiative’s second year read more >
SAUDI ROYAL THRONE - 10 March 2015 - Saudi throne’s shift in focus no mere game - A new season of “Game of Thrones” is well underway in the Middle East, although the real-world version carries none of the fanfare surrounding the HBO show. Still, its consequences could be profoundly significant across the region read more >
WORLD CUP COMPENSATION - FIFA rejects club compensation for 2022 World Cup - 25 February 2015 - Soccer's world governing body FIFA flexed its muscles again on Wednesday when it announced that clubs would not receive compensation for losing players and suffering domestic disruption due to a 2022 December World Cup in Qatar read more >
QATAR AIRWAYS INAUGURATES A350 XWB INTO THE FLEET AT DOHA CEREMONY - 07 Jan 2015 - Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, hosted a press conference in the airline’s hub today at the Premium Terminal of Doha International Airport, to a crowd of more than 150 international media, who had travelled to Qatar to view the first A350 XWB, of which the airline is the global launch customer read more >
QATAR AIRWAYS ANNOUNCES NEW ROUTE: AMSTERDAM - 31 Dec 2014 - Doha, QATAR – Qatar Airways has revealed its first new destination in 2015, to the capital city of the Netherlands, Amsterdam, starting from June 16 read more >
HISTORIC MOMENT AS QATAR AIRWAYS WELCOMES WORLD’S FIRST A350 XWB AND AIRLINE’S FOURTH A380 TOGETHER IN DOHA - 24 Dec 2014 - Qatar Airways wrote another page of history today as its – and the world’s – first Airbus A350 XWB (Xtra Wide Body) and its fourth A380 arrived in Doha simultaneously, allowing the airline to further capitalise on its rapid expansion plans read more >
QATAR AIRWAYS GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE HAILS ‘YEAR OF THE FLEET’ WITH THE ARRIVAL OF THE NEW A350 - 22 Dec 2014 - Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, chaired a press conference today at the Airbus Delivery Centre in Toulouse, France, to a crowd of more than 150 international media who had travelled from all corners of the globe to witness the delivery of the first A350 XWB to Qatar Airways, of which the airline is the global launch customer read more >
QATAR AIRWAYS PARTNERS WITH ASPIRE ACADEMY TO NURTURE FOOTBALL TALENT IN AFRICA - 21 Dec 2014 - Qatar Airways has announced its partnership with Aspire Academy to support this year’s edition of the Aspire Football Dreams project by forming “Qatar Airways & Aspire Academy – Football Dreams Africa read more >
Cityscape Global at the Dubai World Trade Centre, Oct 8th to 10th 2013.
Investor confidence in Dubai real estate sets the tone for a big year at the Middle East's largest property show....... Cityscape Global 2013 at the Dubai World Trade Centre from October 8th to 10th 2013!
Cityscape Global prepares to host more than 200 exhibitors in Dubai, as Dubai real estate benefits from AED 50 billion investment surges in 2012!
The renewed investor confidence in Dubai's real estate market is reflected in the Emirate's largest property showcase, Cityscape Global, as the three-day event prepares to host more than 200 exhibitors in 2013, for the first time in four years.
A large representation from Qatar will also take part, as the thriving independent Gulf state of Qatar continues on its ambitious development plan as the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup .... Msheireb Properties, Mall of Qatar, Barwa and United Development Company [UDC] ..... the company behind the superb Pearl Qatar development in Doha ...... are among the headline developers on show at Cityscape Global in Dubai.
Qatar has world class developments to show the world. When the FIFA World Cup comes to Qatar in 2022, the rest of the world will be astounded by the superb architecture on display, especially around its beautiful capital city, Doha! Examples of Qatar's fantastic developments will be seen at Cityscape Global in Dubai.
According to the Dubai Land Department, more than AED50 billion [50 BILLION United Arab Emirates Dirhams!] was invested into Dubai real estate in 2012. Meanwhile, Cityscape Global, the Middle East's largest and most influential international real estate event, is expected to grow by 50 per cent for the second year running.
Several Dubai-based developers will be exhibiting for the first time at Cityscape Global, further underlining Dubai's property market revival. Many more major developers will be returning to the show after a hiatus, following the global recession in 2008.
MAG Group; Omniyat; Tanmiyat; Jumeirah Golf Estates; and Union Properties return for the first time in several years, with new developments and project updates, while Diamond Developers; SKAI and Sobha Group take their place among a group of newcomers to the showpiece event, from October 8th to October 10th 2013 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
The event's organisers, Informa Exhibitions, also expect several exciting new project launches from Dubai powerhouses Emaar, Nakheel, Dubai Properties Group, Meraas, Dubai World Central and Meydan, as the key developers look to drum up demand from investors at their largest show stands yet.
For the first time since 2008, all sections of the Dubai real estate market are now on the upswing. According to global real estate service firm Jones Lang LaSalle 2200 units were added to Dubai's residential stock inventory in the first quarter of 2013, bringing the total inventory in the Emirate to 357,000 units, with a further 42,000 units estimated to be delivered in the next two years.
Maintaining its appeal to international developers, Cityscape Global has attracted dozens of big name organisations from emerging real estate markets this year. Turkey represents the largest out of eight international pavilions, as more than 20 developers, including Agaoglu, Eroglu, Vadistanbul and NEF showcase their latest mega projects in the country's property market.
A large representation from Qatar will also take part, as the thriving Gulf State continues on its ambitious development plan as the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup .... Msheireb Properties, Mall of Qatar, Barwa and United Development Company [ UDC] ..... the company behind the superb Pearl Qatar development ...... are among the headline developers on show at Cityscape Global in Dubai.
Wouter Molman, Exhibition Director for Cityscape Global said "The 12th edition of Cityscape Global will return this October [October 8th to 10th at the Dubai World Trade Centre], after a hugely successful year in 2012, in which it attracted more than 25000 visitors from 93 countries ....... an increase of 25 per cent, year-on-year. We anticipate that exhibition space will increase by 50 per cent this year, for the second year running, while visitor numbers will match this growth."
Supported by the Dubai Land Department, Cityscape Global is the annual meeting point for key real estate investors, developers, investment promotion authorities, architects, designers and other real estate professionals to drive growth in real estate investment and development across emerging markets globally.
The property event is co-located with three dedicated conference programmes......the Global Real Estate Summit, Future Cities and the MENA Mortgage and Affordable Housing Congress, bringing together a combined 750 senior real estate professionals who will explore opportunities and find solutions to key challenges affecting the industry today.
Also co-located with the exhibition is the Cityscape Awards for Emerging Markets. The awards programme attracts hundreds of entries from developers across emerging markets globally.
Entries from other Cityscape's Awards programmes in Qatar, Egypt and Saudi Arabia are also entered to compete for the ultimate accolade, with winners to be announced at an elaborate ceremony that takes place at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel on October 9th in Dubai.
Cityscape Global 2013 returns from October 8th to 10th with support from Foundation Sponsors ..... Emaar, Nakheel and Dubai Properties Group; Strategic Sponsor ..... Barwa; Silver Sponsors ... Anantara Residences and Pacific Ventures; Al Aribya as Regional Broadcast Partner and CNN as the International Broadcast Partner.
We look forward to Cityscape Global 2013 from October 8th to 10th at the Dubai World Trade Centre and wish it every success!!
Dubai property is clearly on the move again!! The whole Arabian Gulf region .... including Qatar, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia is developing fast, with some of the finest architectural developments the world has ever seen!! Superb!!
Qatar World Cup 2022 - Qatar will host the 2022 world cup
Visitors to Doha will be astonished at the superb facilities available.
When it comes to quality shopping, Doha is really well served. From the largest, modern shopping complexes and malls to the tiny shops of the traditional souqs, or Arab markets, eager shoppers will find everything they need and more.
Facilities like the City Centre Doha,the largest shopping complex in the Middle East, offer world-famous brands alongside many exciting facilities for families.
The markets, or souks, are a heady mixture of scents, sights and sounds, where items are not marked with traditional price-tags and haggling over sales is expected ....indeed welcomed!
Souq Waqif is the oldest of Doha's traditional markets, originally used by Bedouin traders as a place to buy and sell meat, wool, milk and other important staples.
Today the souq is a maze of alleyways packed with everything from traditional clothing to hardware and household goods.
There are textile souqs and gold souqs as well as the popular Thursday / Friday souq, where clothes, perfumes, shoes, fabric, household goods and carpets are on offer.
Most surprisingly for a sweltering desert city, Doha has an ice skating rink where skates can be hired by the hour. Visitors and expats who find the summer heat a little too much, love it at the ice rink!
Qatar Bowling Centre offers 10-pin bowling in a large 32 lane facility. City Centre Doha also has two bowling alleys.......one for ladies only!
There are also several historical sites, including museums, in Doha, which are of great interest to visitors. However, most visitors would probably regard the finest and most attractive parts of Doha to be Doha Harbour and the Corniche.
Doha has a very fine,interesting harbour, always filled with working boats and pleasure craft, providing endless fascination for both visitors and locals. Meanwhile, Doha Corniche, a long palm-fringed dual carriageway along the city sea-front, lined with luxury hotels, apartments and various fine government buildings, is undoubtedly the most attractive and chic part of Doha.
People love to stroll and jog here, especially in the cooler evenings,taking in the twinkling sights of the city and the Arabian Gulf.
Doha Corniche extends for seven kilometres in a horseshoe around Doha Bay. Most hotels and clubs are at the south-eastern end of the Corniche on Ras Abu Abboud Street.
Near Museum Roundabout ,beyond Doha Club is the Al Nasaa Restaurant with its notable architecture, featuring traditional wind towers. Just beyond this is the Qatar National Museum, based around the restored former palace of the ruling family.The grassy, shaded Museum Park is alongside.
Across the main road, called Al Corniche Street, is the fascinating Doha Port area.The fine new Museum of Islamic Arts is here, on its own jetty. Another jetty leads to the largest wooden dhow in the world and the popular dhow restaurants. At the entrance to this jetty is the famous pearl sculpture that features in so many visitors' photo albums.
Continuing westward, you come to the impressive Emiri Diwan building with its lush landscaped gardens and cascading water feature. The massive Diwan building is the official home of the Qatar Government. This is followed by the imposing Ministry of Foreign Affairs building.
Following the sweep of the attractive Corniche to the north-west, you get to Rumeilah Park, sometimes known as Al Biddah Park, which features a variety of attractions and facilities for families. The park has restaurants, children's play areas and the impressive Heritage Village, which was built to resemble a traditional Qatari hamlet. Local crafts and arts are featured and musicians sometimes perform there.
Qatar National Theatre and the National Council for Culture, Arts and Heritage are next to Rumeilah Park, followed by the Qatar National Library. This bold, futuristic building is an unmistakeable landmark on the corniche.
Carrying on around the corniche, there are striking examples of of Doha's architectural achievements, with residential and commercial towers enjoying commanding positions overlooking Doha Bay and the Gulf. Amongst these is the General Post Office.
Further along, at the end of the corniche, is the unmistakeable Aztec pyramid shaped Sheraton Hotel, in a prime scenic, commanding location.
Just before you reach the Sheraton Hotel, there is the very pleasant Sheraton Gardens, with shop, cafe, children's playground and plenty of space for a picnic. This is also the place to catch a dhow over to Palm Island, in the harbour. They leave every 10 minutes and the journey takes about 10 minutes.
The island is also called Palm Tree Island. It has fine beaches for swimming and excellent family amenities, such as restaurants, cafes and water sports.
Is there any wonder that Doha Corniche is so popular, both with visitors and locals?
Further afield from Doha, Al Khor, 57 km north, is famous for its harbour filled with small craft and fishing boats. It has excellent beaches and a historic tower as well.
Indeed, there are several historic towers and forts all around the coast of Qatar, signifying a past when things were not quite so serene and peaceful.
The oil field town of Dukhan on the west coast also has some of the finest beaches in the
country near its boundaries .
Meanwhile, the town of Al Ruwais is a fine example of the traditional Bedouin lifestyle merging with the modern world.
To serve a burgeoning tourist and business economy, Qatar is building a very large, modern airport called New Doha International Airport just outside the city. This should not be confused with the existing, also splendid, Doha International Airport not very far away. The new airport will be much bigger.
New luxury hotels are springing up around Doha to meet the future demand for increased tourism, as more and more people discover the delights of Qatar!!
It is a great place to visit, especially for a winter break!!
Qatar Archeological Find
An ancient town lost beneath the sands of the Kingdom of Qatar on the Arabian Gulf in the Middle East, has been unearthed by a Welsh archaeologist, Dr Andrew Petersen of the University of Wales, Lampeter.
He came across a scattering of stones on a shoreline in Qatar, which immediately aroused his interest.
He then teamed up with the Qatar Museum Authority to investigate the site, which is on a lonely stretch of coast-line at Ras al-Sharig, south of the old town of Zubara.
Their excavations have now revealed a settlement complete with a fort, mosque and homes.
Dr Petersen, lecturer in Islamic archaeology at the University of Wales, Lampeter, Ceredigion, Wales, now believes the settlement was abandoned when its inhabitants were driven out by pirates who set fire to the roofs of many buildings around 1890.
Dr Petersen said "In addition to around 30 buildings, which in total measures 400 metres north to south, there are a large number of burnt mounds or middens, pottery bones and shells, demonstrating a long period of human occupation.
The pottery which weighs around 80Kg appears to originate from as far afield as China, Myanmar [ formerly Burma], and Iran.
Other fascinating finds include Indian rupee coins deliberately placed within the walls of the mosque, Arabic inscriptions on plaster and a surprising diversity of different date presses.
It is odd that each one of the date presses is different. There is no record of date palms growing in the area, which is desert, with unsuitable soil. The dates must have been imported from elsewhere.
"We believe the original settlement could have something to do with the Turkish occupation in the 16th century. This find was so unexpected, that we don't know what to do with it all yet."
Dr Petersen said the artefacts discovered at the dig, together with the site's proximity to the sea indicate a port settlement, however there were none of the usual artefacts associated with fishing, pearl-diving and harvesting that are typically found in Arabian Gulf coastal regions.
The presence of a number of cannonballs, including one weighing 6 pounds embedded in the wall of a fort, indicates that life was not always peaceful.
"The cannonballs were probably British made. It looks as though the site was first attacked in 1766 and later by Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and pirates until a final attack in the 1890s, when the population would have fled to live elsewhere in Qatar."
The excavation work was undertaken in collaboration with the Qatar Islamic Archaeology and Heritage Project.