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Doha Holidays Overview
Doha is the capital of Qatar, an oil producing state that is located in the Middle East.
Doha is located on the eastern coast of Qatar. The city is unique in the sense that the old world and new world fuse together and coexist in harmony within the environs of Doha. You can’t help but notice this when you see the towering modern sky grazing buildings standing cheek by jowl with the older religious centers and the covered burkha (veil)clad women walking the streets of Doha.
The religious tenants of Islam are observed strictly in Doha and alcoholic beverages are not allowed to be brought into the country; the consumption of alcohol is also regulated by strict licensing. Alcohol can be bought and consumed only at bars attached to international hotels which are frequented by ex-pats and foreign tourists. Pork products are also not permitted in the country. In spite of these dietary restrictions due to religious observations, Doha today is a jewel of the Middle East which is fast developing into global city which has successfully hosted the Asian Games in December 2006.
The origins of Doha can be traced back to 1850 when it was known as Al Bida. At this time the main industries located here were the pearl industry and fishing. The Pearl trade suffered a jolt in the 20th century when Japan began to manufacture cultured pearls. Doha then suffered an economic decline until 1949 when oil was discovered here. Doha was made the capital of the British protectorate of Qatar in 1916, and this status did not change when Qatar gained its independence from the British in 1971. Before the British departed from Qatar they appointed the Al Thani family who were the original rulers of Qatar as administrators of the city.
Today the production of 800,000 barrels of oil a day has contributed greatly to the city’s prosperity. This can be seen in the bustling downtown area of Doha where the skyline is dominated by towering skyscrapers and new residential homes.
The best season to visit Doha is during the months from November to March when it is not oppressively hot. The average daily temperatures in the month January are generally 17ºC (63ºF) though it is much hotter in the months of June and July when temperatures hover around 35ºC (95ºF).
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holidays - Top Events
Doha Cultural Festival
The Doha Cultural festival s an annual cultural extravaganza which is held at various venues throughout Doha every February. This ten day long festival features theater, poetry, music and dance performances which are held at venues like the Visual Arts Centre and the Alwaseel auditorium. The festival seeks to showcase the culture of Qatar but also includes performances by international artists.
The Qatar Summer Wonders Festival
The International Exhibition Centre along with other venues in the city plays host to the Summer Wonders Festivalwhich is held in August every year. This event features music concerts, dance performances, acrobatic displays which are performed by international performers from various countries. The event also features fireworks displays, a shopping festival, parades and several other interesting activities.
The Qatar Masters
The Qatar Masters Golf tournaments a part of the PGA European Tour which attracts some of the best players in the world to the greens of Doha Golf Club every January.
The Paintball Tournament
Doha has recently launched a new competitive event which features the raucous sport of paintballing.This annual event is held in November every year and attracts enthusiastic competitors who only have to contribute to the cost of the paintballs as they duel for the grand prize QR2000.
holidays - How to Get There
Airlines such as Etihad, Emirates, Qantas and Qatar connect the Australian cities of Melbourne and Sydney to Doha. The flight time of these journeys varies according to the layovers that you are compelled to make. Australian citizens require a visa to enter Qatar but they can get this visa on arrival at Doha airport. This visa currently costs 100 Qatari riyals approximately AU$ 31.
Australia doesn’t have a diplomatic mission in Qatar and Doha is currently covered by the Australian Embassy in Abu Dhabi.