All you need to know about Doha
Doha is the capital city and economic centre of the state of Qatar, which is located on the Persian Gulf. It is Qatar's largest city, with over 80% of the country's population living there or in its surrounding areas.
Situated in the Arabian Peninsula, Doha's climate is arid with average temperatures of over 38°C from May to September. Rainfall is rare with an average of 75 mm per annum, falling on isolated days mostly between October and March. Winters are mild, and the temperature rarely drops below 7°C.
The majority of Doha's residents are expatriates, with Qatari nationals forming a minority. The largest portion of expats in Qatar are from South Asian countries, mainly Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka. There are large amounts of expatriates from the UK, United States, Canada, France and South Africa.
In the past, expatriates in Qatar were not allowed to own land but the laws have since been relaxed. People who are not Qatari citizens can buy land in several areas of Doha now, including the West Bay Lagoon, the Qatar Pearl, and the new Lusail City. Ownership by foreigners in Qatar entitles them to a renewable residency permit, which allows them to live and work in Qatar.
As Doha is an Islamic city, alcohol is available only in apartment or hotel bars, or tourist nightclubs, which tend also to be located within the grounds of hotels or serviced apartment blocks.
Doha is home to the headquarters of the country's largest oil and gas companies, including Qatar Petroleum, Qatargas and RasGas. Its other main industries include fertilisers, fuel oils, steel, cement, petrol and jet fuels.
Doha has undergone a huge expansion to its transportation network, including the addition of five new highways, the construction of a new airport, and the planned construction of a metro system. An extensive bus system, operated by the government-owned Mowasalat company, currently operates in the city linking to all major Qatar towns. The Mowasalat company also operates all taxis in Qatar under its Karwa brand, with thousands of taxis operating in the capital.
Doha International Airport is Qatar's only international airport. It is the hub of Qatar Airways, and is served by many other international airlines. A new airport, the New Doha International Airport, is being constructed near the existing airport (about 3 miles east) and its expected completion date is 2015.