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Hello! We're glad to bring you this 59th edition of the Marhaba Information Guide with our revamped Dining Guide listings, Education in Qatar and Healthcare in Qatar sections – all to make the information easier and more accessible to you. As we move toward the warmer summer months, events around town move indoors, and our Events Calendars have been updated to let you know what's going on. For day to day updates don't forget to browse through our Events Calendar on In this issue, our Special Features will take you on a journey from Islamic Prayer Rituals and the use of henna in the Arab world to the rising fashions in the country, the DJs of Doha who liven up the nightlife, a better understanding of the country's water supply, the Qatar Museum Authority's updated list of heritage sites, and a trip into the country's pearl diving heritage.

Cover Image The cover shows Maghrebi-style mint tea which is commonly served throughout the Middle East, not only at mealtimes but all through the day, and is especially a drink of hospitality offered to guests.

In other features you’ll gain tips on relocation to or within Qatar and the companies that can help you make the transition smoother, hints on where you could find the best business lunches in the city, a student’s take on studying in Qatar, an in-depth look into organ donation and the steps taken to make it a viable option for all, Mada’s eAccessability for All programme, and for the sports enthusiasts more on the upcoming Samsung Diamond League. In addition to our extensive list of features in this issue we have, as always, updated all the information contained within the book, from telephone numbers to new shops and malls, and much, much more. We do hope that you find our guide to all things in Qatar as comprehensive and useful as we strive to make it! To conclude, let me wish you an exciting spring and summer, and Marhaba will see you again with a new edition as autumn rolls in! We wish you Ramadan Kareem for the Holy Month that starts toward the end of June this year and hope that all is well until then.

Hilary Bainbridge Managing Editor

MARHABA PUBLICATIONS Marhaba Information Guide Marhaba Dining Guide Marhaba Shopping Guide Marhaba Pocket Map of Doha Marhaba Kaleidoscope Marhaba Calendars Qatar Image


AVAILABLE AT • Abu Karbal Bookshop • Bakemart • Carrefour Hypermarket – Dar Al Salam, City Center-Doha, Lagoona, Landmark and Villaggio • Family Food Centre, Airport Road, Al Mirqab Al Jadeed St & and Al Rayyan Al Jadeed St • I Spy Bookstore, City Center-Doha • Jarir Bookstore, Salwa Rd and Al Rayyan Al Jadeed St • JG Sandwich Cellar • La Mundi Bookshop, Radisson Blu • Lulu Hypermarket, D Ring Road and Al Gharrafa • Lulu Centre • Lulu Express • Mega Mart, The Centre, Mega Mart Xpress, Al Messila Petrol Station • Museum of Islamic Art • Naaz Stores • Qatar Distribution Centre • Virgin Megastore, Villaggio and Landmark • WOQOD Petrol Stations

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In this issue... 9

Discovering Qatar Qatar at a Glance 13 Events in Qatar 19 Richard Serra’s Passage of Time 20 Do’s and Don’ts 30 Arabic Phrases 31 Main Urban Centres 32 Traveller Information 45

Getting Around Qatar 53 Qatar Online 58 Foreign Embassies in Qatar 60 Sightseeing 63 Leisure Activities 81 Day to Day Qatar 88 Qatar Movers 90 Living in Qatar 93

Maps Qatar 10 Northeast Coast 33 Al Khor 34 West Bay Area 35 Doha City 36–38 Doha Central Area 39 Al Wakra 40



Hospitality, Hotels and Dining Tourism in Qatar; Places to Stay 119,126 Expanding the Tourism Sector 121 What’s on at Hotels in Qatar 134 Dining in Qatar 142 Dining Guide Listings 143 Business Lunch Etiquette 171 Hospitality Events 174

Shopping Where to Shop Listings All About Abayas Shopping in Qatar Map of the Souq Area


Next Next issue issue

August 2014 December 2013 M59 Table of Contents.indd 2

Mesaieed 41 Southeast Coast 42 Souq Waqif Area 191 Education City 261 Small Industries Zone 418 Industrial Area 419

181 184 187 191

Special Features Qatar’s Heritage Sites The Art of Henna Water is the Bounty of Life Chapters of Life The Real DJs of Qatar The Allure of Pearls Islam 101: Prayer Rituals Fashion Goes Online

200 204 207 210 212 215 218 220

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Sports Sports in Qatar Sports Calendar CrossFit Challenge Samsung Diamond League Sports Activities


Education Useful Numbers Map of Education City Education in Qatar Education Courses/Lectures Arabic/Islamic Culture Courses Through a Student’s Eyes



333 335 346 349 353 354, 358

Banking and Commerce 363 369 371 378 380

Motoring Cars Tested This Issue 385 Main Car Showrooms/Motorcycle Dealers 386 Useful Numbers 389 Motoring Essentials 390 Dealer Events 394 Driving on the Dunes 406 Main Service Centres 416 Map of Ind’l Area, Small Industries Zone 418


Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals The Global Perspective Qatar’s Oil Industry Qatar’s Gas Industry Qatar’s Petrochemical Industry OGP Explained! Company Activities

425 427 429 431 432 435

Editorial Sarah Palmer Sarah Mascarenhas Terry Sutcliffe Gina Coleman Ola Diab

Retail Sales Sandra Alexander

Health and Beauty

Banking and Finance Commerce and Economy Investment and Trade e‑Accessibility For All QITCOM 2014

Managing Editor Hilary Bainbridge

Advertising Havovi Rabadi Ellan Thompson Lubuna Jeffin

253 261 263 304 307 309

Useful Numbers Healthcare in Qatar Health Insurance Scheme The Gift That Lasts a Lifetime Health and Wellness Spas and Beauty Centres


227 229 237 238 239

Design and Artwork Dick Tamayo Mar Principe Arnel Ramos Dana Design Studio

Marhaba endeavours to quote accurate information and updates each of its sections every issue. However, the magazine accepts no liability in the case of unintentional errors.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced, in any form, without written permission of the publishers.


online Dana Public Relations PO Box 3797, Doha, Qatar Tel (+974) 4465 5533 4465 0083 Fax (+974) 4465 5588 General Information Editorial Retail Sales

Printed in Qatar by Doha Modern Printing Press

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OPITO Approved Training T BOSIET, T FOET, T HUET, T FHUET, H2S Offshore Survival Training Sea Survival Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET) Coxswain Awareness Basic Pool Life Guard & Water Safety Personal Survival Techniques Fire Fighting Training Basic Fire Fighting, Fire Watch, Fire Warden (IIRSM) ECITB Qualifications Foundation, Advanced, Supervisor PADI Qualifications Diver Level Courses First Aid Training Basic First Aid-CPR-AED, Advanced First Aid MEDIC First Aid HABC-Level2 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work Defensive Driving Training Light & Heavy Vehicles NEBOSH Qualifications NEBOSH Award in Health & Safety at Work NEBOSH International General Certificate in Occupational Health & Safety

IOSH Qualifications IOSH Working Safely IOSH Managing Safely Project Management PMP- Project Management Professional (PMI-USA) LEED-GA & LEED-AP(USGBC-USA) CCP - Certified Cost Professional (AACEI-USA) P6-Primavera Project Management PSP - Planning & Scheduling Professional (AACEI-USA) Contracts Management Health & Safety Training Permit to Work (PTW), Safety Watch Confined Space Entry (IIRSM) Authorized Gas Testing Emergency Response Team Chemical Handling, Electrical Safety Construction Safety Training Working at Heights, Trenching & Excavation Scaffolding Safety, Rigging & Slinging Forklift Operator, Crane Operator, Flagman / Banksman HR / Soft Skills Training Time Management Stress Management Communication Skills Self Esteem & Positive Attitude


And more than 150 other cou

For more information please contact:



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Discovering Qatar Map of Qatar


Qatar at a Glance • • • • •

Geography • History • Climate Language and Religion • The Ruling Family The Qatari Flag • Government • Economy International Relations Demography • Transport and Communications

19 30

Events April – July


Arabic Phrases

32 33 45

Main Urban Centres

47 49

Do’s and Don’ts


Leisure Activities


Day to Day Qatar


Living in Qatar

Doha City and other maps

Traveller Information

Doha International Airport

58 60

Qatar Online



• • • •

Karwa Taxi • Karwa Limousine • Karwa Bus Superhighways to Span the State Need Help With Those Names? Signs of Progress

Foreign Embassies

Government Online Useful Documents/Processing The Qatar Labour Law Register at Your Embassy Residence/Work Permits Renew a Residence Permit Exit Permits • Identity Cards Health Related Services


Utilities and Services



Hamad International Airport

Getting Around Qatar

• • • • • • • •


• Parking • Facilities • Facts • Shuttle Service


• Accidents and Medical Emergencies • Visas • Newspapers • Telephone • Public Wireless Internet • Television and Radio • Places of Worship


• Visas • Entry Visas • eCash Cards • Car Rental, Taxis and Limousines • Airlines • Travel Agencies

• Airport Arrivals/Departures • Airport Parking

Clubs, societies and activities, from Arts and Crafts to Parks and Play Zones

• To Rent • Estate/Letting Agents • To Buy • Lawyers and Legal • Relocation Services/Removal Firms • Other Housing Considerations • • • • • •

Water and Electricity • Gas Telephone and Internet Postal Services and Mail Courier Services Birth, Marriage and Death Liquor Permit

Discovering Qatar


• Pets • Exporting a Pet • Microchipping • Private Veterinary Clinics and Services

Features – 20, 90 Qatar Movers Richard Serra’s Passage of Time

Things to see and do in Qatar, from Art and Photography to Organised Tours ©

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UNESCO World Heritage Site

Al Jamail Ruins


Camel Racing & Exercising


Mall of Qatar Sheikh Faisal Museum

Amiri Guard




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RICHARD SERRA, Passage of Time, 2012. Weatherproof steel, Two parts, each comprised of two identical conical/elliptical sections inverted relative to each other, overall: 13´ 6" (4.1 m) high x 218´ (66.5 m) long x 37’ 9” (11.5 m) deep, plates: 2" (5.1 cm) thick. Collection The Fairholme Foundation (photo credit: Lorenz Kienzle)










QMA SPRING /// 2014

Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) connects the museums, cultural institutions and heritage sites in Qatar and creates the conditions for them to thrive and flourish. RICHARD SERRA


From 10 April - 6 July 2014 ALRIWAQ DOHA exhibition space & QMA Gallery, Katara

Board Games from India to Spain 19 March - 21 June 2014 Museum of Islamic Art



Mona Hatoum 7 Feburary - 18 May 2014 Mathaf : Arab Museum of Modern Art

Etel Adnan 16th March - 6th July 2014 Mathaf : Arab Museum of Modern Art


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Qatar at a Glance Geography • Qatar is a peninsula of 11,521 sq km located halfway down the west coast of the Arabian Gulf. • The territory encompasses several islands including Halul, Sheraouh, Al Beshairiya, Al Safliya (which is a marine protected area) and Al Aaliya.

Qatar at a Glance

• The coastline covers 563 km with shallow coastal waters in most areas and many coves and inlets. • The terrain is flat and rocky, covered with sand flats and sand dunes. There are some exceptional low-rising limestone outcrops in the north and northwest. • The country is centrally placed among the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which groups it with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman.


• One of the world’s earliest maps, The Map of Ptolemy in the 2nd century CE, shows the word 'Catara' at the head of the bay.

• Qatar played an important role in the Islamic civilisation when its inhabitants participated in the formation and provision of the first naval fleet. • Archaeological discoveries, inscriptions and artefacts prove that Qatar was populated as early as 10,000 – 8,000 BCE. • In the middle of the 1st century CE, Pliny the Elder referred to the nomads of the area as the 'Catharrei' – an apparent reference to their constant search for water.

• During the 16th century, the Qataris aligned with the Turks to drive out the Portuguese. Subsequently, along with the entire Arabian Peninsula, they fell under the nominal rule of the Ottoman Empire for four successive centuries – with the real power and control remaining in the hands of the sheikhs and princes of local Arab tribes.


Language and Religion

• The country has a moderate desert climate with hot summers and mild winters. Winter nights can be cool, but temperatures rarely drop below 7°C.

• The official language of the country is Arabic, but English is widely spoken and understood.

• Humidity levels can be extremely high on the coast during the summer months. • Rainfall is scarce (average 70 mm per year), falling on isolated days mainly between October and March.

• All official documents (such as visa and resident permit applications) must be completed in Arabic. • Islam is the official religion of the country, and Shari’a (Islamic Law) is the principal source of legislation.






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The Ruling Family • The Emir, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, assumed power on 25 June 2013.

Qatar at a Glance

His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Emir of the State of Qatar

• The ruling Al Thani family was among a tribal group who had settled at the 'Gibrin' oasis in southern Najd, before their arrival in Qatar during the early 18th century. Initially, they settled in Zubara in northern Qatar, moving to Doha in the mid-19th century. The family is a branch of the ancient Arab tribe, the Bani Tameem, whose descent can be traced back to Mudar bin Nizar. • The name Al Thani is derived from that of the family’s ancestor Thani bin Mohamad bin Thani, who was the first sheikh to rule modern Qatar.

His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani Father Emir

The Qatari Flag

• The national flag is maroon with a broad vertical white stripe at the pole, the two colours being separated with a nine-point serrated line which indicates Qatar as the ninth member of the 'reconciled Emirates' of the Gulf, after the 1916 Qatar-British Treaty. His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani Prime Minister and Minister of Interior

• White signifies the internationally recognised symbol of peace. Maroon symbolises the blood shed during the several wars that Qatar has undergone, particularly in the second half of the 19th century.

Government • The Emir is the ruler of Qatar. Rule is hereditary, with power transferred from father to son. If no son is available, power is transferred to the person whom the Emir chooses within the Al Thani family. • The Emir is the head of the constitutional authorities, holding both legislative and executive powers. The Emir appoints the prime minister and ministers. • The Council of Ministers (Cabinet), the supreme executive authority in the country, assists in implementing the general policies of the State. • A 35-member Advisory Council debates economic, political and administrative matters referred to it by the Cabinet. • The constitutional development of Qatar has kept pace with the rapid development and economic growth of the country. 14



• 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 8 June 2005, transforming Qatar into a democracy. • In 1999, free elections were held to form a 29-member Central Municipal Council (CMC) for the first time in Qatar’s history. Women were allowed to vote and run as candidates. CMC elections (held every four years) last took place on 10 May 2011. The constitution was amended in 2003 to allow for the direct election of 30 members of the Advisory Council. The first elections were scheduled for 2013, but were postponed when His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani abdicated in June 2013.


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its economy, and emphasis is being placed on private-sector industrial development, education, health, sport and tourism.

• Qatar, with proven gas reserves of over 900 trillion standard cubic feet in its North Field, and oil reserves of over 15.2 billion barrels, has one of the fastest growing economies and the highest per capita income in the world.

• Investment laws allow for up to 100% foreign investment in many sectors including agriculture, industry, leisure, tourism, health, education and the exploitation of natural resources, energy and mining – subject to dispensation from the Ministry of Business and Trade.

• In just decades, Qatar has developed into a major global supplier of energy and is the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and a world leader in gas-to-liquids (GTL) production.

• Together with Qatari partners, who hold a 51% interest, foreigners can invest in most other sectors subject to approval. See Banking and Commerce for more information.

Qatar at a Glance

• While developing its huge hydrocarbon reserves, Qatar has also diversified

International Relations

Qatar is a member of: • The United Nations (UN) and its subsidiary global organisations.

• Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs strives to establish and develop close direct ties with all peace-loving countries and peoples of the world. It is keen to participate actively in efforts to deal with the concerns and challenges that the Gulf region encounters.

• The Asian Group of the United Nations Human Rights Council. • The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). • The Organisation of Arab Oil Exporting Countries (OAPEC).

• Qatar was actively involved in the discussions leading to the foundation of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and has hosted a number of their Supreme Council Summit Meetings.

• The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. • The World Trade Organisation (WTO).

• Qatar maintains 83 embassies abroad, 7 consulates and 3 other representations. The Qatari capital Doha hosts 88 embassies, and in addition there are consulates and other representations in Qatar.

• The Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC). • The Arab League. • The UNESCO World Heritage Committee.


Transport and Communication

• Qatar's population as at 31 December 2013 was 2,045,239 according to figures released by the Qatar Statistics Authority. • 25.19% of the population is female. • 51% 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 City and Al Wakra in the south, and Ras Laffan and Al Khor in the north. Ras Laffan Industrial City (RLC) is creating a population expansion in Al Khor and the adjoining areas. Projects are underway to provide new housing and amenities in the area.

• The country is served by Doha International Airport and Hamad International Airport, the latter should be in operation sometime this year (for more information on Airports see Smart Travel in this section).



• Metered taxis and limousines are easy to find and there is a comprehensive public transport system. • Qatar has a modern road system linking it with other GCC countries. • An integrated rail and metro network is expected to be largely complete by 2022. • The telecommunications system is currently being upgraded to an entirely fibre-optic network. m

Checked & Updated February 2014


• The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).


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Events April – July Notable dates • 28 June (approximately) – Ramadan • 28 July (approximately) – Eid Al Fitr See the key at the end of the Calendar for contact details of various venues

April Qatar Brazil 2014 A year‑long cultural exchange programme dedicated to connecting people in the State of Qatar and the Federative Republic of Brazil through culture, community, and sport.

Qatar Brazil 2014 is held under the patronage of Qatar Museums Authority’s (QMA) Chairperson, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, in partnership with Qatar’s Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage. It is the third consecutive Year of Culture launched by QMA, following Qatar Japan 2012 and Qatar UK 2013. QMA will work with DFI to present the best of Brazilian cinema in venues across Doha throughout 2014. Screenings will be held monthly at MIA.

Events April – July

Ongoing until the end of the year

This month's Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra concerts: 5

Family Concert: Thunder and Lightning A concert for all ages, featuring music by Edvard Grieg, Johannes Brahms, Johann Strauss II, Antonio Vivaldi and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.


Han-Na Chang Conducts Tchaikovsky 4 Featuring The Rahbani Brothers: Overture, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Francesca da Rimini: Symphonic Fantasy after Dante, Op 32, and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4 in F minor, Op 36.


Bob Ross and the Philharmonic Brass Bob Ross wows Opera House audiences each year with his zany brand of fun. A new programme of music shows off the virtuosity of the Philharmonic’s brass section.


Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique Symphony Featuring Jamal Abou El-Hosn: Overture, Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No 2 in C Minor, Op 18, and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Pathétique Symphony No 6 in B Minor, Op 74.


Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony Featuring Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Romance in F Minor for strings, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No 25 in G Minor, K. 183 (173dB), and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5 in E Minor, Op 64.

All concerts take place at Katara Opera House, Building 16#. How to buy tickets: online from Virgin Megastore,; at Virgin Megastore in Landmark and Villaggio malls; directly at the Opera House on the concert date starting one hour before and ending 10 minutes before the performance. ©





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Richard Serra’s Passage Of Time

Richard Serra’s Passage Of Time

Following the 2011 installation of the artist’s first public artwork in the Middle East, ‘7’ (pictured above), a vertical steel sculpture in the MIA Park, QMA has invited American sculptor Richard Serra to exhibit in two cultural spaces in Doha. The exhibitions, both entitled ‘Richard Serra’, are curated by Alfred Pacquement, Honorary Director, National Museum of Modern Art at the Centre Pompidou, Paris. At ALRIWAQ DOHA, visitors will be able to experience ‘Passage of Time’ conceived specifically for the space. The work consists of two immense steel curves, snaking diagonally through the large volume of the exhibition space. The curves measure 70 metres in length. As with most of his large-scale sculptures, the spectator needs to take them in from multiple viewpoints. The work demands to be walked around and through, observed from the exterior as well as the interior. Concurrently at the QMA Gallery in Katara, a selection of seven sculptures and four large drawings present the main stages in the development of Serra’s work, from the first ‘Prop’ in lead and steel to one of the more recent ‘Torqued Ellipses’ (installed outside, and in proximity to the QMA Gallery). The works in Katara provide an historical context for both ‘7’ and ‘Passage of Time’.

Richard Serra’s art Richard Serra is among the most important contemporary sculptors. His work is mainly defined

around the concepts of space, weight, mass and gravity. Richard Serra in Doha is the first museum exhibition arranged for the artist in the Middle East, bringing together sculptures and drawings from different periods of Serra’s 50 year career. The works include the seminal One Ton Prop (House of Cards) of 1969 (pictured below), on rare loan from the Museum of Modern Art in New York, to ‘Passage of Time’, specifically created for this occasion. Serra’s early props consist of assemblies of balanced plates of lead. ‘One Ton Prop’ (House of Cards) is made up of four lead plates remaining in place simply by leaning one against another like a house of cards. In his ‘Props’ equilibrium can also be established by the weight of a roll of lead pressing on top of and thereby holding in place an assembly of plates (‘5:30’ and ‘V+5:To Michael Heizer’, both from 1969). With his ‘Prop’ pieces, Serra liberates sculpture from the tradition of the pedestal. The elements of these sculptures support and stabilise each other, without welding or other modes of construction. Whether in lead or steel the precarious nature of the assembly dramatises the mechanical aspects of the installation. The exhibition will also contain a group of recent large scale drawings in Serra’s signature medium of black paintstick (a stick of water-soluble paint used like a crayon). m

Two exhibits of Richard Serra’s work will be held in Doha, both self titled. Dates: 2 April to 6 July 2014 Location: ALRIWAQ DOHA exhibition space, next to the Museum of Islamic Art, as well as at QMA Gallery, Katara. 20




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Marhaba 59  

Marhaba Information Guide: THE definitive guide to Qatar. Over 450 pages of everything you need to know about making the best of your stay i...