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Location

The State of Qatar lies halfway along the East Coast Arabian Peninsula between 24 degrees 27 minutes and 26 degrees 10 minutes north – and at 50 degrees 45 minutes to 51 degrees 40 minutes east. Its territory includes a number of islands such as Halul, Al Shat, Shira’wa and others.

Land Area

It is a peninsula that extends northward covering an area of 11,606.8 Sq. Km. bordering Saudi Arabia by land and Bahrain, U.A.E. and Iran by sea.

Climate

Qatar has a desert climate of hot summer and relatively warm winter. In summer, the temperature ranges between 25 and 46 degrees centigrade. Rainfall in winter is minimal and on average does not exceed 75.2 mm per year.


Capital City

Doha is the capital city, the seat of government and the location of the main commercial and financial institutions. Situated halfway along the East Coast of the peninsula, the city is an important cultural and commercial center with a large commercial seaport and a modern international airport that link the country to the rest of the world.

Population

The population of Qatar is estimated to be 1.96 million. 83% of the population lives in Doha and its suburbs.

Currency

The official currency is the Qatari Riyal (QR), which is divided into 100 dirhams. The Exchange parity has been set at the fixed rate of US $ 1 = 3.65QR.

Public Holidays

• Pride and Loyalty Day: 18 December.
• Eid Al-Fitr: 4 days from 1st to 4th of Shawwal of al-Hijrah.
• Eid Al-Adha: 5 days from 10th to 15th of Dhulhijja of al-Hijrah.

Friday and Saturday are a weekend

Political / Religious Climate

Qatari culture revolves almost entirely around Islam. Women should dress in modest clothing for business with covered legs, elbow length sleeves and modest necklines. Arabic is the official language in Qatar, but English is widely spoken.

Why Choose Qatar

There is no personal income tax in Qatar for any individual. Providing you are a gulf national that has set up a company, there is no tax on businesses either. However, if you are a non-Gulf national, that has set up a business or branch of an international enterprise in Qatar, then the following taxes are applicable; 100,001 - 500,000 (10%), 500,001 - 1million (15%), 1m - 1.5m (20%), 1.5m - 2.5m (25%), 2.5m - 5m (30%) and over 5m being 35%.

Qatar GDP Annual Growth Rate averaged 11.61% from 2009 until 2013, reaching an all time high of 32.90% in March of 2010 and a record low of -15.30% in September of 2009. In the first quarter of 2013 it was 6.20%

Qatar has an abundance of gas and oil reserves and thrives off of the capital generated from this industry. Nevertheless, banking is also a major industry in Qatar and is ever-growing. The country is dedicated to diversify the income generation by investing into healthcare, education and a variety of consumer goods. The Qatar Development bank is also investing in import substitution through light and medium industy.

Culture and Leisure

There is a range of leisure time activities to keep you occupied in Doha with many of the hotels offering pool and gym facilities. Qatar also boasts 350 miles of palm fringed seafront which is arguably one of the most breathtaking in the Gulf.

Doha has a wide range of well stocked, modern shopping centres but it's also worth visiting the old souq for a taste of local handicrafts and Katara Cultural Village for its galleries, concerts, and theatre. There is a wide range of sporting activities centred on the world renowned Aspire Academy.

Alcoholic beverages are available in designated areas such as 5 star hotels. Foreign residents can obtain a licence to buy alcohol for consumption at home.

Ramadan, which takes place at a different time each year on the Western calendar, is strictly adhered to throughout Doha. This means that eating, drinking or smoking in public from sunrise to sunset is not permitted. All bars and night clubs are closed for the entire month and many Qataris and expats leave Doha for their holidays.

Accommodation/Transport/Education

Standards of accommodation are generally good in Doha, with some first-class properties available.

There is a selection of suitable fee-paying schools for expatriate children in Doha for children up to 18 years of age. Teaching is in Arabic, English or French and they follow the Arabic, British, French or American curriculum.

Relocating to Qatar:

Work permits may be obtained only by local sponsors. Employees satisfying certain criteria may sponsor their immediate family to enable them to obtain a residence permit. Holders of work visas require an exit permit to leave Qatar; however, their dependents do not require such a permit while travelling abroad. It is essential for permanent residents in Qatar to obtain and carry an identity card. The ID card is required when dealing with Government ministries on a day to day basis.

Applications for residence permits are made after arrival in Qatar through the Immigration Department, these are becoming increasingly straightforward to arrange, and are normally available within 6 weeks of arrival. Family dependents' also receive residence permits, and are deemed under the sponsorship of the family member employed in Qatar.