Doha, capital of the peninsular Arabian Gulf country Qatar, is a modern city on Doha Bay. Ringing its downtown waterfront are numerous parks and the Corniche Promenade. On a man-made island, the I.M. Pei–designed Museum of Islamic Art houses an extensive collection from across the Muslim world. At Souq Waqif, a traditional market, vendors offer goods like clothing, crafts and spices.
Near Souq Waqif is turreted Doha Fort (Al Koot Fort), built in the 1920s and now containing a small museum. The Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art focuses mainly on art of the Arabian Peninsula, with works dating from the 19th century to today. Wooden boats cruise Doha Bay, offering skyscraper and Corniche views. The northern Katara neighborhood has a beach and cultural center. Offshore is the Pearl, a massive artificial island with high-end shops. Nearby, Doha Golf Club has an 18-hole championship course. Twenty kilometers northwest, Barzan Tower is a watchtower completed in the early 1900s.
Doha was founded in the 1820s as an offshoot of Al Bidda. It was officially declared as the country’s capital in 1971, when Qatar gained independence from being a British Protectorate. As the commercial capital of Qatar and one of the emergent financial centres in the Middle East, Doha is considered a world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Doha accommodates Education City, an area devoted to research and education.
Doha is located on the central-east portion of Qatar, bordered by the Arabian Gulf on its coast. Its elevation is 10 m (33 ft). Doha is highly urbanized. Land reclamation off the coast has added 400 hectares of land and 30 km of coastline. Half of the 22 km² of surface area which Hamad International Airport was constructed on was reclaimed land. The geology of Doha is primarily composed of weathered unconformity on the top of the Eocene period Dammam Formation, forming dolomitic limestone.
The Pearl is an artificial island in Doha with a surface area of nearly 400 ha (1,000 acres) The total project has been estimated to cost $15 billion upon completion. Other islands off Doha’s coast include Palm Tree Island, Shrao’s Island, Al Safia Island, and Alia Island.
Doha has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh). Summer is very long, from May to September, when its average high temperatures surpass 38 °C (100 °F) and often approach 45 °C (113 °F). Humidity is usually the lowest in May and June. Dewpoints can surpass 30 °C (86 °F) in the summer. Throughout the summer, the city averages almost no precipitation, and less than 20 mm (0.79 in) during other months. Rainfall is scarce, at a total of 75 mm (2.95 in) per year, falling on isolated days mostly between October to March. Winters are cool and the temperature rarely drops below 7 °C (45 °F).
Sport in Qatar is primarily centered on football in terms in participation and spectators. Additionally, athletics, basketball, handball, volleyball, camel racing, horse racing, cricket and swimming are also widely practiced. There are currently 11 multi-sports clubs in the country, and 7 single-sports clubs. The largest sporting event hosted in Qatar was the 2006 Asian Games, hosted in Doha. There were 46 disciplines from 39 events contested. On 2 December 2010, Qatar won the rights to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, thus becoming the first Arab nation to host the tournament.
A land of beautiful contrasts, a dynamic and exciting cultural experience, yet with a sense of timeless serenity and tradition. Qatar brings together old world hospitality with cosmopolitan sophistication, the chance to enjoy a rich cultural tapestry, new experiences and adventures. Absorb the unique ambience and explore the possibilities of unexpected Qatar. You’re sure to be captivated.