Doha

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Doha
الدوحة
ad-Dawḥa
City and Municipality
From top: Qatar University, Museum of Islamic Art, Doha Skyline, Souq Waqif, The Pearl
Nickname(s): Dohan, Dohanian, Dohaite
Location of the municipality of Doha within Qatar.
Location of the municipality of Doha within Qatar.
Coordinates: 25°17′12″N 51°32′0″E / 25.28667°N 51.53333°E / 25.28667; 51.53333Coordinates: 25°17′12″N 51°32′0″E / 25.28667°N 51.53333°E / 25.28667; 51.53333
Country  Qatar
Municipality Ad Dawhah
Established 1825
Area
 • City 132 km2 (51 sq mi)
Population (2014)[1]
 • City 900,545
 • Density 6,800/km2 (18,000/sq mi)
Time zone AST (UTC+3)

Doha (Arabic: الدوحة‎, ad-Dawḥa or ad-Dōḥa, literally in MSA: "the big tree", locally: "rounded bays"[2]) is the capital city and most populous city of the State of Qatar. Doha has a population of 900,545 within the city proper.[1] The city is located on the coast of the Persian Gulf in the east of the country. It is Qatar's fastest growing city, with over 60% of the nation's population living in Doha or its surrounding suburbs, and it is also the economic center of the country. It comprises one of the municipalities of Qatar.

Doha was founded in the 1820s as an offshoot of Al Bidda. It was officially declared as the country's capital in 1971, when Qatar gained independence.[3] As the commercial capital of Qatar and one of the emergent financial centers in the Middle East, Doha is considered a world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Doha accommodates Education City, an area devoted to research and education.

The city was host to the first ministerial-level meeting of the Doha Development Round of World Trade Organization negotiations. It was also selected as host city of a number of sporting events, including the 2006 Asian Games, the 2011 Pan Arab Games and most of the games at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. In December 2011, the World Petroleum Council held the 20th World Petroleum Conference in Doha.[4] Additionally, the city hosted the 2012 UNFCCC Climate Negotiations and is set to host a large number of the venues for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Etymology[edit]

The name "Doha" may have originated from the Arabic Ad-Dawḥa, "the big tree".[5] The reference might be to a prominent tree that stood at the site where the original fishing village arose, on the eastern coast of the Qatar peninsula. Alternatively, it may have been derived from "dohat" — Arabic for bay or gulf — referring to the Doha Bay area surrounding the Corniche.[2]

History[edit]

Satellite view of Doha

Establishment of Al Bidda[edit]

The city of Doha was formed after seceding from another local settlement known as Al Bidda. The earliest documented mention of Al Bidda was made in 1681, by the Carmelite Convent, in an account which chronicles several settlements in Qatar. In the record, the ruler and a fort in the confines of Al Bidda are alluded to.[6][7] Carsten Niebuhr, a European explorer who visited the Arabian Peninsula, created one of the first maps to depict the settlement in 1765 in which he labelled it as 'Guttur'.[6][8]

David Seaton, a British political resident in Muscat, wrote the first English record of Al Bidda in 1801. He refers to the town as 'Bedih' and describes the geography and defensive structures in the area.[9] He stated that the town had recently been settled by the Sudan tribe (Al-Suwaidi), whom he considered to be pirates. Seaton attempted to bombard the town with his warship, but returned to Muscat upon finding that the waters were too shallow to position his warship within striking distance.[10][11]

In 1820, British surveyor R.H. Colebrook, who visited Al Bidda, remarked on the recent depopulation of the town. He wrote:[10][12]

Guttur – Or Ul Budee [Al‐Bidda], once a considerable town, is protected by two square Ghurries [forts] near the sea shore; but containing no fresh water they are incapable of defence except against sudden incursions of Bedouins, another Ghurry is situated two miles inland and has fresh water with it. This could contain two hundred men. There are remaining at Ul Budee about 250 men, but the original inhabitants, who may be expected to return from Bahrein, will augment them to 900 or 1,000 men, and if the Doasir tribe, who frequent the place as divers, again settle in it, from 600 to 800 men.

The same year, an agreement known as the General Maritime Treaty was signed between the East India Company and the sheikhs of several Persian Gulf settlements (some of which were later known as the Trucial Coast). It acknowledged British authority in the Persian Gulf and sought to end piracy and the slave trade. Bahrain became a party to the treaty, and it was assumed that Qatar, perceived as a dependency of Bahrain by the British, was also a party to it.[13] Qatar, however, was not asked to fly the prescribed Trucial flag.[14] As punishment for alleged piracy committed by the inhabitants of Al Bidda and breach of treaty, an East India Company vessel bombarded the town in 1821. They razed the town, forcing between 300 and 400 natives to flee and temporarily take shelter on the islands between the Qatar and the Trucial Coast.[15]

Formation of Doha[edit]

Doha was founded in the vicinity of Al Bidda sometime during the 1820s.[16] In January 1823, political resident John MacLeod visited Al Bidda to meet with the ruler and initial founder of Doha, Buhur bin Jubrun, who was also the chief of the Al-Buainain tribe.[16][17] MacLeod noted that Al Bidda was the only substantial trading port in the peninsula during this time. Following the founding of Doha, written records often conflated Al Bidda and Doha due to the extremely close proximity of the two settlements.[16] Later that year, Lt. Guy and Lt. Brucks mapped and wrote a description of the two settlements. Despite being mapped as two separate entities, they were referred to under the collective name of Al Bidda in the written description.[18][19]

Doha in the early 20th century.

In 1828, Mohammed bin Khamis, a prominent member of the Al-Buainain tribe and successor of Buhur bin Jubrun as chief of Al Bidda, was embroiled in controversy. He had murdered a native of Bahrain, prompting the Al Khalifa sheikh to imprison him. In response, the Al-Buainain tribe revolted, provoking the Al Khalifa to destroy the tribe's fort and evict them to Fuwayrit and Ar Ru'ays. This incident allowed the Al Khalifa additional jurisdiction over the town.[20][21] With essentially no effective ruler, Al Bidda and Doha became a sanctuary for pirates and outlaws.[22]

In November 1839, an outlaw from Abu Dhabi named Ghuleta took refuge in Al Bidda, evoking a harsh response from the British. A.H. Nott, a British naval commander, demanded that Salemin bin Nasir Al-Suwaidi, chief of the Sudan tribe in Al Bidda, take Ghuleta into custody and warned him of consequences in the case of non-compliance. Al-Suwaidi obliged the British request in February 1840 and also arrested the pirate Jasim bin Jabir and his associates. Despite the compliance, the British demanded a fine of 300 German krones in compensation for the damages incurred by pirates off the coast of Al Bidda; namely for the piracies committed by bin Jabir. In February 1841, British naval squadrons arrived in Al Bidda and ordered Al-Suwaidi to meet the British demand, threatening consequences if he declined. Al-Suwaidi ultimately declined on the basis that he was uninvolved in bin Jabir's actions. On 26 February, the British fired on Al Bidda, striking a fort and several houses. Al-Suwaidi then paid the fine in full following threats of further action by the British.[22][23]

Isa bin Tarif, a powerful tribal chief from the Al Bin Ali tribe, moved to Doha in May 1843. He subsequently evicted the ruling Sudan tribe and installed the Al-Maadeed and Al-Kuwari tribes in positions of power.[24] Bin Tarif had been loyal to the Al Khalifa, however, shortly after the swearing in of a new ruler in Bahrain, bin Tarif grew increasingly suspicious of the ruling Al Khalifa and switched his allegiance to the deposed ruler of Bahrain, Abdullah bin Khalifa, whom he had previously assisted in deposing of. Bin Tarif died in the Battle of Fuwayrit against the ruling family of Bahrain in 1847.[24]

Arrival of Al Thani[edit]

Doha in January 1904.

The Al Thani migrated to Doha from Fuwayrit shortly after Bin Tarif's death in 1847 under the leadership of Mohammed bin Thani.[25][26] In the proceeding years, the Al Thani assumed control of the town. At various times, they swapped allegiances between the two prevailing powers in the area: the Al Khalifa and the Saudis.[25]

In 1867, a large number of ships and troops were sent from Bahrain to assault the towns Al Wakrah and Doha over a series of disputes. Abu Dhabi joined on Bahrain's behalf due to the conception that Al Wakrah served as a refuge for fugitives from Oman. Later that year, the combined forces sacked the two Qatari towns with 2,000 men in what would come to be known as the Qatari–Bahraini War.[27][28] A British record later stated "that the towns of Doha and Wakrah were, at the end of 1867 temporarily blotted out of existence, the houses being dismantled and the inhabitants deported".[29]

The joint Bahraini-Abu Dhabi incursion and subsequent Qatari counterattack prompted the British political agent, Colonel Lewis Pelly, to impose a settlement in 1868. Pelly's mission to Bahrain and Qatar and the peace treaty that resulted were milestones in Qatar's history. It implicitly recognized the distinctness of Qatar from Bahrain and explicitly acknowledged the position of Mohammed bin Thani as an important representative of the peninsula's tribes.[30]

Shortly after the war, the Ottomans took up a rather nominal control of the country, constructing a base in Doha, with the acquiescence of Jassim Al Thani who wished to consolidate his control of the area. Prior to this, the town of Doha served as a stronghold for Bedouin fighters who resisted Ottoman rule.[31] By December 1871, Jassim Al Thani authorized the Ottomans to send 100 troops and equipment to Al Bidda.[32]

Disagreement over tribute and interference in internal affairs arose, eventually leading to the Battle of Al Wajbah in 1893. Al Bidda fort would as the final point of retreat for Ottoman troops, eventually surrendering after Jassim Al Thani's troops cut off the town's water supply and besieged the fortress.[33] An Ottoman report compiled the same year reported that Al Bidda and Doha had a combined population of 6,000 inhabitants, jointly referring to both towns by the name of 'Katar'. Doha was classified as the eastern section of Katar.[34][35] The Ottomans held a passive role in Qatar's politics from the 1890s onward until fully relinquishing control during the beginning of the first World War.[13]

20th century[edit]

Pearling had come to play a pivotal commercial role in Doha by the 20th century. The population increased to around 12,000 inhabitants in the first half of the 20th century due to the flourishing pearl trade.[36] A British political resident noted that should the supply of pearls drop, Qatar would 'practically cease to exist'.[37] In 1907, the city accommodated 350 pearling boats with a combined crew size of 6,300 men. By this time, the average prices of pearls had more than doubled since 1877.[38] The pearl market collapsed that year, forcing Jassim Al Thani to sell the country's pearl harvest at half its value. The aftermath of the collapse resulted in the establishment of the country's first custom house in Doha.[37]

In April 1913, the Ottomans agreed to a British request that they withdraw all their troops from Qatar. Ottoman presence in the peninsula ceased, when in August 1915, the Ottoman fort in Al Bidda was evacuated shortly after the start of World War I.[39] One year later, Qatar agreed to be a British protectorate with Doha as its official capital.[40][41]

Doha in the 1980s.

Buildings at the time were simple dwellings of one or two rooms, built from mud, stone and coral. Oil concessions in the 1920s and 1930s, and subsequent oil drilling in 1939, heralded the beginning of slow economic and social progress in the country. However, revenues were somewhat diminished due to the devaluation of pearl trade in the Gulf brought on by introduction of the cultured pearl and the Great Depression.[42] The collapse of the pearl trade caused a significant population drop throughout the entire country.[36] It was not until the 1950s and 1960s that the country saw significant monetary returns from oil drilling.[13]

Qatar was not long in exploiting the new-found wealth from oil concessions, and slum areas were quickly razed to be replaced by more modern buildings. The first formal boys' schools was established in Doha in 1952, followed three years later by the establishment of a girls' school.[43] Historically, Doha had been a commercial port of local significance. However, the shallow water of the bay prevented bigger ships from entering the port until the 1970s, when its deep-water port was completed. Further changes followed with extensive land reclamation, which led to the development crescent-shaped bay.[44] From the 1950s to 1970s, the population of Doha grew from around 14,000 inhabitants to over 83,000, with foreign immigrants constituting about two-thirds of the overall population.[45]

Post-independence[edit]

Qatar officially declared its independence in 1971, with Doha as its capital city.[3] In 1973, the University of Qatar was opened by emiri decree,[46] and in 1975 the Qatar National Museum opened in what was originally the ruler's palace.[47] During the 1970s, all old neighborhoods in Doha were razed and the inhabitants moved to new suburban developments, such as Al Rayyan, Madinat Khalifa and Al Gharafa. The metropolitan area's population grew from 89,000 in the 1970s to over 434,000 in 1997. Additionally, land policies resulted in the total land area increasing to over 7,100 hectares by 1995, an increase from 130 hectares in the middle of the 20th century.[48]

Recent developments in Doha.

In 1983, a hotel and conference center was developed at the north end of the Corniche. The 15-storey Sheraton hotel structure in this center would serve as the tallest structure in Doha until the 1990s.[48] In 1993, the Qatar Open became the first major sports event to be hosted in the city.[49] Two years later, Qatar stepped in to host the FIFA World Youth Championship, with all the matches being played in Doha-based stadiums.[50]

The Al Jazeera Arabic news channel began broadcasting from Doha in 1996.[51] In the late 1990s, Education City, a 2,500 hectare Doha-based complex mainly for educational institutes, began construction.[52] Since the start of the 21st century, Doha attained significant media attention due to the hosting of several global events and the inauguration of a number of architectural mega-projects.[53] Doha was selected to host the Asian Games in 2006, leading to the development of a 250-hectare sporting complex known as Aspire Zone.[49] During this time, new cultural attractions were constructed in the city, with older ones being restored. In 2006, the government launched a restoration program to preserve Souq Waqif's architectural and historical identity. Parts constructed after the 1950s were demolished whereas older structures were refurbished. The restoration was completed in 2008.[54] Katara Cultural Village was opened in the city in 2010 and has hosted the Doha Tribeca Film Festival since then.[55]

Geography[edit]

Doha is located on the central-east portion of Qatar, bordered by the Persian Gulf on its coast. It is bordered by Al Wakrah municipality to the south, Al Rayyan municipality to the west, Al Daayen municipality to the north and Umm Salal municipality to the northwest. Its elevation is 33 ft (10 m).[56] Doha is highly urbanized. Land reclamation off the coast has added 400 hectares of land and 30 km of coastline.[57] Half of the 22 km² of surface area which Hamad International Airport was constructed on was reclaimed land.[58] The geology of Doha consists primarily of weathered unconformity on the top of the Eocene Dammam Formation, constituting dolomitic limestone.[59]

The Pearl is an artificial island in Doha with a surface area of nearly 1,000 acres.[60] The total project has been estimated to cost $15 billion upon completion.[61] Other islands off Doha's coast include Palm Tree Island, Shrao's Island, Al Safia Island, and Alia Island.[62]

Climate[edit]

Doha has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh). Summer is very long, from May to September, when its average high temperatures surpass 38 °C (100 °F) and often approach 45 °C (113 °F). Humidity is usually the lowest in May and June. Dewpoints can surpass 25 °C (77 °F) in the summer. Throughout the summer, the city averages almost no precipitation, and less than 20 mm (0.79 in) during other months.[63] Rainfall is scarce, at a total of 75 mm (2.95 in) per annum, falling on isolated days mostly between October to March. Winters are warm and the temperature rarely drops below 7 °C (45 °F).[64]

Climate data for Doha
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 31.2
(88.2)
36.0
(96.8)
39.0
(102.2)
46.0
(114.8)
47.7
(117.9)
49.0
(120.2)
48.2
(118.8)
48.0
(118.4)
45.5
(113.9)
43.4
(110.1)
38.0
(100.4)
32.2
(90)
49.0
(120.2)
Average high °C (°F) 21.7
(71.1)
23.0
(73.4)
26.8
(80.2)
31.9
(89.4)
38.2
(100.8)
41.2
(106.2)
41.5
(106.7)
40.7
(105.3)
38.6
(101.5)
35.2
(95.4)
29.5
(85.1)
24.1
(75.4)
32.7
(90.9)
Daily mean °C (°F) 17.0
(62.6)
17.9
(64.2)
21.2
(70.2)
25.7
(78.3)
31.0
(87.8)
33.9
(93)
34.7
(94.5)
34.3
(93.7)
32.2
(90)
28.9
(84)
24.2
(75.6)
19.2
(66.6)
26.7
(80.1)
Average low °C (°F) 12.8
(55)
13.7
(56.7)
16.7
(62.1)
20.6
(69.1)
25.0
(77)
27.7
(81.9)
29.1
(84.4)
28.9
(84)
26.5
(79.7)
23.4
(74.1)
19.5
(67.1)
15.0
(59)
21.6
(70.9)
Record low °C (°F) 3.8
(38.8)
5.0
(41)
8.2
(46.8)
10.5
(50.9)
15.2
(59.4)
21.0
(69.8)
23.5
(74.3)
22.4
(72.3)
20.3
(68.5)
16.6
(61.9)
11.8
(53.2)
6.4
(43.5)
3.8
(38.8)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 13.2
(0.52)
17.1
(0.673)
16.1
(0.634)
8.7
(0.343)
3.6
(0.142)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
1.1
(0.043)
3.3
(0.13)
12.1
(0.476)
75.2
(2.961)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 1.7 2.1 1.8 1.4 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.2 1.3 8.8
Avg. relative humidity (%) 71 70 63 52 44 41 49 55 62 63 66 71 59
Mean monthly sunshine hours 244.9 224.0 241.8 273.0 325.5 342.0 325.5 328.6 306.0 303.8 276.0 241.8 3,432.9
Source: NOAA (1962-1992) [64]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1820[10] 250 —    
1893[35] 6,000 +2300.0%
1970[65] 80,000 +1233.3%
1986[3] 217,294 +171.6%
2001[66] 299,300 +37.7%
2004[3] 339,847 +13.5%
2005[67][68] 400,051 +17.7%
2010[69] 796,947 +99.2%
c-census; e-estimate

A significant portion of Qatar's population resides within the confines of Doha and its metropolitan area.[70] The district with the highest population density is the central area of Al Najada, which also accommodates the highest total population in the country. The population density across the greater Doha region ranges from 20,000 people per km² to 25 people per km².[71]

The following table is the total population of the wider Doha metropolitan area.[72]

Year Metro population
1997 434,000[48]
2004 644,000[73]
2008 998,651[74]

The following table is a breakdown of registered live births by nationality and sex for Doha. Places of birth are based on the home municipality of the mother at birth.[72][75]

Suburbs in Doha.
Registered live births by nationality and sex
Year Qatari Non-Qatari Total
M F Total M F Total M F Total
2001 1,045 1,035 2,080 1,878 1,741 3,619 2,923 2,776 5,699
2002 932 943 1,875 1,877 1,780 3,657 2,809 2,723 5,532
2003 1,104 1,068 2,172 2,064 1,963 4,027 3,168 3,031 6,199
2004 1,054 1,000 2,054 1,946 1,814 3,760 3,000 2,814 5,814
2005 867 900 1,767 2,007 1,892 3,899 2,874 2,792 5,666
2006 961 947 1,908 2,108 2,008 4,116 3,069 2,955 6,024
2007 995 918 1,913 2,416 2,292 4,708 3,411 3,210 6,621
2008 955 895 1,850 2,660 2,623 5,283 3,615 3,518 7,133
2009 1,098 1,043 2,141 3,025 2,954 5,979 4,123 3,997 8,120
2010[76] 840 831 1,671 3,079 2,840 5,919 3,919 3,671 7,590
2011[77] 926 933 1,859 3,400 3,180 6,580 4,326 4,113 8,439

Ethnicity and languages[edit]

The population of Doha is overwhelmingly composed of expatriates, with Qatari nationals forming a minority. The largest portion of expatriates in Qatar are from South-East and South Asian countries, mainly India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Philippines, Bangladesh, and Indonesia, with large numbers of expatriates also coming from the Levant Arab countries, North Africa, and East Asia. Doha is also home to a large number of expatriates from Europe, North America, South Africa, and Australia.[78]

Bilingual traffic sign in Doha.

Arabic is the official language of Qatar. English is commonly used as a second language,[79] and a rising lingua franca, especially in commerce.[80] As there is a large expatriate population in Doha, languages such as Tagalog, Spanish, French, and Hindi are widely spoken.[78]

In 2004, the Foreign Ownership of Real Estate Law was passed, permitting non-Qatari citizens to buy land in designated areas of Doha, including the West Bay Lagoon, the Qatar Pearl, and the new Lusail City.[53] Prior to this, expatriates were prohibited from owning land in Qatar. Ownership by foreigners in Qatar entitles them to a renewable residency permit, which allows them to live and work in Qatar.[70]

Each month, thousands immigrate to Qatar, and as a result, Doha has witnessed explosive growth rates in population. Doha's population currently stands at around one million,[74] with the population of the city more than doubling from 2000 to 2010. Due to the high influx of expatriates, the Qatari housing market saw a shortage of supply which led to a rise in prices and increased inflation. The gap in the housing market between supply and demand has narrowed, however, and property prices have fallen in some areas following a period which saw rents triple in some areas.[81]

According to Qatar Chamber, expatriate workers have remitted $60bn between 2006 and 2012. 54 percent of the workers' remittances of $60bn were routed to Asian countries, followed by Arab nations that accounted for nearly half that volume (28 percent). India was the top destination of the remittances, followed by the Philippines, while the US, Egypt and the neighbouring UAE trailed.[82]

Religion[edit]

The majority of residents in Doha are Muslim.[83] Catholics account for over 90% of the 150,000 Christian population in Doha.[84] Following decrees by the Emir for the allocation of land to churches, the first Catholic church, Our Lady of the Rosary, was opened in Doha in March 2008. The church structure is discreet and Christian symbols are not displayed on the outside of the building.[85] Several other churches exist in Doha, including the Syro-Malabar Church, Malankara Orthodox Church, Mar Thoma Church (affiliated with the Anglicans, but not part of the Communion), CSI Church, Syro-Malankara Church and the Pentecostal Church. A majority of mosques are either Muwahhid or Sunni-oriented.[86]

Administration[edit]

Municipality[edit]

Map of the municipalities of Qatar

According to the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning,[87] the Municipality of Qatar became the first municipality to be established in 1963. Later that year, name was changed to Municipality of Doha. The country has been divided into seven municipalities since 2006.[88] Doha is the most populated municipality among them with a population of 796,947 as of 2010.[1]

Districts[edit]

Al Bidda Park

The following is a list of some of Doha's more prominent districts:

Economy[edit]

Much of Qatar's oil and natural gas wealth is visible in Doha, which is the economic centre of Qatar. Doha is home to the headquarters of the country's largest oil and gas companies, including Qatar Petroleum, Qatargas and RasGas. Doha's economy is built on the revenue the country has made from its oil and natural gas industries, and the Qatari government is rapidly trying to diversify the Qatari economy in order to move away from this dependence on oil. As a result, Doha is currently experiencing a very large boom, with the city developing very rapidly – this is mostly the result of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa's modernization program.

Like the nearby city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Doha's economy is moving away from its dependency on the oil and natural gas industries, although unlike Dubai, Doha's main focus is not tourism. Doha is seeing huge amounts of growth, with the population of the city increasing by more than 30,000 between 2004 and 2006; this has caused a boom in the real estate sector, with real estate prices skyrocketing.[89] According to the BBC, as of late January 2007, Doha is now a more expensive city than Dubai in terms of real estate prices. This rate of growth has led to projects such as the Lusail City project, which is being constructed north of Doha and will eventually house 200,000 people. Construction is also booming in Doha, a result of increasing corporate and commercial activity there. This is most visible with the changing skyline of the city, as Doha has over 50 towers currently being constructed, the largest of which is the Dubai Towers. At the same time, 39 new hotels are joining Qatar's booming tourism market, adding about 9,000 new rooms by 2009.

Qatar Airways is headquartered in the Qatar Airways Tower in Doha.[90]

Doha was included in Fortune's 15 best new cities for business for the year 2011.[91]

Infrastructure[edit]

Architecture[edit]

Dohan architecture is a mixture of building booms in the second half of the 20th century and intermittent building phases during the 21st century. Examples of some projects in Doha include:

Atmosphere[edit]

Due to excessive heat from the Sun during the summer months, some Dohan building companies have attempted various forms of cooling technology to make the city more livable. This may come in cheaper forms such as through improvisation of optical phenomena such as shadows or more expensive forms such as ventilation, coolants, refrigerants, cryogenics, cryonics and dehumidifiers.[92] Discussions regarding temperature control have also been features of various scheduled events involving large crowds.[93] There are other initiatives that attempt to counter the excruciating heat by increasing the traditional office opening times, other standard white collar workday hours, and retail operations late into the evening.[94]

Transportation[edit]

Since 2004, Doha has been undergoing a huge expansion to its transportation network, including the addition of new highways, the opening of a new airport in 2014, and the currently ongoing construction of a metro system. This has all been as a result of Doha's massive growth in a short space of time, which has resulted in congestion on its roads.

Education[edit]

The city is the educational center of the country and contains the highest preponderance of schools and colleges.[65] In 1952, the first formal boys' school was opened in Doha. This was proceeded by the opening of the first formal girls' school three years later.[95] The first university in the state, Qatar University, was opened in 1973.[96] It provided separate faculties for both men and women.[97]

In addition to Qatar University, the government launched the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), a global forum that brings together education stakeholders, opinion leaders and decision makers from all over the world to discuss educational issues.[98] The first edition was held in Doha, Qatar in November 2009.[99] The government also solicited a number of universities to establish campuses in Doha, most notably at Education City, one of the main projects of the non-profit organization Qatar Foundation.[100] Some of the biggest universities in Doha are:

Many international schools established for Doha's expatriate communities currently operating in the city, including:

  • Note 1: School has been incorporated in the 'Outstanding Schools Prorgram' by the Ministry of Education.[102]

Sports[edit]

Doha is home to a number of sports stadiums, many of which were renovated in preparation for the 15th Asian Games, held in December 2006, which Doha spent $2.8 billion for preparation. Doha also hosted the 3rd West Asian Games in December 2005. Doha is also expected to host the 2011 Asian Indoor Games; Doha was also host the finals for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. Qatar is aiming to be the region's sports capital. Qatar is expected to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Sports venues in Doha and its suburbs include:

ASPIRE Academy, launched in 2004, is a sports academy which aims to create world-class athletes. It is situated in the Doha Sports City Complex, which also includes the Khalifa International Stadium, the Hamad Aquatic Centre and the Aspire Tower.

The MotoGP motorcycling grand prix of Doha is held annually at Losail International Circuit, located just north of the city.

Doha is also the location of the Grand Prix of Qatar for the F1 Powerboat World Championship, hosting a round annually out in the bay which the city overlooks.

Under-construction stadiums/sport facilities:

The Wall Stadium would become the world's largest underground stadium, dwarfing the Fjellhallen ice-hockey arena in Norway, and would be the main venue for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup.[106] The stadium is estimated to cost 20 million dollars. The stadium will have the latest technology and roads leading to the stadium will be easy. While the New Paralympic stadium south of the new City of Lusail will be the most advance Paralympic stadium.

In 2001, Qatar also became the first country in the Middle East to hold a women's tennis tournament: Qatar holds both the Qatar Open for Women and the ladies ITF tournament. Since 2008 and at least for 3 years, the Sony Ericsson Championships (equivalent to the ATP's season-ending Championships) takes place in Doha, in the Khalifa International Tennis Complex, and features record prize money of $4.45 million (check of $1,485,000 for the winner, which represents the largest single guaranteed payout in women's tennis today[107]).

Doha submitted a bid for the 2016 Olympics.[108] On June 4, 2008, the city was eliminated from the shortlist for the 2016 Olympic Games. On August 26, 2011 it was confirmed that Doha would bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics.[109] Doha however failed to become a Candidate City for the 2020 Games.[110]

In November 2009, Doha hosted the The Oryx Cup World Championship. This is a hydroplane boat race in the H1 Unlimited season. The race took place in Doha Bay on the Persian Gulf. The H1 Unlimited and the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) agreed to have the final race of the 2009 H1 Unlimited hydroplane season in Doha. Ten of the fastest racing boats in the world traveled to Doha November 2009 for the inaugural Oryx Cup event—the H1 Unlimited World Championship—as a result of an Agreement in Principle reached January 9 between the ABRA and the QMSF.

In December 2010, Qatar won the rights to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and bring the event to the region for the first time. As a result of Qatar's harsh summers and the small population of the country, the bid contained several unique elements which were unprecedented in World Cup history. The winning bid proposed that all stadiums constructed to host the World Cup would be built as air conditioned indoor venues, in order to ensure that the event could be held in summer.

In April 2012 Doha was awarded the 2014 FINA World Swimming Championships [111] and the 2012 World Squash Championships.[112]

Culture and arts[edit]

Doha's skyline seen from the Museum of Islamic Art

Qatar has a diverse and growing arts and entertainment industry.

Media[edit]

Television[edit]

Al Jazeera Arabic Building

The multinational media conglomerate Al Jazeera Media Network is based in Doha with its wide variety of channels of which Al Jazeera Arabic, Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera Documentary Channel, Al Jazeera Mubasher, beIN Sports Arabia and other operations are based in the TV Roundabout in the city.

Terrestrial television[edit]

Terrestrial television stations now available on Nilesat include:

Channel Signal Format Station name Network Status
21 UHF DVB-T2 Net TV Arabia Network Media Middle East Local
31 Al Watania TV JPMC
37 MBC 1
MBC 4
MBC Action

SportOne TV

VIVA National
39 Fox EMTEK
41 LBC Sat EMTEK
43 ITV 1
ITV 2
ITV Arabia Group
45 Al Jazeera Al Jazeera Media Network
47 OSN First More
OSN News
Al Yawm
Series Channel
OSN MEDIA
49 Radar TV
MNC Sports 1
MNC Sports 2
JPMC Local
51 Jak TV City TV
53 Qatar TV 1
Qatar TV 2
Q MEDIA
55 Colors
Sony TV
VIACOM TV18
57 Zee TV
Zee Alwan
STAR Plus
O Channel
Zee Network
59 Ajman TV
Infinity TV
Noor Dubai TV
Al Rayyan TV
MDC TV (SINDOtv)
DMC TV
Elshinta TV
Etisalat
Pay television[edit]
  • Teledunet
  • Mozaic TV
  • MyHD
  • Mivo TV
  • Palapa D
  • Sky

Radio[edit]

Doha has a variety of radio stations that is, some of them:

FM radio

  • 90.8 – QBS Arabic
  • 91.7 – QF Radio
  • 92.0 – MBC FM
  • 92.6 – Radio Sawa Gulf
  • 93.7 – QF Radio
  • 94.0 – Oryx FM French
  • 97.5 – QBS English
  • 99.6 – Radio Monte Carlo
  • 100.3 – Panorama FM
  • 100.8 – Sout al Khaleej
  • 102.0 – Fox News Talk
  • 103.4 – Quran Kareem Radio
  • 107.4 – BBC World Service

DAB radio

  • 10B Arabic Multiplex
    • C221 – QBS Arabic
    • C222 – QF Radio More
    • C223 – MBC FM
    • C224 – Radio Sawa Gulf
    • C225 – QF Radio
    • C226 – Oryx FM French
    • C227 – QBS English
    • C228 – Radio Monte Carlo
    • C229 – BBC Arabic Service
    • C230 – Panorama FM
    • C231 – Sout al Khaleej
    • C232 – Fox News Talk
    • C233 – Quran Kareem Radio
    • C234 – BBC World Service
  • 10C Indonesian Multiplex
    • C235 – Sonora FM
    • C236 – Delta FM
    • C237 – Indika FM
    • C238 – Radio Elshinta

Film[edit]

The Doha Film Institute (DFI) is an organisation established in 2010 to oversee film initiatives and create a sustainable film industry in Qatar. DFI was founded by H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani.[113]

The Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF) is Qatar's annual film festival organised by DFI.

International relations[edit]

Twin towns and sister cities[edit]

Gallery[edit]

Click on the thumbnail to enlarge.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]