Around 20,000 Brits live in Qatar, and approximately 130,000 visit annually. Qatar is situated in The Middle East, bordered only by Saudi Arabia. A great proportion of its expats and visitors will be heading to the capital Doha, which is the political and business centre of the region.
After a fire destroyed the traditional Souq Waqif in 2003, the Quatari government have pumped huge amounts of money into returning it to its former splendour. Despite being given a face lift visitors to the souq can still hunt for traditional clothes, spices and routines. Rather surprisingly you can witness falconry around the souq and a traditional stables with Arabian horses is close by. You’ll also be able to witness camels being fed at the end of Al Jasra Street. Not something you’d usually see in a marketplace.
The Museum of Islamic Art is anything but traditional in appearance, floating as it does on a purpose-built island with a Lego-like square and cube appearance. Built by the same architects who designed the Louvre’s Pyramid, this is a very special gallery, housing the largest collection of Islamic art in the world. Built over three floors there are two permanent exhibitions and a special exhibitions gallery, revealing work and artefacts from early Islamic art to that from Syria, Egypt, Iran, Turkey and Central Asia.
If you’re looking to enjoy the great outdoors you can do this in Doha as it neatly hugs the Persian Gulf. Between May-September temperatures are 38’C so a sea breeze might be just what you need. Doha Bay is followed by a waterfront promenade that offers the opportunity to walk from the Museum to West Bay. Some say this is the best walk in Doha because the streets can be particularly crowded and not in the least pedestrian friendly.
Any self-respecting visitor or Doha will want to sample the cuisine. There are a number of traditional meals on offer such as Machboos, which is a spiced rice dish with marinated fish, seafood or meat. Thareed is a pot stew full of vegetables and meat. Soaked bread is placed at the bottom and covered with tomato sauce and spices. Those with a sweet tooth must opt for a Balaleet, which contains fried vermicelli noodles, sugar, cinnamon, saffron and cardamom. The meal is completed with an omelette on top.
Qatar itself is a muslim-majority country, with Islam as the state religion. Alcohol is available in many hotels and in some restaurants, bars and members-only establishments. Whilst there is no strict dress code for visitors to the country, they are expected to wear modest clothes suggesting no shorts, vest or over the knee skirts.
It’s also worth noting that as of June 2017 Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar. This has led to closures affecting road, air and sea routes between these countries and Qatar, as well as travel and residence restrictions affecting Qatari nationals. Restrictions on entry to the UAE have also been placed on certain holders of Qatari Residence Permits. These restrictions don’t apply to British nationals.
If you are considering moving to Qatar, PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 35 years. We are committed to providing a friendly, professional and stress-free overseas move for all our customers. Whether you’re sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle, we will ensure that you receive the highest level of care and attention.
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