The once near-extinct Arabian Oryx now live and breed in protected herds on a farm located in Shahaniya. These social antelopes graze on the sparse vegetation offered by the arid Arabian peninsula and use their large horns as weapons of self-defense against enemies. This graceful white animal is believed to be the basis of the legend of the unicorn and is featured prominently on the tails of all Qatar Airways aircraft.
There are two land border points at Abu Samra and Sauda Nathil, two sea port border points at Doha port and Mesaiseed port, and one main air port of entry through the Hamad International Airport.
Qatar enjoys sunshine just about everyday of the year. The average temperatures during the summer range from 38°C to 42°C during the day and 18°C at night, while winter temperatures are 34°C during the day and 10°C at night. Swimming in the Arabian Gulf or in the many hotel pools, water sports, desert and city tours, and shopping are popular activities that make this a perfect location for visitors to soak up the sunshine. Once the sun sets, go star-gazing in the clear night sky, enjoy a moonlight stroll along the Corniche, or view the skyline from Doha Bay on a traditional dhow. This clean and pristine environment offers visitors ideal conditions to completely unwind and enjoy their time in Qatar.
In their daily lives, Qataris wear traditional dress. For men this means a long, white shirt, thobe, crisp and welcoming in appearance, worn over white trousers. A head covering, gutra, is secured with four black, tasseled cords which have been intricately braided.Women wear a long black flowing dress, abayah, and some women choose to wear a veil. The dresses are discretely interwoven with delicate threads and patterns, each one an individual creation. The contrast created between the mens white shirt and womens black dress is breath-taking. It symbolizes the difference between men and women, while the long shirt and dress indicates the similarities.
For special events and times of tradition, Qataris don their ceremonial clothing. Decorated with elaborate embroidery in both gold and silver, this clothing has been the inspiration for many international fashion designers.
The people of Qatar are friendly and make visitors feel very welcome. Arabic is the official language, although English is widely used. Qatar is an Islamic state, which guides not only the religious beliefs of Qataris but also plays a large part in daily living.
Beautiful mosques are located throughout the country for daily prayers, and Qataris are guided by the Muslim teachings and values. Primarily a Bedouin culture, Qatars traditions are based on poetry and song, while amazing art is created through weaving. Using tools made from both wood and gazelle horn, weavers work with sheep, goat, and camel wool to create beautiful rugs, tents, and cushions.
The official currency is the Qatari Riyal (QR), which divides into 100 Dirhams. Banknote denominations include 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, and 500. Coinages included 25 and 50 dirhams. The Riyal exchange rate is pegged to the US Dollar at QR 3.65.
While Arabian cuisine is based on the traditional foods of the nomadic tribes who ate what they could carry. Qatari cuisine is based the traditional foods of just about anywhere and everywhere! In keeping with its historic status as an international entrept, Qatar takes an international approach to eating out. Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Thai flavours mingle with those of Italy, France, the Mediterranean, Mexican and beyond. However, no visitor should miss the chance to sample local specialties. Supremely fresh fish and seafood from the Arabian Gulf is an obvious choice, with lobster, crab, shrimp, tuna, kingfish and red snapper topping the list of favorites. Meat dishes tend to be based on lamb, the nomadic tribes people would be accompanied by flocks of sheep, slow-cooked and served with a variety of side dishes.